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Feeling, Sensation, Intuition Thinking


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Analytical Psychology: Notes of the Seminar given in 1925 by C.G. Jung (Collected Works of C.g. Jung)

So now you see what I think of feeling.

I have been asked whether, if a number of individuals in the class draw up a statement of feeling as it appears to them, I would be willing to discuss it.

Of course I will do this very gladly, it will be an advantageous way of going into the subject; but I must warn you not to take feeling too subjectively in that case.

Each function type has a special way of viewing feeling, and is likely to find things about it which are untrue for the other types.

Thus one of the points with respect to the functions that has been most combated is my contention that feeling is rational.

My books have been read largely by intellectuals, who have, of course, not been able to see feeling from this aspect, because feeling in themselves is thoroughly irrational by reason of its contamination by elements from the unconscious.

Similarly, people with a fairly developed amount of feeling, but in whom there is also intuition with it, hold feeling to be an irrational function.

It is the fate of people to seek to interpret life chiefly through the function strongest in them.

Sometimes it is quite impossible to convince a person that he cannot grasp the trans-subjective world with one function alone, no matter how strong that function may be.

With respect to the thinking type, this was once borne in upon. me very impressively by a man who came to consult me about a compulsion neurosis.

He said to me, “I don’t think you can cure me, but I would like to know why it is that I can’t be cured, because as you will see, there is really nothing that I do not know about myself.”

And that proved to be true, he had covered his case with truly remarkable intelligence and from the Freudian point of view he was completely analyzed, for there was no corner of his past, even back to the remotest infancy, that remained unexplored.

For a moment I could not make out myself why it was that he could not get well.

Then I began to question him about his financial situation, as he was just coming from St. Moritz and had spent the winter at Nice.

“Were you able to make so much money that you could live that way without working?”

I asked him. He became annoyed with me for pressing this point, but finally had to tell the truth, namely that he was unable to work, had never made any money for himself, but was being supported by a schoolteacher, ten years older than himself.

He said none of this had anything to do with his neurosis, that he loved the woman, and she him, and they both had thought the situation out together and that it was all right.

Nor was I ever able to make him see that he was behaving like a pig to this woman, who was living on next to nothing while he was carousing over Europe.

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He left my office with the firm conviction that, having “thought” the whole thing out, as he was pleased to put it, that finished it.

But the sensation type can crucify reality with equal facility.

Suppose there is a woman who has fallen in love with her sister’s husband.

He is her brother-in-law, and one does not fall in love with one’s brother-in-law, therefore the fact is never admitted into consciousness.

It is only the facts as they are controlled by the situation as it is that come into the argument; the possibilities behind must be carefully excluded.

So these two live for twenty years and only arrive at the true state of affairs through analysis.

I have spoken more than once of the way an intuitive type can neglect reality, and you can, I am sure, supply an equal number of examples of the ways a feeling type can do the same thing.

If a thing is disagreeable to the feelings, a feeling type will slide over the reality of it with the greatest facility.

Inasmuch as women are more connected with Eros than are men, they tend to have particular notions about feeling, just as men, even if not intellectual, tend to have particular notions about thinking.

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So it is hard for men and women to understand one another.

The woman tends to identify feeling with reality, the man clings obstinately to the logical statement.

Up to this time we have spoken of the subject as though it were unchanging in time, but as we know, the body is a four-dimensional entity, the fourth dimension being time.

If the fourth dimension were spatial, our bodies would be wormlike—that is, drawn out in space between two points.

In Diagram 7, I have tried to give some idea of an individual moving through space, that is, three-dimensional space.

The individual cannot be understood merely as a static entity.

If we want to have a complete notion for the individual, we must add the factor of time.

Time means a past and a future, and so the individual is only complete when we add his actual structure as the result of past events, and at the same time the actual structure taken as the starting point of new tendencies.

According to this idea, we can make out two types, those individuals who hang back in their time under the spell of the past, and others too much ahead of themselves.

The latter are only to be understood by their tendencies.

So far, these pictures have disregarded the unconscious.

