Symbolism and death in Jung and Zen Buddhism
By John Steffney

Philosophy East & West
V. 25(1975)
pp. 175-185

Copyright 1975 by University of Hawaii Press
Hawaii, USA



p. 175

Both Jung and Zen [1] are concerned with the dualistic structure of ego-consciousness, [2] with the problems inherent in that structure, and with the realization of a new structure that would allow the individual to overcome that initial dualism. Certainly one of the more problematic issues inherent in the structure of ego-consciousness is the dichotomy of life and death; and though Jung is often associated with Zen, because of his several commentaries on Zen literature and his frequent allusion to it, I argue that, on the reconciliation of life and death and on the reconciliation of the dualistic structure of ego-consciousness itself, Jung and Zen are quite different.

    The conflict inherent in the dualistic structure of ego-consciousness cannot be solved, according to Jung -- each of us is forced to live within that structure -- but it can be "outgrown," [3] in the sense of realizing that there is a wholeness to the psyche of which ego-consciousness is only a part: "Thinking existed long before man was able to say: 'I am conscious of thinking.'" [4] Jung further contends that the opposing elements that appear in ego-consciousness are "unified" in the unconscious, and that it is the task of ego-consciousness to realize this primordial unification. What is in order, therefore, is a further unification: "Wholeness consists in the union of the conscious and the unconscious personality." [5] And accordingly, "this rounding out of the personality into a whole may well be the goal of any psychotherapy that claims to be more than a mere cure of symptoms." [6]

    The problem with man in the modern age, however, is that he is highly susceptible to being deracinated from this primordial unification: "Civilized life today demands concentrated, directed conscious functioning, and this entails the risk of a considerable dissociation from the unconscious." [7] The more man progresses materially and technologically, according to Jung, the more he becomes impoverished spiritually and psychologically. Jung sees this tendency not only in terms of the lifestyle of modern civilization, but even with its intellectuals, that is, those thinkers who reduce existence to matter, denying any life-spirit, and who think of mind only as an epiphenomenon of matter. [8] Jung genuinely believes, following Kerényi and Lévy-Bruhl, that primitive man experienced a far greater unification of conscious and unconscious, matter and spirit, and beholds that "primitive mentality differs from the civilized chiefly in that the conscious mind is far less developed in scope and intensity." [9] The primitive did not have to wrestle with the tensions of ego-consciousness because, according to Jung, ego-consciousness with its inherent contradictions, as we know it today, had not yet appeared. [10] The task, of course, is not to stop progress and turn savage, but to be aware of our psychic heritage, to be in constant communication with our archetypal roots. Jung is quite emphatic about this: "In reality we can never legitimately cut loose from our archetypal foundations unless we are prepared to pay the price of neurosis, any more than



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we can rid ourselves of our body and its organs without committing suicide." [11]

    The gateway to wholeness is not a matter of volition, and Jung is forever reminding us about how things "happen" to us, that is, we do not decide we are going to have a revelation, it "seizes" us. [12] Reflecting on the Taoist notion of wu wei, Jung writes: "The art of letting things happen, action through non-action, letting go of oneself as taught by Master Eckhart, became for me the key that opens the door to the way. We must be able to let things happen in the psyche." [13] The task is to be receptive to wholeness when it avails itself; and when it does avail itself, it always does so in terms of symbols: "The union of opposites on a higher level of consciousness is not a rational thing, nor is it a matter of will, it is a process of psychic development that expresses itself in symbols." [14] Symbols, thus, are quintessential to Jung's psychology, "for it is in them that the union of conscious and unconscious contents is consummated." [15] It is they that serve as keys to the "self" [16] and as vehicles in the "process of individuation." [17]

