In an African folk tale, the otherworldly enchantment of the heavenly woman nearly destroys a young man who is ultimately saved by the love of a plain girl from his village. Depicting the role of the anima - she who animates and gives meaning to a man's life - the tale teaches the lifesaving importance of distinguishing between the light anima of the heavenly vision that can incapacitate a man for ordinary life and the earthly dark anima that represents the human capacity for relationship. Lying with the Heavenly Woman explores this vital quest to understand and differentiate the varied role of the feminine in men's lives. With characteristic insight and clarity, pioneering Jungian analyst Robert Johnson illuminates both the elusive, often misunderstood inner feminine - the realm of meaning, feeling, and creativity and the outer embodiments of femininity - a man's relationships to people who represent the life-enhancing feminine archetypes - from mother and sister to friend, soulmate, and spouse. Johnson unfolds man's rich and multi-faceted anecdotes to femininity through myths, tales, and anecdotes that illustrate the interior and exterior feminine elements: mother, mother complex, mother archetype, sister, anima, wife, daughter, hetaira, sophia, friendship, and homo-erotic relationships. Failing to differentiate among the various feminine elements can lead to mid-life crisis, macho bravado, and even incest and suicide. Conversely, a true understanding of the nature and role of the feminine allows a man to realize his fullest potential for finding meaning within himself and fulfillment in relationship with others.