Within every man lies a female aspect, which is called ‘anima’. Likewise in every woman there is a male aspect which we call ‘animus’. The patterns for the male and female aspects in a person are laid down predominantly by the example of masculinity and femininity illustrated by a persons’ parents or carers. In addition, a person is born with certain tendencies, which were inherited or even brought over from a past life to slightly complicate things a little further. It is interesting as these patterns develop unconsciously; we are not aware of the process and think we are always acting as free individuals when choosing a mate. This is not always the case, however. Co-dependency and projection are huge problems. A woman is not just a woman. A man is not just a man. Each possesses the attributes of both. Neither is superior to the other.
The ideal relationship between the two aspects of a male should be that the male part is dominant with the feminine side supporting and co-operating with it. For a woman, the feminine part should be stronger with the masculine helping in the background. The heart and the head, or yin and yang, both need to be expressed in each sex. The yin being feeling, heart, receptiveness and compassion. The Yang being intellect, head, assertiveness and logic. The balance can be upset in any number of different ways according to how a person reacted to his parents’ attitudes towards him or her. We have all seen extreme cases of men who are all male, having little contact with their anima, and who therefore lack the ability to feel; and we have seen women who are totally feminine but who are out of touch with their animus and lack the ability to think logically and clearly.
There are other extremes or caricatures: men who have such a strong anima that they appear effeminate and women whose animus controls them to such an extent that they become dominating and forceful and act more like men. These people seek the opposite in a partner to balance them. Someone at the other extreme. To help correct such imbalances and develop equilibrium, we should first scrutinise our parents’ attitudes and to try to understand their effect on our childhood development. A patterning is often involved, the parents having been exposed to their parents patterns and so on back through past generations, each one repeating the habits of the preceding one. None of us can become whole and balanced until we have recognised, accepted and assumed responsibility for all our own parts of femininity and masculinity. One reason for this continued patterning and repetition through generations is that a man is likely to be attracted to a mate who reminds him of his mother if he has a good relationship with her, or to a woman who is very different from her if he reacted to her with rebellion or dislike. The same role applies when a woman chooses a husband or lover. She will usually be attracted to a man who reminds her of her father, or who is as different as possible from him if she disliked him. Gay relationships follow similar models.
As a result of this unfortunately, people then project onto a partner all of the attributes they have become accustomed to associating with their ideal and this can cause a lot of problems. The partner is expected to carry these projections and invariably forced to live out a role instead of being free to express his or her real self. Therefore, every person should study how their parents have effected them. People can become more balanced by expressing both sides of their nature, rather than by living in a symbolic relationship where each leans on the strong or more developed qualities of the other instead of developing their own weaker ones. It is very clear that the heart, or femininity aspect has been suppressed at every level of society, for love and compassion are in short supply and aggression and attack are becoming more and more frequent.
Certain men should not only think, analyse, rationalise and control but should balance these qualities with empathy, consideration of others and genuine love. Likewise, certain women should bring into daily situations their ability to think in an organised way rather than relying on men to carry out this function for them but this should not be at the expense of their feeling nature. The four functions of intuition, intellect, sensation and emotion should be developed as much as possible in both sexes to bring about a more balanced and integrated person, whether male or female, heterosexual or homosexual. The work I do in ‘Elevated Therapy’ can address this imbalance in each individual to stabilise their life in a positive way.