“Sensation tells us something exists; thinking tells you what it is; feeling tells you whether it is agreeable or not; and intuition tells you (from where) whence it comes and where it is going,” writes Carl Jung.
Our attitude determines the direction and order of our psychological functions: sensation, thinking, feeling, and intuition. There are four attitudes: Introverted, Extraverted, Judging, and Perceiving. Each person who prefers introversion is primarily concerned with the inner world. Someone who prefers extraversion is oriented to events primarily in the outer world. Someone who prefers judging is oriented to the outer world in an organized and methodical way. One who prefers the perceiving attitude is open and free flowing with the outer world.
There are eight psychological types:
Extraverting sensation – People who prefer this type are primarily concerned with objective reality, with how things really are. Their constant pursuit is to “have sensations and enjoy them if possible,” says Jung.
Introverting sensation – Emma Jung (who preferred introvert sensation) described herself as being like a highly sensitized photographic plate. Every detail of a situation is observed and these can be recalled at will.
Extraverted thinking – People who prefer Extraverted Thinking are good at “solving problems, reorganizing businesses, clarifying issues, and sorting the grain from the chaff,” writes Anthony Stevens. They are often concerned with outer conditions – not theories or ideas.
Introverted Thinking – People who prefer Introverted Thinking show little interest in events that take place in the outer world but basically are concerned with ideas and theories. They want to understand impersonal and objective truth. They seek justice and value fairness.
Extraverted Feeling – People who prefer Extraverted Feeling value what is culturally acceptable. They are easy to get along with. They are able to read others and then respond by caring for others when possible.
Introverted Feeling – Those who prefer Introverted Feeling have a clear sense of their internal values and generally keep to themselves. They exert influence on others by embodying their internal values.
Extraverted Intuition – People who prefer Extraverted Intuition quickly see the possibilities in a given situation. They identify patterns and connections and seek to reshape their environment.
Introverted Intuition – Individuals who prefer Introverted Intuition focus on unconscious images, like dreams and visions. They have difficulty communicating about these images and may uses abstract symbols to explain their insights.
We all have different gifts that we bring to our families, marriages, workplace, and communities. The better we are able to see each other’s gifts and collaborate together, they more we are able to accomplish together. Understanding psychological types helps us to relate well and be successful. If we observe what we do, say, and think, we will be better students and workers. Who are you?
If you want an assessment to understand your psychological type, please consider contacting me at email@example.com. Also, please watch this video by Gretchen Sterenberg on note making:
Blog 57 – Typology
“Psychological Type is nothing static – it changes in the course of life,” write Carl Jung.
“We cannot safely assume that other people’s minds work on the same principles as our own. All too often, others with whom we come in contact do not reason as we reason, or do not value the things we value, or are not interested in what interests us,” writes Isabel Briggs Myers.
All of us humans have the same psychological equipment to perceive what happens inside us as well as outside us. We use four different kinds of building blocks to form ideas about our experiences and decide how to respond to events – sensation, thinking, feeling, and intuition. Virtually every one of us is born with a preference for one of these four psychological functions in a descending order. We will use all four of these functions, but our preference will determine how much we will use sensation, thinking, feeling and intuition.
“Sensation tells us something exists; thinking tells you what it is; feeling tells you whether it is agreeable or not; and intuition tells you (from where) whence it comes and where it is going,” writes Carl Jung.
Sensation is simple to explain – how one relates with material things in the world. When a person who prefers sensation type person enters a room, he evaluates the things in it. “There is a solid black table and wooden shelves. The walls are brick, and ceiling has exposed beams.”
The thinking function is rational, cool, and logical. One who prefers thinking will interpret events as they happen, working what it means. This rational psychological function is high valued and almost exclusively taught in North American schools. Our capacity to think is tested and an I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient) labels us. Our place in the modern American world is almost exclusively determined by our ability to think, says Robert Johnson.
The feeling function is a way of judging using values. One who prefers feeling function responds to what happens with value judgment. “Awesome concert, Dude!” “This class bites!”
