Even in modern times there have been a few intuitive books. The Gitanjali of Rabindranath Tagore, The Prophet of Kahlil Gibran, The Book of Mirdad by Mikhail Naimy – they do not belong to the ordinary category of books, and if you think they are just as other books are, you are going to have trouble. Your heart will accept them, and your intellect will reject them. So you will be split in two parts, a constant conflict.
That’s what happened and it killed one of the great geniuses of the West, Richard Wilhelm.
And the man he consulted was not the right man – although they were friends. And again he committed another mistake.
The problem could be solved only by an Eastern master of meditation, not by Carl Gustav Jung – who had no idea of meditation.
After Wilhelm’s death, Jung had gone to India – because he was interested in the ancient mythologies. And wherever he went, he was told, “Why are you wasting your time in ancient mythologies, when by chance there is a man alive who represents existentially all the best that has happened in the East. Go to south India, to the hills of Arunachal and meet a simple man, Shri Raman Maharshi.”
He was told so many times the same name everywhere he went, but he was afraid. His friend had died, and he did not want to get into any trouble. He went up to Madras, from where Raman Maharshi’s place was just two hours drive, but he did not go there. On the contrary, to explain his behavior, he said, “Eastern methods are developed only for Eastern people. They are not suitable for Western people.”
This is utter nonsense.
“Western people should remain confined to their own tradition, to their own past; otherwise they will create the same kind of trouble for themselves as Richard Wilhelm.”
It is nonsense, because man in his essential being is neither Eastern or Western. It is only a question of right approach under right guidance, so the split is not created. On the contrary, a bridge is made – and a bridge between the intellect and intuition will give you a tremendous clarity, understanding, a new kind of intelligence of which you are absolutely unaware.
Jung has prevented many people, because in the West he is thought to be an authority. And he knows nothing about the Eastern methods. Just the fear of the death of his friend…. But that fear does not mean what he makes of it, he has not understood the whole situation.
If I was to suggest, I would have told Richard Wilhelm, “You learn language from a linguistic expert. And while you are learning language, also learn meditation under some Taoist master – because the I Ching is a Taoist book – so before you are capable of translating it, you are also capable of understanding it; so it is not only word-to-word translation, but it is translation of a deep understanding.
“And it will not only produce the I Ching in Western languages, it will also produce in you a new man.”