Yakshas: personifications of spirit

Terracota Yakshas, Sunga period- 1st century BC; found in West Bengal)- Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York. US public domain via wikimedia
Terracota Yakshas, Sunga period- 1st century BC; found in West Bengal)- Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York. US public domain via wikimedia

Carl Jung calls spirit an “immaterial substance or form of existence”. Yet this “immaterial substance” tends “towards personification” [1].

In the image above, we see Yakshas as personification of the nature spirits. “Yakshas were deities connected with water, fertility, trees, the forest, and the wilderness. Yakshis were their female counterparts and were originally benign deities connected with fertility.

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Exercitia spiritualia (Spiritual Exercises)

 

Directorium in exercitia spiritualia, US Public Domain and Creative Commons
Directorium in exercitia spiritualia, US Public Domain and Creative Commons

Google books has a copy of Directorium in exercitia spiritualia by Ignacio de Loyola. A PDF of the book can also be found on-line at the internet archive. The book itself is at Universitat de València. Carl Jung references this book in The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.9 Part 1). In regards to this book Jung says:

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Water as ‘spirit that has become unconscious’

(Water) Dragon, Katsushika Hokusai, 17th Century, Japanese, US Public Domain vua Wiki.
(Water) Dragon, Katsushika Hokusai, 17th Century, Japanese, US Public Domain vua Wiki.

Carl Jung tells us that “water is the commonest symbol for the unconscious” CW 9i, para 40).

“The lake in the valley is the unconscious, which lies, as it were, underneath consciousness, so that it is often referred to as the ‘subconscious,’ usually with the pejorative connotation of an inferior consciousness. Water is the ‘valley spirit,’ the water dragon of Tao, whose nature resembles water- a yang in the yin, therefore, water means spirit that has become unconscious.” (Carl Jung, )

Reference:

  1. The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.9 Part 1)

Diagram: soul, spirit, ego, shadow

 

ego-shadowI found this diagram in a book by Schwartz-Salant (1982). He speaks of the spirit in terms of the capacity for reflection and creativity. Schwartz-Salant says that the soul is the feminine capacity for being and doing. When these two aspects are in harmony, then the ego becomes “the carrier of personal identity.” (p.70) He adds that with this, “the capacity to feel and express need for another person emerges.”