    In a way highly suggestive of Jung, D. T. Suzuki writes that "as long as we stay with the mutual conditioning of opposites, i.e., in the world of antitheses, we never feel complete; we are always haunted with a feeling of uneasiness." [18] But the similarity between Jung and Zen quickly ends, for their methods of resolving that uneasiness are very different. For Jung, if the ego can assimilate the unconscious, it can then realize a greater harmony -- not only a harmony of the contradictions which it, as ego, must face, but a harmony in relation to its archetypal roots. Zen, on the other hand, holds that no matter what the ego does and no matter what happens to the ego, as long as the ego remains, the tensions of opposites must also remain. As Richard DeMartino explains, "Bodhidharma, and Zen Buddhism after him, realizes that, finally, and fundamentally, it is not that the ego has a problem, but that the ego is the problem." [19] For Zen, it is not enough to raise the ego to a higher synthesis; it is necessary to transcend the ego altogether, that is, to break out of the dualistic matrix which the ego itself embodies.

    Again parting with Jung, Zen does not share his fervor for symbolism. For Zen, symbolism cannot serve as a gateway to the Self because the symbol itself is characterized by division: a symbol is always a symbol "of" something, immediately suggesting a subject-object split, and therefore distancing one from that which is symbolized. Rather than thinking of the symbol as that which unites opposites, Zen prefers to think of the symbol as presupposing opposites. And in contradistinction to the distancing that the symbol implies, Zen prefers a method that is much more direct. According to Suzuki, "Zen abhors anything coming between the fact and ourselves": it is necessary to "get at the fact at first hand and not through any intermediary, whatever this may be." [20] In Zen, there can be nothing "between" metaphysical reality (or the unconscious) and ourselves, because, ultimately, no "between" exists. From the Zen point of view, Jung's symbolism does not overcome dualism but, in



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fact, helps fabricate it. This dualism is apparent in Jung's contention that "wholeness is ... an objective factor that confront the subject independently of him." [21] In Zen, however, nothing can be objective to the self. Or subjective. According to Richard DeMartino, "as long as the ego as subject continues to be or cling to an object, its inner contradiction and predicament as ego remain." [22] For Zen, wholeness is neither inner nor outer, neither subjective nor objective There is simply Self, and all distinctions between subjectivity and objectivity must ultimately disappear.

    Zen has no use for symbolism, not only because of the subjectivity and objectivity implied, but because Zen is not content to think "about" reality. Zen is concerned with the life itself. [23] "When I raise the hand, thus," Suzuki writes, "there is Zen. But when I assert that I have raised the hand, Zen is no more there." [24] Both symbolism and the conceptualization that must necessarily accompany symbolism are removed from life itself, and neither can have a place in Zen.

    In his discussion of The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, Jung observes that "the Mind as 'the means of attaining the Other Shore' points to a connection between the transcendent function and the Mind or Self." [25] Then he adds, "since the unknowable substance of the Mind, i.e., of the unconscious, always represents itself to consciousness in the form of symbols -- the self being one such symbol -- the symbol functions as a 'means of attaining the Other Shore,' in other words, as a means of transformation." [26] But in Zen, Mind cannot be a symbol, because there is nothing of which it can be said to symbolize. According to Shin-ichi Hisamatsu, "Mind is Myself and I am that Mind." [27] In Zen, there is nowhere to go. No time or space to traverse. In fact, ultimately there is no "Other Shore." The fallacy is to think that one has to go somewhere to attain Zen. Zen is what one has always been in one's inmost being. Jung thinks of the symbol as a bridge for reaching the "Other Shore." In Zen, however, bridge has no meaning, because no separation is involved. Zen is a breaking down of bridges and a shattering of symbols, a breaking and shattering that is essential because bridges and symbols signify that the Mind is "other" than one's Self, as they are fashioned out of the dualistic structure of ego-consciousness. This is why, when a bodhisattva will ask a Zen master -- "Where can I find the Buddha?" -- the master may do nothing; not even a gesture or word. The master's presence is the Buddha, and in his silence and absence of movement, Mind speaks; [28] just as the student's presence is also the Buddha-nature, if he will only stop looking elsewhere.

