Each person lives both male and female lives. As a rule, conscious memory of these is not retained. To prevent an overidentification of the individual with his present sex, within the male there resides an inner personification of femaleness. This . . . is the true meaning of what Jung called the ‘anima.’ The anima in the male is, therefore, the psychic memory and identification of all the previous female existences in which the inner self has been involved . . . [It] is an important safeguard, preventing the male from over-identifying with whatever cultural male characteristics have been imposed upon him . . . Maleness and femaleness are obviously not opposites, but merging tendencies. The priestess, the mother, the young witch, the wife, and the old wise woman — these general types are archetypes, simply because they are ‘root elements’ representing, symbolically, the various kinds of so-called female qualities and the various kinds of female lives that have been lived by males. They have also been lived by females, of course. However, the women do not need to be reminded of
their femaleness, but again, so that they do not over-identify with their present sex, there is what Jung called the ‘animus,’ or the hidden male within the woman.
The anima represents the necessary initial ‘inwardness,’ the brooding, caring, intuitive, inside-turning characteristics, the inward focusing from which creativity comes . . . The anima allows itself to be acted upon, but the motive behind this is the desire and the necessity to tune into other forces that are supremely powerful. The desire to be swept along, therefore, is as strong with the anima as the opposite desire for rest. The characteristics of the animus provide the aggressive thrust that returns the personality back outward into physical activities, triumphantly holding the products of creativity that the anima characteristics have secured. The whole self is obviously the sum of these characteristics, and more. After the final incarnation, the physical, sexual type of creativity is simply no longer needed. You do not need to reproduce physically, in other worlds. In simple terms the whole self contains male and female characteristics, finely tuned together, blended so that true identity can then arise — for it cannot, when one group of characteristics must be emphasized over the other group, as it must be during your present physical existence. There are many reasons why the separation has been adopted within your dimension. The reasons have to do with the particular way in which mankind has chosen to evolve and use his abilities . . .
The reality of the anima and the animus is far deeper than Jung supposed. Symbolically speaking, the two together represent the whole self with its diverse abilities, desires, and characteristics. Together they act as a built-in, unconscious stabilizing factor, operating behind the faces of your civilization not only individually but culturally. . . .
The male yearns toward the anima because it represents to the deep unconscious those other characteristics of the whole self that, on the one hand, lie latent, and that, on the other hand, struggle for release. The tension between the two leads him to temper aggressiveness with creativity, or to use aggressiveness creatively.
Your reality exists in a particular area of activity in which aggressive qualities, thrusting-outward characteristics, are supremely necessary to prevent a falling back into the infinite possibilities from which you have only lately emerged. Yet from this unconscious bed of possibilities you derive your strength, your creativity, and the fragile yet powerful kind of individual consciousness that is your own. The two-sex division was adopted, separating and balancing these most necessary but seemingly opposing tendencies. Only beginning consciousness needs these kinds of controls. . . .