This is a detailed advanced explanation of Jung's psychological types that describes the different psychological types and the necessity of developing the skills of type recognition. And it tries to let you experience from the inside the wonderful world of human differences that types try to express. It explores types taken interpersonally in situations like marriage and family life, and types taken intrapersonally as a way of inner transformation which is no different than Jung's process of individuation, and touches on the fourth function, mid-life development, and anima and animus, and projection, all with a wealth of stories and practical examples.
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Transformation Through Jungs Psychological Types
Hi, Im Jim Arraj, and today we are going to explore inner transformation through Jungs psychological types. Jungs psychological types are psychological good news, and they are being spoken about across the U.S. and beyond in the form of books, workshops, tapes and type tests. But this psychological good news, while it actually does have the power to heal our relationships and transform our lives, functions like the seed in the Gospel parable of the sower. It is not enough to hear the words. It is not enough to become momentarily enthusiastic and say "I am an extraverted intuition type, or an introverted feeling type." No.
We have to take this information to heart and cultivate it, and go on the inner journey that typology is all about. I cant go on that journey for you, but what I hope to be able to do is point to the way that goes beyond type terminology and give you a sense of how you can use typology to improve your relationships and actually change your life.
Psychological types aim at two distinct yet interrelated goals. The first goal is learning how to see human differences, and the second is inner transformation.
The first goal is easier to understand and to reach than the second. Most of us have heard of Jungs introversion and extraversion, and the four functions of sensation, intuition, thinking and feeling, which are nothing more than descriptions of the various kinds of introversion and extraversion. I have sat down with friends who know virtually nothing about types, and briefly described these basic elements. For example, I would say something like this: "the extravert is someone whose energy and attention is directed outward to the people and things in the world around him or her, and those objects are decisive in the adaptation he or she makes and the actions he or she takes. For extraverts, the world around them is the real world, and they adapt themselves to it. Their own inner world is less real to them and a secondary influence on their conduct.
"In contrast, the introverts energy and attention are directed inwardly to his or her own inner world, that is the real world which he or she adapts to and which determines his or her behavior. They strive to protect this inner world from too strong an influence from the outer world. This outer world is less real for them, and therefore of less influence than their inner world. Extraversion and introversion form a pair of opposite basic attitudes to life. Each of us is both extraverted and introverted, for we relate both to the world around us and the world within, but we tend to favor one attitude over the other."
Well, then I would have them choose whether they were more introverted or extraverted. You can take a moment and choose, as well. I would continue by describing sensation and intuition which go "together as two opposite ways of perceiving. Sensation," I would tell them, "is the perception of the immediate and tangible reality around us by way of seeing, hearing, touching, etc., and as such is familiar to us. Intuition is also a perception, but of what is in the background, that is, hidden possibilities and implications. It is similar to the way we understand inspirations and hunches. We perceive something but we are not aware of how we got to that perception." Again, they would choose which is stronger in them. Then would come the choice between thinking and feeling which "go together as a pair of opposite ways of making judgments. Thinking is the way of judging about the nature of things by means of our ideas and their organization. It concerns itself with the question of truth or falsity. It is not to be confused with intelligence. For Jung, feeling is limited to a sense of rapport or lack of it by which we decide whether we like or dislike something, feel it is good or bad. It is not to be confused with having emotion." Once again they would choose, and I have been amazed at how well they could make these choices. But did this change their lives? I dont think so. It is the same with a type test. The test may or may not tell us our correct type, and even if it does, it is only a tiny taste of what psychological types are all about.
I said that the first goal in psychological types is seeing human differences. And the accent really does have to be put on seeing. This seeing is not what happens automatically when we open our eyes. It is a schooled and cultivated sight that comes only through practice and experience.
When I first moved to our land here in the middle of a forest in southern Oregon, I could certainly see the trees. In fact, I was surrounded and almost overwhelmed by trees, but I could not really focus on them and differentiate the different kinds. It was only slowly I began to see that there were Ponderosa pines with golden bark, sugar pines with giant pine cones hanging from their tips, and white firs shaped like Christmas trees. Even though these trees were right in front of me, I had to learn to see them.
One of my favorite examples on learning how to see in this way is the story of Tom Brown. Tom, who grew up near the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, had the good fortune as a child to meet an old Apache Indian named Stalking Wolf who taught him how to track. Now the animal tracks that Tom wanted to follow were right there in front of his eyes, but it took him hour after hour, week after week, year after year of concentrated effort until he learned to see those tracks. He would sit and watch a track age by the hour. He would come back days later to see what was left of it. He would observe how the wind and rain altered it. Now, if we were to go out for a walk with Tom many of the tracks would be invisible to us. They are there all right. There is a little indentation, or a bent blade of grass, but we havent yet learned how to see them, still less reconstruct these signs into the story of the animal that made them. Tom might see the tracks of a coyote wandering about until it found its breakfast of a mouse. We would only see a few random scratches on the ground.
Every day we are confronted with the multitude of human tracks. We see people of different heights and weights, and shapes. People who walk, talk, eat, sleep and laugh differently. People who differ in their heart rate, respiration and metabolism. People who differ in their need to express affection, their desire for action, and their thirst for peace and quiet. And people who differ radically in how their fundamental psychic energies flow, and in what objects their energies pursue, and we need to find a way to truly see these tracks and to put all these pieces of information together in a coherent picture so that we can understand the person who made them.
Let me give you an example of what this kind of type seeing is like. I want you to come with me as we try to crawl into the skin of an introverted intuition type. It is only if we can see what each type sees, and feel what each type feels will we have reached our first goal, which is type recognition. Now in the description that follows remember not every introverted intuition type will be like this. There are large variations even within each type. Further, I have added physical and temperamental qualities that expand the normal psychological type descriptions.
By some magic we are slipping inside an introverted intuition type. I will call him Tom who is a composite of different people of his type, and we are actually being transformed into him. I can feel my body becoming tall and slender. My shoulders stoop. My heart beat and respiration slow. My blood pressure drops and my hands and feet cool. I cant assimilate food as well as before. Indeed, my stomach and intestines have grown smaller, and I feel the urge for protein and quick energy foods and frequent snacks. To compensate for my inefficient digestive system, my muscles are smaller and less powerful. Yet my hands remain strong and I am good at walking. Im not well padded. My ribs show, I eat and eat but never gain weight. Its as if the physical fires of assimilation and circulation have been banked. Am I sick? No. I rarely get sick, but I tire easily and am often on the edge of fatigue. I am all arms and legs and spread out in space like a giant delicate antenna. My physical energies have gone into my finely tuned nervous system. I am hypersensitive to noise and pain. My skin is thin and burns readily. But where this energy most shows itself is in my brain. I am highly self-aware, sometimes almost painfully self-conscious. I seethe with new insights and thoughts, dreams and fantasies. It is to these that I turn my self-awareness and attention. I want to pursue them as they flow inward and go deeper and deeper. I want to probe and explore these inner worlds, and so my attention is turned from the world around me. I curl up and shield myself from the constant barrage of noise I find in the world. I am ill at ease at parties and whenever the conversation turns from serious discussion to random chitchat. I am shy. It is hard for me to express my emotions. People tend to judge me from the outside, and that is where I am least able to make a good impression. I am so preoccupied by the inner music I am hearing and the call of these inner journeys that I have a great deal of trouble focusing on the physical world around me. I forget things. I even wish that I did not have to bother taking care of my clothes or organize the meals or going shopping. Then I would have more peace and time to travel inward. I would like to tell you what it is I see, but its so hard to express. But if I think I can trust you, if its just the two of us, if the moment is right and I know you are seeing beyond the surface me, then I would really like to share with you.
Does this person make sense to us? Can we really believe that he represents a natural expression of the same human nature that we share, a human nature which experiences itself in a rainbow of different types?
The goal of type seeing is to actually get inside of each type and feel what they feel and see what they see. It is only then that we will realize how different we are from each other and how deep those differences go. Psychological types is not about some relatively superficial behavior, but about the fundamental structure of our psyches that expresses itself in all we do and say, and is rooted in the very chemistry of our bodies and brains.
What would it be like to become an extraverted thinking type? Lets call him Frank, again a composite of different people of this type. We would feel our body become hard and square, sheathed in large and powerful muscles fastened to heavy bones, fed by a rich supply of blood, and a powerful heart. We would have a body that craved action, just as much as the introverted intuition types craved new interior vistas. Our energy and attention would flow outward and we would be at ease meeting strangers and facing potential conflicts. We would be forthright and outspoken, with a voice that carried well, and a laugh that burst out. We might even relish the stimulation of conflict. We would be constantly embracing the world around us in a plan of action logically thought out and backed by our abundant energy to execute it. Then whatever is embraced by my plan is good, and whatever falls outside my plan I have no time for. And if anyone has the temerity to oppose my plan, well, then, they will have to suffer the consequences!
Later I will continue describing Jungs 8 psychological types, and body and temperament types drawn from the work of William Sheldon, but I think the point is clear. Unless we know people from the inside by means of this cultivated seeing, much about them, and ourselves, for that matter, will remain incomprehensible.
Now what do we gain from making an effort to learn how to see typologically? The major benefit of this working at type recognition is tolerance. The more we see how and why people differ from us, the more chance there is that their behavior will cease being a painful puzzle or an annoyance or a source of friction. Type recognition doesnt automatically lead to tolerance, for it is possible to see these differences and use them to reinforce our intolerance. For example, if I am an extravert I can see introverts, but consider them undeveloped or flawed extraverts who need to train themselves to be more self assertive. But if our type recognition embraces trying to see others from the inside, and seeing these differences as a natural display of the richness of what it means to be a human being, then we can become more tolerant of the way other people act. We will no longer have the same need to try to remake them into our own image and likeness, or the need to remake ourselves into the likeness of what society asserts is the only way of doing things. This tolerance, joined to empathy and sympathy, is the fruit of typology understood interpersonally. And if this is all that Jungs psychological types did for us, it would be well worth all the effort it takes to master the skill of type recognition.
Just how do we develop this skill? First, we should study. We can read Jungs Psychological Types, especially Chapter 10 where he describes the 8 types, and we can read William Sheldons Varieties of Physique, and his Varieties of Temperament, where he describes the various body and temperament types. My wife and I have written two volumes on Jung and Sheldons typologies called Tracking the Elusive Human, which describes how they go together and can be related to everything from heart disease to mental illness.
So study is the first step. But it is crucial that these words and insights of other people become converted into our own personal ability to see. So the second and most vital part of mastering type recognition is practice. We need to focus on these differences. We need to carefully observe ourselves and others. When someone starts getting under our skin, we would to ask just where they are coming from typologically. We should really get into their skins. In short, we have to become conscientious people-watchers and people-trackers, and our reward will be a growing sense of tolerance and compassion. And even if I cant figure out someones type, I find that just the fact that I am working on understanding it makes me less apt to become impatient with them.
As wonderful as type recognition or types taken interpersonally are, this is just the beginning of what psychological types have to offer us. Now we come to the real heart of typology, which is types taken intrapersonally: psychological types as a way of inner transformation.
Some people are under the impression that Jung, himself, gave up on his own psychological types. This is wrong. Not only did he continue to be directly interested in typology, but his major achievement of describing the process of individuation, or psychological wholeness, is directly and intimately related to his psychological types. Indeed, typology as a way of inner transformation is identical to the process of individuation, itself. Further, psychological types represent one of the best ways to go on this journey of individuation.
