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ĀLAYAVIJÑĀNA AND JUNG’S COLLECTIVE UNCONCIOUSS

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By Ven. Prajñacarita (Diana G. Alvarez M.D) SID: 2005011

September, 2008

Assignment for BT6212/ME6212. Ālāya-vijñāna: The Yogācāra doctrine of the “Store-consciousness


Venerable Professor Dr K L Dhammajoti


International Buddhist College, 88, Mu 2, Thung Mo Subdistrict, Khuan Sato, Amphoe Sadao, Songkhla 90240, Thailand


TABLE OF CONTENTS


1. Ālayavijñāna

1.1. Some words about the term

1.2. Origin of the Ālayavijñāna Doctrine

1.2.1. Vijñāna in Early Buddhism

1.2.2. Anuśaya in Early Buddhism

1.2.3. The problems of time in the Abhidharma

1.2.4. Sarvāstivāda Doctrines

1.2.5. Meditational cessation

1.3. Characteristics of ālayavijñāna

2. Jung Collective Unconscious

2.1. The collective unconscious

2.2. Synchronicity

2.3. Archetypes

2.4. Jung’s thesis of individuation

3. Conclusion

4. Bibliography


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1. Ālayavijñāna

1.1. Some words about the term

Ālaya-vijñāna is a Sanskrit word used to denote the eighth consciousness within the homonymous theory developed by the Yogācāra school of Buddhist thought, around 3rd century A.D.


The word was rendered two times in China. One by Paramārtha and his disciples, known as the “older translators”, who transcribed the word ālaya as a-li-ye (阿黎耶), and gave to it the meaning of wu-mei


(勿 玫) or “non- dissolution”. The other time was translated by Xuanzang, who treated the Sanskrit term as a-lai-yeh (阿赖耶) and translated it with the meaning of “store”. Accordant with these two forms of translation the word has different pronunciation too, a-li is pronounced with a short vowel a. On the other hand the word a-lai with a long ā. Also they have different doctrinal connotations; a-li-yeh comes out in texts relate with the nature of Dharma, like the Discourse of the Awakening of Faith in the Mahāyāna,

whereas a-lai-yeh, is shown in the books which treats the characteristics of Dharma such as Viñaptimātratā-siddhi.


1.2. Origin of the Ālayavijñāna Doctrine

Abhidharma texts conserve the doctrinal development from the Buddha’s parinirvāṇa until the emergences of Yogācāra School and one can see the presence of forerunners theories for the final ālayavijñāna doctrine.


In the context of the Indian scenery after the Buddha passed away, Abhidharma constituted the intent of systematizing the teachings of Buddha and the effort to give consistency to them, for two principal reasons, to be a guideline for leading the practitioners to the final goal of nirvāṇa and to debate with the heretics.


Ābhidharmikas considered their doctrine as representative of highest knowledge and expressed the complete teaching of the Buddha in terms of dharmas, which they considered as ultimate truth; meanwhile that sūtras were conditional truth. Dharmas were defined as essential elements discernible by their own characteristics. This discernment of dharma was such very highly regarded that Vasubandhu in his AKB (Abhidharmakośabhāṣya), affirmed that, “There is not other way to pacify the afflictions (kleśa) than by examining the dharmas, which can only be done through the Abhidharma.”


1.2.1. Vijñāna in Early Buddhism

Before continuing with the former discussion it is important to make the current digression and comment some topics about how the term vijñāna was used in the canonical context of Early Buddhism.

The word vijñāna was even for consciousness or the essential factor to existence and cognition or the normal functions of senses and mind of perception and cognition. And the important point here is that vijñāna as consciousness was used as a factor of saṃsāric existence. It represents the re-linking consciousness or pratisandhi-vijñāna, which enters in the womb at time of conception to give rise to the body/mind complex and persists with it until death, when again after leaving the corpse, initiates another cycle. This constant stream of consciousness is the implicit medium to transmit karma from life to life. This conception was later acquired by Yogācāra.


Furthermore, vijñāna as cognition happens in six types of senses consciousness (eye, ear, noise, body, tongue and mind) which arise dependent on the correlated objects, an undamaged sense basis or sense organ and proper attention (manasikāra). To clarify this dual role of vijñāna is mandatory to examine how these two aspects are related to each other in the framework of pratītyasamutpāda series, which runs as follows:

avijjasaṃskāravijñānanāma-rūpaṣaḍāyatanasparśavedanātṛṣṇā→upādānabhāvajāti→jarā-maraṇā.


