Tag: <span>Tao</span>

Carl G. Jung Portraits of World Citizens.

Carl G. Jung: The Integration of Opposites.

Carl.G. Jung (26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961) was born in Kesswil on the Lake of Constance; where the three countries that most influenced him met: Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. German-speaking Switzerland was his roots; his grandfather having been the Rector of the University of Basle and a well-known medical doctor; Austria, Vienna in particular; the home of Sigmund Freud whose thought and psycological practice he championed before taking his distance; Germany whose Nazi ideology he tried to understand through his psychoanalytical tools.

Moreover; family lore stated that the grandfather was the illegitimate grandson of Goethe; making Jung’s ties to German philosophy, especially an early interest in the Zarathustra of Nietzsche, all the stronger.

Sigmund Freud

Colorized painting of Sigmund Freud. By Photocolorization, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

Erich Fromm: Meeting the Challenges of the Century.

Zarathustra

Also sprach Zarathustra. Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen. In drei Theilen. By Unknown authorUnknown author, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Alexandre Marc: Con-federalism, Cultural Renewal and Trans-frontier Cooperation.

Book Aion.

Jung combined an interest in German thought; especially the writings of early German alchemists with a deep interest in Chinese Taoist philosophy; the two currents are brought together in his 1951 book Aion. In Aion, he deals directly with the passage of the Piscean Period to the Age of Aquarius.  He analyses astrological imagery embodied in Zodiacal ages in order to deal with the psychological problems of this period of transition.

The astrological sign of Pisces is often represented as two fish − one light, the other dark in color − swimming in opposite directions.  The Age of Pisces; which started roughly at the same time as the birth of Jesus is the period in which Christianity developed and became the normative spiritual influence for much of the world.

The Piscean Period; true to its image of the fish going in opposite directions, has been one in which the dominant ideologies have been of opposing dualism: the kingdom of the saved and the world of the damned in Christianity, the dar al-Islam and the dar al-harb (the house of Islam and the house of war) in Islam, the antagonist socialist and capitalist worlds in Marxist thought.

Co-Existence.

The chief psychological as well as political problem of the Piscean Period was how to prevent one of the dualities from destroying the other − how to keep a balance of power.

None of the dominant ideologies contained the key to a creative balance between opposites; although in the late Cold War period (1970s-1980s); the idea of “co-existence” was developed by thinkers on the edges of political power in East and West.  Co-existence implied a relationship among groups in which none of the parties is trying to destroy another.  Co-existence provided a starting point for succeeding generations to reframe their understanding of the enemy without necessarily abandoning other political or cultural principles.

However; co-existence is much less than the Taoist concept of equilibrium; of a balance between forces which would create greater harmony and wealth of being.  Thus; Jung looked to Chinese Taoism for that integration of the principles and energies of yin;

(the receptive and feminine) and yang (the active and masculine).  The Tao is the ground of being; the void from which all arises. As Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching notes:

           “The Tao is like a well,

              Used but never used up.

              It is like the eternal void

              Filled with infinite possibilities.”

In another verse  Lao Tzu writes:

                “The Tao is called the Great Mother:

           Empty yet inexhaustible,

                  It gives birth to infinite worlds.”

In the infinite world of created things; the Tao is most often represented as the harmonious balance between yin and  yang. Lao Tzu noted :

“Of the energies of the universe, none is greater than harmony.  Harmony means the regulation of yin and yang.”

Jung became interested in Taoism by meeting in 1922 Richard Wilhelm; a German missionary to China; who had become very interested in Taoism.  Jung viewed Wilhelm and his work as creating a bridge between East and West.  Wilhelm was the messenger from China who was able to express profound things in plain language which disclose something of the simplicity of great truth and deep meaning.  Richard Wilhelm had translated a Taoist healing text;  The Secret of the Golden Flower to which Jung wrote a psychological commentary published in 1929.  Wilhelm had also produced a translation of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching; as well as the I Ching (The Book of Changes) − a widely used book of Chinese divination, some of which predates the rise of Taoism in the 6th century BC.

The Chinese Taoists were directly concerned with mental health and healing, and there were contemporary healers which Wilhelm had met.  The Taoist balance between what could be considered at one level as opposites was close to Jung’s psychoanalytical efforts where he contrasted the introvert and the extrovert, thought and feeling, the person and the shadow, the conscious and the unconscious. The essential task of Jung’s psychology is to help in the process of “individuation” − a process toward wholeness, which like Taoism, is characterized by accepting and transcending opposites.

As Jung noted, Taoist thought would play an increasingly powerful role in the transition between the Piscean Period and the Age of Aquarius.

“The spirit of the East is really at our gates.  Therefore it seems to me that the search for Tao, for a meaning in life, has already become a collective phenomenon among us, and to a far greater extent than is generally realized.”

As Lao Tzu wrote:

                                              “Let the Tao be present in your life

                                                 And you will become genuine.

                                                 Whoever is planted in the Tao

                                                  Will not be rooted up.”

