Anima means Soul. It is actually borrowed from the Latin Anima (“a current of air, wind, air, breath, the vital principle, life, soul”), sometimes equivalent to animus (“mind”), both from Proto-Indo-European (“to breathe, blow”).
And the Latin term for the “animating principle” and the Latin translation of the Greek psyche: On the Soul (De anima, Aristotle’s treatise on the Soul). Soul the incorporeal essence of a living being in many religious, philosophical, and mythological traditions.
Then, as we see, the Anima (the Soul) can not have gender, and if we comprehend that we, women and also men, have the Anima in us, as we have the Soul in us, there might be many problems be solved in our every day of life.
Today, I share a piece of Dr Jung’s works from his overview of the most important basic concepts and connections of his analytical psychology. Here is the definition of Anima and Animus and their influence on human beings. That is, in my believe, very helpful for us to know these hidden developments of the unconscious on the reactions and behaviour of humans. Especially for us men! Of course, I partition it not to be too long and tedious for you. I have already written some articles: here, here, here.
First, let’s read what Jung means by Individuation:
Definitions: Individuation is… a process of differentiation that aims to develop the individual personality… Since the individual is not only an individual being but also requires a collective relationship to his existence, the process of Individuation does not lead to isolation but a more intensive and general collective context.
Of course, we might need to be careful about the term; “collective“, which Dr Jung doesn’t mean a gathering mass with that. It relates to our individualities and personalities and our past. (I have an eye to translate his explanation on Collective Unconscious if the time gives me a chance!)
Anyway, he says:
The Persona, the ideal image of the man as he should be, is internally compensated by female weakness. Through the individual playing the strong man on the outside, he becomes a woman, an Anima (for the definition of this term, see Definitions, in Psychological Types, GW 6, §§ 877-890), because it is the Anima that opposes the Persona. But because the inside is dark and invisible to the extraverted consciousness, and because one can think of one’s weaknesses the less, the more one is identical with the Persona, the counterpart of the Persona, the Anima, also remains entirely in the dark and is therefore initially projected, causing the hero to come under his wife’s slippers. If her increase in power is considerable, she bears it badly. She becomes inferior, and the man needs the welcome proof that it is not he, the hero, who is inferior in “private life” but his wife. On the other hand, the woman has that illusion, which is so attractive to many, that she has married at least one hero, unconcerned about her own uselessness. This game of illusions was often called the “content of life”.
Just as it is essential for the purpose of Individuation, of self-realization, that one knows how to distinguish oneself from what one appears to be to oneself and others, so it is also necessary for the same purpose that one recognizes one’s invisible system of relationships with the unconscious, viz the Anima becomes conscious of being able to distinguish oneself from her. One cannot distinguish oneself from something unconscious. Of course, when it comes to Persona, it’s easy to make someone understand that they and their position are two different things. On the other hand, it is difficult to distinguish oneself from the Anima, and that is so difficult because it is invisible. Yes, one even initially has the prejudice that everything that comes from within stems from the most fundamental of beings. The “strong man” will perhaps admit to us that he is actually seriously lacking in the discipline in “private life”, but that is precisely his weakness, with which he declares his solidarity. In this tendency, there is, of course, a cultural heritage that should not be despised. For if he recognizes that his ideal Persona is responsible for the nothing less than ideal Anima, his ideals are shaken, the world becomes ambiguous, and he himself becomes ambiguous. A doubt about the good overcomes him, and worse still, a doubt about his good intentions. Suppose one considers with what powerful historical assumptions our most private idea of a good intention is linked. In that case, one will understand that, in the sense of our previous worldview, it is more pleasant to accuse oneself of personal weakness than to shake ideals.
But since the unconscious factors are as determining facts as the entities that regulate the life of society, and the former as collective as the latter, I may as well learn to make a distinction between what I want and what I wish to be imposed by the unconscious, how I can see what my authority requires of me and what I desire. At first, however, only the incompatible demands from outside and inside are tangible, and the ego stands in between, like between the hammer and the anvil. Compared to this ego, which is usually nothing more than a mere plaything of external and internal demands, some entity is difficult to define, and I would under no circumstances want to give the insidious name “conscience”, despite the word itself in its best understood that instance would probably designate aptly. Spitteler described with unsurpassable humour what has become of our “conscience”. (Cf. Spitteler: Prometheus and Epimetheus, 1915; and Jung: Psychological Types, GW 6, §§ 261 ff.). The proximity of this meaning should therefore be avoided as far as possible. It is probably better to realize that this tragic game of opposition between inside and outside (represented in ‘Job‘ and ‘Faust‘ as God’s wager; Götterdämmerung) is basically the energizing of the life process, that tension of opposites which is incessant in self-regulation. Differing in appearance and purpose, these Opposing Powers actually signify and will the individual’s life; they oscillate around this as the middle of the scales. Precisely because they are related to each other, they also agree in a middle sense, which is, so to say, necessarily born out of the individual voluntarily or involuntarily and is therefore also sensed by him. One has a sense of what should be and what could be. Deviating from this hunch means going astray, error and disease.
It is probably no coincidence that our modern concepts of “personal” and “personality” derive from the word “persona”. As much as I can say of my ego that it is personal or a personality, I can just as well speak of my Persona that it is a personality with which I more or less identical. The fact that I have two personalities is not strange insofar as every autonomous or relatively autonomous complex has the peculiarity of appearing as a personality or personified. This is probably most easily observed in the so-called spiritistic manifestations of automatic writing and the like. The sentences produced are always personal statements and are presented in a personal form in the first person as if there were a personality behind every sentence fragment uttered. The naive mind, therefore, must immediately think of ghosts. As is well known, something similar can also be observed in the hallucinations of the insane. However, the latter are often even more precise than the former, merely thoughts or fragments of such, whose connection with the conscious personality can often be readily seen by everyone.
Let’s finish this part at this place, and for taking a break, watch a compatible challenge between Alfred Hitchcock and Carl Jung, including analyses on the matter of Anima.
Thank you all, and have a lovely weekend. (The illustration on the top: Michael Cheval’s art
Here, if one is interested, is the visual audio from Jung’s written words on Carl Spitteler’s Prometheus And Epimetheus: