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sleeping anima ?

Hi everyone,
Just had this dream and its bugging me!

I had a conversation with my anima(embodied as an older female I know with the body of my girlfriend) wherein she told me she was scared that a life's worth of science was in limbo due to some incorrect calculation she might have made. I told her that regardless of some technical mishap...
At this point (as in mid sentence), she went from being in my bathroom, (a typical location where me and my girlfriend will have conversations when we get ready) to lying on my bed.
...that she was an excellent scientist and that we both knew that. Upon hearing this she smiled and fell asleep, like a cat and curled up around me (this curling up around me and being in contact with me weirded me out). When she was sleeping, I left her and the dream ended. There are two things that struck me:
1) at one point she was lying next to me on my bed, like a lover, this made me uncomfortable - being this close to a female (who is not my girlfriend) b/c it violates my values concerning my girlfriend, but I stayed until she was asleep
2) as soon as she fell asleep, i quietly snuck out, so as not to disturb her. this for me is both like the stranger stealing out of the bed of a one night stand, and the way I would leave the bed so as not to disturb the one I love

Something is bugging me about this dream and it has to do with her falling asleep and my feelings of discomfort when she was close to me. In talking about this with another person, they felt sleeping simply meant "to let go of" whatever problem was causing the grief/anxiety. This didn't jive for me b/c in my waking consciousness, I place very little value on the technical components of a psychological theory ie, the type of design, the specific statistical assumptions...I place value on whether the theory resonates with my being, my body, and my intuitions. So, the anguish of making a technical mistake as nullifying a whole career doesn't seem to come from me.

My only concern is that I want my anima to be an active force that contributes to my life, and the image of her falling asleep worries me as I want her to provide insight and wisdom. So I'm not sure whether I should let her sleep (because she ought to be for whatever reason) or whether I'm missing something and should strive to re-activate her.


Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 30

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} male

Re: sleeping anima ?

Hi Emilio,

It’s difficult to comment on a person’s dream without a fair amount of background information, but since you’ve provided some thoughts about what bothers you about the dream, here are a couple of ideas.

Being in the “bath” room where you normally “get ready” may echo the idea of a potential baptism into a new realization about yourself since the dream has affected you so much.

From your comments about your attitude toward psychological theories, a classical Jungian Type Theory interpretation could be jumped to wherein you become a person for whom feelings are most important along with intuition. This would tend to make thinking and use of sensations (“technical components”, “statistical assumptions”) less important to you.

Following along with the classic type theory, your anima would embody these ways of operating in the world (thinking and sensation), and would tend to be less developed overall. This seems to fit with the woman in your dream who is linked to “science” and an “incorrect calculation” which suggest thought and outer facts. The extreme statement of a life’s work being in limbo also appears to mesh with the idea of a mostly unconscious part of yourself (“doesn’t seem to come from me”).

Being unconscious, she would be erotic and highly seductive to the ego (going to lie on the bed) and prone to be projected as well at the drop of a hat (“feelings of discomfort when she was close to me”, “the way I would leave the bed so as not to disturb the one I love”, “one night stand”).

She curls up like a cat, the latter often being very central to symbolizing the feminine, therefore further emphasizing her being largely unconscious since things that are unconscious in a male are thought of as “feminine” in Jungian theory.

Her “being asleep” may translate as “being unconscious”, that is, thinking and sensation, or whatever actual ways of orientation in yourself that are at issue, tend to be undeveloped, “unconscious”, and just “come and go” without too much ego control.

The idea would be to work at these undeveloped ways of orientation as well as possible through the daily rubbing of shoulders with all round life experience. The inner woman would then mature and provide deeper levels of understanding through providing a link with the unconscious.

You may be aware that the classical Jungian view posits four developmental stages of the inner woman as mirrored in outer women and art. The first stage would be something like primitive women living in Africa, the South Seas etc. The second stage is romanticized beauty like Helen of Troy. The third stage can be imaged by the Virgin Mary, sort of spiritualized eros. The final stage is something like a goddess of wisdom like Sophia or Athena.

So your dream may be saying “Don’t leave the room, but get to know this part of yourself better!”

Re: sleeping anima ?


Thanks for your ideas! I am an INFJ in addition to which I agree with your assessment re: feeling/intuition; however, I do place importance on the body/sensation, but this focus is very recent.

Just to clarify what you mean, "Following along with the classic type theory, your anima would embody these ways of operating in the world (thinking and sensation), and would tend to be less developed overall"
You are suggesting that my anima will embody my strong intuitive and weak sensation or the inverse? That is, I place great value in intuition, but in my dream my anima seemed unable to access this strength...rather she seemed locked into a singluar mode of sensation.

Thanks for the comments concerning why the anima is erotic. Eroticism is a challenge to sort out.

I like the idea that sleep points to aspects of myself being unconscious, but my anima's behavior seemed contradictory to implying something underdeveloped. Namely, she and I were actively engaged until I told her she was an excellent scientist, at which point she smiled, and fell asleep.

I can't fully make sense of it yet, but I think your suggestion towards a baptism has given me something to think about, what new realization I am embarking upon. The mystery that perplexes me, once solved, will provide a door through which I can pass thru to the other side.

Thanks again for your comments. I will post more when more comes to me.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 30

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} male

Re: sleeping anima ?

Hi again Emilio,

Just to clarify, she would likely embody both the weaker sensation and thinking functions all mixed together as is normal for aspects of the mind that are mostly unconscious. As either of these functions develops (bringing up the fourth function is demonically hard to do if at all), it would likely be pictured for you as a masculine figure.

As you probably know, none of this is totally a matter of rigid definition since in certain favorable outer situations, she (thinking and/or sensation) will react well whereas in situations you may be less comfortable with overall, she will be less reliable. Your strongest functions would normally be imaged in dreams by the dream ego and other male figures.

It’s possible that she fell asleep (became unconscious) with a smile because it isn’t true that she’s an excellent scientist. Perhaps you may not yet be able to distinguish good thinking and sensation-use well enough and therefore, she is indeed mostly “unconscious”.

Unfortunately, the anima figure is also related to self delusion and as with any inner figure, must be dealt with assertively. In “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”, Jung describes that once when writing down fantasies during his confrontation with the unconscious he wondered what he was doing since it was so far from his previous scientific approach. An inner female voice suddenly said “That is art”. By careful reflection he realized that the fantasies were not art but nature.

Jung continues:

”What the anima said seemed to me full of a deep cunning. If I had taken these fantasies of the unconscious as art, they would have carried no more conviction than visual perceptions…The anima might then have easily seduced me into believing that I was a misunderstood artist, and that my so-called artistic nature gave me the right to neglect reality. If I had followed her voice, she would in all probability have said to me one day, ‘Do you imagine the nonsense you’re engaged in is really art? Not a bit’. Thus the insinuations of the anima, the mouthpiece of the unconscious, can utterly destroy a man”

If you’re not familiar with it, you might like the book “Inner Work” by analyst Robert Johnson which covers dream interpretation and inner dialogues. “Personality Types: Jung’s Model of Typology” by Daryl Sharp provides a concise and valuable summary even for those who are very familiar with the overall theory.

Re: sleeping anima ?

All very helpful, CBS, thanks for your time and effort. The notion that the anima is a trickster proved valuable in asking questions about my assumptions, the particular dream imagery and transition within the dream. The important part is exactly that my anima is not a scientist (in my dream I expressed that she was only to make myself feel better).

I will seek out those books you mentioned.


Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 30

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} male

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