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Zen and the Art of Imitating the Ineffable

by John E. McCloud


I wrote the following essay, "Zen and the Art of Imitating the Ineffable," more than 20 years ago when I was living in Berkeley, California. It has never been published and has been read by only a few friends and other souls who have an interest in Jungian psychology, Zen Buddhism, mysticism, and similar subjects. I recently sent a copy to Eric Pettifor after reading his essay "Becoming Whole: Applied Psychoses," which I found in his web site on the internet. He suggested that I might want to make my essay available in the same way, and I agreed - so here it is. In the process of going through the essay again for the first time in many years, I found that I still agree with what I wrote 20 years ago, so for me at least it has passed the test of time. If any of you come across this and find it worth reading, I would enjoy hearing your comments. Please feel free to download it for your personal use.

John E. McCloud or
Sarasota, Florida 1996
All rights reserved.

(zipped MS Word 6.0 format for download, 36.9 KB)
(zipped text format for download, 23. 6KB)

Files zipped with WinZip, but any unzipper should do the trick.

Since tables don't reproduce reliably in text format, I've reproduced the one included in the paper for the benefit of those downloading the text version.

Levels and Types of Consciousness

Rational or Empirical Consciousness

Waking (active)

Dozing (passive)

Sleeping (inactive)

Ways in which the Unconscious manifests itself in Consciousness

Projection and Acting-out

Memories and Fantasies




The Unconscious

Active or Chaotic

Personal Material

Collective Material

State of Rest


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