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letters Vol. II



Dear Dr. N., 12 November 1957

What you told me is a typical story of what I call the projection of the anima into a woman and of the animus

into a man.

Anima is the soul-image of a man, represented in dreams or fantasies by a feminine figure.

It symbolizes the function of relationship.

The animus is the image of spiritual forces in a woman, symbolized By a masculine figure.

If a man or a woman is unconscious of these inner forces, they appear in a projection.

The psychiatrist calls you “his equal,” and that feeling of relationship shows that you carry the image of his


Since he is unable to see you as a real woman behind his projection, you seem to be a “sphinx.”

In reality his soul is his sphinx, and he should try to solve the riddle.

You are wrong in assuming that he alone needs help.

You need help as well.

You call yourself a woman of a “very ordinary intellectual capacity” who has “never delved very deep into any

metaphysical subject.”

As your story shows, the projection of the animus into a “psychiatrist of international repute” happened because

you should get more psychological knowledge.

Knowing more about the soul and its mysteries you could free yourself from the fascination which makes you

suffer. In the second half of life one should begin to get acquainted with the inner world.

That is a general problem.

Your world seemed to be a happy one.

But the strange happenings showed that something ought to be changed.

The projection of anima and animus causes mutual fascination.

Phenomena which you describe as “telepathic” happen when one gets emotional, i.e., when the unconscious

has an opportunity to enter consciousness.

You really ought to know a bit more about the psychology of the unconscious.

It would help you to understand the situation, which-by the way-should be understood.

There is a little book by Frieda Fordham: Introduction to Jung’s Psychology (Pelican Books), which I recommend to you.

Faithfully yours,

C.G. Jung Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 402.