    Continuing his discussion of The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, though Jung recognizes the claim of "One Mind," he refuses to acknowledge that one can know this Mind and at the same time be at one with it: "There must always be somebody or something left over to experience the realization, to say 'I know at-one-ment. I know there is no distinction.'" [29] Continuing, he writes, "one cannot know something that is not distinct from oneself. Even



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when I say 'I know myself,' an infinitesimal ego -- the knowing 'I' -- is still distinct from 'myself.'" [30] Jung is forever reminding us that he refuses to dabble in metaphysics (ultimate truths) and that he considers himself an empiricist who treats psychological facts. This is not to say that he discounts metaphysical reality, but that he is content to deal with certain structures in the psyche without speculating about their numinous nature. But this is an example where Jung does in fact address metaphysical reality in the sense of saying what it is not. Jung tries to justify such a position by contending that "the psychologist can criticize metaphysics as a human assertion, but he is not in a position to make such assertions himself." [31] Still, by doing so, Jung does an injustice to that metaphysical reality -- from the Zen point of view -- by treating it with the logic of an empiricist, that is, by applying the logic of ego-consciousness with its inherent contradictions to a reality that is paradoxical, and by equating the structures of "ordinary mind" with what Zen prefers to call "Mind." According to Hisamatsu:

The mind which we ordinarily have is a mind which has obstructions, places where it does not reach, differentiation, limitation, form, defilement, an interior and exterior, and is uncollected. One generally has such a mind as subject and therefore is an ordinary being and not Buddha. [32]

Jung succumbs to the very dilemma he mentions in his Foreword to Suzuki's Introduction to Zen Buddhism -- the application of Western logic to what he calls the "mysterium ineffabile" of Zen [33] -- by insisting that "'universal consciousness' is a contradiction in terms, since exclusion, selection, and discrimination are the root and essence of everything that lays claim to the name 'consciousness.'" [34] What Zen recognizes as paradoxical, Jung sees as a contradiction, and in this, the limitation of his own vision is most obvious. Suzuki would say that Jung has not probed far enough into the depths of consciousness:

When the self becomes conscious of itself at the end of an ever-receding process of consciousness, this last is what we must call self-consciousness in its deepest sense. This is truly the consciousness of the self, where there is no subject-object separation, but where subject is object and object is subject if we still find here the bifurcation of subject and object, that will not yet be the limit of consciousness. We have not gone beyond that limit and are conscious of this fact of transcendence. Here can be no trace of self hood, only unconscious consciousness of no-self, because we are now beyond the realm of the subject-object relationship. [35]

Again shedding doubt upon universal consciousness, June confesses, "it was never possible for me to discover in the unconscious anything like a personality comparable with the ego." [36] In Zen, there is no "personality" and nothing is "comparable" with the ego. Zen knowing is a knowing that completely tran-



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scends the ego as we know it, a knowing in which the ego is raised to the awareness of its true essence (Mind), a knowing in which nothing is inside or outside, and a knowing which is ultimately a not-knowing, there being nothing to know. [37]

