Week Four Lesson

  • Discussion of Alexander & Robbins

Homework: Read excerpts from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, including Jung’s “Psychological Commentary” and Meachem “Is Hell Dead?”

Session 4 readings, to prepare for discussions in Session 5:

The Tibetan Book of the Dead, with Jung’s Psychological Commentary:

  • What is the Bardo?
  • How does Jung use the term Seele?
  • What is Jung seeking to do here?
  • What time in life affords the greatest possibility of attaining liberation?
  • What does the descent from the Chikhai Bardo to the Chönyid Bardo to the Sidpa Bardo illustrate?
  • What is the purpose of the Tibetan Book of the Dead?
  • What is Jung’s aim in writing a psychological commentary?
  • What role has the book played in Jung’s life?
  • What does Jung feel is the outlook of the book?
  • What is the Western attitude toward the psyche?
  • How does Jung describe the Bardo Thödol ?
  • What are the gods?
  • What does the Bardo Thödol  try to make clear to the dead man?
  • For whom does Jung think the message of the Bardo Thödol  is suitable?
  • What is the only initiation process still practiced in the West?
  • Why can’t Freud’s theory reach anything but a negative valuation of the unconscious?
  • How does Jung suggest Westerners read the Bardo Thödol ?
  • How does Jung define archetypes?
  • How does Jung describe Sidpa psychology?
  • How can a person reach the Dharma-Kaya on any level of the Bardo?
  • What does this entail?
  • To what does Jung equate the Chönyid state?
  • What is the Bardo body?
  • What is the psychological equivalent of the disintegration of the wholeness of the Bardo body?
  • Why is the Chönyid Bardo called “the Bardo of the Experiencing of Reality”?
  • What does the Bardo Thödol  prepare a soul for?
  • To what does Jung liken the process described in the Bardo Thödol ?
  • When does the spiritual climax of a life occur, according to the Bardo Thödol ?
  • What is the Bardo Thödol created out of?
  • What does the dead man have to recognize?
  • Who is meant to read the Bardo Thödol ?

Woodroffe’s “Foreword:”

  • What is Death, in the Bardo Thödol ?
  • What are the 3 stages of the Bardo?
  • What are the 3 characteristics of the text that Woodroffe identifies?
  • What is freedom?
  • What is the sense shared by all religions about death?
  • What determines the future state of the “soul complex”?
  • What is the human reality that we don’t recognize?
  • What is the key to becoming liberated?
  • What are the two paths?
  • Where does the first path lead?
  • Where does the second path lead?
  • What does the text constantly urge on the dead man?
  • What does it mean when a dead person achieves liberation?
  • What happens in the interval right after death?
  • What are the 3 bodies (kayas) associated with the 3 stages of the Bardo?
  • Where do the Peaceful Devatas issue from?
  • Where doe the Wrathful Devatas issue from?
  • How does the Bardo Thödol  support Freud’s notion of the Oedipus complex?
  • What determines the after-death experience?
  • What is necessary to create new karma?
  • When is a soul complex ready to reincarnate?
  • Why is it important for people to know about the afterlife?
  • What is collective karma?
  • How long does the first Bardo last?
  • What is the Bardo body like?
  • What does the whole process demand?
  • How did the Tibetans get this information?
  • What advice is given to the dying person, to help him?
  • Why might the person fail to be liberated, even with a guru helping him?
  • What are the 6 states of Bardo?
  • What is the dead person urged to realize?
  • What condition are most people in, when they die?
  • What is the time-line for the process, for the average person?

*To print these documents, click the links to download and open the files once finished. Go to File -> Print

Download Chart of the Bardo Realms

Jung on Tibetan Book of the Dead

Download Jung on the Tibetan Book of the Dead

Meacham: Is Hell Dead

Download Meacham: Is Hell Dead