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Thread: Psychic energy and E/I attitudes, dicussions on Jung's and Gulenko's ideas

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    Default Psychic energy and E/I attitudes, dicussions on Jung's and Gulenko's ideas

    A few times ago I posted a discussion on Gulenko's function descriptions. However, from my perspective there are two keys in reading his texts:
    1) Energy. Since Gulenko considers his model to be an energy model. One needs to know what is "energy" in the Jungian context.
    2) E/I attitudes. Since this is one of the most fundamental concepts in Jungian typologies.

    Jung discussed a bit about energy and libido in Psychological Types, but it's quite limited. So I find another article written by Jung: On Psychic Energy. This article is avaliable in the 8th volume of The collected works of C. G. Jung. Also, a lot of non-Socionics (eg. MBTI) books and writers refer to an energy definition of E/I attitudes such that they claim extraverts gain energy through social activities while introverts gain energy through being alone. So I think it's also quite needed to read this article to clarify such misinterpretations.

    I am also new to this article so if my interpretations have any problems please point it out. Nothing in this article is final. But anyway, for me, it turns out that Jungian energy is more related to the valued/subdued dichotomy in Model A. I will discuss Jung's ideas at first, and then Gulenko's texts.

    Two Perspectives according to Jung

    Jung used an analogy such that physical events can be looked in two ways: the mechanical perspective and the energetic perspective.

    Remark: this analogy is very similar to Aushra's analogy and it's Ne-ish so again it supports Jung's self-typing as a LII.

    Jung said:"The mechanistic view is purely causal" and "The energic point of view on the other hand is in essence final". So he links them with cause-effects and he thinks that the mechanistic view is related to the causes while the energic view is related to the results.

    Discussion: It seems understandable. For instance, a bike is moving forward. From the mechanistic view: the rider steps on the pedal, then the force is transmitted to the tire through the chain, the tire rotates. There's friction between the tire and the ground so the bike moves foward. It's causal. From the energic view, the bio energy in the rider transformed to the kinetic energy of the bike, so it's a perspective linked to the final result.

    Jung claimed that both views are needed and there's a third one combing the two: "Both points of view are indispensable for understanding physical events and consequently enjoy general recognition. Meanwhile, their continued existence side by side has gradually given rise to a third conception which is mechanistic as well as energic", "From what has been said it should be sufficiently clear that every event requires the mechanistic-causal as well as the energic-final point of view."


    Psychic energy and value

    Jung said that the energy is estimated with value.

    Jung: The applicability of the energic standpoint to psychology rests, then, exclusively on the question whether a quantitative estimate of psychic energy is possible or not. This question can be met with an unconditional affirmative, since our psyche actually possesses an extraordinarily well-developed evaluating system, namely the system of psychological values. Values are quantitative estimates of energy. Here it should be remarked that in our collective moral and aesthetic values we have at our disposal not merely an objective system of value but an objective system of measurement.

    Discussion: The "value" in this context should be of the similar meaning to the valued/subdued dichotomy instead of "a value of the number". This is because that Jung explains it with an analogy of the objective value - the collective moral. So the "value" here means how one values something or not. We should also clarify that it's different from Fi. The values are estimates of our psychic energy. They show that whether our energy/libido is oriented to some perspective or not. If its oriented to this perspective, then this perspective is valued. On the other hand, we could use the value system to estimate the energy.


    Jung: Even the child practises very early the differentiation of his scale of values; he weighs up whether he likes his father or mother better, who comes in the second and third place, who is most hated, etc.

    Discussion: Again, Jung emphasized the relationship between value and energy here.

    Jung also discussed its relationship between energy and complexes. He also introduced several methods to estimate it (such as the "pulse curve").

    Discussion: Jung is only discussing the energy and value in general so he is not disussing how to determine the energies among the cognitive functions here. So such techniques could be used to determine unconventional energic orientations (such as fetishism). In my opionion, when we discuss the energic flows among the cognitive functions, we actually get the valued/subdued dichotomy. For instance, I value Ti-Fe and Si-Ne. So for my thinking, my energy mainly flows to Ti instead of Te. It shows up as I value Ti instead of Te.

