Archive for the ‘introvert’ tag
Another bird that seems to work hard at not getting his photograph taken finally was able to be captured by the new camera and lens. There are a few species still avoiding the same fate as they are very skittish whenever I get within range of the 250 mm lens, for example, a bird that I refer to as a white-winged blackbird. I have spotted herons, doves, sparrows and magpies in the city as well.
I took this photo from a fourth story window opening. In the background, barely recognisable are the two characters that say Changzhou, the other characters aren’t familiar enough to be so easily recognized in a blur state – perhaps the third character is the number two, perhaps.
The past number of days, I have wandered around the mine field of typology in hopes of somehow being able to both express some Jungian ideas while at the same time come to an increasingly better understanding of my “nature.” I don’t for a moment thing that being able to recognise that I am an introvert by disposition and that my intuitive function is my strong suit with my sensation function being the weakest function, allows me to say that I know myself. There is so much more to knowing oneself than to be able to use an almost secret code that is limited to those who are initiated to the MBTI.
“Wrestling with your typological orientation is a good start in understanding who you are. But it is child’s play compared to to becoming acquainted with your complexes.
Complexes are normal and present in everyone, they are the building blocks of personality. Just as atoms and molecules are the invisible components of physical objects, so complexes are the hidden parts o ourselves; they comprise our identity and are what makes us tick.” (Sharp, Jungian Psychology Unplugged, p. 37)
As Sharp goes on the explain, complexes are seen as negative things, something that indicates some level of dysfunction, some malfunction of our brain, something that needs to be fixed. Well, complexes can erupt into one’s life making that life shear misery, a living hell. But, this isn’t what complexes are all about. Complexes only cause us grief when we are unconscious of them, when we don’t consider just why we act the way we act at any given time. How does one understand oneself with code letters when one gets angry? Any time that we “feel” an emotion in response to an image, a situation, a presence, a complex has been activated.
I guess I have opened up another can of worms here in introducing the subject of complexes. I hope that you will bear with me as I stumble through this minefield over the next while.
This is a photo of a Groove-Billed Ani, a strange looking bird as you can see. I have other photos of this bird, but this was the first one I got that didn’t involve power lines. One thing I have noticed about this bird is its tendency to sit in the sun with his wings spread wide, soaking up the sun’s rays. In a way, he reminds me of myself here in Costa Rica with my own wings spread wide in order to soak up the sun.
Soaking up the sun is not simply about getting tanned all over, it is about being filled and about being emptied at the same time. It is about working on relationship with my “self.” Strange how this working on one’s self has the added bonus of being at work on relationship with other as well.
Here is what Sharp has to say about working on relationship:
You work on relationship by shutting your mouth when you are ready to explode; by not inflicting your affect on the other person; by quietly leaving the battlefield and tearing your hair out; by asking yourself – not your partner – what complex in you was activated, and to what end. The proper question is not, “Why is she doing that to me?” or “Who does he think he is?” but rather, “Why am I reacting this way? Who do I think he or she is?” And more: “What does this say about my psychology? What can I do it?” (Sharp, Jung Uncorked: Book Two, 2008, p. 22)
There is some very important stuff in what Sharp says. What it doesn’t say is the fact that the relationship is even more complicated that this, that there is not only the sorting out of self, anima and with withdrawing of projections that a man is responsible for; there is also the same dynamic that needs to take place on the part of the woman in the relationship, her work on self, animus and the withdrawing of projections. Given that all of this takes place, there is no guarantee that the relationship will survive as the two individuals may decide that staying together isn’t in the best interests of either party.
Is all of this worth the effort? Why not just let sleeping dogs lie and suck it up and go on with life as it is? Well, it just doesn’t work that way. Once the box has been opened, there is no turning back. Is it better then never to address the issues of the shadow, the anima/animus and the rest of the contents of the unconscious? Is it better to deny the urge to self discovery?
