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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