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Conscious and Outward Manifestations of the Animus
The premise from which I start is that in the animus we are dealing with a masculine principle.
But how is this masculine principle to be characterized?
Goethe makes Faust, who is occupied with the translation of the Gospel of John, ask himself if the passage, “In the beginning was the Word,” would not read better if it were, “In the beginning was Power,” or “Meaning,” and finally he has him write, “In the beginning was the Deed.”
With these four expressions, which are meant to reproduce the Greek logos, the quintessence of the masculine principle does indeed seem to be expressed.
At the same time, we find in them a progressive sequence, each stage having its representative in life as well as in the development of the animus.
Power corresponds very well to the first stage, the deed follows, then the word, and finally, as the last stage, meaning.
One might better say instead of power, directed power; that is will, because mere power is not yet human, nor is it spiritual.
This four-sidedness characterizing the logos principle presupposes, as we see, an element of consciousness, because without consciousness neither will, word, deed, nor meaning is conceivable.
Just as there are men of outstanding physical power, men of deeds, men of words, and men of wisdom, so, too, does the animus image differ in accordance with the woman’s particular stage of development or her natural gifts.
This image may be transferred to a real man who comes by the animus role because of his resemblance to it; alternatively, it may appear as a dream or phantasy figure; but since it represents a living psychic reality, it lends a definite coloration from within the woman herself to all that she does.
For the primitive woman, or the young woman, or for the primitive in every woman, a man distinguished by physical prowess becomes an animus figure.
Typical examples are the heroes of legend, or present-day sports celebrities, cowboys, bull fighters, aviators, and so on.
For more exacting women, the animus figure is a man who accomplishes deeds, in the sense that he directs his power toward something of great significance.
The transitions here are usually not sharp, because power and deed mutually condition one another.
A man who rules over the “word” or over “meaning” represents an essentially intellectual tendency, because word and meaning correspond par excellence to mental capacities.
Such a man exemplifies the animus in the narrower sense, understood as being a spiritual guide and as representing the intellectual gifts of the woman.
It is at this stage, too, for the most part, that the animus becomes problematical, hence, we shall have to dwell on it longest.
Animus images representing the stages of power and deed are projected upon a hero figure.
But there are also women in whom this aspect of masculinity is already harmoniously coordinated with the feminine principle and lending it effective aid.
These are the active, energetic, brave, and forceful women.
But also there are those in whom the integration has failed, in whom masculine behavior has overrun and suppressed the feminine principle.
These are the over-energetic, ruthless, brutal, men-women, the Xantippes who are not only active but aggressive.
In many women, this primitive masculinity is also expressed in their erotic life, and then their approach to love has a masculine aggressive character and is not, as is usual in women, involved with and determined by feeling but functions on its own, apart from the rest of the personality, as happens predominantly with men.
On the whole, however, it can be assumed that the more primitive forms of masculinity have already been assimilated by women.
Generally speaking, they have long ago found their applications in the feminine way of life, and there have long been women whose strength of will, purposefulness, activity, and energy serve as helpful forces in their otherwise quite feminine lives.
The problem of the woman of today seems rather to lie in her attitude to the animus-logos, to the masculine-intellectual element in the narrower sense; because the extension of consciousness in general, greater consciousness in all fields, seems to be an inescapable demand – as well as a gift – of our time.
One expression of this is the fact that along with the discoveries and inventions of the last fifty years, we have also had the beginning of the so-called woman’s movement, the struggle of women for equal rights with men. Happily, we have today survived the worst product of this struggle, the “bluestocking.”
Woman has learned to see that she cannot become like a man because first and foremost she is a woman and must be one.
However, the fact remains that a certain sum of masculine spirit has ripened in woman’s consciousness and must find its place and effectiveness in her personality.
To learn to know these factors, to coordinate them so that they can play their part in a meaningful way, is an important part of the animus problem.
From time to time we hear it said that there is no necessity for woman to occupy herself with spiritual or intellectual matters, that this is only an idiotic aping of man, or a competitive drive betokening megalomania.
Although this is surely true in many cases, especially of the phenomena at the beginning of the woman’s movement, nevertheless, as an explanation of the matter, it is not justified.
Neither arrogance nor presumption drives us to the audacity of wanting to be like God – that is, like man; we are not like Eve of old, lured by the beauty of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, nor does the snake encourage us to enjoy it.
No, there has come to us something like a command; we are confronted with the necessity of biting into this apple, whether we think it good to eat or not, confronted with the fact that the paradise of naturalness and unconsciousness, in which many of us would only too gladly tarry, is gone forever.
