Anima is Carl Jung’s term for the unconscious feminine aspect of a person, the inner part of the personality, or character, as opposed to the persona, or outer part. In Latin it means air, breath or spirit, in Ancient Greek: άνεμος ánemos means wind. For me ‘Anima’ refers to a wise inner spiritual self which guides us through life.
I don’t learn to know more, but to ignore less.
– Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, 1651 – 1695, self-taught scholar, philosopher, Nun, poet, writer.
For me Life is like a tale, with sequences and chapters and stories and characters and storytellers choosing their own myths and stories knowingly or not. We move from chapter to chapter as we move form day to day, from life to life, yearning for more wisdom through the stories we individually or collectively create, experience and share with life itself.
I wonder, how we can ever understand our path as a human species, if we don’t even understand our ‘Self’, or the personal stories we tell and the myths we live. My humble curiosity about the human perspective is rooted in the hope to understand our disconnection and our destructive attitudes towards each other and the rest of nature.
Knowing the SELF
I am not yet able to know myself; so it seems to me ridiculous, when I do not yet know that, to investigate irrelevant things.
SOCRATES, 469 BC – 399 BC.
Humanity always understood the importance of ‘self-awareness’ and its connection to our values, actions, our independence and quality of life. What happens when we don’t know ourselves enough is clearly visible in a world where our values seem confused and our human actions, coming from an unaware self, become destructive. We have a responsibility to understand ourselves and the systems we live in, so that they may not be able to manipulate us for their own benefits.
Long before I learned the word identity I was taught I belonged to my cultural heritage. Belonging and identity are strongly guiding elements in our lives, but the paths of life have made me question whether these concepts are truth.
In one of their conversations, carried out in the twilight hours of a rainswept day, Kafka tells his young friend: Life is as infinitely great and profound as the immensity of the stars above us. One can only look at it through the narrow keyhole of one’s personal existence. But through it one perceives more than one can see. So above all one must keep the keyhole clean.
In order to become aware of the reality we create on the surface we must know the myths within our human minds and bodies, as both realities are obviously connected. Some fundamental experiences stay with us, they shape us, leave traces on our minds and hearts, reminding us to question who we are and the concepts of identity, home and other ideas which define our lives.
All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there. – Rumi