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Thread: MBTI: Individuation and Development of Functions

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    Haikus silke's Avatar
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    Default MBTI: Individuation and Development of Functions

    Individuation and Differentiation of Functions




    “The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.”
    ― C.G. Jung


    An age-old question which most people have pondered at some point in their lives is "why are we the way we are"? Unfortunately, I can't clue you in on the answer to that question in a really authoritative way, but I can tell you about work that has been done to determine how people's Personality Types are developed.

    The more recent studies done around Temperament suggest that we are each born with our temperaments intact. Efforts are being made to prove this.

    W. Harold Grant did a lot of work with Jung's theories, and concluded that Jung believed that Personality Type has a developmental process which can be observed through an individual's life. The early phases of our lives help determine the dominance ordering of the four functions (Sensing, Intuition, Thinking and Feeling), and the development of our dominant and auxiliary functions. The later phases help us develop our tertiary and inferior functions.





    Let's take a look at Grant's phases of development, using the INFJ (Ni,Fe,Ti,Se) Personality Type as an example:

    From age 0 - 6 years
    At this early age, we use all four of the functions in an indiscriminate fashion. We "try on" the different functions for size, determining which ones work best for us. The little INFJ has not yet emerged as any particular personality type, although his parents may notice trends in behavior which appear to have the characteristics of one or more types.

    From 6 - 12 years
    During this phase, our dominant function begins to develop and assert itself. Our young INFJ begins to appear dreamy and introspective - he begins to prefer to use his iNtuition to take in information, and he chooses to do this alone (Introverted). The dominant function of "Introverted iNtuition" begins to show itself as the prevailing aspect of his personality.

    From 12 - 20 years
    The auxiliary function asserts itself as a powerful support to the dominant function. Since all recent studies point towards the importance of a well-developed team of dominant AND auxiliary functions, this is an important time of "self-identification". Research suggests that people without a strong auxiliary function to complement their dominant function have real problems.

    In our INFJ example, we see the auxiliary Feeling function come to the front during this phase as a support to the dominant iNtuitive function. Since the INFJ's dominant function is an Information Gathering function, the auxilary function must be a Decision Making one. Without a Decision Making process, we would flounder about and never get anything done! As the auxilary Feeling process comes forth, the INFJ begins to develop the ability to make decisions based on his personal value system. This auxiliary decision making process will be Extraverted, since the dominant function is Introverted. Since the decision making function is Extraverted, our subject now emerges as a "Judger", rather than a "Perceiver". Our INFJ Personality Type is now pretty firmly set in place, and we know the dominance ordering of the four functions.

    From 20 - 35 years
    We begin to use our tertiary function more frequently and with better success. Our INFJ begins to use his Introverted Thinking function. He continues to make judgments with his Extreverted Feeling auxiliary function, but he also begins to make judgments based on logic and reason, which he works through in his own mind, rather than discussing it with others.

    From 35 - 50 years
    We pay attention to our fourth, inferior function. We feel a need to develop it and use it more effectively. Our INFJ begins to use his Extraverted Sensing function. He becomes more aware of his surroundings and begins to take in information from others in a more literal, practical sense. He continues to rely on his dominant Introverted iNtuitive function to take in information, but he is more able to use his Extraverted Sensing function than he has been before in his life. Some researchers have attested that the appearance of our inferior functions at this phase of life may be responsible for what we commonly call the "mid-life crisis".

    From 50 onwards
    From this age until our deaths, we have accessibility to all four functions. However, we use them in a more disciplined, differentiated manner than when we were very young. Our basic Personality Type continues to assert itself, but we are able to call upon all four functions when needed.

    Source: http://www.personalitypage.com/


    Individuation and Self in Jungian Psychology

    According to Jungian psychology, individuation is a process of psychological integration the goal of which is development of the individual's personality: "In general, it is the process by which individual beings are formed and differentiated [from other human beings]; in particular, it is the development of the psychological individual as a being distinct from the general, collective psychology."

