noun \i-ˈmä-(ˌ)gō, -ˈmā-\plural imagoes or ima·gi·nes
Definition of IMAGO
1 : an insect in its final, adult, sexually mature, and typically winged state

2 : an idealized mental image of another person or the self
Origin of IMAGO
New Latin, from Latin, image
First Known Use: circa 1797

Imago Source #1

(From The International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis)The term imago first appeared in work of Carl Gustav Jung in 1912, and the same Latin word was adopted in various languages. The concept was borrowed from a novel of the same name by Carl Spitteler (1845-1924), published in 1906. In Jungian psychology, the term imagoeventually replaced the term complex.
The imago is linked to repression, which in neurosis, through regression, provokes the return of an old relationship or form of relationship, the reanimation of a parental imago. This regression is linked to particular quality of the unconscious, that of being constructed through historical stratification. "I have intentionally given primacy to the expression imago over the expressioncomplex, for I wish to endow the psychical fact that I mean to designate by imago, by choosing the technical term, with living independence in the psychic hierarchy, that is, the autonomy that multiple experiences have shown us to be the essential particularity of the complex imbued with affect, and which is cast into relief by the concept of the imago," Jung wrote.
Jung later replaced the term imago with archetype in order to express the idea that it involves impersonal, collective motifs, but in fact this idea was already present in his earliest descriptions of imagos. In 1933 he again explained his choice of this term: "This intrapsychical image comes from two sources: the influence of the parents, on the one hand, and the child's specific relations, on the other. It is thus an image that only reproduces its model in an extremely conventional way." Finally, he situated the imago "between the unconscious and consciousness, in a sense, as if in chiaroscuro." It is a partially autonomous complex that is not completely integrated into consciousness.
Sigmund Freud, "forgetting" that Spitteler's novel had inspired Jung, used the same title,Imago, for the review he created with Hanns Sachs and Otto Rank in Vienna in March 1912.
The concept of the imago, very seldom used by Freud, appeared in his writings for the first time that same year, in "The Dynamics of Transference" (1912b), where he wrote: "If the 'father-imago,' to use the apt term introduced by Jung . . . is the decisive factor in bringing this about, the outcome will tally with the real relations of the subject to his doctor" (p. 100). In those rare texts where he used this term, the imago refers only to an erotic fixation related to real traits of primary objects. But elsewhere, Freud had already shown the importance of the child's links with its parents and had explained that the most important thing is the way in which the child subjectively perceives its parents; these ideas are contained in the notion of the imago. He had also distinguished certain representations that had the status of the imago (the mnemic image of the mother, or the image of the phallic mother in the work of Leonardo da Vinci). However, in "The Economic Problem of Masochism" (1924) he used the term imago in the Jungian sense, in relation to moral masochism and the superego. Indeed, he wrote that behind the power exerted by the first objects of the libidinal instincts (the parents) was hidden the influence of the past and traditions. In his view, the figure of Destiny, the last figure in a series that begins with the parents, can come to be integrated with the agency of the superego if it is conceived of "in an impersonal way," but quite often, in fact, it remains directly linked to the parental imagos.
At that time the term imago was commonly used in the psychoanalytic community, but it was particularly developed in the work of Melanie Klein. Besides the classic imagos, she described "combined parental imagos" that provoke the most terrible states of anxiety. She linked these to the "stage of the apogee of sadism," which in 1946 became the "schizoid-paranoid position." The analyst's work is to bring forth the anxiety linked to these terrifying imagos, thus facilitating the passage to "genital love" (which in 1934 became the "depressive position") by transforming these terrifying imagos into helpful or benevolent imagos. In her view, the young child develops cruel, aggressive fantasies about the parents. The child then projects these fantasies onto the parents, and thus has a distorted, unreal, and dangerous image of people around it. The child then introjects this image, which becomes the early superego. Klein thus described the early superego more as an imago than as an agency.
Klein left it to Susan Isaacs to define what she meant by imago: an image, or imago, is what is introjected during the process of introjection. It involves a complex phenomenon that begins with the concrete external object in order to become that which has been "taken into the self" (p. 89), that is, an internal object, Isaacs explained in "The Nature and Function of Phantasy" (1948), adding: "In psycho-analytic thought, we have heard more of 'imago' than of image. The distinctions between an 'imago' and 'image' might be summarized as: (a) 'imago' refers to an unconscious image; (b) 'imago' usually refers to a person or part of a person, the earliest objects, whilst 'image' may be of any object or situation, human or otherwise; and (c) 'imago' includes all the somatic and emotional elements in the subject's relation to the imaged person, the bodily links in unconscious phantasy with the id, the phantasy of incorporation which underlies the process of introjection; whereas in the 'image' the somatic and much of the emotional elements are largely repressed" (p. 93).
In his 1938 article entitled Les Complexes familiaux dans la formation de l'individu (The family complexes in the formation of the individual), Jacques Lacan drew the connection between imago and complex. It was at this time that he advanced his first theory of the Imaginary. The imago is the constitutive element of the complex; the complex makes it possible to understand the structure of a family institution, caught between the cultural dimension that determines it and the imaginary links that organize it. Lacan described three stages in it: the weaning complex, the intrusion complex (in which the mirror stage is described), and the Oedipus complex. This complex-imago structure prefigured what would become his topology of the Real, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic.

