Mind and Earth, by Carl G. Jung

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Mind and Earth, by Carl G. Jung

Postby admin » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:01 am

Mind and Earth
by Carl G. Jung
Civilization in Transition
Collected Works, Volume 10
Edited and translated by Gerhard Adler & R.F.C. Hull




1. Originally published as part of an essay, “Die Erdbedingtheit der Psyche,” in Mensch und Erde, edited by Count Hermann Keyserling (Darmstadt, 1927). pp. 83–137. That essay was later divided and largely rewritten as two: “Die Struktur der Seele,” for the bibliographical history of which see its translation, “The Structure of the Psyche,” Coll. Works, Vol. 8, p. 300; and the present paper, “Seele und Erde,” in Seelenprobleme der Gegenwart (Zurich, 1931). The original (1927) paper was translated by C. F. and H. G. Baynes as “Mind and the Earth,” Contributions to Analytical Psychology (London and New York, 1928), and that version has been consulted.—EDITORS.

[49] The phrase “mind and earth” has a slightly poetic ring. Involuntarily we think, by contrast, of the mind [2] ...

2. The word used throughout this essay is “Seele,” which in this context can be translated either as “mind” or as “psyche.” Cf. “The Structure of the Psyche,” p. 300, note.—TRANS.

as subject to the influences of heaven, in much the same way as the Chinese distinguish between a shen-soul and a kwei-soul, the one relating to heaven, the other to earth. But since we Westerners know nothing about the substance of the mind, and therefore cannot venture to say whether it has in it something of a heavenly nature and something of an earthly nature, we must be content to speak of two different ways of viewing, or two different aspects of, the complicated phenomenon we call mind. Instead of postulating a heavenly shen-soul, we could regard mind as a causeless and creative principle; and instead of a kwei-soul, mind could be conceived as a product of cause and effect. The latter point of view would be the more appropriate in regard to our theme, for mind would then be understood as a system of adaptation determined by the conditions of an earthly environment. I need hardly emphasize that this causal view must necessarily be one-sided, because only one aspect of the mind is properly grasped by it. The other side of the problem must be left out of account as not belonging to my theme.

[50] In approaching the subject of our discussion, it would be as well to define accurately what is to be understood by “mind.” Certain views would limit “mental” or “psychic” strictly to consciousness. But such a limitation would no longer satisfy us today. Modern psychopathology has in its possession a wealth of observations regarding psychic activities that are entirely analogous to conscious functions and yet are unconscious. One can perceive, think, feel, remember, decide, and act, unconsciously. Everything that happens in consciousness can under certain conditions also occur unconsciously. How this is possible can best be seen if one pictures the psychic functions and contents as a night landscape over which the beam of a searchlight is playing. Whatever appears in this light of perception is conscious; what lies in the darkness beyond is unconscious, though none the less real and effective. If the beam of light shifts, the contents that till now were conscious sink into the unconscious, and new contents come into the lighted area of consciousness. The contents that have vanished in the darkness continue to be active and make themselves felt indirectly, most commonly as symptoms. Freud has described these symptomatic disturbances in The Psychopathology of Everyday Life. The unconscious aptitudes and inhibitions can also be demonstrated experimentally, by means of association tests.

[51] If, then, we take the investigations of psychopathology into account, the mind appears as an extended area of psychic phenomena which are partly conscious and partly unconscious. The unconscious portion of the mind is not directly accessible—otherwise it would not be unconscious— but can only be inferred from the effects which unconscious processes have on consciousness. Our inferences can never go beyond an “as if.”

[52] Here I must go rather more closely into the nature and structure of the unconscious if I am to deal adequately with the conditioning of the mind by the earth. It is a question that concerns the very beginnings and foundations of the mind—things that from time immemorial have lain buried in the darkness, and not merely the banal facts of sense-perception and conscious adaptation to the environment. These belong to the psychology of consciousness, and, as I have said, I do not equate consciousness with the psyche. The latter is a much more comprehensive and darker field of experience than the narrow, brightly lit area of consciousness, for the psyche also includes the unconscious.

[53] In another essay [3] ...

3. “The Structure of the Psyche” (cf. supra, n. 1), which immediately preceded the present essay in Seelenprobleme der Gegenwart.— EDITORS.

I tried to give a general view of the structure of the unconscious. Its contents, the archetypes, are as it were the hidden foundations of the conscious mind, or, to use another comparison, the roots which the psyche has sunk not only in the earth in the narrower sense but in the world in general. Archetypes are systems of readiness for action, and at the same time images and emotions. They are inherited with the brain-structure— indeed, they are its psychic aspect. They represent, on the one hand, a very strong instinctive conservatism, while on the other hand they are the most effective means conceivable of instinctive adaptation. They are thus, essentially, the chthonic portion of the psyche, if we may use such an expression—that portion through which the psyche is attached to nature, or in which its link with the earth and the world appears at its most tangible. The psychic influence of the earth and its laws is seen most clearly in these primordial images.

