Through a Jungian Lens

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Projections, Hooks and Anima

with 4 comments

I saw this young woman twice in one day in two different locations in the small city of Niagara Falls.  In many ways, I saw her more as a lost child than as a woman.  But, that says more me than it does about this young woman.  Who is she?  Why is she self-isolating in a very public place?  There was a lot of care in preparing the “look” that she carried.

What is she looking for?  For me, I had thoughts that she wants to be seen yet works hard to craft a disguise so as to not really be seen.  Looking more closely, that disguise is more revealing than she would probably would want.  That is the problem with masks, the choice of masks tells a lot about the chooser, about the person wearing the mask.  In choosing a mask, one selects almost intuitively, or even unconsciously.  That almost sounds illogical as it is evident that there was a lot of care, conscious intent, evident in the mask being worn and lived at this moment.  One must look at the prompts for a certain colour, for a certain pose, for a uniform of sorts that helps others build an identity for the externalized person of this young woman.  Underneath the layers, the careful actions one meets with a shadow and a ego-defying fuzziness – one meets the personal unconscious.

And in looking closer, I lose sight of the drama and the theatre of the young woman and tap into a different drama, that which belongs to me, a drama of anima, a face f my own soul.  Why did this particular carrier of the feminine catch my attention when there were thousands of other women both young and old that moved in and out of my range of vision and perception?  There isn’t a sexual attraction that would have me possess and penetrate and incorporate this young woman.  Though she is evidently a woman, my response is that of woman-yet-to-be, the young feminine who is lost and waiting to be recognized . . .

What is anima trying to tell me?  What is being abandoned by me that seeks to have me reclaim and nourish and help flourish?

And to return to the young woman in the photo, I realise that she is real and that she has her own story to tell, one that exists outside of who I am and my momentary presence in the background of her story, perhaps not even noticed.  She is a real person regardless of being a hook for my projections and as such, I need to let go of my projections and look within so that I can own my own story.


Written by Robert G. Longpré

June 17, 2011 at 9:55 am

4 Responses

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  1. A thought-provoking post; thank you.


    June 17, 2011 at 10:49 am

    • I am glad that you found some value in the post. Thanks. 🙂


      June 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm

  2. Dear Robert,
    Thank you for this great learning Post of today in which you explained in detail the working of your (our, the) Anima and great photo from which you (and I) could experience the numinous.
    We are man – but how do you presume in the drama of this young woman is the involvement of her Animus ?
    Lets presume that her Mask is that of the poor orphan “I saw her more as a lost child than as a woman” – the feminine behavior (not a masculine) – could this mean that her Animus was not involved at all in the drama ?

    Opa Bear

    June 18, 2011 at 2:26 am

    • Hi Opa, as far as the young woman is concerned, all that I presume is my own story, my own responses, my own resonances. I doubt that she was aware of my presence as I didn’t exactly intrude on her space. Her story was about something else, with a different unconscious/conscious set of objectives. As for the involvement of her animus in the drama in which I became a part, of course it was present and active. Whether we recognise it or not, the archetypes are collective and encompassing. There are no boundaries that exist that limits the collective unconscious – all are contaminated, affected, influenced. Of course, she is blissfully unaware of all of that, of the fact that my own hooks were activated, that she served as a hook. I imagine that she felt completely alone, perhaps unloved and unlovable. Then again, it is all about my imagination in the end.


      June 18, 2011 at 12:43 pm

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