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Becoming Whole:  
Jung's Types and Individuation


Oppositions 
 
 
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Resources for the application of Jung's psychological types.
. . . so the birth of personality in oneself has a therapeutic effect. It is as if a river that had run to waste in sluggish side-streams and marshes suddenly found its way back to its proper bed, or as if a stone lying on a germinating seed were lifted away so that the shoot could begin its natural growth. --C. G. Jung
  

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In the last email, we reviewed two key terms for understanding Jung's types: attitude and orientation  

    

In this email, we consider the oppositions created by attitude and orientation, for they create the tension of opposites necessary for personal transformation. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.      

Oppositions

Jung's types are not just helpful for understanding a person's conscious disposition. Equally important is understanding the unconscious oppositions established by type preferences.

The attitudes and orientations, discussed in the last email, are useful for understanding the nature of collaborations or oppositions among the types. Collaborations support the "sovereignty" of the ego, but oppositions support the vital processes of personal transformation.

The oppositions are the stuff of individuation--the development of the whole and unique person; they are catalysts for personal growth. 

A person may rely on thinking, for example, as the most trusted approach to life. If thinking serves as the dominant ego position, the thinking side of a person will usually be evidenced in the persona. People would see the person as quite rational. 

Yet, beneath the surface, not well exposed to the world, is an orientation to feeling. The feeling side is present as a healthy counterbalance to the favored thinking.

The individual may develop thinking and rely on it, especially in the first half of life, but later the creative tension engendered by the feeling side can deliver vital transformation.

Through the integration of those opposites, unique personality is born. "It is as if a river that had run to waste in sluggish side-streams and marshes suddenly found its way back to its proper bed . . ."

The integration of opposites in one person is a necessary condition for individuation. A person will not become whole without both, together.