Inuyasha is a popular anime show, following the general trend where people on the spectrum enjoy sophisticated ideas through unsophisticated, bathetic presentations. We are observably much better at dreaming than thinking. There are some things I really like about it, but I generally don’t recommend watching it because it drags on. As the VGcats guy said, it’s Dragon Ball Z for girls.
Onward then, to the sperging.
000087 The origin of the hero. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1967. 557 p. (p. 171-206).
The hero, called the “finest symbol of the libido” is discussed as he appears in mythology, legend and the dramatic dream of one patient, Miss Miller. A passive introversion which rejects an external object of love and a concentration of the libido on an internal substitute created by the unconscious is considered the source of Miss Miller’s vision. For mankind in general, this internalization of libidinal attention is seen in the cult of the hero, who symbolizes archaic psychic power suppressed to conform to society. This human need is recognized by the Catholic Church by providing Jesus as a visible hero, a sought after superman who symbolizes the idea, the forms, and the forces of the soul. Ramifications of the meaning of the Sphinx which appeared in Miss Miller’s dream are explored, and it is concluded that it means for her what it did for Oedipus, the incest danger. A masculine figure, an Aztec, emerging from the Sphinx, supports this interpretation, and symbolic meanings of the figure’s dress and appearance are discussed. The processes of repression and regression which lead to such archetypal figures appearing from the unconscious, are explained. Since these products of the unconscious are made of repressed infantile material, the psychology of the child’s interest in excremental and anal concerns, his confusion between creation and defecation, and other symbolic meanings, are examined. The creation of personality by the unconscious is explored through the legend of the Wandering Jew, another figure in Miss Miller’s dream. Related legend and tradition from Christian, Islamic, and Mithraic history are reviewed, returning to the symbols of the sun, and finding the fish as a symbol of renewal and rebirth. Heroes in these references are seen to be simultaneously mortal and immortal. Regularly the psychic life force, the libido, symbolizes itself in the sun or personifies itself in figures of heroes with solar attributes, again a sign of mortality and immortality. Unconscious motivations such as the incest problem and desires striving for consciousness are briefly discussed.
The male protagonist, Inuyasha, is a teenager who’s half human, half dog demon. This is a straightforward metaphor for the tension between modern man’s uncivilized libido and his domesticated humanity.
The setting is mystical feudal Japan where magic still permeates the air, fairy tales are commonplace, and hordes of terrorizing demons run amok. These are metaphors for the ancient libido and its unrestrained predation, mystical beauty, and fickle brutality.
The people of this age had grown ripe for identification with the Aoyos (word) “become flesh,” for the founding of a new fellowship, united by one idea, 32 in the name of which people could love each other and call each other brothers. 33 The old vague idea of a ^eair^ (Messiah), of a mediator in whose name new ways of love would be created, became a fact, and with that humanity made an immense step forward. This had not been brought about by a speculative, completely sophisticated philosophy, but by an elementary need in the mass of people vegetating in spiritual darkness. The profoundest necessities had evidently driven them towards that, since humanity did not thrive in a state of dissoluteness. 34 The meaning of those cults I speak of Christianity and Mithracism is clear; it is a moral restraint of animal impulses. 35 The dynamic appearance of both religions betrays something of that enormous feeling of redemption which animated the first disciples and which we today scarcely know how to appreciate, for these old truths are empty to us. Most certainly we should still understand it, had our customs even a breath of ancient brutality, for we can hardly realize in this day the whirlwinds of the unchained libido which roared through the ancient Rome of the Caesars. The civilized man of the present day seems very far removed from that. He has become merely neurotic. So for us the necessities which brought forth Christianity have actually been lost, since we no longer understand their meaning. We do not know against what it had to protect us. 36 For enlightened people, the so-called religiousness has already approached very close to a neurosis.
Psychology of the Unconscious
The plot centers around Inuyasha and Company’s search for the Shikon Jewel, which represents the libido in Freud’s original sense meaning the life force or, more specifically, life drive.
The metaphorical correspondence of crystal = principle isn’t obvious, but it’s pretty robust in Japanese pop culture. I’ll give some examples from the Final Fantasy series:
-In Final Fantasy 3/6 (full analysis here), the old gods are drained of their life and transformed into crystals, which represents the shift from religion to ideology.
-In Final Fantasy Tactics, St. Ajora’s “apostles” are demonic entities inhabiting the 12 holy crystals possessed by the ruling religious cabal, which offer a Faustian bargain to their possessors in times of desperation (see also: the “apostles” in Berserk).
-In Final Fantasy 9, the protagonist and antagonist must choose to serve one of two forces: the crystal from which life emerged (again, the life principle) and the final boss, Necron (Freud’s “death drive”).
At the beginning of the show the female protagonist, Kagome, accidentally shatters this life force crystal while channeling the will of the divine feminine character, Kikyo.
So most of the episodes are little stand-alone fairy tales where Inuyasha and gang hunt down the fragments. Where each fragment lands, it causes chaos by giving uncontrollable powers to people, animals, demons, and so on. For instance, if it lands in a spider’s nest in some village all the villagers become big spider demons or something.
Inuyasha pursues the restored libido principle so he can become a full-fledged demon, free of the weakness that plagues him with insecurity. This lack of perfect confidence, his introversion on the lover axis (introversion in the original, Jungian sense), is portrayed as a transformation to pure human once a month under the full moon where he hides from the world of demons in powerless anxiety.
As I explained (brilliantly) in the dark tetrad dynamics post, Jungian (neurotic) introversion and effortless psychopathy are orthogonal considerations with effects on the morality axis.
These correspond to cognitive empathy and emotional empathy, respectively, and are predicted by extraverted (left) vs. introverted (right) expression of MBTI
Sensing (understanding gnosis vs. sympathizing bathos).
Inuyasha is trying to reach that effortless flow state of gnosis by becoming a psychopath and shedding his weak humanity, which he feels only constrains him.
The story’s antagonist, Naraku, begins from a similar condition. He’s a half-demon born of a nasty human, Onigumo, who in his well-deserved suffering introgresses his demons as pure malevolence:
By either chance or fate, the badly burned Onigumo was found by Kikyō, who slowly nursed him back to the point of being able to speak. Onigumo developed feelings for Kikyō, but knowing that he could not move for the rest of his life, he summoned countless demons by using his corrupted soul. He then had them devour his body in exchange for giving him a new body with which he could claim Kikyō and the Jewel of Four Souls. Thus the countless demons were bound together in one body with Onigumo serving as a connector.
(In an anime special, it was implied that a spider demon, which looked like a small replica of Naraku’s spider form in the second movie, was in fact the leader of these demons). This resulted with Onigumo being reborn as the half-demon, Naraku.