NOTE: I find it uncomfortable speaking about the nature of realization. I do not believe that I have the authority to do so. In this short reflection I rely on descriptions offered on Awakening to Reality which I find make sense based on what I know and what little I’ve experienced myself.

Jung appears to have some difficulty with the Eastern concept of awakening:

“It makes no difference if they call our unconscious a ‘universal consciousness’; the fact remains that in their case the unconscious has swallowed up ego-consciousness. They do not realize that a ‘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.’” [Collected Works 9i, quoted in Jung’s Dialog with the East.]

I believe that Jung’s difficulty comes from his view of Ego as central to consciousness (though not to the entire personality) and further, that the two are inseparable. The Eastern view differs on this point and to a limited degree my experience sides with the East.

In my experience consciousness and Ego are two separate processes. I would say that it is Ego which excludes, selects and discriminates. Consciousness, on the other hand, merely reflects experience as it arises, it is a process of pure knowing. Ego’s various activities are reflected in consciousness just like any other aspect of experience. It is true that Ego often lays claim to this knowing and so it appears to me that ‘I know.’ Once that happens, ‘I know and discriminate’ can easily be seen as one inseparable action instead of two distinct steps.

The text of the Hui Ming Ching appears to go even further:
1: A halo of light surround the world of the law.
2: We forget one another, quiet and pure, all-powerful and empty.
3: The emptiness is irradiated by the light of the heart of heaven.
4: The water of the sea is smooth and mirrors the moon in its surface.
5: The clouds disappear in blue space; the mountains shine clear.
6: Consciousness reverts to contemplation; the moon-disk rests alone.

This section, quoted by Jung in his commentary, appears to describe the progress of meditation. Following is my current understanding of these lines:
Lines 1-3 describe the mind calming down, withdrawing from the world of form until all that remains is emptiness and the light of consciousness. This state is also described in Genesis 1:2 “darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
Line 4 As the mind calms further the meditator sees that there is no one knowing – all there is, is consciousness reflecting experience. Process without doer.
Line 5 describes the further clearing of the mind as all obstructions fall away and all that remains is clarity.
Line 6 We now see that conscious doesn’t reflect but that conscious (or knowing) is all there is. The moon rests alone, object and consciousness are no longer two.

Advertisements