This name can be confusing, because the term “feeling” function is often confused with emotion or affect. Feeling, in this sense, is the capacity to place value on people, places, things, and events. For many, the feeling function is the orphan of these four and largely misunderstood and haphazardly named.
The person who prefers intuition is able to ‘see’ the whole picture, asserts Anthony Stevens. This is a mysterious process. Intuition is very hard to define. “It is an extraordinary and out of the world capacity of knowing without knowing how one knows,” says Robert Johnson.
These four functions are like radio stations, we can either use our thinking function or our feeling function at one time. Jung assumes that we are born with a preference for one of these. Due to this preference, we will often develop skills related to one of these functions. If we are not supported in our family and schools to develop our preferred functions, then we may have difficulty. For the psychological functions that we naturally prefer may be undeveloped. We are like a fish trying to fly. A fish needs to swim; this is what they are naturally inclined to do.
Balancing our brain helps us to use more of our mind. It is very helpful to learn over time to access all our psychological functions. Please consider watching this video on the importance of balancing your brain:
One of my favorite things to do with my mother, who was born in 1934 and turned 80 years old last year, is to go to the De Young Museum which is located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, USA. My mom loves to go to exhibits with art from all parts of the world. My mom and I as well as other friends have seen sculptures of sub-Saharan Africa, American artists, art of the Olmec people of ancient Mexico as well as European artists – Mattia Preti, Domenikos Theorokopolos (also known as El Greco), Claude Monet, James Mc Neil Whistler (the painter known for “Whistler’s Mother”), Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cezanne, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent Van Gogh – and modern artists, like Keith Haring and Jackson Pollock.
My mom had a series of strokes that began in 2006. These strokes made it very difficult for her to communicate at first. I later realized how much she was able to learn and understand when I took her to the De Young Museum. I asked her if she wanted to rent the device which would allow her to listen to a description of the art. My mom said, “Yes.”
I pushed my mom in her wheelchair through the exhibit as she listened with her headset. I would roll her to each painting, paying careful attention to what she said she wanted to see. At her request, we stopped at virtually every painting for 3 to 5 minutes. She listened to every recording – the entire recording – about the artists, the paintings, and the history of when the paintings were created. Often, we would enjoy a delightful gourmet lunch on the patio, looking out at Golden Gate Park. These visits were wonderful and have been some of my most joyful moments with my mom as we took the time to absorb great works of artistic masters.
Art has the capacity to transform us. Symbols are very powerful and can affect us deeply. A movie such as “Schindler’s List” or a painting, like the “Mona Lisa” moves many people very powerfully. A picture is worth a thousand words. Just one flash of an image can have a profound effect on our emotions and thoughts.
Silence is also very powerful. We are often afraid of solitude in our American culture. Our iPhone or television can drown out silence all day long, all year long. For a lifetime, we can be cut off from our interior life. We may wake up at 3:00 in the morning with an anxious dream – sweating.
In silence, we can find our compassion and creativity pouring through us. Once we thought we would never find creativity, then it comes through us like a burst of fire. The embers of creativity always lie within us smoldering. This creativity inside us is just waiting us to notice it and express it. Join Sue Renfrew in this video and learn how to meditate and contemplate about a painting, whether you are at an art exhibit in a Museum or anywhere else.
“Your focus is your reality,” says Yoda. What we put our attention on has an enormous impact on our life. It seems that now things are competing for our attention more than ever. We can sit watching television with over 1000 channels available. Then, I can pick up my iPhone and look at my email, Facebook, news from thousands of sources, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and much more. All this distraction is important to the quality of our lives.
What is attention? The word, attention, originates in the Latin word, attendere. This means to reach toward, connecting us with the world, shaping and defining. Our attention works like a muscle. If we sit on the couch and do nothing, our muscles get weaker and do not grow; they atrophy. If we get off the couch and play soccer, we build muscle. Over time our legs can get big and very strong.
We live in an era when we receive many messages every day, by text, email, Facebook, or iPhone (voice). According the Nielson, the average American teen sends 3,339 text every month. Ninety four percent of American teens go online daily. Twenty-four percent go online “almost constantly.”