Perhaps. If one can avoid the inner world and only focus on the outer world, it might save a world of grief. Perhaps it would help if one was an extravert. But, for myself, an introvert, it isn’t possible. I would go crazy and self-destruct. I would lose my soul. And so, I begin to work on relationship in earnest by first getting to know more about my self, my complexes, the faces of anima, the reflections of self that appear in others through projection. Then, I will see how relationship with others in my face-to-face world are also transformed. I will see how relationships stand the alchemical heat.
On a walk through this beach village, I came across this tree which for all appearances looked to be dead. Then, I noticed two little new bits of growth. One of them stood proudly out in the open and the other stood quietly behind the centre stage occupied by the other. It made me think of One being an extravert and the other being an introvert.
Appearances are deceiving for us most of the time. We see how people act and then we draw conclusions about the nature of those people. We don’t understand that an introvert could very likely find himself or herself in a career that requires them to be present in significant ways with coworkers and clients. Take two active and dynamic workers and beneath the behaviours one might be an introvert in spite of the behaviours. So how does one know?
In Jung’s model, introversion and extraversion are psychological modes of adaptation. In the former, the movement of energy is toward the inner world. In the latter, interest is directed toward the outer world. In one case the subject (inner reality) and in the other the object (outer reality) is of primary importance. Whether one is predominately introverted or extraverted – as opposed to what one is doing at any particular time – depends on the direction one’s energy naturally, and usually, flows. (Sharp, Jung Uncorked: Book One, 2008, p. 61)
Too much quiet, inner time wears an extravert’s system down. My wife is predominately an extravert. She is able to gain energy in interaction with others. I, on the other hand, find that too much time, or even too many people fatigue me. If I am to recharge, I need quiet, alone time. Then, I am able to connect with the subjective inner world, a world that was drowned out when I was behaving as though an extravert. For me, the opportunity to allow my thinking pattern, fantasy thinking, free reign finds me building an inner excitement. Whereas in a crowd, after a time, I feel overwhelmed with directed thinking and become quieter and quieter as I have worked too hard in an area that is not my natural state.
I am an introvert, but I do operate as an extravert whenever possible, for as long as possible. Anyone watching me when I am “present” and “engaged” actively would not hesitate to think that I am an extrovert. So much for behaviours being predictors of psychological typology.
The west coast photo series continues with this photo taken in Stanley Park in central Vancouver. With a lot of rain over the previous two weeks, Vancouver was soaked to the saturation point. A lack of sunshine meant that drying out when the rain had stopped was problematical. The stoppage of rain was welcome as it meant a long walk was possible.
That I made the decision to go for a walk because of a break in the rain, I demonstrated a moment of extraverted attitude. Though I am introverted to a significant level, I am also to some degree extroverted. I am drawn to objects as well as to ideas.
Now, when orientation by the object predominates in such a way that decisions and actions are determined not by subjective views but by objective conditions, we speak of an extraverted attitude. (Jung, CW vol. 6, par. 563)
This is the key, whether one’s actions are based more on objective conditions or on subjective views. Most of those around me are decidedly extraverted in attitude. And because of this, I am viewed as a curious puzzle as what I do is often out of sync with what the conditions suggest I should be doing. I lack a down to earth way of being, a collective common sense in their eyes. Of course, since they know me, this isn’t really a problem in relationship terms.
Still, that said, there are occasions of confusion and conflict based on the differing attitudes.
While at my brother-in-law’s home at Oyster River on Vancouver Island I got a shot of this little guy, a Dark-Eyed Junco. He was one of a small crowd of birds that was busy at the bird feeder. It reminded me how some people like to hang out over coffee simply because they enjoy being around people, liking proximity and the opportunity to add their voices to the mix even though the content of the conversation is often trivial. This bird was definitely an extrovert.
