JUNG/DELEUZE (2): Shadow, Anima, and Self as conceptual personae

This is a sequel to JUNG/DELEUZE (1): schizophrenia, individuation, and alchemy.

Anyone who has read Jung even a little can see that Deleuze’s writing up to DIFFERENCE AND REPETITION is pervaded by Jungian terms, concepts, and symbolic approach: the Shadow, the Anima, and the Self are all present by name.

Deleuze’s early work on Nietzsche, including his book NIETZSCHE AND PHILOSOPHY and the smaller NIETZSCHE, draws on Jung, for example explicitly calling Ariadne the Anima. Some quotes:

« Ariane (et Thésée). — C’est l’Anima… quand Dionysos-Taureau approche, elle apprend ce qu’est la véritable affirmation, la vraie légèreté. Elle devient l’Anima affirmative, qui dit Oui à Dionysos » (NIETZSCHE, page 44).

« Ariane (and Theseus). – This is the Anima…when Dionysus-Bull approaches, she learns what true affirmation is, true lightness. She becomes the affirmative Anima, who says « Yes » to Dionysus » (my translation).

We can see here the early stages of Deleuze’s concept of « conceptual personae »

« Ariadne is Nietzsche’s first secret, the first feminine power, the anima, the inseparable fiancée of Dionysian affirmation » (Deleuze, NIETZSCHE AND PHILOSOPHY, 20).

It is important to note that in Deleuze’s French use of the term the « Anima » begins with a capital letter, making it more explicitly a reference t Jung. The passage continues:

« But the infernal feminine power is altogether different; negative and moralising, the terrible mother, the mother of good and evil, she who depreciates and denies life ».

This analysis explicitly situates Nietzsche’s thought and life in a Jungian matrix.

According to Deleuze Nietzsche projects elements of his personal inner (or « intensive », see below) drama onto the characters in his immediate environment, transmuting them into conceptual personae.

Cosima is the Anima, Wagner is the Shadow,  Nietzsche’s mother is the « Terrible Mother », his sister is the negative Anima, and Nietzsche himself is Dionysus, both as fragmented unconscious and as individuated « affirmative » Self.

« Ariadne, abandoned by Theseus, senses the coming of a transmutation which is specific to her : the feminine power emancipated , become beneficient and affirmative , the Anima » (NIETZSCHE AND PHILOSOPHY, 187).

Deleuze here also uses the Jungian/alchemical term of « transmutation ».

« This is why the Dionysian universe , the eternal cycle, is a wedding ring, a wedding mirror which awaits the soul (anima ) capable of admiring itself there, but also of reflecting it in admiring itself » (NP, 187).

The « wedding » terms are a reference to the Jungian/alchemical concept of the alchemical union, the conunctio.

Even more overtly Jungian:

« The labyrinth is a frequent image in Nietzsche. It designates firstly the unconscious, the self; only the Anima is capable of reconciling us with the unconscious , of giving us a guiding thread for its exploration » (NP, 188).

Note the explicit use of « the self » as one of the names of the unconscious.

For the use of the Shadow:

« The shadow has lost its goal, not because it has not reached it but because the goal which it has reached is itself a lost goal » (NP, 170).

On the Shadow and the transforming power of the light of consciousness:

« The shadow is the activity of man, but it needs light as a higher instance; without light it vanishes; with light it is transformed and disappears in another way, changing in nature when it is midday » (NP, 170).

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2 commentaires pour JUNG/DELEUZE (2): Shadow, Anima, and Self as conceptual personae

  1. Ping : BIBLIOGRAPHY OF MY WRITINGS (10): Deleuze and Jung (and Hillman) | AGENT SWARM


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