    'The symbols of the individuation process...mark its stages like milestones', prominent among them for Jungians being '"the shadow, the Wise Old Man...and lastly the anima in man and the animus in woman"'. Thus 'there is often a movement from dealing with the persona at the start...to the ego at the second stage, to the shadow as the third stage, to the anima or animus, to the self as the final stage. Some would interpose the Wise Old Man and the Wise Old Woman as spiritual archetypes coming before the final step of the Self'.

    Individuation is a process of transformation whereby the personal and collective unconscious is brought into consciousness, by means of dreams, active imagination or free association to take some examples, to be assimilated into the whole personality. It is a completely natural process necessary for the integration of the psyche to take place. Individuation has a holistic healing effect on the person, both mentally and physically.

    The Self in Jungian theory signifies the coherent whole, unified consciousness and unconscious of a person - 'the totality of the psyche'. The Self, according to Jung, is realised as the product of individuation - a process of integrating one's personality. For Jung, the Self was symbolised by the circle, the square, or the mandala.

    Self should be not confused with the Ego. The Ego is the center of consciousness, whereas the Self is the center of the total personality, including the consciousness, the unconscious, and the ego. The ego is thus contained within the self.

    Jung considered that 'each human being has originally a feeling of wholeness, a powerful and complete sense of the Self'. Out of that sense of Self, 'the individualized ego-consciousness emerges as the individual grows up...differentiation of the psyche'. This process of ego-differentiation provides the task of the first half of life. 'And the ego must continually return to re-establish its relation to the Self in order to maintain a condition of psychic health', something facilitated by the use of myths, initiation ceremonies, and rites of passage.

    Once ego-differentiation had been successfully achieved, and the individual securely anchored in the external world, Jung considered that a new task then arose for the second half of life - a return to, and conscious rediscovery of, the Self: individuation. 'The actual processes of individuation - the conscious coming-to-term with one's own inner center (psychic nucleus) or Self - generally begins with a wounding of the personality'. The ego reaches an impasse of one sort or another; and has to turn for help to 'a sort of hidden regulating or directing tendency...[or] organizing center' in the personality: 'Jung called this center the "Self" and described it as the totality of the whole psyche, in order to distinguish it from the "ego", which constitutes only a small part of the psyche'.

    Under its guidance, 'a certain "order of sequence" of the archetypes' would then emerge, bringing their fragmentary aspects of the Self increasingly closer to its totality. The first to appear, and the closest to the ego, would be the shadow or personal unconscious: 'the shadow is the first representative of the totality'. 'Sometimes the shadow is powerful because the urge of the Self is pointing in the same direction, and so one does not know whether it is the Self or the shadow that is behind the inner pressure'.

    Next to appear would be the Anima and Animus, the soul-image - the danger here being that of 'a kind of psychological short-circuit, to identify the animus at least provisionally with wholeness...[with] the Self'. Where that is averted, the animus or anima 'takes on the role of guide, or mediator, to the world within and to the Self...a mediator between the ego and the Self'.

    'After the confrontation with the soul-image the appearance of the archetype of the OLD WISE MAN, the personification of the spiritual principle, can be distinguished as the next milestone of inner development'. Jung sometimes referred to such archetypal figures as "Mana" personalities, supraordinate personalities, and treated them as equivalents to the Self: 'the mother ("Primordial Mother" and "Earth Mother") as a supraordinate personality...the supraordinate personality as the "self"'. At other times, he saw them as representatives of the collective unconscious - as bridging-posts to the totality.

    Thereafter comes the archetype of 'the Self. It marks the last station on the way to individuation, which Jung calls self-realization'. For Jung, 'the Self...embraces ego-consciousness, shadow, anima, and collective unconscious in indeterminable extension. As a totality, the self is a coincidental oppositorum; it is therefore bright and dark and yet neither'. Alternatively, he stated that 'the Self is the total, timeless man...who stands for the mutual integration of conscious and unconscious'.


