Friday, April 8, 2016

Role Definition of Anima and Animus

".......after the Kurukshetra war in the Mahabharat , Bhishma gave a long lecture for almost 2 months to Yudhhishtra about Sanatan Dharma. Here is what he said:
“O ruler of the earth (Yuddhisthira) the lineage in which daughters and the daughters-in-law are saddened by ill treatment that lineage is destroyed. When out of their grief these women curse these households such households lose their charm, prosperity and happiness.”
…………..Mahabharata, Anushashanparva, Chapter 12, sloka 14

“The true feminine is the receptacle of love. The true masculine is the spirit that goes into the eternal unknown in search of meaning. The great container, the Self, is paradoxically both male and female and contains both. If these are projected onto the outside world, transcendence ceases to exist. The Self—the inner wholeness—is petrified. Without the true masculine spirit and the true feminine love within, no inner life exists…. To be free is to break the stone images and allow life and love to flow.” ………Marion Woodman

Marion Woodman is a Canadian mythopoetic author and women's movement figure. She is a Jungian analyst trained at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zürich, Switzerland. She is one of the most widely read authors on feminine psychology, focusing on psyche and soma.
In the above quote she describes how the Jungian concept of the dual nature of the psyche as ‘animus’ and ‘anima’ play out their role and the loss of the purpose of this dual nature by external projection, which naturally is rooted not on eternal unknown domain but on the external physical reality, the perfect balance between the mind and body or the psyche and soma is lost. The inner kernel which is the Soul or the Self is petrified and looses its function of ascendance in the Divine role of spiritual renewal. This can be equated to the fruit in a tree. If the External hard skin which is the outer body and the protective and nourishing pulp which is mind ripen at the right balance, the inner kernel or seed which is Soul cannot break free and return to nature to bear fruit again.

The functions of the anima and the animus are further elaborated as the female principle being the embodiment of love and the male principle being the relational or bonding agency  of this love by finding meaning in the eternal unknown. In contrast it has become human beings corrupt nature of sensory oriented consciousness to use the male principle to bond with meanings we derive from external known objective reality and deploy the female principle of love in ego satisfaction.

When we read any myth we need to identify the language in which the original myth is told and as Joseph Campbell declares myths are the language of dreams and its gets its multidimensional interpretation based on the cultural context in which an adept or master is able to weave a meaning appropriate to the current consciousness of the audience.

The passage from Mahabharata can thoroughly be diluted if we confine ourselves to the physical and emotional treatment of women. While the compassionate, egalitarian and just treatment of women is a requirement from a moral perspective, the spiritual dimension from which this morality has to evolve is by finding the meaning beyond the external realities. 

Yudhhishtra is the eldest of the successful Pandavas who had fulfilled their karmic duty of waging a just war. Bhishma, though in the defeated camp, was master teacher of archery, and had the boon of choosing his time of death. As I had earlier written to be the greatest in archery means to be spiritually highly ascended.
It is the clever trick of Krishna to use Shikhandi, who was male form of Shikhandini, a Divine child, as Arjuna’s shield. Though mythological character are portrayed Shikhandi and Shikhandini play the role of the animus and anima of Arjuna.
Bhishma sees through the deception but does not wish to harm, due to his high morality, the female defender.
Why I narrate this portion of Bhishma’s life is because this myth involves the animus and anima principle.
The animus and anima of the extremely ascended soul of Bhishma realizes the female principle defending the chariot which was the Divine abode represented by Lord Krishna’s presence with Arjuna  and willingly withdraws the deployment of his animus thus empowering his own annihilation.

Here the ‘ruler of the earth’ is addressed to every individual as we are all Divine images in its purest form but on this earth to realize our true nature which has been modified in its perception due to karmic impressions. The external world is given to us to find meanings in order to nourish the inner receptacle of love to receive the healing love of the Divine. The abuse of the ‘daughters and the daughters-in-law’ is a reference to the abuse of the anima by externalizing it on the physical female manifestation. By doing this the ‘household’ which refers to the Self or the Soul looses inner enrichment.

Love to you all.

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