This essay has the purpose of sharpening psychology's self-understanding by reflecting it against the foil of the "other" of Buddhism as elucidated by what competent Japanese scholars, well versed in both Eastern and Western thinking, have written about the Buddhist conception of the psyche or mind, often contrasting it with Western psychology. Close examination shows, however, that such a comparison meets with serious difficulties because what is compared is not always really comparable or commensurable. It is precisely through the analysis of these difficulties that psychology is enabled to come to a clearer understanding of where it stands.
About the Author:
Wolfgang Giegerich is a Jungian psychoanalyst now living and working in Berlin, Germany. He has lectured and taught in many countries. He has been an invited speaker at the Eranos conferences (Ascona, Switzerland) from 1981 until the final conference in 1989, and at the Kyoto Zen Symposium (Kyoto, Japan) in 1988. Twice he spent a semester as Visiting Professor of Clinical Psychology at Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan. He is the author of numerous articles and books, among them in English six volumes of his Collected English Papers (2005–2014), What is soul? (2012), Neurosis: The logic of a metaphysical illness (2013), all formerly published by Spring Journal Books, New Orleans, now by Routledge, London and New York, as well as The soul’s logical life: Towards a rigorous notion of psychology (Peter Lang, Frankfurt/Main 1998, 5th edition revised and extended by an index, 2020).