Questions and Answers from GCI Certification Trainings


Q1: What are "functional" and "directional" attitudes?

Question:

You call functional attitude what I knew as function (N,S,F,T), and directional attitude to what I knew as atitude (I,E), saying that both are attitudes. Why?


Answer:

The reason that I present both as attitudes is because they are both attitudes in Jung's model. Considering them as separate has led to some misconceptions about the attributes of the eight types.

It is important to realize that both the functional attitudes and the directional attitudes have orientations. When a functional attitude merges with the directional attitude, the resulting orientation of the functional attitude is changed markedly. The orientation of introverted feeling, for example, is quite different from the orientation of extraverted feeling. The two are worlds apart, even though they are both derived from the same function.

Nowhere is the change in orientation more confusing than with introverted sensation. The introverted sensation that Jung speaks of is quite different from the introverted sensation presented in popular instruments. Some instruments have removed any semblance of Jung's introverted sensation entirely. Only by understanding both function and libido (introversion/extraversion) as attitudes, can we begin to make sense of the attributes of introverted sensation, as Jung speaks of them.

The same is true for all of the types. Each type consists of "composite" attributes resulting from the merger of functional and directional attitudes. To understand those attributes well, it is important to understand the types as composite attitudes (hifin) a composite merger of the attitudes of function and libido.

When we consider the types as a merger of attitudes, we can begin to gain some insights about them. You will note in the tables that the directional attitudes produce commonalities among the resulting types. All of the orientations of the introverted attitudes, for example, are intensive; all of the orientations of the extraverted attitudes are extensive (hifin) irrespective of functional attitude. The directional attitudes play a large role in shaping the composite attributes of each type. This insight will be a crucial one when we consider how the types collaborate or oppose one another in sessions 5, 6, and 7.

- jgj

I suggest you all read the definition of "attitude" in CW 6 in the chapter "Definitions". This will show you why Jim's nomenclature is correct.

- ms

Q2: Why not eight color ranges on the GCI?

Question:

Why don't you show more color variations on the GCI for the eight types? There are eight types, so why not eight color variations?


Answer:

We experimented with more subtle variations of color on the compass, and we may go back to that eventually. In the first investigation, the color variations seemed to visually confuse the diagram.

We opted instead to rely on the bar charts in the report to show the nuanced differences in type preferences. The eight bar charts can be readily compared to show which types are having the greatest influence, and which are in the "inferior" position.

The compass diagram is intended to provide a quick sense of where the energy is flowing for an individual; the bar charts (for gifts, orientations, and compass headings) are intended to provide a more carefully articulated comparison of preferences.

- jgj

Q3: Do introverted people work better with the unconscious?

Question:

Do introverted people have an easier time working with complexes, the shadow, and the collective unconscious than extraverted people do?


Answer:

Certainly introverted people more readily take to the tools of analytical psychology to deal with complexes, the shadow, and the archetypes. Active imagination and dream analysis come more easily to them. They are, after all, oriented to the images of the collective unconscious, which can be more real to them than the outer object.

People who favor the extraverted types may say that introversion is fruitless "naval gazing," for the inner life is typically not as accessible to them. Extraverted sensation, the opposite of introverted intuition, is not disposed to recognize the inner life at all, while introverted intuition provides a large window to the images of the inner life.

Whether introverted people can deal more effectively with complexes and the shadow, I am not sure. Certainly the tools of analytical psychology are biased in their favor. Few with a strong extraverted temperament would want to engage in the inner reflection of active imagination or dreamwork.

Yet, extraverted dispositions will also encounter the shadow and the complexes, but more often outwardly rather than inwardly. They may notice that they are frequently annoyed by something or someone; dealing with that person or event outwardly may have a healing effect on the inner complex. In chapter 8 of my book, I suggest that some of the ancient sages may have had healing approaches that are well suited to both introverted and extraverted temperaments.

Also, the living symbol that we'll look at in session 8—the symbol that integrates the opposites and resolves their tension—is usually found on the side opposite one's conscious preferences. The unconscious for an introverted disposition is often the outer object, while the unconscious for an extraverted disposition is often the inner object. Since the symbol usually arises from the “unconscious”, an introverted person will often find the enlivening symbol in the world at large; an extraverted person will often discover the symbol within.

- jgj

Q4: How are facts considered by introverted thinking?

Question:

If introverted thinking is oriented to the inner object, how could external facts be considered as part of its function?


Answer:

We noted in the call that none of the types act in isolation. There is a dynamic interrelationship among them. While introverted thinking is not equipped, in Jung's theoretical model, to perceive facts, other ego types have the capacity to make facts available for consideration.

We talked about extraverted thinking as the likely type that might bring abstract facts to introverted thinking. We talked about extraverted sensation possibly being limited to purely perceptual stimuli, without any abstraction of meaning.

I am inclined to see extraverted sensation having a broader role, perceiving not just sensual stimuli, but also their abstracted meaning. But that is more or less my personal preference. For me, both introversion and extraversion seem to have built-in perceptual capacities; if not, how could extraverted feeling, for example, ever perceive the social norms it is valuing? And if extraversion, with its sensation-like perception, can perceive norms, then I am inclined to think that extraverted sensation can as well.

