The UNUS MUNDUS forum of Psychovision (Remo F. Roth) invites discussion of theoretical and practical issues of a possible union of Carl Jung's depth psychology with quantum physical principles.
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 what is the soul 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:04 pm
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Post what is the soul
I have been reading the Red Book and as most of you know, Jung spends much time conversing with his soul. I think everyone knows that according to Jung the soul in a man, at least in a heterosexual one, appears in dreams as a woman, and in a woman's dreams it appears as a man.

I have known this for years, but I just don't agree with Jung on this. Yes, absolutely, there is a female figure within who mediates between consciousness and the Self (the anima). She is often in my dreams. But I can't see my soul as being feminine. I think the most common understandings of soul just don't fit with the Jungian use of the term. Soul is sometimes used to refer to one's true essence. It is not my persona but what I truly am when I don't need the mask of the persona. To some the soul is the eternal part of one's identity: that which goes on after death.

I think that if I have a soul, it is male or genderless. But I can't see my identity as belonging to a female personality. As I said though, there is a sacred feminine within which might be a part of my soul, but it just isn't the whole soul. My identity is definitely male underneath the persona; and if I have an eternal part of my identity, there is no reason to think it is female. I could imagine it only as male or as having no gender at all. (Why there should be genders in the spirit world is beyond me.)

I would love to know what you really think about this. I know what Jung said, and while I think he was a genius of extraordinary abilities, I think he was capable of error. Perhaps he just uses the term soul to mean something other people would not call the soul.

What do you think?

joe :?:

Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:55 am
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Post Anima like a soul rather than is the soul
Hi Joe, it's been about 50 years since I first read Jung. It did not seem to me that the anima a man finds in himself or the animus a woman finds in herself is identical to the personal soul. When the anima or animus is projected outward into the world and found in the flesh as the Beloved One, it sure may FEEL like it that... the apparent soul mate is one's own soul! Anyhow, I was about to go to sleep but took some minutes to find these quotes to contribute to our speculations on this subject. Soul-image... perhaps... rather than actually "the soul"... of ourselves.

Anima. The inner feminine side of a man. (See also animus, Eros, Logos and soul-image.)

The anima is both a personal complex and an archetypal image of woman in the male psyche. It is an unconscious factor incarnated anew in every male child, and is responsible for the mechanism of projection. Initially identified with the personal mother, the anima is later experienced not only in other women but as a pervasive influence in a man's life.

The anima is the archetype of life itself.["Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious,"CW9i, par. 66.]

There is [in man] an imago not only of the mother but of the daughter, the sister, the beloved, the heavenly goddess, and the chthonic Baubo. Every mother and every beloved is forced to become the carrier and embodiment of this omnipresent and ageless image, which corresponds to the deepest reality in a man. It belongs to him, this perilous image of Woman; she stands for the loyalty which in the interests of life he must sometimes forego; she is the much needed compensation for the risks, struggles, sacrifices that all end in disappointment; she is the solace for all the bitterness of life. And, at the same time, she is the great illusionist, the seductress, who draws him into life with her Maya-and not only into life's reasonable and useful aspects, but into its frightful paradoxes and ambivalences where good and evil, success and ruin, hope and despair, counterbalance one another. Because she is his greatest danger she demands from a man his greatest, and if he has it in him she will receive it.[The Syzygy: Anima and Animus,"CW9ii, par. 24]

The anima is personified in dreams by images of women ranging from seductress to spiritual guide. It is associated with the eros principle, hence a man's anima development is reflected in how he relates to women. Within his own psyche, the anima functions as his soul, influencing his ideas, attitudes and emotions.

The anima is not the soul in the dogmatic sense, not an anima rationalis, which is a philosophical conception, 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 always the a priori element in [a man's] moods, reactions, impulses, and whatever else is spontaneous in psychic life.["Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious,"CW9i, par. 57.]

The anima . . . . intensifies, exaggerates, falsifies, and mythologizes all emotional relations with his work and with other people of both sexes. The resultant fantasies and entanglements are all her doing. When the anima is strongly constellated, she softens the man's character and makes him touchy, irritable, moody, jealous, vain, and unadjusted.["Concerning the Archetypes and the Anima Concept,"[ Ibid, par. 144.]

As an inner personality, the anima is complementary to the persona and stands in a compensatory relationship to it.

The persona, the ideal picture of a man as he should be, is inwardly compensated by feminine weakness, and as the individual outwardly plays the strong man, so he becomes inwardly a woman, i.e., the anima, for it is the anima that reacts to the persona. But because the inner world is dark and invisible . . . and because a man is all the less capable of conceiving his weaknesses the more he is identified with the persona, the persona's counterpart, the anima, remains completely in the dark and is at once projected, so that our hero comes under the heel of his wife's slipper.["Anima and Animus,"CW7, par. 309.]

Hence the character of the anima can generally be deduced from that of the persona; all those qualities absent from the outer attitude will be found in the inner.

The tyrant tormented by bad dreams, gloomy forebodings, and inner fears is a typical figure. Outwardly ruthless, harsh, and unapproachable, he jumps inwardly at every shadow, is at the mercy of every mood, as though he were the feeblest and most impressionable of men. Thus his anima contains all those fallible human qualities his persona lacks. If the persona is intellectual, the anima will certainly be sentimental.["Definitions,"CW6, par. 804.]

Similarly, where a man identifies with the persona, he is in effect possessed by the anima, with attendant symptoms.

Identity with the persona automatically leads to an unconscious identity with the anima because, when the ego is not differentiated from the persona, it can have no conscious relation to the unconscious processes. Consequently it is these processes, it is identical with them. Anyone who is himself his outward role will infallibly succumb to the inner processes; he will either frustrate his outward role by absolute inner necessity or else reduce it to absurdity, by a process of enantiodromia. He can no longer keep to his individual way, and his life runs into one deadlock after another. Moreover, the anima is inevitably projected upon a real object, with which he gets into a relation of almost total dependence.[Ibid, par. 807.]

SOURCE and more info: http://www.jungny.com/carl.jung.46.html


"Only if a man dares to entrust himself again to the depth of his origin can he reach the height for which he was destined." Karlfried Graf Durckheim

Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:40 am
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Post Suzanne, thanks
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I find myself in particular agreement with this statement:

>>>The anima is not the soul in the dogmatic sense, not an anima rationalis, which is a philosophical conception, but a natural archetype that satisfactorily sums up all the statements of the unconscious,<<<


Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:26 pm
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Post Re: what is the soul
As I recall, alchemical "soul" is meant to be more of a hermaphrodite type - do not worry, nothing gross here, it's just somewhat like referring to child as "it", not "he" or "she". Mercury, symbol most closely related to "soul" in my own understanding, is depicted as man and woman coincidentally, being neither one nor other. So Jung's "anima" is not alchemical "soul", anima, but it is something like missing part of a whole and complete Anthropos (ideal man) in your psyche - integrating her is the way to integrate whole Anthropos, where only one step remains to integration of Self. Of course, somebody with better understanding of Jungean archetypes can correct me if I'm wrong here )

Alchemy is a dance of life.

Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:15 pm
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