[54] This problem is not only very complicated but also a very subtle one. We shall have to reckon with quite unusual difficulties in dealing with it, and the first of these is that the archetype and its function must be understood far more as a part of man’s prehistoric, irrational psychology than as a rationally conceivable system. Perhaps I may be allowed a comparison: it is as though we had to describe and explain a building whose upper storey was erected in the nineteenth century, the ground floor dates back to the sixteenth century, and careful examination of the masonry reveals that it was reconstructed from a tower built in the eleventh century. In the cellar we come upon Roman foundations, and under the cellar a choked-up cave with neolithic tools in the upper layer and remnants of fauna from the same period in the lower layers. That would be the picture of our psychic structure. We live on the upper storey and are only aware that the lower storey is slightly old-fashioned. As to what lies beneath the earth’s surface, of that we remain totally unconscious.

[55] This is a lame analogy, like all analogies, for in the psyche there is nothing that is just a dead relic. Everything is alive, and our upper storey, consciousness, is continually influenced by its living and active foundations. Like the building, it is sustained and supported by them. And just as the building rises freely above the earth, so our consciousness stands as if above the earth in space, with a wide prospect before it. But the deeper we descend into the house the narrower the horizon becomes, and the more we find ourselves in the darkness, till finally we reach the naked bed-rock, and with it that prehistoric time when reindeer hunters fought for a bare and wretched existence against the elemental forces of wild nature. The men of that age were still in full possession of their animal instincts, without which life would have been impossible. The free sway of instinct is not compatible with a strongly developed consciousness. The consciousness of primitive man, like that of the child, is sporadic, and his world, like the child’s, is very limited. Indeed, in accordance with phylogenetic law, we still recapitulate in childhood reminiscences of the prehistory of the race and of mankind in general. Phylogenetically as well as ontogenetically we have grown up out of the dark confines of the earth; hence the factors that affected us most closely became archetypes, and it is these primordial images which influence us most directly, and therefore seem to be the most powerful. I say “seem” because what seems to us the most important thing psychically is not necessarily the most important, or at least need not remain so.

[56] What, then, are the most immediate archetypes? This question leads us straight to the problem of archetypal functioning, and so to the heart of the difficulty. From what standpoint should we answer the question? From that of the child, or of the primitive, or of our adult modern consciousness? How can we recognize an archetype? And when is it necessary to have recourse to this hypothesis at all?

[57] I would like to suggest that every psychic reaction which is out of proportion to its precipitating cause should be investigated as to whether it may be conditioned at the same time by an archetype. [4]

4. Cf. “Instinct and the Unconscious,” in The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche.—EDITORS.

[58] What I mean by this can best be illustrated by an example. Suppose a child is afraid of its mother. We have first to assure ourselves that there is no rational cause for this, a bad conscience, for instance, on the child’s part, or violence on the mother’s, or something else that may have happened to the child. If there is nothing of this kind to explain the fear, then I would suggest that the situation be regarded as an archetypal one. Usually such fears occur at night, and are wont to show themselves in dreams. The child now dreams of the mother as a witch who pursues children. The conscious material behind these dreams is in some cases the story of Hänsel and Gretel. It is then said that the child should not have been told such a fairytale, because the tale is thought to be the cause of the fear. That is an erroneous rationalization, but it nevertheless contains a core of truth in so far as the witch-motif is the most suitable expression for childish fears, and always has been. That is why such fairytales exist. Children’s night-terrors are a typical event that is constantly repeating itself and has always been expressed in typical fairytale motifs.

[59] But fairytales are only infantile forms of legends, myths, and superstitions taken from the “night religion” of primitives. What I call “night religion” is the magical form of religion, the meaning and purpose of which is intercourse with the dark powers, devils, witches, magicians, and spirits. Just as the childish fairytale is a phylogenetic repetition of the ancient night religion, so the childish fear is a re-enactment of primitive psychology, a phylogenetic relic.

[60] The fact that this relic displays a certain vitality is in no sense abnormal, for nocturnal fears, even in adults living under civilized conditions, are not necessarily an abnormal phenomenon. Only an intensified degree of night-fear can be regarded as abnormal. The question then is, under what circumstances is this night-fear increased? Can the increase be explained solely by the archetype of the witch expressed in the fairytale, or must some other explanatory cause be adduced?

[61] We should make the archetype responsible only for a definite, minimal, normal degree of fear; any pronounced increase, felt to be abnormal, must have special causes. Freud, as we know, explains this fear as due to the collision of the child’s incestuous tendency with the incest prohibition. He thus explains it from the standpoint of the child. I have no doubt that children can have “incestuous” tendencies in the extended sense used by Freud, but I doubt very much whether these tendencies can be attributed without more ado to the child’s psychology sui generis. There are very good reasons for the view that the child-psyche is still under the spell of the parents’ psyche, especially the mother’s, and to such a degree that the psyche of the child must be regarded as a functional appendage of that of the parents. The psychic individuality of the child develops only later, after a reliable continuity of consciousness has been established. The fact that the child begins by speaking of himself in the third person is in my view a clear proof of the impersonality of his psychology.

