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"C.G. Jung, Anima/us, Homosexuality and Integrity". John Beebe in conversation with Stefano Carpani

The only hope, or else despair Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre - To be redeemed from fire by fire. Who then devised the torment? Love is the unfamiliar Name Behind the hands that wove The intolerable shirt of flame Which human power cannot remove. We only live, only suspire Consumed by either fire or fire.

When, in our brokenness, we halt it within us To be truly men and truly women - masculine men and feminine women - the divinely ordered dance must once again resume, at the cost of fire. True masculinity, not just as a transcendent essence, but as an immanent, manifest quality of character in men, is always wedded to the true feminine: his essential quality of leading softened by the longing to yield to the tender needs of others. True femininity, not just as a transcendent essence but as an immanent, manifest quality of character in true women, is always wedded to the true masculine: her essential quality of yielding strengthened by the ability to point toward the noblest goals.

Of course, no creature is perfect - nor becomes so in this life - but in basic psychological and spiritual health again both within persons and between them , it is the easy conjunction of the dance, however imperfect, that shines forth, not the individual partners. One of the chief characteristics of psychological and spiritual dis-ease sic.


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The result is falsely masculine or feminine men; falsely feminine or masculine women; everywhere, within and between, broken vows and betrothals. In the psychological theory of C. Jung, the feminine within a man is called the anima, and the masculine within a woman is called the animus. By this he means that they have rejected an open identification with masculinity, and have adopted instead a feminized identity.

And similarly with respect to the animus for many female homosexuals.

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Homosexual cure, in his view, comes about by establishing a relationship to, rather than an identification with, the anima or animus. This he does by observing himself, his behaviors, fantasies, moods and dreams with the assistance of others and thus noting that his behavior and mental states over time are not as consistent with his image of himself as he would like to believe.

In his imagination, he learns to envision this separate being within in personified form. In the Jungian view, these personifications are not merely poetic, but psychologically actual. There really is a separate being within and one must learn to recognize her or him. This newly-discovered and -related-to inner being will now bring to the individual - consciously and deliberately - a wealth of new insights and attitudes previously unavailable to him.

Such deep splits in the psyche surely exist, but only in some people. They arise as a consequence of trauma, and are a defense against, conscious suffering.

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Jung, Jungians & Homosexuality by Robert H. Hopcke

This should happen as quickly as possible, not waiting only until the last minute, as Jung apparently did, since such splits form the basis of much that is tragically destructive in human relationships. Healing of an anima or an animus - let us use the term properly, as referring to an illness to be healed, not to something normal, and certainly not a benefit 5 - requires among other things a deep immersion in the suffering that produced the split s in the first place.

To maintain the split is to avoid this redemptive suffering. A relatively seamless dance between masculine and feminine qualities in a person is not only highly desirable, it is quite possible, and need not take a lifetime of effort to achieve.


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Extended periods of such gracefulness form the foundation of all mature, stable marriages, for example. But only under extremely sad conditions do these personifications need to take on a life of their own. When they do, the personality they configure turns false - a false self containing within it many unhealed splits. Active imagination is not prayer, and is entirely unrelated to prayer contrary to the claims of Jungian Churchmen: vide Kelsey.

Same-sex desire through a post-Jungian lens

It easily can be admixed with prayer especially when first learning active imagination and especially with listening prayer, causing much confu-sion. To begin active imagination, one holds an image in mind, and patiently waits to see what changes it spontaneously undergoes. Later, one may learn to have very active dialogues with these figures, but note following. Active imagination reveals existing splits in the psyche, and can thus be useful diagnostically, as it were.

Jung, Jungians & Homosexuality

People like Jung, for whom inner personifications take on an almost and at times for him completely hallucinatory reality for extended periods of time have very serious splits in their psyches. It is a method of practicing the presence of the false self.

In this way, one cultivates a diseased fantasy life whose seductive strength arises both from its fascinating autonomy and its capacity to wall off personal suffering. They are fragments of a fragmented self. A more correct formulation is as follows I will speak of men : The male homosexual has not established a basic, healthy masculine identity with which he is comfortable.

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He does have a masculine identity of a kind, however, not a feminine one. Part of the healthy masculine identity he has not yet attained - indeed, one of its defining features - is that it longs for, admires and seeks union with the feminine. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website.

By Robert H. Processing, please wait.. Wipf and Stock. My Account Log In Search:. You have no items in your shopping cart. Jung, Jungians and Homosexuality. Add to Cart. About - In an effort to provide the first coherent theory of sexual orientation in the tradition of analytical psychology, Robert Hopcke examines the way in which Jung and Jungians have regarded homosexuality both clinically and theoretically, demonstrating that within a great diversity of opinion there exist many ways to deepen an understanding of the lives and loves of gay men and lesbians.

Hopcke proposes a view of homosexuality that is archetypally based, empirically supportable, psychologically profound, and spiritually evocative.