William and Jung’s Views on Eastern and Western Cultures

  ”In Memory of Richard Wilhelm” is a eulogy written by Swiss psychologist Jung after the death of German sinologist Richard Wilhelm. It not only spoke highly of Wilhelm’s lifelong achievements in sinology and his contribution to cultural exchanges between China and the West, but also The main thing is to expound on his own views on the compatibility of Chinese and Western cultures and the creation of a common culture for mankind. These views still have positive and far-reaching cultural significance to this day.
  Who is Jung? Who is Richard William?
  In fact, they are all outstanding representatives of Westerners who dare to face the East, learn from the East, and import the accepted Eastern culture to the West. They are not constrained by their own majors, but from the perspective of professional development, they will explore Eastern and Western cultures, take care of the development of history and the destiny of mankind as their own responsibility, and build a bridge between Eastern and Western cultural exchanges, reference and promotion of mutual penetration. It can be said that they were outstanding researchers of Chinese culture in the early 20th century and disseminators of the western expansion of middle school.
  Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was a famous Swiss psychologist and psychoanalyst, the founder of analytical psychology and one of the originators of modern psychology. Author of “Unconscious Process Psychology”, “Psychological Types”, “Analytical Psychology and Interpretation of Dreams” and “Memory, Dreams, Thinking” and other books. In 1902, he received a doctorate in medicine from the University of Zurich. Except for psychiatric studies, he learned everything about the secrets of the human soul. Due to his tireless efforts, he later became a well-known analytical psychologist in Switzerland and even in the West, as well as an outstanding researcher of oriental culture. Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Political Science at the Federal Institute of Industry. Jung experienced two world wars, witnessed the serious crisis of Western technological civilization and Christian culture, and deeply felt that Western culture needed the participation and balance of Eastern culture. Therefore, he inherited the tradition of Leibniz, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Goethe and other western thinkers facing the East, devoted himself to the study of oriental culture, and integrated the treasures of oriental culture, especially Indian and Chinese culture into his own psychological theory, so as to make His own theoretical construction has the modern characteristics of the eclectic mix of Eastern and Western cultures. In his nearly 200 works, large and small, he expounded the main concepts of analytical psychology, such as libido concept, unconsciousness and subconsciousness, religious mind and active imagination, etc., revealing the psychosis closely related to modern human beings The problem, as he said in his book “Man and Its Symbols”: “I am convinced that the study of the mind will become an important science in the future. . . . This is a science we need most urgently. The trend shows that the greatest enemy of mankind is not famine, earthquakes, germs or cancer, but mankind itself: because for now, we still do not have any suitable means to prevent the spread of diseases of the human mind far more dangerous than natural disasters “.
  Richard Wilhelm (1873-1930) was born in Stuttgart, Germany, the capital of the Kingdom of Württemberg at that time. He was one of Germany’s most famous sinologists in the early 20th century and a professor of Chinese at the University of Frankfurt. He was originally a missionary of the Weimar Fellowship Society. In 1899, he was sent to Qingdao, China, to engage in charity work, and gave lectures in Qingdao, Jinan and other places. After coming to China, he took the Chinese name Wei Xisheng for himself, the word Lixian, also Wei Lixian. In 1922, he came to China again and was hired as a professor of German at Peking University. Contrary to his missionary mission in China, William’s missionary achievements were almost zero. He never baptized a Chinese Christian in his 25 years in China, but it is amazing that in his 57 years of life, there were more than 20 years in his life. He spent time in China, and showed a broad mind in the study of Chinese traditional culture, and achieved admirable achievements. He translated important Confucian and Taoist classics such as The Analects of Confucius, Book of Changes, Tao Te Ching, Zhuangzi and Liezi into German and published them, and wrote Practical Chinese Common Sense, Lao Tzu and Taoism, The Spirit of China, and More than ten monographs, including Cultural History, The Orient—The Formation and Changes of Chinese Culture, and Chinese Philosophy, can be said to be a hero of the “Western Broadcasting of Middle Schools” in the history of Sino-Western cultural exchanges, and have made significant contributions to world cultural exchanges.
  What is the relationship between Jung and William? Why is there such a eulogy as “In Memory of Richard William”?
  As a scholar, Jung neither understands Chinese nor has ever been to China. He has to use translation materials to understand Chinese culture. , and then study Chinese culture and integrate it into his own psychological construction. The engineer who erected this research bridge was William. As Jung said in his eulogy, he was fortunate to have a relationship with a Western researcher of Chinese culture and became a close friend who crossed the border, “I have never been to China…and I am not familiar with its language… …I do stand as a stranger outside this vast field of knowledge and experience, and William is well within it. If we stay in our own area of ​​expertise, he as a sinologist and I as a doctor probably never will A connection occurs. But we meet in the humanities, which in the beginning transcends the boundaries of the academy, where there are our touch points, where the spark of the heart ignites the light of wisdom, and this is destined to be the most One of the events of significance”.
