Sunday, October 18, 2009

Anima, animus?

Carl Jung's (1875-1961) contribution to personality is immense if not confusing and intriguing. He draws his tenants mostly from the influence of Greek mythology and ancient religious views. He talks of many archetypes(primordial images that predispose us to comprehend the world in a particular manner). Some of the archetypes that he described were the mother, father, wise old man, sun, moon e.t.c. But of most attention are the anima and animus.
Anima is the feminine side of the male while the animus is the masculine side of the female. These functions guide us in the selection of a romantic partner and mostly through the subsequent relationship. He believed that we look for a potential partner by projecting our archetype on them.

Men look for women who exhibit or possess that kind of personlaity that is appealing and ideal to their anima and vice versa.In his words, Carl says, "a man, in his love choice, is strongly tempted to win the woman who best corresponds to his own unconscious femininity- a woman in short, who can unhesistatingly receive the projection of his soul." (1928/1953, p.70.)
His belief in archetypes and the proceeding study does count for attraction and the development of relationships. He holds that we have an unconscious image of the partner we are looking for, so the more a person portrays these tenants the more we develop a relationship with them.Though his contribution to psychoanalysis is immense one does beg to differ on a scientific basis...he focuses too much on beliefs and certian tenants deeply rooted in Greek mythology and eastern religious views. He says we all have the collective unconscious which is inherited from our ancestors and consists of images, thoughts that are difficukt to bring into the conscious/awareness.
His work has been used to look more into why we are attracted to certain people and what aspects we desire in a potential partner, though most of it cannot be scientifically proven it is worthy to note that he has helped shed light on the importance of beliefs, images, thoughts and religion in shaping our worldview.

Jung,C. G. (1902-1961/1961). The Collected Works of Carl Jung (Vols. 1-17). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Burger, M. (2008). Personality (8th. ed.) USA: Thomson  Wadsworth.
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