Carl Jung, part 5: Psychological types

The fifth of my posts on Jung has just gone up at the Guardian’s Cif. A taster:

Jung himself was also keen to stress that he was not referring to types of people, but types of consciousness. And the same person can be conscious in different ways in different situations, in extremis like a Jekyll and Hyde. To put it another way, all people possess every function within themselves, it’s just that some are not exercised but are buried as the shadow.

This can be troubling, though it allows for personality development, to becoming more whole or individuated, as Jung called it. For example, the extravert who goes on a retreat and manages to last the course is likely to find the experience revelatory. A new source of energy arises insofar as they succeed in activating their shadow inferior functions. Conversely, an extravert who neglects the inner life is likely, sooner or later, to suffer a crisis of meaning – often called the mid-life crisis. Different opportunities and risks arise across the psychological types.