The Introverted Feeling Type

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    • Published: 03-08-2014 11:46 am


      As I have already explained in section A (1) of the present chapter, the introverted is distinguished from the extraverted type by the fact that, unlike the latter, who is prevailingly orientated by the object and objective data, he is governed by subjective factors. In the section alluded to I mentioned, inter alia, that the introvert interposes a subjective view between the perception of the object and his own action, which prevents the action from assuming a character that corresponds with the objective situation. Naturally, this is a special case, mentioned by way of [p. 472] example, and merely intended to serve as a simple illustration. But now we must go in quest of more general formulations.

      Introverted consciousness doubtless views the external conditions, but it selects the subjective determinants as the decisive ones. The type is guided, therefore, by that factor of perception and cognition which represents the receiving subjective disposition to the sense stimulus. Two persons, for example, see the same object, but they never see it in such a way as to receive two identically similar images of it. Quite apart from the differences in the personal equation and mere organic acuteness, there often exists a radical difference, both in kind and degree, in the psychic assimilation of the perceived image. Whereas the extraverted type refers pre-eminently to that which reaches him from the object, the introvert principally relies upon that which the outer impression constellates [sic] in the subject. In an individual case of apperception, the difference may, of course, be very delicate, but in the total psychological economy it is extremely noticeable, especially in the form of a reservation of the ego. Although it is anticipating somewhat, I consider that point of view which inclines, with Weininger, to describe this attitude as philautic, or with other writers, as autoerotic, egocentric, subjective, or egoistic, to be both misleading in principle and definitely depreciatory. It corresponds with the normal bias of the extraverted attitude against the nature of the introvert. We must not forget-although extraverted opinion is only too prone to do so-that all perception and cognition is not purely objective: it is also subjectively conditioned. The world exists not merely in itself, but also as it appears to me. Indeed, at bottom, we have absolutely no criterion that could help us to form a judgment of a world whose nature was unassimilable by the subject. If we were to ignore the subjective factor, it [p. 473] would mean a complete denial of the great doubt as to the possibility of absolute cognition. And this would mean a rechute into that stale and hollow positivism which disfigured the beginning of our epoch -- an attitude of intellectual arrogance that is invariably accompanied by a crudeness of feeling, and an essential violation of life, as stupid as it is presumptuous. Through an overvaluation of the objective powers of cognition, we repress the importance of the subjective factor, which simply means the denial of the subject. But what is the subject? The subject is man -- we are the subject. Only a sick mind could forget that cognition must have a subject, for there exists no knowledge and, therefore, for us, no world where 'I know' has not been said, although with this statement one has already expressed the subjective limitation of all knowledge.

      The same holds good for all the psychic functions: they have a subject which is just as indispensable as the object. It is characteristic of our present extraverted valuation that the word 'subjective' occasionally rings almost like a reproach or blemish; but in every case the epithet 'merely subjective' means a dangerous weapon of offence, destined for that daring head, that is not unceasingly convinced of the unconditioned superiority of the object. We must, therefore, be quite clear as to what meaning the term 'subjective' carries in this investigation. As the subjective factor, then, I understand that psychological action or reaction which, when merged with the effect of the object, makes a new psychic fact. Now, in so far as the subjective factor, since oldest times and among all peoples, remains in a very large measure identical with itself -- since elementary perceptions and cognitions are almost universally the same -- it is a reality that is just as firmly established as the outer object. If this were not so, any sort of permanent and essentially changeless reality [p. 474] would be altogether inconceivable, and any understanding with posterity would be a matter of impossibility. Thus far, therefore, the subjective factor is something that is just as much a fact as the extent of the sea and the radius of the earth. Thus far, also, the subjective factor claims the whole value of a world-determining power which can never, under any circumstances, be excluded from our calculations. It is the other world-law, and the man who is based upon it has a foundation just as secure, permanent, and valid, as the man who relies upon the object But, just as the object and objective data remain by no means always the same, inasmuch as they are both perishable and subject to chance, the subjective factor is similarly liable to variability and individual hazard. Hence its value is also merely relative. The excessive development of the introverted standpoint in consciousness, for instance, does not lead to a better or sounder application of the subjective factor, but to an artificial subjectification of consciousness, which can hardly escape the reproach 'merely subjective'. For, as a countertendency to this morbid subjectification, there ensues a desubjectification of consciousness in the form of an exaggerated extraverted attitude which richly deserves Weininger's description "misautic". Inasmuch as the introverted attitude is based upon a universally present, extremely real, and absolutely indispensable condition of psychological adaptation, such expressions as 'philautic', 'egocentric', and the like are both objectionable and out of place, since they foster the prejudice that it is invariably a question of the beloved ego. Nothing could be more absurd than such an assumption. Yet one is continually meeting it when examining the judgments of the extravert upon the introvert. Not, of course, that I wish to ascribe such an error to individual extraverts; it is rather the present generally accepted extraverted view which is by no means restricted to the extraverted [p. 475] type; for it finds just as many representatives in the ranks of the other type, albeit very much against its own interest. The reproach of being untrue to his own kind is justly levelled at the latter, whereas, this, at least, can never be charged against the former.

