Located in the walls of the Lukhang Murals (which translates as ‘The Temple of Serpent Spirits’), the practice of Kuṇḍalinī or the Secret Practice of Noetic Fire (Tummo) are found inside. The Tibetan word for ‘fierce’ [fierce hot savage woman] is also called caṇḍālī and embedded “in the teachings that developed in Tiber’s earliest transmission of tantric Buddhism” (Essay By Ian Baker- Moving towards Perfection: Physical Culture in Dzogchen as Revealed in Tibet’s Lukhang Murals, Ian A. Baker, Page 1). Some Haṭhayogic techniques are incorporated in the practice of raising one’s Kuṇḍalinī through inner fire meditation or the Dzogchen teachings (the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist practice of mediation) of breathing, fixation and bodily postures.
Lukhang Temple Mural
Black Books- No. 1
According to Sonu Shamdasani (the translator of Jung's works), the serpent imagery in the Black Books (2020) refers to Kuṇḍalinī Yoga. In Black Book No. 1, Jung refers to Kuṇḍalinī Yoga in his mandala drawings, describing this sequence in The Secret of the Golden Flower (2014).
"This symbolism refers to a quasi-alchemical process of refining and ennobling. Darkness gives birth to light; out of the 'lead of the water region' grows the noble gold: what is unconscious becomes conscious in the form of a living process of growth. (Indian Kundalini Yoga offers a perfect analogy). In this way, the union of consciousness and life takes place."- Page 63. And noted in Alchemical Studies (1983), Page 24/Commentary 34.
Jung discusses the union between the conscious and unconscious, the dark night of the soul, rebirth, all of which are symbolic layers included in the process of Kuṇḍalinī. From the serpent imagery, we see many linguistic hints connecting to "birth", "rising up", "the dragon", "divinity", "evil serpent", and "the spirit world".
We see more dragons appear later on in Jung's Black Book (page 143 and 145), which is also relatable to Middle Eastern iconography of the serpent, particularly the "lion-bird"; a species of dragon that was sacred to Sumerian god Ningishzida (the deity of vegetation and the underworld).- see Entwined Serpents essay by E. Douglas Van Buren, Page 55.
Black Book, Page 136-137
Fertility rites and magic
“The locutions "fertility magic," "fertility rite," and the like will be used to refer to the whole complex of religious practice in archaic agricultural societies, where more of course was at issue than the fertility of the soil alone. They will signify a circular (rather than linear-causal) interweaving of aims, including renewal of world-lease, connection of above and below, cohesion of social units, and abundance of life in general, including the crops. In Indian religions these three categories are interpenetrated to an unusual degree. On the one hand, India is known to have participated peripherally, by way of Tibetan and other influences, in the Central and North Asian shamanic zone”. Thomas McEvilley ‘The Archaeology of Yoga’ (Page 45).
“Chattopadhyaya has noted that the tantric term Vāmācāra, usually translated "left-hand way," literally means "the woman practice" and quotes the Ācārabheda Tantra saying, "The ultimate female force is to be propitiated by becoming a woman."200 In the rituals of Durgā, the male worshiper drew closer to the goddess by thinking of himself as a woman. And the practice was not purely mental: Ramakrishna, a Durgā worshiper, wore women's clothing for several years as a part of his Sādhanā. It is altogether plausible, in the context of Bronze Age religion, that the activity that is being worshiped by serpents on the seals is an attempt by sympathetic magic to stimulate the sexuality of the earth and hence her yield. It is not to be wondered at, then, that a male figure or shaman should wear the hairstyle, jewelry, and "girdle" of the goddess herself. In fact, it is to be expected. The female is more powerful in such rituals than the male. The Vāmācāra practice of "becoming a woman" is, according to some tantric texts, the only true form of tantrism. In terms of primitive practice in general, it is a means of acquiring for the male magician the power that the female expresses by giving birth, and that he will express by magically manipulating events. A Sahajiyā song of the middle ages is explicit, saying, "Discard the male (puruṣa) in thee and become a woman (Prakṛti). We might recall again that the Ājīvika initiation rite exhibits the structure of "rebirth from the fathers, "that is, of transferring to the males, through initiation, the fertitity power of the females.” Thomas McEvilley ‘The Archaeology of Yoga’ (Page 72).