    Keywords: Carl Jung, Myers and Briggs, MBTI types, personality test, personality assessment, psychological test, psychometric testing, personality development.
    Last edited by silke; 04-25-2018 at 08:32 AM.

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    IQ over 150 vesstheastralsilky's Avatar
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    I think I reached Individuation by around age 40? Who else here feels individuated?

    The older I get, the harder it is to "type" myself because my personality has become well-rounded and yet distinct in its own way. Two days ago I easy agreed with being SEI. Yesterday I felt more of the EII part of my psyche and today I feel a bit LII. I believe my core type is constant but also believe that as we individuate, one goes through "type moods" as we experience different subtle mode shifts in effort to lead, adapt and balance to life.

    I created a hypothetical map of my full psyche and its progression toward wholeness back in 2012. My theory went like this: in Hinduism exists the supernatural energetic consciousness presence of the chakras from ground (feet) to crown. Likewise, in European mythology, if one examines the story of Sleeping Beauty, she had different fairies at her birth assigning her different "gifts" or perhaps talents, the last enabling a kind of redemption. These chakras or gifts of consciousness from ground through the crown are a series of mechanisms for expanding awareness and coping with life's challenges with new viewpoints and methods.

    So consider this: one is born with let's say their basic, intertype-relations applicable core type. Then there is the presence of the ground chakras at the feet. Each chakra gets a new "type" seal which processes the content of that chakra with new reserves. So in development, let's say I was born SEI. At ground I am LSE. A "need" is established here - the need for Te to stay grounded. So one keeps chasing after Te first if all needs are not already being met with unconditional love in ones experiences.

    When the ground chakra LSE seal gets maxed out and can no longer assist, a mini-crisis emerges which creates the need for the next officially the 1st chakra to get engaged: the root. Now it just so happens that in my study I perceived this to be EII - the dual of LSE. So an EII side now emerges in the psyche to dualize and balance the ground needs as much as possible, especially in root chakra matters pertaining not to focus (ground), but intensity and emphasis, endurance.

    When root chakra endurance awareness gets maxed out, another mini-crisis emerges. It is time for the psyche to grow again and include more facets of conscious awareness. Now we are at the 2nd sacral chakra of peers, temperance and moderation and emotional issues of the lower nature are dealt with. The type precession perceived graduated from EII to LII. It was just a slight shift, unlike the last major shift, to accommodate Ti with past Ne. Now one *really* feels equipped to handle more of the stressors of life. All previous type seals are still operating and present as need be, accepting and filtering information according to their type natures and the natures of the chakras. Relationships also begin to get fuller and more complex. Individuality gets more pronounced because of this complexity rather than being a cartoonist cookie cutter one-type like 1 in 32 people.

    When the next mini-crisis emerges, perhaps another few years went by, and it is time to grow and mature again because the past functions of ego operation are still insufficient, I then went quasi-Identical. LII became ILI. ILI became my SuperEgo at the solar plexus 3rd chakra and I now have defense mechanisms of projection better developed than simply avoidance (root) or projection and denial (sacral). By now I'm in high school.

    The next shift that occurred growing from the 3rd chakra with an ILI type seal to the 4th heart chakra was Supervisor EIE. Yet I see how my core function Supervises this heart seal as well. Curious way of looking at a type model and development, isn't it? This is my real life self-example. Anyway, this kicked in by early 20s.

    The last of the ego-based chakras is the 5th throat chakra. When the 4th chakra awareness maxed out and new perceptual awareness was needed to complete the process of becoming whole in the psyche, the next type that came into play was, elegantly, the dual of the heart - LSI. Now here is the first introduction of Se into the mix.

