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Monday, February 22, 2016

Carl Jung on the “Type Problem.”

Dear Friend,

When two opposed types discuss the type problem, the greatest part of the discussion is taken up by talking and understanding at cross- purposes.

Language here reveals its incredible incapacity of reflecting the finer nuances that are indispensable for understanding.

Thus, when it comes to matters of psychology, every linguistic sign can mean both one thing and its opposite.

When you speak of the extravert and the feeling of an “identité mystique,” then naturally many things I said about the extravert do not apply.

What I was actually talking about was the “ideally oriented” extravert, and by “ideal” I do not mean “ideal” in the sense it is used in expressions such as “ideal aspirations” and “ideal convictions,” but “ideal” in the sense of “corresponding to one’s principle.”

Here the term“ideal” also implies that the ideal type is an imaginary or abstracted type that does not exist in reality, because a real person naturally also has the other mechanism within himself,
with the help of which he can take the edge off what is all- too sharp in the “ideal.”

The more “ideal” a case is the more pathological it is.

You are perfectly right, therefore, in assuming that I am speaking mainly of “coarse” or “pathological” persons, among whom the “ideally oriented” can be found.

The term “ideal” lays an unintentional mantrap.

In contrast to these cases, you are speaking of the compensated ones, where the situation is of course different.

But then again you are mainly speaking of how a case “should be,” and not how it “is,” whereas I proceeded from the assumption that we were talking about the “types” themselves, and not about “compensated” cases, in which the type problem is actually harder to identify in my opinion than in pure cases.

But anyway, since you have hifted this to a discussion of the compensated case, I will go along with this different program.

On this basis, my judgement about experiencing via the object is of course no longer valid, because with the help of compensation the extravert can very easily “realize” his feeling via the object without violating it in the least.

This “realization” is a process taking place within the subject, and so much inwardly that the object, as you rightly say, often does not notice it at all.

Now this is precisely what I call the “view on the subjective plane.”

This realization proceeds from compensation, but not according to the principle of this type, for extraversion goes outward to the object, and not inward into the subject, which is introversion.

The realization of the feeling goes to the subject and is thus a process of introversion.

Atthe same time it is also a thinking process, however, since realization means that I juxtapose the feeling as an object, differentiating myself from it.

Without this differentiation, I am not able to see what is happening, for then, being indistinguishable from it, I will be the process itself.

“Realization,” as the term already implies, is an “objectivation” of the process, without which apperception is not possible at all.

This apperception of the process is the attainment of self- knowledge or, in other words, the view on the subjective plane.

Abstract feeling, being of a hypothetical nature like all abstraction, is not a violent action in itself.

Taken as a feeling in itself, abstract feeling is a virtue and supreme refinement, just like the abstract thinking of the introvert.

ts violent character is revealed only in its influence on the object.

That is why we must let the object have the last word in this matter.

When I violate the extravert with my abstract thinking, this is a fact, and this fact cannot be dismissed even if I insist that the other is merely thinking concretistically.

In this case he has the last word, and I will have to realize that I have to be careful with my virtue so as to avoid harm.

Abstract thinking and feeling are not violent in themselves, nor do we experience them as such, because civilized man has long unlearned to attribute his various complaints to the pressure of domestication.

On closer consideration, however, abstraction in itself is also an act of violence against the disparate phenomenon.

For in order to achieve abstraction, we pour what is separate and manifold into a flask, heat it up, and melt it, and thus force the volatility of the matter into the template.

In that way we create a spiritus, which is an abstraction.

The elements in the flask complain about violent treatment, because for them distillation runs counter to their nature.

We often forget how we achieved our virtues and take our achievements for granted, thinking they would be a blessing for others, too. (Cf. the Negroes and the blessings of civilization. Good examples of this are the Negro republics, and the exemplary social dignity of the Negro in the United States: “for colored people only”— naturally.)

Of course, it is the horse’s fault if it cannot pull a railway train; why is it so weak! Someone could point out, however, that a man who harnesses a horse to a railway train is committing an act of violence and is an idiot to boot.

What I want to say is that the explanation for the question of violence cannot be found only in what is pitiably concretistic.

You have complicated the matter considerably by basing the discussion on the compensated type.

But since I am letting myself be “stimulated by the object,” I will try to do justice also to the complicated situation.

