Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Atman

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_54

In Hindu thought, Atman is the true Self of each individual, which is at one with the Divine, Brahman, the Absolute. C. G. Jung acknowledges indebtedness to this concept in Aion where he refers to the “Atmic self.” The Hindu concept differs from Jung, however, in that the Atman is one and the same in every person. Atman is Brahman since, as it is said in India, “That thou art.” Thus, God is the Indweller of every soul. The life task of each person is to discover Atman within.

In the Upanishads, ancient scriptures of India, Atman is described as the innermost nature of every living being, pure and unchanged. Neither birth nor death nor rebirth can alter Atman. It is the Real, the unchangeable. In contrast, the body, mind, and personality are changeable and are therefore defined as unreal, or illusory. This usage of the words Real (unchangeable) and unreal (changeable) often creates confusion in the minds of Westerners who use the same words differently. Whether Hindus chant, “Lead me...

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Bibliography

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mind Body Spirit InstituteStamfordUSA