    All other "types" are garbled or else more unconscious and unnecessary as by the 3rd eye chakra, Ajna, paradoxical qualities can be seen and non-egoic perspectives become possible before finally all illusion and delusion sufficiently gives away and "enlightenment" of wholeness, the completed Mandala of Self, is achieved at the crown. The energies of good works stored in the upper galactic chakras above the head enable the rebirth by the Spirit and continued longevity if one has done enough good serving the Divine Will through the resources one had been entrusted. And so, rather than dying at this point, life can continue and the cycle repeats until one burns out completely.

    In summary,

    Core start basic intertype relations: SEI Si Fe
    Ground: LSE Te Si. Supervisor
    Root: EII Fi Ne Dual, Benefactor
    Sacral: LII Ti Ne Look-a-Like, Activity
    Solar Plexus: ILI Ni Te Quasi-Identical, Super-Ego
    Heart: EIE Fe Ni Supervisor, Supervisee
    Throat: LSI Ti Se Dual, Beneficiary
    Last edited by vesstheastralsilky; 12-22-2018 at 02:49 AM.
    ~* astralsilky



    Each essence is a separate glass,
    Through which Sun of Being’s Light is passed,
    Each tinted fragment sparkles with the Sun,
    A thousand colors, but the Light is One.

    Jami, 15th c. Persian Poet

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    What's the purpose of SEI? Tallmo's Avatar
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    As far as I've understood "inferior function" it referes to "suggestive" in socionics. It has to be developed to balance the onesidedness of your type. So I think that should be kept in mind when reading this.

    @vesstheastralsilky, individuation as understood by Jung doesnt begin until midlife. It basically starts when a person has lived his "life on earth", done everything that he wants to do, and life is "done" so to speak. For lots of people individuation never happens or it is only partial, or it can begin much later than in midlife.

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    IQ over 150 vesstheastralsilky's Avatar
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    @Tallmo, being "done" is exactly how I felt. I do things much differently now ever since. There is much I used to aim for which I now know to be futile or not worth it.

    When my experiential theories do not 100% that of a theory from someone in the past, even 100 years ago, I really don't care. It is experience that proves whether a theory is valid or partially there or bunk. I am not impressed by the randomness of fame either. There is a famous quote something to the effect of "I am not so interested in the genius of Einstein's mind so much as knowing that people of equal talent Have died working cotton fields."
    ~* astralsilky



    Each essence is a separate glass,
    Through which Sun of Being’s Light is passed,
    Each tinted fragment sparkles with the Sun,
    A thousand colors, but the Light is One.

    Jami, 15th c. Persian Poet

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    a two horned unicorn renegade Heretic 007's Avatar
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    I do not really understand myself in terms of being me. I only understand it through extrospection. Evaluation of others' evaluation of me against the rest. Never ask what you want or what you feel etc. It is never going to be part of me.

    The most nagging thing about self I think is the ignoring. It kicks in solitude. When I was around 5 years old I thought that I was practically dead. Number line and linear continuity...

    So... MBTI functions... If it was socionics ego and super ego. My super ego seem to fluctuate. It can go extremely low to briefly almost OK.
    Measuring you right now

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    My sense of self is something that is peculiar, even to others. It is as if I am several types in one, and I fluctuate between them depending on what I am doing at any given moment. I am very hyper self-aware, and I think it was the result of experiencing some things in the past that would have driven many off the deep end, but managed to overcome it somewhat. I personally feel that I have no "True self" and once embraced the Shadow self in the pits of isolation depression. My childhood was intensely psychologically abusive, as a result I do not think I developed certain functions in the right order naturally.

    My perspective, is like living in a constant parallels to reality. There is "reality" then there is the "Reality" that I see. Like looking at many different things at once. I myself, am stuck between them, and I can go to either one, but I am never sure which one is the real one. I often am able to see many things, paths, which realities can go down. I am often powerless to do anything about it, because I am never sure which one is the real one I should be worried about.

    But I could just be overthinking the capabilities of Ni and Ne.

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