Unlike the Blue Heron, the Dark-Eyed Junco is focused on the bird feeder. Life for this Junco is centred on the bird feeder. I had hoped to get a better photo, but light conditions were poor as our time on Vancouver Island was marked by dark gray skies and lots of rain. I ended up taking a number of photos through the window. Adding to the difficulty was the busyness of the scene. The Junco was one of three different sets of birds vying for dominance around the bird feeder.
when orientation by the object predominates in such a way that decisions and actions are determined not by subjective views but by objective conditions, we speak of an extraverted attitude. (Jung, CW vol. 6, par. 563)
It is actually a different way of looking at the world, understanding it and navigating through it. I am amazed that the two types manage to co-exist. I wonder if those who operate through objective viewpoints are ever able to understand those who orient themselves to the world via subjective viewpoints?
This is a Great Blue Heron, a common bird in the lower mainland of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. This guy was sitting on the top of a tree near the entrance to Stanley Park in Vancouver as though he was some cynic standing disdainfully aside and above the common throng below. He definitely wasn’t a “people person,” an extrovert. In a way, he reminded me of myself – getting older and more watchful of the world at a somewhat safe distance.
Here I have used the masculine in describing this bird. But, the truth is, this introverted attitude or extraverted attitude is not something that is gender-related in the least. Nor, does this attitude have anything to do with social class or education or age. As C.G. Jung noted:
Such a widespread distribution could hardly have come about if it were merely a question of a conscious and deliberate choice of attitude. In that case, one would surely find one particular attitude in one particular class of people linked together by a common education and background and localized accordingly. But that is not so at all; on the contrary, the types seem to be distributed quite at random. In the same family one child is introverted, the other extraverted. Since the facts show that the attitude-type is a general phenomenon having an apparently random distribution, it cannot be a matter of conscious judgment or conscious intention, but must be due to some unconscious, instinctual cause. (Jung, CW vol. 6, par. 558.)
Thinking on this, I come to realize that I have often erred in being critical of others when it comes to attitude as others have too often erred in finding some deliberate negative intention because of my introverted attitude. I do not deliberately stand outside the crowd. It just happens naturally. It isn’t about intention, it is about avoiding extra anxiety that the crowd induces. It isn’t about a self-perceived superior attitude, it is about space so that I don’t get lost and become invisible even to myself.
I am beginning to see where this look at psychological types using C.G. Jung’s work is taking me. The intention was to re-investigate the topic here with conscious intention; unconsciously, it is again about re-self discovery.
Another look at a possible approach to the SoFoBoMo project with “tunnel vision” as a theme. This time I edited the photo to be “almost” black and white. Why? I am trying to see if there is a tension between colour and black and white that would “add” a sense of the tension one finds when dealing with the unconscious.
There isn’t much chance that I would ever look at a photo without looking behind the photo to see the photographer and “where” the photographer is “at” in terms of the psyche. After all, this blog is called Jungian Photos for a reason. I look at life with my built in filters no different than a camera’s filters.
Polarity is about tension. There is a tension between good and evil, black and white, masculine and feminine just to name a few polarized dynamics. A person’s typology is described in terms of tendencies toward various sets of polarities: introvert (I) versus extrovert (E), thinking (T) versus feeling (F), intuition (N) versus sensation (S). People are never static in terms of personality. They do however, find themselves a resting state which they return to to unconsciously, a place of comfort.
For example, I could be considered to be somewhat of an introvert even though I worked in a public forum quite capably. I do participate in public and community and family functions, extrovert activities. However, I need quiet time, alone time in order to recharge my psyche, my energy.
On the plane between thinking and feeling which tries to describe how one arrives at a decision, I tend toward the feeling end of the continum. On the plane between intuition and sensation, I find that the majority of the time, I strongly tend toward intuition. If fact, intuition is the most dominant of the four functions making sensation the weakest of the functions. So, using the Jungian model, I would have an introverted attitude with a dominant (or superior) intuitive function with an auxiliary feeling function as my primary “type”. Of course that doesn’t mean that I don’t use the other two functions as it unlikely for almost anyone to have an “absent” function.