The first vijñāna or the re-linking consciousness arises dependent on karma (saṃskāra) and it is the cause to the development of nāma-rūpa, acting as a supporting force for the new body to make it grows and increases. Hence vijñāna at this point is a prerequisite to any further act of cognition and as just has been said it is conditioned by mental forces of the past. The second vijñāna as cognition is engaged with the karmic actions that perpetuate the cycle of lives. Because dependent on it nāma-rūpa arises and it gives rise to the sense basis (ṣaḍāyatana), upon which the complete process of cognition can occurs. The next two conditioned factors of the series, i.e. sparśa, vedanā along with saññā, are universal caittas, which means that they are Inseparable vijñāna concomitants that are indispensable for the act of cognition take place. In brief, in every acts of cognition vijñāna entails saṃskāras or karmic activities and these secures further rebirth.


Moreover, the emergence of the emotional responses to feelings (vedanā) of craving (tṛṣṇā) and grasping (upadāna) maintain the cycles of new rebirths by generating a strong habit of continual repetition. They are followed by becoming (bhāva) and birth (jāti) which have been considered as a second process of rebirth by the exegetical commentary of Buddhaghosa in his Visudimagga. Both functions imputed to vijñāna by early Abhidharma were incorporated in the idea of ālayavijñāna by the Yogācārins, in which the cause and effect relation between its two aspects were explicitly separated


(i) The continuing ālaya- vijñāña

(ii) The momentary, cognitive and perceptual vijñānas (pravṛtti-vijñāna)

1.2.2. Anuśaya in Early Buddhism

The relation between the perceptual process and the affective one was also a matter of inquiring in the early periods. The idea that there were some dispositions, habits or tendencies which underlying the karmic activity was a theory crucial in Early Buddhism to explain the continuity of saṃsāra. Once again Yogācārins took this theory also and in same way they did with ālavijñana, here they proposed other kind of consciousness i.e. kliṣṣta manas, that was the vehicle for theses latent tendencies or anuśaya. These latent dispositions occupied the same place of importance as vijñāna in early Buddhist thought. Because to them they have two aspects, one psycho-ontological which means the perpetuation of saṃsāric existence and other soteriological which means that with the practice of the Path, they can be eradicated and thus gain liberation.

“These dispositions are instrumental in instigating the karmic activities connected with perceptual processes” . The emotional response (tṛṣṇā→upādāna) that follows the arising of vedanā in the context of pratītyasamutpāda, is considered activated by these anuśaya. Furthermore they are responsible for the basic psychological structure of human beings. In a few words, anuśaya, the latent, dormant dispositions, like vijñāna persist after death and are the responsible of maintain saṃsāric existence by linking feeling with the karmic activities of craving and grasping.


1.2.3. The problems of time in the Abhidharma

Both concepts discussed above pertain to different time dimensions. Cognition relates to the present whilst anuśaya is a potentiality. Ābhidharmikas’ view asserts that dharmas belong to present time and its characteristic is change, emerging and passing away every moment. Meanwhile anuśaya belongs to the future and its characteristic is continuity. Nevertheless both are in the context of vijñana. Therefore we found two discourses related to vijñāna in the texts, dharmas’ analysis and santāna . Waldron calls these different approaches synchronic and diachronic respectively.

The synchronic approach is centered fundamentally on citta, thought or mind and caittas or mental factors.

In Abhidharma, citta, is used interchangeable with vijñana. The relationship between citta and caittas is said to be “reciprocal and simultaneous (sahabhū)” but there are such mental factors which are associated with vijñāna (citta- saṃprayukta), the ones who makes the actions karmically effective. On the other hand, those which are not associated with the mind (citta-viprayukta-saṃskārā) are karmically indeterminated ( avyākṛta).


As just have been said the dharmas last only a moment and they continuously arise and pass away, followed by other new dharmas of akin or dissimilar type. Abhidharma explains the dynamic of this activity by a system of causes, conditions and effects or results (hetu / pratyaya/ phala). The fail of this system to explain cogently how the resultant effect (vipāka- hetu) came to be in some special situations, was one of the reason for addressing the ālayavijñāna

theory. The connection between the vipāka-hetu and vikāpa-phala is the heart of Abhidharma karmic theory, which explains the operation of cause and effect over extensive periods of time. The Sarvāstivadīns, distinguished six main causes: 1- the efficient cause (kāraṇa-hetu), the simultaneous cause (sahabhū-hetu), the cause by association (saṃprayukta-hetu), the homogenous cause (sabhāga-hetu), the omnipresent cause (sarvatraga-hetu) and the maturational cause (vipāka-hetu).


