When he was presented with an incurable case of alcoholism, Jung could not help but reaffirm his conception of archetypes, and it was from there that he established that the patient could not be healed except through a spiritual experience. The essential question is what prevents normal behaviour? In alcoholism, he saw an anxiety of completely normal transcendence, but not first understood, and mistakenly sought after. Ecstasy through the consumption of external substances represents a usurpation of what can be achieved by other means that do not involve any kind of invasion, let alone degenerative.
Within the archetypal conception a distinction can be made between a man and a woman, but not a total separation, so that every man has a female component and every woman has a male component. The figure of the mother, of the sister, of the benign goddess, as well as of the evil goddess, is inserted in the psyche of man; also in his unconscious is the ideal that in some way he has formed as a couple by which he will expose himself to dangers and will have to make his best efforts to achieve it. Jung called this anima, the inner feminine aspect of man.
As for the woman, in her psyche is engraved the figure of the father, the brother and, of course, her own ideal of a couple. Jung called this inner masculine aspect of woman «animus», which corresponds to the paternal Logos (as opposed to Eros). All the past realities of the man who has and who conceives the woman are in the animus. In this order of ideas, what is usually called «love at first sight» is explained as the result of the attraction generated by the force of the archetype that surpasses the rational, because it operates, precisely, at the unconscious level.
In the unconscious Jung did not stop at the individual but went as far as the collective, so the archetype of the Shadow cannot be merely personal, but is also group. It is here that Christianity’s irresolution marked, because in a system where the formula is good against evil, there would be no possibility of balance, especially when the female figure («the rejected female») has no real prospects of equality. The Shadow, then, is that hidden personality antagonistic to the public personality constituted by impulses that we deny exist, or that we repress very intensely.
There are places in the world where women suffer terrible abuse, places where violent discrimination, poverty and disease are part of the norm, as if such variables correspond to human nature. However, this is nothing more than the result of those aspects that are socially and collectively fostered by a lack of knowledge of oneself, first, and by that lack of connection of the individual with that which transcends him, later. Jung, with the interpretation of dreams and the model of archetypes, paved the way for finding the meaning of life.