In an earlier post you raised the question about Jung's warnings and I thought I would share this with you.Jung is warning us about taking on ("affecting") Eastern philosophy in finding our own individual path in the West. Why? What is the danger here he is trying to warn us about?
I've just begun the four foundation practices of Ngondro training and I was researching it a bit and came across an interesting book at Snowlion:
by Jeffrey Hopkins
Deity yoga is the meditative practice of imagining oneself as an ideal being fully endowed with compassion, wisdom, and their resultant altruistic activities. The idea is that by imagining being a Buddha, one gets closer to actually achieving Buddhahood. Tantric Techniques will give the reader a dynamic sense of the potential of the human mind for self-transformation through step-by-step use of the imagination.
The book offers a complete system of Tantric meditation, comparing the views of three seminal Tibetan authors on deity yoga, and on issues such as how to safeguard against psychological inflation and how to use negative emotions on the path.
"Jeffrey Hopkins has made a major contribution to deepening understanding of Tibetan Buddhism, had access to some of the greatest contemporary Tibetan teachers, but—most important of all—he has, over the years, steadily tried to put what he has learned into practice."–His Holiness the Dalai Lama
I googled around and found Hopkin's commentary on-line as a PDF file:
http://www.chibs.edu.tw/publication/chb ... BJ_V21.pdfJung’s Warnings Against Inflation
University of Virginia, Emeritus
In the practice of deity yoga, compassion and wisdom are combined in a single consciousness such that the wisdom consciousness realizing emptiness is used as the basis from which one appears as a deity. Tibetan systems stress the importance of “divine pride,” in which the practitioner seeks to develop such clear imagination of herself or himself as a deity that the sense of being a deity occurs strongly.
For Tsong-kha-pa (1359-1419), visualizing oneself as a deity and identification with that deity comprise the central distinguishing feature of tantric meditation. In Action Tantra this practice begins with emptiness yoga, called the “ultimate deity,” wherein the deity is an appearance of the wisdom realizing the emptiness of inherent existence—the deity being merely the person designated in dependence upon purely appearing mind and body.
Because the empty status of the person is being realized, it is said that deity yoga serves to counteract the conception of oneself as inherently existent and thereby prevents afflicted pride, a version of ego-inflation which the renowned Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875-1961) sought to avoid by advising against identifying with assimilated contents. This paper explores the perils of inflation that Jung predicted for Westerners who attempted Eastern yoga, and describes his remedy: assimilation of contents of the collective unconscious, not through identification, but through confrontation, avoiding equation with either the lowest or highest aspects of one’s own psyche.
I'm a bit snowed under with my taxes and working on my mother's at the moment but I thought we might discuss this later in the week.
It should be remembered that by deity they are not referring to a God as in a "creator of the universe" or anything like that. Buddhism is a non-theistic tradition and the Buddha never denied or affirmed that God existed.
Thrangu Rinpoche commented on this saying that they exist in the mind and should be seen as psychological principles that are used to evoke certain types of psychic energies in the practioner. Paradoxically though he also said that the Bodhisattvas do exist externally and can influence events in one's life. Exactly how is something I am personally going to take up with him.