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999 travail

Visions Seminars

Then here is a question by Miss Hannah:

“You said in the last seminar, if the patient forgot the pain she would lose the symbol.

This reminds me of what you have said about man overcoming by killing the dragon, and woman by accepting her suffering.

Is she therefore now taking the specifically feminine way, after pulling down the animus?

It is also not clear to me why the wound is on the man and not on herself, or perhaps I should say, why is it just her mind that receives the wound and carries the symbol?”

This question will be largely settled by the next development in the vision.

But it might have been expected that the animus would receive the wound because we have had ample experience of the fact that whenever our patient omits something, the animus does it for her.

If she avoids suffering, the animus suffers; if she avoids action, the animus performs that action.

The animus by definition is the psychopompos, the leader of the soul, so he will submit to all those experiences which she avoids or of which she is unconscious.

So in this case, when the animus receives the wound, it is the wound which she is avoiding.

Miss Hannah: You specifically said there that it was not the animus but her mind.

Dr. Jung: Oh well, the mind is the animus under a certain condition, only a slight change and it is her mind. As soon as she applies it, it is her mind, but if it applies itself, it is the animus.

As the function of relatedness in a man is partially himself, it is the way he feels inasmuch as he controls it; inasmuch as he does not control it, it is the anima, and it is then autonomous.

As soon as any part of ourselves, any complex or function, becomes autonomous, it is personified; each part of our psyche is personified the moment it is dissociated.

This statement is not made by me alone, the fact was known rather early by the French psychological school.

The mind or the human psyche has the peculiarity that every part of it is personal, not in the sense of being like the person who has the complex, but a personality in itself.

It is as if you cut off a little finger and it continued to live quite independently; it would then be a little finger personality, it would be a he or a she, it would give itself a name and talk out of its own mind.

As when one asks children how they know something, they might say their little finger told them, as if that were a living thing in itself.

So certain thoughts that escape from control, that dissociate themselves, instantly assume an ego form.

For instance, if somebody with an erotic complex has a somnambulic fit or a schizophrenic attack, then that split, the erotic complex, suddenly escapes from control and speaks its own mind; it says “I,” and has an entirely different personality, perhaps it calls itself a different name.

One sees that particularly in mental diseases; the voices that the patients hear always say “I,” so they are convinced that there must be people talking in the next room, or they believe that strangers are shouting at them in the street.

They feel them to be absolutely different, yet it is obvious beyond any doubt that the hallucinations or voices are simply thoughts which other people think quite consciously.

Thus I am able to say, “I thought,” but if that thought should perchance be dissociated from my consciousness, it would be like a stranger, a strange ego that would say, “I want,” or “I am convinced.”

So we always have to deal with this great difficulty, that in fairly normal women the mind is at times her own property, she really can form a judgment, but if there is the slightest trouble, if she has forgotten or omitted something which she should have done, for instance, instantly there is a split and then the animus appears, something quite strange speaking in another voice.

It develops in this way.

For example, let us assume a quite impersonal case where we have all the elements: a happy couple make up their minds to go to the theater the next day to see an interesting play.

It is Monday when they discuss the plan and they are looking forward to it with great pleasure.

Then Tuesday the wife has forgotten to tell the girl to clean a certain pair of boots for her husband; and that pair of boots is important, because he has a sort of vanity and thinks he looks particularly smart in them; so they are a bit taboo, and only on certain days ought he to wear them.

The theater in the evening is such an occasion, therefore those boots should be cleaned, the wife promised to have them done and it should not be forgotten.

The girl always forgets them, because she dimly feels they are taboo.

If she is so immoral as to allow herself to be consciously in love with her master, she will clean those boots every day and put them before his door; but if she is a bit moral, she always forgets them, and then it is the duty of his wife to remind her of them.

But on account of that very secret complication, the wife is also inclined to forget them, and through that systematic forgetting she arouses the wrath of the husband.

He comes out of his room and looks for his shoes and there are the wrong pair.

Then he says: “But didn’t I tell you?”

And she says: “I thought you wanted these boots, you always prefer them when you go to the theater.”

Now that is not true at all and she never thought it, but in that moment the devil catches hold of her because she has forgotten something, and then it thinks.

And she says it with a tone of absolute conviction; perhaps she is even offended by her husband’s foolish idea that on such days he should wear his taboo shoes, that he suddenly declares now that he wants them.

So with aplomb she assures him that he has often told her that he wanted to wear the other boots on the day when he is proceeding to any important action.

Then there is trouble, she has forgotten, she has omitted something, and that omission is sufficient to turn her mind into an autonomous function, so instantly the animus comes up saying, “I thought.”

Whenever a woman begins like that you know she has not thought, just not, and that is most irritating to a man’s mind because he feels that she was thoughtless about a most important matter.

Unfortunately it hits him on a sore spot, the fatal spot being in this case that the shoes are taboo.

He has a sort of complex about looking smart on such a day, he knows it is ridiculous but his anima persuades him that he looks so smart in those shoes, she says:

“Don’t you remember when you saw them in the window of the shop, you said, ‘If I were standing in those shoes I would look marvellous!'” and so he bought them.

That is the kind of thing the anima does.

So the anima character of that particular object upsets his wife and calls forth the animus in her, and she is  quite likely to become dissociated whenever the shoes turn up.

You see, things are as secret as that, there is a secret game going on all the time.

Apparently it is all nonsense and when patients tell such stories you think they are fools to worry about such small things.

But the objects are really performing the psychological mystery.

It might be a certain chair, a table, a bottle of wine, a picture, and it sounds perfectly absurd, but if you go  carefully into the story, you find that those are all symbolic objects, objects of secret animus or anima cults; and since animus and anima were originally deities, everything belonging to them is exceedingly important.

One should always go into the secret history of such cases in order to find out the value of apparently quite unimportant little things, for they have some secret value and powerful magic effects.

You see it needs very little to change a mind into an animus; then after a while it is as if the animus were snapping back into place and it becomes controllable again; it is then as if the woman were picking up the thread, she sees what the thing is in reality.

It was like a mist before, she couldn’t quite understand; therefore women often deny afterwards having said or meant an animus opinion.

“But why did you say so?” “Oh, I thought it was so.”

When it thinks, the case is hopeless for the time being, there is no correction in the moment, one always has to wait until the mind is reestablished, and the animus has gone back into his own place.

It is the same with the anima of course; when a man has inadequate foolish feelings, the woman just has to wait until they have snapped back into the right place.  ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 1216-1218