This, then, is how matters stand fundamentally, even if on the surface appearances may sometimes be otherwise.
And because so significant a turning point is concerned, we must not be astonished at unsuccessful efforts, and grotesque exaggerations, nor allow ourselves to be daunted by them.
If the problem is not faced, if woman does not meet adequately the demand for consciousness or intellectual activity, the animus becomes autonomous and negative, and works destructively on the individual herself and in her relations to other people.
This fact can be explained as follows: if the possibility of spiritual functioning is not taken up by the conscious mind, the psychic energy intended for it falls into the unconscious, and there activates the archetype of the animus.
Possessed of the energy that has flowed back into the unconscious, the animus figure becomes autonomous, so powerful, indeed, that it can overwhelm the conscious ego, and thus finally dominate the whole personality.
I must add here that I start with the view that in the human being there is a certain basic idea to be fulfilled, just as, for instance, in an egg or a seed corn there is already contained the idea of the life destined to come from it.
Therefore I speak of a sum of available psychic energy which is intended for spiritual functions, and ought to be applied to them.
Expressed figuratively in terms of economics, the situation is like that dealt with in a household budget, or other enterprise of some sort where certain sums of money are provided for certain purposes.
In addition, from time to time sums previously used in other ways will become available, either because they are no longer needed for those purposes or because they cannot otherwise be invested.
In many respects, this is the case with the woman of today.
In the first place, she seldom finds satisfaction in the established religion, especially if she is a Protestant.
The church which once to a large extent filled her spiritual and intellectual needs no longer offers her this satisfaction.
Formerly, the animus, together with its associated problems, could be transferred to the beyond (for to many women the Biblical Father-God meant a metaphysical, superhuman aspect of the animus image), and as long as spirituality could be thus convincingly expressed in the generally valid forms of religion, no conflict developed.
Only now when this can no longer be achieved, does our problem arise.
A further reason for the existence of a problem regarding the disposal of psychic energy is that through the possibility of birth control a considerable sum of energy has been freed.
It is doubtful whether woman herself can rightly estimate how large is this sum which was previously needed to maintain a constant state of readiness for her biological task.
A third cause lies in the achievements of technology that substitute new means for so many tasks to which woman previously applied her inventiveness and her creative spirit.
Where she formerly blew up a hearth fire, and thus still accomplished the Promethean act, today she turns a gas plug or an electrical switch and has no inkling of what she sacrifices by these practical novelties, nor what consequences the loss entails.
For everything not done in the traditional way will be done in a new way, and that is not altogether simple.
There are many women who, when they have reached the place where they are confronted by intellectual demands, say, “I would rather have another child,” in order to escape or at least to postpone the uncomfortable and disturbing demand.
But sooner or later a woman must accommodate herself to meet it, for the biological demands naturally decrease progressively after the first half of life so that in any case a change of attitude is unavoidable, if she does not want to fall victim to a neurosis or some other form of illness.
Moreover, it is not only the freed psychic energy that confronts her with a new task, but equally the aforementioned law of the time-moment, the kairos, to which we are all subject and from which we cannot escape, obscure though its terms appear to us to be.
In fact, our time seems quite generally to require a widening of consciousness.
Thus, in psychology, we have discovered and are investigating the unconscious; in physics, we have become aware of phenomena and processes rays and waves, for instance – which up till now were imperceptible and not part of our conscious knowledge.
New worlds, with the laws that govern them, open up as, for example, that of the atom.
Furthermore, telegraph, telephone, radio, and technically perfected instruments of every sort bring remote things near, expanding the range of our sense perceptions over the whole earth and even far beyond it.
In all of this, the extension and illumination of consciousness is expressed.
To discuss further the causes and aims of this phenomenon would lead us too far afield; I mention it only as a joint factor in the problem which is so acute for the woman of today, the animus problem.
The increase in consciousness implies a leading over of psychic energy into new paths.
All culture, as we know, depends on such a deflection, and the capacity to bring it about is what distinguishes men from animals.
But this process involves great difficulties; indeed, it affects us almost like a sin, a misdeed, as is shown in such myths as the Fall of man, or the theft of fire by Prometheus, and that is how we may experience it in our own lives.
Nor is this astonishing since it concerns the interruption or reversal of the natural course of events, a very dangerous venture.
For this reason, this process has always been closely connected with religious ideas and rites. Indeed, the religious mystery, with its symbolical experience of death and rebirth, always means this mysterious and miraculous process of transformation.
As is evident in the myths just mentioned concerning the Fall of man and the stealing of fire by Prometheus, it is the logos – that is, knowledge, consciousness, in a word – that lifts man above nature.