  With his incomparable love for China, the Chinese people and the long-standing Chinese culture, William worked diligently in translation during his short life, and eventually died of illness in Tübingen, Germany on March 1, 1930. But he walked so peacefully, like a Chinese sage who has been fully enlightened, with a smile on his face forever. A large number of translations, writings and achievements and influences of his work in the Oriental Society and the Chinese Academy have strongly promoted the spread of Chinese culture in Germany and even in the West, not only changing the image of China’s abjection in Europe since modern times, but also for the Westerners have opened up a new and radiant spiritual world, just as Professor Bao Wugang, a famous contemporary German sinologist, praised William as China’s spiritual messenger in the West in his essay “Wilhelm Wilhelm: Messenger of Two Worlds”.
  The eulogy “In Memory of Richard William” is nearly 7,000 words in full text. The words are eloquent and touching!
  On the one hand, Jung made a proper summary and evaluation of William’s contribution to life with gratitude and admiration, “( William) this heart built a bridge between the East and the West, giving the West a precious cultural heritage that lasted for thousands of years, perhaps destined to disappear forever. His quest for knowledge gradually turned into a concern for the whole of humanity. Or rather, that concern remained the same from the beginning to the end. What else could so completely separate him from the narrow vision of a European – indeed, a missionary – so that as soon as he probed into the mysteries of the Chinese mind, he immediately realized that there was a treasure we needed hidden there, and sacrificed his European prejudice for this rare treasure?” “William’s maternal wisdom is rare. The gift to which he ascribed his unrivaled talent, groping his way into the spirit of the East, and devoting himself to his unparalleled translation work” “It was Richard, William, who, as the messenger of the European spirit, We have brought a new light”, “William’s life’s work is of such great importance to me because it greatly clarifies and affirms what I have always sought, pursued, pondered and committed to in my efforts to relieve the mental suffering of Europeans. many things”.
  On the other hand, Jung also made no secret of his views on Eastern and Western cultures. These concepts are actually one of the main contents of Jung’s analytical psychology. Without a comparative study of the similarities and differences between Eastern and Western cultures, it is impossible to imagine that his psychological construction is a theoretical product of concern for all human beings. It is this kind of collective unconscious and archetypal theory formed by combining Eastern and Western cultures, which profoundly reveals the fundamental consistency of human psychology and human culture, and thus concludes that human beings will be able to cultivate a common human happiness on the same earth. With the future, this is actually the ideal of combining the east and the west, and the world is united.
  First, Jung lashed out at the traditional “Eurocentrism”. As we all know, the two world wars that broke out in Europe have fundamentally shaken the values ​​of Western culture, “The revolution in our consciousness brought about by the catastrophe of the world wars has been produced in our inner life, and it has destroyed our Faith and our worth”. These two world disasters first broke out in Europe, making it difficult for people to explain. The West has highly developed science and technology and Christian civilization. It is the spiritual crisis of Westerners. Jung’s analytical psychology
During birth, the object of treatment is the person’s spiritual crisis. Jung deeply felt that Western culture was already in crisis, “Today, Christ has preached his ideas for nearly a thousand years, what we see is not the thousand years of the savior’s re-king of the kingdom of heaven, but the world wars, barbed wire, Poisonous gas. This is truly a catastrophe in heaven and on earth”, “Our world has acquired enough power to destroy human beings and turn them into cosmic dust.” In this regard, Jung first attacked the “Eurocentrism”. He points out: “Mysticism has had a revival in our time that is unmatched by it – the light of the Western spirit has almost been extinguished because of it. It is not our institutions of higher learning and its representatives that I am thinking of now. Doctors I deal with, I know that the university is no longer a place to spread the light. People are tired of the specialization of disciplines, tired of rationalism and intellectualism. They want to hear the voice of the truth, which does not bind but expands them, not To blind but to illuminate them, not flowing like water but deep into their very marrow. This pursuit is simply too easy to lead astray a large, even anonymous public” (Bei, “The Self-Saving of the Modern Soul” “Modern Man”). problems of the mind”). In Jung’s eyes, the white people who are proud of their “Eurocentrism” are undoubtedly a group of insatiable “Aryan beasts” who fantasize about being kings everywhere. They occupy the land everywhere and use sweet wine, venereal diseases and opium to deal with the blacks of the East and Africa. , to this “How will the Chinese or the Indians feel about us? How will we evoke among the blacks?” It is clear that this beast will surely provoke a just struggle and be defeated by the peoples of the East and Africa.
  Faced with the predicament of the West, Jung highly appreciated William’s broad-mindedness in facing the East and in-depth study of Chinese culture for the baptism of the spiritual world of the West. “…It was William who brought new light from the East. This is a cultural task. , recognizing how much the East has to offer in our spiritual needs”. The new light brought by William from the East is precisely the diversity and compatibility of cultures that Western society lacks, as well as the stability of society and the peaceful state of people’s lives. Therefore, in the eulogy, Jung first took the actual spiritual crisis of Westerners as a mirror, tried his best to eliminate the psychological shadow caused by the single civilization of Christ and the self-deceiving “Eurocentrism” among Westerners, and encouraged Westerners to “open their eyes”. “Look at Eastern culture to increase your understanding of social development.