We actually have this subject in our "parking lot" of issues for discussion by the faculty. Jung does not provide definitive guidance.

I suggest that we hold Jung's four-function model loosely; it is, after all, a theory about the mysterious workings of consciousness. We might consider the types as spheres of influence rather than as well-defined cogs in the machinery of consciousness. Introverted thinking somehow seems to engage facts, abstracted or not, in its pursuit of the luminous idea. How that transfer of objective facts occurs, and from which of the types it is coming, I do not know. The important thing to highlight, from my perspective, is that introverted thinking is more fully oriented to the inner object and only uses facts from the outer object to support its pursuit of inwardly developing ideas.

- jgj

Q5: How do persona/ego and shadow/soul relate?

Question:

Is the "preferred" (conscious or not) persona generally a sort of twisted/fixed/crampy form of the ego, and the ego mainly built from the clashes of the first orientation or type with the world, leaving the soul shielded, the persona keeping up appearances, but the shadow working from the inside, fed by the soul, gate-crashing the persona?


Answer:

I do love your term "gate crashing" the persona. As we'll see in session 7, sometimes the shadow does gate crash, if the ego/persona identity has become extremely one-sided, thus producing very disruptive and troublesome neuroses.

But if the ego/persona is not overly one-sided, then the shadow provides a less disruptive, and more complementary role. The shadow can help the ego from becoming overly one-sided.

The persona does seem to be an outgrowth of one's ego disposition. These are most clearly seen for the extraverted dispositions. The persona for someone who favors extraverted feeling for example, will tend to be very expressive. The persona for someone favoring extraverted sensation would tend to be lively and fun-loving.

The persona for introverted types is less distinguishable, with the energy flowing inward; it looks as though there is hardly a persona at all sometimes, except perhaps the persona of the "quiet one." As Isabel Briggs Myers suggested in her book, Gifts Differing, the introverted types will often rely on an auxiliary extraverted type to navigate the world. So the persona that becomes apparent could be more consistent with a reliable extraverted type.

- jgj

Q6: What is soul?

Question:

What is "soul" in Jung's model and what is its role?


Answer:

The term "soul" in Jung's model is not a religious term. He is using it denote a psychological experience. Sometimes he refers to soul as a "function" of relationship with the unconscious. The soul is to the unconscious world what the persona is to the conscious world—each is a "function" of relationship.

Interchangeable with the term "soul" are the terms anima and animus. An anima is a feminine soul and an animus is a masculine soul. They are complementary to the persona. If a person has a feminine persona, then the soul takes on a masculine character (animus). If a person has a masculine persona, the soul takes on a feminine character.

Jung also refers to anima and animus as "archetypes." He also suggests that soul takes on a "personality" in the psyche, in the same way that we could think of a persona taking on certain personality. Jung uses the term personality loosely, without defining it. He refers to the shadow as the "objective personality" and the ego as the "subjective personality." Each of these references suggests that the psyche is full of elements that have lively attributes of personality.

- jgj

Q7: What role do dreams play?

Question:

Is this statement true?: Jung does a lot with dreams; he states that the door to the inner world and the process of individuation is aligned with dreams.


Answer:

Yes dream work has a very central place in Jung's work. Virtually every analyst in the world is trained to work with dreams. Dreams are a primary focus of Analytical Psychology.

- jgj


Question:

What place do dreams take in the Gifts Compass?


Answer:

I attended a webinar recently given by John Beebe, a Jungian analyst who has developed his own system for the types from Jung's model. His webinar was on engaging the types in dream interpretation. After you get familiar with the eight types, you can begin to interpret dreams, as Beebe did in that seminar, from the perspective of the types. Personalities in the dreams might take on recognizable typological characteristics. You could begin to read into the dream some significance of more repressed types—the shadow type for example—playing a significant role in dreams.

- jgj

Q8: How do conscious and unconscious dispositions align?

Question:

The lining up of soul/shadow/ego/persona in your circle figure, does NOT by def mean that they can be projected in this way on your compass, is it? —being all on the same diagonal? EG: Ones soul can be in the realm of inner feeling, the orientation in introverted thinking, the shadow in extraverted feeling, the persona in extraverted thinking? Or not?


Answer:

One of the benefits of knowing a person's conscious disposition is that it suggests also how the unconscious is aligned. If the persona and ego are oriented to extraverted thinking, for example, then the shadow and soul will theoretically be oriented to introverted feeling. These oppositions are depicted on the Gifts Compass. Each of the types is aligned on the same axis as its opposite. Look to the northwest from extraverted thinking (constructive gifts in the southeast) and you will find introverted feeling (idealistic gifts).

So the Gifts Compass depicts both the lead types and the shadow types, illustrating both conscious and unconscious dispositions. It depicts the actual lead and shadow types, not the theoretical ones. Jung's theoretical construct does not always hold true, though it frequently does.

