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.
extraverted thinking (Te)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cassandra represents the difficulty of expressing one’s own truth in a way that is persuasive and influential in the world, particularly a truth that is not androcentric. The weakening of the voice of the dream ego represents the suppression and repression of the feminine that results from continuing to rely on old ways of exerting influence.
Humanity is being summoned to change its perspective in an assortment of ways. When a pandemic wipes the calendar clean, the heroes are not the rich, successful, and scholarly; the heroes are those at the bottom of the economic hierarchy, the people who are risking their health to maintain normalcy during isolation and self-quarantining.
The beauty, of course, comes with surrender. When we surrender to the gifts of the inferior function, allowing it to walk beside us hand in hand rather than dragging it behind us like some burdensome weight, consciousness shifts, a new view opens before us, and the world becomes a different place because we have allowed ourselves to become different in its presence.
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.
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.