“Children today are more attuned to machines and less to people than has ever been true in human history,” writes Daniel Goleman. Each time a child talk with someone or watching others have a conversation, they are impacted. The social and emotional circuitry of a child’s brain is influenced by these social interactions all day long – at home, school, athletic practice, music rehearsal, or work.
One can see teens often watching movies while they are on their iPhones. They split their attention between two or more things at once. Unfortunately, our attention is a narrow and fixed pipeline. Our attention is not stretchable. If we split our attention, we are required to switch our attention from one thing to another thing and back again. This switching of attention drains our energy. We have more difficulty focusing in a concentrated way.
Our online lifestyle is shaping our physical brains. Children and teenagers are also playing many digital games on iPad, laptop computer, television, and iPhone. Around 8 percent of children and teens between 8 and 18 appear to be addicted to computer games. When we study the brains of these young people addicted to computer games, we see that their brains appear in some ways similar to alcoholics and drug abusers.
Our ability to relate well to others is very important in our success at work as well as our quality of life. In order to form healthy relationships with others, we need to build rapport. It is a process of give and take. We talk and exchange ideas. The better we communicate, the more solid the relationship. When I have good attention, I am able to focus on what you are saying.
Yet we are constantly bombarded with messages, emails, posts on Facebook, YouTube videos, and texts. At a romantic dinner out, we are too often diverted from connecting with one other. I am amazed how often, I see people on their iPhones at an expensive restaurant. Yet everywhere we are tempted by the call of our mobile devise. We must be reminded by commercials and billboards, do not text and drive. Even though, we can die because of our distraction, we choose to risk our life and the lives of others to text while driving!
Distraction has become a great problem in our social interaction. In Silicon Valley, where I live, companies have workplaces have banned laptop computers, iPhones, and tablet computers from company meetings.
When we develop our ability to focus, we are steady in a crisis. When we experience the fear or frustration that comes during times of stress, we are able to stay focused on what is important. Students inevitably will experience difficulties during a semester. Yet some students are able to do their homework and concentrate on their exams. Others find many ways to avoid what is important, because they are upset.
At a party, often you can see how focus works. Some people can carry on a conversation with music at a high volume, focusing on the words of the person with whom they are talking. Another person may be overwhelmed with all the distractions around them – music, people, and things – unable to focus in on listening to the person with whom they are having a conversation.
This ability to focus is a hidden key to our doing things well. It is our ability to focus that enables us to find our way when we experience emotional crisis, relationships challenges, or whatever problems what life presents to us.
Have you ever been carried away with a mood? We can be swept away with our emotions and thoughts. A mood can come over us, and we may look back and think, “I just wasn’t myself today.”
One way to think about these emotional storms is that there is a psychological benefit to these reactions. Carl Jung identified the animus and anima as parts of ourselves that erupt and interfere with our relationships and work. A woman has an animus, and a man has an anima. June Singer writes that “anima and animus are those unconscious part of ourselves that carry the mystery of sex which is not ours.”
How we identify with our masculine gender role or feminine gender role can vary greatly from one culture to another. It is obvious that there are – in fact – differences between men and woman. Whether these differences are more psychological or physical is debatable as well as complex. Yet it is obvious that men and women are different.
These differences show up in our dreams and fantasies. The anima shows up in a man’s dreams as an image of a woman, whereas the animus shows up in a woman as an image of a man. This is because the anima and animus are related to what is the opposite of our conscious attitude. When we mature, we develop the opposite attitude to what we cling to in our youth. “Men have dared to discover their vulnerability and their feeling side, while women – more confident now of their strengths – are beginning to take risks which would have frightened them before,” writes June Singer.
Animus is defined as a “usually prejudiced and often spiteful or malevolent ill will” or a “strong feeling of dislike or hatred.” Aminus is the masculine form of the word soul in latin. Yet the animus is not as much masculinity repressed as it is the unconscious other that a woman is prevented from being in her daily life. The part of herself that is furthest from her waking life is what makes up a woman’s animus.