But this achievement brings him into a tragic position between animal and God.
Because of it, he is no longer the child of mother nature; he is driven out of paradise, but also, he is no god, because he is still tied inescapably to his body and its natural laws, just as Prometheus was fettered to the rock.
Although this painful state of suspension, of being tom between spirit and nature, has long been familiar to man, it is only recently that woman has really begun to feel the conflict.
And with this conflict, which goes hand in hand with an increase of consciousness, we come back to the animus
problem that eventually leads to the opposites, to nature and spirit and their harmonization.
How do we experience this problem? How do we experience the spiritual principle?
First of all, we become aware of it in the outside world.
The child usually sees it in the father, or in a person taking the place of the father; later, perhaps, in a teacher or elder brother, husband, friend, finally, also, in the objective documents of the spirit, in church, state, and society with all their institutions, as well as in the creations of science and the arts.
For the most part, direct access to these objective forms of the spirit is not possible for a woman; she finds it only through a man, who is her guide and intermediary.
This guide and intermediary then becomes the bearer or representative of the animus image; in other words, the animus is projected upon him.
As long as the projection succeeds, that is, as long as the image corresponds to a certain degree with the bearer, there is no real conflict.
On the contrary, this state of affairs seems to be, in a certain sense, perfect, especially when the man who is the spiritual intermediary is also at the same time perceived as a human being to whom one has a positive, human relationship.
If such a projection can be permanently established this might be called an ideal relationship, ideal because
without conflict, but the woman remains unconscious.
The fact that today it is no longer fitting to remain so unconscious seems, however, to be proved by the circumstance that many if not most women who believe themselves to be happy and content in what purports to be a perfect animus relationship are troubled with nervous or bodily symptoms.
Very often anxiety states appear, sleeplessness and general nervousness, or physical ills such as headache and other pains, disturbances of vision, and, occasionally, lung affections.
I know of several cases in which the lungs became affected at a time when the animus problem became acute, and were cured after the problem was recognized and understood as such.3
(Perhaps the organs of breathing have a peculiar relationship to spirit, as is suggested by the words animus or pneuma and Hauch) breath, or Geist) spirit, and therefore react with special sensitivity to the processes of the spirit.
Possibly any other organ could just as well be affected, and it is simply a question of psychic energy which, finding no suitable application and driven back upon itself, attacks any weak point.)
Such a total transference of the animus image as that described above creates, together with an apparent satisfaction and completeness, a kind of compulsive tie to the man in question and a dependence on him that often increases to the point of becoming unbearable.
This state of being fascinated by another and wholly under his influence is well known under the term “transference,” which is nothing else than projection.
However, projection means not only the transference of an image to another person, but also of the activities that go with it, so that a man to whom the animus image has been transferred is expected to take over all the functions that have remained undeveloped in the woman in question, whether the thinking function, or the power to act, or responsibility toward the outside world.
In turn, the woman upon whom a man has projected his anima must feel for him, or make relationships
for him, and this symbiotic relationship is, in my opinion, the real cause for the compulsive dependence that exists in these cases.
But such a state of completely successful projection is usually not of very long duration – especially not if the woman is in a close relationship to the man in question.
Then the incongruity between the image and the image-bearer often becomes all too obvious.
An archetype, such as the animus represents, will never really coincide with an individual man, the less so the more individual that man is.
Individuality is really the opposite of the archetype, for what is individual is not in any way typical but the unique intermixture of characteristics, possibly typical in themselves.
When this discrimination between the image and the person sets in we become aware, to our great confusion and disappointment, that the man who seemed to embody our image does not correspond to it in the least, but continually behaves quite differently from the way we think he should.
At first we perhaps try to deceive ourselves about this and often succeed relatively easily, thanks to an aptitude for effacing differences, which we owe to blurred powers of discrimination.
Oftentimes we try with real cunning to make the man be what we think he ought to represent.
Not only do we consciously exert force or pressure; far more frequently we quite unconsciously force our partner, by our behavior, into archetypal or animus reactions.
Naturally, the same holds good for the man in his attitude toward the woman.
He, too, would like to see in her the image that floats before him, and by this wish, which works like a suggestion, he may bring it about that she does not live her real self but becomes an anima figure.
This, and the fact that the anima and animus mutually constellate each other (since an anima manifestation calls forth the animus, and vice versa, producing a vicious circle very difficult to break), forms one of the worst complications in the relations between men and women.
But by the time the incongruity between the man and the animus figure has been discovered, a woman is already in the midst of the conflict, and there remains nothing for her to do but to carry through to completion the process of discriminating between the image within and the man outside.
