There is a group of selves/energies that exist in our psyche, who are a part of our instinctual heritage. Many people experience this energy as a jungle animal. We all experience this energy in our own way, with some people feeling they have an inner lion, tiger or panther, and others a bear or other large, strong animal — but I’ll refer to this system as one here.
The Jungle Animal is an energy that’s powerful. It has keen senses and instincts, it can fight and protect, it is sexual, and it has other attributes depending on what type of animal you experience in yourself.
In our civilised world the instinctual energy of the Jungle Animal is often a disowned self/energy. Many people believe that in order to be civilised we have to repress our instincts. But the problem is that when we repress or disown a part of our psyche, it doesn’t disappear but becomes problematic in some way. And the deeper it is disowned, the more problematic it becomes.
For example, deeply disowned selves can break out in extreme ways. Some people who have a civilised and righteous primary self are secretly involved in excessive behaviour on the opposite end of the spectrum, causing harm to others. While other people are not even aware when a disowned self has emerged and have no control over it, sometimes participating in behaviours their usual primary self would be upset about. Other people not in touch with their jungle energy can be passive and weak, and find that they often become victims. Because instinctual energy is rooted in our physicality, when it is disowned it can also cause physical symptoms and illness.
Integrated instinctual energy enables you to look after yourself, to protect your children and other loved ones if you ever needed to, to stand up against injustice and fight for what you believe in, to block out dangerous energy coming from others who might wish to do you harm (on a physical, psychological or emotional level), to be in touch with your sexuality and to express it healthily, and to deal with anger and other strong feelings.
Many women are able to connect with jungle energy naturally when they become mothers. They report feeling like a lioness or tigress with her cub/s, and could quite easily protect their child if anyone were to threaten them. They also feel ferocity in how they love and care for their young.
Sportspeople are also usually in touch with their instinctual energy, having to use it in order to compete, to sense, to be aggressive, to move their bodies in their sport.
But we all can benefit from connecting to our instinctual energy and using it in balance with our civilised energies.
Opposites: Spiritual, Mind, Pleaser, and any of the other civilised selves
For an outline of 44 other selves of the human psyche see my book Which Self Are You?
To learn more about inner selves, see this page on the selves that make up the human psyche or this page on how your personality forms and how this affects relationships.
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