We surely agree in assuming that the “coarse,” “pathological,” or “ideally oriented” extravert violates the object by his direct and exclusive relation to it.

This crude form of violence naturally disappears to the extent the extravert abstracts hisfeeling, by which the latter becomes spiritualized, which is a true sublimation process (“from one bride- bed to another harried”).

There are things to which we cannot do justice completely with abstract thinking, and which we even violate if we subject them to abstract thinking.

Equally there are things that must not be subjected to abstract feeling.

Someone like the pure type, who has advanced from the crude to the secondary state, that is, to the abstraction of his adaptive organ, is nevertheless still capable of violence, but in a more refined and all
the more cruel way, in that the introvert forces everything to fit into his intellectual pattern, and the extravert into the emotional one, since both of them are rationalists in their whole structure, even though they affect the contrary.

When the two meet they are a perfect match so long as they do not try to understand each other psychologically.

Everything will be fine, for instance, when the hardships of life make such heavy demands on them that they have to direct most of their concentration to the struggle for existence, and therefore cannot
make any efforts to assert themselves as individual beings.

When there is no longer such immediate necessity, however, so that they turn to look at one another, they are convinced that they have never understood each other.

The intellect of the one comes up against the other’s concretistic “representation,” which he finds utterly disagreeable, and the feeling of the latter comes up against the other’s concretistic “sensation,”
which he finds equally disagreeable.

Then, at best, there follows savior- like suffering, an educating, coercing, correcting, “fathering,” and “mothering” of the other, heroic feats of love of nearly inestimable proportions.

And then comes the well-known story of the Jew without a train ticket, whom the conductor wanted to throw out at every stop.

When a passenger finally asked him: “Where are you actually going to?” the poor man replied: “To Karlsbad— if my constitution can stand it.”

The mistake that is being made is quite obvious: each wants to better the other.

This is the objective plane of viewing things.

This missionary attitude is all very Christian but is extremely annoying to the introvert.

He will kick the missionary out.

The extravert’s reaction is very clearly demonstrated in your letter: in your opinion, it would be a mistake if we wanted to teach the extravert to think, and the introvert to feel.

You maintain the opposite standpoint, namely, to let things be and, at most, further one’s innermost tendency—thinking in the introvert, and feeling in the extravert.

As you so accurately describe it for the case of the extravert, this leads to “realization,” which is nothing else but thinking about feeling.

This is how he learns thinking.

You have witnessed a famous case of this kind, in which a distinguished extravert was put, by an introvert de pur sang, into the saddle that is so characteristic of the extravert, on which he then galloped
off to those adventures in which he learned to “realize.”

This was not taught to him.

He learned it by himself, because he had no other choice.

This is precisely— and pray forgive me— viewing things on the subjective plane.

As you told me, however, a certain other extravert tried to directly impose thinking on the former, which he took very much amiss, as we know, just as an introvert worth his salt will resist with might
and main all attempts from the outside to impose and force feeling on him.

The dignity of man— an essential notion still to be learned by all missionaries!

It is a remarkable fact that the more you develop the extravert’s feeling, believing to thus enhance your feeling into the object, the less the object is actually comprehended, for the object requires not only to be felt into but also sensation and thinking.

The latter two cannot, as we know, on any account be replaced by feeling- into.

That is why raising the level of feeling leads, as you correctly say, to a feeling- into the subject, as the necessary exaggeration of the feeling makes the subject’s lack of activity in thinking and sensation felt.

Gently but persistently, this vacuum sucks the libido back from feeling into and thereby enforces “realization,” which, as I have already emphasized, is precisely viewing things on the subjective

I completely agree with your supposition that the missionary activity the two types exercise on one another leads not to a deepening of the personality at all but only to a good adaptation to reality.

I have always defended this principle, namely, that one should not proselytize the other but should give him the opportunity to grow from what is his very own.

In my humble opinion, the famous case of a certain extravert quoted above is a good example of this; at the same time this case is probably evidence of the fact that there is no essential difference between your method and mine on this point.

When you say that the act of “deepening of the personality” has merely to do with feeling, you obviously see only the dynamic side of the process, that is, the progress in the development of love.

But you are forgetting that it is precisely “realization” through which a deepening of the personality is achieved.

“Realizing” is an introverting process, an objectifi cation; it is gaining insight, making something conscious, understanding, hence an intellectual process.

Someone who, without “realizing,” always continued to fly on the wings of his feeling, would be, and remain to be, an incurably extraverted “dud.”

