[Carl Jung: If the superior function is intuition, for example, then the intuitions are directly in the way..]
Questions and Discussion
Dr. Mann’s question: “Is it not by intuition that one arrives most easily at the transcendent function, and if a person is lacking in that function—that is, in intuition—are not the difficulties greatly increased?
Must one not reach the transcendent function alone, that is, unaided?”
Dr. Jung: It depends very much on the person’s type as to what part intuition plays in finding the transcendent function.
If the superior function is intuition, for example, then the intuitions are directly in the way, since the transcendent function is made, or takes place, between the superior and the inferior functions.
The inferior function can only come up at the expense of the superior, so that in the intuitive type the intuitions have to be overcome, so to speak, in order for the transcendent function to be found.
On the other hand, if the person is a sensation type, then the intuitions are the inferior function, and the transcendent function may be said to be arrived at through intuition.
It is a fact that in analysis it often seems as though intuition were the most important of the functions, but that is only so because analysis is a laboratory experiment and not reality.
At our last meeting I told you all that I could about the making of the Psychology of the Unconscious and its effect on me.
It was published in 1912, as Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido.
The problem it brought to focus in my mind was that of the hero myth in relation to our own times.
With the fundamental thesis of the book, namely the splitting of the libido into a positive and a negative current, Freud was, as I have said, in utter disagreement.
The publishing of the book marks the end of our friendship.
Today I would like to speak about the subjective aspect of the Psychology of the Unconscious.
When one writes such a book, one has the idea that one is writing about certain objective material, and in my case I thought I was merely handling the Miller fantasies with a certain point in view together with the attendant mythological material.
It took me a long time to see that a painter could paint a picture and think the matter ended there and had nothing whatever to do with himself.
And in the same way it took me several years to see that it, the Psychology of the Unconscious, can be taken as myself and that an analysis of it leads inevitably into an analysis of my own unconscious processes.
Difficult as it is to do this in a lecture, it is this aspect I would like to discuss, tracing out especially the ways in which the book seemed to forecast the future.
As you remember, the book begins with a statement about two kinds of thinking that can be observed: intellectual or directed thinking, and fantastic or passive automatic thinking.
In the process of directed thinking, thoughts are handled as tools, they are made to serve the purposes of the thinker; while in passive thinking thoughts are like individuals going about on their own as it were.
Fantastical thinking knows no hierarchy; the thoughts may even be antagonistic to the ego.
I took Miss Miller’s fantasies as such an autonomous form of thinking, but I did not realize that she stood for that form of thinking in myself.
She took over my fantasy and became stage director to it, if one interprets the book subjectively.
In other words, she became an anima figure, a carrier of an inferior function of which I was very little conscious.
I was in my consciousness an active thinker accustomed to subjecting my thoughts to the most rigorous sort of direction, and therefore fantasizing was a mental process that was directly repellent to me.
As a form of thinking I held it to be altogether impure, a sort of incestuous intercourse, thoroughly immoral from an intellectual viewpoint.
Permitting fantasy in myself had the same effect on me as would be produced on a man if he came into his workshop and found all the tools flying about doing things independently of his will.
It shocked me, in other words, to think of the possibility of a fantasy life in my own mind; it was against all the intellectual ideals I had developed for myself, and so great was my resistance to it, that I could only admit the fact in myself through the process of projecting my material into Miss Miller’s.
Or, to put it even more strongly, passive thinking seemed to me such a weak and perverted thing that I could only handle it through a diseased woman.
As a matter of fact, Miss Miller did afterwards become entirely deranged.
During the war I had a letter from the man who was Miss Miller’s doctor in America, telling me that my analysis of her fantasy material had been a perfectly correct one, that in her insanity the cosmogonic myths
touched upon had come fully to light.
Also Flournoy, who had her under observation at the time I first read her material, told me that my analysis had been correct.
There was such a tremendous activity of the collective unconscious that it is not surprising she was finally overcome.
