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Carl Jung and the Spiritual Anima and Animus

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Carl Jung and the Spiritual Anima and Animus

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  • May 13, 2011
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Carl Jung was the founder of analytical psychology and believed that the process of individuation was required for a person to become whole. Jung discovered the collective unconscious, which included the concepts of archetypes and synchronicity. Branching out from Jung’s archetypes are the anima and animus. Von Franz states that both the anima and animus have four sub-topics: erotic, romantic, spiritual and wisdom/ transcendent. The spiritual aspect of the anima and animus is quite important in Carl Jung’s theory (Von Franz).

On, July 26, 1875 Carl Gustav Jung was born in Switzerland. Jung was the fourth child of Paul Achilles Jung and Emilie Preiswerk and of the four children he was the only surviving child (Cherry). During Jung’s childhood, he chose to be by himself. According to Alfred Myers, “He was happy when he was in isolation with his thoughts.” In his student years, he elected to study medicine. But one day he was fascinated by a book on spiritualistic phenomena. “The phenomena described were similar to those stories he had been hearing in the countryside. He also knew that similar stories existed in all parts of the world, from people of different religions. So, he concluded, these phenomena must be connected with the human psyche” (Myers). Finding this book lead to the change of studying medicine to studying psychiatry.

In 1906, a friendship started between Jung and Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, when Jung sent Freud a collection of early papers that he entitled ‘Studies in the Word Association’ (Myers). This sparked a conversation between the two that lasted 13 hours with barely any breaks. While working together, Freud and Jung had a few disagreements:

According to Jung (1963/1989), the first real crisis in their friendship came in spring 1909, from the following incident. Jung visited Freud in Vienna and asked his opinion on precognition and parapsychology. But Frued was too materialistic and...