      The introverted attitude is normally governed by the psychological structure, theoretically determined by heredity, but which to the subject is an ever present subjective factor. This must not be assumed, however, to be simply identical with the subject's ego, an assumption that is certainly implied in the above mentioned designations of Weininger; it is rather the psychological structure of the subject that precedes any development of the ego. The really fundamental subject, the Self, is far more comprehensive than the ego, because the former also embraces the unconscious, while the latter is essentially the focal point of consciousness. Were the ego identical with the Self, it would be unthinkable that we should be able to appear in dreams in entirely different forms and with entirely different meanings. But it is a characteristic peculiarity of the introvert, which, moreover, is as much in keeping with his own inclination as with the general bias, that he tends to confuse his ego with the Self, and to exalt his ego to the position of subject of the psychological process, thus effecting that morbid subjectification of consciousness, mentioned above, which so alienates him from the object.

      The psychological structure is the same. Semon has termed it 'mneme',[2] whereas I call it the 'collective unconscious'. The individual Self is a portion, or excerpt, or representative, of something universally present in all living creatures, and, therefore, a correspondingly graduated kind of psychological process, which is born anew in every creature. Since earliest times, the inborn manner of acting [p. 476] has been called instinct, and for this manner of psychic apprehension of the object I have proposed the term archetype. I may assume that what is understood by instinct is familiar to everyone. It is another matter with the archetype. This term embraces the same idea as is contained in 'primordial image' (an expression borrowed from Jakob Burckhardt), and as such I have described it in Chapter xi of this book. I must here refer the reader to that chapter, in particular to the definition of 'image'.

      The archetype is a symbolical formula, which always begins to function whenever there are no conscious ideas present, or when such as are present are impossible upon intrinsic or extrinsic grounds. 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. These subjective tendencies and ideas are stronger than the objective influence; because their psychic value is higher, they are superimposed upon all impressions. Thus, just as it seems incomprehensible to the introvert that the object should always be decisive, it remains just as enigmatic to the extravert how a subjective standpoint can be superior to the objective situation. He reaches the unavoidable conclusion that the introvert is either a conceited egoist or a fantastic doctrinaire. Recently he seems to have reached the conclusion that the introvert is constantly influenced by an unconscious power-complex. The introvert unquestionably exposes himself to this prejudice; for it cannot be denied that his definite and highly generalized mode of expression, which apparently excludes every other view from the outset, lends a certain countenance to [p. 477] this extraverted opinion. Furthermore, the very decisiveness and inflexibility of the subjective judgment, which is superordinated to all objective data, is alone sufficient to create the impression of a strong egocentricity. The introvert usually lacks the right argument in presence of this prejudice; for he is just as unaware of the unconscious, though thoroughly sound presuppositions of his subjective judgment, as he is of his subjective perceptions. In harmony with the style of the times, he looks without, instead of behind his own consciousness for the answer. Should he become neurotic, it is the sign of a more or less complete unconscious identity of the ego with the Self, whereupon the importance of the Self is reduced to nil, while the ego becomes inflated beyond reason. The undeniable, world-determining power of the subjective factor then becomes concentrated in the ego, developing an immoderate power claim and a downright foolish egocentricity. Every psychology which reduces the nature of man to unconscious power instinct springs from this foundation. For example, Nietzsche's many faults in taste owe their existence to this subjectification of consciousness.


