The Introverted Sensation Type
The predominance of introverted sensation produces a definite type, which is characterized by certain peculiarities. It is an irrational type, because it is oriented amid the flux of events not by rational judgment but simply by what happens. Whereas the extraverted sensation type is guided by the intensity of objective influences, the introverted type is guided by the intensity of the subjective sensation excited by the objective stimulus. Obviously, therefore, no proportional relation exists between object and sensation, but one that is apparently quite unpredictable and arbitrary. What will make an impression and what will not can never be seen in advance, and from outside. Did there exist an aptitude for expression in any way proportional to the intensity of his sensations, the irrationality of this type would be extraordinarily striking. This is the case, for instance, when an individual is a creative artist. But since this is the exception, the introvert's characteristic difficulty in expressing himself also conceals his irrationality. On the contrary, he may be conspicuous for his calmness and passivity, or for his rational self-control. This peculiarity, which often leads a superficial judgment astray, is really due to his unrelatedness to objects. Normally the object is not consciously devalued in the least, but its stimulus is removed from it and immediately replaced by a subjective reaction no longer related to the reality of the object. This naturally has the same effect as devaluation. Such a type can easily make one question why one should exist at all, or why objects in general should have any justification for their existence since everything essential still goes on happening without them. This doubt may be justified in extreme cases, but not in the normal, since the objective stimulus is absolutely necessary to sensation and merely produces something different from what the external situation might lead one to expect.
Seen from the outside, it looks as though the effect of the object did not penetrate into the subject at all. This impression is correct inasmuch as a subjective content does, in fact, intervene from the unconscious and intercept the effect of the object. The intervention may be so abrupt that the individual appears to be shielding himself directly from all objective influences. In more serious cases, such a protective defence actually does exist. Even with only a slight increase in the power of the unconscious, the subjective component of sensation becomes so alive that it almost completely obscures the influence of the object. If the object is a person, he feels completely devalued, while the subject has an illusory conception of reality, which in pathological cases goes so far that he is no longer able to distinguish between the real object and the subjective perception. Although so vital a distinction reaches the vanishing point only in near-psychotic states, yet long before that the subjective perception can influence thought, feeling, and action to an excessive degree despite the fact that the object is clearly seen in all its reality. When its influence does succeed in penetrating into the subject because of its special intensity or because of its complete analogy with the unconscious image even the normal type will be compelled to act in accordance with the unconscious model. Such action has an illusory character unrelated to objective reality and is extremely disconcerting. It instantly reveals the reality alienating subjectivity of this type. But when the influence of the object does not break through completely, it is met with well-intentioned neutrality, disclosing little sympathy yet constantly striving to soothe and adjust. The too low is raised a little, the too high is lowered, enthusiasm is damped down, extravagance restrained, and anything out of the ordinary reduced to the right formula-all this in order to keep the influence of the object within the necessary bounds. In this way the type becomes a menace to his environment because his total innocuousness is not altogether above suspicion. In that case he easily becomes a victim of the aggressiveness and domineeringness of others. Such men allow themselves to be abused and then take their revenge on the most unsuitable occasions with redoubled obtuseness and stubbornness.
If no capacity for artistic expression is present, all impressions sink into the depths and hold consciousness under a spell, so that it becomes impossible to master their fascination by giving them conscious expression. In general, this type can organize his impressions only in archaic ways, because thinking and feeling are relatively unconscious and, if conscious at all, have at their disposal only the most necessary, banal, everyday means of expression. As conscious functions, they are wholly incapable of adequately reproducing his subjective perceptions. This type, therefore, is uncommonly inaccessible to objective understanding, and he usually fares no better in understanding himself.
Above all, his development alienates him from the reality of the object, leaving him at the mercy of his subjective perceptions, which orient his consciousness to an archaic reality, although his lack of comparative judgment keeps him wholly unconscious of this fact. Actually he lives in a mythological world, where men, animals, locomotives, houses, rivers, and mountains appear either as benevolent deities or as malevolent demons. That they appear thus to him never enters his head, though that is just the effect they have on his judgments and actions. He judges and acts as though he had such powers to deal with; but this begins to strike him only when he discovers that his sensations are totally different from reality. If he has any aptitude for objective reason, he will sense this difference as morbid; but if he remains faithful to his irrationality, and is ready to grant his sensations reality value, the objective world will appear a mere make-believe and a comedy. Only in extreme cases, however, is this dilemma reached. As a rule he re-signs himself to his isolation and the banality of the world, which he has unconsciously made archaic.
His unconscious is distinguished chiefly by the repression of intuition, which consequently acquires an extraverted and archaic character. Whereas true extraverted intuition is possessed of a singular resourcefulness, a "good nose" for objectively real possibilities, this archaicized intuition has an amazing flair for all the ambiguous, shadowy, sordid, dangerous possibilities lurking in the background. The real and conscious intentions of the object mean nothing to it; instead, it sniffs out every conceivable archaic motive underlying such an intention. It therefore has a dangerous and destructive quality that contrasts glaringly with the well-meaning innocuousness of the conscious attitude. So long as the individual does not hold too aloof from the object, his unconscious intuition has a salutary compensating effect on the rather fantastic and overcredulous attitude of consciousness. But as soon as the unconscious becomes antagonistic, the archaic intuitions come to the surface and exert their pernicious influence, forcing themselves on the individual and producing compulsive ideas of the most perverse kind. The result is usually a compulsion neurosis, in which the hysterical features are masked by symptoms of exhaustion.