Jung and the Beatles

Jung and the Beatles
The development of the anima in creativity
The Beatles’ music is archetypal, which is why it impacted culture so powerfully.
The positive anima drives creativity, the rejuvenation of the self. The negative anima
leads to destruction (in films, SHE, The Blue Angel) especially destruction of men- by
Four stages of eroticism:
1) Aphrodite (Eve) Biological- teen love
2) Selene (Helen) Relational- building adult relationships
3) Persephone (Mary) Spiritual mediator – transcending the emotional
4) Hecate (Sophia) Transcendent love, the highest stage
The Beatles’ music follows these stages as they develop in their own personal lives.
Stages of relating
1) Infatuation- Paul and John’s mothers died early- the theme of longing for
connection, needing to fall in love flows through all their music “I Want to Hold Your
2) Projection- Finding a soul mate (Imagine your first love and what it felt like
when you were falling in love)We carry that image forever. This is the stage of
personifying the projection. The eternal image of the feminine. “Falling” The anima
connects the opposites and paradoxes – “Norwegian Wood”- the great illusion “pull up a
chair, sit on the floor” Paul was first with Jane Asher until he could no longer resist Linda
Eastman and broke up that first relationship for Linda. There is the projection of the ideal
on to the love object, regardless of the truth of that for the actual person. “I’m looking
through you” – I thought I knew you- Who is this person? They have changed. The
projection falls apart. You see the person for who they really are.
Emma Jung wrote that you must grant space to the feminine within oneself. Building a
relationship with the anima. When the anima is ignored, there is feeling of loss. Janis
Joplin song, “A Simple Conversation” shows how a woman goes away when she is
ignored. When this happens if must be healed by communication and recognition of the
parts cut off. This allows for reconnection and later inspiration. Paul actually dreamed the
song “Yesterday” which seemed so real to him that he thought he was surely
remembering a song that was already published. Finally he wrote it and it was one of
their iconic hits. This song is truly representative of his psyche coming forward to move
him along. When he sings about how much he needs his partner- he is yearning for
reconnection and is willing to listen. When we tap into the soul, we connect to our
creativity and imagination. It was similar when John wrote “Imagine” and Yoko was a
part of that time of his creativity. So we must make space for imagination and play. Much
of their films incorporated child like play. Play is a source of creativity. “If I fell in love
with you”- love is more than just holding your hand (shifting out of their earlier love
focus) Now their music represents an evolution to wanting more than simply the physical.
3) Personification
4) Inspiration- – Spiritual mediator (Mary) “Let it Be” Mother Mary comes to
me speaking words of wisdom (It doesn’t get more spiritual than that.) Paul wrote this
song as a result of a dream as well. His own mother was named Mary and she said these
words to him in a dream- direction from his psyche.
5) Interdependence- Transcendent union of stages- they learned much of this
from their studies of Eastern religions and use of LSD. Paul’s dentist actually gave him
his first LSD. This begins the spiritualization of Eros “Turn off your mind, Flow into the
river” Let consciousness go. “Something”
Early figures who attract the anima projection: Marilyn Monroe, Brittany Spears,
Lana Turner, Kate Hepburn- they lure men to their realm and he disappears within. “O
Brother, Where Art Thou” as it shows the men lured by the sirens- to their deaths. The
enchantress- “Fatal Attraction”, “Body Heat” – the lure of the negative anima
This can lead to redemption by integrating the unknown into the elements of the
psyche. The anima is the one who leads the way. Irish film, “Into the West” shows a
white horse leading the young boy back to where he needs to be. “Pan’s Labyrinth” “The
Fall” (she redeems him), “The Golden Compass” (she mediates the 2 worlds), “City of
Ember” (girl leads him out of the depths), “Volver” (mother holds daughter in herself,
anima is conditioned by Eros in the principle of union of relationship.) “Chocolat”
(French village dominated by the controlling animus until the feminine chocolate maker
arrives and transforms the town. Johnny Depp figure is a gypsy who transforms her)
“Neverland” (J.M.Barrie develops a relationship with a widow and her children, which
gives voice to his Peter Pan inner child)
Without connection to the anima, there is torpor, loss of animation “Garden State”(young
man goes home to his mother’s funeral and is completely lost to the boring life he has
created until he reconnects and is animated by a young woman he meets.) “Annie Hall”
educates Woody Allen and then moves on as she has another mission beyond healing
him. “When Harry Met Sally” “The Muse” (this woman connects men to their soul so
they can transcend the life of material getting to find inspiration.) “The Fifth Element”
(earth is imperiled and needs the feminine- Eros saves earth.) “Avatar”- the greater
anima- the soul of the world Gaia- will rise up to heal the earth.
But it’s all about love. Love is the message and the solution.