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.
extraverted sensation (Se)
Many women, and not least women with dominant Ni, intuitively know that their spirituality, their creativity, and their sexuality arise from the same source. The priestess may be found in all walks of life; she is the woman who mediates between matter and spirit, between the human and divine realms, who “will always honor sexual energy as a link to the source of life itself.”
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.
I suddenly noticed all the bright, beautiful one-inch tiles lining the pool. How had I not seen them before? Each of these little cobalt blue squares bore witness to my laps through the water. I decided, in the spirit of play, to imagine that every one of these tiny tiles represented $5000. For the time in which I swam, I engaged this unexpected image.
Being married is easily the hardest thing I have ever done. Marriage is an all-consuming project that requires energy, commitment, and sustained effort. Unlike my other projects, I can’t just ignore my marriage until inspiration strikes. Mostly, there’s no faking it. As an introvert in an extraverted world, faking it is a lot of how I survive.
The more I fell apart inside, the more I needed outside structure and order. One night I dreamed of an interior colorless and noiseless explosion that was followed by a voice that boomed, “You have the courage to let your interior world be chaos; there are no walls where there should be walls. You are a crab, and you need an exoskeleton.”
The dynamics of creative process and psychological wellbeing are such that creative artists are often overcome by the demonic. From Nietzsche’s Zarathustra to Curt Cobain’s Nirvana, there is an artistic star swallowed by the unconscious every week. But the arts can also be a type of savior—a place for us to process our darkness and not become it.
She could not compete with me in the extraverted thinking mode that I (and our culture) insisted upon, so my well-meant out-reaching felt like attacks to her, and my peace offering of objective discussion was like a Viking’s looming battle-axe. Rather than take part in a Te confrontation that she couldn’t win, she had changed the rules, initiating an introverted feeling battle of attrition.
My sister’s life illustrates the impact of a lack of positive parental guidance on the development of personality and what happens if the inner parent fails to develop. Family tragedy deprived Christin of a compass with which to navigate psychic turbulence during midlife. While few people succumb to such crises, many lack the tenacity to face them.
Populism has acquired a negative reputation, and this is especially true now with the presidency of Donald Trump, but many other political leaders have used extraverted sensation tactics and policies to rally the cause of the common man. This is true not only of Andrew Jackson—in whom extraverted sensation (Se) seems to be dominant—but also of Lyndon B. Johnson and Theodore Roosevelt.