    Though Jung was instrumental in introducing Zen to the West, it is clear that even he has difficulties with Zen knowing, difficulties which are especially evident in that famous Foreword to Suzuki. Jung is correct to maintain that "the complete destruction of the rational intellect aimed at in the training [of the bodhisattva] creates an almost perfect lack of conscious presuppositions." [38] He errs, however, when he adds, "but not unconscious presuppositions -- that is, the existing but unrecognized psychological disposition, which is anything but empty or a tabula rasa." [39] Here. Jung treats Zen knowing in terms of the archetypal matrix of his collective unconscious. Getting beyond the ego, for Jung, means getting to the collective unconscious; hence, in addressing Zen, he writes: "Nothing must be present except what is actually there: that is, man with all his unconscious presuppositions, of which, precisely because they are unconscious, he can never, never rid himself." [40] But by treating Zen Mind as "unconscious presuppositions" and as "simultaneous contents," [41] June violates the essence of Zen: `suunyataa (Nothingness, Emptiness, the Void). [42] In this foreword, Jung misinterprets Zen Emptiness to mean an emptying of consciousness through which all of the unconscious presuppositions may be realized, an emptying which "increases the readiness of the unconscious contents to break through into consciousness." [43] But in Zen, this is not the case at all. Suzuki has been most clear about this: "Not the 'Collective Unconscious' but the 'Cosmic Unconscious' must be made to reveal itself unreservedly." [44] This is not to say that Zen does not recognize the collective unconscious. According to Suzuki, the collective unconscious corresponds "somewhat to the Buddhist idea of aalayavij~naana, that is, 'the all-conserving consciousness.'" [45] And in distinguishing the collective unconscious from Zen's Cosmic Unconscious, Suzuki is most precise: while the collective unconscious is "the bedrock of our personality," [46] the Cosmic Unconscious is "the bedrock of our "being." [47] In this lies, perhaps, the fundamental difference between Jung and Zen: while Jung penetrates into the dimensions of personality, Zen plunges deeper -- into the mystery of being. [48]

    Though Jung treats Zen in terms of an archetypal matrix in that Foreword to Suzuki, in his letter to Evans-Wentz, he comes closer to an understanding of Zen by emphasizing the importance of `suunyataa:

If the highest psychic condition is Sunyata, then it cannot be consciousness, because consciousness is by definition the relationship between the subject and a representation. One is conscious of something. As long as you are conscious of Sunyata it is not Sunyata, because there is still a subject that is conscious of something. Void is even the void of consciousness, and there I completely agree with the East. [49]



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And again, "when the void is really void, there is not even a cognizing subject in it. The subject has vanished and there cannot be a consciousness of this fact, because there is nothing left anymore." [50] But even here, Jung goes astray. For it is evident that he does not grasp the full paradoxicalness of Zen Mind. In a brilliant analysis, Hisamatsu proposes five negative delineations concerning Zen's `suunyataa, that is, what Nothingness can be said not to be. One of these negative delineations is, "'not' or nothingness in the sense of the absence of consciousness. This is when as in deep sleep, unconsciousness, death, or an unconscious state of mind even though awake, a particular existence or the whole of existence is said not to be." [51] Zen therefore is not the absence of consciousness, but actualization of a higher consciousness. Jung is correct to contend that "as long as you are conscious of Sunyata it is not Sunyata," because, as Hisamatsu puts it, "whether speaking of 'mind' or of 'seeing,' if they are externalized or objectified, they are no longer the true 'Mind' or the true 'Seeing'" [52]; but Jung is wrong when be proposes a cessation of consciousness altogether. Alluding to Yung-ming's "Records Mirroring the Original Source," Hisamatsu recognizes ten analogical considerations in which Nothingness may be said to be "like" empty-space:

The first is the meaning of no-obstruction. This means that in and among the various things of form empty-space knows no obstruction. The second is the meaning of omnipresence. This means that there is no point not reached by empty-space. The third is the meaning of impartiality. This means that empty-space is impartial, showing no insistence of choosing. The fourth is the meaning of broad and great. This means that empty-space is broad and great, having no limits. The fifth is the meaning of formless. This means that empty-space is formless, going beyond ruupa-forms. The sixth is the meaning of purity. This means that empty-space is pure, having no afflictions. The seventh is the meaning of stability. This means that empty-space is stable, that is, without coming to be or passing away. The eighth is the meaning of voiding-being. This means that the being of empty-space is void, having no dimensions. The ninth is the meaning of voiding-voidness. This means that empty space is not attached to its voidness. The tenth is the meaning of without obtaining. This means that empty-space can not cling neither clings itself nor can be clung to. [53]