If type recognition requires an understanding of introversion and extraversion and their four ways of expression, this work of inner growth demands as its prerequisite that we grasp how these type elements are arranged inside ourselves. When we concentrate on types taken interpersonally we emphasize our most conscious function. I am an extraverted sensation type or you are an introverted feeling type. But types taken intrapersonally deal with the fact that both introversion and extraversion and the four function, indeed, all the types, exist within each of us. Our dominant function is nothing more than a description of the kind of psychic energy that our consciousness, or ego, uses most frequently. If we were simply our egos, then a description of our dominant function would be a description of our whole personality, but Jung discovered that the psyche stretched far beyond the ego, and this non-conscious realm he called the unconscious. Individuation, put in the simplest terms, is the interaction between the ego and unconscious as they strive to find a balance that would allow each of them its due. This balance Jung called the self. If typology is identical to individuation, it means that it must embrace both conscious and unconscious, and this journey to the self. What this means is that if I am an introverted thinking type, introverted thinking is the most completely identified with my consciousness, and it is usually aided in its work by either sensation or intuition. Lets say in this case it is intuition. From the point of view of the ego my personality, or consciousness, has a lot of introverted thinking and intuition, and some sensation, but it looks like there is not much extraversion, especially extraverted feeling. Most of my extraversion and feeling lie beyond the boundaries of my consciousness. In short, they are unconscious. I go through life identifying who I am with this limited typological perspective. I see through the colored glasses of my particular conscious attitude and function. Now if I make the effort to learn how to see typologically, I will understand that my particular way of seeing is just one way of seeing. This is valuable, but it doesnt really allow me to come to grips with the other types that exist within myself. I still stay within the boundaries of my own conscious personality. What is wrong with that, we might ask? What is wrong with it is the fact that many of our most pressing problems are rooted in our limited conscious perspective and our inability to come to terms with the whole of our psyches which are much more extensive than the ego alone. But what does all this mean in the concrete? Let me try to give you some idea by describing John, an introverted thinking type, and Barbara, an extraverted feeling type. What follows is a composite picture drawn from the observation of many couples of this type. This combination of an introverted thinking man and an extraverted feeling woman is rather common, and you probably know some people quite like them.
John has a thin, wiry muscularity like that of a long distance runner, which is a physique often found among introverted thinking men where intuition is the auxiliary function. He loves logic and prides himself on his rationality. He takes a problem and turns it over and over in his mind, attacking it from all angles, breaking it down into its component parts, until he has thoroughly analyzed it, and then he carefully constructs a solution. You can find these introverted thinking types, for example, among scientists and engineers of a theoretical turn of mind, and among lawyers and philosophers. They build elaborate and beautiful worlds of ideas in which each piece finds its proper place. And while our introverted thinking type exhibits some of the shyness and reserve that all the different kinds of introverts show, he is much more capable of making his way in the world than our introverted intuition type. Now Johns consciousness is characterized by an inward flowing energy that operates principally by thinking, and is strongly aided by intuition, and can draw on some degree of sensation.
But Jung insists that our conscious is one-sided, and whatever is emphasized in consciousness excludes its opposite, which will exist and operate in the unconscious. As far as John can see, he is a very rational man. But his seeing only goes as far as his consciousness reaches. But if we could put John on some typological X-ray machine we would see quite another picture. There, showing up brightly, would be his introversion and thinking and intuition, and part of his sensation function. But looking like a shadow below would be his sensation function in its more extraverted mode, and below that his extraverted feeling function deeply rooted in a huge dark area that Jung called the collective unconscious.
Well, John doesnt see himself like this. He doesnt possess X-ray eyes, and so he assumes that his whole personality is just what he can see. This would be fine if what he didnt see didnt effect him. But it does. It shapes his moods and dreams and fantasies and holds the key to his psychological health, for it is vitally connected to his ability to reach psychological maturity and wholeness.
Well, instead of realizing this, John goes around thinking that he knows himself, all the while suffering from a vague feeling that there is more to life than what he has.
Then one day he meets Barbara. Barbara is an extraverted feeling type, and like many extraverted feelers she is well-built, energetic and enthusiastic. Barbaras feelings are like strong beams of sunshine which she turns on whoever she meets, and the people who feel them respond like flowers when the sun has finally come out. They feel that someone is taking an interest in them, is listening to them, cares about them, and they blossom. Needless to say, the extraverted feeling type makes friends wherever she goes. She makes friends walking into the grocery store, or the Laundromat. In fact, she makes so many friends that she finds herself in trouble managing her time because there is always someone who wants to talk to her or visit with her.
When John and Barbara meet they meet on two levels. On the first level they react to each other like two people who are just getting acquainted. But quickly a second level becomes operative. John is unconsciously attracted to Barbara because of his own undeveloped extraverted feeling side. She fills an empty place inside him, a place he could not even describe. He experiences a wonderful feeling of completion which is really a promise that he could be complete and whole within himself. Barbara experiences the same thing. Unconsciously she is drawn to John because she very much needs and wants to be whole, which means the development of her introverted thinking, and through it coming to terms with her unconscious. Jung would say that they are mutually projecting the unconscious side of their personalities on the other person. What they are experiencing in their relationship is a heady mixture of the other person and their own unconscious needs and desires and aspirations. We are familiar with this kind of experience, for it is the same thing we call falling in love.
Well, John and Barbara fall in love and decide to get married, and while this process of mutual projection lasts, they are lifted out of the confines of their egos, an experience that promises what it would mean to be whole. But the tragedy for them and for so many of us is that they take the promise of the accomplished fact. They think that this heavenly state is all about having found each other. They imagine that the other person is the answer to their own need for inner growth. During their romance the intensity of their projections have prevented them from really averting to how different they are. Now that they are married and are working together to build a common life, they have to re-engage their most common functions to deal with lifes challenges and difficulties. Lets imagine they are having a discussion about what kind of house to buy. John, who prides himself on how little he spends on his clothes, and how little he cares about public opinion, has carefully analyzed the problem and marshaled his facts and figures. He has calculated where the house is in relationship to where they work, what percentage of their income they will need to pay for it, how they can find a house to fix up and sell at a profit, and so forth. Barbara, on the other hand, goes through a similar process of evaluation, but she accomplishes it by way of her feelings, which are very much in tune with the community around her made up of their family and friends, their colleagues at work, and even the children they plan to have someday. She doesnt need to make a list to know the kind of house she wants, and how it should look, and how it should make her feel when her friends and relatives come over, and how it will be when the children are playing around it, and so forth.
Now from a purely objective point of view they should be able to discuss this matter and reach a joint decision, but when John listens to his wife talk about the new house, he becomes annoyed. He is waiting for her to carefully articulate the reasons for her decision, and she doesnt. He expects everything to be evaluated by his own style of analysis and logic. Well, Barbara is simply not made that way. She comes to decisions using an equally valid but different method. Her feelings can actually tell her whether something is good or bad for her, but this is incomprehensible to John, and to tell the truth, he is really not interested in the social dimension of things that is so important to Barbara. He begins to demand reasons, and to unconsciously fend off feelings. These demands strike Barbara at her weakest and least developed point. She gets upset. Her feelings are hurt. She says, "Why are you being so insensitive?" meaning why are you attacking my feelings and thus attacking me? John is taken back. He has no conscious intention of hurting her feelings. All he wants is reasons. If you dont have reasons, he reasons, you are just winging it, and you really dont know what you are talking about. But her upset feelings reach his undeveloped feelings and set them off. We are at the beginning of one of those spirals of misunderstandings that can begin spinning out of control and do real harm to a marriage.
Now if we were Jungian typologist marriage counselors a profession there is certainly a great need for what would we tell this couple? The first part of our advice is easy if we have mastered the art of type recognition. We would have to explain just how they differ from each other physically, temperamentally and psychologically. They are two very different kinds of people, and it would take the best will in the world for them to being to truly understand each other. They operate on different colors of the rainbow, and it precisely because they are so different that they attract each other so strongly. If they could truly get inside each others heads and hearts, they would, no doubt, be somewhat disconcerted and amazed at how different they are, but also vastly relieved, I think, that the root of many of their misunderstandings is not malice or ill-will, but simply their differing perspectives.
But even if they succeeded at the task of type recognition, and understood each others type, and even if they developed tolerance for each other, they would have only reached the first goal of typology. They still would not know how to go forward and realize the promise that their falling in love has shown them, and this goal can only be reached through inner transformation. It is the journey to the other side of the personality so that we can become whole. John and Barbara could help each other reach wholeness, but they cant automatically make each other whole by being married to each other.
Barbara and John both have to realize that there is a lot more to their personalities than they formerly realized. Their courtship and marriage should have begun to teach them that. They have to turn our typological X-ray machine on themselves and see the extent of their whole types.
Their own relationship presents them with a beautiful opportunity to do this. By the very fact that they have projected on each other they have made their other sides visible. What they have to do is begin to separate out what part of their image of the other is based on what the other person is actually like, and what part is a projection out of the unconscious. This is hard work, but if they can do it, they will gain an invaluable insight into the existence of their other side. And to tell the truth, one of our biggest obstacles to psychological growth is our belief that we really know what there is to know about ourselves. If John can look at Barbara and see her as having a distinctly different personality, and then see how he possesses intense extraverted feelings which are at variance with his logical and rational consciousness, he will be on the way to inner transformation. If the projection of falling in love is one way of recognizing our other side, there are others, as well.
Lets leave Barbara and John, and return to the man we call Tom, the introverted intuition type with a second function of thinking. One night Tom dreamt he was in the back seat of a car, and there was a strange man who was driving fast and somewhat recklessly. Toms girlfriend was in the front passenger seat, and sometimes she would turn around and hold Toms hand, but at other times she would flirt with the driver. Tom work up with a feeling of anxiety about the possibility of losing his girlfriend. The strange man reminded him of the foreman on his last summer job whom Tom felt was coarse and loud.
What is the psychological interpretation? The strange man symbolizes Toms extraverted sensation function which is a stranger to consciousness and not in control of consciousness. In contrast to Toms conscious life, which is directed by intuition, the dream shows his other side where the sensation function is in the drivers seat. His girlfriend can be understood as a symbol of Toms third function of feeling which is pulled in two directions. On the one side, toward consciousness, represented by Tom, and on the other towards the stranger. The feeling function is partially conscious and partially unconscious.
This dream gave Tom a clear picture of his whole type in the concrete. He got the same message when he looked at one of his fantasies. Tom had a recurring fantasy about being in a plane crash in a remote place. The crash had left the passengers with hardly any supplies and no ready means of help. It was Tom, drawing on his interior resources, who organized shelter using branches and leaves, found edible plants and took charge of the survival of the group. In the process o doing this, the most beautiful woman among the passengers was drawn to him because of his command of the situation.
Whats the typological interpretation? The weakest part of Toms personality is in the area of extraverted sensation. The daydream indicates that the function of intuition, symbolized by the plane, is no longer adequate. The unconscious, by means of the daydream, presents to him another Tom who is strong in this area and reaps the rewards of his strength. These images, coming from the unconscious, attempt to compensate for the one-sidedness of the conscious, and can be seen as an attempt to attract Tom to further self-development.
The picture of Toms whole type was completed by what I will call a moment of high feeling intensity. One day Tom was paging through a magazine and he read a short anecdote about a man who had spent 30 years in a mental hospital. The man had stated that the most fulfilling thing that had happened to him during all that time was that once, while working on the hospital newsletter, he had won an argument with the staff person in charge of the paper about how a particular word should be hyphenated. This story upset Tom, and he couldnt forget it.
The typological interpretation? The story symbolized in Toms mind the possibility of being trapped in the world, just like the mental patient had been locked up in the hospital. As an introverted intuition type, Tom loved freedom and feared that the details of sensation would tie him down and not let him fly. Tom was concerned about living a meaningful life, and was afraid that he would be caught in situations where fulfillment and meaning were hard to come by. The patient who had only one apparently trivial moment of fulfillment in 30 years symbolized Toms fears.
Whether we work by means of projection or dreams or fantasies or moment of high feeling intensity, our goal is the same. We need to concretely see the whole of our type, and not just our ego consciousness. This kind of understanding is not a question of the head alone understanding. Each symbol, or projection, has a definite charge of energy, and the kind of understanding we are looking for is one that allows us to tap into this energy and unleash it and allow it to broaden our egos and allow our egos to realize there is an inner world of the unconscious that will never be part of our egos, but which we must still come to terms with. If Tom never realizes that the man driving the car is somehow himself, and if he never makes friends with this man, he will never find the other side of himself.
I would be misleading you if I gave you the impression that this journey of inner transformation was an easy task. It is not. Just remember the last time you had a fight with someone you love, and you will understand the kinds of forces we are talking about here. I would even say that this journey is so painful an humbling that you should not go on it unless you have to. But often, no matter how normal and functional we are, we are hurting. We want to reach our full psychological potential. We want to have a really good marriage, or become a good parent, or community member. In short, be just as much as we can be, and we cannot find a way to do it.
While Jung knew the way, he had discovered it at the risk of his own life and sanity, and that it why it hurt him when people talked about his psychological types as if they were some kind of superficial labels instead of a royal road leading to individuation.
What can you do to take this road? First, there are some preliminaries. Decide if you need some professional help to travel it, either because of some biological weakness, or a severely deprived childhood, or simply because you think you can make better progress that way.