Carl Jung describes the animus as a strange passivity. “In the depths of the woman’s being, the animus whispers: ‘You are hopeless. What’s the use of trying? There is no point in doing anything. Life will never change for the better.’”
When a woman is able to separate herself from her animus, she is able to see that part of herself objectively. She is able to be detached and just notice these negative thoughts and feelings. She does not fall into the false belief that these thoughts are her thoughts. When she simply observes these thoughts and realizes that her response to them makes all the difference, she is able to main a healthy detachment.
A woman’s animus assists her in becoming a complete person by shifting repressed energy into active and creative pursuits. The animus does have negative qualities such as “brutality, recklessness, empty talk, and silent, obstinate evil ideas.” Yet the animus also has a positive and valuable side. The animus can “build a bridge to the Self through creative activity.”
For a man, the anima, represents his unconscious feminine other. The anima symbolically represents the eternal feminine. For a woman, the animus represents her unconscious masculine. Conversely, the animus stands for the eternal masculine. Robert Johnson writes that the “anima and the animus function most effectively for us as mediators between the conscious and unconscious parts of personality.”
When one learns to work with the animus or anima, one discovers a certain kind of genius within oneself. Please watch is short video by Judith Peterson on the animus and learn how to work with this energy to improve how you feel, behave, and feel:
“I, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, do solemnly swear . . .”
as I am running with my children headed toward Eleanor and dinner awaiting us at our summer home in Canada.
Later in the evening after dinner, I am not feeling well and retire to bed for the evening. I will never walk again without leg braces. I am privileged to descend into a crucible – an unspeakable mystery –
“that I will faithfully execute the office of the President”
Floating in a pool of healing water in Warm Springs, Georgia, on a lovely spring day – opening my eyes, I can see white puffy clouds set in a vibrant blue sky. I can hear screams of play and laughter of children, touched by polio as my life has. We are all experiencing the grace of weightlessness – no up, nor down; no left, nor right.
I once held positions as New York State Senator as well as Assistant Secretary of the Navy during the war to end all wars.
Now I show these children how to face polio and all its likely shame and terror. Right here at Warm Springs, we travel together, as I did years earlier, to find a way to freedom through nature, work, humor, and love. The power I have come to know from the bitter journey from lifeless paralysis and hiding in humiliation to courageously overcoming infirmity through ecstasy and love. Heavenly as floating may be as a regular citizen . . .
“. . . of the United States of America . . .”
I choose to return to my former occupation as a political leader, knowing well the slings and arrows of grave misfortune that befall men of prominence and stature. I will wholeheartedly . . .
“and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. . .”
in a time of unfathomable darkness – 25% of workers unemployed, all banks closed in almost all the states, and much of our national wealth evaporated in a devastating financial crash.
Yet the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
“So help me God.”
C.G. Jung wrote: “Only those people who really can touch bottom can truly be human.”
Please watch this video by creative writing professor, Nils Peterson, on the two secrets of writing poetry:
“Thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life. Worse still, we take this step with the false presupposition that our truths and our ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning, for what was great in the morning will be little at evening and what in the morning was true, at evening will have become a lie.” Quote by Carl Jung
Our lives have different eras. What was true when we are young is a lie at midlife. When we are young our lives are focused on educating ourselves, obtaining work, and finding love. These are the appropriate tasks of our early life. We may get married and have children.
Our initial experience of religion is often about certainty. It creates meaning about being a separate individual. If we practice the correct rituals and believe the correct rules – dogma – then we will be saved. Someone translates other people’s experience of God. Yet this level of religion does not change the consciousness of the person. It is all about me – saving myself. This level of spirituality consoles the self and this is needed. It defends us. The problem is that we can use this type of religion to not become a more loving person. I can justify our self-centeredness.
Spirituality can also be transformative. As a young person we need to develop our ego boundaries by separating from our parents. We need to leave home psychologically and develop an identity of our own. We need to distinguish our values from those of our parents and friends. It is important to have meaningful work to do.