Here we come to what is most essentially meaningful in the animus problem, namely, the masculine-intellectual component within the woman herself.
It seems to me that to relate to this component, to know it, and to incorporate it into the rest of the personality, are central elements of this problem, which is perhaps the most important of all those concerning the woman of today.
That the problem has to do with a natural predisposition, an organic factor belonging to the individuality and intended to function, explains why the animus is able to attract psychic energy to itself until it becomes an overwhelming and autonomous figure.
It is probable that all organs or organic tendencies attract to themselves a certain amount of energy, which means readiness for functioning, and that when a particular organ receives an insufficient amount of energy this fact is made known by the manifestation of disturbances O! by the development of symptoms.
Applying this idea to the psyche, I would conclude from the presence of a powerful animus figure – a so-called
“possession by the animus” – that the person in question gives too little attention to her own masculine-intellectual logos tendency,a nd has either developed and applied it insufficiently or not in the right way.
Perhaps this sounds paradoxical because, seen from the outside, it appears as if it were the feminine principle which is not taken sufficiently into account, since the behavior of such women seems on the surface to be too masculine and suggests a lack of femininity.
But in the masculinity brought to view, I see more of a symptom, a sign that something masculine in the woman claims attention.
It is true that what is primarily feminine is overrun and repressed by the autocratic entrance upon the scene of this masculinity, but the feminine element can only get into its right place by a detour that includes coming to terms with the masculine factor, the animus.
To busy ourselves simply in an intellectual or objectively masculine way seems insufficient, as can be seen in many women who have completed a course of study and practice a heretofore masculine, intellectual calling, but who, nonetheless, have never come to terms with the animus problem.
Such a masculine training and way of life may well be achieved by identification with the animus, but then the feminine side is left out in the cold.
What is really necessary is that feminine intellectuality, logos in the woman, should be so fitted into the nature and life of the woman that a harmonious cooperation between the feminine and masculine factors ensues and no part is condemned to a shadowy existence.
The first stage on the right road is, therefore, the withdrawal of the projection by recognizing it as such, and thus freeing it from the object.
This first act of discrimination, simple as it may seem, nonetheless means a difficult achievement and often a painful renunciation.
Through this withdrawal of the projection we recognize that we are not dealing with an entity outside ourselves but a quality within; and we see before us the task of learning to know the nature and effect of this factor, this “man in us,” in order to distinguish him from ourselves.
If this is not done, we are identical with the animus or possessed by it, a state that creates the most nwholesome effects.
For when the feminine side is so overwhelmed and pushed into the background by the animus, there easily arise depressions, general dissatisfaction, and loss of interest in life.
These are all intelligible symptoms pointing to the fact that one half of the personality is partly robbed of life by the encroachment of the animus.
Besides this, the animus can interpose itself in a disturbing way between oneself and other people, between oneself and life in general.
It is very difficult to recognize such a possession in oneself, all the more difficult the more complete it is. Therefore it is a great help to observe the effect one has on other people, and to judge from their reactions whether these can possibly have been called forth by an unconscious animus identification.
This orientation derived from other people is an invaluable aid in the laborious process – often beyond one’s individual powers – of clearly distinguishing the animus and assigning it to its rightful place.
Indeed, I think that without relationship to a person with respect to whom it is possible to orient oneself again and again, it is almost impossible ever to free oneself from the demonic clutch of the animus.
In a state of identification with the animus, we think, say, or do something in the full conviction that it is we who
are doing it, while in reality, without our having been aware of it, the animus has been speaking through us.
Often it is very difficult to realize that a thought or opinion has been dictated by the animus and is not one’s own most particular conviction, because the animus has at its command a sort of aggressive authority and power of suggestion.
It derives this authority from its connection with the universal mind, but the force of suggestion it exercises is due to woman’s own passivity in thinking and her corresponding lack of critical ability.
Such opinions or concepts, usually brought out with great aplomb, are especially characteristic of the animus.
They are characteristic in that, corresponding to the principle of the logos, they are generally valid concepts or truths which, though they may be quite true in themselves, do not fit in the given instance because they fail to consider what is individual and specific in a situation.
Ready-made, incontrovertibly valid judgments of this kind are really only applicable in mathematics, where two times two is always four.
But in life they do not apply for there they do violence, either to the subject under discussion or to the person being addressed, or even to the woman herself who delivers a final judgment without having taken all of her own reactions into account.
The same sort of unrelated thinking also appears in a man when he is identified with reason or the logos principle and does not himself think, but lets ” it” think.