      The superior position of the subjective factor in consciousness involves an inferiority of the objective factor. The object is not given that importance which should really belong to it. Just as it plays too great a role in the extraverted attitude, it has too little to say in the introverted. To the extent that the introvert's consciousness is subjectified, thus bestowing undue importance upon the ego, the object is placed in a position which in time becomes quite untenable. The object is a factor of undeniable power, while the ego is something very restricted [p. 478] and transitory. It would be a very different matter if the Self opposed the object. Self and world are commensurable factors; hence a normal introverted attitude is just as valid, and has as good a right to existence, as a normal extraverted attitude. But, if the ego has usurped the claims of the subject, a compensation naturally develops under the guise of an unconscious reinforcement of the influence of the object. Such a change eventually commands attention, for often, in spite of a positively convulsive attempt to ensure the superiority of the ego, the object and objective data develop an overwhelming influence, which is all the more invincible because it seizes upon the individual unawares, thus effecting an irresistible invasion of consciousness. As a result of the ego's defective relation to the object -- for a will to command is not adaptation -- a compensatory relation to the object develops in the unconscious, which makes itself felt in consciousness as an unconditional and irrepressible tie to the object. The more the ego seeks to secure every possible liberty, independence, superiority, and freedom from obligations, the deeper does it fall into the slavery of objective facts. The subject's freedom of mind is chained to an ignominious financial dependence, his unconcernedness of action suffers now and again, a distressing collapse in the face of public opinion, his moral superiority gets swamped in inferior relationships, and his desire to dominate ends in a pitiful craving to be loved. The chief concern of the unconscious in such a case is the relation to the object, and it affects this in a way that is calculated to bring both the power illusion and the superiority phantasy to utter ruin. The object assumes terrifying dimensions, in spite of conscious depreciation. Detachment from, and command of, the object are, in consequence, pursued by the ego still more violently. Finally, the ego surrounds itself by a regular system of safeguards (Adler has ably [p. 479] depicted these) which shall at least preserve the illusion of superiority. But, therewith, the introvert severs himself completely from the object, and either squanders his energy in defensive measures or makes fruitless attempts to impose his power upon the object and successfully assert himself. But these efforts are constantly being frustrated by the overwhelming impressions he receives from the object. It continually imposes itself upon him against his will; it provokes in him the most disagreeable and obstinate affects, persecuting him at every step. An immense, inner struggle is constantly required of him, in order to 'keep going.' Hence Psychoasthenia is his typical form of neurosis, a malady which is characterized on the one hand by an extreme sensitiveness, and on the other by a great liability to exhaustion and chronic fatigue.

