Carl Jung and the Spiritual Anima and Animus

Topics: Carl Jung, Jungian archetypes, Analytical psychology Pages: 5 (1946 words) Published: May 13, 2011
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 rejected these matters in a way that upset Jung. A strange thing happened then. As Freud was leaving, Jung felt his diaphragm burning and a very loud crack came from the bookcase next to them. When Jung told Freud that this is a perfect example of paranormal phenomenon, he still denied it. Then Jung predicted that in a moment there would be another loud noise. And he was right; a second loud crack came from the bookcase. Freud remained puzzled and this incident raised his mistrust towards Jung. (Myers) The friendship between the two came to an end in 1913.

Due to the different views of the psyche between Frued and Jung, the psyche became the most important element of Jung’s theory. The psyche is divided into three parts: the ego, personal unconscious and collective unconscious. The ego is what Jung connects with the conscious and is comprised of the persona and the shadow. A person’s persona is what they show to the world; whereas, the shadow is a part of the self which a person is ashamed and guilty about. Von Franz states, “It even seems as if the ego has not been produced by nature to follow its own arbitrary impulses to an unlimited extent, but to help to make real the totality- the whole psyche” (163). The personal unconscious is both the memories that are easily brought to mind and memories that have been concealed. In The Adult Development of C.G. Jung, John-Raphael Staude states: “Unless the unconscious material is not only analyzed and interpreted but also integrated into the conscious life of the subject, the encounter with the unconscious is unlikely to have any positive lasting effect” (83). Also known as the ‘objective psyche,’ the collective unconscious contains archetypes and is the holder of all human experiences that we can never be directly conscious of as a species. Staude states in The Adult Development of C.G. Jung, “In contacting the primordial symbols in the collective unconscious the individual is able to...
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