It is just as typical of the extravert to underestimate and fail to notice his own introversion process, as it is of the introvert to underestimate and fail to notice his extraversion

So long as the extravert only feels but does not realize, the will naturally have a very inadequate relation to the object, and that is why his “object” will not correspond to reality at all, but will be a subjective fantasy.

Someone who just feels does not think, but fantasizes.

Through feeling- into, the fantasy is transferred or projected into the “object,” but the actual object is thus distorted.

If the object is endowed with reason, it will clearly see that it represents merely a fantasy to the other.

When the other finally understands the real nature of the object, he cools off considerably.

This naturally offends the object, particularly if it was hoping to get something from the extravert’s feeling, and it will feel disappointed and deceived.

It is exactly as if a very scientifically oriented doctor tre

I can understand the patient when he assumes that he has simply served as a guinea pig for a theory, that is, for a scientific fantasy.

The progress of scientific theory is certainly a great and noble thing, but there seem to be good reasons why experiments are conducted with guinea pigs rather than with humans.

In a refined person, the violent act has only become more refined, which just makes it that bit more devilish.

Therefore, you are quite correct in saying that the way indicated by you runs parallel to that of a neurosis, that is, to the way of the “coarse” and “pathological” extravert.

It nearly seems to me as if you were still of the opinion that, for example, I would analyze dreams on the subjective plane only.

Since I cannot provide you with evidence from my ongoing analyses, as you know nothing about them, I must revert to that famous case mentioned above, in which you have witnessed my method— which you suggest in your letter— put into practice.

The relation to the object that resulted from that analysis seems to have had a not inconsiderable influence on the further course the development of this extravert took.

He has often been heard talking of Tristan and Iseult, of Faust and Helen, etc.

It is a well- known fact that man is also capable of accepting something as true without having seen it with his eyes and touched it with his hands.

It is this truly human capacity that spares him a number of highly unpleasant experiences.

The average person seems to be satisfied, for example, by the theoretical reasoning that it is dangerous to stick his head out of an elevator on its way up.

He does not need to get his head torn off for the sake of experience.

It would also be a rather daring undertaking for someone to actually try out and see if it were really morally impossible for him to commit a murder.

There are a great many things that cannot, or need not, be experienced via the object.

For all these things we need the symbolic view on the subjective plane— if, that is, these tendencies are not to succumb irretrievably to repression again.

But when an actual experience via the object is possible, or even indicated, only a completely fatuous person would want to enforce a symbolic and subjective interpretation.

I guess you do not count me among such pigheaded solipsists; it would also run counter to what you have experienced.

As far as the behavior of the object toward the violence of the extravert is concerned, to which you object, you are thinking completely extravertedly about it, and are suppress ing the object anew.

You really cannot dictate to the object how it ought to react, and which reaction would be the right one.

Such good intentions may be appropriate among extraverts but not in the relation between the types.

I must emphasize that an introvert reacts in just the way I said.

This is what happens and what is.

The introvert couldn’t care less if this has any effect at all on the extravert, because he is no extravert who worries about such effects.

I am talking about what is, and not about what would be desirable.

When the introvert reacts accordingly to how he is blindly attacked and abused as a fantasy by the other, he forces him, as you rightly say, to consciously bring out his tendency toward violation, which makes the extravert finally realize that he has such a tendency.

He forces him to give up his feelings— yes, he does—and then the extravert is forced to start thinking.

In that way he achieves, and here you are right again, adaptation to reality, which cannot be accomplished without thinking and sensation.

Once he has achieved adaptation, he at last has his hands free for his own use.

He can then try out his violence and his feeling- into on himself for a change in order to deepen his personality.

His former extraversion to the object was so exaggerated because his adaptation to it was so highly inadequate.

The deficit forced him to make ever- greater expenditures.

Once adaptation is achieved, his libido can turn inward.

Of course, the introvert never fancies that by his self- defense he is deepening the other’s personality, nor does he defend himself for this reason; he really does it only not to be destroyed himself.

It is only the extravert who can see this in a different light, as he is convinced from the outset that he has the other’s best interest in mind, and that everything he does is beneficial for the other’s well- being.

This role of the savior

This infantile humbug and has to be nailed down as such.

In my opinion, you have touched upon something very important with your idea that an association of like types is more conducive to a deepening of one’s own personality than an association of different types.

