Man and His Symbols by Carl Gustav Jung

Man and His Symbols by Carl Gustav Jung

Author:Carl Gustav Jung [Jung, Carl Gustav]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi, pdf
ISBN: 978-0-307-80055-8
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Published: 2011-11-29T16:00:00+00:00

Oh, come, lonely hunter in the stillness of dusk.

Come, come! I miss you, I miss you!

Now I will embrace you, embrace you!

Come, come! My nest is near, my nest is near.

Come, come, lonely hunter, now in the stillness of dusk.

He throws off his clothes and swims across the river, but suddenly she flies away in the form of an owl, laughing mockingly at him. When he tries to swim back to find his clothes, he drowns in the cold river.

In this tale the anima symbolizes an unreal dream of love, happiness, and maternal warmth (her nest)—a dream that lures men away from reality. The hunter is drowned because he ran after a wishful fantasy that could not be fulfilled.

Another way in which the negative anima in a man’s personality can be revealed is in waspish, poisonous, effeminate remarks by which he devalues everything. Remarks of this sort always contain a cheap twisting of the truth and are in a subtle way destructive. There are legends throughout the world in which “a poison damsel” (as they call her in the Orient) appears. She is a beautiful creature who has weapons hidden in her body or a secret poison with which she kills her lovers during their first night together. In this guise the anima is as cold and reckless as certain uncanny aspects of nature itself, and in Europe is often expressed to this day by the belief in witches.

If, on the other hand, a man’s experience of his mother has been positive, this can also affect his anima in typical but different ways, with the result that he either becomes effeminate or is preyed upon by women and thus is unable to cope with the hardships of life. An anima of this sort can turn men into sentimentalists, or they may become as touchy as old maids or as sensitive as the fairy-tale princess who could feel a pea under 30 mattresses. A still more subtle manifestation of a negative anima appears in some fairy tales in the form of a princess who asks her suitors to answer a series of riddles or, perhaps, to hide themselves under her nose. If they cannot give the answers, or if she can find them, they must die—and she invariably wins. The anima in this guise involves men in a destructive intellectual game. We can notice the effect of this anima trick in all those neurotic pseudo-intellectual dialogues that inhibit a man from getting into direct touch with life and its real decisions. He reflects about life so much that he cannot live it and loses all his spontaneity and outgoing feeling.

The most frequent manifestations of the anima takes the form of erotic fantasy. Men may be driven to nurse their fantasies by looking at films and strip-tease shows, or by day-dreaming over pornographic material. This is a crude, primitive aspect of the anima, which becomes compulsive only when a man does not sufficiently cultivate his feeling relationships—when his feeling attitude toward life has remained infantile.


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