Archive for April 30th, 2012

April 30, 2012

Anima and Animus

invisible partners

Jung identified the anima [an-uh-muh] as being the unconscious feminine component of men, and the animus [an-uh-muhs] as the unconscious masculine component in women. However, this is rarely taken as a literal definition: many modern day Jungian practitioners believe that every person has both an anima and an animus. Jung stated that the anima and animus act as guides to the unconscious unified Self, and that forming an awareness and a connection with the anima or animus is one of the most difficult and rewarding steps in psychological growth. Jung reported that he identified his anima as she spoke to him, as an inner voice, unexpectedly one day.

Often, when people ignore the anima or animus the complexes, the anima or animus vies for attention by projecting itself on others. This explains, according to Jung, why we are sometimes immediately attracted to certain strangers: we see our anima or animus in them. Love at first sight is an example of anima and animus projection. Moreover, people who strongly identify with their gender role (e.g. a man who acts aggressively and never cries) have not actively recognized or engaged their anima or animus.

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April 30, 2012


In Jungian psychology, the shadow is a part of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, shortcomings, and instincts. It is one of the three most recognizable archetypes, the others being the ‘anima and animus’ and the ‘persona.’ ‘Everyone carries a shadow,’ Jung wrote, ‘and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.’ It may be (in part) one’s link to more primitive animal instincts, which are superseded during early childhood by the conscious mind.

According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to projection: turning a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else. Jung writes that if these projections are unrecognized ‘The projection-making factor (the Shadow archetype) then has a free hand and can realize its object–if it has one–or bring about some other situation characteristic of its power.’ These projections insulate and cripple individuals by forming an ever thicker fog of illusion between the ego and the real world.

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April 30, 2012


doth protest

Projection is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings. Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted unconscious impulses or desires without letting the conscious mind recognize them.

An example of this behavior might be blaming another for self failure. The mind may avoid the discomfort of consciously admitting personal faults by keeping those feelings unconscious, and by redirecting libidinal satisfaction by attaching, or ‘projecting,’ those same faults onto another person or object. The theory was developed by Sigmund Freud.

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April 30, 2012

Reaction Formation

ted haggard

In psychoanalytic theory, reaction formation is a defensive process (defense mechanism) in which anxiety-producing or unacceptable emotions and impulses are mastered by exaggeration (hypertrophy) of the directly opposing tendency. Reaction formation depends on the hypothesis that: ‘[t]he instincts and their derivatives may be arranged as pairs of opposites: life versus death, construction versus destruction, action versus passivity, dominance versus submission, and so forth.

When one of the instincts produces anxiety by exerting pressure on the ego either directly or by way of the superego, the ego may try to sidetrack the offending impulse by concentrating upon its opposite. For example, if feelings of hate towards another person make one anxious, the ego can facilitate the flow of love to conceal the hostility.’ Where reaction-formation takes place, it is usually assumed that the original, rejected impulse does not vanish, but persists, unconscious, in its original infantile form. Thus, where love is experienced as a reaction formation against hate, we cannot say that love is substituted for hate, because the original aggressive feelings still exist underneath the affectionate exterior that merely masks the hate to hide it from awareness.

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April 30, 2012

Ghost Box Music

Ghost Box

Ghost Box Music is an English independent record label, established in 2004 by Julian House and Jim Jupp. The concept was hatched by House and Jupp (who attended the same school) in 2003; a manifesto of influences was compiled, which included ‘music for schools, cosmic horror stories, library music, English surrealism, and the dark side of psychedelia.’

Releases on the label (presently encompassing The Focus Group, Eric Zann, Belbury Poly, Roj, and The Advisory Circle, and a rerelease of a Mount Vernon Arts Lab album) tend to share a common design aesthetic – all record covers so far have been by Julian House, with an acknowledged debt to the iconic design of sixties Penguin Books paperbacks. There are shared elements in sound, too; Ghost Box artists tend to draw heavily on influences such as musique concrète, library music, and 1970s soundtracks. Several critics have noticed a melancholic or nostalgic element to the Ghost Box sound as well, prompting comparison to the shorter, ‘interlude’ tracks of Boards of Canada, or similar folk or psychedelia-influenced electronic musicians.

April 30, 2012

Belbury Poly

belbury poly

Belbury Poly is an alias of electronic musician Jim Jupp (along with Eric Zann). Jupp’s releases are on the Ghost Box Music label (which he co-founded). Belbury Poly’s sound is a blend of influences: old library music, sixties-inspired psychedelic rock, soundtracks, folk, and public information films.

Jupp has spoken at length about trying to incorporate the mundanity of life in the seventies and eldritch (foreign) elements simultaneously in his music, as well as acknowledging a debt to Welsh author and mystic Arthur Machen. The name references a fictional institution, created by the author C.S. Lewis.

April 30, 2012

Simon Reynolds

bring the noise

Simon Reynolds (b. 1963) is an English music critic who is well known for his writings on electronic dance music and for coining the term ‘post-rock.’ Besides electronic dance music, Reynolds has written about a wide range of artists and musical genres, and has written books on post-punk and rock. He has contributed to ‘Melody Maker’ (where he first made his name), ‘Spin,’ ‘Rolling Stone,’ ‘Mojo,’ and others. He currently resides in the East Village in NY.

Reynolds’ first experience writing about music was with ‘Monitor,’ a fanzine he helped to found in 1984 while he was studying history at Oxford. The publication only lasted for six issues. When it was discontinued in 1986, Reynolds was already making his name writing for ‘Melody Maker,’ one of the three major British music magazines of the time (the other two being the ‘New Musical Express’ (NME) and ‘Sounds’).

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