I had to realize then that in Miss Miller I was analyzing my own fantasy function, which because it was so repressed, like hers, was semi-morbid.
When a function is repressed that way, it becomes contaminated by material from the collective unconscious.
So Miss Miller would, in a way, be a description of my impure thinking; and thus in this book the question of the inferior function and the anima comes up.
In the second part of the book there comes the “Hymn of Creation.”
This is the positive expression of the unfolding of energy: or generating power—it is the way up.
The “Song of the Moth”4 is the way down; it is light created, and then creating going to its end, a kind of enantiodromia.
In the first case it is the period of growth, of youth, of light and summer.
In the moth the libido is shown to burn its wings in the light it has created before; it is going to kill itself in the same urge that brought it to birth.
With this duality in the cosmic principle, the book ends.
It leads up to the pairs of opposites, that is, to the beginning of the Types.
The next portion of the book deals with creative energy in a different aspect.
Energy can show itself in manifold forms and in a process of transition from6 one form to another.
The basic transformation is that which ensues when the energy passes from strictly biological needs into cultural achievements.
From this point on it is a matter of evolution.
How is it possible then to get across from the sexual, for example, to the spiritual, not only from the scientific standpoint, but as a phenomenon in the individual?
Sexuality and spirituality are pairs of opposites that need each other.
How is the process that leads from the sexual stage to the spiritual stage brought about?
The first image that comes up is the hero.
It is a most ideal image whose qualities change from age to age, but it has always embodied the things people value the most.
The hero embodies the transition we are seeking to trace, for it is as though in the sexual stage man feels too much under the power of nature, a power which he is in no way able to manage.
The hero is a very perfect man, he stands out as a human protest against nature, who is seeking to rob man of that possibility of perfection.
The unconscious makes the hero symbol, and therefore the hero means a change of attitude.
But this hero symbol comes also from the unconscious, which is also nature, that same nature which is not the least interested in the ideal that man is struggling to formulate.
Man comes then into conflict with the unconscious, and this struggle is that of winning free from his unconscious, his mother.
His unconscious, as I said, forms images of perfect people, but when he tries to realize these hero types, another trend in the unconscious is aroused, [a trend] to the attempt to destroy the image.
So is developed the terrible mother, the devouring dragon, the dangers of rebirth, etc.
At the same time the appearance of the hero ideal means the strengthening of the hopes of man.
It gives man the notion that he can reorganize the lines of his life if the mother will allow it.
This can’t be done by a literal rebirth, so it is accomplished by a transformation process, or psychological rebirth.
But this is not to be done without serious battle with the mother.
The paramount question becomes, Will the mother allow the hero to be born?
And then, What can be done to satisfy the mother so that she will allow it?
Thus we come to the idea of the sacrifice as embodied in the bull-sacrifice of Mithras.
This is not a Christian but a Mithraic idea.
The hero himself is not sacrificed, but his animal side, the bull.
A discussion of the role of the mother or unconscious as both birthplace and source of destruction leads to the idea of the dual mother role, or the existence of the pairs of opposites in the unconscious,
the principle of construction and the principle of destruction.
A sacrifice must be done in order to cut the hero away from the power of the unconscious and give him his individual autonomy.
He has to pay himself off and contrive to fill the vacuum left in the unconscious. What is to be sacrificed?
According to mythology, it is childhood, the veil of Maya, past ideals.
In connection with this I may say there is a passage in the Psychology of the Unconscious upon which I have often been attacked.
I have said there that the greatest help in getting one over the dangers of the rebirth and breaking away from the mother was to be found in regular work.
Sometimes in thinking over this I have thought that was a cheap and inadequate way of meeting this tremendous problem, and then I have been inclined to side with my critics.
But the more I have thought of it, the more I have been convinced that after all I was in the first place correct, and our regularly repeated efforts to throw off unconsciousness—that is, by regular work—has
made our humanity.