[62] I am therefore inclined to explain the possible incestuous tendencies of the child rather from the standpoint of the psychology of the parents, just as every childish neurosis should be considered first and foremost in the light of the parental psychology. Thus, a frequent cause of increased infantile terrors is an especial “complex-proneness” on the part of the parents, that is, their repression and disregard of certain vital problems. Anything that falls into the unconscious takes on a more or less archaic form. If, for example, the mother represses a painful and terrifying complex, she will feel it as an evil spirit pursuing her—a “skeleton in the cupboard,” as the English say. This formulation shows that the complex has already acquired archetypal force. It sits on her like an incubus, she is tormented by nightmares. Whether she tells “nightmare-stories” to the child or not, she none the less infects the child and awakens in its mind archetypal terror images from her own psychology. Perhaps she has erotic fantasies about a man other than her husband. The child is the visible sign of their marriage tie, and her resistance to the tie is unconsciously directed against the child, who has to be repudiated. On the archaic level this corresponds to child-murder. In this way the mother becomes a wicked witch who devours children.

[63] As in the mother, so in the child the possibilities of archaic representation lie dormant, and the same cause which first produced and laid down the archetype during the course of human history reactivates it again and again today.

[64] This example of the manifestation of an archetype in a child has not been chosen at random. We began with the question of what are the most immediate archetypes. The most immediate is the primordial image of the mother; she is in every way the nearest and most powerful experience, and the one which occurs during the most impressionable period of man’s life. Since consciousness is as yet only poorly developed in childhood, one cannot speak of an “individual” experience at all. On the contrary, the mother is an archetypal experience; she is experienced by the more or less unconscious child not as a definite, individual feminine personality but as the mother, an archetype charged with an immensity of possible meanings. As life proceeds the primordial image fades and is replaced by a conscious, relatively individual image, which is assumed to be the only mother-image we have. But in the unconscious the mother always remains a powerful primordial image, colouring and even determining throughout life our relations to woman, to society, to the world of feeling and fact, yet in so subtle a way that, as a rule, there is no conscious perception of the process. We think all this is only a metaphor. But it becomes a very concrete fact when a man marries a wife only because in some way she resembles his mother, or else because she very definitely does not. Mother Germania is for the Germans, like la douce France for the French, a figure of the utmost importance behind the political scene, who could be overlooked only by blinkered intellectuals. The all-embracing womb of Mother Church is anything but a metaphor, and the same is true of Mother Earth, Mother Nature, and “matter” in general.

[65] The archetype of the mother is the most immediate one for the child. But with the development of consciousness the father also enters his field of vision, and activates an archetype whose nature is in many respects opposed to that of the mother. Just as the mother archetype corresponds to the Chinese yin, so the father archetype corresponds to the yang. It determines our relations to man, to the law and the state, to reason and the spirit and the dynamism of nature. “Fatherland” implies boundaries, a definite localization in space, whereas the land itself is Mother Earth, quiescent and fruitful. The Rhine is a father, as is the Nile, the wind and storm, thunder and lightning. The father is the “auctor” and represents authority, hence also law and the state. He is that which moves in the world, like the wind; the guide and creator of invisible thoughts and airy images. He is the creative wind-breath—the spirit, pneuma, atman.

[66] Thus the father, too, is a powerful archetype dwelling in the psyche of the child. At first he is the father, an all-encompassing God-image, a dynamic principle. In the course of life this authoritarian imago recedes into the background: the father turns into a limited and often all-too-human personality. The father-imago, on the other hand, develops to the full its potential significance. Just as man was late in discovering nature, so he only gradually discovered law, duty, responsibility, the state, the spirit. As the nascent consciousness becomes more capable of understanding, the importance of the parental personality dwindles. The place of the father is taken by the society of men, and the place of the mother by the family.

[67] It would be wrong, in my view, to say that all those things which take the place of the parents are nothing but a substitute for the unavoidable loss of the primordial parental imagos. What appears in their stead is not just a substitute, but a reality that is interwoven with the parents and has impressed itself on the mind of the child through the parental imago. The mother who gives warmth, protection, and nourishment is also the hearth, the sheltering cave or hut, and the surrounding vegetation. She is the provident field, and her son is the godlike grain, the brother and friend of man. She is the milk-giving cow and the herd. The father goes about, talks with other men, hunts, travels, makes war, lets his bad moods loose like thunderstorms, and at the behest of invisible thoughts he suddenly changes the whole situation like a tempest. He is the war and the weapon, the cause of all changes; he is the bull provoked to violence or prone to apathetic laziness. He is the image of all the helpful or harmful elemental powers.