What we are discussing in the course of these tapes is not psychological work in a medical sense, but the kind of psychological work that faces us even when, or perhaps especially when, we are considered normal and relatively well-functioning members of our community. Jungs process of individuation is a natural process of growth which should be just as much a part of our life as good nutrition or proper exercise is. My concern is that you dont underestimate how difficult this process can be at times.
Imagine that we let ourselves get out of shape, and this state of affairs went on for months or even years. It would be foolish for us to go out and immediately try to run five miles, or twist ourselves into intricate Yoga positions. Well, our psyches are natural organisms just like our bodies. We have to start gently and limber up and avoid creating strains before our systems can handle them. It is like learning how to swim. We dont jump off the deep end, but we take it step by step. This is how our psychological growth should be approached.
Next see if there is someone who will be your friend or companion on the way. Two people can go on this journey together, for example a husband and wife, or two people in a religious community, or two close friends. Take advantage of the wide-spread interest in Jung today, and learn more about his psychology. There are lay and professional Jungian groups and activities around the country you can look to for support.
The first step of this journey is the creation of our own typological X-ray. What type are we, and where does our consciousness end and our unconscious begin? This is what Tom was doing, and this is what John and Barbara could do by means of an analysis of their own mutual projections. The next step is to reach out and make contact with this other side and tap into its energy. Typology gives us a distinctive way to do this. Look first at where your consciousness stops and your unconscious begins. This boundary, for example, can run right through your third function. If it does, then your third function becomes your starting place, your gateway to the unconscious. For Tom this gateway was his feeling function. Part of it was joined to consciousness and part of it to sensation and the unconscious. It was very hard for him to admit that this feeling-sensation part was really part of himself, but once Tom accepted this, he could pay attention to it and make contact with it. He could no longer act as if his introverted intuition and thinking were enough. He needed to exercise his feeling, especially his extraverted feeling. He had to pay attention to the women in his dream and fantasies, and to the women in his life. He had to try to be an extraverted feeling type.
The third function, if it is, indeed, the place where our consciousness stops and the dark shadows on our X-ray begin, is our first major typological task. Dont worry about what concrete thing you should do to deal with it. I think you will find that as soon as you recognize it as the doorway to the unconscious, it will open and life will present you with daily opportunities to try to come to terms with it.
To the degree we succeed in dealing with our third function, our consciousness will expand. Tom, for example, will be able to exercise more consciously and deliberately his extraverted feeling, and this will enrich his life. But will he be done with his inner work? Not at all. The third function is linked to the fourth, or inferior, function. It is much better to start our interior work with our third function if we can, the third being closer to consciousness and more accessible.
Poor John and Barbara fell right into their fourth functions, and they will have a hard time realizing how much they are projecting, but sooner or later we must all deal with our fourth functions. This is where we are weakest. It is here we are touchy and cranky. The fourth function makes us feel impatient or frustrated or terribly angry, or absolutely depressed. But the fourth function is also life-giving, energizing and deeply fulfilling.
John and Barbara experience both sides of it, and if we look at the place where we are weakest, the most easily hurt, have the most difficulty focusing, that will be the place of the fourth function. Now just how do we figure out just what to do to develop our fourth function? Again, this is not as difficult a problem as it first seems. Once we truly recognize our fourth function, then it will be constantly calling attention to itself, much like a sore thumb that we are always banging. Everyday life provides countless opportunities for us to develop our third and fourth functions. For John and Barbara each day they have the chance to develop their other sides. Indeed, if they dont, their marriage is in serious trouble. Every time they talk about whether to go out to dinner, or paint the house, or buy a car, or change a job, the fourth function is there. For Tom, whose fourth function is extraverted sensation, there is no escaping from it, either. He needs to eat and dress and wash and make money and do a thousand things that demand the use of this function. He can go through his life kicking and complaining about all these things, but the fact is he needs to do them, and should do them with the right spirit.
What typology does, then, is customize individuation for us so we are confronted with precisely those tasks that will make us grow and develop. How different living with the fourth function is from imagining our psychological journey as glorious inner trips with bright lights and shining images. But thats OK. If John and Barbara could only see that there is a way for them to work on realizing the promise that their falling in love showed them, then that is really more exciting than any bright lights could be.
Inner transformation starts with the recognition that we possess all the types within ourselves. Each of us is a complete rainbow of types even though we show different conscious colors. The recognition of this community of types within us is the foundation of our tolerance for those who show a different arrangement of colors than we do. But this recognition should be the beginning of action. If it as if we are partner in an inner marriage, or companionship, a marriage of our consciousness on the one side, and the unconscious, especially in the guise of the fourth function, on the other. We cant ignore this inner companion because it is us, nor can we allow either partner to dominate the other. What would happen if we took our inner community of types seriously, and allowed each of them to have its say, and influence our conduct? Then Tom would have to listen, and in a certain way become an extraverted feeling type, and become an extraverted sensation type. In fact, he would actually have to become all the types, and he could learn much about living in this inner community by trying to live better with all the different types in the community around him.
Then types taken interpersonally, and types taken intrapersonally, as a way of inner transformation, would tend to become one, and we would be close to that inner balance between the conscious and the unconscious that Jung called the Self. With its overview of type recognition and type development in mind, we are ready now to go on and learn more about cultivating these two skills.
Lets broaden our understanding of type recognition. I am going to describe Jungs eight psychological types, and Sheldons body and temperament types, and a little about how these two typologies go together by drawing on our first volume, Tracking the Elusive Human. Now as you listen to these descriptions, the best thing that could happen is that you experience some moments where you say, "I know someone like that." You have to take these descriptions and work with them so that they become tools that help you see more clearly the people around you.
There are four extraverted types: the extraverted sensation type, the extraverted intuition type, and the extraverted thinking and feeling types. And there are four introverted types of sensation, intuition, thinking and feeling. Each type hears his or her own kind of music.
The extraverted sensation type loves to see, hear, taste, touch and smell the world around them.
The extraverted intuition type is continually searching out new possibilities in the world.
The extraverted thinking type has a plan to carry out.
And the extraverted feeling type wants to be in harmony with the world.
The introverted sensation type is captivated by the vibrations that the outside world of the senses sets off within him or her.
The introverted intuition type is continually searching out new possibilities in the inner world.
The introverted thinking type creates interior worlds of ideas.
And the introverted feeling type dives deep into the pool of her inner feelings.
The Extraverted Sensation Types
This type likes to have lots of people around them, and they are generous with their affection. A large smile and a big hug is the norm. They are open-hearted, and often open-handed with their money. They are excellent story tellers, for they recall all the details and relive them for the benefit of the audience. And they love an audience. The more people around to hear them the better. In their house you can often find two or three people who just happened to drop by, and who are made to feel welcome with a cup of coffee or a piece of pie, and the feeling there is no need for them to rush off. Extraverted sensation types are in no hurry. They live in the present and what is happening now is the most important thing. The extraverted sensation feeling type is very open with her feelings. If she is sad or upset you know about it right away. She might start to cry over her troubles, and throw her arms around you so you can comfort her. If her feelings are hurt she is crushed. She instinctively trusts people and likes them, and if someone has done something against her she feels betrayed.
The extraverted sensation thinking type excels in remembering facts and figures, and the extraverted sensation types in general can be good cooks and house builders, photographers, craftsmen and business people because they have a firm handle on the tangible. They see the physical job to be done, and they are not distracted by all the other possibilities the situation may present. And if they have developed one of their auxiliary functions they can be very effective in getting the job done.
Extraverted sensation types can be especially good with children. The littler the better. Babies need to be fed, changed, bathed, dressed, burped and tickled. Babies are total sensation, and this type loves to use her energy taking care of them.
The extraverted sensation type who does not make enough use of his second and third functions can overuse his first. Then he tries to sense too much and too many things and not reflect on what these sensations mean but simply try to go on to new and more intense sensations. He can overeat or overaccumulate or overwork or simply overdo whatever his particular preference is. The people and objects around him begin to be treated as occasions or pretexts for more sensation, and he is so caught up in his sensing that he neglects his inner self.
Even when the second and third functions are being used, there comes a point where this kind of adaptation to life is not fully adequate because the inner self is not getting enough attention. This inner self is best represented by the fourth function of introverted intuition which is the way in which the extraverted sensation type can ask the questions, "What is the meaning and purpose of my life?" "Where did I come from and where am I headed?" This kind of questioning tends to be excluded from consciousness because it is too opposed to the first function and its extraverted attitude. Yet it is important because it represents another part of who the extraverted sensation type actually is. If he or she cannot come to terms with this part of himself and tries to ignore it or bury it under a crowd of new sensations, then the introverted intuitive dimension will begin to make itself felt, but in a negative and primitive way. The extraverted sensation type can become prey to negative intuitions of future disasters like accidents happening or conspiracies being hatched.
When the extraverted sensation type is fairly well-balanced the introverted intuition can appear in the form of ghosts, spirits and an interest in the parapsychological. One night, for example, when we were staying with friends, just before bedtime they began to tell ghost stories. They told of spirits they had seen flitting around the house, and they told these stories not as fantasies, but with the same sense of concrete detail they told all their other stories. It was impressive. When the lights went out we felt the urge to look around to see if we, too, could spot one of these spirits.
But the undeveloped inferior function can also be oppressive. It can continually multiply fears and premonitions of disasters. Life becomes cramped. Every minute the extraverted sensation type turns around there is a new negative possibility confronting him, and so his only remedy is to confine himself to a narrow routine of the safe and tried-and-true. The energy for growth that exists in the personality has become split off from the conscious mind and hems it in on every side.
The Extraverted Intuition Type
Unlike the extraverted sensation types who are wrapped up in what they are doing at the moment, the extraverted intuition types are future-oriented. The possibilities for tomorrow, next week or next year are what capture their interest. Their energy flows outward, not to the external object but rather around it and through it to the possibilities it suggests. This type takes the physical details that extraverted sensation types linger over and uses them as a spring-board to fly towards what could be. They sparkle with new ideas and plans, many of which have real possibility and merit. They are prolific creators of new businesses, new machines, new social positions and organizations. For the young, healthy extraverted intuition type life is an ever-changing drama with new adventures around every corner. You never know what is going to happen next when you are around them.
When I went with Mike to see his land he had managed to buy in the country, his eyes danced with enthusiasm. Nobody else had even been able to find the land, but Mike had assembled the old maps and searched through the brush to find the old surveying markers. "I'm going to build a house here." He pointed to where a pile of salvaged lumber was stacked. "My well is half dug. It will be wonderful to live back here in the country away from the noise and smell of the city."
But to get an intuition isn't enough. The second function of either thinking or feeling gives the intuition type a way to evaluate his intuitions. For example, the intuition thinking type not only gets the idea for a new business but uses his thinking function to plan out the necessary steps for its establishment, while the intuition feeling type not only sees the possibility of a new social service organization but can bring her feeling function to bear to encourage people to work with her in its establishment. This type cannot let things alone. There is always a better, or at least another way, and he naturally seeks that new way out.
But the extraverted intuition types who fail to develop their second and third functions get caught up in more and more intuitions. One follows right on the heels of another, they no sooner try to work one out when another captures their attention, and the end result is that usually nothing gets completely done. Or they conceive one plan and expend enormous amounts of energy establishing it, but just as the goal gets within reach, they get bored with the details, they abandon it and leap head-long into a new adventure. Enough work has been done to satisfy the intuition, but they often don't have the stick-to-it-iveness to finish it. They start one new project after another, oblivious to the reason for the failure of the previous one. They are always sowing new seeds but hardly ever reaping any of the harvest.
When I saw Mike sometime later still in town, I asked, "When are you going to move out to the new place?" He looked away sheepishly and confessed that he had already sold his house in town and had cleared plenty of money, but instead of using it to work on his land in the country, somehow he had ended up buying a huge abandoned warehouse. Then, in spite of himself, he started getting excited again, telling me how he was going to build a home in the front of the warehouse and then have storage in the back for all his junk cars until he got them fixed, and have a place to build animal pens, and on and on. Well, thats intuition at work.
And then we come to the difficult fourth function. For this type it is introverted sensation. It is very difficult for him to pay careful and meticulous attention to each detail that goes into the actual execution of his intuition, and it is even more difficult for him to let these sensations slowly soak into him and let himself perceive their implications. For example, the extraverted intuition type will not stop and listen to the sense impressions of his own body. He becomes so involved in his plans that he forgets to eat lunch. He chases intuitions and works far into the night, forgetting to go to bed. He wears his body down in his race after new intuitions, and his body reacts in the form of accidents or sickness.
