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- Psychic energy in general. (See also final.)
Libido can never be apprehended except in a definite form; that is to say, it is identical with fantasy-images. And we can only release it from the grip of the unconscious by bringing up the corresponding fantasy-images.["The Technique of Differentiation," CW 7, par. 345.]
Jung specifically distanced his concept of libido from that of Freud, for whom it had a predominantly sexual meaning.
All psychological phenomena can be considered as manifestations of energy, in the same way that all physical phenomena have been understood as energic manifestations ever since Robert Mayer discovered the law of the conservation of energy. Subjectively and psychologically, this energy is conceived as desire. I call it libido, using the word in its original sense, which is by no means only sexual.["Psychoanalysis and Neurosis," CW 4, par. 567.]
[Libido] denotes a desire or impulse which is unchecked by any kind of authority, moral or otherwise. Libido is appetite in its natural state. From the genetic point of view it is bodily needs like hunger, thirst, sleep, and sex, and emotional states or affects, which constitute the essence of libido.["The Concept of Libido," CW 5, par. 194.]
In line with his belief that the psyche is a self-regulating system, Jung associated libido with intentionality. It "knows" where it ought to go for the overall health of the psyche.
The libido has, as it were, a natural penchant: it is like water, which must have a gradient if it is to flow.["Symbols of the Mother and of Rebirth," ibid., par. 337.]
Where there is a lack of libido (depression), it has backed up (re-gressed) in order to stir up unconscious contents, the aim being to compensate the attitudes of consciousness. What little energy is left resists being applied in a consciously chosen direction.
It does not lie in our power to transfer "disposable" energy at will to a rationally chosen object. The same is true in general of the apparently disposable energy which is disengaged when we have destroyed its unserviceable forms through the corrosive of reductive analysis. [It] can at best be applied voluntarily for only a short time. But in most cases it refuses to seize hold, for any length of time, of the possibilities rationally presented to it. Psychic energy is a very fastidious thing which insists on fulfilment of its own conditions. However much energy may be present, we cannot make it serviceable until we have succeeded in finding the right gradient.["The Problem of the Attitude-Type," CW 7, par. 76]
The analytic task in such a situation is to discover the natural gradient of the person’s energy.
What is it, at this moment and in this individual, that represents the natural urge of life? That is the question.["The Structure of the Unconscious," ibid., par. 488.]
- The principle of logic and structure, traditionally associated with spirit, the father world and the God-image. (See also animus and Eros.)
There is no consciousness without discrimination of opposites. This is the paternal principle, the Logos, which eternally struggles to extricate itself from the primal warmth and primal darkness of the maternal womb; in a word, from unconsciousness.["Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype," CW 9i, par. 178.]
In Jung’s earlier writings, he intuitively equated masculine consciousness with the concept of Logos and feminine consciousness with that of Eros. Either one could be dominant in a particular man or woman, due to the contrasexual complexes.
By Logos I meant discrimination, judgment, insight, and by Eros I meant the capacity to relate. I regarded both concepts as intuitive ideas which cannot be defined accurately or exhaustively. From the scientific point of view this is regrettable, but from a practical one it has its value, since the two concepts mark out a field of experience which it is equally difficult to define.
As we can hardly ever make a psychological proposition without immediately having to reverse it, instances to the contrary leap to the eye at once: men who care nothing for discrimination, judgment, and insight, and women who display an almost excessively masculine proficiency in this respect. . . . Wherever this exists, we find a forcible intrusion of the unconscious, a corresponding exclusion of the consciousness specific to either sex, predominance of the shadow and of contrasexuality.["The Personification of the Opposites," CW 14, pars. 224f.]
In his later writing on alchemy, Jung described Logos and Eros as psychologically equivalent to solar and lunar consciousness, arche-typal ideas analogous to the Eastern concepts of yang and yin-different qualities of energy. This did not change his view that Eros was more "specific" to feminine consciousness and Logos to masculine. Hence he attributed Eros in a man to the influence of the anima, and Logos in a woman to that of the animus.
In a man it is the lunar anima, in a woman the solar animus, that influences consciousness in the highest degree. Even if a man is often unaware of his own anima-possession, he has, understandably enough, all the more vivid an impression of the animus-possession of his wife, and vice versa. [Ibid., par. 225.]
- Loss of soul
- A concept borrowed from anthropology, referring psychologically to a state of general malaise.
The peculiar condition covered by this term is accounted for in the mind of the primitive by the supposition that a soul has gone off, just like a dog that runs away from his master overnight. It is then the task of the medicine man to fetch the fugitive back. . . . Some-thing similar can happen to civilized man, only he does not describe it as "loss of soul" but as an "abaissement du niveau mental."["Concerning Rebirth," CW 9i, par. 213.]