The synchronic approach comes into tension with the “homogeneous and immediate condition (samanantara-pratyaya)” , with reference to the heterogeneous succession of dharma; which involves non- homogeneous and non immediate conditions to arise and the potentiality of karma and anuśaya results over long periods of time. Although the momentary process cannot fulfill the requirement to be accepted as a cogent theory, it was enough to complete the purpose of its creation, which was to show that the motivations which accompanying actions are the foundation for accumulate karma and that the practitioner needs to subdue the influence of kleśa, to cease gathering potential karma and hence steps forward in the Path.

Thus this discourse in the soteriological framework was and is meaningful and comprehensible.

The other side of the coin is the traditional theory of karma presented in the AKB by Vasubabdhu. The related activity of karma, kleśa and saṃsāra is clearly explained in the following quotation:

“It is said [AKBh IV 1] that the world in its variety arises from action (karma). It is because of the latent dispositions (anuśaya) that actions accumulate (upacita), but without the latent dispositions [they] are not capable of giving rise to a new existence. Thus, the latent dispositions should be known as the root of existence (mūlaṃbhava).”


The accumulation of actions done, pervaded and manipulated by the kleśa, and their latencies or anuśaya, is the responsible of the perpetuating of saṃsāra cycle. These accumulations is said that increase the mental stream (santāna), making it proclivity to rebirth.

Contrarily to the Pāli texts, the AKB openly relates karma and its accumulation with ālayavijñāna as their vehicle. Again AKB asserts:

Mental motivation (manaḥsañcetanā) projects (ākṣepa) renewed existence; that [[[existence]]] which is projected is, in turn, produced from the seed (bīja) of vijñāna which is infused (paribhāvita) by karma. Thus, these two are predominant in bringing forth the existence which is not yet arisen.” We can see that about the role of mental motivation there is conformity with the canonical doctrine. But “Sautrāntikas developed the traditional metaphor of seeds to explicitly stand for the latent potency of both (i) karma and (ii) kleśa.”

The Sautrāntika theory (diachronic, santāna linked), also showed the problem of cannot be applied to dharmas (synchronic, dharmic analysis) which activity is developed in other dimension of time.

Once again, the Sautrāntikas used the metaphor of seeds (bīja), to explain the dispositions:

The affliction or kleśa which is dormant is called a latent disposition or anuśaya, which when awakened is called an outburst or paryavasthāna. Moreover, they said that the affliction when is dormant is the continuity or anubandha in a seed state or bīja-bhāva of the referred affliction which is not manifest.

When it is awaken it is called “being present”. On the other hand, what is called “seed state” is the capacity or śakti of that person (ātmabhāva) for an affliction to arise from a previous affliction.

Sautrāntikas distinguished noticeably among the latent dispositions and its manifestation or outburst, but in that way they choose to abandon the system of the dharma. Therefore the dispositions are neither citta-saṃpratyukta nor citta-viprayukta, because they are not real entities (dravya). A seed is defined as any psycho-physical complex (nāma-rūpa) that is able of producing a fruit even mediately or immediately by a specific modification of the mental stream (santatipariṇāmaviśeṣajāt).

When the mental stream changes to a different state that is called modification. Mental stream is also defined as the motivational complex or saṃskāra existing as cause and effect.

The concept of seeds is significant in the context of the mental stream or santāna, where the latent dispositions acts as inertial forces in the subconscious layers of mind, constituting an individual saṃsāric existence which functions against the dharma system.


Resuming the precedent discussion, we can say that vijñāna in AKB in its Sautrāntika expositions and in Abhidharma in general has the same twofold role that in Pāli text, i.e, cognition as a momentary process that the dharmic analysis explains; and the re-linking and supporting life factor, carrier of kamma, continually flowing from life to life until liberation. The citta-santāna discourse can be assimilated with this later role of vijñāna, which also carries karma and afflictions, in a perpetual cycle of rebirth. The most remarkable difference is that in Abhidharma, the dharmic analysis is considered ultimate reality, but in the Sautrāntika part of ABK, the santāna theory is considered just nominal.


1.2.4. Sarvāstivāda doctrine

Sarvāstivādins proposed an alternative ontological theory to explain dharmic analysis and the continuity of karma and kleśa altogether staying away from vijñāna. They proposed that dharmas exist during the three times: past, present and future. They distinguished two new dharmas, activity or karitra and possession or prāpti. The first one determinates a dharma as present, the second one determines when a certain mental factor would falls into one’s mind stream or santāna, but it is not associated with the mind, it is citta-viprayukta and wholesome and unwholesome mind moods can co-exist and flow in an heterogeneous succession. Therefore the problem of anuśaya is avoided and the y said that in the sūtras latent disposition was used as another name to

possession. In addition they said that is prāpti which distinguished an Aryan from a pṛthaagjiana (worldling being). The Sarvāstivādins and Sautrāntikas consequently agreed in that the abandonment of afflictions is independent of the present state of mind. Nevertheless the concept of possession did not work in the frame of hetu-prartyaya- phala, and it was not precise as a mean to enlighten the phenomena of karma and kleśa , even more it was not a clear marker of the improvement in the spiritual Path. Prāpti , as Conze pointed out was a concept too near to self one. On his opinion possession was “just an evasive term for an underlying ‘person” and also that it implies a support which goes further than the momentary state, as a matter of fact a sort of lasting personality.


