Jungian analyst Daryl Sharp offered a practical discussion of Jung's characterization of the anima in The Survival Papers: Anatomy of a Midlife Crisis. Added emphasis appears in red, and my reactions are enclosed in a box: (Note 85)

Jung distinguished four broad stages of the anima in the course of a man's psychological development. He personified these as Eve, Helen, Mary and Sophia In the first stage, Eve, the anima is completely tied up with the mother - not necessarily the personal mother, but the image of mother as faithful provider of nourishment, security and love. The man with an anima of this type cannot function well without a vital connection to a woman and is easy prey to being controlled by her. He frequently suffers impotence or has no sexual desire at all.

The Eve projection came most often when I was sick and wanted my companion to care for me as if she were my mother. In the early years of primary relationship, this was unconscious. As awareness of the process developed, I sometimes intentionally asked to be mothered. Gradually I learned to mother myself when nurturing was needed.

In the second stage, personified in the historical figure of Helen of Troy, the anima is a collective sexual image. She is Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Tina Turner, all rolled up into one. The man under her spell is often a Don Juan who engages in repeated sexual adventures. These will invariably be short-lived, for two reasons: 1) he has a fickle heart - his feelings are whimsical and often gone in the morning - and 2) no real woman can live up to the expectations that go with this unconscious, ideal image.

With society's worship of Helens, she was difficult to deal with. The first memory I have of a Helen projection was my elementary school Spanish teacher. What fantasies she evoked in my budding adolescence. I caught myself responding to a woman's looks rather than her person. In it's rawest form, I saw women as objects. This was abetted by a Playboy subscription my companion gave me for a birthday. Both men and women easily played into this distortion.

The third stage of the anima is Mary. It manifests in religious feelings and a capacity for genuine friendship between the sexes. The man with an anima of this kind is able to see a woman as she is, independent of his own needs. His sexuality is integrated into his life, not an autonomous function that drives him. He can differentiate between love and lust. He is capable of lasting relationships because he can tell the difference between the object of his desire and his inner image of woman.

Consistently women were my best friends. We could talk about feelings and relationships going beyond the masculine subjects of sports, weather and politics. I preferred to spend extended periods of time with women rather than men. Since most women accepted the intuitive side of experience, being in their company nourished my budding intuitive nature.

In the fourth stage, as Sophia (called Wisdom in the Bible), a man's anima functions as a guide to the inner life, mediating to consciousness the contents of the unconscious. Sophia is behind the need to grapple with the grand philosophical issues, the search for meaning. She is Beatrice in Dante's Inferno and the creative muse in any artist's life. She is a natural mate for the "wise old man" in the male psyche. The sexuality of a man at this stage is naturally exuberant, since it incorporates a spiritual dimension.

Women teachers were the first objects of my Sophia projections. Adult images of the Sophia archetype were harder to come by. Occasionally women were held in sufficient esteem to elicit the Sophia projection. In some circles, women in the public eye evoked an image of the wise woman. Jean Houston comes readily to mind although the Hilliary Clinton flap demonstrates the public did not understand. My spiritual guide for several years was a Sophia.

Theoretically, a man's anima development proceeds through these various stages as he grows older. When the possibilities of one have been exhausted - which is to say, when adaptation to oneself and outer circumstances requires it - the psyche stimulates the move to the next stage.

In fact, the transition from one stage to another seldom happens without a struggle - if it takes place at all - for the psyche not only promotes and supports growth, it is also, paradoxically, conservative and loathe to give up what it knows. Hence a psychological crisis is commonly precipitated when there is a pressing need for a man to move from one stage to the next.

My progress through these stages could be seen as a slow movement away from external dependence on a mother toward an internal acceptance of The Intuitive Self - Sophia incarnate in my being. With this as my guide, I no longer needed to find Sophia "out there."