Such men are naturally especially well-suited to embody the animus of a woman.
But I cannot go into this further because I am concerned here exclusively with feminine psychology.
One of the most important ways that the animus expresses itself, then, is in making judgments, and as it happens with judgments, so it is with thoughts in general.
From within, they crowd upon the woman in already complete, irrefutable forms.
Or, if they come from without, she adopts them because they seem to her somehow convincing or attractive.
But usually she feels no urge to think through and thus really to understand the ideas which she adopts and, perhaps, even propagates further.
Her undeveloped power of discrimination results in her meeting valuable and worthless ideas with the same enthusiasm or with the same respect, because anything suggestive of mind impresses her enormously and exerts an uncanny fascination upon her.
This accounts for the success of so many swindlers who often achieve incomprehensible effects with a sort of pseudo-spirituality.
On the other hand, her lack of discrimination has a good side; it makes the woman unprejudiced and therefore she frequently discovers and appraises spiritual values more quickly than a man, whose developed critical power tends to make him so distrustful and prejudiced that it often takes him considerable time to see a value which less prejudiced persons have long since recognized.
The real thinking of women (I refer here to women in general, knowing well that there are many far above this level who have already differentiated their thinking and their spiritual natures to a high degree) is preeminently practical and applied.
It is something we describe as sound common sense, and is usually directed to what is close at hand and personal.
To this extent it functions adequately in its own place and does not actually belong to what we mean by animus in the stricter sense.
Only when woman’s mental power is no longer applied to the mastering of daily tasks but goes beyond, seeking
a new field of activity, does the animus come into play.
In general, it can be said that feminine mentality manifests an undeveloped, childlike, or primitive character; instead of the thirst for knowledge, curiosity; instead of judgment, prejudice; instead of thinking, imagination or dreaming; instead of will, wishing.
Where a man takes up objective problems, a woman contents herself with solving riddles; where he battles for knowledge and understanding, she contents herself with faith or superstition, or else she makes assumptions.
Clearly, these are well-marked pre-stages that can be shown to exist in the minds of children as well-as in those of-primitives.
Thus, the curiosity of children and primitives is familiar to us, as are also the roles played by belief and superstition.
In the Edda there is a riddle contest between the wandering Odin and his host, a memorial of the time when the masculine mind was occupied with riddle guessing as woman’s mind is still today.
Similar stories have come down to us from antiquity and the Middle Ages.
We have the riddle of the Sphinx, or of Oedipus, the hair-splitting of the sophists and scholastics.
So-called wishful thinking also corresponds to a definite stage in the development of the mind.
It appears as a motif in fairy tales, often characterizing something in the past, as when the stories refer to “the time when wishing was still helpful. ”
The magic practice of wishing that something would befall a person is founded on the same idea.
Grimm, in his German mythology, points to the connection between wishing, imagining, and thinking.
According to him,
“An ancient Norse name for Wotan or Odin seems to be Oski or Wish, and the Valkyries were also called Wish Maidens. Odin, the wind-god and wanderer, the lord of the army of spirits, the inventor of runes, is a typical spirit god, but of a primitive form still near to nature.”
As such, he is lord of wishes.
He is not only the giver of all that is good and perfect as comprehended under wishing, but also it is he who, when evoked, can create by a wish.
Grimm says, “Wishing is the measuring, outpouring, giving, creating power. It is the power that shapes, imagines, thinks, and is therefore imagination, idea, form.”
And in another place he writes:
” In Sanskrit ‘wish’ is significantly called manorathaJ the wheel of the mind – it is the wish that turns the wheel of thought.”
The woman’s animus in its superhuman, divine aspect is comparable to such a spirit and wind-god.
We find the animus in a similar form in dreams and phantasies, and this wish character is peculiar to feminine thinking.
If we bear in mind that power to imagine means to man nothing less than the power to make at will a mental image of anything he chooses, and that this image, though immaterial, cannot be denied reality, then we can understand how it is that imagining, thinking, wishing, and creating have been rated as equivalents.
Especially in a relatively unconscious condition, where outer and inner reality are not sharply distinguished but flow into one another, it is easily possible that a spiritual reality, that is, a thought or an image, can be taken as concretely real.
In primitives, too, there is to be found this equivalence between outer concrete and inner spiritual reality. (Levy-Bruhl gives many examples of this, but it would take us too far afield to say more about it here.)
The same phenomenon is found very clearly expressed in feminine mentality.
We are astonished to discover, on closer inspection, how often the thought comes to us that things must happen in a certain way, or that a person who interests us is doing this or that, or has done it, or will do it.
