Carl Jung’s idea of psychic totality looks something like a compass- each direction points to an unconscious or conscious set of functions that influence a person’s external behaviors. These internal compass points are constantly at play directing a person through life, but certain directions of this internal compass pull individuals in different directions. Everyone feels one or two psychic functions stronger than the others, but each one has a consistent influence on a person’s character.
Thinking, intuition, feeling, and sensing are the four cardinal directions that make up Jung’s psychic totality. Thinking and feeling are opposites, while sensation and intuition are opposites on the other end of the compass.
Following the cardinal directions
Many people go through life never wondering why they are the way they are while others take a more active role in understanding why they think and behave the way they do. Using these four psychic factors, it is often fairly easy to determine where your personality strengths lie, as the opposite directions on the compass points are mutually exclusive. According to Jung a person can be either relying on their thinking factor or their feeling factor at any given time; over time a person can grow to depend on one of these over the other for the majority of situations they come across.
The same goes for sensing and intuition, which Jung categorized as irrational functions. These factors work with information that is perceptual instead of rational, like thinking or feeling. However, everyone depends on one of these factors over the other when perceiving the world around them.
The process of thinking, or adjusting to the world by way of mental cognition and making logical inferences, is solidly in the thinking hemisphere of Jung’s psychic function. Sensing and intuition live in the place between consciousness and unconsciousness, able to be used by both. Feeling is solidly placed in the unconscious part of our brain.
Jung used the four psychic functions to explain why the people around us have such unique personalities. Everyone blends how they are pulled by the four directions into their psychologies to create the vibrant world of characters we live in. The primary and auxiliary functions, or those functions that work on the conscious and unconscious minds, work in complimentary and opposing ways in each individual’s psychology.
Jung opened up an entirely new world with his discoveries, and discoveries into the psychology of personality and the self are still being made today. Insights Discovery is based squarely on Jung’s theories, and as such is an invaluable tool in helping people understand themselves and others. If you would like further help in identifying yourself or others as part of the four color personalities, schedule me, Scott Schwefel, as your keynote speaker. I will come to your group and address the differences in personalities in a truthful, fun, and easy-to-understand way. Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to share my blogs with the color energies you work with!