[68] All these things are the early immediacies of the child’s life, impinging on him, directly or indirectly, through the parents. And as the parental imago shrinks and becomes humanized, all those things, which at first seemed only like a background or like marginal effects, begin to stand out more clearly. The earth he plays with, the fire he warms himself at, the rain and wind that chill him, were always realities, but because of his twilight consciousness they were seen and understood only as qualities of the parents. Then, as out of a mist, there emerge the material and dynamic aspects of the earth, revealing themselves as powers in their own right, and no longer wearing the masks of the parents. They are thus not a substitute but a reality that corresponds to a higher level of consciousness.

[69] Nevertheless something is lost in this development, and that is the irreplaceable feeling of immediate oneness with the parents. This feeling is not just a sentiment, but an important psychological fact which Lévy-Bruhl, in an altogether different context, has called participation mystique. The fact denoted by this not immediately understandable expression plays a great role in the psychology of primitives as well as in analytical psychology. To put it briefly, it means a state of identity in mutual unconsciousness. Perhaps I should explain this further. If the same unconscious complex is constellated in two people at the same time, it produces a remarkable emotional effect, a projection, which causes either a mutual attraction or a mutual repulsion. When I and another person have an unconscious relation to the same important fact, I become in part identical with him, and because of this I orient myself to him as I would to the complex in question were I conscious of it.

[70] This state of participation mystique obtains between parents and children. A well-known example is the stepmother who identifies herself with the daughter and, through her, marries the son-in-law; or the father who thinks he is considering his son’s welfare when he naïvely forces him to fulfil his—the father’s—wishes, for instance in marriage or in the choice of a profession. The son who identifies himself with the father is an equally well-known figure. But there is an especially close bond between mother and daughter, which in certain cases can actually be demonstrated by the association method. [5]

5. “Statistical Investigations on Word-Associations and on Familial Agreement in Reaction Type among Uneducated Persons,” by Emma Fürst, in Studies in Word Association (trans. by Eder).— EDITORS.

Although the participation mystique is an unconscious fact to the person concerned, he nevertheless feels the change when it no longer exists. There is always a certain difference between the psychology of a man whose father is still living and one whose father is dead. So long as a participation mystique with the parents persists, a relatively infantile style of life can be maintained. Through the participation mystique life is pumped into us from outside in the form of unconscious motivations, for which, since they are unconscious, no responsibility is felt. Because of this infantile unconsciousness the burden of life is lightened, or at least seems so. One is not alone, but exists unconsciously in twos or threes. In imagination the son is in his mother’s lap, protected by the father. The father is reborn in the son—at least as a link in the chain of eternal life. The mother has rejuvenated her father in her youthful husband and so has not lost her youth. I need not cite examples from primitive psychology. A reference to them must suffice.

[71] All this drops away with the broadening and intensification of consciousness. The resultant extension of the parental imagos over the face of the world, or rather, the world’s breaking through the mists of childhood, severs the unconscious union with the parents. This process is even performed consciously in the primitive rites of initiation into manhood. The archetype of the parents is thereby driven into the background; it is, as we say, no longer “constellated.” Instead, a new kind of participation mystique begins with the tribe, society, Church, or nation. This participation is general and impersonal, and above all it gives unconsciousness very little scope. If anyone should incline to be too unconscious and too guilelessly trusting, law and society will quickly shake him into consciousness. But sexual maturity also brings with it the possibility of a new personal participation mystique, and hence of replacing that part of the personality which was lost in identification with the parents. A new archetype is constellated: in a man it is the archetype of woman, and in a woman the archetype of man. These two figures were likewise hidden behind the mask of the parental imagos, but now they step forth undisguised, even though strongly influenced by the parental imagos, often overwhelmingly so. I have given the feminine archetype in man the name “anima,” and the masculine archetype in woman the name “animus,” for specific reasons which I shall discuss later. [6]

6. Cf. Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, pp. 186ff.

[72] The more a man or woman is unconsciously influenced by the parental imago, the more surely will the figure of the loved one be chosen as either a positive or a negative substitute for the parents. The far-reaching influence of the parental imago should not be considered abnormal; on the contrary, it is a very normal and therefore very common phenomenon. It is, indeed, very important that this should be so, for otherwise the parents are not reborn in the children, and the parental imago becomes so completely lost that all continuity in the life of the individual ceases. He cannot connect his childhood with his adult life, and therefore remains unconsciously a child— a situation that is the best possible foundation for a neurosis. He will then suffer from all those ills that beset parvenus without a history, be they individuals or social groups.

[73] It is normal that children should in a certain sense marry their parents. This is just as important, psychologically, as the biological necessity to infuse new blood if the ancestral tree is to produce a good breed. It guarantees continuity, a reasonable prolongation of the past into the present. Only too much or too little in this direction is harmful.