Tibet, Buddhism/ Tummo/ Caṇḍālī
Cylinder Seals by Henri Frankfort, Page 72
Ningishzida (Sumerian: 𒀭𒊩𒌆𒄑𒍣𒁕,nin-g̃iš-zid-da) is a Mesopotamian deity of vegetation and the underworld
Libation Vase of the God Ningishzida, Neo-Sumerian era, around 2120 BC
Seal Impressions (Gods and Myths on Sargonid Seals), Page 11
Tummo/Caṇḍālī is symbolism is indicated by the red lines that show the Kuṇḍalinī energy moving through the different chakra centres of the body.
The Dalai Lama's Secret Temple: Tantric Wall Paintings from Tibet, Page 74.
Did Jung experience a Kundalini awakening? (To Read: The Seven Sermons) - India and the return to Gnosticism
According to Fowler McCormick (Jung’s friend who accompanied him during his trip to India in 1937), Jung experienced vivid dreams of red, emulating the Kundalini chakra colours in Calcutta in The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga (1999(.
“As we would go through temples of Kali, which were numerous at almost every Hindu city, we saw the evidence of animal sacrifice: the places were filthy dirty—dried blood on the floor and lots of remains of red betelnut all around, so that the colour red was associated with destructiveness. Concurrently in Calcutta Jung began to have a series of dreams in which the colour red was stressed. It wasn’t long before dysentery overcame Dr. Jung and I had to take him to the English hospital at Calcutta. . . . A more lasting effect of this impression of the destructiveness of Kali was the emotional foundation it gave him for the conviction that evil was not a negative thing but a positive thing. . . . The influence of that experience in India, to my mind, was very great on Jung in his later years”.
Similarly, this account replicates the protagonist Honda’s experience after visiting the temple of Kali in Calcutta in the post-war Japanese fiction novel The Temple of Dawn (1970) by Yukio Mishima:
“Honda left word that he would be leaving before dawn the next morning, and fell asleep with the help of a nightcap. Legions of phantasmagoria cluttered his dreams. His dream fingers brushed a keyboard they had never touched before, producing strange sounds. They examined like an engineer all corners of the structured universe so far known to him. The limpid Mount Miwa suddenly appeared, then the Offing Rock, reclining rock of horror on the peak of which dwelt the gods; blood spouted from a crevice and the goddess Kali emerged, her red tongue protruding. A burned corpse rose in the form of a beautiful youth, his hair and loins covered with the brilliantly pure leaves of the sacred Sakaki tree.”- The Temple of Dawn, pg. 68.
Biographer Deirdre Bair also mentions Jung’s illness and state of mind after his trip in Jung: A Biography (2003):
“Still, impressions from his Indian illness continued to interrupt, permeating these visions as if with an underlying imagery that determined their content. In one, he saw a dark block of stone as big as his Küsnacht house floating next to him in space. He remembered seeing such rocks off the coast of the Bay of Bengal, into which temples had been carved. Inside the visionary rock was a ‘completely black Indian in a white robe in a lotus position,’, seated in such silent repose that Jung knew the man was waiting for him.”- Page 497
Lastly, Jung talks about his return to Christianity after this incident in Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1961):
“Imperiously, the dream wiped away all the intense impressions of India and swept me back to the too-long-neglected concerns of the Occident, which had formerly been expressed in the quest for the Holy Grail as well as in the search for the philosophers’’ stone. I was taken out of India, and reminded that India was not my task, but only a part of the way.”- Page 332.
Jung makes the reference to Brahmanaspati (‘Lord of the Brahman’ prayer in the Vedas. Brihaspati is a deity associated with fire),” 1915-1930, in The Red Book: Liber Novus (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2009), page 54.