    Jung: For example, a feeling-attitude that seeks to fulfil the demands of reality by means of empathy may easily encounter a situation that can only be solved through thinking. In this case the feeling-attitude breaks down and the progression of libido also ceases. The vital feeling that was present before disappears, and in its place the psychic value of certain conscious contents increases in an unpleasant way;

    Disucussion: This is an example of our role function. In this example, one's libido is oriented toward empathy (resonance, valued Fi) but (s)he faces something requiring her/his subdued Ti. So (s)he has to play her or his role function and her/his conscious contents increases in an unpleasant way.

    Psychic Energy and Force (a common misinterpretation)

    Jung said that a common misinterpretation of his energy/libido concept is to understand it as a psychic force.

    Jung (in Psychological Types, Chapter XI, definitions of "libido"): Psychic energy is the intensity of the psychic process—its psychological value. By this I do not mean to imply any imparted value, whether moral, æsthetic, or intellectual; the psychological value is simply conditioned by its determining power, which is manifested in definite psychic operations (‘effects’). Neither do I understand libido as a psychic force, a misunderstanding that has led many critics astray. I do not hypostasize the concept of energy, but employ it as a concept denoting intensity or value.

    Jung: We have to thank Lipps for the distinction between psychic energy and psychic force. For Lipps, psychic force is the possibility of processes arising in the psyche at all and of attaining a certain degree of efficiency. Psychic energy, on the other hand, is defined by Lipps as the “inherent capacity of these processes to actualize this force in themselves.”

    Discussion: Jung stated that energy/libido is not hypostasized, it's only a concept denoting intensity or value. One should not understand it us a psychic force. Jung tries to clarify it for several times.

    Jung: Hence, in practice, we speak of electrical energy and the like, as if energy were a definite force. This merging of the applied or empirical concept with the intuitive idea of the event gives rise to those constant confusions of “energy” with “force.” Similarly, the psychological concept of energy is not a pure concept, but a concrete and applied concept that appears to us in the form of sexual, vital, mental, moral “energy,” and so on. In other words, it appears in the form of a drive, the unmistakably dynamic nature of which justifies us in making a conceptual parallel with physical forces.

    Discussion: The psychic energy, esitemated by value, is somewhat an internal drive but it's not the hypostasized psychic force. If you comparing LII with this paragraph, Si, the hidden agenda of LII, does appears in the form of a drive and LIIs should be considered to have relative high energy (value) on Si. Again it shows how Jungian energy/libido relates to the valued/subdued dichotomy of Model A. For instance, Fi and Se form my super-ego block and I regard them as what the society enforces on me. So they are not my drive, they are subdued elements and I have a low value on them. Te and Ni form my id block, I regard them as what I am able to do but I don't really value them and I'm not very intended to do. So I have a low drive on Te and Ni, which are subdued elements. I can have force to do Ni but I am not driven to do it.

    The Conservation of Psychic Energy (Libido)

    According to Jung, one's psychic energy should be largely conservative. So we shouldn't say that one gains energy from something.

    Jung: For instance, when a child begins to separate himself subjectively from his parents, fantasies of substitute parents arise, and these fantasies are almost always transferred to real people.

    Discussion: Here, Jung gives an example of the transference of psychic energy. The energy moves from his parents to other real people but it's not lost.

    Jung: In this way a closed energic system gradually reduces its differences in intensity to an even temperature, whereby any further change is prohibited.

    Jung: The psyche, too, can be regarded as such a relatively closed system, in which transformations of energy lead to an equalization of differences. According to Boltzmann’s formulation, ...

    Discussion: I think Jung uses the wrong term here (probably due to translation). What he refers to should be isolated system instead of closed system. As far as I know, in thermodynamics, a closed system is a system such that no substance exchange with the outside is allowed but energy exchange is possible. The system such that no energy exchange with the outside happens is an isolated system. But it's clear that Jung stated that the result leads to an even temperature and he specially notes Boltzmann's work so it should be clear that he means isolated system in this context. So Jung thinks our psyche chould be regarded as a relatively isolated system such that the energy exchange with the outside is quite limited. So we can't easily gain energy from something, we mostly transfers our energy within our psyche. Psyche energy (libido) is different from psyche force in Jung's texts.

    Jung: Everyone speaks of the “storms of youth” which yield to the “tranquillity of age.” We speak, too, of a “confirmed belief” after “battling with doubts,” of “relief from inner tension,” and so on. This is the involuntary energic standpoint shared by everyone.

