I take the approach to typology that all of the Cognitive Functions are accessible to us and that it is highly desirable to explore them all, not just the Dominant and Auxilliary. Learning to recognize and utilize all the functions in our cognitive capacity allows us to achieve our life and relationship goals in a more well-rounded and balanced manner. I believe that this transformation of our personality makes us more effective in bringing our gifts into the world.
It’s an art and a practice to find each of the Functions in your life, and then hone them into a tool you can use with skill at the appropriate times. That is the heart of my consulting, to help you in developing that life-long practice. It’s important to understand how the functions interact and that depends on your type and stage of development.
I’ve developed a new way of depicting the complex relationship of Carl Jung’s functions to aid in visualizing their interdependent nature.
Functions that differ in both Perception (or Judging) and Extraverted/Introverted orientation, such as Ni and Se (or Te and Fi), are considered opposite functions. If one is your Dominant Function, the other will be your Inferior Function. If one is your Auxiliary Function, the other will be your Tertiary Function. It’s sometimes thought that you cannot engage them both because they pull you in two completely different directions.
I teach that the opposite functions are integral to each other and require each other to function at their best. The opposite functions do not have to be competing, contradictory forces, forever irreconcilable. Preferably, they are complementary and dynamic, this dual interplay essential for balance and self-actuation. In fact, Jung talked quite a bit about uniting opposites, which is why I have chosen the Tao symbol to represent the type functions.
Ni intuitive synthesis improves with information about the concrete physical world gathered by Se. Se sensate reality benefits with feedback from Ni regarding the implications of the circumstances playing out. Ne originality can avoid repeating the mistakes of the past with a reality check of historical precedence from Si. Si experiential archives can move out of the past and into the future with the help of Ne novelty.
Te structural implementation is more well rounded if it includes Fi feedback about personal impacts. Fi personalization can make use of Te reasoned external interaction to avoid self-absorption. Fe social harmonizing can avoid emotional excess or avoidance with logical Ti feedback on what is actually true. Ti reason and theorizing makes itself pertinent to the lives of real people with Fe humanization.
Without this balance of complements, you get the MBTI stereotypical types — only implementing two of the eight functions. With the interactive flow of opposites in iteration, you get functionally balanced human beings. And that’s the goal I work towards with my Function practice.
The interactive flow of opposites in iteration.
Ni flows into Se flows into Ni. I delve into my unconscious for the information hidden there, supplement with information consciously observable about the world around me, dive back into intuition to synthesize it all into understanding.
Se flows into Ni flows into Se. I interact in the sensual vitality of the moment, checking in with my intuition to see what the implications of my actions are, modifying my interaction with reality as needed.
Ne flows into Si flows into Ne. I push forward into potential with visions of possibilities, checking in with experience to avoid past mistakes, moving forward more knowledgeably with every cycle.
Si flows into Ne flows into Si. I rest in the security of the known, experimenting with variety to keep life interesting, evolving the unknown into the known.
Te flows into Fi flows into Te. I take action to build and order the world, considering the impact on myself and others, modifying my conclusions as needed to benefit both the whole and individuals to the greatest extent. Fi flows into Te flows into Fi. I consider my values long and carefully, taking action on them to make the world a better place for those around me, upgrading my values as I encounter more information in the world around me.
Fe flows into Ti flows into Fe. I create positive interactions with the people around me, tempered by reason, so that I can create harmony among differing perspectives without sacrificing truth.
Ti flows into Fe flows into Ti. I take a stand for universal truth, calling out lack of reason with humble consideration for the feelings of others, in order to teach critical reasoning with kindness.
Opposites in synchronous ebb and flow. When your opposing functions are in harmony with each other, feeding each other towards a common goal, your life is in harmony and you can experience peace and equanimity.
In my depiction, the Dominant Function is at the top of consciousness, and flows into the Inferior Function in a union of opposites. Near the top (early in development), the Dominant Function is not entirely conscious, nor is the Inferior function entirely unconscious. As we mature (bring more of our functional abilities — and thus more of the symbol — up into our consciousness), both our Dominant and Inferior functions become more readily available to us and this allows them to work together more smoothly. Our Auxiliary and Tertiary Functions work together in a similar fashion, and optimally their flow is in sync with the flow of the Dominant and Inferior functions.
As we become less enrapt with our four Primary functions, we are able to discern and direct the other four functions operating in the background. The Background functions are represented by the circles in the symbol.
Dysfunction disturbs the functional flow, setting us cognitively out of balance. I have developed the Function Flow as a practice of bringing the functions into harmony with each other.
I’ve designed a pictorial image for each Function symbolic of its inherent nature, which are described in more detail in subsequent pages. Ni, Intuition, is a nebulous web, like the unconscious; while Ne, Creativity, is water — with huge potential for both life and destruction. Se, Sensation, is sensual silk; while Si, Instinct, is the bedrock foundation of earth. Te, Order, is the seemingly inexhaustible power of the sun; while Ti, Logic, is a galaxy transcending the limits of earth to contemplate the Universal. Fi, Personalization, is the internal impact of life and our connection to the world around us, while Fe, Community, is our ability to soar together when in harmony. The colors are significant and will be addressed in another post.
The message of this symbol is the coalescing of opposites. For too long, humanity as swung from one extreme to another. Now is the time for us to accept both our conscious Sensing and unconscious Intuition, both our Thinking and our Feeling.
When each of these aspects of the human cognitive capacity are in balance we have the fully functional Type. Each Type brings a different cognitive blend, and all blends are required by humanity to solve our global crises.
What will your balanced Type bring to humanity? Contact me to learn more!