An Eastern Mind: The Chinese Philosophy of Chuang-Tzu

An Eastern Mind: The Chinese Philosophy of Chuang-Tzu

Another 2000 years later, a man in Switzerland named Carl Jung heard a story from his colleague Wei Lixian who traveled to China. Jung had rephrased this story in his book The Secret of the Golden Flower. It is a story about a rain collector. In this village, there had no single drop of rain for years so the land dried up and no crops could grow. People starved to death, diseases spread, anxieties suffused, everyone lived in panic. People in the village invited a rain collector to come. This old man came to the village, looked around, asked people to build him a little cabin.

He then stayed in the cabin for 3 days. Just when people started to whisper among themselves asking if this old man is a fraud, it started to rain on the fourth day. Heavy rain fell from the sky, people in the village came out and celebrated. They were dancing and singing, the smiles came back to their faces, and everything seemed harmonious. People in the village asked the rain collector what type of magic he just used. ‘Nothing’, the old man said, ‘I simply put none-action. I came from a place where the rain and the sun take turns, I live in this harmonious environment, inside and outside. When I came to your village, everything lost balance, the weather, the fields and the people, all live in a chaotic system. So, I just sit in my cabin, try to use my own inner harmonies to apply to this system. When the system runs properly, it starts to rain. Ask for rain or ask for sun, it is the same principle.’ Carl Jung developed Synchronicity and Individuation based on this story.

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About the Author

Xiaoyun (Sharon) MaXiaoyun Ma is a national class counselor and author based in China. Her research focus on mental health developments of individuals and specific groups. Her interests cover cross-cultural studies, gender inequalities and humanistic psychology. She has been promoting the Reflection Group for Chinese educated women via both online and offline channels. She aims to support women to break through the traditional social norms and develop their own potentials. Xiaoyun Ma grew up in a traditional Chinese family in Northern China. Other than research and practice, she has a lot of other interests including Chinese ancient dance, poetry as well as photography. She started her first career as a journalist at the China Central Television (CCTV) after graduation. During her time of further studies at the University of Leicester, she began to develop special interests in clinical psychology and keen to become a psychotherapist. In 2019, she graduated from CAPA(China American Psychoanalysis Alliance) basic and advanced training program. Today, as a practitioner, she adopts the psychodynamic approach in her private practice facilitating clients to develop their self-awareness and examine the unresolved conflicts gradually.

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