Author Topic: The Second Anima/us  (Read 3434 times)


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The Second Anima/us
« on: November 09, 2007, 11:47:17 AM »
Here is a motif that my intuition wants me to fill in with a definition: a second opposite sex character who seems to generate a negative feeling on the part of the first opposite sex character.  There may be an attraction on the part of the dreamer to this second opposite sex character but a conflict in that attraction with a more opposite sex character evokes a sense of "marital infidelity".  This character may also be associated with what is original or natural.

A recent spate of dreams has suggested to me that this is a fourth character in a quaternity of characters that goes something like this:

higher couple:  ego and anima/us
lower couple:  shadow and shadow's anima/us

The higher couple has to do with matters associated with upper rather than lower.  I suspect that by upper it meant a layer of self-consciousness, an abstract type of knowledge, perhaps the knowledge assembled by the rational functions of thinking and feeling.  The lower couple would be the compliment with an emphasis on the irrational functions or instinctual matters.

This is all a rough sketch and whether this definition pans out to be of lasting use remains to be seen.  But this is my process for digesting what it is I find in dreams and myths.  The thrill of potential discovery (if this is what this is) is usually worth the risk of chasing a phantom for me.

Also, I don't like the name and so if this motif bears any depth I hope that another name will present itself.

Certainly time will tell about the nature of this individual seen in dreams.  I think it represents a post-shadow, post-anima/us differentiation of the psyche as there is already a context of a coordination of the dreamer with one or both of these characters.

An alternate explanation could be that this character is a blending, or combination of the shadow and anima but I don't "like" that idea as much although I can't say why. 

For examples of such quaternic couples in myth I have often mentioned the operas The Magic Flute by Mozart and The Woman without a Shadow by Richard Strauss.  Probably any modern romantic comedy involving a pair of friends who are both looking for love with one friend being more principled while the other is more self-serving would evoke this motif.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2008, 01:50:29 PM by Sealchan »


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Re: The Shadow's Anima/us
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2008, 01:49:59 PM »
Here is a revision of the above idea based on further experience with seeing this now fairly common motif.  I prefer the term second anima/us at this point because it seems that the shadow is often excluded from these dreams...

I have noticed a pattern in dreams that has to do with same age, opposite characters that includes the following generalized motifs:

1.  new character versus the old anima/us figure where the old anima/us is often a spouse or long-term significant other
2.  sex/coniunctio
3.  natural/original
4.  conflict between old anima/us and new figure
5.  defining an experience of limitation

The second animus (for women) would seem to come in as a revision of the animus but not necessarily as a replacement.  I have yet to see if this new figure is meant to be a new and improved animus or if he is really a fourth figure in a quaternity that might go something like this:

upper ego-animus couple
lower shadow-second animus couple