Hence, prāpti failed in supporting the particular purpose of its proposition and gave place to Vasubandhu’s despise; who after a long time of exchanging discussions asked why possession is actually a dravyadharma and not a mere conventional one (prajñapti-dharma), to which the Sarvāstivādins replied naively “because it is our doctrine”.


1.2.5. Meditational cessation

Another point of controversy was the explanation of how the vijñāna emerges from the state of meditational cessation or nirodha-samāpatti, and which kind of mind maintains the body alive during it. Schmithausen considers this issue the instigating cause for the development of ālayavijñāna theory. There was general agreement on that of the six kind of consciousness describe in Abhidharma, none one can play a role in this situation, because all of them arise dependent on the respective sense organ, the correspondent object and mental factors that ever accompanying them. In the context of cessation all this requirements are not present. Therefore a different kind of mind had to be suggested.


Sautrāntikas proposed that the mind which emerges from the nirodha-samāpatti, originates from a seed preserved in the body, asserting that the body and the mind are mutual seeds of each other.


Sarvāstivādas said that the last citta preceding the absorption is the responsible to give rise to the emerging mind and it is that way because the dharmas also exist in the past.

Others maintain the view that a subtle form of mind still exists during the absorption, otherwise the complete withdrawal of vijñāna means death. Finally the Yogācārins combined both theories and proposed a subtle type of mind which carries the seeds of body and mind, called ālayavijñāna.


1.3. Characteristics of ālayavijñāna

“The Vijñaptimātratā-triṃsikā , describes the ālayavijñāna as follows: “The first (transformation) is ālaya-vijñāna, or vipāka (differently matured) or sarvabījaka (possessed of all seeds).”


There are distinguished three characteristics:

1. Self-characteristic: or in other words self-substance. And the later is the literal translation of the word alayavijñāna. The term ālaya was translated by Xuanzang as store and it was given three connotations,

1. To store (neng-cang, 能藏), which means this consciousness keeps the seeds of the all phenomenal existences.

2. To be stored ( suŏ-cang,所藏) means that this consciousness is perfumed or impressed by the preceding seven kind of consciousness and seeds are planted in it. Store attached to (qī-cang, 欺藏) entails that this consciousness exists without interruption and therefore constitutes the subject of each individual. It is attached to the manas (7th consciousness) or self-consciousness, called also thought-consciousness. These three distinctions are called the threefold store of ālaya.


2. Effect characteristic: this consciousness is considered here as an effect, an effect arising of a appropriate cause. The Sanskrit term for this characteristic is vipāka, which is rendered as different maturity, it has various meanings but here is used as the “retribution matured differently from cause”.


This implies that this consciousness is a neutral (avyākṛta) fruit arisen from causes of different nature.


In this connection is important to emphasize that the cause involved in “different maturity” is not the primary one. It is a secondary cause or a cooperative one. The seeds which are the direct cause of the ālayavijñana are of a neutral and clear nature (anivṛta-avyākṛta) and therefore too weak to manifest themselves. The cooperative seeds of good or bad nature are product of the perfuming of bad and good actions, so they are called karmic seeds or

simply karma. On the other hand the seeds as direct causes are named abhilāpa seeds or seeds of words. We can see that the by cause is which have the empowerment to give rise phenomena and that is what the passage “the cause is either good or bad, while effect is neutral” means. That is the meaning of different maturity. On the same topic there is another distinction that must be done between ‘real different maturity’ and ‘products of different maturity’. The first one is the complete name of ‘different maturity’ and it is also an alias to the ālayavijñāna and its meaning is the result of a

sentient being. Meanwhile the second term is used to denote the particular retributions of the each one of the six consciousnesses. Concerning to the ‘real different maturity’ it has to fulfill three conditions: fruition of karma, continuity and universal presence in the three realms. Fruition of karma indicates the differently mature neutral fruition which arises in relation with one’s bad or goods actions. ‘Continuity’ signifies a persistent existence without interruption and lastly ‘universal presence in the three realms’ specifies its peculiarity of existing anyplace in the three realms . Only the eighth consciousness conforms to the three conditions described above.


