Organizations and Archetypes

Organizations and Archetypes

Monika Kostera

Archetypes are common patterns containing hidden images of human motivations, offering inspiration and awakening imagination. This book is a collection of such tales, connected to twelve organizational archetypes, where each is illustrated by more general theoretical reflections, current management and organization theory literature, as well as practical examples. Monika Kostera proposes an imagery and language for self-management and self-organization for non-corporate use including entrepreneurs and multipurpose NGOs.

Chapter 6: Anima and Animus

Monika Kostera

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies

Extract

According to Carl Gustav Jung ([1934–1954] 1968), the Anima and the Animus are two main personality archetypes. The Anima is the female aspect of the soul, and the Animus, the male. The Anima contains the elements of all the roles women play and the Animus, analogically, carries the potential of all the male roles. Jung claimed that men carry the Anima in their unconscious domain; he claimed that: ‘The whole nature of man presupposes woman, both physically and spiritually. His system is tuned into woman from the start, just as it is prepared for a quite definite world where there is water, light, air, salt, carbohydrates etc.’ (Jung, [1928] 1972, p. 190). Similarly, the woman’s soul contains in its unconscious domain the archetype of the Animus, an inner warrior who is ‘partial to argument, he can best be seen at work in disputes where both parties know they are right’ (Jung, [1934–1954] 1968, p. 29). The Animus, however, is a secondary element in relation to the primary Anima, though, similarly to the Anima, it is deeply integrated with the soul and thoroughly rooted in the sphere of the collective unconscious. Jung focused more closely on the description of the Anima as it contains, according to him, a creative potential which can lead a person to true wisdom: this is the image of the Anima as Sophia, the divine wisdom. A similar path and potential also linked with the presence of the Animus.

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