🎧 15: The Union Of Yoga and Jung with Leanne Whitney


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Dr. Leanne Whitney joins the show to explain the nuances of Jungian depth psychology and Patanjali’s yoga sutras. How do these two systems of the psyche fit together? Where are their similarities and their differences? Is there a way of synthesising the wisdom of both, to create a union of West and East, Jung and Yoga?  

Leanne is an independent scholar in the fields of depth psychology and consciousness studies. She works as a transformational coach, yoga teacher, and documentary filmmaker, and for over twenty-five years has researched the mind body connection and their interrelation with pure consciousness.

Leanne is well positioned to provide an expert view, as she specializes in the intersection of Western psychology and Eastern wisdom. She is the author of numerous published papers, as well the book, Consciousness in Jung and Patanjali, which is an eloquent and ambitious comparison of both approaches.

Highlights of this rich and heartfelt discussion include:

  • The relationship between yoga’s pure consciousness and Jung’s theory of the conscious (ego) and unconscious.
  • Why Jung’s view on healing and wholeness was never fully complete due to his perception of consciousness.
  • How Patanjali separates knowledge from reality, whilst Jung remained grappling with contents of the psyche.
  • The respective approaches to God: all there is vs. what humans make conscious.
  • The different orientations of awareness, and the ability to objectively witness contents of mind.
  • Synchronicity as a bridge between the two bodies of work.
  • Getting to the root of suffering and detecting patterns.
  • The ego in yoga and Jungian philosophy.
  • How shadow work fits in both systems.
  • The material, scientific paradigm of the west, and the need to find a system that uses the best of both.

Standout quotes:

“You’ll never get to the bottom of the collective unconscious, because for Jung, it’s all phenomenological. Whether you look with a microscope or telescope, depending on the lens, the phenomena is going to get smaller or bigger, then you have to grapple with how to place yourself.”

“For Jung, people are making God conscious, and that’s an enormous task, we’re bringing light into the darkness. He left us with an enormous task. For Patanjali, that is too egoic. Jung’s consciousness only relates to ego, that human beings have consciousness. Patanjali would say the whole thing is conscious, all the world is conscious.”

“The symbols aren’t just in the mythologies, but the very thing we’re living in front of our eyes. The thing that’s happening in the body and in front of our eyes is 100% in sync with the thought forms and the binds that are also in the psyche.”

“Fears are the things you don’t want to be afraid of. You want to move towards your fear, to see through the fear, to pull the threads of what created that fear in the first place. Fear and the binds of the mind involved in that fear keep us from experiencing the centredness, and the love, and the interdependence with all humanity and the world.”

“For Jung, consciousness relates to an ego. I feel that’s one of the fundamental errors or points of concern for Jungian depth psychology. In the end, Jung’s idea of consciousness is very conceptual and linguistic. For Patanjali, consciousness is everything, yes it’s conceptual, but it’s not conceptual, it’s linguistic and non-linguistic, because it’s everything.”

Watch below:


Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch

Published by Ricky Derisz

Spirituality Coach and Meditation Teacher devoted to understanding the human psyche and nature of consciousness. Undergoing a life-long process of minding my ego.

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