Jung Tantra Archetypes And Alchemy

Jung Tantra Archetypes And Alchemy Cover Buddha had recognised the importance of the subconscious activities of the mind, both individual and collective, 2400 years before the founders of Western psychology. He knew that purely rational arguments were insufficient to motivate a deep and lasting transformation of the mind. The practitioner also needs to harness and redirect the powerful emotional currents which well up from the depths. Jung discovered that the vivid symbolism of tantric art and visualisation involved the use of 'archetypes' - ancient patterns and symbols in the human subconscious which can be invoked to produce powerful emotional responses. Since Jung's investigations, tantra has provoked much interest in the West, as well as many misunderstandings. For example, tantra is often portrayed as being just about sex. But in fact Tantra is about all kinds of transmutation and transformation of our ordinary mundane environment into the spiritual path to enlightenment: 'Secret Mantra [Tantra] is distinguished from Sutra by the practice of bringing the future result into the present path. For example, even though we have not yet attained enlightenment, when we practise Secret Mantra we try to prevent ordinary appearances and ordinary conceptions of our environment and instead visualize our surroundings as the mandala of a Deity. In the same way, we prevent ordinary appearance of our body, our enjoyments, and our deeds, and, in their place, generate ourself as a Deity, visualize our enjoyments as those of a Buddha, and practise performing enlightened deeds. By doing such practices, we can attain the resultant state of Buddhahood very rapidly. These four practices are essential for both the generation stage and completion stage of Secret Mantra.' Deity archetypes 'Deity yoga (Tibetan: lha'i rnal 'byor; Sanskrit: Devata) is the fundamental Vajrayana practice, often involving a sadhana liturgy and form, in which practitioners visualize themselves as the meditation Buddha or yidam. The purpose of Deity yoga is to bring the meditator to the realization that the deity and the practitioner are in essence the same, and non-dual. By visualizing oneself and one's environment entirely as a projection of mind, it helps the practitioner to become familiar with the mind's ability and habit of projecting conceptual layers over all experience. This experience undermines a habitual belief that views of reality and self are solid and fixed. Deity yoga enables the practitioner to release, or 'purify' him or herself from spiritual obscurations (Sanskrit: klesha) and to practice compassion and wisdom simultaneously.' Alchemy There is frequent alchemical symbolism in tantra, with visualizations of base and impure substances being transmuted into nectars and elixirs by the application of fire and seed-letter 'catalysts' . This symbolism represents the transmutation of contaminated emotions into enlightenment. Jung came to the conclusion that something similar was going on in Medieval western alchemy, with the alchemical processes being metaphors for the transmutation of the impure soul into the perfected soul.

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