Through a Jungian Lens

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Luna Cloaked in Mystery

with 2 comments

A photo taken later in the evening, before the darkness of night, has a halo envelop the moon.  In a way, it is easy for me to imagine the face of a bride cloaked in a veil, with the right side of her face in shadow.  But then again, I am a man; and as a man, I am pulled by the mysterious feminine.  That which pulls at me, is of course, already within me though buried under layer upon layer of unconsciousness.

As any typical human, man or woman, I yearn for completion, for meaning, for understanding.  As any typical man, I yearn to both contain and be contained by my contra-sexual other.  This sounds simple:  man wants, needs, desires woman:  woman wants, needs, desires man.  But, it isn’t so simple at all as we find out in living in the outer world.  Expecting a woman or a man to satisfy these yearnings is a recipe for disaster as can be verified in looking at the state of satisfaction in relationship for the modern human, man or woman.

In these modern times, we talk of the search for soul, of nourishing our soul.  For myself, soul is anima.  For a woman, soul is animus.  Both of these terms are based on the soul being the contrasexual “other” as archetype.  Often, dialogue that crosses gender barriers becomes bogged down in misconceptions and miscommunications because of gender.  For example, the idea that I have been trying to wrestle with in terms of “Sol” as a masculine archetype and “Luna” as a feminine archetype.  This same inner wrestling is found in the outer dimension in the comments to my posts.  In hopes of trying to find some way to bridge the differences, I turned to C.G. Jung’s works for an answer.

“In a woman the moon corresponds to consciousness and the sun to the unconscious.  This is due to the contrasexual archetype in the unconscious:  anima in a man, animus in a woman.”  (Jung, CW Volume 14, par 159)

It does all come down to consciousness and unconsciousness.  For me that unconsciousness has a feminine aura; for a woman that unconsciousness has a masculine aura.  Rather than externalize this as a conflict of men and women, or of self and other, one needs to discern that in the end it is about making the darkness within, less dark.

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2 Responses

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  1. Thank you for sharing this picture. The imagery of the bride-in-veil was a great way of looking at this.

    I am a huge fan of Robert A. Johnson. You probably are familiar with his work, but a few months ago I read “She: Understanding Feminine Psychology”, “Owning Your Own Shadow”, and “He: Understanding Masculine Psychology.” The contrast between the masculine and feminine psychologies are so far away, they almost meet in the middle, on the other side of the psychological loop.

    This picture, as I see it as a man as well as you do, is soft and mysterious, just like the metaphysical woman most of us grow up dreaming to be with.

    Dean Quick

    June 27, 2010 at 6:41 am

    • Yes, Dean, I have these books and have read them and a few others of Johnson’s as well. I notice that you are a musician. There is no doubt in my mind that all the arts are portals to self discovery. Thanks for joining in here and I hope your new blog site does well.

      Robert G. Longpré

      June 27, 2010 at 7:45 am


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