Not only his body gives him trouble. The physicalness of objects trips him up, and well. He might want to go on a trip, but he neglects to take care of his vehicle, half-way there he finds himself rolling under the car trying to fix something that he knew all along needed attention, he doesn't have the proper tools with him (he forgot to bring them), he can't do the job, and it usually costs him a lot more in service charges and lost time than if he had attended to the mechanical problem in the first place.
He needs money to keep his plans going, but working full-time, day in and day out at the same job is boring for him. And because his intuition is such a power in him he hates, probably more than any other type, to be told what to do by the boss. He always sees another way to do things.
If something goes wrong, if something breaks down, if he can't accomplish what he set out to do fast enough to satisfy his lightning-quick intuition, he is tempted to rage, kick the vehicle, throw the broken tool across the room, or simply fume and fret. These physical things with their physical problems and limitations impede his marvelous intuitive flow and he wants to punish them.
As this type matures his greatest need is to slow down, make a conscious effort to sit at the table and eat his meals with the family instead of grabbing a piece of bread on the way out the door. He has to pace himself, something he abhors, and it wouldn't hurt to make a schedule of activities and try to follow it. He has to stop and ask the question, "Is the energy and time that is being spent on this intuition worth it to me personally in terms of my own needs, health, family life and social obligations?" Questions like this are hard for the extraverted intuition type to ask because it means pausing to reflect in the midst of his headlong rush after new possibilities.
The Extraverted Feeling Type
The extraverted feeling type, like Barbara, lights up a room with the sunshine of her feelings. She wants to be in accord with the world around her. Her feeling rapport with the persons or objects in her environment is her most important driving force. She oils the troubled waters of society and is at the center of its social life. She tends to have many friends of all different sorts who come to bask in her flow of feeling and sympathy, and go away glad that someone cares about them. She has a knack of focusing her attention on whomever is with her and you can see her visitors open up like flowers after a siege of cloudy weather. They feel like they can let their own feelings out in her presence without the fear of being criticized or ridiculed. They depend on her sympathy and are not disappointed. Since feeling rapport is so important to her she gets upset when people argue. Her goal is to smooth over difficulties and make ruffled feelings go away.
The second and third functions of either sensation or intuition aid the extraverted feeling type in the accomplishment of this feeling rapport. For example, an extraverted feeling sensation type can make an excellent nurse, or teacher, for she develops a strong relationship to the patient or student and has the ability through the second function to tend to their immediate needs. On the other hand, the extraverted feeling intuition type can be a good social worker who has rapport with her clients and uses her intuition to discover what their real needs are.
When the extraverted feeling type either has not developed the auxiliary function or has developed them and reaches a state of life where a new kind of adaptation is needed, she can over-use her first function. She can exhaust herself in a whirl of visits, phone calls, shopping trips, and parties, and get so caught up in the succeeding objects of sympathy that she has no time to consider what her own personal opinions and judgments are. She can carry out extensive opinion polls among her many and varied friends as a substitute for making up her own mind.
For example, Judys husband has just come through the door, and dinner is almost ready to be put on the table. Judy gives him a big hug - and then the phone rings. It is a girlfriend who wants to chat. Soon Judy realizes the dinner is getting cold, her husband is growing more and more impatient, and still she does not have the heart to cut the conversation short, even though this kind of call eats up her time with him. It takes twenty minutes to hang up, and by then not only is the dinner in trouble, she quickly sees she will have to make an extra effort to smooth out her husband's feelings.
Such a predicament is not unusual for this type. They are drawn into the lives of other people, and it is difficult for them to decide when to back off and take time for their own affairs. A fuller adaptation to reality demands the ability to answer the question, "What do I really think?" The greatest weakness of the extraverted feeling type is introverted thinking, and it is this fourth function that holds the answer to the question of what her personal philosophy of life is. If she ignores this dimension of her personality it does not simply disappear, but it begins to afflict her in the form of negative thoughts about what other people are thinking about her. In order to solve the problem of introverted thinking the extraverted feeling type can adopt ready-made philosophies and treat them like her own personal inventions.
The Extraverted Thinking Type
The extraverted thinking type is logical and methodical. It is natural for him to draw on the ideas and facts in the world around him and create a plan from them, or attach himself to an already existing one. Once he has his plan he can be very efficient in carrying out the many operations needed to implement it. If his car breaks down, instead of acting impatient like an extraverted intuition type would, he systematically runs through his mental check list of possible reasons, calmly trouble shoots the problem and repairs it. He sticks with it until it is fixed. This type loves a challenge. Just tell him it is better to stay in bed on a stormy winter morning, and he jumps up and is off to battle the elements.
For the extraverted thinking type the help of the second or third functions of sensation or intuition gives him the ability to realize what he has thought up. If the second function is sensation, for example, he will have a practical ability to execute his plan here and now. He can be a good mechanic, engineer or executive in charge of day-to-day operations. If intuition is the second function he can be adept at finding innovative ways to carry out his conception.
He has control over the situation, he knows what is going on, and he is prepared for possible snags in the operation. The physical world does not threaten him because of his extraversion. But his instinct is to take over. He sees the problem, he decides what to do about it, and that's that. The extraverted thinking type without the aid of the auxiliary functions, or even with their help, reaches a point where his adaptation to reality is too one-sided. He concentrates too intensely on his plans and they act like narrow formulas that squeeze the life out of everything around him and inside him as well. He becomes dogmatic and domineering. Whatever agrees or aids his plan is good, while whatever impedes it is evil, and his way is the only way. When his plan becomes all consuming he will try to walk over anything or anyone who gets in his way. His motto becomes, "Let's get the job done." And he often fails to see the hurt feelings that result.
He can become harsh and driven, and neglect his inner self. It is in the area of introverted feeling that this neglect is most severe. He has no time to answer the question, "How do I really feel about myself?" He neglects his health, finances, or personal life in order to try to accomplish his plan, but the introverted feelings will not disappear. His feelings are delicate and he can be hurt surprisingly easily. When his feelings do come out, they take the form of almost childlike sentimentality. A little puppy, a flower, an especially tender story, can bring a quaver to his voice or tears to his eyes.
The Introverted Types
The introverted types are more difficult to describe than the extraverted ones. Extraverts are out in broad daylight doing what they do in the plain sight of everyone, but the flow of energy of the introverts is inward, so their positive qualities are hidden.
We live in a society that is more extraverted than introverted. It is hard to shake the idea that introverts are really undeveloped extraverts. If only, we imagine, they would take an assertiveness training course, get over their shyness, and try to be more social, then they would be all right. Not as good as real extraverts, of course, but they could pass. This bias makes it not only hard for extraverts to understand introverts, but introverts to understand themselves. They can be literally prejudiced against their own natural attitude. Since the introvert's energy travels inwardly first to a world that is as real as the outside world, no matter how hard it is to describe, no one but himself or a few selected people around him see the main action. What the world sees is the small amount of energy that comes back out after its interior journey. No wonder it judges the introvert as a weak and deficient extravert. Let's look, then, at the different kinds of introverts and try to gain a new appreciation of just how real their inner worlds are.
The Introverted Sensation Type
The introverted sensation type is captivated not by the sense object, like the extraverted sensation type is, but by the subjective sense impressions that this object awakens in him. The reverberation and repercussions of the object on his inner world are what his attention focuses on. It is as if a pebble has been thrown into a pond and the ripples spread out throughout the whole inner world of subjectivity, revealing not so much the qualities of the pebble but those of the water it has been thrown in. The sense impressions of this type have a different quality. They are not matter-of-fact like those of the extravert, but have overtones of myth, fantasy and deeper subjective values. The introverted sensation type takes what his senses tell him, brings those details into his inner world, weighs them, experiences them in the depth of his inner self, and only after this process has been completed does the world see an outward reaction.
When I see a friend who is this type and say, "Hi", he looks like he is not reacting at all. He stands there looking blank, but a moment later he greets me. What was happening? Why the lag? He was literally taking in the details of the situation. My presence had to be absorbed and only when his inner world became saturated with those impressions could he give an outward, delayed and extraverted response to my greeting. Once that initial lag is over our conversation runs smoothly.
Because external stimuli have such an impact on him the introverted sensation type needs to keep his house, office or wherever he spends his time orderly. Neatness is important to his inner psychic comfort. He is uncomfortable in crowds, first because he is introverted, and second because he literally can become overwhelmed by external stimuli if there is too much of it. He needs to know where things are. He also takes very good care of the possessions he has. He values them, not just for what they are as an extraverted sensation type would, but for the added emotional import they have for him. The cherished Christmas tree decorations that have been in the family for years are carefully wrapped in tissue paper and gently placed in a sturdy box until next year. The piece of jewelry given by a loved one is stored in the same velvet-lined box it came in, the love letters have a clean and pressed ribbon around them, and the scribbles of their now-grown three-year-old are saved in a trunk.
The second and third functions of thinking and feeling help organize and evaluate sense impressions. The introverted sensation type can put a great deal of time on one physical project. Unlike the extraverted intuition type who will get bored or impatient, he keeps at it for months, and he excels where attention to detail and order is important, whether it is the repair of delicate machines, the mastering of complicated inventories or making an especially intricate quilt, sewn and embroidered with infinite care. If they choose to build a house the results will be perfect. Each wall, each board, will be carefully measured, skillfully painted, meticulously leveled and plumbed, but it will take him an age. Why? Because each step in the process is not simply done, but is weighed and balanced against the inner image he has inside himself. He might seem slow until you consider the wealth of images and inner sensations he is carrying around and has to sort through. This type makes dinner a quiet ceremony, serves each course with special care, a cup of coffee shared with a friend is not simply a cup of coffee, it is an event, a unique time graced by a beautiful tray and the plate of carefully arranged cookies.
Once when I went to visit a friend, he was fixing his car. If he had been an extravert he would have had a bunch of tools within easy reach, but he had them all lined up, neatly, in a row. If he had been an intuition type he would have had tools thrown here and there, and he would have been missing some, but they were all there. He had carefully collected them for the exact job he was about to do. He took out the part, carefully cleaned it, made sure all the gaskets were dirt-free, and then he just as carefully put the pieces back together again. But remember, first each piece had to travel within and then come out. When I came by I interrupted his peace, quiet and concentration which was essential for the job. He neither wanted, nor could handle, any extra stimuli. The job was his whole world at the moment. When he saw I wasn't going to go away he gave a quiet sigh and reluctantly turned his back on what he was doing, and then I was his one focus. Later he would pick up where he left off and begin again his interior-exterior dialogue with his engine. The extraverted thinker might do the same repair work, and with something of the same thoroughness, but it would be much more matter-of-fact, it wouldn't matter to him how many people were hanging around, and he wouldn't have to take interior trips as he did it.
The weakest function of this type is extraverted intuition, which is why he or she hates change. To move to another house, to get another job, to go to another part of the country, is traumatic. He has absorbed all the details of his present situation and is comfortable with them. To make a physical move is to throw what he has come to feel comfortable with out of the window, and he feels he has to start all over again, meaning he has to take all the thousands of new details, one by one, bring them into his inner world, find a place for them there, and then pick up the next stimulus and repeat the process. Seen in this light we can understand what an upset such a move is for him. A Safeway store in one town is not the same as a Safeway store in another. It is a whole new experience. The introverted sensation type is slow to make friends. You have to approach them gradually and let them get used to you.
The Introverted Intuition Type
The introverted intuition type like Tom gazes inward, not to the ripples of sensation caused by the object like the introverted sensation type, but beyond these palpable facts to try to see their root and meaning. They are visionaries par excellence, seers and dreamers. They are caught up in the explorations of the inner world and the possibilities of inner transformation. They can follow these inner paths by way of images and ideas, and they are always attempting to go deeper and find the ultimate origin and goal of the inner self.
The introverted intuition type is not concerned with what is, but what could be, not only with the outer possibilities, but especially the inner ones. They can have a special love of books, for books let their minds go anywhere while they are comfortably curled up in their own room. One intuition triggers another as they leap through the centuries and soon they are exhausted without ever having moved.
The second and third functions of thinking and feeling help the introverted intuition type in evaluating and organizing these inner journeys, but even then he has difficulty in expressing his interior world because this demands a certain degree of extraversion. His words tend to be fragmentary and evocative, as if he cannot tear his eyes from his inner world long enough to formulate what is happening in everyday language.
