Archive for the ‘superior functions’ tag
A spider, a very large spider, caught my attention this past Monday, the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival here in China, while I was walking along one of the hundreds of small canals that are everywhere in the city. I want to skip reflections via active imagination with regards to this photo for now in order to return to Jung’s position that one changes one’s personality through engagement with the contents that emerge through active consideration and participation with the fantasies. Jung goes on to say:
“This change in personality is naturally not an alteration of the original hereditary disposition, but rather a transformation of the general attitude. Those sharp cleavages and antagonisms between conscious and unconscious, such as we see so clearly in the endless conflicts of neurotic natures, nearly always rest on a noticeable one-sidedness of the conscious attitude, which gives absolute precedence to one or two functions, while the others are unjustly thrust into the background. Conscious realization and experience of fantasies assimilates the unconscious inferior functions to the conscious mind – a process which is naturally not without far-reaching effects on the conscious attitude.” (Jung, C.W. Volume 7, paragraph 359)
So we change, become less one-sided, more of who we are rather than just a portion of the whole that we can be.
An example I can give is taken from my own experience. When asked about change, specifically about changing something about myself, I often reply that some things about me are just who I am. Jung would say that these unchangeable things are my original hereditary disposition. But of course just what parts are unchangeable? First, I have to listen carefully about what Jung is saying about dominant functions and inferior functions. Knowing that my dominant functions are intuition and feeling, and that my inferior functions are thinking and sensing I can see that I can where I can change. I can bring my inferior functions into the way I live and relate to the world and the people in the world. Yes, I trust my intuition, but there is more room for thinking to take a role and become part of how I rationally interpret the world.
When I enter a situation, it is in my nature to process what I see, hear, and intuit in order to arrive at an understanding of the situation. Usually intuition is enough and I then proceed to then to be an active part of the scene within the boundaries of my role. I have learned to add in some data via my senses and then think about that data before turning to intuition to make rational choices. When all is said and done, I do go with what my intuition tells me. That is who I am.
I guess, it is not much different than the saying that a tiger can’t change his spots. I can be a more effective person in my own skin by nourishing the neglected functions. Active imagination provides me with a way to connect with those neglected functions.