Carl Jung referred to the mother son bond that gave rise to the male projection of his interior feminine anima. Reading about the anima in light of my relationship failures brought me face to face with the reality of my projections. For self realization and satisfying relationships, I needed to connect with and express my anima. Added emphasis appears in red, and my reactions are enclosed in a box: (Note 84)

What then is this projection making factor? . . . the enveloping, embracing, and devouring element points unmistakably to the mother (as the symbol of everything that functions as a mother) . . . he hopes to be caught, sucked in, enveloped, and devoured. He seeks as it were, the protecting, nourishing, charmed circle of the mother, the condition of the infant released from every care, in which the outside world bends over him and even forces happiness upon him. No wonder the real world vanishes from sight! . . .

Life has its ups and downs. When I was young, mother comforted my aches and pains and interceded on my behalf. When I grew up, a part of me still longed to be held in enfolding arms with my head resting on a soft breast. Often I tried to get women to provide a mother's nurture, but they really couldn't do that.

The unsatisfied longing of the son for life and the world ought to be taken seriously. There is in him a desire to touch reality, to embrace the earth and fructify the field of the world. But he makes no more than a series of fitful starts, for his initiative as well as his staying power are crippled by the secret memory that the world and happiness may be had as a gift - from the mother. . . .

At a vision quest workshop, I performed a spontaneous Shiva dance in which I held an enormous lingam that I used to spew tons of sperm over everybody and everything. I cannot image a more powerful image of wanting to "fructify the field." Given my projection of this potent archetype, the women in my life found being with me more than they could bear. They could not live up to my expectations.

For in the relationship now reigning between them, there is consummated the immemorial and most sacred archetype of the marriage of mother and son. What, after all, has commonplace reality to offer, with its registry offices, pay envelopes, and monthly rent, that could outweigh the mystic awe of the hieros gamos? . . . The imperfections of real life, with its laborious adaptations and manifold disappointments, naturally cannot compete with such a state of indescribable fulfillment. . . .

As far back as I can remember, I hoped for an ideal relationship in which we understood ourselves and each other. From that place of appreciation, we would support each other's life passion. This image was exquisitely captured in my "Relationship" chalk drawing.

The projection can only be dissolved when the son sees that in the realm of his psyche there is an imago not only of the mother but of the daughter, the sister, the beloved, the heavenly goddess, and the chthonic Baubo. Every mother and every beloved is forced to become the carrier and embodiment of this omnipresent and ageless image, which corresponds to the deepest reality in a man. . . . this perilous image of Woman; . . . she is the solace for all the bitterness of life.

I expected the women in my life to be my mother, sexual goddess and best friend as well as a fountain of wisdom. No human could fulfill such far reaching responsibilities. I would either find those sources within myself or be doomed to women tiring of the charade and abandoning me.

And, at the same time, she is the great illusionist, the seductress, who draws him into life with her Maya - and not only into life's reasonable and useful aspects, but into its frightful paradoxes and ambivalences where good and evil, success and ruin, hope and despair, counterbalance one another. Because she is his greatest danger she demands from a man his greatest, and if he has it in him she will receive it. . . .

Yes - all it takes is a hint of recognition, a brief smile from a woman on the street, in a store or wherever, and I'm off again on a fantasy that "she" lives and breathes, she is flesh and blood standing before me. It's oh so easy to fall into the self deception that she will save me from all this!

The projection making factor is the anima, or rather the unconscious as represented by the anima. Whenever she appears, in dreams, visions, fantasies, she takes on personified form, thus demonstrating that the factor she embodies possesses all the outstanding characteristics of a feminine being. She is not an invention of the conscious, but a spontaneous product of the unconscious. . . . there is every likelihood that the numinous qualities which make the mother imago so dangerously powerful derive from the collective archetype of the anima, which is incarnated anew in every male child.

If there is any aspect of a woman that evokes some fragment of the anima archetype, I immediately wonder if you are my soul mate. No matter how many times that expectation has been disappointed, part of me still longs to return to Eden. No such luck! I have eaten from the forbidden tree.