In Diagram 8, I have brought this factor into consideration.

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This diagram presupposes a fully developed thinking type in whom sensation and intuition are half conscious and half unconscious, and in whom feeling is in the unconscious.

This does not mean that such a type is devoid of feeling; it only means that, compared to his thinking, his feeling is not under his control but eruptive in character, so that normally it is not in the picture at all, and then all of a sudden it quite possesses him.

In Diagram 9, I have shown the individual in relation to the world of external objects on the one hand and to the collective unconscious images on the other.

Connecting him with the first world, that is, the world of external objects, is the persona, developed by the forces from within and the forces from without in interaction with one another.

We may think of the persona as the bark of a conscious personality.

As we have indicated elsewhere, it is not wholly our choice what the persona shall be, for we can never control entirely the forces that are to play on our conscious personalities.

The center of this conscious personality is the ego.

If we take the layer “back” of this ego, we come to the personal subconscious.

This contains our incompatible wishes or fantasies, our childhood influences, repressed sexuality, in a word all those things we refuse to hold in consciousness for one reason or another, or which we lose out of it.

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In the center is the virtual nucleus or central government, representing the totality of the conscious and unconscious self.

Then we come to the collective unconscious as it is present in us—that is, the part of the racial experience which we carry within us.

It is the home of Cabiri or dwarfs whom we may not see else they cease to serve us.

In this region another virtual center often turns up in dreams.

It is a minor figure of oneself usually projected on a friend, for the unconscious pays these compliments very easily.

I have called it the shadow self.

The primitive has developed an intricate set of relationships to his shadow which symbolize very well my idea of the shadow self.

He must never tread on another’s shadow, so too we must never mention the weaknesses of another, those things in him of which he is ashamed and has therefore put out of sight.

A primitive says, “Don’t go out at midday, it is dangerous not to see your shadow.”

We say, “Be careful when you don’t know your weaknesses.”

We can speak of the conscious ego as the subjective personality, and of the shadow self as the objective personality.

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This latter, made up of what is part of the collective unconscious in us, carries the things that appear in us as effects.

For we do have effects on people which we can neither predict nor adequately explain.

Instinct warns us to keep away from this racial side of ourselves.

If we became aware of the ancestral lives in us, we might disintegrate.

An ancestor might take possession of us and ride us to death.

The primitive says, “Don’t let a ghost get into you.”

By this he conveys the double idea, “Don’t let a visitor get into your unconscious, and don’t lose an ancestral soul.”

The feeling of awe of the primitive with respect to what we call the collective unconscious is very great.

It is to him the ghost world.

The following story told by an explorer among the Eskimo is an example of this awe, shared even by the medicine man.

The explorer came to the hut of a Polar Eskimo where incantations were going on over a sick man for the purpose of driving away the ghosts or evil spirits that were making him sick.

There was a tremendous noise going on, with the sorcerer jumping and running about like mad.

As soon as he saw the explorer he became very quiet and said: “This is all a nonsense.”

He had taken him for another medicine man because no one but a medicine man is supposed to approach a hut where such an incantation is going on.

It is the custom, too, for the medicine men who are struggling with the ghosts to smile and say to one another that the whole thing is nonsense, not because they think it is, but because they use it as
a sort of apotropaic joke.

It is in the nature of a euphemism that should protect them against their own fear.

This instinctive fear of the collective unconscious is very strong indeed in us.

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There can be a continual flow of fantasies inundating us from it, the danger signal coming when the flow cannot be stopped.

If one has once seen this happen one feels deeply frightened.

We have in general not much imagination about these things, but the primitive knows all about it.

For the most part, we are so cut off from it as to float above it.

When it comes to the rather delicate task of locating the collective unconscious, you must not think of it as being compassed by the brain alone but as including the sympathetic nervous system as well.

Only that part of it that is your vertebrate inheritance—that is, that comes to you from your vertebrate ancestors—is to be thought of as within the limits of the central nervous system.

Otherwise it is outside your psychological sphere.

