Mother Earth - A Living Organism

Myths-Dreams-Symbols
The Unconscious World of Dream
intuitive knowledge


The Individuation Process
Journey To Wholeness
Stage One: The Shadow
Stage Two: Anima/Animus
Stage Three: Mana Personalities
Stage Four: The Self
Source: Eric Ackroyd

Mana Personalities
more on Mana Personalities

Our Power And Wisdom Aspects

mana, n. [native Polynesian term.] the impersonal supernatural force which certain primitive peoples attribute good fortune, magical powers, etc. Best applied here as intuitive powers or symbols of power and wisdom that reside in the depths of our psyche. Mana can attract or repel, wreak destruction or heal, confronting the EGO with a supraordinate force. To be 'possessed' by these 'mana' personalities is dangerous and can result in megalomania. When properly integrated the conscious and unconscious complement each other and unfolding of the wise self arises harmoneous.



Stage three is where man meets the Wise Old Man and a woman meets the Great Mother. These archetypal images are symbols of power and wisdom. Jung calls them 'mana personalities', because in primitive communities anyone with extraordinary power or wisdom was said to be filled with 'mana' (a Melanesian word meaning 'holiness' or 'the divine').

Jung warns us to be 'possessed' by these 'mana' personalities is dangerous (possession meaning letting these powers subdue the conscious mind and ignore all reason). It commonly results in megalomania. For example, a woman who allows her conscious mind to be invaded and subdued by the Great Mother will begin to believe herself able and destined to protect and nurture the whole world. Similarly, a man who allows himself to be taken over by the Wise Old Man (same as the Greatm Mother but in masculine form) is likely to become convinced that he is some sort of superman or great guru, filled with heroic power or with superior insight into the meaning of things.

These 'mana' personalities are symbols of the power and wisdom that lie deep within parts of our own psyche. But, like other things in our unconscious they may be projected. For example, instead of making contact with this inner store of power and wisdom, we may choose to disown it and see it as the property of someone else, some national leader or some superman figure from modern mythology.

The right thing to do with the 'mana' personality, however, is neither to project it nor keep it surpressed, but to integrate it into your consciousness. This means enriching your life with a wisdom that is not accessible to intellect but comes from the unconscious. It also means that from now on, conscious and unconscious are no longer seen as opposites, but as two cooperating and complementary parts of one and the same psyche.

Jung speaks of stage three as the second liberation from the mother (the first liberation from mother being stage two, when anima or animus is integrated into conscious life). This second and fuller liberation means achieving a genuine sense of one's true individuality.

Common symbols of the Wise Old Man include the king, magician, prophet or guru and guide. Common symbols for the Great Mother include a goddess or other female figure associated with fertility (e.g. a nude female figure with large breasts, or many breasts, or broad buttocks, or prominent vagina), priestess and prophetess. The words 'prophet' and 'prophetess' are used here in the sense of someone through whom a god or goddess speaks.

megalomania - a mental disorder characterized by delusions of grandeur, wealth, power, etc.

Great Mother - The archetypal symbol for the Goddess, instead of an inward god.


Mana-personality. A personified archetypal image of a supernatural force

The mana-personality is a dominant of the collective unconscious, the well-known archetype of the mighty man in the form of hero, chief, magician, medicine-man, saint, the ruler of men and spirits, the friend of God.[The Mana-Personality,"CW7, par. 377.]

Historically, the mana-personality evolves into the hero and the godlike being, whose earthly form is the priest. How very much the doctor is still mana is the whole plaint of the analyst!

Mana is a Melanesian word referring to a bewitching or numinous quality in gods and sacred objects. A mana-personality embodies this magical power. In individual psychology, Jung used it to describe the inflationary effect of assimilating autonomous unconscious contents, particularly those associated with anima and animus.

The ego has appropriated something that does not belong to it. But how has it appropriated the mana? If it was really the ego that conquered the anima, then the mana does indeed belong to it, and it would be correct to conclude that one has become important. But why does not this importance, the mana, work upon others? . . . It does not work because one has not in fact become important, but has merely become adulterated with an archetype, another unconscious figure. Hence we must conclude that the ego never conquered the anima at all and therefore has not acquired the mana. All that has happened is a new adulteration.





Stage Four: The 'Self'

11-30-04