Carl Jung and the Anima | Ideals, Peace, and Violence | Purpose, Meaning, and the Present Moment
Enjoy this journey into the labyrinth...
Hello everyone…here is a journey into my labyrinth and I hope this provides you with something to contemplate.
For this letter, I’ve provided some thoughts that have been stuck in my mind this week…
I hope you enjoy them.
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What is Carl Jung’s concept of the anima? | And why you must integrate it into your psyche
I thought Carl Jung’s concept of the anima would be a helpful discussion for those enjoying my Red Book, as the recurring woman in my dreams appears to connect with Jung’s concept.
So, think of this section as a helpful reader’s guide section to my Red Book.
First a quick disclaimer…I’m mindful that Jung’s work is something that once you read it, your psyche may begin projecting his ideas onto your own interpretations. However, I’ve found Jung’s meaning-making mechanisms for the psyche helpful for understanding myself and making peace with existence…so maybe this will help you as well.
The anima is both an inner complex of the mind and an archetypal image of a woman in the male psyche. Translation…according to Jung : the anima is the inner feminine side of man that manifests inside the psyche.
And the animus, which I’ll cover more in-depth in another post, is the inner masculine side of a woman.
“The anima is not the soul in the dogmatic sense, not an anima rationalis, which is a philosophical conception, but a natural archetype that satisfactorily sums up all the statements of the unconscious, of the primitive mind, of the history of language and religion…It is always the a prior element in a man’s moods, reactions, impulses, and whatever else is spontaneous in psychic life.” — Carl Jung
According to Jung, the anima is often influenced by a man’s mother, and then his encounters throughout life with other women—such as friendships and relationships. This then creates a sort of projection/reflection within a man for their image of the feminine that they wish to embody.
Thus, men often see the anima personified in dreams by images of women connected with nature, a woman with a wise demeanor, the seductress, or the spiritual guide.
So, the anima becomes an intensified, exaggerated, and mythological image of all emotional relations men have with other people, especially women.
Jung says that men need to go deep inside themselves in order to integrate their anima, or everything she stands for will be uncontrollably projected.
This makes it common for men to see aspects of their anima in women, they become pulled into those aspects they feel within their own psyche.
“Though the effects of anima and animus can be made conscious, they themselves are factors transcending consciousness and beyond the reach of perception and violation. Hence they remain autonomous despite the integration of their contents, and for this reason, they should be borne constantly in mind.” — Carl Jung
Okay, but how do we integrate the anima?
And this is my important point that, whatever you think of Jung’s ideas, I find this very helpful. He sees great importance in understanding the manifestations of our unconscious through the use of active imagination.
Also known as…creativity.
Jung sees the importance of allowing those creative expressions of the mind to come out by whatever means you feel called to, be it painting, writing, music, dance, and many other various creative endeavors.
It’s about finding that outlet for your unconscious so that your inner psyche doesn’t lash out uncontrollably. It’s a method of creating a connection to the universe we live in! Your own unique connection through your understanding of your own psyche.
Have fun exploring!
Ideals are peaceful, history is violent | Do our ideals create violence?
“Ideals are peaceful, history is violent” — Fury
Ideals can become violence. The more we idealize the world, the more violently it can be. We create those ideals that act as gods and goddesses in our minds that become our own projection of perfection.
But history is violent.
We create ideals for people to follow, making them full of grand intentions of creating a better world.
Yet history is violent.
But we want a better world right?
It’s full of moments where people desired building their ideal narrative for the world…by force.
Those ideals we create in our minds are often an illusion, or at least full of particles of illusion.
We have many things within our minds that we want to be true; we sometimes even wish to will it into truth. But what happens when our ideals are being challenged? Will you allow that challenge to guide you into a momentary sense of doubt that allows you to question that ideal?
Ideals play a role in our evolving society, but I wonder what happens when we don’t allow them to bend and flow?
History is full of violence. It’s full of moments where some of our fellow humans were not willing to bend and flow, thus they forced suffering upon others.
We are very much the same, for what is history…but us.
History is the continuous record of things that happen to humanity. It’s full of ideals that humans wanted to follow and some were forced on them by violence.
Aren’t we all doing exactly the same thing?
History has been full of violence ever since humans threw their first stone.
Our ideals are peaceful.
But what about the actions we take in order to uphold those ideals?
That’s where the violence is found.
The clashing of narratives creates a perception that violence is necessary for those ideals.
But what happens when we continually allow our ideals to break down for something new? Our collective human ever-changing ideals could be peaceful. The violence comes in when we want to uphold the ideals of old because we desire their truth to remain the truth
Is there a road to peace without violence?
Peace is found in the acceptance of defeat.
So, fight for your ideals, but allow them to face defeat or your ideals will become the perpetrator of violence, and history will remain violent.
What do you think?
A couple of quotes I’ve been thinking about…
“For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.” — Viktor Frankl
We might all be here for a reason…
but you make the reason.
You discover your meaning.
“Tomorrow and plans for tomorrow can have no significance at all unless you are in full contact with the reality of the present, since it is in the present and only in the present that you live. There is no other reality than present reality, so that, even if one were to live for endless ages, to live for the future would be to miss the point everlastingly.” — Alan Watts
The present is where experience is found.
The present is where the lessons for the future are made.
The past is simply a narrative-based identity.
Life is now.
Be here now.
Talk to you soon,
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