About 35 to 45, we reach midlife. Jung called this the afternoon of life. We have the opportunity to grow into a deeper consciousness not possible in our younger years. Richard Rohr says: “This process of transformation does not fortify the separate self, but utterly shatters it. Not consolation but devastation. Not entrenchment, but emptiness. Not complacency, but explosion. Not comfort, but revolution. In short – not a conventional bolstering of my usual consciousness, but a radical transmutation and transformation at the deepest seat of consciousness itself.” Our transformation comes indirectly, “catching us off guard and out of control. We have to be empty instead of full.”
Richard Rohr goes on to say: “The lust for certitude. The lust for answers the last 500 years of the Western Church has not served us well. Once we lost our spirituality of darkness for light, there just wasn’t as much room for growth any more. Everything was . . . words.”
Our journey of spirituality inevitable leads inward. There are many paths on this inward spiritual journey, but they all lead to an experience of the divine. This conscious knowing leads us outward again toward others. We are willing to risk vulnerability to join with others in intimacy. Our spirituality isn’t about looking good, but simply loving others. Please watch this video by Bob Epperly on centering prayer to discover one of many paths inward toward the center of our being:
“What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.” Thomas Merton
Our world is changing ever faster. Facebook, the iPhone, YouTube, the WiFi internet, Twitter, and Instagram give us a connected world with lots of instant information available. These and other changes complicate our lives in many ways. We may be busier than ever. Our children often are doing homework later into the night. The family structure is breaking down, and we see changes in marriage and sexuality. The values that we assumed made us unified are changing because of the great diversity we see in not only America, but throughout the world. As we cope with the impact of these changes and many more, we encounter stress in our bodies.
In the middle of all these changes globally, we still face the challenges of adult development. Frederick Hudson writes: “Most grown-ups know very little about the territory of their (later) adult years.”
This becomes more important as our life expectancy grows. The changes in lifestyle and medicine enables us to live much longer. We often waste our most valuable resource – citizens over fifty year of age. Corporations too often want to eliminate older workers. Our cultural assumption – in the United States – is that aging is bad and as we age we lose much more than we gain. Robert Lifton says, “There is a special quality of life-power available only to those seasoned by struggles of four or more decades. . . . The life-power of this stage can be especially profound.”
Carl Jung viewed the second half of life as a time of immense growth and development. It is a time for personal introspection, reevaluation of our lives, and dynamic spiritual discovery. We may assume that we need to decide on our work and marital partner by our late 20’s. Wow, that is a lot of pressure! Most of us are engaged in several different types of jobs in our working lives. Sometimes this happens by our choice. And there are times when someone chooses for us, saying: “You are fired.”
As our income changes, we need to reassess our lifestyle and adjust our spending. Our assumption that we would simply continue to earn more money endlessly may have been false. The larger world economy also affects us all as we learned in 2008 with the financial crash.
“For centuries, it was the understanding that when people became adults, they stopped growing and became fixed as predictable, responsible persons the rest of their lives,” writes Frederick Hudson. “Growing was over. The adult years were shaped by the personality and experiences of the child.”
Our lives are a heroic adventure. Life after fifty can be rich in many ways. Robert Epperly wrote his very personal and open book, “Growing Up After Fifty: From Exxon Executive to Spiritual Seeker,” about his journey after midlife. Please enjoy this video about his book:
Do you know your business?
The organizations where we work have a character like the people in our lives. There is a pattern to the way a company or other type of institution operates. Even separate departments of an organization have a way of doing things. This organizational character can either refer to an entire company or to just part of the organization, like the Marketing department.
William Bridges asserts that certain factors contribute to the character of an organization. The person or people who founded the organization have a big influence over the character of an organization. The industry within which the organization does business influences the way it operates. A hospital has a very different corporate culture from an accounting firm. The product or service offered from organization to customers will influence the character of the organization. The predominant profession of the organization is another influence. A law firm tends to operate very differently from a hair salon.
The fact that the organization is a business influences the nature of the business. The employees that are hired is another factor that determines the culture of the organization. The leaders that come after the founder have an influence over the organization. The history of the organization also is an important factor influencing the character of the organization. If the organization faces bankruptcy, then this historical fact is part of how people make decisions and relate to each other in the organization in the future.
