My mother is a ghost now. She died the last day of 2016. She was the person nearest and dearest to me for much of my life, yet it seemed we never quite understood and accepted each other unconditionally. She haunts me as an unfulfilled spirit when I have anxious thoughts, or fearful premonitions, or self-admonition, but also in old sayings, endearing quirks, and the names of flowers and trees. And she inhabits my dreams, mostly as an unhappy child.
Suppression of my intuitive function has appeared symptomatically in the loss of my voice, both in dreams and while performing as a vocalist. On a broader level, my voicelessness has materialized in interpersonal difficulties, such as a hesitancy to advocate for my own perspective, impostor syndrome, and a distrust in my instincts and intuitions.
I was in the grip of my own unconscious, projecting the shadows I was grappling with onto the work environment around me. I felt compulsively gripped by a desire to “fight the evil empire.” At my darkest point, I disregarded the fact that I did not have all the details and simply projected my personal beliefs and limited perceptions onto every decision made.
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.
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.
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.”