[74] So long as a positive or negative resemblance to the parents is the deciding factor in a love choice, the release from the parental imago, and hence from childhood, is not complete. Although childhood has to be brought along for the sake of historical continuity, this should not be at the expense of further development. When, towards middle life, the last gleam of childhood illusion fades—this it must be owned is true only of an almost ideal life, for many go as children to their graves—then the archetype of the mature man or woman emerges from the parental imago: an image of man as woman has known him from the beginning of time, and an image of woman that man carries within him eternally.

[75] There are indeed many men who can describe exactly, even to individual details, the image of woman that they carry in their minds. (I have met few women who could give as exact a picture of the masculine archetype.) Just as the primordial image of the mother is a composite image of all previous mothers, so the image of the anima is a supra-individual image. So true is this that the image reveals closely corresponding features in men who are individually very different, and one can almost reconstruct from it a definite type of woman. The most striking feature about the anima-type is that the maternal element is entirely lacking. She is the companion and friend in her favourable aspect, in her unfavourable aspect she is the courtesan. Often these types are described very accurately, with all their human and daemonic qualities, in fantastic romances, such as Rider Haggard’s She and Wisdom’s Daughter, Benoît’s L’Atlantide, and, fragmentarily, in the second part of Faust, in the figure of Helen. But the anima-type is presented in the most succinct and pregnant form in the Gnostic legend of Simon Magus, a caricature of whom appears in the Acts of the Apostles. [7]

7. 8:9–24. For the Helen legend see Irenaeus, Adv. haer. 9, xxiii.

Simon Magus was always accompanied on his travels by a girl, whose name was Helen. He had found her in a brothel in Tyre; she was a reincarnation of Helen of Troy. I do not know whether Goethe’s Faust- Helen motif was consciously derived from the Simon legend. A similar relationship occurs in Rider Haggard’s Wisdom’s Daughter, where we can be certain that there was no conscious continuity.

[76] The absence of the maternal element demonstrates, on the one hand, the complete release from the mother-imago, and, on the other, the idea of a purely human relationship lacking the natural incentive of procreation. The overwhelming majority of men on the present cultural level never advance beyond the maternal significance of woman, and this is the reason why the anima seldom develops beyond the infantile, primitive level of the prostitute. Consequently, prostitution is one of the main by-products of civilized marriage. In the legend of Simon, however, and in the second part of Faust anima symbols of complete maturity are found. This growth of adulthood is synonymous with growth away from nature. Christian and Buddhist monastic ideals grappled with the same problem, but always the flesh was sacrificed. Goddesses and demigoddesses took the place of the personal, human woman who should carry the projection of the anima.

[77] Here we touch on highly controversial territory into which I do not wish to venture further at this point. We shall do better to return to the simpler problem of how we can recognize the existence of such a feminine archetype.

[78] As long as an archetype is not projected and not loved or hated in an object, it is still wholly identical with the individual, who is thus compelled to act it out himself. A man will then act out his own anima. We have a word that aptly characterizes this attitude: it is “animosity.” This expression can best be interpreted as “anima possession,” denoting a condition of uncontrolled emotion. The word “animosity” is used only for unpleasant emotions, but actually the anima can induce pleasant ones as well. [8]

8. Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, pp. 207f.

[79] Self-control is a typically masculine ideal, to be achieved by the repression of feeling. Feeling is a specifically feminine virtue, and because a man in trying to attain his ideal of manhood represses all feminine traits —which are really part of him, just as masculine traits are part of a woman’s psychology—he also represses certain emotions as womanish weakness. In so doing he piles up effeminacy or sentimentality in the unconscious, and this, when it breaks out, betrays in him the existence of a feminine being. As we know, it is just the “he-men” who are most at the mercy of their feminine feelings. This might explain the very much greater number of suicides among men, and, conversely, the extraordinary strength and toughness often developed by very feminine women. If we carefully examine the uncontrolled emotions of a man and try to reconstruct the probable personality underlying them, we soon arrive at a feminine figure which I call, as I said, the anima. On the same ground the ancients conceived of a feminine soul, a “psyche” or “anima,” and not without good psychological reasons did the ecclesiastics of the Middle Ages propound the question, Habet mulier animam?

[80] With women the case is reversed. When the animus breaks out in a woman, it is not feelings that appear, as in a man, but she begins to argue and to rationalize. And just as his anima-feelings are arbitrary and capricious, so these feminine arguments are illogical and irrational. One can speak of an animus-thinking that is always right and must have the last word, and always end up with “That’s just the reason!” If the anima is irrational feeling, the animus is irrational thinking.