The weakest function for this type is extraverted sensation. He might be carried away with his theories, but his socks don't match. He might be taking daily trips through space mentally, but he forgets what he went to the store for. This type finds it difficult to pay attention to the actual here-and-now physical world that the extraverted sensation type is so comfortable in. He inadvertently tends to bump into things, spill things, drop things, have his mind on something other than his food when he eats, and scarcely notices the clothes he wears or the colors of the walls of the rooms in which he lives.
I attended a lecture where the professor bustled into the classroom late, as usual, sat down in the circle of chairs and placed his huge briefcase in front of him. His suit was rumpled and as he got up to search for his pipe, he managed to trip over the briefcase he had just put down. Tobacco began to dribble down his shirt as he waved the pipe in the air while he expounded on the subject of the day. Soon the pipe was forgotten, resting precariously on his knee, from there to slide into the already bulging briefcase. Too bad it hadn't been lit, for it was clear that a fire was the only way the briefcase would ever get cleared out. We students continued to watch, fascinated, as he punctuated his lecture by squirming around in his chair, slowly managing to dislodge his wallet from his pants pocket.
Social situations are not comfortable for him, and the bigger the group the worse it is. He thrives and comes alive when there is just one other person to talk to, but crowds make him uneasy, and he is especially miserable when it comes to small talk. He does not make a good first impression because all the action is going on inside, and he needs a special atmosphere for it to come out.
He loves quiet and solitude, not in the way society thinks of morbid introverts, but simply because it takes peace and quiet in order to go on these interior journeys. It's not enough just to have an idea, he has to push it to see if it will flower into a deeper version of the original concept, or if some new rich vein of intuition will open up to him.
Time is of the utmost importance to the introverted intuition type. He would rather eat peanut butter crackers in a low-rent apartment than go out to expensive restaurants and have a fancy house as long as the former means time for his own interests and the latter demands a full-time job doing what someone else wants him to do. Introverted intuition types flourish where bold speculation comes into its own in research and theoretical science. But since they are the most ill-adapted of all the types to the real physical world they run the danger of losing touch with ordinary life. When the introverted intuition type neglects extraverted sensation, he is not simply excused from it. He can become subject to obsessions, compulsions and scruples about food or sex which are attempts by the extraverted sensation part of the personality to gain his attention and receive their due.
The Introverted Feeling Type
The extraverted feeling type attaches her feelings to the people and things around her, but the introverted feeling type tries to be in rapport with her inner world, whether it be of psychic images or ethical and spiritual values, and she tries to intensify this inner accord and embrace this world more deeply and fully. For the introverted feeling type the people and things around her are occasions for her feelings, which flow inward and go deeper and try to become more intense and concentrated.
Because of the direction of her feelings she is often accused of not having any. She has a feeling, then that feeling immediately travels to her inner world, she weighs it on her interior feeling scale, and only once the round-trip journey has been made can she express herself. So much inner activity is going on that she tends to keep her face and body still. People of ten overlook this type, or are quick to classify her as slow. If we could have an exterior picture of what is really going on, however, we would be astounded. She lacks spontaneity not only because she is an introvert, but because her feelings are a constant involvement for her.
It was a peaceful afternoon and a neighbor came over to chat with Betty and her mother. She casually mentioned that a neighborhood dog (the one Betty had spent hours with in happy contentment) had died. Betty froze. Her heart felt as though it had been pierced, but she showed no outward sign of her inner turmoil. At long length the neighbor ambled off, Betty rushed into the house, and in the solitude of her own room, she broke out into racking sobs. Her beloved friend was gone.
The introverted feeling type tries to protect herself against too strong an influence coming from the outer object and detach her feelings from it so that they can travel within. Her clinging to inner values, silent as it is, can provide a good example from an ethical and moral point of view. People around her sometimes sense this inner reality, and fidelity to inner values. But at other times they sense how they are somehow being treated with a certain reserve, held in check and subtly devalued.
The second and third functions of sensation and intuition can help her perceive her inner values. Her third, more extraverted function helps her come to grips with the outside world. The introverted feeling types can be literally bursting with feelings but have no ready way to communicate them both because of their direction and because their content is not readily explicable in everyday terms.
Extraverted thinking is her weakest function. If she has a conversation, for example, she might spend hours, or even days, still thinking up answers she could have given but didn't. Though she might really care for someone, that person might remain in the dark because she cannot express herself well.
She is easily tripped up by a thinking type who overpowers her with his words. When this happens she gets overwhelmed and can no longer respond. If you show displeasure or impatience with her, she is totally lost and her introverted feelings block up her weak thinking power, and she can easily be made to feel inadequate in our more verbal, active society. When upset, she will give you dark looks but it might be days before you know what is bothering her. Her fourth function thoughts are like birds - they come and go, and often fly off before they can be caught.
The Introverted Thinking Type
While the extraverted thinking type starts with facts and ideas he finds in the world around him and ends up with plans to be accomplished, the introverted thinking type like John makes facts serve his thoughts. He uses them to help build his inner world of ideas. He takes delight in pursuing the orderly development of his own ideas until he has created a logical kingdom within. His outer conduct often reflects this inner sense of order. He can be organized, make a plan for the day, and actually follow through on it.
The auxiliary functions of sensing or intuition help him develop this interior world of thought. If intuition dominates he may devote his energy to philosophy or law or theoretical science. If sensation is the companion to thinking, he can be attracted to accounting or business.
If he concentrates excessively on his own world of thought he will begin to neglect the rest of life that can't be expressed in thoughts. He will be tempted to say, "If I can't think it, it isn't real." Then the thoughts begin to imprison him and can even lose their objective character, for they become substitutes for developing the rest of his personality.
The greatest weakness of the introverted thinking type is in the area of extraverted feeling. He has difficulty in expressing his feelings, and when his feelings do come out, other people are not always comfortable with them. He gives the appearance of lacking compassion, and is inclined to say things that others take as sarcastic or insulting. But he doesn't see them that way. He feels he is just trying to be logical. He gains a reputation for being self-contained, competent and even cold. But he has feelings, and plenty of them. It's just that they are deep down, hard for him to express, and delicate and easily hurt when they come out.
This gives us an idea of the eight psychological types, but just as there are no psyches walking around without bodies, there are no psychological types which dont have corresponding body and temperament types. This is a new dimension to Jungs psychological types that draws on the work of one of Americas most brilliant psychologists, William Sheldon. Sheldon discovered that there were three basic elements that could be used to describe every body, and he called them endomorphy, mesomorphy and ectomorphy. And he found three corresponding elements to every temperament which he called endotonia, mesotonia and ectotonia. Each of us possesses our own distinctive mix of these three elements of physique and three elements of temperament. Once in a while one of these elements so outweighs the others that we find people who embody physical and temperamental extremes. These extremes, while not common, are one of the easiest ways to get an idea of what these basic elements are all about. First lets look at the extreme endomorph. In this physique the body is round and soft, as if all the mass had been concentrated in the abdominal area. In fact, the large intestine of an extreme endomorph can be two or three times the length of that of an ectomorph. Sheldon likened this abdomen to a powerful boiler room with fine powers of assimilation. The arms and legs of the extreme endomorph are short and tapering, and the hands and feet comparatively small, with the upper arms and thighs being hammed and more developed than the lower arms and legs. The body has smooth contours without projecting bones, and a high waist. There is some development of the breast in the male and a fullness of the buttocks. The skin is soft and smooth like that of an apple, and there is a tendency towards premature baldness beginning at the top of the head and spreading in a polished circle. The hair is fine and the whole head is spherical. The head is large and the face broad and relaxed with the features blending into an over-all impression of roundness. The head is like a pumpkin sitting on a barrel, and the abdomen is like a sphere with the chest attached to it like an inverted funnel.
Sheldon imagined the body of the endomorph as a balloon whose walls were thinner at the abdomen and thicker further away. When the balloon was inflated it was largest at the abdomen and smallest at the farthest extremities. Santa Claus is our society's image of the extreme endomorph.
The Extreme Mesomorph
In the extremely mesomorphic physique there is a squareness and hardness of the body due to large bones and well-defined muscles. The chest area, which Sheldon likened to an engine room, dominates over the abdominal area and tapers to a relatively narrow, low waist. The bones and muscles of the head are prominent as well, with clearly defined cheek bones and a square, heavy jaw. The face is long and broad and the head tends towards a cubical shape. The muscles on either side of the neck create a pyramid-like effect. Both the lower and upper arms and legs are well-developed and the wrists and fingers are heavy and massive. The skin is thick and tends towards coarseness. It takes and holds a tan well and can develop a leathery appearance with heavy wrinkles. Sheldon compared it to the skin of an orange. The hair is basically heavy-textured, and baldness, when it appears, usually starts at the front of the head. The extreme mesomorph is Mr. Universe or Tarzan.
Sheldon's initial work with body and temperament types was based mostly on men, and it is in the description of the extreme mesomorph that we have the most need to develop a corresponding female mesomorphic description. Women on the whole tend to have less mesomorphy than men and more endomorphy. Women who are primarily mesomorphs rarely show the same degree of sharp angularity, prominent bone structure and highly relieved muscles found in their male counterparts. Their contours are smoother, yet the chest area clearly dominates over the abdominal area and both upper and lower arms and legs are well-muscled. The skin tends to be finer than in the male mesomorph, but shows some of the same characteristics in terms of tanning and wrinkling.
The Extreme Ectomorph
The highly ectomorphic physique is fragile and delicate with light bones and slight muscles. The limbs are relatively long and the shoulders droop. In contrast to the compactness of the endomorph and mesomorph, the ectomorph is extended in space and linear. The ribs are visible and delicate and the thighs and upper arms weak. The fingers, toes and neck are long. The features of the face are sharp and fragile, and the shape of the face as a whole is triangular with the point of the triangle at the chin. The teeth are of ten crowded in the lower jaw which is somewhat receding. The skin is dry and is like the outer skin of an onion. It tends to burn and peel easily and not retain a tan. The relatively great bodily area in relation to mass makes the ectomorph suffer from extreme heat or cold. The hair is fine and fast-growing and sometimes difficult to keep in place. Baldness is rare. The extreme ectomorph in our society is the absent-minded professor or Ichabod Crane.
Sheldon found that each body type had a corresponding temperament, or way in which it tended to act. Lets look at examples of the three temperamental extremes even though more moderate combinations are commoner.
The Extreme Endotonic
The endotonic shows a splendid ability to eat, digest and socialize. A good deal of his energy is oriented around food, and he enjoys sitting around after a good meal and letting the digestive process proceed without disturbance. Endotonics live far from the upsets and nervous stomachs of the ectotonics. They fall readily to sleep and their sleep is deep and easy; they lie limp and sprawled out and frequently snore.
Endotonics are relaxed and slow-moving. Their breathing comes from the abdomen and is deep and regular. Their speech is unhurried and their limbs often limp. They like sitting in a well-upholstered chair and relaxing. All their reactions are slow, and this is a reflection on a temperament level of a basal metabolism, pulse, breathing rate and temperature which are all often slower and lower than average. The circulation in their hands and feet tends to be poor. Sheldon calls these people biologically introverted organisms. It is as if all the energy is focused on the abdominal area, leaving less free to be expressed in the limbs and face, and giving the impression of a lack of intensity.
Sheldon felt that biological introversion gave rise to psychological extraversion. Since the bodies of the endotonics are so focused on the central digestive system, they need and crave social stimulation in order to feel complete on the social level. Groups of people, rather than fatiguing them, stimulate them to the proper level of social interaction. The assimilative powers that on the physical level were oriented to food, now on the social level draw them to people.
The endotonics love to socialize their eating, and the sharing of meals becomes an event of the highest importance. They treat guests well. They love company and feel more complete with other people around. They like people simply because they are people. They have a strong desire to be liked and approved of, and this often leads them to be very conventional in their choices in order not to run the risk of social disapproval. The endotonics are open and even with their emotions which seem to flow out of them without any inhibitions. Whether they are happy or sad, they want the people around them to know about it, and if others express emotion they react directly and convincingly in sympathy. When an endotonic has been drinking he becomes even more jovial and radiates an expansive love of people. Endotonics are family-oriented and love babies and young children and have highly developed maternal instincts.
In summary, they love assimilation both on the physical and social level. They love to eat and digest, to be part of their family and community, to like and be liked and to rest and relax. They crave food and affection and abhor isolation and disapproval. They express affection and approval readily and need both back in kind.
