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Date(s) - 28/05/2021
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

server room


C.G. Jung’s Psychology and The Upanishadic wisdom:
From ‘Individuation’ towards ‘Ātmanization’


Noa schwartz Feuerstein, Jerusalem, Israel



C.G. Jung, (1875-1961), pioneer of western depth-psychology, was deeply inspired and influenced by ancient Indian wisdom.

However, throughout his life (1875-1961) his relation to India was oscillating between deep affinity and alienation, between admiration for its wisdom and doubts concerning its feasibility.

In the first part of the lecture, I will briefly explore the history of Jung’s relatedness to India. Starting with his early wide acquaintance with India’s ancient literature, continuing with India’s presence in his ‘Red Book’, then, tracking his fluctuations towards the Indian culture. Points of influence, inspiration and, reservation will be highlighted.

Some possible explanations for his contradicting attitudes towards the East will be explored. I will suggest my hypothesis that Jung experienced the dread of engulfment and identity loss in his encounter with India. Corresponding with Jung’s (paradigmatic) fear, a crucial question is raised concerning the meaning of personal life in light of the suprapersonal, ātman consciousness. Thus, Jung was reluctant concerning the Advaitin ideal of Moksha, liberation from the ego.

In the second part of the lecture, I intend to give voice to a Upanishadic answer to Jung’s reservations and fears. For this aim I have chosen a paradigmatic text taken from the ‘Bṛhadāraņyaka Upanishad’, the dialog between the Rishi Yājñavalkya and his wife Maitreī, on the threshold of him leaving her, intending to become a ‘sannyasa’.

Deepening into the dialog will elicit answers to the question of personal life in the light of ātman consciousness:

Here will be discussed the role of personal love on the path to ātman’s embrace.

The Indian’s ashrama system will be compared to Jung’s ‘stages of life’, out of which I will add to Jung’s theory of Individuation a new stage, ‘ātmanization’.

The lecture will be summed up with Jung’s near-death dream, symbolizing ātmanization.


Noa Schwartz Feuerstein is a graduate of the ‘Israeli Institute of Jungian Psychology’ (2007), MA studies in Clinical Psychology in ‘Bar-Ilan University’ (1995), and Ph.D studies in ‘Comparative Religions and Indian studies department’ in the ‘Hebrew University’ Jerusalem.

She is writing a book titled: “On Horror and Beyond: C.G. Jung’s Relation to India and Upanishadic Wisdom” in which she relives the disrupted dialog Jung had with the East, by rereading the Upanishadic literature in light of Jung’s reservations. She is studying Yoga Sutra with Ritambhara’s sangha in the last three years.

She lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Teaching and supervising in the ‘Israel institute of Jungian Psychology’, in ‘Jungian Advanced studies’ in Bar-Ilan University, in school for psychotherapy in the Hebrew University’s ‘counseling- services’, in the ‘Bi- National (Israeli-Palestinian) school for Psychotherapy’ in Hadassah hospital, Jerusalem. She has a private practice in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.