      An analysis of the personal unconscious yields an abundance of power phantasies coupled with fear of the dangerously animated objects, to which, as a matter of fact, the introvert easily falls a victim. For a peculiar cowardliness develops from this fear of the object; he shrinks from making either himself or his opinion effective, always dreading an intensified influence on the part of the object. He is terrified of impressive affects in others, and is hardly ever free from the dread of falling under hostile influence. For objects possess terrifying and powerful qualities for him-qualities which he cannot consciously discern in them, but which, through his unconscious perception, he cannot choose but believe in. Since his conscious relation to the object is relatively repressed, its exit is by way of the unconscious, where it becomes loaded with the qualities of the unconscious. These qualities are primarily infantile and archaic. His relation to the object, therefore, becomes correspondingly primitive, taking on all those peculiarities which characterize the primitive objectrelationship. Now it seems as though objects possessed [p. 480] magical powers. Strange, new objects excite fear and distrust, as though concealing unknown dangers; objects long rooted and blessed by tradition are attached to his soul as by invisible threads; every change has a disturbing, if not actually dangerous aspect, since its apparent implication is a magical animation of the object. A lonely island where only what is permitted to move moves, becomes an ideal. Auch Einer, the novel by F. Th. Vischer, gives a rich insight into this side of the introvert's psychology, and at the same time shows the underlying symbolism of the collective unconscious, which in this description of types I am leaving on one side, since it is a universal phenomenon with no especial connection with types.


      3. Feeling

      Introverted feeling is determined principally by the subjective factor. This means that the feeling-judgment differs quite as essentially from extraverted feeling as does the introversion of thinking from extraversion. It is unquestionably difficult to give an intellectual presentation of the introverted feeling process, or even an approximate [p. 490] description of it, although the peculiar character of this kind of feeling simply stands out as soon as one becomes aware of it at all. Since it is primarily controlled by subjective preconditions, and is only secondarily concerned with the object, this feeling appears much less upon the surface and is, as a rule, misunderstood. It is a feeling which apparently depreciates the object; hence it usually becomes noticeable in its negative manifestations. The existence of a positive feeling can be inferred only indirectly, as it were. Its aim is not so much to accommodate to the objective fact as to stand above it, since its whole unconscious effort is to give reality to the underlying images. It is, as it were, continually seeking an image which has no existence in reality, but of which it has had a sort of previous vision. From objects that can never fit in with its aim it seems to glide unheedingly away. It strives after an inner intensity, to which at the most, objects contribute only an accessory stimulus. The depths of this feeling can only be divined -- they can never be clearly comprehended. It makes men silent and difficult of access; with the sensitiveness of the mimosa, it shrinks from the brutality of the object, in order to expand into the depths of the subject. It puts forward negative feeling-judgments or assumes an air of profound indifference, as a measure of self-defence.

      Primordial images are, of course, just as much idea as feeling. Thus, basic ideas such as God, freedom, immortality are just as much feeling-values as they are significant as ideas. Everything, therefore, that has been said of the introverted thinking refers equally to introverted feeling, only here everything is felt while there it was thought. But the fact that thoughts can generally be expressed more intelligibly than feelings demands a more than ordinary descriptive or artistic capacity before the real wealth of this feeling can be even approximately [p. 491] presented or communicated to the outer world. Whereas subjective thinking, on account of its unrelatedness, finds great difficulty in arousing an adequate understanding, the same, though in perhaps even higher degree, holds good for subjective feeling. In order to communicate with others it has to find an external form which is not only fitted to absorb the subjective feeling in a satisfying expression, but which must also convey it to one's fellowman in such a way that a parallel process takes place in him. Thanks to the relatively great internal (as well as external) similarity of the human being, this effect can actually be achieved, although a form acceptable to feeling is extremely difficult to find, so long as it is still mainly orientated by the fathomless store of primordial images. But, when it becomes falsified by an egocentric attitude, it at once grows unsympathetic, since then its major concern is still with the ego. Such a case never fails to create an impression of sentimental self-love, with its constant effort to arouse interest and even morbid self-admiration just as the subjectified consciousness of the introverted thinker, striving after an abstraction of abstractions, only attains a supreme intensity of a thought-process in itself quite empty, so the intensification of egocentric feeling only leads to a contentless passionateness, which merely feels itself. This is the mystical, ecstatic stage, which prepares the way over into the extraverted functions repressed by feeling, just as introverted thinking is pitted against a primitive feeling, to which objects attach themselves with magical force, so introverted feeling is counterbalanced by a primitive thinking, whose concretism and slavery to facts passes all bounds. Continually emancipating itself from the relation to the object, this feeling creates a freedom, both of action and of conscience, that is only answerable to the subject, and that may even renounce all traditional values. But so much the more [p. 492] does unconscious thinking fall a victim to the power of objective facts.