The Extreme Mesotonic
In endotonia the stomach was the focus of attention, but in mesotonia it is the muscles. The mesotonic is well-endowed with them, or to put it another way, the mesotonic's muscles seem to have a mind of their own. They are always ready for action, and good posture is natural to them. They get up with plenty of energy and seem tireless. They can work for long periods of time and both need and like to exercise. They like to be out doing things. If they are forced into inactivity they become restless and dejected.
The mesotonic tends to eat his food rapidly and somewhat randomly, often neglecting set meal times. He sleeps the least of the three types and sometimes contents himself with six hours. He is an active sleeper who thrashes about. He shows an insensitivity to pain and a tendency to high blood pressure and large blood vessels.
The mesotonic has no hesitation in approaching people and making known his wants and desires. The tendency to think with his muscles and find exhilaration in their use leads him to enjoy taking chances and risks, even when the actual gain is well-known to be minimal. They can become fond of gambling and fast driving and are generally physically fearless. They can be either difficult and argumentative, or slow to anger, but always with the capacity to act out physically and usually with some sort of history of having done so on special occasions.
This physical drive manifests itself on the psychological level in a sense of competition. The mesotonic wants to win and pushes himself forward. He is unhesitant about the all-out pursuit of the goal he seeks. Associated with this trait is a certain psychological callousness. He tends to walk roughshod over the obstacles in his path and the people who stand in the way of his achieving what he wants. On the positive side this is called being practical and free from sentimentality, but on the negative side it is called ruthlessness or obnoxious aggressiveness.
This outward energetic flow makes mesotonics generally noisy. They bustle about doing things and since their inhibitions are low, the attendant noise does not bother them. Their voices carry and sometimes boom out as if speech were another form of exercise. When alcohol reduces their inhibitions, they become more assertive and aggressive. When trouble strikes they revert to their most fundamental form of behavior and seek action of some sort. Mesotonics tend to glorify that period of youthful activities where physical powers reach their peak, or perhaps more accurately the period of youth that best symbolizes a sense of endless vitality and activity. This glorification of youth goes hand-in-hand with the early maturing of the mesotonic organism, both facially and muscularly. They look older than their chronological age. The extraversion of action that is so strong here goes together with a lack of awareness of what is happening on the subjective level. The quickness with which the mesotonic can make decisions is compensated for by a relative unawareness of the other parts of his personality. He tends to be cut off from his dream life. He likes wide-open spaces and freedom from the restraint of clothes.
As we saw in the case of the mesomorphic physique, Sheldon's portrait of the mesotonic is more male than female. The female mesotonic shows the same extraversion of action, but how this action expresses itself has a different quality. There is not the same overt physical combativeness and competitive aggressiveness. The action is more muted and flows in more socially acceptable channels. The mesotonic woman should be compared not with mesotonic men but with other women, and it is in relationship to other women that she shows the distinctive mesotonic traits in a feminine way.
Sheldon felt that estimating the degree of mesotonia was the most difficult part of evaluating a person's temperament. At times people with well-developed mesotonia can give the surface appearance of exceptional calmness and amiability. This is particularly true of the extreme mesomorphs of above average height who form a kind of mesomorphic royalty. They expect and get special treatment. Sheldon likened them to big cats who go around with their claws retracted, and only when provoked or in the midst of a crisis does their mesotonia show itself clearly.
The Extreme Ectotonic
The outstanding characteristic of the ectotonic is his finely-tuned receptive system. His spread-out body acts like a giant antenna picking up all sorts of inputs. Sheldon calls the ectotonic a biologically extraverted organism, which is compensated for by psychological introversion. Since the whole organ is sensitive to stimulation, the ectotonic develops a series of characteristic strategies by which he tries to cut down on it. He is like a sonar operator who must constantly be wary of a sudden loud noise breaking in on the delicate sounds he is trying to trace. He likes to cross his legs and curl up as if he is trying to minimize his exposure to the exterior world. He tries to avoid making noise and being subjected to it. He shrinks from crowds and large groups of people and likes small, protected places.
The ectotonic suffers from a quick onset of hunger and a quick satiation of it. He is drawn to a high protein, high calorie diet, with frequent snacking to match his small digestive system. He has a nervous stomach and bowels. He is a quiet sleeper, but a light one, and he is often plagued by insomnia. He tends to sleep on one side with his legs drawn up, and his sleep, though slow in coming, can be hard to shake off. His energy level is low, while his reactions are fast he suffers from a quasi-chronic fatigue and must protect himself from the temptation to exercise heavily. His blood pressure is usually low and his respiration shallow and rapid with a fast and weak pulse. His temperature is elevated slightly above normal and it rises rapidly at the onset of illness. The ectotonic is resistant to many major diseases, but suffers excessively from insect bites and skin rashes. Unfortunately he can succumb to acute streptococcal infections of the throat which cause swelling and strangulation. His hypersensitivity leads not only to quick physical reactions but to excessively fast social reactions as well. It is difficult for this type to keep pace with slow-moving social chit-chat. He races ahead and trips over his own social feet.
Just as the endotonic loves to eat and the mesotonic loves action, the ectotonic loves privacy, and intellectual or mental stimulation. He needs shelter from excessive stimulation and time to sort out the inputs he has received, and connect them up with his own inner subjective experience, which he values highly. Self-awareness is a principle trait of ectotonia. The feelings of the ectotonic are not on display, even though they can be very strong, and so he is sometimes accused of not having any. When they are in a situation of dealing with someone who has authority over them or with someone of the opposite sex whom they are interested in, they often make a poor first impression. They are uncomfortable in coping with social situations where overt expressions of sympathy are called for or where general idle conversation is the norm, for example in parties and dinners where they have no intimate acquaintances.
The ectotonics are hypersensitive to pain because they anticipate it and have a lower pain threshold as well. They do not project their voices like the mesotonics, but focus it to reach only the person they are addressing. They appear younger than their age and often wear an alert, intent expression. They have a late adolescence, consider the latter part of life the best, and are future-oriented. The more extreme ectotonics have a distaste for alcohol and their accentuated consciousness fights alcohol, drugs, anesthesia and is resistant to hypnosis. They can readily with their dream life and often rich fantasy life. When they become troubled they seek privacy and solitude in order to try to work out the difficulty.
Remember how we got inside Tom, the introverted intuition type? Well, that type is the most ectomorphic of the types. I dont mean that every introverted intuition type is tall and slender. Not at all. Within this type, and within all the types we will find combinations of the three basic elements of physique and temperament, but in the introverted intuition type there is always a good dose of ectomorphy.
We took a quick trip inside Frank, an extraverted sensation type while the extraverted thinking type, and I believe the extraverted feeling type always show a good dose of mesomorphy. Now lets get inside the skin of an extraverted sensation type whom we will call Sally who is a composite like the other portraits we have been drawing from a number of extraverted sensation types. The extraverted sensation types have a good dose of endomorphy. If I were to become Sally, I would see that my arms and legs would shrink. I would have heavy and hammed upper arms and legs. My stomach area would grow larger and predominate over my chest area. My intestines would grow longer, and my physical energies would focus inwardly on my fine ability to assimilate food. My senses grow keener. It is as if my ears become unplugged and a mist in front of my eyes which I never knew I had burns away. How bright and vibrantly colored the flowers are. How intricate the weave of the fabric on my chair. How majestically the clouds, like Spanish galleons, are slowly sailing across the blue sky. I am aware of my body and the things around me. I love to eat and find a good place to sit and get a good nights rest, and I love to visit with my friends. Why is it that everyone is in such a hurry these days? Why cant they relax and just enjoy life? People are forgetting the fine art of conversation and good old-fashioned visiting, but if you want some of it, come over here. I dont let anyone go away from my house hungry. Of course, it is a temptation for me to overeat with such nice food around. I want to go through life surrounded by my family and friends. Thats what is important. You wont find me thinking, "Me, me." We are all parts of each other. When you are sad, I am sad. When I am happy I want you to be happy, as well. So dont go off brooding in a corner. Come on over and we can have a good talk, and you will feel a lot better.
As we master both of these typologies and learn to see by means of each of them, then they will tend to come together in one powerful skill of type recognition. Little by little I think you will find that Sheldons work is the other side of the coin of Jungs psychological types. What is important in all this is that we gain a sense of the richness of human differences that are the subject matter of type recognition.
This primer on body, temperament and psychological types should fuel your efforts at type seeing. This is both a keen and a kind seeing that we saw should lead to tolerance, and this tolerance is something that is invaluable whether in the work place or classroom, in marriage or family life, or in a religious community. Let me try to show you how this skill of type recognition can be applied in practice. In the days before the Vatican Council in the Catholic Church, religious communities too often mistook uniformity in terms of rules and customs for unity. In those days we knew something about a psychology that talked about body and soul, and intellect and will, but we didnt have a practical science of human differences to draw on. So even though we had some sense that people were different, we didnt have the words to explain how they were different, and ways to take these differences into account. The end result was that everyone was treated like an interchangeable unit, and was supposed to live under one set of rules. Now if we stop and think about most of the institutions we know today, this is the way they are still operating. Well, if we take types seriously, and make progress in the art of type recognition, then we will see how unreasonably this equation of uniformity equals unity is.
For example, we all dont need the same amount of sleep. Some people are happy with six hours, some with eight. Some people are widest awake at night time, and some people are early morning people, so to impose the same hour of bedtime and the same hour of getting up is to ignore these legitimate human differences.
People dont have the same food needs. The ectomorph likes smaller meals, and nibbles and snacks between them. The endomorph who can assimilate food so much better can often do well skipping snacks and getting by on two meals a day. It is likely that these differences in eating habits extend to the kinds of food we need to fuel our very different body types. If we sit everyone down at the same number and kind and size of meals, we are ignoring these very real biological differences.
If in a school or House of Formation we impose the same round of studies and outdoor activities on everyone, again we are ignoring very real differences. The introverted intuition type often likes to study. She doesnt consider it a hardship to spend hours in a room, and the more extraverted and mesomorphic people can begin to feel claustrophobic and pent up on the same kind of schedule. Their muscles cry out to be exercised. They want to get out and do things, and if we want them to study most efficiently, we have to give them the opportunity to do this. In community life each type is going to find aspects that come easy, and others that go against their typological grain. Type recognition is not going to eliminate the necessary kinds of adaptations we have to make in order to live with each other, but it can bring these sources of tension to our conscious awareness so we can deal with them. There is no escaping the fact that when we put all the different types in the same classroom, we are practicing a kind of typological discrimination. They will not learn in the same way at the same speed. The extraverted sensation type often ends up feel dumb. This type is not book-oriented like the more introverted types. They need a hands-on way of learning that appeal to their senses. We need to escape from the tyranny of classrooms and I.Q. tests that impose uniform ways of teaching and a very uniform understanding of intelligence. Intelligence, like the types, themselves, is really a rainbow of different colors, and in the classroom setting we are unwittingly favoring some of these colors at the expense of others.
Type differences extend throughout religious life and the communities beyond. We have all had experience of people in positions of authority over us whom we felt simply didnt understand us. At the root of many of these difficulties are type differences. It can be disastrous when a community leader imposes their own type style in the name of obedience. If the community could sit down and actually learn to see together these legitimate differences, the result might be a lot less uniformity, but a lot more unity based on a genuine understanding and sympathy for the uniqueness of each individual member.
Type differences exist in the choice of jobs, and in the very styles in which we pray. Some of us are more naturally inclined to communal type prayers, while others feel drawn to a more solitary prayer life. And as our type develops, we can even experience a shift from one kind of prayer to another. There is no reason why this legitimate diversity has to be suppressed. In fact, it is psychologically harmful to do so. Even at the highest levels of the church we find examples of type diversity that have to be taken into account. For example, Pope John was endomorphic, down-to-earth and amiable. He let people know he liked them, and he responded, in turn. Pope Paul was more ectomorphic and introverted than Pope John, and when he moved into the Vatican, he came with crate after crate of books. But decision making and decisive action came harder to him. Pope John Paul II is more mesomorphic, and he loves to be active, and he has a strong sense of discipline and authority.