Whether the organization is a hospital, school, business or non-profit, like Habitat for Humanity, it has life cycle. I live in the Santa Clara Valley where ambitious people found start-up organizations. These organizations emerge from the dreams of its founders. Over time, organizations develop the structures and procedures to make the business more routine and efficient. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computer in a garage. A couple miles from my office is the Apple Computer building which is the main office of one of the most financially valuable organizations in the world.
Organizations also have an emotional climate, and it can be measured. The Work Environment Scale can measure the dynamics of the work environment. The emotion intelligence of a work environment determines the performance of a work team. Organizations, like individual people, can be more or less mature. Understanding the work environment in which you work has a big impact on your effectiveness in the organization. You have to know your business is an old expression. This is more relevant than ever.
Learning how to manage the person for whom you work is an important set of skills to achieve success in an organization. Please watch this video by Bob Epperly on how to manage up:
Some of the symptoms of depression include low energy, irritability, sadness, physical pain, low self-esteem, self-criticism, hopelessness, crying, and changes in eating and sleeping. The source of these symptoms can be biological, psychological, social or spiritual. One can suffer from low blood sugar or a low level of testosterone. Our beliefs can contribute to symptoms of depression. A bad marriage can lead to these symptoms. We may be in a spiritual crisis, lacking meaning in our life. As we transition from one set of beliefs about reality to another set of beliefs, we often feel loss.
When we experience loss, consciously experiencing and expressing our sadness enables us to integrate the loss. Expressing anger is also a part of the process of grieving loss. When we resist our feelings, we may feel numb. When people experience depression, they often describe their bodies as feeling numb. Often we avoid consciously experiencing our emotions and expressing them, when we fear being overwhelmed by them. When we fear being overwhelmed by emotions, we find ways to block our feelings. Often, these are not conscious choices to not feel.
Most often, we learned early in our lives to control our feelings by developing defenses. We may breathe in a shallow way and tighten our muscles to resist emotions. These defenses to consciously experiencing our sadness or anger can lead to depressive symptoms.
Unfortunately, feeling depressed is pretty awful. Depression is not good for our physical health. We can learn to express our feelings. One way to do this is with another person who is comfortable with emotion and affirms your experience of your emotions. In this way, we have a corrective emotional experience which enables us to learn to consciously experience and express our feelings.
Music is an outstanding way to consciously experience feelings. “When the time comes that you’re ready to begin facing your emotions, music that speaks to your heart can help you begin to release your pain,” writes Maureen Draper.
I can pick music which enables me to cry. The process of crying enables me to move forward with my grief and integrate the reality of my life without my beloved. When I hear a John Denver song, I often think of my dad. We can associate certain songs or musicians with a loved one who has passed on. Maureen writes: “Music that reminds you of a loved one brings to the surface whatever may not have been finished or unsaid between you.”
Art of all kinds, be it paintings, poems, stories, film or music, can evoke emotion. Great art reaches us emotionally, and we vicariously experience something important to us. This is why we can be so drawn to a certain author or musician. The beauty of art can move us in countless ways. We can cry with awe when listen to Adagio with Strings by Barber. We may experience exhilaration or hope when listening to Mozart or the Beatles.
Listening to music can be profoundly comforting. The music from our childhood can bring us feelings of being protected and nurtured by our parents as a child. I can remember the song, “Puff the Magic Dragon” from my childhood. Many songs from this era remind me of the emotions of my childhood.
When we are alone with our grief in the middle of the night, music can help us feel the comfort of being in our mother’s arms as a child. Music from early in a relationship with our husband or wife can bring up the emotions of falling in love, which are very healthy for our bodies.
We can use music to – in a sense – move backward in time to recapture hidden emotions and memories. Some may wish to feel the feeling of safety by imagining being held by the divine during our darkest hour of pain. Music can remind us of this kind of love.
Perhaps, finding the core of who we are is the most powerful dynamic to resolving depressive symptoms. Music is a powerful elixir to find the essence of our self. Please watch this video by pianist and author, Maureen Draper, about music and depression: