Anima encounter : subconscious anima become conscious : Jungian Psychology
A book excerpt from the Iconoclast Press online library.
It was not long after this that I also began having dreams of my anima growing older. There she was, painted across the canvas of my subconscious, the same Sandy whom I had found and lost years earlier, and yet somehow she was different, as if she had an older sister whom had now taken to the stage in my dreams. I couldn’t, for the life of me, interpret their symbolic meaning; not, that is, until a few weeks later.
What happened is that after my service was complete on the Charlottes I was given the sublime directive that it was time to bug out and head south again, so I jumped on a ferry, arrived in Vancouver, and within a few short hours ran smack into the living incarnation of this older Sandy- the very one I had been dreaming of. Instantly I was in love. That was when things began truly coming together, and truly falling apart.
When things like this happen to you, you can bet you’re on a cosmic course piloted by the unknown captain directing your ineffable craft into the infinite beyond. You know you’re a part of something so big and inexplicable, so unique, and so unprecedented, that try as you might to let others in on what is happening to you, you don’t really even have a clue yourself, and the best thing to do then is to just soften your gaze, open your heart, loosen your expectations, and let it all happen.
This is exactly what I didn’t do. No, poor me, a most unlikely candidate for such a privileged cosmic convergence; I, like a starving man at a banquet, stepped up to bat without an inkling of how to play the game. And I swung, and swung, and swung at a ball which was never meant for me to hit. And when finally I had struck out I was miserable. Which is to say, for the second time in this crazy lifetime of mine, I had found, loved, and lost my anima in the flesh. And when absurdities like that happens to you, you curse God for making a scapegoat out of you and for allowing all the imperfections and indifference in the antiquated bureaucracy of the heavens to screw the whole show up. And yet it wasn’t the heavens that were screwy, it was me.
That is- as I finally figured out, through all my whining, and gnashing, and writhing about- I had entered the wrong door of the castle; I had mistaken a sister for a mate. Apparently, as the powers were none too lax in reminding me, I was only supposed to knock on this elder Sandy’s door and say hello, but in my misguided habit of taking the world for the way men see it, I went right for the bedroom and forgot the rest of the home. And that is when I learned a very hard, very important lesson: what God does not want to have happen, does not happen. Laugh or scoff as you might, but the force which runs about and through us, and makes all things which are made, has greater power to orchestrate the factors in our lives, and make sure that the greater event holds sway, than any of our little egos are wont to allow. I met this absolute force of will, and it stopped me and caused me more grief than I am prepared to relate. And that is all there is to it.
Looking back I can chuckle at my rage towards the heavens then, at my clenched fist cussing and calling down the maleficent force which had set me up. But I had to find, as we all must find, that what we most desire is not necessarily what is best for us. And I had to go crazy with sadness and mad with confusion over this love lost as quickly as it was found, and I had to leave Vancouver again for a spell and head down to Northern California, and I had to wander amongst the giant redwoods, alone and feeble and distraught because God was against me, and I had to walk and walk and walk and drink myself away in a little town with a little bar called, interestingly enough, ‘Jack’s Pub’, and then I had to walk and walk and walk again until finally coming to peace in a tiny motel in the middle of nowhere; a motel, which, like myself, had a few lights missing, and, laughingly enough, would spell out the message of my imperfect gaze in bold and unquestionable terms, for, as I came upon this little motel in the woods, as the sun went out dying into the Pacific, there, on the last day of my insane pilgrimage, lay the bold and clear letters spelling out both the place I would lay my head that night, and the consequence of my own myopia: JACK’S MOTE_. Some lights had gone out on the sign, and the L was missing in the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God, and the word became flesh and descended into my darkness, extracting the beam from my spirit eye, and I went to sleep that night and awoke a less bitter and a stronger man for my errors.
That loss, which drove me practically insane, led, however, on to a further, inward realization, as loss always does if you are strong enough to flip the coin and take what you’re given into the welcoming wind. Many hard lessons which I learned through loss and struggle in my outward life became valuable insights which would expedite my inner process later on.
Regret is a matter of perspective; to have regret is to not yet know that every external failure is leading to an internal victory. Regret is the interstice of time in between the two. For would a relief pitcher in baseball, who, when warming up in the bullpen before being called into the game, and failing to throw a single strike in a hundred attempts- would that pitcher, when finally on the mound and throwing strike after strike, and in the end winning the game for the team, would he later sit alone, sombrely regretting his errant attempts while warming up? I think not.
The pain and confusion I suffered when my elder anima withdrew from me- or was withdrawn from me by the force of the law, so to speak- after our brief but intense love affair, which caused me in the end to condemn and curse the bumbling bureaucrats in heaven, and their seemingly pernicious intervention, would in the end provide a lesson which would later quicken my internal movement from the sacred marriage of the microcosm, to that of the macrocosm- which is an event that is, as always, obscure, and sublime, and not so easily delineated as words might make it seem. For it was during the loss and aftermath of this physical relation that I was given dreams and understandings telling me that she was not the correct partner for me- that another woman, whose soul was more suited to the destiny of my own, had already been sighted and chosen and that I needed only to be patient- a characteristic which was seemingly absent from my psychological makeup at the time- throughout it all, and the great plan would come to fruition. Needless to say that despite my initial disparaging remarks to the firmament, and my vocal ingratitude, the prophesied relationship eventually occurred and the chosen woman became an essential aspect in the furthering of my heart and spirit, which is to say, she was the one who became my soror mystica, as mentioned earlier. And so once again I could only throw up my arms in bewildered hallelujahs and wait for the next test to arise, as they are wont to do on the awkward path of the hapless chela.
(excerpted from In and Of: memoirs of a mystic journey, by Jack Haas)
Books by Jack Haas: Autobiography, Memoir, Spirituality, Mysticism, Comparative Religion, Poetry, Art, Photography.