chapter  2
7 Pages

Animus and Anim

According to our text, among the figures of the unconscious there are not only gods but also the animus and anima. The word hun is translated by Wilhelm as animus. Indeed, the concept ‘animus’ seems appropriate for hun, the character for which is made up o f the character for ‘clouds’ and that for ‘demon’. Thus hun means ‘doud-demon’, a higher ‘breath-soul’ belonging to the yang principle and therefore masculine. After death, hun rises upward and becomes shen, the ‘expanding and self-revealing’ spirit or god. ‘Anima’, called p ‘o, and written with the characters for ‘white’ and for ‘demon’, that is, ‘white ghost’, belongs to the lower, earth-bound, bodily soul, the yin principle, and is therefore feminine. After death, it sinks down­ ward and becomes kuei (demon), often explained as the ‘one who returns’ (i.e. to earth), a revenant, a ghost. The feet that the animus and the anima part after death and go their ways independently shows that, for the Chinese consdousness, they are distinguishable psychic factors which have markedly different effects, and, despite the fact that originally they are united in ‘the one effective, true human nature’, in the ‘house o f die Creative’, they are two. ‘The animus is in the heavenly heart.’ ‘The animus lives in the daytime in the eyes (that is in consciousness); at night it houses in the liver.’ It is that ‘which we have received from the great emptiness, that which is identical in form with the primal beginning’. The anima, on the other hand, is the ‘energy of the heavy and the turbid’; it

clings to the bodily, fleshly heart. ‘Desires and impulses to anger* are its effects. ‘Whoever is sombre and moody on waking . . . is fettered by the anima.*

Many years ago, before Wilhelm acquainted me with this text, I used the concept ‘anima*1 in a way quite analogous to the Chinese definition ofp*o, and of course entirely apart from any metaphysical premise. To the psychologist, the anima is not a transcendental being but something quite within the range of experience. For as the Chinese definition also makes clear, affective conditions are immediate experiences. But why then does one speak of anima and not simply of moods? The reason is that affects have an autonomous character, and therefore most people are under their power. But, as we have seen, affects are delimitable contents of consciousness, parts of the personality. As parts of the personality, they partake of its character and can therefore be easily personified, a process which is still going on to-day, as the examples cited above have shown. The personification is not an idle invention, inasmuch as the indi­ vidual stirred by affect does not show a neutral character, but a quite distinct one, different from his ordinary character. Careful investigation has shown that the affective character in a man has feminine traits. This psychological fact has given rise to the Chinese teaching of the^o-soul, as well as to my concept of the anima. Deeper introspection, or ecstatic experience, reveals the existence of a feminine figure in the unconscious, therefore the feminine name, anima, psyche, or soul. The anima can also be defined as an imago, or archetype, or as the resultant of all the experiences of man with woman. This is the reason the anima, as a rule, is projected on the woman. As we know, poetry has often described and celebrated the anima.2