Aion, Carl Jung: Chapter IV.58

Intellect and feeling, however, are difficult to put into one harness — they conflict with one another by definition.  Whoever identifies with an intellectual standpoint will occasionally find his feeling confronting him like an enemy in the guise of the anima; conversely, an intellectual animus will make violent attacks on the feeling standpoint.  Therefore, anyone who wants to achieve the difficult feat of realizing something not only intellectually, but also according to its feeling-value, must for better or worse come to grips with the anima/animus problem in order to open the way for a higher union, a coniunctio oppositorum.  This is an indispensable prerequisite for wholeness.

Commentary on Chapter IV.58

  1. ambrose_mnemopolous Post author

    The anima and animus, in Carl Jung’s psychoanalytic framework, are the two primary anthropomorphic archetypes of the unconscious mind. They are part of the collective unconscious, a domain of the unconscious that transcends the personal psyche. In the unconscious of the male, this archetype finds expression as a feminine inner personality: anima; equivalently, in the unconscious of the female it is expressed as a masculine inner personality: animus. The integrated personality therefore represents a “conjunction of opposites,” of male and female.

  2. ambrose_mnemopolous Post author

    The alchemical symbolism of male and female also played a role in certain Gnostic sects.

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Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self is Part 2 of the Volume 9 in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, a series of books published by Princeton University Press in the U.S. and Routledge & Kegan Paul in the U.K. Originally published in German (1951), it is a major work of Jung's later years. Its central theme is the symbolic representation of the psychic totality through the concept of the Self, whose traditional historical equivalent is the figure of Christ.