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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Carl Jung on the “Four Functions.”




Lecture 16

Dr. Jung:

I think there are some points about the functions in general that need ia.

I would like to speak now of the four functions in relation to reality, for it is my idea that each of them brings to the subject a special aspect of reality.

This diagram then (Diagram 6) represents the four main functions emanating from a virtual center and constituting, in their totality, the subject.

The subject is suspended in a world of objects and cannot be thought of apart from them.

Ordinarily we class as objects only those things belonging to the external world, but equally important are the intrapsychical objects with which the subject is in contact.

To this latter class belong any conscious content that has slipped out of consciousness, been forgotten, as we say, or repressed, and all unconscious processes.

There are always parts of your functions that are within your conscious, and parts that are without your conscious but still within the sphere of psychical activity.

Some of these intrapsychical objects really belong to me, and when I forget them they can be likened to pieces of furniture that have got lost.

But some, on the other hand, are intruders into my psychical entourage and come from the collective unconscious.

Or the intruder may be from the external world.

Take, for example, an institution.

This may be unconscious and therefore an object rising out of myself, or it might be started from without by something in the surroundings.

Obviously, the external world does not remain without effect on the functions.

If sensations were only subjective and not founded on reality, it would not carry with it the conviction it does.

To be sure, not all the sense of conviction rests on the effect derived from the outer object.

Sometimes there is also a strong subjective element, as the hallucinations and illusions to be observed in pathological cases prove.

But the greater part of the conviction carried by sensation derives from the connection of sensation with the trans-subjective or objective fact in reality.

It is of reality as it is that sensation speaks, not reality as it might have been nor as it might be, but as it is now.

Therefore sensation gives only a static image of reality, and this is the basic principle of the sensation type.

Now, intuition carries with it a similar feeling of certainty, but of a different kind of reality.

It speaks of the reality of possibilities, but to an intuitive type this is just as absolute a reality as that possessed by the static fact.

Inasmuch as we can test the validity of intuition by seeing whether or not the possibilities do occur actually, and since millions of these possibilities arrived at by intuition have been realized, it is legitimate for the intuitive type to value his function as a means of understanding one phase of reality, that is, dynamic reality.

When we come to the rational functions, things become different.

Thinking is based on reality only indirectly, but nonetheless it can carry just as much conviction.

Nothing is more real than an idea to a person who thinks.

There are certain general or collective ideas from which the thinker derives his judgment, and these we know as the logical modi, but these in turn are derived from some underlying idea; in other words, the logical modi go back to archetypal origins.

It would be difficult indeed to trace out their history, but someday, when men are more intelligent than they are now, it will undoubtedly be done.

But if we follow the history of thought in the rough way possible for us, it can be readily seen that all times have recognized the existence of primordial images.

To Kant they were the noumena, “das Ding an sich.”

To Plato they were the eidola, the models that existed before the world existed, and from which all things in the world were derived.

Thinking, then, derives from the reality of the image, but has the image reality?

To answer that question, let us turn to the field of natural science, where we can find abundant evidence of the potency of an image.

If you cut an earthworm in two, the segment with the head will grow a new tail, and the tail segment will grow a new head.

If you destroy the lens of a salamander’s eye, a new lens will develop.

In both these cases it must be assumed that the organism carries within itself, in some way, an image of its totality, which totality tends to be reestablished when disturbed.

In the same way, the fact that the mature oak is contained within the acorn suggests this principle of the image of the whole.

Of course, the principle of reestablishing the integrity of the whole when a portion is lopped off works within limitations.

The thing replaced is of a more archaic type than the original.

So one can say in general that if a differentiated form is removed, the organ substituted goes back to a more primitive level.

The same thing happens psychologically.

That is, as soon as we set aside the more differentiated function, we hark back to the archaic level.

We can see such a thing even in so simple a thing as the progress of an argument.

If we fail to convince by means of logical thought, we abandon it and resort to more primitive means, that is, we raise our voices, catch after current phrases, become sarcastic or bitter.

In other words, our refined tools failing, we grasp the hammer and tongs of emotion.

Returning to this question of the images, we find something in nature corresponding to the principle involved in them.

When we apply the conception to thinking only, we suppose the images to be static.

The great philosophers have spoken of them always as being eternal.

It is these static images that underlie thinking.

We could call them, if we chose, Logos.

Feeling, as we have seen, has also its reality conviction, that is, it has to do with a trans-subjective fact. If we take it from certain aspects, it can bear a resemblance to thinking, but this is merely an apparent, not a real connection.

Thus, for example, I can take the concept freedom, and show it to be a highly abstract static concept; that is, I can keep it an idea, but freedom can convey also a powerful feeling.

In the same way, the phrase “my country” can be taken abstractly or emotionally.

In this way, most of our general [Diagram 6] ideas are feeling values and intellectual images also, so that we can say that the underlying fact of feeling is a dynamic image.

That is to say, it is an image that works, it has motive powe
r.
An abstract statement of feeling does not move, it is static.

If I define God as the unchanging totality of all changing processes, what have I but a thoroughly static idea?

But it is easy to imagine God as a most potently dynamic image.

For the totality of the dynamic images can use Eros.

To sum up, we have considered four kinds of realities: (1) static reality that comes to us through sensation; (2) the dynamic reality revealed by intuition; (3) static images given us by thinking; (4) dynamic
images sensed by feeling.

I assume that the fact of the discovery of the four functions is equivalent to a statement about the world, that is, that the world has these four aspects of reality.

We have no way of knowing whether the world is Cosmos or Chaos, for, as we know the world, all the order is put into it by ourselves.

We can think of the possibility of the world changing in such a way as to bring another function, or other functions, into existence; meantime I offer these conceptions as a possible point of orientation. ~Carl Jung, Lecture 16 excerpt, 1925 Seminar, Pages 134 -134

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