Now each of these styles is legitimate in itself, but where it goes wrong is when it is unconscious, that it is only one type preference among other possibilities, and it imposes itself as the only way to do things. What we are talking about is simply the psychological dimension of what St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians about a variety of gifts, but always the same spirit. There are all sorts of service to be done, Paul says, but always to the same Lord working in all sorts of ways in different people. It is the same God who is working in all of them. And he goes on to say, "Nor is the body to be identified with any one of its parts. If the foot were to say, "I am not a hand, and so I do not belong to the body," would that mean that it would stop being part of the body? If the ear would say, "I am not an eye, and so I do not belong to the body," would that mean that it was not a part of the body? If your whole body was just one eye, how would you hear anything? And if it was just one ear, how would you smell anything? And St. Paul goes on to describe how necessary all the different parts of the body are for its function. Psychological types are the way we can discover the natural differences that St. Pauls words imply. It is exciting to consider how many different areas there are to which we could apply our newly developing skill of type recognition, but I think we should temper our enthusiasm by realizing how hard this type of type tolerance is in practice.
Lets look at a man Ill call Robert who is a composite of different extraverted intuition types. Robert is well built in a lean, angular sort of way. He is more muscular than Tom, or even John, but still with not much endomorphy, and he is gifted with very fast physical reflexes, and moves gracefully. Robert can be a charming man to be around because he bubbles with new ideas and stories of old adventures. He is always about to begin a new business, or work on a new invention. But there is another less pleasant side to Roberts personality, a shadow side to his mental and physical quickness. We see Robert jack up his car and crawl under it without taking a moment to put in a jack stand that would catch the car if the jack slipped. And the more we get acquainted with Robert, we see there are many things that he knows how to do, but he is always in a hurry and rarely does them completely. He is only going to roll under the car for a moment, and his mind is so focused on that moment and the moment in the future when he will jump up again and start speeding down the road that he considers it all too painful to try to stop and remember where he left the jack stand because the last time he used it, he was in too much of a hurry to put it back where it belonged.
Well, if you and I are Roberts friend, and we see him doing things that have the potential to get him into trouble, we are inclined to shrug and say, "Well, thats just how Robert is." But suppose you ask him to haul a load of lumber for you to your place in the country. Well, Robert immediately plans the whole trip, and might even check how passable the road is, but as soon as he sees that the trip is possible, he forgets to do it. It no longer has the lure of intuition. It drops right out of his mind. Doing it is so much less exciting the intuiting it, and since you counted on him to do the job because he said he would, you will be disappointed, and it will take more tolerance of Roberts type to put up with it. If somehow we are involved in one of Roberts schemes, he is over every day and calling us on the phone. But if his intuition shifts, he somehow forgets that we are his good friend, and we dont see him for weeks at a time. If we understand types we will have a good grasp of what is going on, but we are going to start wishing that Robert understood his own type, as well.
Lets look at another example. What is type tolerance going to be like if it not a question of a friend, but someone we are living with? Lets go back to Frank who is a composite of different extraverted thinking types. Frank is a classic mesomorph, well-muscled and solidly built with a strong jaw. He would make a good cowboy riding with John Wayne, and he has many admirable qualities. He has the capacity for hard work, stick-to-itiveness and loyalty, but like many extraverted thinking types, Frank has a one-track mind connected to a one-track mouth. Dialogue is not his strong point, and neither is sympathy. When he hears that George has tripped on the steps of his front porch and broken his leg, he snorts, "That George deserves what he gets. He should have fixed that porch long ago." To give Frank his due, there is kindness underneath that toughness, and while it does come out easiest when it is a question of poor defenseless animals, it expresses itself in relationship to people, as well. Frank just might be over Georges house early in the morning, not to express any sympathy, but to do something to help him out.
Jung said that the closer we are to the extraverted thinking type, the harder it is on us. What does Franks wife feel? She loves him, but she suffers because he is so wrapped up in his own plans that it never dawns on him to sit down and ask her what she would really like to do. He exercises an unconscious tyranny over her that slowly hedges her about with all sorts of dos and donts and timetables so that she feels that life is gradually being squeezed out of her. Her own desires and interests are being sacrificed without Frank even noticing it. It would certainly help if she were to understand Franks type, and acquire the tolerance that comes from this kind of understanding. But this is not going to be enough. Frank needs to understand how limited his own perspective is, and how his wifes way of doing things is equally valid. And then he has to actually change his ways. This is where type tolerance comes right up against inner transformation. It is inner transformation that brings about the deep kinds of changes which actually modify our personalities, and this is what we now have to examine more closely.
I think we are born a particular body, temperament and psychological type, but we have to understand this fact properly. Our type is a very powerful and pervasive biological and psychological reality that effects everything from the balance of neurotransmitters in our brain to the shape of our body, and the fundamental ways in which our psychological energies flow. But if we born a particular psychological type, we are amazingly plastic and moldable. We have a certain distinctive type, but this type comes deeply impressed and molded by the types of the people we come in contact with. If it is important to understand what type we are, it is equally important to understand the way our type has been molded and shaped from the day we were born.
Lets imagine a common marriage of opposites in which the father is an extraverted sensation type, and the mother is in introverted intuition type, and they have a son, Tom, our old friend the introverted intuition type. Tommy, like every child, has a certain amount of built-in typological tension. He is going to have to work at expressing his less accessible extraverted sensation side. There is just no way as a human being in time and space as a psyche profoundly united to a body that he can realize the full dimensions of his consciousness, and his relationship to the unconscious all at once. In short, he faces the natural journey towards wholeness that Jung called individuation. But we can imagine him living in two very different family situations. In the first, his parents are living in typological conflict. They are mired in misunderstandings of the sort we saw with John and Barbara. They have moved from the mutual projections of falling in love to an armed truce that barely masks their bitter disappointment that they have somehow been duped into marrying the other person under false pretenses. This creates a typological tension which has, at one pole, the extraverted sensation, and at another, the introverted intuition. Poor little Tommy, though he knows nothing about this typological tension consciously, and may know very little about the arguments between his parents, knows all too much about it unconsciously. He already has his own typological tension between his introverted intuitive consciousness, and his unconscious extraverted sensation. And now the split between his parents forces the two poles of his own personality further apart. This means that if he ever comes to the point of consciously or instinctively starting to go on the journey of individuation, if he ever hears the good news of Jungs psychological types, he is going to have a much more difficult task to reach integration. You could say that he is suffering from a sort of psychological original sin that he has received from his parents. Their own lack of integration has imprinted itself deeply on his psyche.
Now we can imagine a very different kind of situation. Suppose Tommys parents had been able to see their own other sides after they had projected them on each other, and had reached a certain measure of integration within themselves. Not only would Tommy not feel that inner cleavage that is imprinted because of the tension between his parents, but they would be in a position to help him heal the tensions in his own personality. His father could show him how valid and right and useful it is to have extraverted sensation, and his mother could give him a lesson on how his conscious introverted intuition can live harmoniously with extraverted sensation, just as she does with her husband. The kind of parental typological molding that I am describing here is just one of the kinds of shaping that we continually undergo. We are shaped by our brothers and sisters, by our schools and churches, and even the atmosphere in our whole country. In the U.S., for example, we put a premium on extraversion over introversion, and mesomorphy over ectomorphy and endomorphy. Then introverts are made to feel like failed, or flawed extraverts, endomorphs are simply fat and overweight mesomorphs, and ectomorphs are undeveloped mesomorphs.
I spoke before of creating our own typological X-ray. Well, this X-ray should include not only our whole type, but it should give us a picture of these various imprints and overlays that have built up over the course of time. Once we have this kind of picture of ourselves, it becomes clear what our next task in type development should be. We need to clear away these old impositions and stereotypes and experience just what our own type is. These overlays are not just static images, but they are loaded with energy. In a certain way we can say that they imprison the very energy we need to transform our personalities. We need to descend into our childhood memories and release this energy, and unimprint these pictures, and use this energy for creative growth. Lets see how this works out in practice.
Little Tommy grows up and starts trying to go on the process of individuation. He discovers his own type and the type of his parents. One day he finds a quiet spot and goes down into his memories, and overhears again his father yelling at his mother that Tommy is a little sissy who stays in his room reading books instead of going out and playing baseball like he did when he was a little boy, and it is all because he is tied to his mothers apron strings. But Tommy cant just receive this memory. He has to relive it and tap into the energy it contains. No sooner does he bring these images into his mind than he begins to feel the emotions connected with them, emotions that have been fixed there all these years. He feels sad for little Tommy who liked to be in his room, but would have liked to be out with the other boys, as well. Tom experiences this so fully he begins to cry, just like little Tommy did then. Then he becomes furious with his father, that insensitive brute who made life hell for him and his mother, and could have done so much, but didnt. And so he works his way throughout the whole memory. Tom could get so upset at the injustice visited on little Tommy that he is tempted to jump into his car and go visit his old father and have it out with him. This would be a disaster. What he should do is relive the memory, perhaps over and over again, until he has drawn out into consciousness all its force and energy. Then he should use this energy in a positive way to realize he has a weaker and less developed side. There is no point in going and raving at his father. He has only to stop and think of the types of his fathers parents to see how his father was just as much a victim of this psychological original sin as he was. It would be much better if he used some of this new energy to build a better relationship with his father, and to work on not transmitting this original sin to his own children. Step by step he can apply this growing knowledge of typology to explore and explain the difficulties in his own parents marriage and his own relationship with them.
Now we have seen the first two steps that lead to inner transformation. We have gotten a picture of our complete type, whether by analyzing our projections, or like Tom, looking at our dreams, fantasies and moments of high feeling intensity. Then we have slowly explored the imprints that have covered our original type in the course of our lives. The result of this hard work is that we are finally in a position to try to build a bridge to our other side. It is rather ironic that we have to search so hard for the road that leads to individuation when all around us there are signposts pointing to it. Individuation is not some theory that Jung invented. It is a natural and instinctive use to growth rooted in the very nature of our psyches. Our dreams and fantasies are continually talking about it, and our relationships and life, itself, are continually confronting us with our need for individuation. But what prevents us from seeing these things is the fact that we have become imprisoned in our own egos. We have taken our limited way of seeing as the complete and only way.
There are two major life changes that are really calls to individuation. The first we have seen in terms of romance and the mutual projections of falling in love. The experience of falling in love is at once an experience of our own insufficiencies and the promise of inner wholeness. The second is what Jung described as a mid-life transition which he placed roughly between our 35th to 38th year. In classic Jungian terms, it is the question of a person who has been successful in meeting the challenges that our society proposes to its adult members. We have gone through our apprenticeships in terms of school and training, we have gotten jobs and worked at filling them competently, and taking on more career responsibilities. We have made a choice of a vocation in life, and tried to make a success of it. In short, we have lived the lives of relatively successful adults who fulfill more or less societys expectations of what a mature and responsible person should be like.
Now it is just when in societys eyes, or even in the eyes of our family and friends that we should be happy and content that a mid-life crisis can strike. We can experience an unexplained loss of energy and enthusiasm. The world has somehow gone flat. Our affect is blunted, or seems to disappear, and we are bewildered because from the outside everything is going well. This emptiness can strike us when we have finally achieved the goals we have been working towards all our adult life. Our initial response is that we are just overtired. Then we wonder if we are suffering from some kind of illness, and when neither of these things seems to be the case, we can force ourselves to redouble our efforts to be even more efficient and effective in the life we have made for ourselves. Sometimes this emptiness reaches such a peak that it drives us to contemplate making radical changes in our lives. A man might start dreaming of running off with some woman young enough to be his daughter, or he might consider going into a completely different field of work, or he might become obsessed with the thought that we have yet to really live, and time is running out for us.
I think there are all sorts of mid-life crises, and they are not confined to a chronological mid-life, but are spread out throughout all our adult lives, and can be really calls to individuation. The precise subject matter and structure of our particular call will depend on our type. More extraverted people who have spent their young adulthood concerned with outer events of family, home, and well-defined career will face a mid-life decision in terms of the meaning of introversion and their own inner life. On the other hand, it is possible that more introverted people who have spent the first part of their lives with developing their introversion now fact the question of living a more extraverted life. In either case the inner process is the same. We have used up the energy connected with our conscious functions, as illustrated by the fact that we have been successful in what we have set out to do, and although what we do in our community may be satisfactory from the communitys point of view, for society expects us to use our most developed functions in its service, it is no longer satisfactory from the point of view of our whole personality. Our experience of conscious emptiness is a sign that there is more to us than we realize, but since we are locked in the mirrored walls of our ego, we dont know what to do, and so sometimes we act foolishly. We are being called to a journey of individuation, and the more we understand this journey, the better we will be able to respond.