[81] So far as my experience goes, a man always understands fairly easily what is meant by the anima; indeed, as I said, he frequently has a quite definite picture of her, so that from a varied collection of women of all periods he can single out the one who comes closest to the anima-type. But I have, as a rule, found it very difficult to make a woman understand what the animus is, and I have never met any woman who could tell me anything definite about his personality. From this I conclude that the animus does not have a definite personality at all; in other words, he is not so much a unity as a plurality. This fact must somehow be connected with the specific psychology of men and women. On the biological level a woman’s chief interest is to hold a man, while a man’s chief interest is to conquer a woman, and because of his nature he seldom stops at one conquest. Thus one masculine personality plays a decisive role for a woman, but a man’s relation to a woman is much less definite, as he can look on his wife as one among many women. This makes him lay stress on the legal and social character of marriage, whereas a woman sees it as an exclusively personal relationship. Hence, as a rule, a woman’s consciousness is restricted to one man, whereas a man’s consciousness has a tendency to go beyond the one personal relationship—a tendency that is sometimes opposed to any personal limitations. In the unconscious, therefore, we may expect a compensation by contraries. The man’s sharply defined anima figure fulfils this expectation perfectly, as also does the indefinite polymorphism of the woman’s animus.

[82] The description of anima and animus that I have given here is necessarily a brief one. But I should be carrying brevity too far if I described the anima merely as a primordial image of woman consisting of irrational feelings, and the animus merely as a primordial image of man consisting of irrational views. Both figures present far-reaching problems, since they are elementary forms of that psychic phenomenon which from primitive times has been called the “soul.” They are also the cause of that deep human need to speak of souls or daemons at all.

[83] Nothing that is autonomous in the psyche is impersonal or neutral. Impersonality is a category pertaining to consciousness. All autonomous psychic factors have the character of personality, from the “voices” of the insane to the control-spirits of mediums and the visions of the mystics. Anima and animus, likewise, have a personality character, and this cannot be better expressed than by the word “soul.”

[84] Here I would like to guard against a misunderstanding. The concept of “soul” which I am now using can be compared more with the primitive idea of the soul, for instance the ba-soul and ka-soul of the Egyptians, than with the Christian idea of it, which is an attempt to make a philosophical construct out of a metaphysical individual substance. My conception of the soul has absolutely nothing to do with this, since it is purely phenomenological. I am not indulging in any psychological mysticism, but am simply trying to grasp scientifically the elementary psychic phenomena which underlie the belief in souls.

[85] Since the complex of facts represented by anima and animus best corresponds to what has been described as soul at all times and by all peoples, it is hardly surprising that they bring an uncommonly mystical atmosphere along with them as soon as one tries to examine their contents more closely. Whenever the anima is projected, she immediately surrounds herself with a peculiar historical feeling which Goethe expressed in the words: “In times gone by you were my wife or sister.” [9]

9. Untitled poem (“Warum gabst du uns die tiefen Blicke?”) in Werke, II, p. 43.

Rider Haggard and Benoît had to go back to Greece and Egypt in order to give expression to this insistent historical feeling.

[86] Curiously enough, the animus seems to be lacking in this mystical sense of history. I would almost say that he is more concerned with the present and the future. He has nomothetical proclivities, preferring to speak grandiosely of things as they should be, or to give an apodictic judgment on the most obscure and controversial matters, and in such positive terms that the woman is relieved of all further (and possibly all too painful) reflection.

[87] Once again, I can only explain this difference as a compensation by contraries. A man, in his conscious activity, plans ahead and seeks to create the future, while it is a specifically feminine trait to rack one’s brains over such questions as who was somebody’s great-great-aunt. But it is just this feminine passion for genealogies that comes out very clearly in Rider Haggard, garnished with Anglo-Saxon sentiment, and in Benoît the same thing is served up with the spicy admixture of a chronique scandaleuse. Intimations of reincarnation in the form of irrational feelings hang very strongly about a man’s anima, while a woman will sometimes consciously admit such feelings if she is not too much under the domination of the man’s rationalism.

[88] This historical feeling always has the quality of momentousness and fatefulness, and therefore leads directly to the problems of immortality and divinity. Even the rationalistic, sceptical Benoît describes those who have died of love as being preserved for all eternity by a peculiarly effective method of mummification, not to mention the full-blown mysticism of Rider Haggard in Ayesha: The Return of She— altogether a psychological document of the first rank.

[89] The animus, not having these emotional qualities, seems to lack entirely the aspect I have been describing, yet in his deepest essence he is just as historically-minded as the anima. Unfortunately there are no good literary examples of the animus. Women writers seem to be deficient in a certain naïve introspection, or at least they prefer to keep the results of their introspection in another compartment, possibly because no feeling is connected with it. I know of only one unprejudiced document of this sort, a novel by Marie Hay, The Evil Vineyard. In this very unpretentious story the historical element in the animus comes out in a clever disguise that was surely not intended by the author.

