Maya: the projection-making factor

Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita Queen Maya Birth, Nalanda, Bihar, India., c. 8th - 12th century, Us Public Domain
Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita Queen Maya Birth, Nalanda, Bihar, India., c. 8th – 12th century, Us Public Domain

In the image above we see Queen Maya, the Mother of Buddha in the Buddhist tradition. In Mahamaya tantra (Tantric Buddhism), Maya is the goddess who creates the illusion of duality.

Indian philosophy also speaks of Maya, as mother world, as illusion. Māyā माया is a Sanskrit word from the root “mā” which means “to measure”.[1] Maya, as mā, is an expression of the mother archetype, as mother of soul. In Aion, Carl Jung speaks of Maya:

“What, then, is this projection-making factor? The East calls it the “Spinning Woman” – Maya, who creates illusion by her dancing.” (Carl Jung, CW 9ii, para. 20)

Later he speaks more of Maya:

“She is the great illusionist, the seductress who draws him into life with her Maya-and not only into life’s reasonable and useful aspects, but into its frightful paradoxes and ambivalences where good and evil, success and ruin, hop and despair, counterbalance one another. Because she is greatest danger she demands from a man his greatest, and if has it in him she will receive it.” (CW 9ii, para. 24)

Reference:

  1. Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self by Carl Jung

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