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   Becoming Whole:
   Jung's Types and Individuation   


        Recovering Forgotten Gifts

          November/December 2014




   
"When a function that should normally be conscious lapses into the unconscious, its specific energy passes into the unconscious too." 
(CW6, par. 763)

  

 

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Pedro Mendes
is a Psychologist and Coach based in Switzerland
Education:
MSc in Clinical Psychology (ULHT, Portugal), MA in Jungian and Post-Jungian Studies (University of Essex, UK), Advanced Diploma in Personal and Executive Coaching (Kingstown College, Ireland))
Contact Pedro at: pedro.g.mendes@towardstotality.com  Learn more at:  
 
 
 


 
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In the last three letters, we explored aspects of "falsification of type." We learned that a "false type" is created by adapting to one's social environment. It occurs when the authentic type disposition was felt as inadequate or considered unacceptable by others.

We could say that an authentic lead type is repressed in favor of a better fitting or more acceptable type. One type is promoted and engaged as part of the life experience--and is therefore more fully differentiated and developed--while another necessarily remains relatively undifferentiated and suppressed.

This is quite similar to the way that the "inferior" types get left behind. The inferior type is the one most unconscious, undifferentiated, and undeveloped. It is usually the one for which the individual is least disposed, and therefore readily gets left behind as the lead type or types develop.

 "[The inferior type] . . . lags behind in the process of differentiation . . . the demands of society compel a man to apply himself first and foremost to the differentiation of the [one] with which he is best equipped by nature, or which will secure him the greatest social success." (CW6, par. 763)

So the most differentiated type either develops because it is a natural lead type--the authentic disposition--or it develops because it will secure the greatest social success-often a falsification of type. Either way, the least useful type sinks into the unconscious for lack of conscious energy or investment. The psychic energy associated with the inferior type becomes submerged in the unconscious.

"When a function that should normally be conscious lapses into the unconscious, its specific energy passes into the unconscious too." (ibid.)

The repressed types are kept "alive" in the unconscious. They oppose the conscious energy, holding the lead types back from becoming too one-sided. Their psychic power is felt as an unconscious impulse or complex. As long as they are relatively unconscious, their full living energy is held in potential, ready to be called up to consciousness.

The less developed types are drawn forth into consciousness through individuation--the integration of all the types. It is generally much easier to bring forth authentic lead types that have been suppressed through type falsification. They arrive with much less struggle or strain for they are like dormant typological seeds, eager to flourish and grow. Integrating inferior types is usually much more difficult, for they appear as half-formed strangers to the conscious lead types.

"Although the inferior function may be conscious as a phenomenon, its true significance nevertheless remains unrecognized. It behaves like many repressed or insufficiently appreciated contents, which are partly conscious and partly unconscious, just as, very often, one knows a certain person from his outward appearance but does nor know him as he really is." (ibid.)

The Gifts Compass can help to identify the true lead types, falsified types, and the inferior types. Yet, the gifts that were ignored or repressed need to be more than just consciously identified. That is a good first step, however they also need to be invited to the conscious arena where they can play a larger role.

The submerged types carry psychic energy from the unconscious that engenders a more vital and transformed life. By navigating the process of individuation--bringing types up from the unconscious--we discover the renewed energy that has been buried with them, and we become fuller, more vital, and more "whole" individuals.

 
Pedro  
    
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Engaging Jung's types for individuation

(Note: Jung frequently spoke of the "inferior function"--the least developed of four functions. In this letter, the term "type" replaces the term "function." Jung's term "function" refers to a psychic attitude. The more specific term "type" refers to any of the eight attitudes created by the merger of a directional attitude with a functional attitude.)


 
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