Regressive qualities of meditation

Matt Jon Rousseau, modified 1 Year ago at 1/8/23 4:54 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/26/22 4:56 PM

Regressive qualities of meditation

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Dr Carl Jung was fascinated with Eastern psychology. He was known  to practice  meditation himself but warned  of the regressive qualities of it. He thought it could induce depression  and anxiety  by stirring things up. (Reminds me of the dukka nanas .). Indeed he thought it could be dangerous for westerners without proper training .  I have a theory that he might actually  be someonwhat right.  Ot also falls inlign with the old saying." Better of to not start than to start without finishing.   Kabalist and Sufies have similar sayings.     Next point. Many psychologist  believe newborn babies cannot differentiate an autonomous self apart from their subjective environment.  Over the coarse of months the begin to see themselves as Individuals  in their environment. By age 2 they start the typical psychoanalytic  stages of development until personality develops over the next few years.(of you belive that school of psychology blah blah).   Theory question.  Could Insigjt meditation actually be regressing us. Regressing us back to the Point of an unconditional  state (path)  . Then we can reprogram ourselves to live more in the monent.  Just a thought 
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Chris M, modified 1 Year ago at 10/26/22 5:55 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/26/22 5:55 PM

RE: Regressive qualities of meditation

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Matt, what do YOU think?
Matt Jon Rousseau, modified 1 Year ago at 1/8/23 4:54 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/26/22 7:18 PM

RE: Regressive qualities of meditation

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Well first I am not a psychiatrist  or a dharma expert. However I think it's plausible.  It would also mean that many people with clinical depression  or other neurosis  might actually  be on path going through dark night territory.  They just don't know it.  They might have a dent in their ego . Wanting to destroy it but go get therapy to fix the dent
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Ben V, modified 1 Year ago at 10/26/22 9:12 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/26/22 9:12 PM

RE: Regressive qualities of meditation

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Although I get much inspiration from Jung, in my personal and in my professional life as a therapist, it seems to me he did not understand Buddhist meditation. He saw it, as other psychoanalysts, as a step backward in our development; an attempt to delve into the unconscious without an ego, a task he deemed dangerous. 

Although I think the following can happen in meditation: someone with severe borderline organization, severe trauma, or vulnerability to psychosis, when they meditate and ego defenses are temporarily dropped in meditation, can find themselves overwhelmed by unconscious contents. This can lead to lots of mental pain and instability, decompensation...

But I think it is possible to build a healthy practice that will have higher chances protect us from such dangers: support from a teacher and community (having good contemplative friends/kalyanamita), working on sila, balancing practices (heart practices like metta, devotion, etc). 

Although I am not yet totally aware of the relation between dukkha nana and ''stirring things up from the unconscious'', many go through dukkha nanas without too much drama, and others seem to really be shaken more severely by them. Perhaps it has something to do with the presence or not of the vulnerabilities I mentioned above.

I doubt Jung understood the process when things go ''well'' in meditation (jhanas, deep vipassana, paths, etc), and I also think he misunderstood the ''not-self'' teaching in Buddhism. 

Best wishes with your practice.
David V, modified 1 Year ago at 10/27/22 12:22 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/27/22 12:22 PM

RE: Regressive qualities of meditation

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To the second point: I don't think meditation causes regression. In some ways, it can probably temporarily return perception to a state similar to that of children. But more important than the quality of the perception, I believe, is the knowledge. I think the Buddhist view of the child's mind is that it is full of ignorance. And the point of meditation is to dispel ignorance. So in that respect it goes the other direction.
Matt Jon Rousseau, modified 1 Year ago at 1/8/23 4:54 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/28/22 8:30 AM

RE: Regressive qualities of meditation

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Seems like most of you that are experienced meditators disagree with the Jungian theory. That's good Info
T DC, modified 1 Year ago at 10/28/22 11:23 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/28/22 10:23 AM

RE: Regressive qualities of meditation

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I think Chogyam Trungpa had a bit on the whole 'are babies naturally enlightened' question, the take away being that although children's consciousness is naturally more open and free flowing, dualistic illusion is still present but in a less rigid format than for adults.  Which I think is a pretty intuitive perspective. 

Buddhist teachings often refer to advanced meditators having "child-like" perspectives meaning more open to experience, less rigid in thinking, less preconception, more appreciative of the simple magic of experience, etc.  Personally I think advanced insight experience may mirror childhood perception to some degree, but re Trungpa where subtle degrees of dualism are seemingly involved in childhood perception to a subtle degree, awakened experience obviously is notable for having truly gone beyond it.

​​​​​​​So less a regression than a kind of circular progression?  ;)
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Griffin, modified 1 Year ago at 10/29/22 7:53 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/29/22 7:52 AM

RE: Regressive qualities of meditation

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From Wikipedia page on Ken Wilber:

Pre/trans fallacy

Wilber believes that many claims about non-rational states make a mistake he calls the pre/trans fallacy. According to Wilber, the non-rational stages of consciousness (what Wilber calls "pre-rational" and "trans-rational" stages) can be easily confused with one another. In Wilber's view, one can reduce trans-rational spiritual realization to pre-rational regression, or one can elevate pre-rational states to the trans-rational domain.[24] For example, Wilber claims that Freud and Jung commit this fallacy. Freud considered mystical realization to be a regression to infantile oceanic states. Wilber alleges that Freud thus commits a fallacy of reduction. Wilber thinks that Jung commits the converse form of the same mistake by considering pre-rational myths to reflect divine realizations. Likewise, pre-rational states may be misidentified as post-rational states.[25] Wilber characterizes himself as having fallen victim to the pre/trans fallacy in his early work.
Matt Jon Rousseau, modified 1 Year ago at 1/8/23 4:54 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/29/22 1:08 PM

RE: Regressive qualities of meditation

Posts: 138 Join Date: 5/1/22 Recent Posts
Ok that makes sense
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Year ago at 11/4/22 12:21 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/4/22 12:21 AM

RE: Regressive qualities of meditation

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Here is my take on it - A Framework of Awakening

It goes into childhood development and deletion of delusional selfing process.
It's a work in progress.
Good luck
~D
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Oatmilk, modified 1 Year ago at 11/5/22 9:57 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/5/22 9:57 AM

RE: Regressive qualities of meditation

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Carl Jung is poorly understood by mainstream psychoanalytic thought. I would suggest to look into "Catafalque" by Peter Kinglsey. He did some serious work there and went all the way back to the roots of western civilization.
CG Jung never wanted to be seen as a psychoanalyst, nor as someone else. So if you look at the literature published and revised by Jungians you'll find everything else but not Jung's work. 

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