3. Cause characteristic: about this feature ālayavijñāna is believed to be the cause of everything that exists. Cause in this context means the seeds as direct causes for the occurrence of the entire phenomena. Because this consciousness has the capacity of embracing and preserving these seeds, received the name of sarvābījaka in the Viñaptimātratā-triṃsikā . Sarvābīja signifies ‘all seeds’ and Sarvābījaka denotes that the eighth consciousness has the possession of all seeds in itself.

Yogācārins asserted the theory of causation by ālayavijñāna , meaning that all phenomena emerge from this consciousness as a consequence of possessed all seeds. Following the same reasoning the name of ‘Consciousness-only Doctrine’ or Viñapti-mātratāvāda is given to the statement of everything is fabricated by consciousness.

Quoting Takakusu: “Ālaya-consciousness itself is not an unchangeable fixed substance (dravya) but is itself ever changing instantaneously (kṣaṇika) and repeatedly; and being ‘perfumed’ or having impressions made upon it by cognition and action, it becomes habituated and efficient in manifestation. It is like a torrent of water which never stops at one place for two consecutive moments. It is only with reference to the continuity of the stream that we can speak of a river.”

Accordingly the eighth consciousness never ceases to be, only change its name to vipāka or ādāna


When an ordinary being achieves the eighth bhūmi in the bhodisattva way or arahanship. In both former stages the eighth consciousness becomes detached from Manas, the seventh consciousness and in consequence not defiled. When the stage of Buddha-hood is attained the term Vipāka is not used anymore. For this highest level of realization only the word ādāna is applicable, meaning fruition of Buddha-hood from an untainted (without anuśaya) consciousness. The eighth consciousness of the Buddha is called ādarśajñāna , because here the power of wisdom overcomes the discriminating activity of mind and also is named in that way because it is totally taintless.


The Mahāyānasaṃgraha identifies ālayavijñāna with intrinsic badness or dauṣṭhulya . Also it is considered as the cause of samkleśa . Thus being the ālayavjñāna a defiled phenomenal consciousness and its fruits defiled phenomena, the theory of causation by ālayavjñāna is known as the theory of ‘tainted causation’. Here tainted means defiled and phenomenal consciousness signifies that it is a phenomenal existence.


2. Jung Collective Unconscious

2.1. The collective unconscious

Carl Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and colleague of Freud's who broke away from Freudian psychoanalysis over the issue of the unconscious mind as a reservoir of repressed sexual trauma that causes all neuroses. Jung founded his own school of analytical psychology. According to him, the collective unconscious is a part of the unconscious mind common to all humans. The collective unconscious contains archetypes, universal mental predispositions not grounded in experience. The archetypes do not originate in the world of the senses, but exist independently of that world and are known directly by the mind. Jung believed that the archetypes arise spontaneously in the mind, especially in times of crisis. Just as there are meaningful coincidences, that he called synchronicity, which open the door to transcendent truths, therefore also crisis opens the door of the collective unconscious and lets out an archetype to reveal some deep truth hidden from ordinary consciousness.


The unconscious or subconscious mind, according to classical Freudian psychoanalysis, is a part of the mind that stores repressed memories. The theory of repression maintains that some experiences are too painful to be reminded of, so the mind stuffs them in the cellar. These painful repressed memories manifest themselves in neurotic or psychotic behavior and in dreams. Opposing to Freud belief, Jung thought the unconscious, as being a reservoir of transcendent truths.

In short Jung’s collective unconscious is an inherited part of the psyche, a fundamental driving force, a container of great truths, and the only trustworthy guide to self-realization. Yet, it is hidden in the depth of the mind, unknown to man. Myths are the instruments to discover and to utilize it. For him myths are born out of the collective unconscious, therefore made up of archetypes, they are more than expressions of that part of the psyche, to Jung the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious. Dreams, on the other hand, come from the personal unconscious, and cannot become myths, because of their personal nature.


2.2. Synchronicity

About synchronicity, Carl Jung defined it as an explanatory principle. Synchronicity explains "meaningful coincidences”. His notion of synchronicity is that there is a causal principle that links events having a similar meaning by their coincidence in time rather than sequentially. He claimed that there is a synchrony between the mind and the phenomenal world of perception. Synchronicity is a kin of relationship between ideas which are not of causal nature but simultaneous, i.e., the cause and the effect take place at the same time.


