I now better understand the odds against all of this: a male, Caucasian physician, living in the firm grasp of an ESTJ cultural weltanschauung awakens to the soul’s desperate pleading late in life. That the soul seeks to live forward something alien, foreign, and predictably destructive is now so comprehensible. Nothing heroic is here, merely a journey of survival.
Introverted Feeling - Fi
Suppression of my intuitive function has appeared symptomatically in the loss of my voice, both in dreams and while performing as a vocalist. On a broader level, my voicelessness has materialized in interpersonal difficulties, such as a hesitancy to advocate for my own perspective, impostor syndrome, and a distrust in my instincts and intuitions.
I was in the grip of my own unconscious, projecting the shadows I was grappling with onto the work environment around me. I felt compulsively gripped by a desire to “fight the evil empire.” At my darkest point, I disregarded the fact that I did not have all the details and simply projected my personal beliefs and limited perceptions onto every decision made.
We harken back to the Conques tympanum’s division of cosmos and chaos as Jung thereby affirmed the value in engaging with all four functions so as to address our human challenges and set matters in order. Just as Christ was the arbiter of human souls on the Conques tympanum, we may engage our inner self to negotiate the chaos within our own psyche.
Couples often wonder whether they are “ready” for such a commitment. I look for situations when each person’s “sore spot” is activated. When a couple is able to hold the tension of the activated inferior function and find a way to make their relationship a vehicle for the development of personality, then they are “ready” for marriage in one of the most crucial ways.
Many clients enter treatment because their psyche is “failing” to accommodate itself to their one-sided will. They are cut off from the self-regulating functions of their unconscious and the resulting symptoms have induced so much suffering that they are forced to stop their plans, enter therapy, and work through the blockage. The power complex wants a better hold on the psyche.
I’ve discovered that the functions express their unique influence through the tao of the Greek goddess Artemis—an archetypal propensity richly endowed with autonomous power, fierce agency, determined focus, profound self-sufficiency and capacity for self-care, and enormous ability to maintain a connection with the purity of a thalassic and lunar soul.
Much of the depth psychology literature has been written by and for intuitive types and introverted types, which means that those with an extraverted sensing (Se) preference are a rarity in the field. This in turn perpetuates a subtle bias against extraverted sensation. Yet, contrary to popular opinion, sensing types do have access to the archetypal realm.
My ongoing experience with grief in relation to my inferior function has brought forth dysfunctional behavior as well as an increase in consciousness and differentiation. It has enhanced my awareness of the healing capacity and vulnerability of the inferior function. I have come to see that the vulnerability is necessary.
When I first learned about typology in the mid 1990s, I set out to conquer the inferior function. After all, I wanted to develop in every way possible, and surely that meant quashing anything inferior! More recently, however, I have come to appreciate the power of this gremlin to draw me closer to the middle realm of dreams and imagination, where wisdom rises from the depths.