Rene Wadlow, President and a representative to the United Nations, Geneva, Association of World Citizens.

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Roberto Assagioli Rapprochement of Cultures.

Roberto Assagioli: The Will as a Road to the…

Featured Image: Photo of Roberto Assaglioli, M.D. – Taken from the book ‘ Psychosynthesis (1965) By U3195247, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

By Rene Wadlow.

Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974) set out a path to the Higher Self with the power of the will.  Roberto Assagioli, whose birth anniversary we mark on 27 February was a close co-worker  of both Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustave Jung.  In 1910, he broke from the Freudian approach and began to develop his own psycho-spiritual model which he called psychosynthesis He was closer in approach to Jung, but as the first translator of Freud’s writings into Italian, he is often cited as the introducer of Freudian thought into Italy.

Roberto Assagioli was an Italian psychiatrist, humanist and Theosophical student of the world’s spiritual traditions. (His mother and wife were members of the Theosophical Society).

Sigmund FreudColorized painting of Sigmund Freud. By Photocolorization, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

I am what I will to be.

A short presentation of Assagioli’s view is that “I am what I will to be”.  In a sense, the individual does not have a will: rather he is a will, a directing energy, that has taken human form as an individual.  The individual will-force is in some way identical to the universal will-force.  Assagioli who had studied Asian thought highlighted the Chinese sage becoming one with the universal energy – the Tao   (1)

As the individual will starts on its path toward the Higher Self, it must drop off images of its earlier self formed by experiences, memories, feelings and images of the past.  Some of these self-images and experiences have been repressed and stored in the subconscious.  Thus in many cases, there is a first task of self-discovery of past experiences and emotions stored in the sub-conscious.  Only when this is done, can one deal with the current self-images and emotions which make up the current personality.

Carl Gustav Jung

Jung, Carl Gustav (1875-1961). By ETH Library, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Disidentification.

The process of dropping off current self-images Assagioli calls “disidentification”.  Disidentification is needed so that a new identity emerges, one that is capable of accepting and integrating in a harmonious synthesis all the earlier emotions, thoughts and experiences.  This is why Assagioli called his approach “psychosynthesis.” It is this fresh, new personality, which Assagioli termed the “I” that can set out on the road to develop the Higher Self.  This inner journey is not always easy. There is a progressive examination of the contents of the field of consciousness and the functions of the psyche. This involves a progressive movement through the preconscious, the subconscious and culminating with the higher concious. Assagioli writes:

Spiritual development is a long and arduous journey, an adventure through strange lands full of surprises, difficulties and even dangers.  It involves a drastic transmutation of the ‘normal’ elements of the personality, an awakening of potentialities hitherto dormant, a raising of consciousness to new realms, and a functioning along a new inner dimension.”

Along the way to the Higher Self, the will can be strengthened by what Assagioli calls “transpersonal experiences” and what  A. Maslow  calls “Peak Experiences”.  Such experiences help to stimulate the drive toward the Higher Self. However, some of these transpersonal experiences can be short-lived and ephemeral unless they are grounded through meditation and techniques of visualization of oneself as already functioning as the Higher Self.

These techniques of creating an identity as being the Higher Self is one of the outstanding features of psychosynthesis.  However, after 1936, his work became increasingly difficult both because of the growing antisemitism under Nazi German pressure on Italy and because his humanitarian activities aroused hostility from the Italian Fascist government. In 1940 he was arreested and kept in solitary confinement for a month and then kept under strict police surveillance. In 1943, he was again actively persecuted and forced to hide in remote mountain villages. He narrowly escaped twice from the Nazi soldiers who had destroyed his family’s home with dynamite.

After 1945, he increased his contacts with a wide group of spiritual thinkers from different traditions. However, his aim remained finding approaches to wholeness, realizing the full human potential, transcending contradictions and achieving enlightenment.

Notes.

1) See the chapter “The Universal Will” in his major book: Roberto Assagioli. The Act of Will (London: Wildwood House, 1974)

2) See Jean Hardy.A Psychology with a Soul (London: Routledge and Kegan Pail, 1987)

 

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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Yin and Yang Education of World Citizenships.

A Harmonious Life and the Principle of Yin and…

Featured Image: Photo by Jben Beach Art on Pexels.

Humanity’s growing desire to discover the world and the satisfaction that comes along with a deeper understanding of the world is becoming more pronounced.
This is a progressive evolution for humanity. The search for the deeper origin of the soul helps people face a future filled with uncertainty. The creation of a world citizenship education system is the synopsis of this global trend.

Everyone is now a global citizen. However, the concept of the rights and obligations of world citizenship has not yet prevailed. To turn the new generation into world citizens with healthy minds and bodies requires massive efforts and endeavors.
Throughout history, the concept of one world is already widely accepted. People are just now endeavoring to find a more harmonious way to live in this one world. All living creatures have a balancing point. Love is the way of life and the source of hope.