[90] The animus consists of a priori assumptions based on unconsidered judgments. The existence of such judgments can only be inferred from the woman’s conscious attitude to certain things. I must give you an example. A woman I knew surrounded her son with the most solemn care and lent him an importance he in no way deserved, with the result that soon after puberty he became neurotic. The reason for her senseless attitude was not at first discernible. Closer investigation, however, revealed the existence of an unconscious dogma that said: My son is the coming Messiah. This is a very ordinary instance of the widespread hero-archetype in women, which is projected on the father or the husband or the son, in the form of an opinion which then unconsciously regulates the woman’s behaviour. A well-known example is Annie Besant, who also discovered a saviour.

[91] In Marie Hay’s novel the heroine drives her husband insane by her attitude which is based on the unconscious and unspoken assumption that he is a horrible tyrant who holds her captive in much the same way as … The uncompleted simile she left to the interpretation of her husband, who finally discovered the appropriate figure for it in a cinquecento tyrant with whom he identified himself, and lost his reason in consequence. The historical factor, therefore, is by no means lacking to the animus. But it expresses itself in a way fundamentally different from that of the anima. Similarly, in the religious problems connected with the animus the judging faculties predominate, just as the feeling faculties do in the case of a man.

[92] Finally, I would like to remark that the anima and animus are not the only autonomous figures or “souls” in the unconscious, though in practice they are the most immediate and most important. But, since I would like to touch on still another aspect of the problem of mind and earth, perhaps I may leave this difficult field of extremely subtle inward experience and turn to that other side where we shall no longer grope laboriously in the dark background of the mind, but pass into the wide world of everyday things.

[93] Just as, in the process of evolution, the mind has been moulded by earthly conditions, so the same process repeats itself under our eyes today. Imagine a large section of some European nation transplanted to a strange soil and another climate. We can confidently expect this human group to undergo certain psychic and perhaps also physical changes in the course of a few generations, even without the admixture of foreign blood. We can observe in the Jews of the various European countries marked differences which can only be explained by the peculiarities of the people they live amongst. It is not difficult to tell a Spanish Jew from a North African Jew, a German Jew from a Russian Jew. One can even distinguish the various types of Russian Jew, the Polish from the North Russian and Cossack type. In spite of the similarity of race, there are pronounced differences whose cause is obscure. It is extremely hard to define these differences exactly, though a student of human nature feels them at once.

[94] The greatest experiment in the transplantation of a race in modern times was the colonization of the North American continent by a predominantly Germanic population. As the climatic conditions vary very widely, we would expect all sorts of variations of the original racial type. The admixture of Indian blood is increasingly small, so it plays no role. Boas has shown that anatomical changes begin already in the second generation of immigrants, chiefly in the measurements of the skull. At all events the “Yankee” type is formed, and this is so similar to the Indian type that on my first visit to the Middle West, [10] ...

10. Sic but Buffalo, New York, is meant. Cf. infra, par. 948.—EDITORS.

while watching a stream of workers coming out of a factory, I remarked to my companion that I should never have thought there was such a high percentage of Indian blood. He answered, laughing, that he was willing to bet that in all these hundreds of men there would not be found a drop of Indian blood. That was many years ago when I had no notion of the mysterious Indianization of the American people. I got to know of this mystery only when I had to treat many American patients analytically. Remarkable differences were revealed in comparison with Europeans.

[95] Another thing that struck me was the great influence of the Negro, a psychological influence naturally, not due to the mixing of blood. The emotional way an American expresses himself, especially the way he laughs, can best be studied in the illustrated supplements of the American papers; the inimitable Teddy Roosevelt laugh is found in its primordial form in the American Negro. The peculiar walk with loose joints, or the swinging of the hips so frequently observed in Americans, also comes from the Negro. American music draws its main inspiration from the Negro, and so does the dance. The expression of religious feeling, the revival meetings, the Holy Rollers and other abnormalities are strongly influenced by the Negro, and the famous American naïveté, in its charming as well as its more unpleasant form, invites comparison with the childlikeness of the Negro. The vivacity of the average American, which shows itself not only at baseball games but quite particularly in his extraordinary love of talking —the ceaseless gabble of American papers is an eloquent example of this— is scarcely to be derived from his Germanic forefathers, but is far more like the chattering of a Negro village. The almost total lack of privacy and the all-devouring mass sociability remind one of primitive life in open huts, where there is complete identity with all members of the tribe. It seemed to me that American houses had their doors open all the time, just as there are no hedges round the gardens in American towns and villages. Everything seems to be street.

[96] It is naturally very difficult to decide how much of all this is due to symbiosis with the Negro, and how much to the fact that America is still a pioneering nation on virgin soil. But taken all in all, the wide influence of the Negro on the general character of the people is unmistakable.

[97] This infection by the primitive can, of course, be observed just as well in other countries, though not to the same degree and in this form. In Africa, for example, the white man is a diminishing minority and must therefore protect himself from the Negro by observing the most rigorous social forms, otherwise he risks “going black.” If he succumbs to the primitive influence he is lost. But in America the Negro, just because he is in a minority, is not a degenerative influence, but rather one which, peculiar though it is, cannot be termed unfavourable—unless one happens to have a jazz phobia.