      4. The Introverted Feeling Type

      It is principally among women that I have found the priority of introverted feeling. The proverb 'Still waters run deep' is very true of such women. They are mostly silent, inaccessible, and hard to understand; often they hide behind a childish or banal mask, and not infrequently their temperament is melancholic. They neither shine nor reveal themselves. Since they submit the control of their lives to their subjectively orientated feeling, their true motives generally remain concealed. Their outward demeanour is harmonious and inconspicuous; they reveal a delightful repose, a sympathetic parallelism, which has no desire to affect others, either to impress, influence, or change them in any way. Should this outer side be somewhat emphasized, a suspicion of neglectfulness and coldness may easily obtrude itself, which not seldom increases to a real indifference for the comfort and well-being of others. One distinctly feels the movement of feeling away from the object. With the normal type, however, such an event only occurs when the object has in some way too strong an effect. The harmonious feeling atmosphere rules only so long as the object moves upon its own way with a moderate feeling intensity, and makes no attempt to cross the other's path. There is little effort to accompany the real emotions of the object, which tend to be damped and rebuffed, or to put it more aptly, are 'cooled off' by a negative feeling-judgment. Although one may find a constant readiness for a peaceful and harmonious companionship, the unfamiliar object is shown no touch of amiability, no gleam of responding warmth, but is met by a manner of apparent indifference or repelling coldness. [p. 493]

      One may even be made to feel the superfluousness of one's own existence. In the presence of something that might carry one away or arouse enthusiasm, this type observes a benevolent neutrality, tempered with an occasional trace of superiority and criticism that soon takes the wind out of the sails of a sensitive object. But a stormy emotion will be brusquely rejected with murderous coldness, unless it happens to catch the subject from the side of the unconscious, i.e. unless, through the animation of some primordial image, feeling is, as it were, taken captive. In which event such a woman simply feels a momentary laming, invariably producing, in due course, a still more violent resistance, which reaches the object in his most vulnerable spot. The relation to the object is, as far as possible, kept in a secure and tranquil middle state of feeling, where passion and its intemperateness are resolutely proscribed. Expression of feeling, therefore, remains niggardly and, when once aware of it at all, the object has a permanent sense of his undervaluation. Such, however, is not always the case, since very often the deficit remains unconscious; whereupon the unconscious feeling-claims gradually produce symptoms which compel a more serious attention.

      A superficial judgment might well be betrayed, by a rather cold and reserved demeanour, into denying all feeling to this type. Such a view, however, would be quite false; the truth is, her feelings are intensive rather than extensive. They develop into the depth. Whereas, for instance, an extensive feeling of sympathy can express itself in both word and deed at the right place, thus quickly ridding itself of its impression, an intensive sympathy, because shut off from every means of expression, gains a passionate depth that embraces the misery of a world and is simply benumbed. It may possibly make an extravagant irruption, leading to some staggering act of an almost heroic character, to which, however, neither the object nor [p. 494] the subject can find a right relation. To the outer world, or to the blind eyes of the extravert, this sympathy looks like coldness, for it does nothing visibly, and an extraverted consciousness is unable to believe in invisible forces.

      Such misunderstanding is a characteristic occurrence in the life of this type, and is commonly registered as a most weighty argument against any deeper feeling relation with the object. But the underlying, real object of this feeling is only dimly divined by the normal type. It may possibly express its aim and content in a concealed religiosity anxiously shielded, from profane eyes, or in intimate poetic forms equally safeguarded from surprise; not without a secret ambition to bring about some superiority over the object by such means. Women often express much of it in their children, letting their passionateness flow secretly into them.