Just as I am absolutely convinced that it is mandatory for adaptation to reality that the two opposed types confront each other unreservedly, I also believe that a deepening of the personality, with all its irrational values, can take place only by associating with the same type.

Interference of the opposite type is certainly a painful disturbance, for everything that represents the highest meaning and value for the one side is utmost nonsense and without value for the other.

The directions of the irrational psychological processes are actually diametrically opposed.

What the extravert calls human is just “all too human” for the introvert.

What the introvert calls human is airy and gaseous for the other.

This discrepancy makes it quasi impossible for the two, because of the irritating difference in tone, to go together in the irrational developmental process.

It is another question whether the irrational process in the opposed types does not bring to light a product that is equally valuable to each of them, although the values they fi nd in it are opposed to one

This question must be left open for the time being.

I find your schema of attitudes of the analyst disagreeable, because I myself could never adopt something like this.

I am as I am, and that also in analysis.

I do not know whether it is necessary for the extravert to play a role, nor do I know whether I may not unconsciously play a role myself— after all, one can never know things like that. I would not be surprised to find, however, that it may be the specific task of the extravert, in his feeling attitude toward the other, to make appropriate corrections in the object in order to eliminate his typical violence.

Certainly the introvert has to do something similar in the intellectual sphere.

As the case may be, he must be either reserved or forthcoming with his thoughts.

I would not know at all how to tune in to the individual task of the patient— for how could I be so vain as to know what his task is?

I would feel sorry for a patient whose task I thought I knew a priori, or at least more or less in advance, because then I would be on my best way to be giving that sort of counseling that the Freudian school has always imputed to me.

Nothing can be done against projections, however.

If in my last letter I talked primarily about the inferior extravert, you talk about the inferior introvert when it comes to matters of self- knowledge.

Without doubt, there is a danger of cheating ourselves out of a really full life by philosophizing.

I have a very tolerant attitude toward such people, however, because in my experience there are quite a number of people who are rendered relatively harmless by contenting themselves with a surrogate of life.

There are also such useless and objectionable seeds in man that living a half-life, which leaves these seeds undeveloped, is by far preferable to their full development.

I am not inclined to believe in man as a unum et bonum et perfectum.

Hence, I’m also against proselytizing—unless it is for monism, abstinence, the Salvation Army, pacifism, or the YMCA.

So whoever turns the idea of self- knowledge into a pseudoidea, and fraudulently abuses it to escape himself, has probably good reasons to do so.

An honest man, who also has a certain amount of courage, will never use self-knowledge as a surrogate for life.

His nature would not permit it.

But as we all are deficient in a certain sense, namely, when measured against an ideal, self-knowledge does actually serve us not to commit a number of wrongs and stupidities, which would inevitably follow from the deficiency of our nature.

I am sorry to have attacked my beloved Goethe in my last letter with regard to his statement about self-knowledge.

True, it was very disrespectful, but all the same I did have a point in taking the verba magistri not too seriously, since Goethe himself has provided the rebuttal of his own position as shown by the beautiful quote in your last letter.

It is difficult to argue with such masters, because in their honesty they always state also the respective opposite somewhere else.

Just think of Goethe’s diametrically opposed statements on women!

The words of the fathers are a fine thing— so long as we do not use them as arguments.

It follows from all this that your criticism of self-knowledge refers to a concept that is actually a caricature of its real meaning.

This inferior concept has nothing to do with what I called the view on the subjective plane.

But I acknowledge your right to stress the existence of an inferior concept and use of self- knowledge just as emphatically as I underlined and defended the existence of a concretistic perception of extraverted feeling operations.

Toward the other, one tends to take a position based on our experience on a par with the average of previous incidences and is little inclined to trust him a priori to really have the more perfect in mind.

The experience of what goes on around us every day has made us so cold, however, that we still do not expect anything good to come out of Nazareth.

The less we are trusting each other, the more proofs we get that this trust is indeed unjustified.

It seems to me that we might now have reached an agreement on this point, after having exposed our mutual mistrust—based on unshakable experience— so emphatically.

So let me turn to another point in which I differ from your view, or rather from what your written words (sic!)say.

The difference starts with your idea that “genius” would be a weapon against the unconscious.

It would be easy to demonstrate that genius also offers the greatest opportunities of falling victim to the powers of the unconscious.