For practical applications of the GCI, it is important to know where the shadow type is, for that is where a person will often get tripped up. It is the person's "weak spot." As we will see in Sessions 7 & 8, the shadow type also holds the treasures of individuation.

The lead normally has one or more auxiliary types, as does the shadow type. These are also illustrated on the Gifts Compass. The theoretical auxiliaries for the shadow type are discussed in Chapter 7 of my book.

As a reminder from Chapter 2: Orientation is a governing principle for an attitude. The thinking attitude, for example, is governed by an orientation to logic; the sensation attitude is governed by an orientation to the outer object.

- jgj

Q9: Questions from the film The Hours...

Question:

It was said that Laura Brown as IT was individuating by going away to become a librarian. Why was she not seen as walking away from individuation—not being woken up by Feeling (in her family, in herself)—but overwhelmed, stuck and going away to stick to her first orientation. It did not feel as choice, her leaving; it did however also not feel as individuation. How do you see that?


Answer:

I don't see her as necessarily individuating by becoming a librarian, though life as a librarian was better suited for her type orientation, and therefore more comfortable. She was ill-suited to be a mother in the 50's culture of conformity, where women were expected to behave, dress, conform in prescribed ways; plus she didn't love her husband. Her life was inauthentic. She might have found ways to become more authentic where she was, but it seems it was all too much for her, she was such a misfit; she was overwhelmed by it all.  I feel she had no viable alternative but to go away; she could not handle being so alone in a culture that was fully contrary to everything she needed to become.

- jgj


Question:

Does too much feeling—demanding love—overwhelm the IT in the same way as too much thought production—demanding focused attention—overwhelms (or angers? or irritates?) the EF?"


Answer:

It seems that any time the shadow type is being exercised unduly, it can be a great strain. Too much of it can result in feeling irritated or emotionally disrupted, yes.

- jgj

Q10: Are the types archetypal expressions?

Question:

In your book page 13 you say: "Predispositions for psychological types in the ego complex would be expressions of archetypal patterns. A penchant for any of the typical conscious orientations is not a conscious choice but an expression of an unconscious predisposition…the archetypes perform an unseen directive role offstage, but the play could not go on without them". Can we say that our psychological type that is a function of consciousness is a manifestation of an archetypal "tendency"?


Answer:

The functions are also attitudes; they too have a "readiness to act,"  just as introversion and extraversion do. Introversion and extraversion do not act alone, they act in conjunction with functional attitudes. If we can say that introversion is innate, it is not a long leap to affirm that introverted thinking, or introverted feeling would also be innate.

As I understand the archetypes in Jung's model, they constitute a sort of readiness to experience the world. Much like Kant's categories or Plato's forms, they pre-frame consciousness for the human experience. We have the frameworks, or "empty forms," when we come to life, but it takes experience in the world to activate them. As they are activated, our complexes are constellated. The archetypal forms, in conjunction with experience in the world, constellate and grow the complexes.

I assume that those types that come most easily and naturally to us—our preferred types—are those for which we have an unconscious predisposition (in Jung's model, an archetypal predisposition). Yet, other types would also be developed in the ego complex as they are engaged in the experience of adapting to life in the world. With individuation, all of the types become increasingly engaged in consciousness.

I hope that helps to answer your question. That is my view, but others may see it differently. It could be helpful to have other views expressed in response to the question, either from the faculty or others in the training group who know Jung well.

- jgj


Answer:

Maybe at this point it would be good to use Occam's razor and not multiply theories. Once the attitudes, functions and combinations have been thoroughly grasped, it might be possible to link type theory to archetype theory. One commonality is that in both type theory and archetype theory Jung claims universality. If a mental image, construct or attitude is found universally, one can claim archetypicality. So, for instance, if the distinction between extroversion and introversion can be found in all times and places and cultures, it can be looked upon as archetypal. If it is archetypal, it precedes acculturation and socialization. It is a good question to contemplate—does our innate typological setup as it unfolds and becomes a habitual attitude form our view of the world, or does our world form our attitude?

To understand Jung, I suggest studying the chapter titled 'Definitions' thoroughly. For instance, spend some time on the definition of “attitude.” Jung is very nuanced and complex and most interpreters have oversimplified his views.

- ms

Q11: How can young people best integrate both sides of the great divide?

Question:

Is it wise for a young introvert to cross the great divide at their own side (west or east)—you have to cross anyway? At least then you can rely on what you know best.


Answer:

In general, we could probably say that the crossing is easier on the side (s)he is disposed to. For example, if the west side (feeling) is a lead orientation, especially if the SW is already fairly, it could be a viable bridge to the less conscious shadow types. Remember though that extraverted feeling is worlds apart from introverted feeling. The two are quite different. Also, sometimes, you will see an extraverted type already readily accessible. I don't know what that type might be without seeing the whole profile, but that type too can be a bridge to the other side.

In the first half of life, the primary work is building ego strength in the types already given, provided that she does not become overly one-sided in that direction. The development of other types is largely the work of the second half of life.

- jgj