But, finally, there is a point where Nothingness must he distinguished from empty-space, and one of these distinguishing characteristics is "Awareness":

Oriental Nothingness knows itself. Oriental Nothingness is not the same as our -- when we are unconscious -- not being conscious of anything. If it were the same nothingness as obtains when we are unconscious, then we should be able to come to Oriental Nothingness through sleep, fainting, or death. Whether we speak of Oriental Nothingness as "No-Mind," "No-Consciousness," the "Great Death Itself," or "," it is not the unconsciousness of sleep, fainting, or ordinary death. [54]

Because of "Awareness," Nothingness cannot be subsumed under pantheism



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or the deification of space. And because of "Awareness," Nothingness must also be said to be "Alive." According to Hisamatsu, "the True Buddha is not without mind, but possesses Mind which is 'without mind and without thought,' is not without self-awareness, but possesses Awareness which is 'without awareness' -- an egoless ego, is not without life, but possesses Life which is ungenerated and unperishing." [55] Jung, therefore, is wrong. Zen's Nothingness is conscious. Only it is not conscious in the way we ordinarily think of consciousness: it is consciousness that has all the characteristics of empty-space.

    Significant to a study of Jung and Zen is not only their differences in dealing with the structure of ego-consciousness, but in dealing with the problems that arise in that structure. Inclusive in the structure of ego-consciousness is not only the refreshing, sometimes ecstatic assertion, "I am," but the problematic, sometimes dreadful assertion, "I will no longer be." This is the tension of the ego: thrown into existence, it cherishes that existence and does not want to relinquish it; destined to a life of freedom (mixed with unfreedom), it does not want to relinquish that freedom. Alive, it does not want to die.

    According to Jung, death is the cessation of an organic process teleologically bound up with life: "Life is teleology par excellence, it is the intrinsic striving towards a goal, and the living organism is a system of directed aims which seek to fulfill themselves." [56] And in the way that Martin Heidegger and Norman O. Brown embrace death as that which makes life meaningful, in the sense of enhancing the meaning of man's finite possibilities, Jung contends that "death is psychologically as important as birth and, like it, is an integral part or life." [57] Jung's message is that one should not cling to the past and that one should face death as a part of a natural, teleological fact: "Death is the end of empirical man and the goal of spiritual man." [58] Not only that, Jung is critical of those people who are unable to embrace death: "To the psychotherapist an old man who cannot bid farewell to life appears as feeble and sickly as a young man who is unable to embrace it." [59] He is critical of these people because "wholeness" is the goal of his therapy, and a personality that can only see life and death as opposing each other, in Jung's view, is certainly not whole: "We avoid as long as possible making ourselves conscious of those things which wholeness still lacks, thus preventing ourselves from becoming conscious of the self and preparing for death." [60]

    For Zen, however, one need not prepare for death, because ultimately there is no death for which to prepare. And if Jung were psychologizing out of a paradoxical logic, as he insists he is, [61] the demarcation between life and death would have to disappear. In Jung, of course, the demarcation is preserved: "We grant goal and purpose to the ascent of life, why not he descent?" [62] This is not paradoxical but linear. Genuine paradox obliterates the distinctions between ascent and descent (although not phenomenally denying them). [63] Ascent and descent are the same. Going is coming. Life is death. According to Hui Hai, "Q: What is meant by perceiving the real Buddhakaaya [the state



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of Buddhahood]? A: It means no longer perceiving anything as existing or not existing." [64] And as Huang Po maintains, "where nothing is sought this implies Mind unborn; where no attachment exists, this implies Mind not destroyed; and that which is neither born nor destroyed is the Buddha." [65]