We can conquer unconsciousness by regular work but never by a grand gesture.
If I say to a Negro, how do you deal with your unconscious?
He gives as answer, “By work.”
“But,” I say, “your life is all play.”
This he vehemently denies and explains to me that much of his life passes in the performance of the most laborious dances for the spirits.
Dancing to us is really play, it is lightness and grace, but for primitives it is really hard work.
All ceremonies may be said to be work, and our sense of work to be derivative therefrom.
Following this theme further, I can give the illustration of the action of the Australian Negro when he is sick.
He goes to a place where his churinga is hidden in the rocks.
He rubs it.
The churinga is full of healthy magic, and when he rubs it, this gets into his system and his sickness goes into the churinga which then is put back in its place in the rocks where it can digest the sickness and
refill itself with healthy magic.
That replaces prayer.
We would say one got strength from God through prayer, but the primitive gets strength from God by work.
If you have followed these explanations at all, you will have seen that the material could not fail to make a great impression on me, I mean the mythological material with which I was working.
One of the most important influences was that I elaborated Miss Miller’s morbidity into myths in a way satisfactory to myself, and so I assimilated the Miller side of myself, which did me much good.
To speak figuratively, I found a lump of clay, turned it to gold and put it in my pocket.
I got Miller into myself and strengthened my fantasy power by the mythological material.
Then I continued my active thinking, but with hesitancy.
It seemed as if my fantasy were going away from the material.
At this time I wrote little.
Through the fact that I worried about my difficulty with Freud, I came to study Adler carefully in order to see what was his case against Freud.
I was struck at once by the difference in type.
Both were treating neurosis and hysteria, and yet to the one man it looked so, and to the other it was something quite different.
I could find no solution.
Then it dawned on me that possibly I was dealing with two different types, who were fated to approach the same set of facts from widely differing aspects.
I began to see among my patients some who fit Adler’s theories, and others who fit Freud’s, and thus I came to formulate the theory of extraversion: and introversion.
There followed much discussion here and there among friends and acquaintances, through which I found that I had the tendency to project my inferior extraverted side into my extraverted friends, and they their introverted sides into me.
By discussion with my personal friends, I found that because of this continued projection into them of my inferior function, I was always in danger of depreciating them.
My patients I could take impersonally and objectively, but my friends I had to meet on a feeling basis, and as feeling is a relatively undifferentiated function in me, and therefore in the unconscious, it naturally
carried a heavy load of projections.
Little by little I made a discovery that was shocking to me, namely the fact of this extraverted personality, which every introvert carries within him in his unconscious, and which I had been projecting upon my friends to their detriment.
It was equally annoying to my extravert friends to have to admit an inferior introvert within themselves.
Out of these experiences that were partly personal, I wrote a little pamphlet on the psychological types, and afterwards read it as a paper before a congress.
There were contained in this several mistakes which I afterwards could rectify.
Thus, for example, I thought that an extravert must always be a feeling type, which was clearly a projection growing out of the fact of my own extraversion being associated with my unconscious feeling.
All of this is the outside picture of the development of my book on the types.
I could perfectly well say this is the way the book came about and make an end of it there.
But there is another side, a weaving about among mistakes, impure thinking, etc., etc., which is always very difficult for a man to make public.
He likes to give you the finished product of his directed thinking and have you understand that so it was born in his mind, free of weakness.
A thinking man’s attitude toward his intellectual life is quite comparable to that of a woman toward her erotic life.
If I ask a woman about the man she has married, “How did this come about?” she will say, “I met him and loved him, and that is all.”
She will conceal most carefully all the little back alleys of the erotic highway she has travelled, all the little meannesses, and squinting situations that she may have been involved in, and she will present you with
an unrivalled perfection of smoothness.
Above all she will conceal from you the erotic mistakes she has made.
She will not have it that she has been weak in this her strongest function.
Just so with a man about his books.
He does not want to tell of the secret alliances, the faux pas of his mind.