2.3. Archetypes

Jung's idea of archetypes was that they exist and remain in some kind of human awareness through generations, independently of time and place. The archetypes, he said are the source of origin of “myths or universal motifs”, which are themselves unconscious, not able to be represented and a priori forms that seems to be part of a heritage construction of the psyche and that have the possibility of manifestation anywhere at anytime. Jung cautions that, "One must, for the sake of accuracy, distinguish between 'archetype' and 'archetypal ideas.' The archetype as such is a hypothetical and irrepresentable model, something like the pattern of behavior in biology." Furthermore he adds:


"The archetype in itself is empty and purely formal...a possibility of representation which is given a priori. The representations themselves are not inherited, only the forms, and in that respect they correspond in every way to the instincts, which are also determined in form only."


Jung then concludes that in his view in addition to the immediate consciousness which is of a personal nature, “there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals.” This collective unconscious is inherited and it is consisting of archetypes which are a priori forms that “can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.” It is not possible to make a complete list of archetypes; Jung himself never even suggested a list.


But some of them mentioned by Jung and his colleagues seem to be the most representative in the process of psyche’s individuation. They are:


• The hero, who pursues a great quest to realize his destiny.

• The self, the personality striving towards its own complete realization.

• The shadow, the amoral remnant of our instinctual animal past.

• The persona, the mask and pretense we show others.

• The anima and animus, our female and male roles and urges.

• The mother, primarily in the sense of our need of her.

• The father, primarily an authority figure often inducing fear.

• The child, our innocent beginning with all our potential in front of us.

• The sage, or wise old man, one who has the profound knowledge.

• The god, the perfect image of the Self.

• The goddess, the great mother, or Mother Earth.



The foremost of archetypes is the hero, a person who bravely overcomes great difficulty in order to realize his destiny. He could be described as a role-model, urging each of us to go ahead and pursue our own quest. Freud, too, put significant emphasis on the hero of myth and lore.

Jung's hero meets with certain characters, events and obstacles on his quest. Those are often recognizable from one myth or another. The hero myth is the ultimate formula of self-realization, and it is fundamental in Jung’s proposal of individuation.


2.4. Jung’s thesis of individuation

The individuation process is a term created by Jung to describe the process of becoming aware of oneself, of one’s make-up, and the way to discover one’s true, inner self. Although the structure is basic and simple, the contents require a much deeper understanding. Individuation means that one becomes an individual, a totally integrated personality. It is a process of Self realization during which one integrates those contents of the psyche that have the

ability to become conscious. It is a search for totality. Once a person has accepted the contents of his unconsciousness and has reached the goal of the individuation process, he is conscious of his relationships with everything that lives, with the entire cosmos. Individuation is a natural, inherent process in man. It cannot be stimulated by something external, but it grows from the inside.

There are also some basic concepts that have to be known in the way Jung describes them.

The ego is the center of consciousness. It is considered a function that allows one to distinguish oneself from others. It is a structure that orders one’s psychological qualities, so one can make sense of oneself and one’s actions. It gives one a sense of uniqueness, but all have that in common. Other thing that humans have in common is a conscious and an unconscious. The conscious is able to experience the everyday life. The unconscious by other

hand is active at the background. It is composed of hidden aspects of oneself that are continuing working but without one’s awareness. The unconscious is considered a function that tries to bring the person into balance. The unconscious tendencies are not submitted to the will. Jung divided the unconscious in two parts: personal and collective. The personal unconscious belong to oneself and it is formed by a collection of subliminal individual perceptions, repressed or forgotten memories, wishes and repressed emotions. The unconscious cannot be evoking by will but sometimes it appears in dreams, fantasies or by hypnosis procedures.

Another import term is the Self. The Self is that we are in essence. It is not the ego, actually is a structure of higher order that encompasses the conscious, the unconscious and the ego. The Self is the central archetype in the collective unconsciousness, like the sun in our solar system. The Self is considered for Jung as the archetype of order, organization and unity. He also consider the Self as one’s goal in the life, because it is the most complete expression of the highest unity that he cal individuality.

The individuation process begins with becoming conscious of the Persona, the mask we take on in our every day life. After this we become conscious of the Shadow, the repressed characteristics of the ego. Then we become conscious of the Anima, the inner woman in each man, or the Animus, the inner man in each woman, the Mother and the Father. Then the image of the old wise man, or the old wise mother appears, after which the experience of the Self happens. These

phases are not necessarily chronological in order or separated from each other. They can overlap each other or run parallel. The individuation process is not transcending duality but conjunction-oppositorum, wherein opposites are united. The Self, according to Jung, is not a kind of universal consciousness. It is rather an awareness of our unique nature and our intimate connection with all life. The Self is symbolized in the form a child, Christ, Buddha, and so on. In dreams it can sprout forth from an animal or an egg. The hermaphrodite, an often used alchemical image, is another symbol; it joins the opposites of male and female. Other images are the difficult to obtain treasure, a jewel, a flower, a golden egg or golden ball, a chalice like the Grail, and all fourfold images like mandalas.