    From the Zen point of view, nothing can separate one from death, for death is not "anywhere" other than oneself. There is no space to travel, nor is there time. One is one's death, just as one is one's life. Death is what one has always been. Even "rebirth" has no meaning for Zen. He who can say that he is already dead as he is already alive undergoes not a "rebirth," but a "break-through" [66] -- a "break-through" beyond the dichotomous matrix of ego-consciousness and the life-death polarities that are inclusive in that matrix. In this "break-through" there is no need to worry about death, for death is not something that will come, but what one has been all along, that is, dead only in the sense that one has always been alive. As Suzuki explains, "he, who transcends the dualistic idea of life and death goes on living, in the genuine sense of the term. When there is the thought either of life or of death, negatively or positively, this will surely prove to be a stumbling block in the way of life." [67]

    The reconciliation of the dualistic structure of ego-consciousness that is the aim of Jung and Zen, therefore, is different in that, where Jung synthesizes opposing elements, Zen prefers to transcend opposition altogether. Evidence for Jung's synthesizing is his constant concern with the "balance" of Christ and Antichrist, with a "complexio oppositorum," with a "szygy," and with a "psychic complement." Jung's point is that the collective unconscious is made up of opposites which show up in archetypal patterns of good and evil, animus and anima, life and death, and that our task is to integrate them -- with the aid of symbols -- into ego-consciousness. We cannot deny the evil or the destructive principle that is within us, Jung is saying, and by facing these polarities which exist at the root of the psyche, we will be better prepared to face the tensions of living. For Zen, however, the task is not to integrate opposing forces into ego-consciousness, because ultimately there is nothing to be integrated. Zen does not trace the root-source of opposites to a "unified" ground, but to the groundless ground that is beyond all distinctions. This is why, when one speaks of Zen Mind, one must at the same time speak of No-Mind (mushin). [68] And this is why, in referring to this Mind, no symbols are necessary. Symbols by their very nature are ambiguous, as Jung admits. [69] But in Zen, there is not "the slightest obscurity or turbidity." [70] In Zen, everything is perfectly clear.






1. Zen is meant in the way Shin-ichi Hisamatsu understands it, that is "not one particular school within Buddhism... rather, the root-source of Buddhism" in "Zen: Its Meaning for Modern Civilization," The Eastern Buddhist, New Series, I, (Sept. 1965): 22.



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2. "Ego-consciousness" is used here to designate the reflexive quality of the ego, a quality that not only allows the ego to know itself, but to examine itself, as ego, in terms of its knowing process. The term is frequently used by Jung.

3. C. G. Jung, Alchemical Studies, Bollingen Series XX, Collected Works, XIII, by R. F. C. Hull (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1967), p. 15.

4. C. G. Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Bollingen Series XX, Collected Works, IX, Part I, trans. R. F. C. Hull (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1968), p. 280 (hereafter cited as The Archetypes). Jung also writes that "the unconscious is the mother of consciousness" (ibid.). The structural arrangement of the psyche, for Jung, includes an ego-consciousness, which rests on a personal unconscious, which further rests on the collective unconscious. When "unconscious" is used here, in connection with Jung, it will refer to the collective unconscious -- an association that Jung himself often employs.

5. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, p. 175.

6. Ibid., p. 289.

7. The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. Bollingen Series XX, Collected Works, VIII, trans. R. F. C. Hull, 2d ed., rev. ed. (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1969), p. 71. Jung also writes, "every step toward fuller consciousness removes him [modern man] further from his original, purely animal participation mystique with the herd, from the submersion in a common unconsciousness," in Civilization in Transition, Bollingen Series XX, Collected Works, X. trans. R. F. C. Hull, 2d ed. (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1970). p. 75.

8. See The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, p. 340. It is important to understand that, though Jung does not recognize the psyche as an epiphenomenon of matter, he recognizes ego-consciousness as an epiphenomenon of the unconscious. For a discussion of the latter, see The Practice of Psychotherapy, Bollingen Series XX, Collected Works, XVI, trans. R. F. C. Hull, 2d ed., rev. ed. (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1966). p. 91.

9. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, p. 153.