Genius is both: the capacity to unlock the unconscious, and the capacity to give its elements a visible form

In the very rare case this operation is successful without destroying the person in question (and you know how rarely this happens), we suddenly believe that genius is a superb weapon against the ensnaring powers of the unconscious.

But in the more frequent case that these very capacities devour the person who has them and lead to an untimely death or lingering illness, we believe that genius is also a terrible snare. I tend to think that the number of geniuses is not all that inconsiderable, but that the number of those who are not destroyed by their genius is infinitesimal.

It does not help to say that it is precisely those few who are the “true” geniuses, while the ones who were destroyed had not been true geniuses in the first place.

When we know how thin the thread is, on which the sword above the head of the genius is suspended, we can only say: this one has barely managed to escape by the skin of his teeth, and the other did not make it by a hair’s breadth.

Even the so-called true genius carries wounds close to his thread of life.

Neither the genius nor the average person can get through life unscathed, but only the genius is affected to a much, much higher degree.

Genius is as little a substitute for analysis as “experience.”

A “healthy person” is never driven by his experience “to unite with his unconscious.”

With this view you would deny analysis the right to exist altogether.

According to your view the significance of analysis seems to be limited to a psychological technique that, for pathologically sensitive people, is a partial substitute for a life they find impossible to lead, and which offers healthy people some help in coping with their conflicts.

In the former case, analysis serves as the dressing of a wound; in the latter, as a motor oil.

I readily concede that even great Caesar might have found it necessary to stop up a bung hole somewhere, and that the halls in the Louvre offer an excellent opportunity for “physical exercise,”but I deny that this is Caesar’s or the Louvre’s “greatest value.”

I am more than ready to acknowledge and admire all the useful things that make life possible and easier, but that the usefulness of a work of culture should be its “highest value” is completely beyond

As I do not want to immediately sin against my abovementioned principle of implicit trust, I assume that what you really meant was that this is precisely not its highest value.

If this so highly praised experience alone would suffice, what would then be the point of science and other cultural achievements, with all their intrinsic values beyond the question of usefulness?

Someone who in his experience also experiences his unconscious has by no means united with it— unless, that is, he knows it.

The process of attaining knowledge covers many fields and is possible only with the help of those formulas that have been elaborated and handed down by the history of ideas over several millennia.

This treasure trove is called science, without which knowledge is impossible.

An animal lives its unconscious, and is completely united, even identical, with it.

What is missing is only knowledge, seeing things from the subject’s point of view. In this knowledge— that is, in what analysis is in itself, regardless of its usefulness— lies its “greatest value”; its true value is that it is a standpoint beyond experience, out of the reach of the rationalistic intentions of those who want to make it the servant of their own incompetence.

When somebody says: “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” the meaning of this statement lies in the ideal of Christian love, and not in the thought that it is also of the greatest practical value to raise this Machiavellian principle of “do ut des” to a religious ideal.

Similarly, it would be a grave injustice against the spirit of the achievement that we call analysis to limit its highest value to its usefulness for our lives.

Seen in the light of day, it is also clear that it could not provide this practical service at all if it did not have precisely the value I emphasized.

“Life is not the highest of goods,” and least of all that which cures a few neurotics and shortens some conflicts for a few healthy people.

But lest you arrive at the opinion that I underestimate the practical usefulness of analysis, let me conclude by saying that I am as skeptical of knowledge without usefulness, as I am of usefulness without well-founded knowledge.

Knowledge without usefulness adorns philosophical chessboards and produces fat volumes for venerable libraries.

Usefulness without meaning fills pockets and the churches of Christian Science.

The value of analysis, however, is not only that it is of practical use but that it is also a living knowledge in and by itself.

Thinking is life just as much as doing is.

Thinking is not merely a “realization” of life; life can also be a “realization” of thinking.

As to your concluding remark, I really must add for the sake of poetic justice that I did not invent that legend of the sailing-motor-airplane- monster, but that by alluding to the Platonic myth I only wanted to emphasize, ever so delicately, that this monster is hardly viable, precisely because of its ideal nature.

I hardly believe that I will go to the hell that has so very amiably been intended for me, only because I find the sailingmotor-airplane- dragon an impossible ideal.

Surely Sisyphus was an idealist, wasn’t he?

With best regards,

your Jung ~Carl Jung, Hans Schmid Guisan Letters, Pages 100-114

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