We do not pause to compare these intuitions with reality.
We are already convinced of their truth, or at least are inclined to assume that the mere idea is true and that it corresponds to reality.
Other phantasy structures also are readily taken as real and can at times even appear in concrete form.
One of the animus activities most difficult to see through lies in this field, namely, the building up of a wish-image of oneself.
The animus is expert at sketching in and making plausible a picture that represents us as we would like to be seen, for example, as the “ideal lover,” the “appealing, helpless child,” the “selfless handmaiden,” the “extraordinarily original person,” the “one who is really born to something better,” and so-on.
This-activity naturally lends the-animus power-over us until we voluntarily, or perforce, make up our minds to sacrifice the highly colored picture and see ourselves as we really are.
Very frequently, feminine activity also expresses itself in what is largely a retrospectively oriented pondering over what we ought to have done differently in life, and how we ought to have done it; or, as if under compulsion, we make up strings of causal connections.
We like to call this thinking; though, on the contrary, it is a form of mental activity that is strangely pointless and unproductive, a form that really leads only to self-torture.
Here, too, there is again a characteristic failure to discriminate between what is real and what has been thought or imagined.
We could say, then, that feminine thinking, in so far as it is not occupied practically as sound common sense, is really not thinking, but, rather, dreaming, imagining, wishing, and fearing (i.e., negative wishing).
The power and authority of the animus phenomenon can be partly explained by the primitive mental lack of differentiation between imagination and reality.
Since what belongs to mind- that is, thought- possesses at the same time the character of indisputable reality, what the animus says seems also to be indisputably true.
And now we come to the magic of words.
A word, also, just like an idea, a thought, has the effect of reality upon undifferentiated minds.
Our Biblical myth of creation, for instance, where the world grows out of the spoken word of the Creator, is an expression of this.
The animus, too, possesses the magic power of words, and therefore men who have the gift of oratory can exert a compulsive power on women in both a good and an evil sense.
Am I going too far when I say that the magic of the word, the art of speaking, is the thing in a man through which a woman is most unfailingly caught and most frequently deluded?
But it is not woman alone who is under the spell of word-magic, the phenomenon is prevalent everywhere.
The holy runes of ancient times, Indian mantras) prayers, and magic formulas of all sorts down to the technical expressions and slogans of our own times, all bear witness to the magic power of spirit that has become word.
However, it can be said in general that a woman is more susceptible to such magic spells than a man of a corresponding cultural level.
A man has by nature the urge to understand the things he has to deal with; small boys show a predilection
for pulling their toys to pieces to find out what they look like inside or how they work. In a woman, this urge is much less pronounced.
She can easily work with instruments or machines without its ever occurring to her to want to study or understand their construction.
Similarly, she can be impressed by a significant-sounding word without having grasped its exact meaning.
A man is much more inclined to track down the meaning.
The most characteristic manifestation of the animus is not in a configured image (Gestalt) but rather in words (logos also means word).
It comes to us as a voice commenting on every situation in which we find ourselves, or imparting generally
applicable rules of behavior.
Often this is how we first perceive the animus to be different from the ego, long before it has crystallized into a personal figure.
As far as I have observed, this voice expresses itself chiefly in two ways.
First, we hear from it a critical, usually negative comment on every movement, an exact examination of all motives and intentions, which naturally always causes feelings of inferiority, and tends to nip in the bud all initiative and every wish for self-expression.
From time to time, this same voice may also dispense exaggerated praise, and the result of these extremes of judgment is that one oscillates to and fro between the consciousness of complete futility and a blown-up sense of one’s own value and importance.
The- animus’ second way of speaking is confined more or less exclusively to issuing commands or prohibitions,
and to pronouncing generally accepted viewpoints.
It seems to me that two important sides of the logos function are expressed here.
On the one hand, we have discriminating, judging, and understanding; on the other, the abstracting and setting up of general laws.
We could say, perhaps, that where the first sort of functioning prevails the animus figure appears as a single person, while if the second prevails, it appears as a plurality, a kind of council.
Discrimination and judgment are mainly individual, while the setting up and abstracting of laws presupposes an agreement on the part of many, and is therefore more appropriately expressed by a group.
It is well known that a really creative faculty of mind is a rare thing in woman.
There are many women who have developed their powers of thinking, discrimination, and criticism to a high degree, but there are very few who are mentally creative in the way a man is.
It is maliciously said that woman is so lacking in the gift of invention, that if the kitchen spoon had not been invented by a man, we would today still be stirring the soup with a stick!