3. Conclusion

Before of beginning with the arguments, I consider important to point out that the two principal spokesmen with whom Jung was engaged in discussing ===Buddhism were Hisamatsu and Evans-Wentz and therefore fundamentally he took contact with Zen and Vajrayāna Buddhism. He was one of the earlier well-known western interpreters of Buddhism. For the heretics many of Jung concepts are thought to come from Buddhism. Although there are some superficial similarities, the final conclusions of Jung are clearly far from Buddhist thought. As this work is devoted to the subject of ālayavijñāna, it will make emphasis on this topic, even though some lateral discussion about other basic Jungian concepts will be necessary too.


As just was mentioned formerly the principal motivation of presenting the theory of ālayavijñāna by Yogācāra School was to solve two fundamental problems the continuity of karma and vijñāna with a cogent explanation. And there are these topics, karma and ālayavijñāna, which were frequently linking to Jung’s psychological theories where one can see deep differences in meaning and connotation.

Jung seems to approach to Zen when he discusses the nature of the Self, then when he details other archetypes, he uses the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon to support his considerations.

When he brings in his conceptions of consciousness, the unconscious and the psyche, he shifts to an argumentation of the nature of the Self. He comes close to Buddhism by recognizing the very restricted

Field of the ego-consciousness and its dependences on deeper or subtler layers of the mind or psyche; but speculates a real existence of “other” that stands behind all appearances and also acknowledges all phenomena.

The above interpretation gives the impression that Jung is nearer of Atman than Buddha-nature.


Reynolds , said that he was misleading by Evans-Wentz, who has misunderstanding translations of Tibetan works by mixing them with his own Theosophical idiosyncrasy. The following excerpt from Jung’s works may clear his misconception about fundamental Buddhist’s ideas. About emptiness he wrote:

“Now if consciousness is emptied as far as possible of its contents, they will fall into a state of unconsciousness, at least for the time being. In Zen, this displacement usually results from the energy being withdrawn from conscious contents and transferred either to the conception of emptiness or to the koan. As both of these must be stable, the succession of images is abolished and with it the energy which maintains the kinetics of consciousness. (1992) “

In one of his dialogues with the Zen master Hisamatsu, when asked about his understanding of the Zen-mind. He answered, ‘It is the unknown’. But it is the unknown which excites and disturbs me psychically; it is the unknown which influences me positively or negatively. I am aware that it is, but I don’t know what it is.”

And in Jung “the unknown” is the collective unconscious. And as Masao Abe has remarked, “In contrast to this, according to Zen, the self is not the unknown, but rather the clearly known. More strictly speaking, the knower and the known are one, not two. The knower itself is the known, and vice versa. Self is not regarded as something existing “over there,” somewhere beyond, but rather is fully realized right here and now. (Reynolds, 1989)”

Moreover, Hisamatsu asked to him, “Is ‘I-consciousness’ different from ‘Self-consciousness’, or not?” “The Self is unknown, for it indicates the whole, that is, consciousness and the unconscious”, Jung posited.

Jung has defined consciousness as identical with ego, and that which is not ego, as instinctual”. And an instinct he said is a “given” former consciousness that is itself an advanced accomplishment. Therefore to him without ego can be no consciousness. That is why to him the jhana described in Buddhist literature are same kind of unconscious states of mind, while they are experienced without the idea of ego. This could be the reason of the Jung belief that Buddhism and widely Eastern thinking are akin to dreaming and totally introverted.

Other controversial point is his understanding of kleśa. Buddhism states that the sphere of ego arises from a deluded mind and it is the cause of all suffering and that kleśa is the sphere of conceptualization. To these, Jung makes the following commentary: “Hisamatsu’s ‘self’ “means “something like kleśa in the Yoga Sutra,” whereas his own definition of self corresponds to Atman or Purusa.”

The last two points to mention are karma and ālayavijñāna. And of course they also are related to the Self in Jung’s thought. The Self as archetype is described as the ‘organizer archetype’, and Jung stressed that it is “the real organizing principle of the unconscious”. The Buddhist parallel here is karma. But again the comparison is wrong, because the Buddhist understanding of karma is not of an organizer agent but a plain law of cause and effect. The Jungian idea seems to be rooted in the Judeo-Christian ideal of a Creator, in terms of intention and organization, in contrary with the Buddhist statement of dependent origination.

Dr. Edward Whitmont, an outstanding Jungian psychoanalyst, has defined the Self “as a predisposition which is ‘empty’ in itself actualizes as representational images and as patterns of emotion and behavior”.

This explanation is suggestive of the ālayavijñāna or storehouse consciousness of Yogācāra.

