The Introverted Intuitive Type

Posted by Arkham on October 1st, 2008

Adapted from Jung, C.G.Psychological Types“:

The peculiar nature of introverted intuition produces a peculiar type of man, that are the mystical dreamer and seer on the one hand, or the fantastical crank and artist on the other. The latter might be regarded as the normal case, since there is a general tendency of this type to confine himself to the perceptive character of intuition. As a rule, the intuitive stops at perception; perception is his principal problem, and, in the case of a productive artist, the shaping of perception. But the crank contents himself with the intuition by which he himself is shaped and determined. Intensification of intuition naturally often results in an extraordinary aloofness of the individual from tangible reality; he may even become a complete enigma to his own immediate circle.

If an artist, he reveals extraordinary, remote things in his art, which in iridescent profusion embrace both the significant and the banal, the lovely and the grotesque, the whimsical and the sublime. If not an artist, he is frequently an unappreciated genius, a great man ‘gone wrong’, a sort of wise simpleton, a figure for ‘psychological’ novels.

The moral problem comes into being when the intuitive tries to relate himself to his vision, when he is no longer satisfied with mere perception and its aesthetic shaping and estimation, but confronts the question: What does this mean for me and for the world? What emerges from this vision in the way of a duty or task, either for me or for the world? The pure intuitive who represses judgment or possesses it only under the spell of perception never meets this question fundamentally, since his only problem is the How of perception. He, therefore, finds the moral problem unintelligible, even absurd, and as far as possible forbids his thoughts to dwell upon the disconcerting vision.

It is different with the morally orientated intuitive. He concerns himself with the meaning of his vision; he troubles less about its further aesthetic possibilities than about the possible moral effects which emerge from its intrinsic significance. His judgment allows him to discern, though often only darkly, that he, as a man and as a totality, is in some way inter-related with his vision, that it is something which cannot just be perceived but which also would fain become the life of the subject. Through this realization he feels bound to transform his vision into his own life. But, since he tends to rely exclusively upon his vision, his moral effort becomes one-sided; he makes himself and his life symbolic, adapted, it is true, to the inner and eternal meaning of events, but unadapted to the actual present-day reality. Therewith he also deprives himself of any influence upon it, because he remains unintelligible. His language is not that which is commonly spoken — it becomes too subjective. His argument lacks convincing reason. He can only confess or pronounce. His is the ‘voice of one crying in the wilderness’.

The introverted intuitive’s chief repression falls upon the sensation of the object. His unconscious is characterized by this fact. For we find in his unconscious a compensatory extraverted sensation function of an archaic character. The unconscious personality may, therefore, best be described as an extraverted sensation-type of a rather low and primitive order. Impulsiveness and unrestraint are the characters of this sensation, combined with an extraordinary dependence upon the sense impression. This latter quality is a compensation to the thin upper air of the conscious attitude, giving it a certain weight, so that complete ‘sublimation’ is prevented. But if, through a forced exaggeration of the conscious attitude, a complete subordination to the inner perception should develop, the unconscious becomes an opposition, giving rise to compulsive sensations whose excessive dependence upon the object is in frank conflict with the conscious attitude. The form of neurosis is a compulsion-neurosis, exhibiting symptoms that are partly hypochondriacal manifestations, partly hypersensibility of the sense organs and partly compulsive ties to definite persons or other objects.

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