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.
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.
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.
The image of the ugly duckling growing into a beautiful swan is a powerful and transformative symbol of hope and fulfillment for INFJs. As a metaphor for differentiation and the individuation process, the Ugly Duckling tale illuminates the struggle to separate from the demands of others in order to recognize the value and beauty of one’s essential self.
Just as Hiccup’s superior function, his Hero, has been wounded by his culture and his father, this dragon is wounded as well, a figure we will come to see as Hiccup’s inner truth. This is the story of an individual recognizing the wounding that has occurred, and claiming back his authentic power by developing his Heroic function.
Type as a problem needs to be rediscovered. Although from Jung’s point of view moderate one-sidedness does not usually cause major difficulties and is a stage of development to go through, ultimately being a type is a problem whereas contemporary type theory generally views it as a virtue. This has resulted in the transcendent function being overlooked.
Rather than truly being able to move down to embrace the inferior function, to achieve “integrity in depth,” Nietzsche tries to “overcome” the problem of the personality. His fantastic intuitions are not wholly thought through, and so he is not able to deal with the real task of individuation, which asks us to ground consciousness in the reality of body and mind.
To the degree that the type community has engendered awareness of alternative ways of encountering the world, one another, and oneself, it is engaged in a critically important service. Lest we forget, however, that the process of growth is often perilous, it is occasionally useful to remind ourselves of these perils.
Introverted thinking is more concerned with satisfying a subtle, personally perceived standard of truth—like Barack Obama in his first debate with Mitt Romney. People saw Obama hesitating and looking away from his opponent. I read that as him double-checking to make sure that what he was about to say would meet a benchmark of critical thinking.
Becoming a warrior requires you to shed some aspects of your identity and to take on new ones to fit your new role. Allegiances can be strained as new, family-like bonds are forged with fellow warriors. Individuals on the type development/individuation journey can also experience feelings of isolation from significant others and community.