Dialectical Spiritualism: Carl Jung, Part 6

BY: SUN STAFF - 27.10 2017

Conversations wtih HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, excerpted from  Dialectical Spiritualism: A Vedic View of Western Philosophy.

Carl Gustav Jung (1875 - 1961)

Hayagriva dasa: Jung speaks of the paradox of death: from the point of view of the ego, death is a horrible catastrophe, "a fearful piece of brutality." Yet from the point of view of the psyche, the soul, death is "...a joyful event. In the light of eternity, it is a wedding."

Srila Prabhupada: Yes, death is horrible for one who is going to accept a lower form of life, and it is a pleasure for the devotee, because he is returning home, back to Godhead.

Hayagriva dasa: Death is not always a joyful event for the soul?

Srila Prabhupada: No. How can it be? If one has not developed his spiritual consciousness, death is very horrible. The tendency in this life is to become very proud, and often people think, "I don't care for God. I am independent." Crazy people talk in this way, but after death, they have to accept a body according to the dictations of nature. Nature says, "My dear sir, since you have worked like a dog, you can become a dog. Since you have been surfing in the sea, you can now become a fish." These bodies are awarded according to a superior order.

karmana daiva-netrena 
jantur dehopapattaye 
striyah pravista udararh 
pumso retah-kanasrayah

"Under the supervision of the Supreme Lord and according to the result of his work, the living entity, the soul, is made to enter into the womb of a woman through the particle of male semina and to assume a particular type of body." (Bhag. 3.31.1) When we are in touch with the modes of material nature, we are creating our next body. How can we stop this process? This is nature's way. If we are infected by some disease, we will necessarily get that disease. There are three modes of material nature — tamo-guna, rajo-guna, and sattva-guna — and our bodies are acquired according to our association with them. As far as the unsuccessful yogi is concerned, he is given a chance to revive his spiritual consciousness in his next life. In general, the human form affords us a chance to make progress in Krsna consciousness, especially when we are born in an aristocratic, brahmana, or Vaisnava family.

Hayagriva dasa: Concerning samsara, Jung writes: "The succession of birth and death is viewed [in Indian philosophy] as an endless continuity, as an eternal wheel rolling on forever without a goal. Man lives and attains knowledge and dies and begins again from the beginning. Only with the Buddha does the idea of a goal emerge, namely, the overcoming of earthly existence."

Srila Prabhupada: Overcoming earthly existence means entering into the spiritual world. The spirit soul is eternal, and it can pass from this atmosphere into another. That is clearly explained in Bhagavad-gita:

janma karma ca me divyam 
evam yo vetti tattvatah 
tyaktva deham punar janma 
naiti mam eti so 'rjuna

"One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, 0 Arjuna." (Bg. 4.9) Those who continue to revolve in the cycle of birth and death require another material body, but those who are Krsna conscious go to Krsna. They do not acquire another material body. Those who are not envious of Krsna accept His instructions, surrender unto Him, and understand Him. For them, this is the last material birth. For those who are envious, however, transmigration is continuous.

Hayagriva dasa: Concerning karma, Jung writes: "The crucial question is whether a man's karma is personal or not. If it is, then the preordained destiny with which a man enters life presents an achievement of previous lives, and a personal continuity therefore exists. If, however, this is not so, and an impersonal karma is seized upon in the act of birth, then that karma is incarnated again without there being any personal continuity."

Srila Prabhupada: Karma is always personal.

Hayagriva dasa: When Buddha was asked whether karma is personal or not, he avoided answering. He said that knowing this would not contribute to liberation from the illusion of existence.

Srila Prabhupada: Buddha refused to answer because he did not teach about the soul or accept the personal soul. As soon as you deny the personal aspect of the soul, there is no question of a personal karma. Buddha wanted to avoid this question. He did not want his whole philosophy dismantled.

Hayagriva dasa: Jung asks, "Have I lived before in the past as a specific personality, and did I progress so far in that life that I am now able to seek a solution?"

Srila Prabhupada: Yes, that is a fact.

Hayagriva dasa: Jung admits that he doesn't know.

Srila Prabhupada: That is explained in Bhagavad-gita:

tatra tam buddhi-samyogam 
lab hate paurva-dehikam 
yatate ca tato bhuyah 
samsiddhau kuru-nandana

"On taking such a birth, he again revives the divine consciousness of his previous life, and he tries to make further progress in order to achieve complete success, 0 son of Kuru." (Bg. 6.43)

Hayagriva dasa: "I could well imagine that I might have lived in former centuries and there encountered questions I was not yet able to answer," Jung writes. "I had to be born again because I had not fulfilled the task that was given to me."

Srila Prabhupada: That is a fact.

Hayagriva dasa: "When I die, my deeds will follow along with me — that is how I imagine it."

Srila Prabhupada: That is personal karma.

Hayagriva dasa: "I will bring with me what I have done," Jung concludes. "In the meantime it is important to insure that I do not stand at the end with empty hands."

Srila Prabhupada: If you are making regular progress in Krsna consciousness, your hands will not be empty at the end. Completeness means returning home, back to Godhead. This return is not empty. Because the Mayavadis cannot understand the positivity of God's kingdom, they try to make it empty. Eternal life with Krsna is our aspiration. A Vaisnava does not want emptiness. Since materialists are thinking that everything will be empty at the end of life, they conclude that they should enjoy themselves now as much as possible. Therefore sense enjoyment is at the core of material life, and materialists are mad after it.