Animus and Anima: Two Essays

Animus and Anima: Two Essays

by Emma Jung

A classic Jungian text tracing the appearance of the psyche in behavior, fantasies, dreams, and the myth of two elemental persons.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Psychology
  • Rating: 3.95
  • Pages: 96
  • Publish Date: May 22nd 1998 by Spring Publications
  • Isbn10: 0882143018
  • Isbn13: 9780882143019

What People Think about "Animus and Anima: Two Essays"

Subjectively, humanly speaking, it is wrong because in that moment the partner, or the relationship, is best served not by discernment or objectivity but by sympathetic feeling." "However, projection means not only the transference of an image to another person, but also of the activities that go with it, so that a man to whom the animus image has been transferred is expected to take over all the functions that have remained undeveloped in the woman in question, whether the thinking function, or the power to act, or responsibility toward the outside world. Many women even keep themselves artificially unconscious solely to avoid making this sacrifice." "The anima as a rule is projected first upon a real woman; this may lead the man to enter upon a relation with her that he might otherwise find impossible ...

I also wanted more insight into the relationship of a woman to her animus and a man to his anima, and that's what this book is all about. Emma Jung refers to several myths and fairy tales as examples of the nixie, water-woman or fairy who carries the man away into the unconscious, underwater or into a magical fairyland. Possessed of the energy that has flowed back into the unconscious, the animus figure becomes autonomous, so powerful, indeed, that it can overwhelm the conscious ego, and thus finally dominate the whole personality. However, projection means not only the transference of an image to another person, but also of the activities that go with it, so that a man to whom the animus image has been transferred is expected to take over all the functions that have remained undeveloped in the woman in question, whether the thinking function, or the power to act, or responsibility toward the outside world. On the other hand, her lack of discrimination has a good side; it makes the woman unprejudiced and therefore she frequently discovers and appraises spiritual values more quickly than a man, whose developed critical power tends to make him so distrustful and prejudiced that it often takes him considerable time to see a value which less prejudiced persons have long since recognized. The animus is expert at sketching in and making plausible a picture that represents us as we would like to be seen, for example, as the ideal lover, the appealing, helpless child, the selfless handmaiden, the extraordinarily original person, the one who is really born to something better, and so on. To this he owed his magic power; but because his feminine side had been neglected, it drew him back in the form of eros, and bound in the toils of nature this man who had identified himself with the logos principle. For half-human beings like these are part of nature and do not possess the freedom of choice allowed to man, which enables him sometimes to behave in a way that does not correspond to natures laws, as, for example, when his behavior is determined by insights and feelings which raise it above the purely natural. In so far as she is married to a man, one may assume that she represents his unconscious, natural anima, together with his undifferentiated feeling, since her transgressions occur in this realm. It is easy for a man to project the anima image to the more elemental women: they correspond so exactly to his own unconscious femininity. This can be taken as an intimation that behind the feminine nature-element there lies a masculine-spiritual factor, to which may be ascribed the knowledge of hidden things possessed by these elemental feminine creatures. Pg. 80 Both the nature creature and the anima represent the eros principle, the former transmitting hidden knowledge, just as the latter transmits information about the contents of the unconscious. Both exert a fascinating effect and often possess a power overwhelming enough to produce ruinous results, especially when certain condition affecting the relationship broken off or made impossible. She is a psychic factor that insists on being considered, not neglected as is the general tendency, since a man naturally likes to identify himself with his masculinity. A man by nature tends to relate to objects, to his work, or to some other field of interest; but what matters to a woman is the personal relation, and this is true also of the anima.

Interesting description of the Animus and Anima.