I was once at a large arts and crafts show where I met a school teacher who I suppose was in her mid-30s. She was tired of teaching school, so she took up painting, and here she was at her first show with the hope of selling some of her abstract paintings, and I think ultimately of starting a new career as an artist. As the days of the show passed, all the people around her were selling things from pottery to paintings of purple sunsets, and she was selling nothing. She grew more and more dejected. What was happening? I think she had reached the point in her life where her conscious functions were well developed, and her psychic energies had left them and had fallen into the unconscious. Here they had set off new parts of herself which she expressed in her paintings. She was experiencing a call to individuation, but could only understand it in terms of the outer events she was used to. She took her interest in painting to mean that she was called from being a teacher to being a painter, and so she came to make money with her paintings, but when people didnt buy them, she felt somehow personally rejected. I don' know whether the paintings were really good or not, and whether she could have made a career as a painter, but that is quite different from the fact that the paintings were important to her, and could have been a stepping stone to a deeper inner life if she knew how to let them guide her in this way. Lets say they were messengers from her other side, calling her to pay closer attention to it.
I mentioned before that what we are talking about is normal psychological development on the order of good nutrition and exercise, but what makes it hard is that we know so little about it, and often years have gone by during which we have worn a groove by the use of our conscious functions, and tended to encapsulate them in routine ways of perceiving and judging so that it is hard for us to believe that we can see and act in any other way. But what drives us to go ahead and endure the pain of breaking out of these shells are these calls to individuation which life is full of. Further, there is a serious penalty we suffer if we dont grow. Once our psychological energies begin to leave our conscious functions and we insist on staying within the boundaries of our consciousness, we end up in the paradoxical situation of seeing our most conscious and developed function lose its effectiveness. Then we see unfeeling feelers, unthinking thinkers, unintuiting intuiters, and unsensing sensation types. The feeling type loses her special rapport with people and actually begins to say and do things that offends them. In fact, she can exhibit less feeling than the other types. The thinking type is convinced he is being completely objective, yet his thoughts become permeated by all sorts of emotions that pushes reasoning this way and that. It is as if his logic has become detached from its psychological foundation and floats on a pool of undeveloped feelings and emotions. Then instead of being very objective, he is, in fact, becoming very subjective. What is happening? Our conscious functions are not enough, and if we insist that they are, and refuse to deal with the other side of our personality, this other side will undermine consciousness, itself, in its attempts to get our attention. Life is calling us to be whole, and it really wont take no for an answer.
Before we went on little voyages inside other types to build up our skill of type recognition and tolerance. Now we face a much more difficult journey. We have become convinced we have another side, and we have removed some of the imprints that hid our type from us, but is it really possible to travel into our psyche, reach that other side and experience inner transformation? Someone like Tom now sees that his consciousness is made up of introverted intuition, thinking and some feeling, and there actually is another side to his personality which is more extraverted with sensation and some feeling. His energies are no longer caught up in the typological imprints of the past. But what is he going to do to bring these two sides together? We cannot underestimate the great progress he has made by concretely realizing that he possesses two sides. This sensitizes him to life in a new way.
Lets look at Tom facing marriage, and then Tom facing a mid-life crisis that brings him face to face with the fourth function. Tom shied away from marriage for a long time because it seemed to represent a giving up of his precious intuition, and an entrapment in extraversion and sensation. Naturally he didnt use those words, but that was what was behind his intense dislike of jobs that seemed to be boring routine, and the responsibilities of having a wife and children. But now, with his new perception, which have been sharpened by his insights into his own parents marriage, he realizes that marriage is not simply an outer event, but an inner one, as well, in terms of the marriage of both sides of his personality. He is generating insight into how his lack of integration has conditioned his thinking about marriage. Lets recall Toms dream in which his girlfriend was alternately turning around and holding his hand, and then flirting with the unknown driver of the car. The split between Toms conscious and unconscious runs right through his third function of feeling and polarizes it in two different directions. This polarization has a very direct and dramatic effect on Toms outlook. He sees women in two distinct ways. If he looks through part of his feeling function that is allied to consciousness he sees his girlfriend as an ethereal and spiritual soulmate who will accompany him on his intuitive journeys, but if he looks at her through the lower part of his feeling function, he sees her as an earthy and sensual being with an aura of potential betrayal or entrapment.
Now his girlfriend in actual fact has her own complete type which embraces introversion and extraversion, the four functions, the spiritual and the sensual, and so forth. If Tom is unaware of these two images of the feminine inside himself, he will project one or the other, or both, one after the other, on his girlfriend. This can put a terrible strain on their relationship in which his girlfriend feels that sometimes she is being put on a pedestal, and other times she is being treated as if she had no spiritual aspirations whatsoever. And at still other times Tom is treating her with undo suspicion and jealousy. If Tom doesnt get his feeling function together, he is going to live it out day by day in his marriage.
This process which I am calling the polarization of the third function, and which at first glance seems like a rather exotic psychological phenomenon, has, in fact, enormous practical ramifications. How does Tom heal his feeling function? It begins with his inner realization that these two images exist inside himself, and it continues with his efforts to relate day by day to his girlfriend as she is in herself, and not only as she is through the colored glasses of his own projections. The more he accepts both aspects of her personality, and sees them united in her, the more he will be able to accept these two images of femininity in himself. The process works the other way, as well. As Tom accepts the two parts of his feeling function, they start to come together and make it easier for him to relate to his girlfriend.
Lets imagine that Tom meets the challenge of the third function. Well, the third function is connected to the fourth function, and so sooner or later Toms success with the third will constellate the problem of the fourth, perhaps in the form of a mid-life transition. Now the fourth function is like none of our other functions because in its turn it is deeply rooted in the unconscious. We can imagine that psychological growth is a steady broadening of consciousness in which we work our way down from our first to our second, and then to our third function, and all the time consciousness is getting broader and more mature. Therefore, it is only natural for us to expect that when we go from the third function to the fourth we will follow the same pattern. This doesnt happen, so that coping with the fourth function can be much harder than coping with our second or third. There is no way we are going to bring the fourth function up into consciousness, and so what happens is usually a long and protracted tug of war. Tom has to deal with his extraverted sensation. What this means is that this is the area that is most out of focus in his life. It is not that Tom is incapable of sensing. All his senses exist in good working order, but his attention flows away from his senses and pursues his interior intuitions. When Tom is faced with the challenge of building a bookcase, he wants to dash it together, and it takes a real effort on his part to carefully measure each board, make each cut, and assemble each piece. Once the problem of the fourth function opens up for Tom, he faces two temptations. In the first he says, "Well, I will simply go down into the fourth function and have it out with it. I will do all sorts of fourth function activities until I am good at it." But the "until" gives away the ambiguity of Toms motivations. What Tom would like to do is not become an extraverted sensation type, but to somehow intuit through extraverted sensation so that it will go away and he can go back to being an introverted intuition type.
The second temptation is that Tom will try to drag extraverted sensation into consciousness. Tom would like to expand his consciousness and add extraverted sensation to it as another helping function that serves his introverted intuition. Well, extraverted sensation is too opposed to a superior function to work like that. It is not going to come up into consciousness and stay there, and neither can Tom go down and become an extraverted sensation type. Here we reach one of the most difficult challenges of typology. Because the fourth function is rooted in the unconscious, it is never going to become fully focused for us. We are always going to be walking with a limp, so to speak. There is always going to be one leg of the table a little shorter than the others, and this is very hard for our egos to accept. Tom cant live in introverted intuition and ignore extraverted sensation, but neither can he live in extraverted sensation in the sense that he can perfect his skills in that area like he has in the other parts of his personality. What is at stake is the growing realization that the ego has to accept the fact that it is not the center of the personality.
Now I dont mean to imply that Tom cant increase greatly his skills in extraverted sensation. He can and he should. He ought to set a program of extraverted sensation tasks that he will slowly integrate into his life. He cant excuse himself from the function of sensation just because he is weak at it, or even because he can never be perfect at it. Our adaptation to reality, whether inner or outer, demands both introversion and extraversion, and all four functions. So one of the most important things for Tom to do is to pursue the tasks imposed on him by his fourth function. For example, he might go ahead and build that bookcase, or learn how to cook, or any number of other things that go against the grain of his conscious personality. But he needs a certain kind of patience and humility to immerse himself in the fourth function and accept the often imperfect and childish products that come out of it. He has to resist the tremendous pressure that ego consciousness exerts as soon as a fourth function creation begins to emerge. The ego wants to grab it and spruce it up and make it ego acceptable. For example, if Tom does a painting, the ego wants to take that painting and run with it, something like it did with the lady we saw at the art and crafts show. In the process, the real gift of the fourth function can be overlooked. What is that gift? It is that gift that is hidden in imperfection. The very reason why the fourth function cannot be fully developed is because it is rooted in the unconscious, but precisely because it is rooted in the unconscious, it is the gateway to all the creative energies that exist in the unconscious. Toms amateurish painting, or bookcase, or whatever it happens to be is precious because it becomes the gateway for inner transformation. This means that each of us can discover a very detailed plan of inner transformation that is laid out by the very nature of our own type, but the temptation is that we will not tolerate the companionship of our fourth function.
I suggested before that this is like an inner marriage. Well, for Tom it is like being married to a person who embodies those traits of extraverted sensation that are most abhorrent to his conscious personality. It is like being married to someone who seems slightly retarded and none too attractive. We are constantly tempted to make over our inner companion in the light of our superior function, or to go down ourselves and take over the fourth function by perfecting our abilities in it. This inner companion is like the frog in the fairy tale of the princess and the pool. The princess is playing with her precious golden ball at the side of a deep pool, and it falls and sinks to the bottom. She cant reach it, so she asks the frog to go down and get it and bring it up for her, and he, in turn, extracts a promise from her that if he does this, she will take him home and live with him, and let him sleep in her bed and eat from her dish, and give him a kiss. She agrees, but she really has no intention of keeping her promise. Once he dives in the pool and brings up the golden ball, she wants to go her own way. But the frog complains to her father, the king, who makes her honor her promise. And when she does live with the frog and lets him sleep in her bed and eat from her dish, and gives him a kiss, he turns into a handsome prince.
Well, this is really a profound little story. The princess is our consciousness, and it loves the idea of wholeness, or the totality which is the self, represented by the golden ball. But consciousness cant hold onto that ball. Wholeness slips away and is down in the depths of the unconscious. The only one who can retrieve it is the frog who is our fourth function, and he exhibits the ambivalence of the fourth function because he can live on the land of consciousness, or in the water of the unconscious. So the frog has the ability to go down and bring the golden ball to the princess. But he extracts a promise that is repugnant to consciousness, and which consciousness, even though it may utter it, has no intention of honoring. As soon as it feels it can get the golden ball in its control again, and reach wholeness without the fourth function, it is all too ready to do it. We can imagine how difficult and distasteful it was for the princess to live with the frog. Ugh. There is that ugly frog eating out of her bowl, and the idea of kissing him is like the ego dying a small death. But as soon as the princess kisses the frog, he becomes a handsome prince and they live happily ever after. And the marriage represents the harmonious union of both sides of the personality.
I think this is all clear enough as an illustration of the difficulties and promises held out by living with the fourth function. But there is one more important lesson in this story. What transforms the frog into a prince is not some involved technique, as if the princess had to become deeply involved in theories of dream symbols, and all the paraphernalia that accompanies psychotherapy. Inner transformation is not a question of technique. It is the question of the recognition and loving acceptance of these less developed parts of our personality. This is the kiss that transforms them. Our growing skill of type recognition without aids our seeing the various types within, and once we begin to see them as dimensions of our total personality, then we have to lovingly accept them. And this is what will alter the balance between the ego and the unconscious, and lead to that new center, the self. At first glance it is hard for us to imagine going around trying to live with our own frog. We feel a bit silly, but we shouldnt.
In Zurich they tell a story about Jung who one day was imagining that he had this 7-mile long cloud sitting on his head, and so as he walked home he was keenly aware of the cloud traveling with him. And when he reached his house he faced a dilemma. He stood there trying to think how he could get through the door without hurting the cloud. Finally the solution came to him. He left his hat hanging on a tree with the cloud on it so he could find them both when he came out in the morning. Well, we have to treat our frog with the same kind of consideration. It is not fun to go through life with our own personal frog, but that is one of the best roads to inner transformation.
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