Through a Jungian Lens

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Anima (Animus) – Archetype and Complex and a Matter of Soul

with 3 comments

Since I am a man, my contra-sexual other, my soul is Anima, the inner feminine guide.  Strangely this anima is integral to who I am as well as being a distinct other, an other with its own autonomy that transcends the boundaries of “self.”  This photo captures the essence of anima for me, that dark, moist feminine that is both mystery and comfort, and more often, frustration.  Who ever said that having a soul was easy.

Before going further, I want to just add that animus, the contra-sexual other and soul for women becomes the second half of the larger universal soul, an essence that requires both for balance and wholeness.

That said, I will let Jung explain it better than I ever could:

The autonomy of the collective unconscious expresses itself in the figures of anima and animus.  They personify those of its contents, which, when withdrawn from projection, can be integrated into consciousness.  To this extent, both figures represent functions which filter the contents of the unconscious through to the conscious mind . . . Though the effects of anima and animus can be made conscious, they themselves are factors transcending consciousness and beyond the reach of perception and volition.  Hence they remain autonomous despite the integration of their contents, and for this reason they should be  borne constantly in mind. (Jung, CW 9ii, par 40; cited in Sharp, Jung Uncorked:  Book Two, 2008, p. 10)

Heartening news, I can reclaim those lost aspects of self that are embodied in the anima, but as Jung carefully notes, anima is more than those aspects of self.  Becoming aware of this nature of anima, I can pay better attention to her appearance in dreams and in my projections.  She serves as a beacon and as a guide.  She lets me know when I am betraying my soul, when I am causing grief to my self and to any woman who is the recipient of my projections, those denials of inner darkness.

As I meet anima as a figure in my dreams, she takes on a host of roles, that of mother, lover, child, witch and grace.  She allows me to learn to come to grips with complexes surrounding the feminine.  And in gifting me with her presence, I slowly gain awareness of those dark spaces.  And like the moon in the photo, light is brought into the darkness.  And like the moon, her existence is more than as a set of faces in my dreams.  She is shared with a larger world, a world in which together with her opposite, animus, becomes the holy whole of a universal soul.


3 Responses

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  1. i see what you mean here.
    its a cool picture


    February 1, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    • Thanks for the compliment. I checked out your site and found it very interesting, a great blend of poetry, photography and personal thought.

      Robert G. Longpré

      February 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm

  2. […] philosophers argue that x necessarily  creates ¬ x – just look around you: Ying and Yang, Animus and Anima (see: Jung), plus and minus, […]

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