The Anima



*****If we step through the door of the shadow we discover with terror that we are the objects of unseen factors. To know this is decidedly unpleasant, for nothing is more disillusioning than the discovery of our own inadequacy. But since ignorance is no guarantee of security, and in fact only makes our insecurity worse, it is probably better despite our fear to know where the danger lies. At any rate we then know that the greatest danger threatening us comes from the unpredictability of the psyche's reactions.
Only an unparalleled impoverishment of symbolism could enable us to rediscover the gods as psychic factors, that is, as archetypes of the unconscious. Since the stars have fallen from heaven and our highest symbols have paled, a secret life holds sway in the unconscious. Our unconscious hides living water, spirit that has become nature, and that is why it is disturbed.
Our concern with the unconscious has become a vital question for us -- a question of spiritual being or non-being. All those who have had an experience like that mentioned in the dream know that the treasure lies in the depths of the water and will try to salvage it. As they must never forget who they are, they must on no account imperil their consciousness. They will keep their standpoint firmly anchored to the earth, and will thus become fishers who catch with hook and net what swims in the water.***

(Ed.) CGJ now begins to move past the encounter with the shadow into the wider realms of the collective unconscious. (This passage is reminiscent to me of PFC's teachings about Key 17. PFC also uses the metaphor of meditation as fishing, and likewise warns about the dangers of losing the groundedness of the consciousness.) In the following passage, CGJ talks about the encounter with the soul, or anima.

*****Being that has soul is a living being. Soul is the living thing in man, that which lives of itself and causes life. Therefore God breathed into Adam a living breath of life (ruach or pneuma -- ed.), that he might live. With her cunning play of illusions the soul lures into life the inertness of matter that does not want to live. She makes us believe incredible things, that life might be lived. Were it not for the leaping and twinkling of the soul, man would rot away in his greatest passion, idleness. A certain kind of reasonableness can be advocated, and a certain kind of morality adds its blessing. But to have soul is the whole venture of life, for soul is a life-giving daemon who plays his elfin game above and below human existence.
The anima is not soul in the dogmatic sense, but a natural archetype that satisfactorily sums up all the statements of the unconscious, of the primitive mind, of the history of language and religion. It is a "factor" in the proper sense of the word. Man cannot make; on the contrary, it is always the a priori element in his moods, reactions, impulses, and whatever else is spontaneous in psychic life. For, in the last analysis, psychic life is for the greater part an unconscious life that surrounds consciousness on all sides -- a notion that is sufficiently obvious when one considers how much unconscious preparation is needed, for instance, to register a sense impression.*****

(Ed.) To me, this is reminiscent of the various roles played by Keys 1 and 3. Consciousness, as in Key 1, does not bring anything into being. That part is played by unconsciousness, as seen in Key 3. Key 3 may be as good an image of what CGJ is ascribing to anima in the above passage as any I can think of.
However, there is another side to what CGJ is saying that I don't perceive in K3. There is a trickster side to the anima, sometimes seemingly cruel, which moves us to hard experience if we will not be alive in any other way. This is often seen in the older man who becomes entranced with an unlikely young woman. This is an anima possession, and may cause great pain to him, her, and whoever is close to them. Yet if it gets him out of a slough of indifference or inertia, the purposes of Life are served, and Life is no respecter of personas. (sic)


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