Source #2: Imago Dei

("image of God"): A theological term, applied uniquely to humans, which denotes the symbolical relation between God and humanity. The term has its roots in Genesis 1:27, wherein "God created man in his own image. . ." This scriptural passage does not mean that God is in human form, but rather, that humans are in the image of God in their moral, spiritual, and intellectual nature. Thus, humans mirror God's divinity in their ability to actualize the unique qualities with which they have been endowed, and which make them different than all other creatures: rational structure (see logos), complete centeredness, creative freedom, a possibility for self-actualization, and the ability for self-transcendence.
Imago Dei - Longer definition: The term imago Dei refers most fundamentally to two things: first, God's own self-actualization through humankind; and second, God's care for humankind. To say that humans are in the image of God is to recognize the special qualities of human nature which allow God to be made manifest in humans. In other words, for humans to have the conscious recognition of their being in the image of God means that they are the creature throught whom God's plans and purposes can be made known and actualized; humans, in this way, can be seen as co-creators with God. The moral implications of the doctrine of imago Dei are apparent in the fact that if humans are to love God, then humans must love other humans, as each is an expression of God. The human's likeness to God can also be understood by contrasting it with that which does not image God, i.e., beings who, as far as we know, are without self-consciousness and the capacity for spiritual/ moral reflection and growth. Humans differ from all other creatures because of their rational structure - their capacity for deliberation and free decision-making. This freedom gives the human a centeredness and completeness which allows the possibility for self-actualization and participation in a sacred reality. However, the freedom which makes the human in God's image is the same freedom which manifests itself in estrangement from God, as the myth of the Fall (Adam and Eve) exemplifies. According to this myth, humans can, in their freedom, choose to deny or repress their spiritual and moral likeness to God. The ability and desire to love one's self and others, and therefore, God, can become neglected and even opposed. Striving to bring about the imago Dei in one's life can be seen as the quest for wholeness, or one's "essential" self, as pointed to in Christ's life and teachings.

Theme of Imago

I believe that the theme of Imago is life and living it. I came to this conclussion because of the many works done by Ben Timpson that include still frame segments that highlight the main rhythm of life. The birth, or beginning, is symbolized by the work Venus, which depicts the goddess being born from the sea. Then the work Dream of Two Ladies Dancing represents youthfullness and life as the two girls play and dance like children. Love and togetherness is represented by two seperate works: The first being Wander which depicts a couple wandering through life and love one step at a time, the other being Umbrella where an older couple is living life together under the umbrella of love, which contains them in a shell of undying love as they mature in age. The older step of life is depicted by Composer, who as I depicted was a man reflecting upon his life. And death is depicted by Caught in His Own Net, which depicts a man dying in the net of Death. These works show why the theme of Imago is life and the stages of life.
-Nate Silvestri