Soul Possession

Wherever an impassioned, almost magical, relationship exists between the sexes, it is invariably a question of a projected soul-image.

If the soul-image is projected, the result is an absolute affective tie to the object. If it is not projected, a relatively unadapted state develops, which Freud has described as narcissism. The projection of the soul-image offers a release from preoccupation with one's inner processes so long as the behaviour of the object is in harmony with the soul-image. The subject is then in a position to live out his persona and develop it further.

In a normal man the soul-image is not distinguished by any particular clarity, purity, or depth, but is apt to be rather blurred. In men with a good-natured and unaggressive persona, the soul-image has a rather malevolent character.

For an idealistic woman, a depraved man is often the bearer of the soul-image; hence the "saviour-fantasy" so frequent in such cases. The same thing happens with men, when the prostitute is surrounded with the halo of a soul crying for succour.

[C.G. Jung]
The Essential Jung, p.104,105

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  1. He: I get it now: all these women, all these things I have been into, that you, anima, have led me into, that I have called projections, have been to give me the sense of being in, of being smaller than, inferior to what I have got into. That's why it has always been too much.

    That's the secret of anima possessions: to show me that you possess me and are bigger than me. If I can give you this recognition, ... no, if I can keep this awareness of my inferiority to soul, that I am always somewhere embraced in a psychic state, then I don't need to be possessed to be proven that I am embraced.

    [James Hillman]
    Healing Fiction, p.123

  2. Balance: the beloved balances you, and so reminds you of the Whole.