Liberation of Psyche through Old Metaphysics; 'Eastern' parallels in the work of Whitehead and Jung

Oct 1, 2017



The relationship between the development of Western psychology and the arrival of ‘Eastern’ philosophies to the West is a phenomenon that began at the turn of 19th and 20th centuries. Carl Gustav Jung, a psychoanalyst, author and a mystic well known for his work with Freud, and for his groundbreaking approach to human psyche as a collective entity was convinced that what he referred to as ‘Eastern consciousness’ developed thousands of years ago a quality that ‘Western’ psyche was only now arriving at. Philosopher and a mathematician Alfred North Whitehead’s ‘organic philosophy of nature’ offers an alternative for scientific materialism. His ontology is governed by concepts such as constant change, intuition and creativity. Whitehead criticized the notion of matter and mind as separates arguing that: "we should conceive mental operations as among the factors which make up the constitution of nature." Despite his credibility in natural sciences and philosophy, his ideas have not yet been integrated into psychology. The scope of this essay is to explore the parallels in Jung’s and Whitehead’s thinking, and see to what degree their ideas have been influenced or can be paralleled to ‘Eastern Wisdom’.



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