Definitions of Jungian Terms

Definitions of Jungian Terms

Dreams: dreams come from the Self, the center of the personality. Dreams are purposive and give each person direction on how to move into his or her next phase of life. Dreams are life changing and ask each person to live his or her life fully.

Self: the image of God in the psyche; the true center, or core, of the total personality. Through symbolic imagery the Self is able to unite opposing elements of the personality creating a perspective or attitude that is more than the sum of its parts. It is the force of creativity, integration, healing, and love in the psyche. The Self may be represented in dreams as Christ or the cross, mandala figures such as a circle or square, the sun, Buddha, and a variety of other images. From a Jungian perspective, psychological and spiritual health requires that the Self function as the center of the personality.

Individuation: the developmental progression towards wholeness and completion of the of the personality. Just as an acorn becomes an oak tree, your individuation is driven by a spontaneous and instinctual urge to express your true self and most authentic individuality.

Psyche:  the total personality, both conscious and unconscious.

Ego: the ego is a person’s conscious mind and worldview. In dreams the ego is usually represented as oneself.

Persona: the persona is the role a person plays to fit into society. In dreams the clothes a person wears illustrate the persona.

Shadow: the shadow is all the parts of the personality that are unknown to or not accepted by the conscious mind (the ego). In a woman’s dreams, all the female dream figures are part of the shadow. In a man’s dreams, all the male figures are part of the shadow.

Animus: the animus is the male side of a woman’s personality. Each male dream figure in a woman’s dreams is a part of the animus. The animus can be negative or positive, hurtful or helpful. The negative animus can persuade a woman to be overly self-critical and judgmental. The positive animus can encourage a woman to make bold and courageous changes in her outer life.

Anima: the anima is the feminine side of a man’s personality. Each female dream figure in a man’s dreams is part of the anima. The anima can be negative or positive, hurtful or helpful. The negative anima can persuade a man to be irresponsible or lazy. The positive anima can encourage a man to feel more fully or become more loving.

Synchronicity: a meaningful but acausal co-incidence between a person’s internal psychic state and an event in external reality. “An essentially mysterious connection between the personal psyche and the material world,” (Daryl Sharp, Jungian scholar/author). The following are examples: passing a funeral procession when you are dealing with the “death” of an outworn worldview; seeing the sun break through the clouds and a rainbow form as you begin to emerge from a period of depression.