The constant tension and accompanying fatigue in my waking life might be seen as the price I paid for the maintenance of a persona that had outlived its utility. The executioner lurking in the demonic position grew potent in the shadows, but the inferior function was rising. Energetically, a talisman was constellated, signifying a burning away of an inauthentic outer mask.
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.
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.
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.
The world of Rilke’s tale is one besieged by the Dragon. This is the world of the wasteland, where people are living inauthentic lives. In most fairy tales, a successful hero is the answer to the wasteland. Rilke, however, presents the tale not as a deliverance from the Dragon but rather as a slow descent into the shadowy realm of the Dragon.
There is a secret connection between the most Beautiful and the most Terrible things, just as there is between mountain peaks and abysses, between calm lakes and the rushing streams that feed them, between noble, laughing Life and the dark Death that lies near us all the time. … But one naturally could not let the maiden anywhere near the Dragon … .
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.
Later, I reflected that my tone, out of awareness at time of utterance, was the element to which she was reacting as a feeling type, and that my insistence on staying on topic showed up in her experience as my controlling her. Such was my first conscious application of Beebe’s sobering formulation of the monster-in-play when our eighth function breathes fire at another’s dominant function.
To have to spend a year in one’s inferior function is like a yearlong time-out for a toddler. I got so bored and desperate with my inferior introverted sensing (Si) function, required to gather and document the data, that I spent many hours asleep in the library. I could have asked Dr. Goldsmith for help, or maybe a mercy killing, but I was too proud to admit difficulty.
The alien invasion can then be viewed as a necessary fragmentation of the psyche, occurring when the ego is too rigidly identified with the dominant function. The crisis brings renewal by breaking apart the ego identity so that the previously unrealized functions can be differentiated and integrated, thereby transforming the conscious attitude.