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Introverted Thinking in the Shadow II

May 2016
"The unconscious thinking reaches the surface in the form of obsessive ideas which are invariably of a negative and depreciatory character. C.G. Jung  
 
 
Greetings!
In the last letter, we looked at normal introverted thinking and introverted thinking in the shadow. In this letter, we turn to introverted thinking as it might be projected, either as a positive (anima/animus) projection, or negative (shadow) projection, as well as the role of introverted thinking in the shadow when the conscious ego position becomes excessively one-sided.
 
Introverted Thinking (IT) as Projection
When introverted thinking is projected, it will strongly colour the way the other person is perceived, in a positive or in a negative way.

People with a well-developed introverted thinking function will easily receive such a projection. These could be, for example intellectuals, philosophers or theoretical scientists.

Positive Projection 
In love relationships, there is most often a positive animus or anima projection at first. In the case of an introverted thinking projection, the lover is seen as the all-knowing partner, the brilliant physicist or the intellectual with whom one can have long conversations about the nature of reality.  

But in other kinds of relationships, this kind of projection might also operate, for example, in the case of a student-teacher relationship or in friendships. A student might admire the depth and breadth of the knowledge of his teacher. This admiration could then play a positive role, as a stimulus to learn and become as good as the teacher.

Negative Projection
Because the depth of this kind of thinking cannot be easily grasped, the person receiving the shadow projection may also be seen in a negative way.

He might be irritating because he is always immersed in his books, reading about complicated theories. Or he could be seen as unrelated emotionally, arrogant and distant, or too far removed from the practical aspects of life

Introverted Thinking as Opposition to Extreme One-sidedness 
Extraverted feeling is often the conscious type that introverted thinking opposes from the shadow. 
"The extraverted feeling type dislikes thinking, and what he dislikes most is introverted thinking--thinking about philosophical principles or abstractions or basic questions of life. Such deeper questions are carefully avoided . . . The unfortunate thing is that he does think of such things, but is not aware of it, and because his thinking is neglected, it tends to become negative and coarse" (von Franz, 1986).
Because such people do not give themselves the opportunity to think things through, they may carry a "negative cynical philosophy of life" (ibid). To illustrate this, von Franz gives the example of a client who caught herself thinking: "If my son-in-law died, my daughter would come back home". These thoughts were connected to a deeper philosophical question that she had never addressed, namely: Does life still have meaning after the children have left home?
A person suppressing introverted thinking might display a theatrical array of superficial emotions, and ignore the deeper levels of reality.

When a person becomes overly identified with an identity associated with extraverted feeling, the undeveloped introverted thinking ceases to offer a healthy compensation; it becomes destructive.

Introverted thinking, the type that could be used to logically order images as they emerge from the unconscious, gets distorted and applies a twisted logic, "attacking" the person's capacity to relate in a feeling way to the outer world.   
"The "nothing but" kind of thinking comes into it's own here, since it effectively depotentiates all feelings that are bound to the objects. The unconscious thinking reaches the surface in the form of obsessive ideas which are invariably of a negative and depreciatory character " (C.G. Jung CW 6 par 600).

On a collective level, an example of the voracious aspect of introverted thinking in the shadow might be found among religious fundamentalists; staunchly asserting the unyielding tenets of their beliefs, they may embark on "witch-hunts" to persecute the free thinkers and creative minds who typically rebel against collective dogma. Giordano Bruno, the brilliant Renaissance philosopher and poet burned at the stake by religious conservatives, could serve as just one of many examples of voracious shadow projections.
        
Vanessa Prins-Goodman

 
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Vanessa Prins-Goodman  
is a Jungian analyst and coach based in the Netherlands. 
Education: IAAP, Diplomate Analyst;
M.A. Clinical and Industrial Psychology, Brussels University (ULB) 
Contact Vanessa at: info@prins-goodman.nl
 Learn more at: www.prins-goodman.nl    
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