Jung elaborated his pivotal theory of the archetype throughout his life's work.
In the Eastern tradition of yoga, Jung found corroboration of his own theories. Coward argues that Jung uses the term yoga to mean a way of life involving both psychology and philosophy. Jung's interest "from the beginning was not with Patanjali's technical definitions but with the spiritual development of the personality as the goal of all yoga" (Coward, p. 3). In October of 1932 Jung gave a series of seminars on chakra symbolism of Tantra Yoga entitled A Psychological Commentary on Kundalini Yoga. In an attempt to define samskara, memory trace, to his Western audience, he likens it to "...our idea of heredity...also, our hypothesis of the collective unconscious" (Kundalini, p. 8). In later editions of On the Psychology of the Unconscious, he placed a footnote at the end of a description of the collective unconscious where he describes it as containing the "...legacy of ancestral life, the mythological images: these are the archetypes..." and calls it "a deliberate extension of the archetype by means of the karmic factor...(
which is) essential to deeper understanding of the nature of an archetype" (CW, Vol. 7, p. 118n). Elsewhere Jung states that "we may cautiously accept the idea of karma only if we understand it a psychic heredity in the very widest sense of the word.
Psychic heredity does exist--that is to say, there is inheritance of psychic characteristics such as predisposition to disease, traits of character, special gifts, and so forth" (CW Vol. 11, p. 845). Jung continured to refute the notion of a personal karma since "the main bulk of life is brought into existence out of sources that are hidden to us. Even complexes can start a century or more before a man is born. There is something like karma" ("Letters", p. 436). Only later in his life did he begin to accept the possibility of a personal karma, more specific in its implications to a person's destiny than the collective attributes he had always assigned to it in helping him see corroboration of his theory of the collective unconscious in other religions. Jung connects the collective unconscious, ancestral memories and as yet unfilled out archetypal images with a sort of collective karma.
Although Jung openly credits karma theory as influencing his theories of the archetype
, Coward aptly points out that little recognition is given to this major Eastern influence by either Jacobi, Jung's sytematizer, or Jungian scholars ...this apparent attempt to hide or ignore the Eastern content in Jung's archetype may be...a fear among Jungians that such an admission would make their already suspect psychology even less acceptable to the mainstream of Western psychology (Coward, p. 98).