To develop our authentic individual self, we need to go deeper, into the cultural and phylogenetic layers of the collective unconscious. Importantly, from a leadership point of view, we become more aware of what our culture is repressing—aware of the unintended consequences of the culture even though we are participating in it. This enables us to progress, as individuals and as a society.
C. G. Jung
First comes the development of the Hero; next is the “fall,” which brings awareness that something is missing, leading to the rejection of the heroic inflation and the longing for more. Then comes the real “journey,” holding the tension between our highly conscious dominant/superior function and our much less conscious inferior function.
The type code had another unintended effect, which was to elevate the E-I and the J-P dichotomies to the same level as the functions. I had always thought of myself as an Introvert and nothing else. I had also been taught that I was a Judging type and I had been told that “J’s decide quickly,” but that was not true for me. So there were holes in my preference framework where my experience did not fit what I was taught.
It is no small matter to acknowledge one’s yearning. For this many need to make a particular effort at honesty. All too many do not want to know where their yearning is, because it would seem to them impossible or too distressing. And yet yearning is the way of life. If you do not acknowledge your yearning, then you do not follow yourself …
“It is necessary for you to know your limits. If you do not know them, you run into the artificial barriers of your imagination and the expectations of your fellow men. . . . that do unnecessary violence to you. Therefore try to find your real limits. One never knows them in advance, but one sees and understands them only when one reaches them.”
But I ask you, when do men fall on their brothers with mighty weapons and bloody acts? They do such if they do not know that their brother is themselves. . . . But whom do people kill? They kill the noble, the brave, the heroes. They take aim at these and do not know that with these they mean themselves. . .
“The black serpent seems to be stronger; the white serpent draws back. Great billows of dust rise from the place of struggle. But then I see: the black serpent pulls itself back again. The front part of its body has become white. Both serpents curl about themselves, one in light, the other in darkness.”