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Anima (Jung)

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Main article: Anima and animus

Anima, according to Carl Jung, is the feminine side of a male's unconscious mind. It can be identified as all the unconscious feminine psychological qualities that a male possesses. In a film interview, Jung was not clear if the anima/animus archetype was totally unconscious, calling it "a little bit conscious" and unconscious. In the interview, he gave an example of a man who falls head over heels in love, then later in life regrets his blind choice as he finds that he has married his own anima–the unconscious idea of the feminine in his mind, rather than the woman herself. The anima is usually an aggregate of a man's mother but may also incorporate aspects of sisters, aunts, and teachers.

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 viewed the anima/animus process as being one of the sources of creative ability.

The anima is one of the most significant autonomous complexes of all. It manifests itself by appearing as figures in dreams as well as by influencing a man's interactions with women and his attitudes toward them. Jung said that confronting one's shadow is an "apprentice-piece," while confronting one's anima is the masterpiece. He also had a four-fold theory on the anima's typical development, beginning with its projection onto the mother in infancy, continuing through its projection on prospective sexual partners and the development of lasting relationships, and concluding with a phase he termed Sophia, a Gnostic reference. It is worth noting that Jung applies similar four-fold structures in many of his theories.

In Italian and Spanish, anima is most closely translated as "soul," while in Latin , animus and anima may both be translated as "soul" or "mind," depending on context.

Anima in English LanguageEdit

  • Animal: anything that has a soul (differs from the scientific definition)
  • To animate: to instill life (a soul); to make autonomously mobile

Cultural referencesEdit

  • The concept of anima is referred to in Tool's album Ænima
  • Anima is the main focus for Rush's song "Animate" on their album Counterparts
  • Anima Animus is the name of an album by The Creatures
  • Anima is mentioned in the Joni Mitchell song "Don't Interrupt the Sorrow"
  • A creature called Anima appears in the Playstation2 videogame Final Fantasy X.
  • Ruin la Anima is a song title from the alternative progressive band Vacant Expression, on their debute album Theatre of Sleep
  • Anima, particularly as a source of creativity, is a primary theme of Federico Fellini's 1963 film, 8 1/2. In one of the film's many flashback/dream sequences, the word "Anima" is used as a part of some children's language game and becomes "Asa-Nisi-Masa."

References and further readingEdit

Jung's own writings on the subject of the anima may be found in the following books:

  • C. G. Jung, Gerhard Adler, R. F.C. Hull. Aion (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.9 Part 2). Bollingen, 1979. ISBN 069101826X.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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