On Dreams and the East

Notes of the 1933 Berlin Seminar

Heinrich Zimmer, C. G. Jung

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Psychologie


Jung’s landmark seminar on the symbolism of yoga and its applications to dream analysis

In the summer of 1933, C. G. Jung conducted a seminar in Berlin attended by a large audience of some 150 people, including several Jewish Jungians who would soon leave Germany. Hitler had begun consolidating his position as dictator and these students were distressed at Jung’s recent decision to accept the presidency of a German professional psychotherapy society that was rapidly becoming Nazified and purged of Jews. On Dreams and the East makes these seminar sessions widely available for the first time, offering tantalizing insights into Jung’s evolving understanding of yoga and the realization of the self.

The seminar commences with a presentation on the psychology of yoga by noted Indologist and linguist Heinrich Zimmer, whose collaboration in these talks reflects Jung’s growing engagement with the Hindu tradition, particularly Tantric yoga. Jung analyzes a series of dreams of a middle-aged male patient, focusing on mandalas and the centering process. He reflects on related motifs in alchemical symbolism, Navaho healing drawings, Mithraism, baptism symbolism, the foundation of Rome, ecclesiastic dances, and labyrinths, drawing connections with the symbolism of yoga and Tantra.

Featuring a richly documented introduction by Giovanni Sorge, On Dreams and the East opens a window on Jung’s deepening exploration of Eastern thought and the comparative study of the individuation process at a critical juncture in his life and work.

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