Monday, July 14, 2008

Mulder's Inner Woman Part 2

So, where were we? Ah yes! We're looking at Scully's transition from the Helen to Mary stages of anima development.
The stage of Mary can be seen as an elevation of the feminine to a chaste ideal. There's is also an element of sacrifice in such a character, she who must bear the savior only to see him die on the cross, to use the Christian allusion. At this stage the anima becomes the epitome of virtue and righteousness.

How is this represented in the story arc of our myth?
After Mulder's first rebirth, we see a more spiritual side of Scully coming to light, as we discussed at the end of the previous entry. We also see her symbolically unsexed through the revelation that she's been rendered infertile as a result of her abduction. The image of motherhood comes to replace the more sexual aspects of the character. In the episode "Home" we hear the hero literally tell his anima that he's not viewed her as a mother up to this point. This seems a moment of revelation in his image of her.

But for our anima (Scully) to reach the pinnacle of this Marian ideal there will be obstacles. Jung warns us that one inherent danger in any anima complex, is that, " The anima can become a death demon by depressing the man to the point of suicide."-man and his symbols

We see this particular psychodrama enacted quite literally at this point in our myth. Our anima figure faces her literal mortality when we find out that she has an inoperable and inevitably fatal cancer. Our hero is now forced to look death in the face vicariously as his anima battles a deadly disease. In the end, the experience leads him to just the brink that Jung warns us of. In the connected mythology episodes between seasons 4 and 5 we see Scully rapidly approaching death and Mulder, unable to cope actively contemplating suicide.

Interestingly it is the shadow, or dark reflection of the hero's self, that saves them both at this point. He does not take his own life, rather he is forced to kill a representative of the shadow forces, whom he finds has been monitoring his activities, and thereby spurring him back into action in his pursuit of a cure for his anima. And it is the shadow figure of the Cigarette Smoking Man who in the end gives him that cure, leading him to the chip that needs to be replaced in her neck in order for the cancer to subside. (Redux I&II) The anima is revived and the shadow of death is removed by the shadow figure of the hero's psyche.

It is in the fifth seasons that we see hero's anima reshaping itself around the image of the Christian symbol of Mary. We see the anima experience a strange sort of immaculate conception when she discovers her daughter Emily, who was created in a laboratory by the individuals who orchestrated her abduction. And we see her live out the Christian Mary's sacrifice when she has to let go of her child in death.

Before we move into the next obstacle that our hero faces in his anima relations, we should note a pivotal stepping stone that is achieved at the point of the first X files feature film. This is the acknowledgment on the part of the hero that the anima is in fact a part of himself, "You make me a whole person." Here the hero has acknowledged that his positive anima has an intrinsic part to play in the completion of his quest. He cannot find his elusive "truth" without the aid and support of his feminine self.

The next challenge to the anima development of our hero occurs with the return of one of the "Eve" anima figures from his past, one Diana Fowley. Our hero is now faced with a juxtaposition of the two faces of his anima, one that embodies all that is earthly and one his spiritual ideal.
This situation evolves primarily over the course of the sixth season, as our hero is faced with a choice of whether to regress to what may seem at times a simpler anima relation with this old Eve figure, or to continue forward with the more challenging yet fulfilling relationship with the anima that has taken precedence in his adult life .

How can this decision be reached in a way that continues our hero's growth? We find that it comes in the gradual breaking down of the pedestal on which Scully, the Marian anima, has been placed. He needs to allow himself to let go of his guilt for her losses and view her as a multidimensional woman, who, while possessing great virtue, can also have human fallibilities, and who can have a sexual aspect to her persona. This then allows him to release the unhealthy anima relation in his past and move forward certain of his choice.

What are the events in which we see this happen? Certainly throughout the sixth season we see both Mulder and Scully slowly coming to acknowledge that there may be a romantic or sexual element to their partnership. (Evidenced in the film, and in such episodes as, Triangle, Dreamland I&II, The Rain King, How the Ghosts Stole Christmas,Arcadia,Milagro and the Unnatural). In this same time frame we see a jealous, perhaps overly protective streak emerge in Scully (toward Diana and in the episode Alpha in particular), along with a further exploration of her needs as a woman (Milagro), which serve to humanize her emotionally, and make her less of an infallible goddess in the eyes of the hero.

When we reach the end of this conflict in Amor Fati, with the death of the old negative anima Fowley, we see the character of Scully begin the journey to fourth stage of development, when the hero will achieve the integration of this aspect of his psyche, which as we will see, occurs in several steps in this myth.

The fourth stage is Sophia, take it away Wiki:
Sophia, named for the Greek word for wisdom. Complete integration has now occurred, which allows females to be seen and related to as particular individuals who possess both positive and negative qualities.

and it looks like we'll be continuing this in yet another post...

What will happen as Mulder manages to gradually integrate his anima?
Tune in next time....

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