[98] The remarkable thing is that one notices little or nothing of the Indian influence. The above-mentioned physiognomical similarities do not point to Africa but are specifically American. Does the body react to America, and the psyche to Africa? I must answer this question by saying that only the outward behaviour is influenced by the Negro, but what goes on in the psyche must be the subject of further investigation.

[99] It is natural that in the dreams of my American patients the Negro should play no small role as an expression of the inferior side of their personality. A European might similarly dream of tramps or other representatives of the lower classes. But as the great majority of dreams, especially those in the early stages of analysis, are superficial, it was only in the course of very thorough and deep analyses that I came upon symbols relating to the Indian. The progressive tendency of the unconscious, as expressed for instance in the hero-motif, chooses the Indian as its symbol, just as certain coins of the Union bear an Indian head. This is a tribute to the once-hated Indian, but it also testifies to the fact that the American hero-motif chooses the Indian as an ideal figure. It would certainly never occur to any American administration to place the head of Cetewayo or any other Negro hero on their coins. Monarchies prefer the head of the sovereign, democratic states honour other symbols of their ideals. I have given a detailed example of a similar American hero-fantasy in my book Symbols of Transformation, and I could add dozens of others.

[100] The hero is always the embodiment of man’s highest and most powerful aspiration, or of what this aspiration ought ideally to be and what he would most gladly realize. It is therefore of importance what kind of fantasy constitutes the hero-motif. In the American hero-fantasy the Indian’s character plays a leading role. The American conception of sport goes far beyond the notions of the easy-going European; only the Indian rites of initiation can compare with the ruthlessness and savagery of a rigorous American training. The performance of American athletes is therefore admirable. In everything on which the American has really set his heart we catch a glimpse of the Indian. His extraordinary concentration on a particular goal, his tenacity of purpose, his unflinching endurance of the greatest hardships—in all this the legendary virtues of the Indian find full expression. [11]

11. See “The Complications of American Psychology,” infra, pp. 502ff.

[101] The hero-motif affects not only the general attitude to life but also the problems of religion. Any absolutist attitude is always a religious attitude, and in whatever respect a man becomes absolute, there you see his religion. I have found in my American patients that their hero-figure possesses traits derived from the religion of the Indians. The most important figure in their religion is the shaman, the medicine-man or conjurer of spirits. The first American discovery in this field—since taken up in Europe—was spiritualism, and the second was Christian Science and other forms of mental healing. Christian Science is an exorcistic ritual. The demons of sickness are denied, suitable incantations are sung over the refractory body, and Christianity, the product of a high level of culture, is used as healing-magic. Though the poverty of its spiritual content is appalling, Christian Science is a living force; it possesses a strength derived from the soil, and can therefore work those miracles that are sought for in vain in the official churches.

[102] There is no country on earth where the “power-word,” the magic formula, the slogan or advertisement is more effective than in America. We Europeans laugh about this, but we forget that faith in the magical power of the word can move more than mountains. Christ himself was a word, the Word. We have become estranged from this psychology, but in the American it is still alive. It has yet to be seen what America will do with it.

[103] Thus the American presents a strange picture: a European with Negro behaviour and an Indian soul. He shares the fate of all usurpers of foreign soil. Certain Australian primitives assert that one cannot conquer foreign soil, because in it there dwell strange ancestor-spirits who reincarnate themselves in the newborn. There is a great psychological truth in this. The foreign land assimilates its conqueror. But unlike the Latin conquerors of Central and South America, the North Americans preserved their European standards with the most rigid puritanism, though they could not prevent the souls of their Indian foes from becoming theirs. Everywhere the virgin earth causes at least the unconscious of the conqueror to sink to the level of its indigenous inhabitants. Thus, in the American, there is a discrepancy between conscious and unconscious that is not found in the European, a tension between an extremely high conscious level of culture and an unconscious primitivity. This tension forms a psychic potential which endows the American with an indomitable spirit of enterprise and an enviable enthusiasm which we in Europe do not know. The very fact that we still have our ancestral spirits, and that for us everything is steeped in history, keeps us in contact with our unconscious, but we are so caught in this contact and held so fast in the historical vice that the greatest catastrophes are needed in order to wrench us loose and to change our political behaviour from what it was five hundred years ago. Our contact with the unconscious chains us to the earth and makes it hard for us to move, and this is certainly no advantage when it comes to progressiveness and all the other desirable motions of the mind. Nevertheless I would not speak ill of our relation to good Mother Earth. Plurimi pertransibunt—but he who is rooted in the soil endures. Alienation from the unconscious and from its historical conditions spells rootlessness. That is the danger that lies in wait for the conqueror of foreign lands, and for every individual who, through one-sided allegiance to any kind of -ism, loses touch with the dark, maternal, earthy ground of his being.
Site Admin
Posts: 32970
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Return to Ancien Regime

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests