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The exchange: conversations with yourself

We know that practically every one has not only the peculiarity, but also the faculty, of holding a conversation with himself. Whenever we are in a predicament we ask ourselves (or whom else?), "What shall I do?" either aloud or beneath our breath, and we (or who else?) supply the answer. Since it is our intention to learn what we can about the foundations of our being, this little matter of living in a metaphor should not bother us. We have to accept it as a symbol of our primitive backwardness (or of such naturalness as is still, mercifully, left to us).

Source - C.G. Jung, Individuation: Anima and Animus. CW 7: Two Essays in Analytical Psychology, par. 323.

When the conscious mind participates actively and experiences each stage of the process, or at least understands it intuitively, then the next image always starts off on the higher level that has been won, and purposiveness develops. The immediate goal of the analysis of the unconscious, therefore, is to reach a state where the unconscious contents no longer remain unconscious and no longer express themselves indirectly as animus and anima phenomena; that is to say, a state in which animus and anima become functions of relationship to the unconscious. So long as they are not this, they are autonomous complexes, disturbing factors that break through the conscious control and act like true "disturbers of the peace." Because this is such a well-known fact my term "complex," as used in this sense, has passed into common speech. The more "complexes" a man has, the more he is possessed; and when we try to form a picture of the personality which expresses itself through his complexes we must admit that it resembles nothing so much as an hysterical woman – i.e., the anima! But if such a man makes himself conscious of his unconscious contents, as they appear firstly in the factual contents of his personal unconscious, and then in the fantasies of the collective unconscious, he will get to the roots of his complexes, and in this way rid himself of his possession.

Source - C.G. Jung, Individuation: The Mana-Personality. Ibid., pars. 386-387.

Jung argued that just as it was essential for a man to distinguish between what he was and how he appeared to others [the differentiation of the persona], it was equally essential to become conscious of "his invisible relations to the unconscious" and hence to differentiate himself from the anima. He noted that when the anima was unconscious, it was projected. For a child, the first bearer of the soul-image was the mother, and thereafter, the women who aroused a man's feelings. One needed to objectify the anima and to pose questions to her, by the method of inner dialogue or active imagination. Everyone, he claimed, had this ability to hold dialogues with him- or herself. Active imagination would thus be one form of inner dialogue, a type of dramatized thinking.

Source - Sonu Shamdasani, Philemon's Sanctuary. Introduction to The Red Book: Liber Novus.

Art: Oleg Zhivetin, 'The Exchange'

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