Chapter 6: A Concession to the Gods
On his deathbed Carl Gustav Jung was reading a book by Charles Luk: Ch’an and Zen Teachings. It was the last book he read, it was the book he died with. Before his death he expressly asked his secretary to write to the author, Charles Luk, and to tell him that he was very enthusiastic. He said, “Tell Charles Luk that when I read what Hsu Yun said I felt as if I myself could have said exactly that. It was just it.”
But again this was just an intellectual understanding. Jung was not a meditator. He was a great analyst, a great observer of the human mind, a great explorer into myth, into the unconscious, but he was not a meditator at all. In fact, he avoided all kinds of meditation; deep down he was afraid of meditation.
When he came to India, Raman Maharshi was alive but Jung would not go to see him. Many people told him, “You are a searcher into the depth of human beings and here is a man whom we call Bhagwan. As you have come to India you go to him, otherwise you will miss a buddha. You go and you look into him, have a little taste of his air, of what light he lives in. You think about Buddha, you think about Lao Tzu, you think about Christ - why not go to Raman Maharshi?”
But he avoided him. He went to see the Taj Mahal but would not go to see Raman.
My feeling is that if Buddha had been alive he would not have gone to see even Buddha. Or if Jesus had been alive he would not have gone to see him. Why? What was the fear? It was a deep fear; he was afraid of the East itself In the West he had been propounding that the West should not learn Eastern ways such as yoga, tantra, Zen. Throughout his whole life he had been propounding that the West should not learn Eastern ways because the Western mind is totally different, the orientation is different - Eastern ideas could disturb the whole Western psyche.
He never meditated. And he was very afraid of death. Not only of death, he was even very afraid of a dead body. He wanted to go to Egypt to see the ancient mummies - that was a long-time desire of his. At least seven times he booked a flight and seven times he canceled it. Once, the last time, he even went to the airport, but he finally came back. He had become afraid even of seeing ancient dead bodies - because that reminded him of his own death, that reminded him of what was going to happen to his body. It created great anxiety.
Now this man could read about Zen, could even be convinced about its truth, could even feel intellectually en rapport with it, could even say “I felt I could have said exactly what Hsu Yun said. This is it.” But Hsu Yun’s statement “This is it” is an existential statement and if Carl Gustav Jung says it, it will be a philosophical statement, it will be like a blind man talking about light.
These are logicians. They are very, very rational people but not very reasonable. Remember, to be rational does not mean that you are reasonable. The very fact that a rational person is rational means he cannot be reasonable - because to be reasonable means to allow space to be unreasonable also. To be reasonable means to accept the paradox of life. To be reasonable means not to ask only for life - death is also there, accept it. And don’t think only of God - the Devil is also there, accept him. And light is there and so is darkness - accept both.