1925 Seminar

“I would like now to try to present to you something about the psychology of women, using this same diagram, with a few changes (see Diagram 4 in comments).

We may say that the real man is seen by the woman on his bright side, and that her relationship to the real man is a comparatively exclusive one— that in this respect, it is just the opposite of the average relation of a man to the real woman. In a man this relationship is not exclusive.

When the average man permits comparison of his wife with other women he says, “She is my wife among women.”

To the woman, though, the object that personifies the world to her (a in our diagram) is my husband, my children, in the midst of a relatively uninteresting world.

This “unique” husband has a shadow side for the wife, just as we saw in the case of the man in relation to the real woman.

Similarly the animus has a bright and a dark side, but balancing the unique man in the conscious, we have in the unconscious of woman a multitude of animus figures.

Man understands his relation to his anima as being a highly emotional affair, while woman’s relation to her animus is more in the Logos field.

When a man is possessed by his anima, he is under peculiar feelings, he cannot control his emotions, but is controlled by them.

A woman dominated by her animus is one who is possessed by opinions. Nor is she too discriminating about these opinions.

She can easily say, “In nineteen hundred and so and so, Papa said this to me,” or, “Some years ago a man with a white beard told me this was true,” and so it remains true for her into eternity. It is felt as a silent prejudice by a man who meets this phenomenon in a woman.

It is something exceedingly baffling to him, and irritating to a degree through its power and invisibility. Now then we come to the woman’s relation to the collective conscious.

Since I have not a woman’s feelings, I am perhaps not competent to throw much light on what that relationship is, but inasmuch as the family seems the real basis of a woman’s life, perhaps it would be fair to say that her attitude toward the world of the conscious is that of a mother.

A woman too has a peculiar attitude toward nature, much more trusting than that of a man.

She is always saying, “Oh, well that will come out all right,” just when a man is ready to explode with anxiety.

There must be something like this to account for the fact that there are three times more suicides among men than among women.

But we can always find that, though there is not the marked split in the woman’s relation to the collective conscious that occurs in man, still there is enough of duality to permit us to make a symbol such as x’x.

In other words, the woman sees that the dear old god who is going to make everything come out all right has moods of his own, so one must not be too trusting.

This is the element of skepticism, the shadow side. Men tend to separate x and x’. Women tend to take them together.

If you listen to an argument between men you can always hear them keeping the negative and the positive aspects of the subject distinct; they may discuss now the one, now the other.

But begin an argument with a woman in which the premise carries in it this principle of discrimination, and in about two minutes she has shot through your whole logical structure by bringing the positive right into the middle field of the negative aspect and vice versa.

Nor can you ever persuade her that she has thus destroyed the logic of the discussion.

To her way of thinking, the two belong very close together.

This struggle for a principle of unity runs through all her psychological processes, just as the opposite principle, that of discrimination, runs through those of man.

Now when it comes to the unconscious of the woman, the picture becomes obscure indeed.

I think there again is to be found the figure of a mother, and again she has a dual aspect, but in a peculiar way.

As we saw with man, he has the definite division into good and bad, Cosmos and Chaos, but in woman’s collective unconscious it is a fusion of the human with the animal.

I have been tremendously impressed with the animal character of the unconscious of woman, and I have reason to think that her relation to the Dionysian element is a very strong one.

It looks to me as if man were really further away from the animal than the woman—not that he has not a strong animal likeness in him, but it is not so
psychological as in women.

It is as though in men the animal likeness stopped at the spinal cord while in women it extends into the lower strata of the brain, or that man keeps the animal kingdom in him below the diaphragm, while in women it extends throughout her being.

When man sees this fact in women, he immediately assumes that the animal nature of women is exactly like his own, the only difference being that she has more of it.

But that is altogether a mistake, for their animalness contains spirituality, while in the man it is only brute.

The animal side of woman is probably like that we would find in any such an animal as the horse, if we could see such an animal from within itself instead of just from the outside as we do see it.

If we were viewing the psychic life of a horse from within, it would appear very strange to us.

But a man is always looking at an animal from the outside—he has not the psychic animalness in his unconscious that a woman has in hers. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Pages 121 -124

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