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The very primitive animal layers are supposed to be inherited through the sympathetic system, and the relatively later animal layers belonging to the vertebrate series are represented by the cerebrospinal system.

The most recent human layers form the basis of actual consciousness, and thus the collective unconscious is reaching into consciousness, and only thus far can you call the collective unconscious psychological.

We wish to reserve the term “psychological,” used thus, for those elements which, theoretically at least, can be brought into conscious control.

On this basis the main body of the collective unconscious cannot be strictly said to be psychological but psychical.

We cannot repeat this distinction too often, for when I have referred to the collective unconscious as “outside” our brains, it has been assumed that I meant hanging somewhere in mid-air.

After this explanation it will become clear to you that the collective unconscious is always working upon you through trans-subjective facts which are probably inside as well as outside yourselves.

As an example of how the collective unconscious can work upon you through the inside fact, I would give the following: Suppose a man is sitting somewhere out of doors and a bird flies down near him.

Another day he is in the same place and a similar bird comes.

This time the bird stirs him in an altogether strange way, there is something mysterious attaching to that second bird.

The naïve man certainly assumes that the extraordinary effect of the second bird belongs as much to the outside world as the ordinary effect produced by the first bird.

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If he is a primitive he will distinguish between the two effects by saying the first bird is just a bird, but the second is a “doctor” bird.

But we know that the extraordinary effect of the “doctor” bird is due to a projection upon it from the collective unconscious, from within the man.

Ordinarily, it is only by such a projection into the external world that we become conscious of the collective unconscious images.

Thus suppose we meet with an extraordinary effect from without.

An analysis of that effect shows that it amounts to a projection of an unconscious content, and so we arrive at the realization of such a content.

The case mentioned above is an ordinary one insofar as we assume an individual who is chiefly identical with the ego or conscious, but if it should happen that the individual should be more on the side of his shadow, then he would be capable of realizing without projection an immediate—that is, an autonomous—movement of the unconscious contents.

But if the individual is identical with his normal ego, then even such an autonomous manifestation of the unconscious—that is, one not released by the projection, nor by external effect, but originating within himself—appears to him as if in the external world.

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In other words, it requires a very close contact with the unconscious, and an understanding of it, for a man to realize that the origin of his mythological or spiritual experiences is within himself, and that whatever forms these experiences may appear to take, they do not in fact come from the external world.

Using the diagram I have just discussed, that is, Diagram 9, we could give an explanation of analysis.

The analyst makes his approach through the persona.

Certain formalities of greeting are gone through, and compliments exchanged.

In this way, one comes to the gateway of the conscious.

Then the conscious contents are carefully examined, and the one passes to the personal subconscious.

Here the doctor often marvels that many of the things found there are not conscious since they seem so obvious to an observer.

At the personal subconscious a Freudian analysis ends, as I indicated above.

When you have finished with the personal subconscious, you have finished with the causal influence of the past.

Then you must come to the reconstructive side, and the collective unconscious will speak in images and the consciousness of unconscious objects will begin.

If you can succeed in breaking down that dividing wall made by the personal subconscious, the shadow can be united with the ego and the individual becomes a mediator between two worlds.

He can now see himself from the “other side”as well as from “this side.”

Here consciousness of the shadow self is not though, one must have the unconscious images also at one’s disposal.

The animus or the anima begins to be active now, and the anima will bring in the figure of the old man.

All these figures will be projected into the conscious external world, and objects of the unconscious begin to correspond to objects in the external world, so that the latter, the real objects, take on a mythological character.

This means an enormous enrichment of life.

I have often been asked about the “geology” of a personality, and so I have tried to picture this after a fashion.

Diagram 10 shows individuals coming out of a certain common level, like the summits of mountains coming out of a sea.

The first connection between certain individuals is that of the family, then comes the clan which unites a number of families, then the nation which unites a still bigger group.

After that we could take a large group of connected nations such as would be included under the heading “European man.”

Going further down, we would come to what we could call the monkey group, or that of the primate ancestors, and after that would come the animal layer in general, and finally the central fire, with which as the diagram shows, we are still in connection. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Pages 134 – 143