In Hinduism and Buddhism one speaks of Saṃsāra. Saṃsāra is a Sanskrit word, the literal meaning of which is “a wandering through” . Samsara consists of continuous cycles of birth, life, death, and rebirth.
In Sanskrit, enlightenment is called moksha, as liberation or freedom from Samsara. In psychological terms, freedom from samsara expresses liberation from the object attachments and object identifications that are superimposed upon the true nature of the Self.
Western psychology locates the ego within a world of object representation and object identifications. The ego knows the world according to the senses: sound, smell, sight, touch, taste. The senses point outward toward the object world. To make sense of the object world the mind creates object representations: color, weight, size, shape, form, name, location, etc. We know objects by the names we give the objects and by the predicates we use to describe them.
If we try to know the nature of Self by the way of the object world, then we will only know the Self as an object. But, the true nature of the Self can never be known as an object. Moksha (enlightenment) is, in truth, realized through Self-knowledge (jnana). To know the nature of the Self, we must come to realize the Self beyond object representations.
The nature of Self is indeterminate, eternal, infinite, formless. It can never be an object representation. If we treat the Self as an object, we are attempting to give the Self object determinacy. Attempts to make the indeterminate Self into something determinate only lead to realizations of the Self as empty or void.
Though the Self is empty of object representation, it is not devoid of quality. To know the nature of the cosmic Self is to move beyond language, beyond object representation and object identification so as to experience the non-objectal qualities of the Self.
The Self is known through intuitive awareness. Symbolic life guides the psyche beyond the world of objects, of Samsara, into non-objectal quality. Archetypes guide the individual self on a path beyond object identification so as to discover the nature of the cosmic Self.