The wisdom of yin and yang is a powerful tool to reconcile a world in transition. God has given us life and the journey of living it belongs to each of us.

What is the true meaning of life?.

Those who are born with this understanding rank the highest. Those who acquire understanding from learning rank second. Those who engage in learning because of lack of understanding rank third One undergoes four phases of learning: unconscious
incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence and unconscious competence. One may feel comfortable and safe when not conscious of his incompetence.

However, when new challenges surface or situations change, he will start feeling insecure and a sense of crisis arises out of the insecurity of being incompetent. Almost all learning undergoes the aforementioned four stages. But there is another higher level of the realization of potentiality which starts from changing within the heart. Everyone has his potential but more often than not, the light of inner wisdom is blocked by impurities.
Over the past one hundred years, countless efforts in innate ability theory, cognition theory, learning theory, personality, and social relation studies have been made about the development of a child with the ultimate goal of understanding the unknown, untapped and un-exploited part of human beings.

Whys.

The efforts have paid off by offering explanations to many of the “whys” in human life. When understanding the true meaning of life, a great sage once said: Who was I before I was born? Who am I after I am born? Another sage said that one’s present life is the
collective result of the past lives and one’s next life will be a consequence of this life. These words express the meaningof life and the responsibilities one is obligated to in life.
Only with this understanding and awakening will one start purifying and correcting the polluted Qi. This will further change and inspire the direction of qi towards a better field.

The process of correcting by doing, enlightening by correcting and continuing to improve based on the enlightened wisdom is important. This positive cycle is the path of Tao, it enlightens the world and leads us towards a brightly illuminated universe.

All things exist for a good reason.

We should all strive to truly understand ourselves and to examine and structure our future life with the aforementioned sage’s saying in mind. Who was I before I was born? Who am I after I am born? All things exist for a good reason.

The reason does not arise out of thin air, but can be attributed to a circular cycle. We should not only look at the bad side or the bright side, but treat the cause and effect in a centered and balanced way.

Correct thinking builds a mind of pure serenity, which helps us see the light of wisdom. We then know what to do next. The long and deep process is a repetition of the four stages of learning. World citizens can increase their resistance to negative thinking through this practice. Negative thinking is one of the major mental problems in the 21st century and worthy of our serious attention.

Having by Thinking.

The key to the realization of a higher level lies in the purification of heart. After the purification of heart, we will possess the capability of “having by thinking”. For example, we can have a good mood by thinking we are actually in one. Everyone has a heart. And we can install a button for happiness in our hearts. Whenever we are in a bad mood, we push the button and activate the good mood. It is easy and can be done without help from someone else. The energy of heart is strengthened and stored. When the habit becomes deeply ingrained, it will help purify our thoughts.
We must emphasize that the heart is unrestricted and free. When one is willing to practice freeing one’s heart, it does not necessarily take a long time. Leaps of advancement are not uncommon. Stephen Covey said,

10% of life is made up of what happens to you, 90% of life is decided by how you react.

This explains a concept of looking on the bright side of things and not being controlled by external situations. What is most important is that we must have the strength to resist being influenced by the “10% events”.
What we are doing is to achieve the full harmony of life. How should world citizens strive to improve themselves? We suggest to start with the concept that one’s present life is the result of his past lives and his next life will be a consequence of this life. Think deeply about what role we play and what we have encountered in this life.
Everything befalls us for good reasons. We will be able to predict what our future life will be like by studying the consequences of everything we did in this life.
We have to be responsible for our lives through discovering the inner world of soul and discarding external disturbances. A healthy mind and body in harmony is our respect for life. All living creatures have a foundation upon which they prosper. The world community presents itself in many different ways. History shows that our forefathers of different races left the same message – the original humanity is pure and clean. A life attitude of pureness and cleanness is to approach the origin of universe and the understanding of a real one world.

Professor Stephen Covey in his home (2010). By Sterling.morris, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Yin and Yang.

Understanding the balanced way of yin and yang helps us know the past, seize the present and prepare for the future. The highest level of the wisdom is to prevent bad things from happening and turn bad things around. If this is indeed true, then we should all start by cultivating ourselves. World citizens’ new understanding of a harmonious life and the principle of yin and yang will contribute greatly to a stable, safe, peaceful, and affluent world.

What we have to strive for is the balancing point, or the tai-ji point. We understand the importance of harmony in life and we need to use the centered way of yin and yang principle to deal with daily affairs or to govern the nation. Yin and yang works like a mirror through which we are able to see the reflections. Therefore, a man with yin yang principle is able to locate the resource of problems and find solutions. This is the working of wisdom.

We hereby advocate a deeper and proactive understanding of life in harmony and the way of yin and yang in order to have a profound balancing effect on the lives of generations to come.
The source of happiness comes from diligence, perseverance and self-assistance. The deeper meaning of consolidating the people’s will and power is to deliver recommendations for the advancement of world citizenship education in order to broaden our minds and lighten up our ways.

Author: Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze.

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