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Marie-Louise von Franz

(1915 - )


Swiss Jungian Psychologist and Scholar

A human being in a neurotic state might very well be compared to a bewitched person, for people caught in a neurosis are apt to behave in a manner uncongenial and destructive towards themselves as well as others.
A woman living better lives in the discharge of such takes life as it is.
Always at bottom there is a divine revelation, a divine act, and man has only had the bright idea of copying it. That is how the crafts all came into existence and is why they all have a mystical background. In primitive civilizations one is still aware of it, and this accounts for the fact that generally they are better craftsmen than we who have lost this awareness. If we think that every craft, whether carpenter's or smith's or weaver's, was a divine revelation, then we understand better the mystical process which certain creation myths characterize as God creating the world like a craftsman. By creating the world through such a craft he manifests a secret of his own mysterious skill.
An impulse which is driven back loads up with energy and becomes inhuman. This fact, according to Dr. Jung, demonstrates the independent existence of unconscious.
As physics is a mental reconstruction of material processes, perhaps a physical reconstruction of psychic processes is possible in nature itself.
As the anima does with men, the animus also creates states of possession in women. In myths and fairy tales this condition is often represented by the devil or an "old man of the mountain," that is, a troll or ogre, holding the heroine prisoner and forcing her to kill all men who approach her or to deliver them into the hands of the demon; or else the father shuts up the heroine in a tower or a grave or sets her on a glass mountain, so that no one can get near her. In such cases, the heroine can often do nothing but wait patiently for a savior to deliver her from her plight. Through her suffering, the animus (for both the demon and the savior are two aspects of the same inner power) can be gradually transformed into a positive inner force.
At the beginning of an analysis there is often a depressed state of resignation-life has no meaning, there is no feeling of being in life. An exaggerated state can develop into complete lameness. Quite young people give the impression of having the resignation of a bitter old man or woman. When you dig into such a black mood you find that behind it there is overwhelming greed-for being loved, for being very rich, for having the right partner, for being the top dog, etc. Behind such a melancholic resignation you will often discover in the darkness a recurring theme which makes things very difficult, namely if you give such people one bit of hope, the lion opens its mouth and you have to withdraw, and then they put the lid on again, and so it goes on, back and forth.
Creativity sometimes needs the protection of darkness, of being ignored. That is very obvious in the natural tendency many artists and writers have not to show their paintings or writings before they are finished.
Depressions and melancholy are often a cover for tremendous greed.
Dreams show us how to find meaning in our lives, how to fulfill our own destiny, how to realize greater potential of life within us.
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Marie-Louise von
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Swiss Jungian Psychologist and Scholar