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Extraverted Intuition in the Shadow II

March 2016
". . . the archaic intuitions come to the surface and exert their pernicious influence, forcing themselves on the individual and producing compulsive ideas of the most perverse kind" --C.G. Jung

  
In the shadow, types are less differentiated and assume a symptomatic, autonomous relationship to consciousness, being often projected onto other people, objects or circumstances.

Positive Projection
 
 
When extraverted intuition, in the shadow, is positively projected, the object of the projection--the person with this type well developed--can be idealized. Highly creative people with the capacity to innovate and to be catalysts for change may be admired and sometimes naively followed. The typically pragmatic and well-grounded person, who has extraverted intuition in his shadow, may lose his objectivity, finding it difficult to distinguish reality from fantasy, or a potentially innovative idea from one that is inconsequential or impossible to materialize. With a down-to-earth attitude, he might become unreasonably dependent on oracles or clairvoyance, which somehow seem to materialize the future. The possessors of this sort of prophetic information might be seen as special gurus or highly illuminated people.

Negative Projection
When suppressed extraverted intuition is negatively projected, creative people who question the status quo might be critiqued as irresponsible or even potentially dangerous. Their subjective projection may have nothing to do with the real motives of another, or the circumstances surrounding the projection. The more extraverted sensation is repressed, the more artfully and persistently it will be projected. Others might react with surprise at the implications of the negative characterization, and that might be a good indicator that the assessment is an irrational and symptomatic projection.  

 
The world can become negatively coloured by the projections: "Intuitions are very often of a sinister character, and if not worked upon, therefore, the prophetic contents that break through will be pessimistic and negative" (Lectures on Jung's Typology, von Franz, p. 11). With this negative spin, extraverted intuition projects suspicion about future events; the unknown could be seen as dangerous and uncertain, blocking the opportunities inherent in prospective change.

Opposition to Extreme One-sidedness
    
When the lead types of consciousness are relied on to an extreme, and the individual begins to identify excessively with those type orientations, then extraverted intuition in the shadow will tend to form an equally powerful counter-position, which is very often negative and debilitating. It will antagonistically undermine everything that the conscious types hold most dear: ". . . the archaic intuitions come to the surface and exert their pernicious influence, forcing themselves on the individual and producing compulsive ideas of the most perverse kind" (CW6, par. 654).
    
Aware of the benefits of extraverted intuition for the individual and society, as well of the dynamics which rule our psychic lives, those among us who hold this type in the shadow are invited to consciously engage with its catalytic energy. The process of integration of these less developed attitudes will contribute to one's personal development in becoming increasingly whole. They can also provide an almost magical connection to life. Marie-Louise von Franz speaks about this in her lectures on the inferior function: "In the realm of the inferior function there is a great concentration of life . . . everything in the realm of the inferior function becomes exciting, dramatic, full of positive and negative possibilities. There is a tremendous tension and the world is, as it were, rediscovered through the inferior function" (ibid, p.29).
 
The integration of shadow types, through individuation, can also impact the collective quite positively. Individuation has, therefore, an ethical aspect, for our lives are not just individual, but also connected to the lives of others.    
        
Pedro Mendes

 
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PEDRO MENDES  
is a Psychologist and Coach based in Switzerland, and a member of the Gifts Compass training faculty.
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))
 
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