Jul 30, 2021
Martin Goodson

C. G. Jung - Forward to D.T. Suzuki’s Introduction to Zen Buddhism

Book Extracts

In this book extract Carl Jung, a pioneer of western psychology, writes a forward for DT Suzuki, a pioneering Buddhist teacher for the west.

Front cover of D.T. Suzukis Introduction to Zen Buddhism, pub. Ark 1978)

Great as is the value of Zen Buddhism for understanding the religious transformation process, its use among Western people is very problematical. The mental education necessary for Zen is lacking in the West. Who among us would place such implicit trust in a superior Master and his incomprehensible ways? This respect for the greater human personality is found only in the East. 

Could any of us boast that he believes in the possibility of a boundlessly paradoxical transformation experience to the extent moreover of sacrificing many years of his life to the wearisome pursuit of such a goal? And finally , who would dare to take upon himself the responsibility for such an unorthodox transformation experience - except a man who  was little to be trusted, one who, maybe for pathological reasons has too much to say for himself? Just such a person would have no cause to complain of any lack of following among us. But let a ‘Master’ set us a hard task, which requires more than mere parrot-talk, and the European begins to have doubts, for the steep path of self-development is to him as mournful and gloomy a the path to hell.

(Psychology and the East by C. G. Jung - Forward to D.T. Suzukis Introduction to Zen Buddhism, pub. Ark 1978)

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