Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mulder's Inner Woman Part 3

So we left off with our hero approaching the point in his journey wherein he is ready to begin the integration of his anima bringing him to the fourth stage of anima development, that which Jung called Sophia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophia_(wisdom) This process will occur over time in a number of symbolic moments in the story.

The first sign that our hero is ready to begin the integration of this symbol comes, as we noted in the previous entry, when in the first feature film he acknowledges her as a component of his complete "self" (the line:"You make me a whole person.") After working, through the sixth season's story arc, to banish his old negative anima persona from his active psyche (his relationship with thru the death of Diana Fowley), and begin to bring his image of his current anima projection (Scully), down from the impossible heights of idealism that she attained in her Marian phase of development. We are reminded of the hero's acknowledgment of the importance of his anima to his quest and his relation to his "self", when in Amor Fati, he refers to Scully as his "touchstone". The stone is a frequent symbol of the archetype of the "self" in myths and dreams; from the Christian view Christ as "the rock",to the alchemist's "philosopher's stone", to the character of Locke's relation to the island on "Lost".

In order for integration to occur for our hero the next and most significant step in his journey is the final release of the grip that the earliest anima/mother relations have on his present psyche. This comes to pass in the episodes "Seit und Zeit" and "Closure", in which the hero is finally and literally abandoned by his mother's death in suicide and simultaneously comes to terms with the disappearance of his sister, who has served him at times as Divine Child, Anima and Mother. He releases Samantha to the "starlight", the place where the other major symbol of his unified self and object of his quest, the UFO resides.

This symbolic integration of his childhood feminine symbols, represented by their release, and in turn the release of their paralyzing hold on his psychic life, makes him ready to face his next important task of integration, that of his current adult anima.

Later in the storytelling, we are told of a false start to this process in the episode Per Manum, where we learn that it was around this time that the hero and his anima had attempted to conceive a child through in vitro fertilization. Though the desire for this symbolic joining is present, since the attempt failed, it would seem that in the myth there is still another obstacle to its completion.

As the story plays out, it becomes apparent that the anima needs to be further removed from her Marion image of perfection. We see that an "immaculate" conception or laborotory produced conception, would be a shortcut to integration, and therefor this attempt must fail.

Here the shadow intervenes yet again in a mysteriously beneficial way, that aids in the final step necessary to allow integration. In the episode En Ami, we see the anima (Scully) seduced by the shadow (Smoking Man), who acts as the devil in the desert, tempting her with visions of the miraculous (a cure for all disease). In her following of the hero's shadow, we see the "Eve" component return to balance the whole of her moral character, through what the hero views as an act of betrayal.

In this episode, the Smoking Man seems to embody the biblical snake in his offer of temptation to Scully, which can also connect back to the image of the Oroborus, or snake eating its own tail that she was tattooed with in the episode Never Again, in which she rebels and pulls away from the hero, fearful of losing herself in Mulder (and demonstrating her unreadiness as a symbol to be integrated by the hero at that time). This Never Again episode also sees her exploring her sexuality, which Mulder, at that point in the story (the height of her Marian incarnation), is hesitant to associate with her.

To put it another way, the first step in the symbolic integration process for these characters is to join in a physical/sexual union. In order for the integration to move smoothly Mulder must acknowledge Scully as a flawed as well as virtuous character, the complete acceptance of which is brought about by her misadventure with the Smoking Man. He must also acknowledge that she is a sensual and sexual being, which the echo of her earlier carnal misadventure through the Smoking Man's biblical snake like actions invokes.

Through her interactions with the Smoking Man in this episode, and through her own reflections as to her past romantic patterns in the episode All Things, she brings to Mulder's attention her flawed and sexual side, but also allows her to reach a point where she is certain that she is ready to enter into a more "integrated" relationship with the hero.

Once this level of integration is attained, the next major step in the hero's overall quest is the fullest manifestation in the series of the hero's death and rebirth which occurs with his abduction and eventual literal death and rebirth that takes place from the season 7 finale Requiem thru the season 8 episodes titled This Is Not Happening. Simultaneously with this major step in the hero's journey, we see the anima move yet another step further in full integration when we learn that she is pregnant with what we eventually determine to be his child.

His relationship with the anima at this point is highly functional. She works tirelessly to be his savior and upon his return they are able to communicate enough to come to terms with their new level of integration (having a child together). More over, in his absence she has served the important anima function of facilitating the hero's capacity for socialization, having placed trust in others, particularly the characters of John Doggett, Monica Reyes, and Walter Skinner. Skinner is significant because until this point in Scully's development as a highly functional anima figure, he was always regarded with a certain level of distrust. Upon Mulder's return, his faith in Scully allows him to place a degree of trust and socialization in these individuals as well. She has recruited allies in the quest for the hero.

The hero's period of exile in the last season after the birth of their child is significant in his anima integration, because upon his return he is faced with a difficult test of his emotional maturity. When he returns he finds that his anima has been forced to make the same decision that his mother did early in his life and sacrifice the "divine child" of their union, in this case giving him up for his own protection. We can see where this action on her part might hearken back mightily to the early traumatic event in the hero's life. His reaction to this turn of events demonstrates his growth in relation to understanding of his own feminine nature (the anima) as he is able to understand and forgive Scully's actions and her motivations.

In this final episode we also see her give up security and identity to join him in exile and continue to aid in his quest. The final scene shows the process of integration reach the spiritual level, when in a discussion of recent events and their ramifications on their belief systems she concludes that they now, "believe the same thing".

We can now assume that the hero can move forward with his anima (inner feminine) symolicaly integrated in his psyche and as a wise and active partner in his life's journey....don't fuck it up Carter!

If there's anything as a reader you feel that I've overlooked as far as the anima relationship, please leave comments. The beautiful thing about archetypes is their elastic nature and the possibilities that they inspire, so I'd love to get the input of anyone reading.

Next up I'm thinking we may explore the Divine Child more thoroughly.

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