Saturday, June 2, 2007

Who is Your Animus?

Jung described four stages of animus development in a woman.
1. [The animus] first appears in dreams and fantasy as the embodiment of physical power, an athlete, muscle man or thug.
2. In the second stage, the animus provides a woman with initiative and the capacity for planned action. He is behind a woman's desire for independence and a career of her own.
3. In the next stage, the animus is the "word," often personified in dreams as a professor or clergyman.
4. In the fourth stage, the animus is the incarnation of spiritual meaning. On this highest level, like the anima as Sophia, the animus mediates between a woman's conscious mind and the unconscious. In mythology this aspect of the animus appears as Hermes, messenger of the gods; in dreams he is a helpful guide.
 HIS: To assimilate the effects of the anima, a man must discover his true feelings.
 HERS: To become familiar with the nature of the animus, a woman must constantly question her ideas and opinions.
"Though less written about, Jung also believed that every woman has an analogous animus within her psyche, this being a set of unconscious masculine attributes and potentials. He viewed the animus as being more complex than the anima, as women have a host of animus images while the male anima consists only of one dominant image.
Jung states there are four parallel levels of Animus development in a female. The four roles are not identical with genders reversed; the process of Animus development deals with cultivating an independent and non-socially subjugated idea of self by embodying a deeper Word (as per a specific existential outlook) and manifesting this word. To clarify, This does not mean that a female subject becomes more set in her ways (as this Word is steeped in emotionality, subjectivity, and a dynamicism just as a well developed Anima is) but that she is more internally aware of what she believes and feels, and is more capable of expressing these beliefs and feelings.
Both final stages of Animus and Anima development have dynamic qualities (being ever related to the innate motion and flux of this continual developmental process), open ended qualities (there is no static perfected ideal or manifestation of the quality in question), and pluralistic qualities (which transcend the need for a singular image, any subject or object can contain multiple archetypes or even seemingly antithetical roles)."
The animus tends to produce opinions in women. The creative woman in good relationship with her animus may be thoroughly feminine but have "invincible character and speak with power". She may have strong beliefs in what is right and wrong.The animus isn't meant to be negative. When properly developed, it can build a bridge to the Self through creative activity.The positive qualities of the animus are:
spiritual wisdom
It is a difficult task to develop a positive relationship with the animus. It can take much time and genuine suffering as it requires conscious attention.
"But," explains von Franz, "if [the woman] realizes who and what her animus is and what he does to her, and if she faces these realities instead of allowing herself to be possessed, her animus can turn into an invaluable inner companion."
The key to this process is that a woman must question the sacredness of her own convictions. Only then can she accept higher wisdom from the unconscious that contradicts the opinions of her animus.
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Friday, June 1, 2007

Where is Your Anima?

Jung believed anima development has four distinct levels.
The first is Eve, named for the Christian allegory of Adam and Eve. It deals with the emergence of a male's object of desire, yet simultaneously generalizes all females as evil and powerless.
The second is Helen, in allusion to Helen of Troy in Greek mythology. In this phase, women are viewed as capable of worldly success and of being self-reliant, intelligent and insightful, even if not altogether virtuous. This second phase is meant to show a strong schism in external talents (cultivated business and conventional skills) with lacking internal qualities (inability for virtue, lacking faith or imagination).
The third phase is Mary, named for the Christian theological understanding of the Virgin Mary (Jesus's mother). At this level, females can now seem to possess virtue by the perceiving male (even if in an esoteric and dogmatic way), in so much as certain activities deemed consciously unvirtuous cannot be applied to her. As per Ken Wilber's terminology, this third phase seems to represent Up spirituality while the second phase represents Down spirituality.
The fourth and final phase of anima development is Sophia, as previously mentioned for the Greek word for wisdom. Proper union and harmony now has taken place which allows females to posses combinations of virtuous and earthly qualities. The most important aspect of this final level is that, as the personification "Wisdom" suggests, the anima is now developed enough that no single object can fully and permanently contain the images related to the anima. As this point as well, this now esoterically understood feminine principle has the potential to be possessed by any person, male or female, although it is not necessarily possessed by any.
In broader terms, the entire process of anima development in a male is about the male subject opening up to emotionality, and in that way a broader spirituality by creating a new conscious paradigm that includes intuitive processes, creativity and imagination, and psychic sensitivity towards himself and others where it might not have existed previously.
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