"I have intentionally given primacy to the expression imago over the expression complex, 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,"
The 'self whose relatedness to reality is already tenuous becomes less and less a reality-self, and more and more phantasticized as it becomes more and more engaged in phantastic relationships with its own phantoms (imagos).
In psychoanalysis, an idealized image of another person, such as a parent, or of an instinctual object, acquired in infancy and maintained in the unconscious (2) in later life. The concept was introduced in 1911 by Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961), who believed that some imagos are derived from archetypes (2) rather than from personal experiences, and it became a key concept of his analytical psychology. In the writings of the British-based Austrian psychoanalyst Melanie Klein (1882–1960), it is a fantastically distorted picture of the real object on which it is based. See also anima, animus (3), idealization.