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Animus and Anima by Emma Jung


THE anima and the animus are two archetypal figures of especially great importance.

They belong on the one hand to the individual consciousness and on the other hand are rooted in the collective unconscious, thus forming a connecting link or bridge between the personal and the impersonal, the conscious and the unconscious.

It is because one is feminine and the other masculine that C. G. Jung has called them anima and animus respectively.

He understands these figures to be function complexes behaving in ways compensatory to the outer personality, that is, behaving as if they were inner personalities and exhibiting the characteristics which are lacking in the outer, and manifest, conscious personality.

In a man, these are feminine characteristics, in a woman, masculine.

Normally both are always present, to a certain degree, but find no place in the person’s outwardly directed functioning because they disturb his outer adaptation, his established ideal image of himself.

However, the character of these figures is not determined only by the latent sexual characteristics they represent; it is conditioned by the experience each person has had in the course of his or her life with representatives of the other sex, and also by the collective image of woman carried in the psyche of the individual man, and the collective image of man carried by the woman.

These three factors coalesce to form a quantity which is neither solely an image nor solely experience, but an entity not organically coordinated in its activity with the other psychic functions.

It behaves as if it were a law unto itself, interfering in the life of the individual as if it were an alien element; sometimes the interference is helpful, sometimes disturbing,

if not actually destructive.

We have, therefore, every cause to concern ourselves with these psychic entities and

arrive at an understanding of how they influence us.

If in what follows, I present the animus and its manifestations as realities, the reader must remember that I am speaking of psychic realities, which are incommensurable with concrete realities but no less effective for that reason.

Here I shall attempt to present certain aspects of the animus without, however,

laying claim to a complete comprehension of this extraordinarily complex phenomenon.

For in discussing the animus we are dealing not only with an absolute, an immutable entity, but also with a spiritual process.

I intend to limit myself here to the ways in which the animus appears in its relation to the individual and to consciousness. ~Emma Jung, Animus and Anima, Page 1-2