    Remark: This is the entropy increasing process of an isolated system. So again Jung analogies human psyche with a relatively isolated thermodynamic system.

    Psychic Energy and E/I attitudes

    Jung: Progression is a forwards movement of life in the same sense that time moves forwards. This movement can occur in two different forms: either extraverted, when the progression is predominantly influenced by objects and environmental conditions, or introverted, when it has to adapt itself to the conditions of the ego (or, more accurately, of the “subjective factor”).

    Discussion: Jung discusses the forward/backward moving of libido in this article. It's not really related to the E/I attitude. It's very easy to regard progression as extraverted but actually introverted people could also move their libido forward by adapting itself to the "subjective factor".

    Jung: Libido moves not only forwards and backwards, but also outwards and inwards. The psychology of the latter movement is described at some length in my book on types, so I can refrain from further elaboration here.

    Discussion: So the inward/outward moving of libido is discussed in Psychological Types. Many articles defines E/I attitudes with the "moving libido outward or inward" saying. It's kind of a "correct nonsense" since the key is to understand the meaning of libido, and to understand what does it means to move libido inwardly. Actually Jung discusses it in detail in the beginning of the "introverted types" section. I have written some discussions in previous posts: post 1, post 2.

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    Discussions on Gulenko's ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulenko
    On the physical level, extroverts are distinguished by their ability to spend energy in activities that require no deep thought. ... An introvert does not have such energy reserves as an extrovert, ... They draw energy from the outside.
    This contradicts Jung's view on the conservation of energy. Actually it's probably somewhat related to the "psychic force", which is mentioned by Jung as a common misunderstanding of libido.

    Also, Karl Marx is an extrovert in both Aushra's and Gulenko's typings. But he is distinguished by his deep thought instead of energy-spending (force-spending) activities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulenko
    Psychologically, extroverts are more open people in informal communication. ... Without receiving information from the outside, an extrovert feels inner emptiness. ...
    Having no external information causes an introvert to generate it themselves. It is much worse for them without external energy supply.
    This seems to be a literal understanding of Jung's discussions on the inward/outward movements of libido. To understand how libido moves inward/outward, one should refer to Jung's discussions on the introverted types since there he explains how introverted attitudes differ from extraverted ones.

    In Jungian context, the human psyche is a relatively isolated system so there is almost no external energy supply. The word "energy" here also seems to be closer to "psychic force", mentioned by Jung as a common misinterpretation. Also, Jung states that all the four functions (S, N, T and F) are ectopsychic functions. According to Jung, "the ectopsyche is a system of relationship between the contents of consciousness and facts and data coming in from the environment." So they all process information from the environment. Even Ti, Ni, Si and Fi are processing facts and data coming from the environment. This is also shown in Jung's following discussions:

    Jung: The contents of the collective unconscious are represented in consciousness in the form of pronounced tendencies, or definite ways of looking at things. They are generally regarded by the individual as being determined by the object—incorrectly, at bottom—since they have their source in the unconscious structure of the psyche, and are only released by the operation of the object.

    So the introverted elements are also dealing with outside information and one can easily regard them as being determined by the object. They just hold an attitude to process the information with a perspective from our collective unconscious.

    It's very hard to believe that "introverts needs no information, they need energy from the outside". It's different from Jung's ideas. In my opinion, it's not how Jung defines E/I and it's closer to MBTI.

    Also, it's different from reallife experiences. For instance, an introvert might be interested in reading books it's also receiving information.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulenko
    An introvert is less likely to become a leader of large groups.
    But Gulenko typed many leaders as LSIs: Stalin, Putin and Medvedev are all typed as LSIs by him. Socionics. Types of famous people. QUADRA BETA. Sociotypes of celebrities, socionics of famous people. Types of stars. Types of outstanding people. Humanitarian socionics (socioniks.net)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulenko
    An extrovert usually appears more "intelligent" with higher IQ scores because this measurement requires completion of tasks quickly within a limited amount of time.
    Also different from my experience. My experience that that extraverts with high IQ scores are often mistyped as introverts in MBTI. My guess is that high IQ people find it hard to communicate with most of her or his classmates since young so they tend to appear more "socially introverted" even if they are of an extraverted type.

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