Carl Jung: “Though the effects of anima and animus can be made conscious, they themselves are factors transcending consciousness and beyond the reach of perception and volition.”

Context:

Though the effects of anima and animus can be made conscious, they themselves are factors transcending consciousness and beyond the reach of perception and volition.

Hence they remain autonomous despite the integration of their contents, and for this reason they should be borne constantly in mind.

This is extremely important from the therapeutic standpoint, because constant observation pays the unconscious a tribute that more or less guarantees its co-operation.

The unconscious as we know can never be “done with” once and for all.

It is, in fact, one of the most important tasks of psychic hygiene to pay continual attention to the symptomatology of unconscious contents and processes, for the good reason that the conscious mind is always in danger of becoming one-sided, of keeping to well-worn paths and getting stuck in blind alleys.

The complementary and compensating function of the unconscious ensures that these dangers, which are especially great in neurosis, can in some measure be avoided.

It is only under ideal conditions, when life is still simple and unconscious enough to follow the serpentine path of instinct without hesitation or misgiving, that the compensation works with entire success.

The more civilized, the more unconscious and complicated a man is, the less he is able to follow his instincts.

His complicated living conditions and the influence of his environment are so strong that they drown the quiet voice of nature.

Opinions, beliefs, theories, and collective tendencies appear in its stead and back up all the aberrations of the conscious mind. Deliberate attention should then be given to the unconscious so that the compensation can set to work.

Hence it is especially important to picture the archetypes of the unconscious not as a rushing phantasmagoria of fugitive images but as constant, autonomous factors, which indeed they are. ~Carl Jung; Aion, Page 20