The creativity of woman finds its expression in the sphere of living, not only in her biological functions as mother but in the shaping of life generally, be it in her activity as educator, in her role as companion to man, as mother in the home, or in some other form.
The development of relationships is of primary importance in the shaping of life, and this is the real’ field of feminine creative power.
Among the arts, the drama is outstandingly the one in which woman can achieve quality with man.
In acting, people, relationships, and life are given form, and so woman is there just as creative as man.
We come upon creative elements also in the products of the unconscious, in the dreams, phantasies, or phrases that come spontaneously to women.
These products often contain thoughts, views, truths, of a purely objective, absolutely impersonal nature.
The mediation of such knowledge and such contents is essentially the function of the higher animus.
In dreams we often find quite abstract scientific symbols which are hardly to be interpreted personally but represent objective findings or ideas at which no one is more astonished, perhaps, than the dreamer herself.
This is especially striking in women who have a poorly developed thinking function or a limited amount of culture.
I know a woman in whom thinking is the “inferior function,” whose dreams often mention problems of astronomy and physics, and also refer to technical instruments of all sorts.
Another woman, quite nonrational in type, when reproducing unconscious contents, drew strictly geometric figures, crystal-like structures, such as are found in text books on geometry or mineralogy.
To others still, the animus brings views of the world and of life that go far beyond their conscious thinking and show a creative quality that cannot be denied.
However, in the field where the creative activity of woman flowers most characteristically, that is, in human relationships, the creative factor springs from feeling coupled with intuition or sensation, more than from mind in the sense of logos.
Here, the animus can be actually dangerous, because it injects itself into the relationship in place of feeling, thus making relatedness difficult or impossible.
It happens only too frequently that instead of understanding a situation – or another person – through feeling and acting accordingly, we think something about the situation or the person and offer an opinion in place of a human reaction.
This may be quite correct, well-intentioned, and clever, but it has no effect, or the wrong effect, because it is right only in an objective, factual way.
Subjectively, humanly speaking, it is wrong because in that moment the partner, or the relationship, is best served not by discernment or objectivity but by sympathetic feeling.
It very often happens that such an objective attitude is assumed by a woman in the belief that she is behaving admirably, but the effect is to ruin the situation completely.
The inability to realize that discernment, reasonableness, and objectivity are inappropriate in certain places is often astonishing.
I can only explain this by the fact that women are accustomed to think of the masculine way as something in itself more valuable than the feminine way and superior to it.
We believe a masculine objective attitude to be better in every case than a feminine and personal one.
This is especially true of women who have already attained a certain level of consciousness and an appreciation of rational values.
Here I come to a very importance difference between the animus problem of the woman and the anima problem of the man, a difference which seems to me to have met with too little attention.
When a man discovers his anima and has come to terms with it, he has to take up something which previously
seemed inferior to him. It counts for little that naturally the anima figure, be it image or human, is fascinatingly attractive and hence appears valuable.
Up to now in our world, the feminine principle, as compared to the masculine, has always stood for something inferior.
We only begin at present to render it justice.
Revealing expressions are, “only a girl,” or, “a boy doesn’t do that,” as is often said to boys to suggest that their behavior is contemptible.
Then, too, our laws show clearly how widely the concept of woman’s inferiority has prevailed.
Even now in many places the law frankly sets the man above the woman, gives him greater privileges, makes him her guardian, and so on.
As a result, when a man enters into relationship with his anima he has to descend from a height, to overcome a resistance – that is, his pride – by acknowledging that she is the “Sovereign Lady” (Herrin) as Spitteler called her, or, in Rider Haggard’s words, “She-who-must-be-obeyed.”
With a woman the case is different.
We do not refer to the animus as “He-who-must-be-obeyed,” but rather, as the opposite, because it is far too easy for the woman to obey the authority of the animus – or the man – in slavish servility.
Even though she may think otherwise consciously, the idea that what is masculine is in itself more valuable than what is feminine is born in her blood.
This does much to enhance the power of the animus.
What we women have to overcome in our relation to the animus is not pride but lack of self-confidence and the resistance of inertia.
For us, it is not as though we had to demean ourselves (unless we have been identified with the animus), but as if we had to lift ourselves.
In this, we often fail for lack of courage and strength of will.
It seems to us a presumption to oppose our own unauthoritative conviction to those judgments of the animus, or the man, which claim a general validity.
For a woman to work herself up to a point of such apparently presumptuous spiritual independence often costs a great deal, especially because it can so easily be misunderstood or misjudged.
But without this sort of revolt, no matter what she has to suffer as a consequence, she will never be free from the power of the tyrant, never come to find herself.