10. Hence, the primitive had "a far greater capacity" to "encounter the objective psyche or psychic non-ego" in The Development of Personality, Bollingen Series XX, Collected Works, XVII, trans. R. F. C. Hull (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1954), p. 183.

11. The Archetypes, p. 157.

12. C. G. Jung, Psychology and Religion: West and East, Bollingen Series XX, Collected Works, XI, trans. R. F. C. Hull. 2d ed., rev. ed. (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1969), p. 7.

13. Alchemical Studies, p. 16.

14. Ibid., p. 21. Jung also writes, "when we now speak of man we mean the indefinable whole of him, an ineffable totality, which can only be formulated symbolically" (Psychology and Religion, p. 82). And again, "psychic development cannot be accomplished by intention and will alone; it needs the attraction of the symbol, whose value quantum exceeds that of the cause" (The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, p. 25).

15. The Archetypes, p. 289.

16. This is the "center of personality," which, because of its higher, synthetic function, is "superordinate to the ego" (The Practice of Psychotherapy, p. 102).

17. By "individuation," Jung means "the process, by which a person becomes a psychological 'in-dividual,' that is, a separate, indivisible unity of 'whole'" (The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, p. 275).

18. Studies in Zen, ed. Christmas Humphreys (New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1955), p. 64.

19. "The Human Situation and Zen Buddhism," Zen Buddhism and Psychoanalysis (New York: Grove Press, 1960), p. 64 (italics mine).

20. Essays in Zen Buddhism, First Series (New York: Grove Press, 1949), p. 19.

21. C. G. Jung, Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self, Bollingen Series XX. Collected Works, IX, Part II, trans. R. F. C. Hull, 2d ed. (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1968), p. 31.

22. "The Human Situation and Zen Buddhism," p. l63.

23. Used here, life is not meant as opposed to death, as necessitated by the dualistic structure of ego-consciousness, but as the unmediated actuality of the Buddha-nature.

24. Essays in Zen Buddhism, p. 299.

25. Psychology and Religion, p. 502.



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26. Ibid., pp. 502-503.

27. "The Characteristics of Oriental Nothingness," in Philosophical Studies of Japan, trans. Richard DeMartino in collaboration with Jikai Fujiyoshi and Masao Abe (Tokyo: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1960), II, 88.

28. According to Suzuki, "the swinging of a stick, the crying of a 'Kwatz!', or the kicking of a ball must be understood ... as the direct demonstration of life - no, even as life itself!" (Essays in Zen Buddhism, p. 301).

29. Psychology and Religion, p. 504.

30. Ibid., pp. 504-505.

31. Civilization in Transition, p. 448.

32. "The Characteristics of Oriental Nothingness," p. 87.

33. Psychology and Religion, p. 540.

34. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, pp. 287-288.

35. Studies in Zen, p. 145.

36. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, pp. 283.

37. "To trace the tracelessness of the Zen master's life," Suzuki writes, "is to have an 'unknown knowledge' of the ultimate reality" (Studies in Zen, p. 151).

38. Psychology and Religion, p. 549.

39. Ibid.

40. Ibid., p. 550.

41. Ibid.

42. According to Suzuki, "if the Essence is anything of which we can make any statements either affirmative or negative, it is no more the Essence. It is independent of all forms and ideas, and yet we cannot speak of it as not dependent on them. It is absolute Emptiness, `suunyataa, and for this very reason al1 things are possible in it" (Manual of Zen Buddhism [New York: Grove Press. 1960], p. 67).

43. Psychology and Religion, p. 551.

44. Zen and Japanese Culture, Bollingen Series LXIV (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1959), p. 226. E1sewhere, Suzuki writes, "I do not know if it is correct to call this kind of unconscious the Cosmic Unconscious. The reason I like to call it so is that what we generally call the relative field of consciousness vanishes away somewhere into the unknown and this unknown, once recognized, enters into ordinary consciousness and puts in good order all the complexities there which have been tormenting us to greater or lesser degrees" ("Lectures on Zen Buddhism," Zen Buddhism and Psychoanalysis, p. 16).

