I now better understand the odds against all of this: a male, Caucasian physician, living in the firm grasp of an ESTJ cultural weltanschauung awakens to the soul’s desperate pleading late in life. That the soul seeks to live forward something alien, foreign, and predictably destructive is now so comprehensible. Nothing heroic is here, merely a journey of survival.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.