Viewed from the outside, it often seems to be just the other way round; because all too frequently one is aware only of an overweening assurance and aplomb, and very little modesty or lack of confidence is evident.
In reality, this defiant and self-assured, or even contentious attitude, should be directed against the animus, and is so intended at times, but generally it is the sign of a more or less complete identification with it.
Not only in Europe do we suffer from this now superannuated veneration of men, this overvaluation of the masculine.
In America, too, where it is customary to speak of a cult of woman, the attitude does not seem to be fundamentally different.
An American woman physician of wide experience has told me that all her women patients suffer from a depreciation of their own sex, and that with all of them she has to drive home the necessity of giving the feminine its due value.
On the other hand, there are extremely few men who undervalue their own sex; they are, on the contrary, for the most part extremely proud of it.
There are many girls who would gladly be men, but a youth or man who would like to be a girl would be looked upon as almost perverse.
The natural result of this situation is that a woman’s position with respect to her animus is quite different from a man’s relation to his anima.
And because of this difference in attitude, many phenomena which the man cannot understand as parallel to his anima experience, and vice. versa, are to be ascribed to the fact that in these problems the task of the man and the woman are different.
To be sure, the woman does not escape sacrifice.
Indeed, for her to become conscious means the giving up of her specifically feminine power.
For by her unconsciousness, woman exerts a magical influence on man, a charm that lends her power over him.
Because she feels this power instinctively and does not wish to lose it, she often resists to the utmost the
process of becoming conscious, even though what belongs to the spirit may seem to her extremely worth striving for.
Many women even keep themselves artificially unconscious solely to avoid making this sacrifice.
It must be admitted that the woman is very often backed up in this by the man.
Many men take pleasure in woman’s unconsciousness.
They are bent on opposing her development of greater consciousness in every possible way, because it seems to them uncomfortable and unnecessary.
Another point which is often overlooked and which I would like to mention lies in the function of the animus in contrast to that of the anima.
We usually say offhand that animus and anima are the mediators between the unconscious contents and consciousness, meaning by this that both do exactly the same thing.
This is indeed true in a general way, but it seems important to me to point out the difference in the roles played by the animus and the anima.
The transmission of the unconscious contents in the sense of making them visible is the special role of the anima.
It helps the man to perceive these otherwise obscure things.
A necessary condition for this is a sort of dimming of consciousness; that is, the establishment of a more feminine consciousness, less sharp and clear than man’s, but one which is thus able to perceive in a wider field things that are still shadowy.
Woman’s gift as seer, her intuitive faculty, has always been recognized.
Not having her vision brought to a focus gives her an awareness of what is obscure and the power to see what is hidden from a keener eye.
This vision, this perception of what is otherwise invisible, is made possible for the man by the anima.
With the animus, the emphasis does not lie on mere perception – which as was said has always been woman’s gift – but true to the nature of the logos, the stress is on knowledge, and especially on understanding.
It is the function of the animus to give the meaning rather than the image.
It would be a mistake to think that we are making use of the animus if we turn ourselves over to passive phantasies.
We must not forget that as a rule it is no achievement for a woman to give rein to her powers of phantasy; non-rational happenings or images whose meaning is not understood seem something quite natural to her; while to the man, occupation with these things is an achievement, a sort of sacrifice of reason, a descent from the light into darkness, from the clear into the turbid.
Only with difficulty does he say to himself that all the incomprehensible or even apparently senseless contents of the unconscious may, nonetheless, have a value. Moreover, the passive attitude which visions demand accords little with the active nature of a man.
To a woman, this does not seem difficult; she has no reservations against the non-rational, no need to find at once a meaning in everything, no disinclination to remaining passive while things sweep over her.
For women to whom the unconscious is not easily accessible, who only find entrance to its contents with difficulty, the animus can become more of a hindrance than a help if it tries to understand and analyze every image that comes up before it can be properly perceived.
Only after these contents have entered consciousness and perhaps already taken form ought the animus to exert its special influence.
Then, indeed, its aid is invaluable, because it helps us to understand and to find a meaning.
Yet sometimes a meaning is communicated to us directly from the unconscious, not through images or symbols, but through flashes of knowledge already formulated in words.
This, indeed, is a very characteristic form of expression of the animus.
Yet it is often difficult to discover whether we are dealing with a familiar, generally valid, and hence collective opinion, or with the result of individual insight.
In order to be clear about this, conscious judgment is again needed, as well as exact discrimination between oneself and the animus. ~Emma Jung, Animus and Anima, Page 2-27