  Secondly, while criticizing Western culture, Jung encouraged Westerners to turn to the East without fear and absorb the essence of Eastern culture. In his analytical psychology, Jung believed that scientific thought is the foundation of the Western mind, but science and technology are only means rather than ends. One-sided scientific development is dangerous, and one-sided scientific thinking is also a spiritual reflection of the miserable emptiness of learned people. Only by combining realistic scientific and technological civilization with a broader and higher level of spiritual understanding, can human civilization and the common destiny of mankind progress in harmony. This expectation, however, can only be found in the East with the vast and profound understanding of the meaning of life accumulated through survival. Therefore, Jung turned to the East fearlessly, and encouraged Westerners who had suffered from cultural monotony and human repression to face the East bravely and learn from the East. In the eulogy, Jung highly praised William’s spirit of abandoning European prejudice and facing Eastern culture, “Only an all-encompassing human nature, a broad spirit that penetrates the whole, can make him face a deeply different spirit. , open itself without reservation, and expand its influence by serving it with all its gifts and talents.” At the same time, Jung used this to criticize the arrogance of Christians, “because all the mediocre spirits who come into contact with foreign cultures either die prematurely by giving up their own blind attempts, or indulge in arrogant passions that do not understand and criticize. Appearances and furs entertain themselves, never having tasted its true benefits, and thus never attaining true spiritual communion, the most intimate input and interpenetration that produces new life.”
  It can be seen from this that what Jung said about facing the East is not to get the appearance and fur of the oriental culture to entertain oneself, but to discover and absorb the essence of the oriental culture, to achieve the mutual infiltration of the eastern and western cultures, in order to seek the harmonious society of all mankind. create. In his eulogy, Jung praised William’s translation of the I Ching, “I think his greatest achievement was his translation and commentary on the I Ching…William succeeded in bringing this ancient work into a new form. It has regained its life… It is likely that there is no other book that embodies the vividness of Chinese culture like this book… It has survived the vicissitudes of life, but it is still eternal, maintaining its life and value.” As he said in his heart, this actually reflects Jung’s understanding of the essence of Eastern culture, especially Chinese culture, “A few years ago, the then president of the British Anthropological Society asked me why China, a highly intelligent nation, has no scientific knowledge. I replied that it must be a visual error, because the Chinese do have a science, and its standard classic is the Book of Changes. But the principle of this science, like many other things in China, It is completely different from the principles of our science.” It should be said that Jung attached great importance to the Book of Changes. It can almost be said that the Book of Changes has always accompanied his life and work. Before the publication of William’s I Ching translation, Jung used the translation of the English sinologist James Legg. After reading William’s translation, Jung deeply understood the psychological significance of the I Ching, making it an organic part of the examples and origins of analytical psychology. Not only did Jung disagree with the I Ching as a spell, “Not only many sinologists, but most modern Chinese, fail to see its true value and regard it as merely a compilation of absurd witchcraft spells. “, and believes that the more important aspect of William’s work is that “he inoculates us with the life-germ of the Chinese spirit that can bring about a fundamental change in our worldview. We are no longer reduced to adoring or critical spectators. not only to participate in the oriental spirit, but also to successfully experience the vibrant power of the Book of Changes.”
  We know that the way of scientific thinking in the East and the West is fundamentally different, so what benefits can the essence of Eastern culture bring to Westerners? In Jung’s view, when Westerners are already disgusted with technological supremacy and rationalism At that time, the Book of Changes just adapted to the psychological needs of Westerners for self-knowledge. With its simple and enduring vitality, it provided Westerners with a more suitable and correct way of thinking and way of life, which has the potential to transform human beings. The great power of the mind, “This kind of thinking based on the principle of synchronization reached its peak in the “Book of Changes”, which is the purest expression of the general way of thinking of the Chinese people”, “At this time, the “Book of Changes” responded There is something in us that needs to be further developed”, “Anyone who has the privilege of experiencing the magical power of the I Ching with William, like me, cannot fail to discover that this is an Archimedes point, and by virtue of this At this point, our Western mentality will be pryed from its foundations.” What I have said above is focused on one point: transplanting the life germs of ancient Chinese wisdom into Western soil can change the narrow world outlook and life outlook of Westerners. Only in this way can the biased development of Western modernization be remedied. The value of the spirit and essence of oriental culture is also here.
  In a word, although “In Memory of Richard William” is Jung’s best summary of William’s contribution to the spread of Eastern and Western cultures and the deep friendship between them, it is more important to reproduce Jung’s own thoughts on Eastern and Western cultures. important concept. The analytical psychology constructed by Jung throughout his life is the crystallization of his organic integration of Eastern and Western cultures, which expresses the human beings’ wish to cultivate the common happiness and future of human beings on the basis of common humanity and the integration of Eastern and Western cultures. Jung’s view of Eastern and Western cultures has a non-negligible reference value for us to actively absorb all the achievements of foreign civilization and promote the development of our national culture.

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