45. Zen and Japanese Culture, p. 242.

46. Ibid. (italics mine).

47. Ibid., p. 226 (italics mine).

48. Also recognizing this distinction between Jung and Zen and, in fact, questioning Jung's understanding of Zen, Julius Evolva writes, "Jung seriously believes that the antiintellectual polemic which is proper to Zen has something to do with the one in which psychoanalysis indulges in the name of Life and of the Unconscious; and that inner unification and spontaneity produced by satori are those secured by the conscious Ego, when, obeying the psychotherapic ethics of psychoanalysis, it relinquishes its claim to intellectual superiority and comes to an agreement with the ancestral and even biological Unconscious. All of this is nonsense, if only for the mere fact that the Unconscious, conceived as an entity of its own, is unknown to Zen, and that the ideal of Zen is not to integrate oneself into this superstitiously hypostatized Unconscious psychoanalysis, but to destroy it by bringing light into the underground zone of one's own being by means of Enlightenment and Awakening. And again it is not here a question of 'psychological' depths, but of metaphysical and ontological depths, wherein ... Jung has openly admitted himself incompetent" ("Zen in the West," Anthology of Zen, ed. William Briggs, intro. by William Barrett [New York: Grove Press, 1961], pp. 211-212).

49. Letter to W. Y. Evans-Wentz, 8 December, 1938 [original in English], Letters, Bollingen Series XCV, selected and ed. by Gerhard Adler in collaboration with Aniela Jaffé, trans. R. F. C. Hull (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1973), I, 249-250.

50. Letter to W. Y. Evans-Wentz, 9 February, 1939 [original in English], ibid., I, 261.

51. The Characteristics of Oriental Nothingness, p. 67.



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52. Ibid., 72, Hisamatsu also writes, "This Mind is not the mind which is seen, but is, on the contrary, the Mind which sees" (Ibid., p. 88).

53. Ibid., pp. 80-81.

54. Ibid., pp. 72-73.

55. Ibid., p. 87.

56. The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, p. 406.

57. Alchemical Studies, p. 46.

58. Civilization in Transition, p. 367.

59. The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, p. 402.

60. Civilization in Transition, p. 367.

61. The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, p. 408.

62. Ibid.

63. Jung already has troubles with this when he asks, rhetorically, "how can you speak of 'high' if there is no 'low,' or 'right' if there is no 'left,' or of 'good' if there is no 'bad'?" (Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self, p. 61). Jung is right, but only on the phenomenal plane and as formulated out of the structures of ego-consciousness. For Zen, however, these distinctions ultimately have no meaning.

64. The Zen Teaching of Hui Hai: On Sudden Illumination, trans. John Blofeld (New York: Samuel Weiser, 1962), p. 71.

65. The Zen Teaching of Huang Po: On the Transmission of Mind, trans. John Blofeld (New York: Grove Press, 1958), p. 40. This is not to say that Jung is not aware of the Zen position on death. In his Foreword to Suzuki's Introduction to Zen Buddhism, he quotes Kaiten Nakariya: "Life is not an ocean of birth, disease, old age, and death, not the vale of tears, but the holy temple of Buddha, the Pure Land, where one can enjoy the bliss of Nirvana" [The Religion of the Samurai (London, 1913), p. 133, quoted in Psychology and Religion, p. 540].

66. "The Human Situation and Zen Buddhism," p. 166. In his Foreword to Suzuki's Introduction to Zen Buddhism, Jung also uses the term "break-through" in reference to Zen enlightenment. It is not a correct usage, however, because by "break-through" Jung means the "break-through of unconscious contents" [Psychology and Religion, p. 551].

67. Zen and Japanese Culture, p. 142.

68. Ibid., p. 226.

69. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, p. 38.

70. "The Characteristics of Oriental Nothingness," p. 73.