Jungian therapy is about ‘individuation’, the demiurge is the Jungian ‘Self’; Indra Sen (the late professor of psychology and ashramite) was the first one to stress a similarity with the role of the psychic being. Meeting and integrating the shadow is the starting point, but is also an unending process that goes on for life. In Integral Yoga too this is a most essential step, which goes along with the unending introspection and self-scrutiny the Mother advocates for the sadhaks; the task rests, needless to say, with one’s psychic being, presiding over what the Mother calls ‘individualisation’.
Not only there is the shadow, but Sri Aurobindo, replying to the late Kishor Gandhi who had submitted to him a text by Jung, mentioned that almost everyone has an attached being compelling the sadhak to manifest the opposite of the truth of his/her inner being: the evil persona (translated into French as ‘le double mauvais’, one’s evil double). Whether it is Jung, or Integral Yoga, there is no way out but working all this out.
This is the theme of my last book, “Becoming One – The Psychology of Integral Yoga”: 300 pages compiling from the Mother on all aspects of Integral Psychology, and another 160 presenting Freud, Jung and essays by major ashramites, also focusing on the shadow and evil persona. [...]
This explains why it is so important to try to convert the asuras, given their extraordinary powers and (potential) light, and also the role they play in his Path. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother never made a secret of it, and this was as well a constant refrain I heard since when I first came to the Ashram, in 1973, which helped me to set things in the right perspective from the beginning – and also not to run away, disconcerted, finding instead of a promised heavenly paradise a bloody crucible of alchemic transformation.
Let’s now go back to the main contention. Within their own yogic path Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have charted a psychological path. The first one pointing at certain common links with aspects of the personal unconscious of Freud and, furthermore, not only the collective unconscious Jung had discovered, but even Jung’s Self, is the late Prof. Indra Sen, a professor of Psychology at Delhi University who gave up a most promising career to become a full time disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. I wrote in “Becoming One – The Psychology of Integral Yoga”:
“In India Professor Sen was considered the leading authority on Jung, whom he met in 1938 on the occasion of celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the University of Calcutta, organised by the Indian Science Congress, when Jung was honoured with a doctorate. In a private interview Jung unveiled to Sen delicate matters that were to be kept secret for years, on Jung’s request. Sen started visiting the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1939, spending most of his time there; he settled permanently in Pondicherry in 1945. While he was still a professor at the University of Delhi, reading the works of Sri Aurobindo he discovered that here was a new psychological system whose perfection he had not found anywhere else; the only term for it was Integral Psychology. Sen referred this to Sri Aurobindo. This was accepted by Sri Aurobindo and Sen was asked to write articles on the subject to present the system of Integral Psychology. All his articles, on any subject, were read to Sri Aurobindo until 1950, when the Master left the body – and afterwards to the Mother – before being published in the journals of the country.”
In the light of the unique position he had vis-à-vis our Masters, Prof. Sen’s assessments on Jung carry a special weight. He wrote in “Integral Psychology: The Psychological System of Sri Aurobindo”, Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Pondicherry, 1st edition 1986, which I also reproduce from “Becoming One”: [...] Sen specifies, [...]
Prof. Satya Prakash Singh, who in his youth had studied under Sen, and who is the author of “Sri Aurobindo and Carl Jung”, later reprinted with a section on the Vedas as “Sri Aurobindo, Jung and Vedic Yoga” goes even further, as I am going to quote next. Paulette
In 1976 I spent six months reading Jung day and night, fascinated; I did not even feel coming back to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram… But when I came across Jung not meeting the Maharshi, this for me was the end of the story. For the next fifteen years I rejected Jung completely. But even in my rejection, what I had found in him was so overwhelmingly glued to what I am that I had to find another way, and I got it! [...]
The following, to my knowledge, is the only certain proof we have regarding Sri Aurobindo: his written reply to Kishor Gandhi, who had submitted to him a text by Jung. I got the information by Kishor Gandhi himself.
The real question is the basis for Jung not finding much in those books of Sri Aurobindo. Jayantilal’s presenting the books to Jung could not have happened without Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s knowledge. We could look into other aspects of your comment separately, but this one—not finding much in those books—needs some clarification. ~ RYD
As a 45 year disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and a student of Jung, I would like to suggest that Jung's yoga would consist in our knowing the PersonalityTypes. The two attitude types: Extrovert and Introvert, and the Four Functiions: Intuition, Thinking, Feeling and Sensation. These are libido energies, not just mental faculties.
In my thirty-six years practice of Integral Yoga, besides individuation/individualization, the links I experience all the time with the Jungian path, in myself as well as the other sadhaks, are: the shadow and projection of the shadow – cum Sri Aurobindo’s evil persona; the persona; the Freudian personal unconscious, also acknowledged by Jung; the aspect of the collective unconscious that the Mother calls atavism (akin to the Freudian superego); the meeting of the opposites for a broader synthesis; the four functions and particularly the inferior(s) one(s); the necessity of the psychiatric ego (also much present in Freud), prior to Self-realisation.
At a more personal level, I live in an archetypal world, and I relate to the four levels of the Gnostic anima embraced by Jung, and also the quaternity highlighted by (Jungian) Irene de Castilleyo.
I am forwarding you separately, for posting it in Mirror of Tomorrow, “THE PROBLEM OF THE ‘EVIL PERSONA’ IN SRI AUROBINDO AND IN WESTERN PSYCHOLOGY” by Raimond De Becker, which Kishor Gandhi had published in “Sri Aurobindo Circle, vol. X, 1954, of which he was the editor. By giving me a photocopy of this article, some twenty-five years ago, Kishor Gandhi initiated me to the royal path of the shadow (in Jungian psychology as well as in Integral Yoga), and directly to the evil persona in Integral Yoga. The Mother herself commented at least twice about the evil persona (Sri Aurobindo’s reply because of a text by Jung submitted to him by Kishor Gandhi).
The Mother had appointed Kishor as the sole editor of the three volumes of Sri Aurobindo’s “Letters on Yoga” and other texts. In this capacity he must have interacted with Jayantilal (the founder of the Ashram’s Archives), and was most probably aware of details, which we don’t have, regarding Jayantilal meeting Jung.
De Becker’s article, which I have already reproduced in “Becoming One – The Psychology of Integral Yoga” is extraordinary, and will help to shed light on the present debate. Paulette
Thanks to RYD for putting together references to Jung by other Aurobindonians. I will send to him a separate posting concerning the Jungian self, with quotes from Jung, Indra Sen and Satya Prakash Singh, the two aurobindonian professors who saw an analogy between it and the psychic being. Jung, Philemon and the Fourfold Psyche—by David Johnston