In the image above, we see a Yogi revealing his subtle body.
In The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious, Carl Jung notes that “symbols of the self arise in the depths of the body.” This is a profound statement, and speaks to the interrelationality between body, psyche and Self. Jung says:
“The symbols of the self arise in the depths of the body and they express its materiality every bit as much as the structure of the perceiving consciousness. The symbol is thus a living body, corpus et anima.” (Carl Jung, Cw 9i, para 291)
Carl Jung appeared to believe that the subtle body was a good metaphor for the human psyche. He said, “I have often felt tempted to advise my patients to conceive of the psyche as a subtle body” (1938, p. 25).
One of the more subtle themes in Carl Jung’s work is a dialectical exploration of the nature of the psyche, specifically that of subject/ object differentiation. This exploration weaves throughout his writings. It is most clearly brought to light in his writings on participation mystique. Jung says:
Participation mystique “denotes a peculiar kind of psychological connection with objects, and consists in the fact that the subject cannot clearly distinguish himself from the object but is bound to it by a direct relationship which amounts to partial identity.” (Jung CW 6: para 781).
Jung speaks of participation mystique in terms of projection of our unconscious contents onto others and the world around us. He says:
“People with a narrow conscious life exteriorize their unconscious, they are continually in participation mystique with other people… if more unconscious things have become conscious to you, then you live less in participation mystique.” (Visions, para 1184).