Chapter 15: CONCLUSION
I have tried, in this book, to elucidate and amplify the various aspects of the archetype which it is most important for modern man to understand -- namely, the archetype of the self. By way of introduction, I described those concepts and archetypes which manifest themselves in the course of any psychological treatment that penetrates at all deeply. The first of these is the SHADOW, that hidden, repressed, for the most part inferior and guilt-laden personality whose ultimate ramifications reach back into the realm of our animal ancestors and so comprise the whole historical aspect of the unconscious. Through analysis of the shadow and of the processes contained in it we uncover the ANIMA/ANIMUS syzygy. Looked at superficially, the shadow is cast by the conscious mind and is as much a privation of light as the physical shadow that follows the body. For this superficial view, therefore, the psychological shadow with its moral inferiority might also be regarded as a privation of good. On closer inspection, however, it proves to be a darkness that hides influential and autonomous factors which can be distinguished in their own right, namely anima and animus. When we observe them in full operation -- as the devastating, blindly obstinate demon of opinionatedness in a woman, and the glamorous, possessive, moody, and sentimental seductress in a man -- we begin to doubt whether the unconscious can be merely the insubstantial comet's tail of consciousness and nothing but a privation of light and good.
If it has been believed hitherto that the human shadow was the source of all evil, it can now be ascertained on closer investigation that the unconscious man, that is, his shadow, does not consist only of morally reprehensible tendencies, but also displays a number of good qualities, such as normal instincts, appropriate reactions, realistic insights, creative impulses, etc. On this level of understanding, evil appears more as a distortion, a deformation, a misinterpretation and misapplication of facts that in themselves are natural. These falsifications and caricatures now appear as the specific effects of anima and animus, and the latter as the real authors of evil. But we cannot stop even at this realization, for it turns out that all archetypes spontaneously develop favourable and un favourable, light and dark, good and bad effects. In the end we have to acknowledge that the self is a complexio oppositorum precisely because there can be no reality without polarity. We must not overlook the fact that opposites acquire their moral accentuation only within the sphere of human endeavour and action, and that we are unable to give a definition of good and evil that could be considered universally valid. In other words, we do not know what good and evil are in themselves. It must therefore be supposed that they spring from a need of human consciousness and that for this reason they lose their validity outside the human sphere. That is to say a hypostasis of good and evil as metaphysical entities is inadmissible because it would deprive these terms of meaning. If we call everything that God does or allows "good," then evil is good too, and "good" becomes meaningless. But suffering, whether it be Christ's passion or the suffering of the world, remains the same as before. Stupidity, sin, sickness, old age, and death continue to form the dark foil that sets off the joyful splendour of life.
The recognition of anima and animus is a specific experience that seems to be reserved mostly, or at any rate primarily, for psychotherapists. Nevertheless, anyone who has a little knowledge of belles-lettres will have no difficulty in forming a picture of the anima; she is a favourite subject for novelists, particularly west of the Rhine.  Nor is a careful study of dreams always necessary. It is not quite so easy to recognize the woman's animus, for his name is legion. But anyone who can stand the animosity of his fellows without being infected by it, and is capable at the same time of examining it critically, cannot help discovering that they are possessed. It is, however, more advantageous and more to the point to subject to the most rigorous scrutiny one's own moods and their changing influence on one's personality. To know where the other person makes a mistake is of little value. It only becomes interesting when you know where you make the mistake, for then you can do something about it. What we can improve in others is of doubtful utility as a rule, if, indeed, it has any effect at all.
Although, to begin with, we meet the anima and animus mostly in their negative and unwelcome form, they are very far from being only a species of bad spirit. They have, as we have said, an equally positive aspect. Because of their numinous, suggestive power they have formed since olden times the archetypal basis of all masculine and feminine divinities and therefore merit special attention, above all from the psychologist, but also from thoughtful laymen. As numina, anima and animus work now for good, now for evil. Their opposition is that of the sexes. They therefore represent a supreme pair of opposites, not hopelessly divided by logical contradiction but, because of the mutual attraction between them, giving promise of union and actually making it possible. The coniunctio oppositorum engaged the speculations of the alchemists in the form of the "Chymical Wedding," and those of the cabalists in the form of Tifereth and Malchuth or God and the Shekhinah,  not to speak of the marriage of the Lamb.
The dual being born of the alchemical union of opposites, the Rebis or Lapis Philosophorum, is so distinctively marked in the literature that we have no difficulty in recognizing it as a symbol of the self. Psychologically the self is a union of conscious (masculine) and unconscious (feminine). It stands for the psychic totality. So formulated, it is a psychological concept. Empirically, however, the self appears spontaneously in the shape of specific symbols, and its totality is discernible above all in the mandala and its countless variants. Historically, these symbols are authenticated as God-images.
The anima/animus stage is correlated with polytheism, the self with monotheism.  The natural archetypal symbolism, describing a totality that includes light and dark, contradicts in some sort the Christian but not the Jewish or Yahwistic viewpoint, or only to a relative degree. The latter seems to be closer to Nature and therefore to be a better reflection of immediate experience. Nevertheless, the Christian heresiarchs tried to sail round the rocks of Manichaean dualism, which was such a danger to the early Church, in a way that took cognizance of the natural symbol, and among the symbols for Christ there are some very important ones which he has in common with the devil, though this had no influence on dogma.
By far the most fruitful attempts, however, to find suitable symbolic expressions for the self were made by the Gnostics. Most of them -- Valentinus and Basilides, for instance -- were in reality theologians who, unlike the more orthodox ones, allowed themselves to be influenced in large measure by natural inner experience. They are therefore, like the alchemists, a veritable mine of information concerning all those natural symbols arising out of the repercussions of the Christian message. At the same time, their ideas compensate the asymmetry of God postulated by the doctrine of the privatio boni, exactly like those well-known modern tendencies of the unconscious to produce symbols of totality for bridging the gap between the conscious and the unconscious, which has widened dangerously to the point of universal disorientation.
I am well aware that this work, far from being complete, is a mere sketch showing how certain Christian ideas look when observed from the standpoint of psychological experience. Since my main concern was to point out the parallelism or the difference between the empirical findings and our traditional views, a consideration of the disparities due to time and language proved unavoidable. This was particularly so in the case of the fish symbol. Inevitably, we move here on uncertain ground and must now and then have recourse to a speculative hypothesis or tentatively reconstruct a context. Naturally every investigator must document his findings as fully as possible, but he should also venture an occasional hypothesis even at the risk of making a mistake. Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not.
1. The outstanding example in Swiss literature is Spitteler's Imago. [In English literature, perhaps Rider Haggard's She. -- EDITORS.)
2. Hurwitz, "Archetypische Motive in der chassidischen Mystik," ch. VI.
3. This thema is the subject of an Oxford dissertation by Amy I. Allenby: A Psychological Study of the Origins of Monotheism.