This it is that makes lies of most autobiographies.
Just as sexuality is in women largely unconscious, so is this inferior side of his thinking largely unconscious in a man.
And just as a woman erects her stronghold of power in her sexuality, and will not give away any of the secrets of its weak side, so a man centers his power in his thinking and proposes to hold it as a solid front against the public, particularly against other men.
He thinks if he tells the truth in this field it is equivalent to turning over the keys of his citadel to the enemy.
But this other side of his thinking is not repellent to a woman, and therefore a man can usually speak freely of it to a woman, particularly to a certain sort of woman.
As you know I think of women as belonging in general to two types, the mother and the hetaira.
The hetaira type acts as the mother for the other side of men’s thinking.
The very fact of its being a weak and helpless sort of thinking appeals to this sort of woman; she thinks of it as something embryonic which she helps to develop.
Paradoxical as it may seem, even a cocotte may sometimes know more about the spiritual growth of a man than his own wife.
Now at this time, inasmuch as I was actively thinking, I had to find some way to reserve myself, so to speak, and to pick up the other, the passive side of my mental life.
This, as I have said, a man dislikes to do because he feels so helpless.
He can’t quite manage it, and feels inferior—it is as though he were a log being tossed about in a stream, and so he gets out of it as soon as possible.
He repudiates it because it is not pure intellect—even worse than that, it might be feeling.
He feels himself a victim of all of that, and yet he must deliver himself over to it in order to get at his creative power.
Since my anima had been definitely awakened by all that mythological material I had been working with, I was forced now to give attention to that other side, to my unconscious inferior side
in other words. This sounds very easy I know, but it is a statement a man hates to make.
What I did then in order to get at this inferior, unconscious side of me was to make at night an exact reversal of the mental machinery I had used in the day.
That is to say, I turned all my libido within in order to observe the dreams that were going on.
It has been said by Léon Daudet that dreams do not only appear in the sleep but, having a life of their own, they continue also during the daytime below the level of consciousness.
This is of course not a new idea, but one that cannot be emphasized too often.
One is able to catch dreams best at night because one is then passive.
However, with a dementia praecox patient it can be observed how the dreams come to the surface even in the daytime, because these people are passive all the time, so to speak, and simply turn themselves
over to the dream life.
A thinking man’s mind is active during the day (and remember I am speaking now exclusively of men; the process is different in women), but no dreams can be caught in this state.
By assuming a passive attitude at night, while at the same time pouring the same stream of libido into the unconscious that one has put into work in the day, the dreams can be caught and the performances of the unconscious observed.
But it cannot be done by just lying down on a couch and relaxing, it has to be done by a definite giving over of the libido in full sum to the unconscious.
I trained myself to do this; I gave all my libido to the unconscious in order to make it work, and in this way I gave the unconscious a chance, the material came to light and I was able to catch it in flagrante.
I found that the unconscious is working out enormous collective fantasies.
Just as, before, I was passionately interested in working out myths, now I became just as much interested in the material of the unconscious.
This in fact is the only way of getting at myth formation.
And so the first chapter of the Psychology of the Unconscious became most correctly true.
I watched the creation of myths going on, and got an insight into the structure of the unconscious, forming thus the concept that plays such a role in the Types.
I drew all my empirical material from my patients, but the solution of the problem I drew from the inside, from my observations of the unconscious processes.
I have tried to fuse these two currents of outer and inner experience in the book of the Types, and have termed the process of the fusion of the two currents the transcendent function.
I found that the conscious current went one way and the unconscious another, and I could not see where they could become together.
The individual tends toward an abysmal split, for the intellect can only dissect and discriminate, and the creative element lies out of reach of the intellect in the unconscious.
The possibility of a mediation between the conscious and the unconscious, which I have formulated in the transcendent function, came as a great light.
Now the time is up and I have told you a very great deal, but do not assume that I have told all! ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Pages 27 -36
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