Psychological Types (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 6) (Bollingen Series XX)

 

Feeling: Feeling in the extraverted attitude i ) by objective data, i.e. the object is the indispensable determinant of the kind of feeling. It agrees with objective values. If one has always known feeling as a subjective fact, the nature of extraverted feeling will not immediately be understood, since it has freed itself as fully as possible from the subjective factor, and has, instead, become wholly subordinated to the influence of the object. Even where it seems to show a certain independence of the quality of the concrete object, it is none the less under the spell of. traditional or generally valid standards of some sort. I may feel constrained, for instance, to use the predicate ‘beautiful’ or ‘good’, not because I find the object ‘beautiful’ or ‘good’ from my own subjective feeling, but because it is fitting and politic so to do; and fitting it certainly is, inasmuch as a contrary opinion would disturb the general feeling situation. A feeling-judgment such as this is in no way a simulation or a lie — it is merely an act of accommodation. A picture, for instance, may be termed beautiful, because a picture that is hung in a drawing-room and bearing a well-known signature is generally assumed to be beautiful, or because the predicate ‘ugly’ might offend the family of the fortunate possessor, or because there is a benevolent intention on the part of the visitor to create a pleasant feeling-atmosphere, to which end everything must be felt as agreeable. Such feelings are governed by the standard of the objective determinants. As such they are genuine, and represent the total visible feeling-function. In precisely the same way as extraverted thinking strives to rid itself of subjective influences, extraverted feeling has also to undergo a certain process of differentiation, before it is finally denuded of every subjective [p. 447] trimming. The valuations resulting from the act of feeling either correspond directly with objective values or at least chime in with certain traditional and generally known standards of value. This kind of feeling is very largely responsible for the fact that so many people flock to the theatre, to concerts, or to Church, and what is more, with correctly adjusted positive feelings. Fashions, too, owe their existence to it, and, what is far more valuable, the whole positive and wide-spread support of social, philanthropic, and such like cultural enterprises. In such matters, extraverted feeling proves itself a creative factor. Without this feeling, for instance, a beautiful and harmonious sociability would be unthinkable. So far extraverted feeling is just as beneficent and rationally effective as extraverted thinking. But this salutary effect is lost as soon as the object gains an exaggerated influence. For, when this happens, extraverted feeling draws the personality too much into the object, i.e. the object assimilates the person, whereupon the personal character of the feeling, which constitutes its principal charm, is lost. Feeling then becomes cold, material, untrustworthy. It betrays a secret aim, or at least arouses the suspicion of it in an impartial observer. No longer does it make that welcome and refreshing impression the invariable accompaniment of genuine feeling; instead, one scents a pose or affectation, although the egocentric motive may be entirely unconscious. Such overstressed, extraverted feeling certainly fulfils æsthetic expectations, but no longer does it speak to the heart; it merely appeals to the senses, or — worse still — to the reason. Doubtless it can provide æsthetic padding for a situation, but there it stops, and beyond that its effect is nil. It has become sterile. Should this process go further, a strangely contradictory dissociation of feeling develops; every object is seized upon with feeling- [p. 448] valuations, and numerous relationships are made which are inherently and mutually incompatible. Since such aberrations would be quite impossible if a sufficiently emphasized subject were present, the last vestige of a real personal standpoint also becomes suppressed. The subject becomes so swallowed up in individual feeling processes that to the observer it seems as though there were no longer a subject of feeling but merely a feeling process. In such a condition feeling has entirely forfeited its original human warmth, it gives an impression of pose, inconstancy, unreliability, and in the worst cases appears definitely hysterical. ~Carl Jung, Psychological Types, Chapter 10.