Both representations seems to share the characteristics of being non-substantial containers of the potentialities of all things and not only that, ālayavijñāna also has the characteristic of actively organizes, integrates and structures the experiences of himself and the reality of the person. So up to here they share these similarities. However both schemes diverge on that Jung takes the Self as ultimate reality, final goal and as a metaphysical

equivalent of God which transcends duality. On the other hand the Yogācāra standpoint of ālayavijñāna , though be a substratum for the tainted mind, which mistake it with an ego is not a true Self, and it is a consciousness, which means that a distinction between object a subject always exist. In brief these are the most remarkable controversies between the Jungian ideas and Buddhism, but of course this essay cannot cover the entire problem which is very extensive but the goal of introduction on the subject might be fullfiled.



5. Notes



1. Synchronic (adjective) = Occurring at a specific point in time.

Etymology: From Ancient Greek (term, sc=Grek, , tr=sín, , with, in company with, together with) + (term, sc=Grek, , tr=chrónos, , time).

2. Diachronic (adjective) = Occurring or changing along with time Etymology: From dia- through, along with + chronos time.

4. Mind is an important term which appears also in early canonical texts “to denote the central faculty or the process of mind which can become either contaminated or purified and liberated” “The PED (266f) entry for this term indicates, once again, the common indivisibility between the process and the agent of the process in so many key Buddhist terms; citta is “the centre and focus of man’s emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in and accompanies its manifestations: thought. In this wise citta denotes both the agent and that which is enacted.”

5. Dauṣṭhulya: something stressing, oppressive in their intrinsic nature. Spiritual badness. It is a state of mind, reason of dukkha. Also gross evilness, grave badness, rigidness, heaviness, non-pliability, non workability. Dauṣṭhulya is present because of prapañca (conceptualization). 6. “The collective unconscious is a part of the psyche which can be negatively distinguished from a personal unconscious by the fact that it does not, like the latter, owe its existence to personal experience and consequently is not a personal acquisition. While the personal unconscious is made up essentially of contents which have at one time been conscious but which have disappeared from consciousness through having been forgotten or repressed, the contents of the collective unconscious have never been in consciousness, and therefore have never been individually acquired, but owe their existence exclusively to heredity. Whereas the personal unconscious consists for the most part of complexes, the content of the collective unconscious is made up essentially of archetypes”.



7. “The concept of the archetype, which is an indispensable correlate of the idea of the collective unconscious, indicates the existence of definite forms in the psyche which seem to be present always and everywhere. Mythological research calls them "motifs"; in the psychology of primitives they correspond to Levy-Bruh's concept of "representations collectives," and in the field of comparative religion they have been defined by Hubert and Mauss as "categories of the imagination." Adolf Bastian long ago called them "elementary" or primordial thoughts." From these references it should be clear enough that my idea of the archetype - literally a pre-existent form - does not stand alone but is something that is recognized and named in other fields of knowledge.”


8. Dr. Hosekei Shinichi Hisamatsu (1889–1980) was a philosopher, Zen Buddhist scholar, and Japanese tea ceremony master. He was also a professor at Kyoto University and received an honorary doctoral degree from Harvard University. 9. Dr. Whitmont, Edward. Born in Vienna in 1912, received his medical degree from the University of Vienna in 1934, and then immigrated to the United States four years later. His interest in Jungian psychology was sparked by a patient who sought Dr. Whitmont's help because a dream told me to come to you. His interest in homeopathy sprang from an acquaintance with the homoeopathist Elizabeth Wright Hubbard. Dr. Whitmont later traveled to Switzerland to meet Jung, and they corresponded.



5. Bibliography







Encyclopedia of Buddhism (1961). Malalaskera. Ceylon. Vol I, 382-388.


Jung, Carl (1981) The archetipyes and the collective unconscious. Princeton, 2nd ed.

Jung, Carl (1989) Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Randon House. NY.

       K L Dhammajoti, Bhikkhu (2008). Ālāya-vijñāna: The Yogācāra doctrine of the “Store-consciousness
IBC, Summer Course. Class- notes.

      Reynolds, John. (1989). Self-Liberation Through Seeing with Naked Awareness. Station Hill
Press. NY.

Sharin, Ron (2002) Jung and Buddhism. Deep streams Journal

http://www.deepstreams.org/journal/i002/i002_03_JungBuddhism.pdf


Takakusu, J. (1956). The Essentials of Buddhist Philosophy. Asia Publishing House. Bombay.

Waldron, Williams S. How innovative is the Ālayavijñāna?

Journal of Indian Philosophy. vol. 22, (1994):199-258

http://www.gampoabbey.org/translations2/Innovative-alayavijnana.pdf




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