      Although in the normal type, the tendency, above alluded to, to overpower or coerce the object once openly and visibly with the thing secretly felt, rarely plays a disturbing role, and never leads to a serious attempt in this direction, some trace of it, none the less, leaks through into the personal effect upon the object, in the form of a domineering influence often difficult to define. It is sensed as a sort of stifling or oppressive feeling which holds the immediate circle under a spell. It gives a woman of this type a certain mysterious power that may prove terribly fascinating to the extraverted man, for it touches his unconscious. This power is derived from the deeply felt, unconscious images; consciousness, however, readily refers it to the ego, whereupon the influence becomes debased into personal tyranny. But, wherever the unconscious subject is identified with the ego, the mysterious power of the intensive feeling is also transformed into banal and arrogant ambition, vanity, and [p. 495] petty tyranny. This produces a type of woman most regrettably distinguished by her unscrupulous ambition and mischievous cruelty. But this change in the picture leads also to neurosis.

      So long as the ego feels itself housed, as it were, beneath the heights of the unconscious subject, and feeling reveals something higher and mightier than the ego, the type is normal. The unconscious thinking is certainly archaic, yet its reductions may prove extremely helpful in compensating the occasional inclinations to exalt the ego into the subject. But, whenever this does take place by dint of complete suppression of the unconscious reductive thinking-products, the unconscious thinking goes over into opposition and becomes projected into objects. Whereupon the now egocentric subject comes to feel the power and importance of the depreciated object. Consciousness begins to feel 'what others think'. Naturally, others are thinking, all sorts of baseness, scheming evil, and contriving all sorts of plots, secret intrigues, etc. To prevent this, the subject must also begin to carry out preventive intrigues, to suspect and sound others, to make subtle combinations. Assailed by rumours, he must make convulsive efforts to convert, if possible, a threatened inferiority into a superiority. Innumerable secret rivalries develop, and in these embittered struggles not only will no base or evil means be disdained, but even virtues will be misused and tampered with in order to play the trump card. Such a development must lead to exhaustion. The form of neurosis is neurasthenic rather than hysterical; in the case of women we often find severe collateral physical states, as for instance anæmia and its sequelæ.

      5. Recapitulation of Introverted Rational Types

      Both the foregoing types are rational, since they are founded upon reasoning, judging functions. Reasoning [p. 496] judgment is based not merely upon objective, but also upon subjective, data. But the predominance of one or other factor, conditioned by a psychic disposition often existing from early youth, deflects the reasoning function. For a judgment to be really reasonable it should have equal reference to both the objective and the subjective factors, and be able to do justice to both. This, however, would be an ideal case, and would presuppose a uniform development of both extraversion and introversion. But either movement excludes the other, and, so long as this dilemma persists, they cannot possibly exist side by, side, but at the most successively. Under ordinary circumstances, therefore, an ideal reason is impossible. A rational type has always a typical reasonal variation. Thus, the introverted rational types unquestionably have a reasoning judgment, only it is a judgment whose leading note is subjective. The laws of logic are not necessarily deflected, since its onesidedness lies in the premise. The premise is the predominance of the subjective factor existing beneath every conclusion and colouring every judgment. Its superior value as compared with the objective factor is self-evident from the beginning. As already stated, it is not just a question of value bestowed, but of a natural disposition existing before all rational valuation. Hence, to the introvert rational judgment necessarily appears to have many nuances which differentiate it from that of the extravert. Thus, to the introvert, to mention the most general instance, that chain of reasoning which leads to the subjective factor appears rather more reasonable than that which leads to the object. This difference, which in the individual case is practically insignificant, indeed almost unnoticeable, effects unbridgeable oppositions in the gross; these are the more irritating, the less we are aware of the minimal standpoint displacement produced by the psychological premise in the individual case. A [p. 497] capital error regularly creeps in here, for one labours to prove a fallacy in the conclusion, instead of realizing the difference of the psychological premise. Such a realization is a difficult matter for every rational type, since it undermines the apparent, absolute validity of his own principle, and delivers him over to its antithesis, which certainly amounts to a catastrophe.

      Almost more even than the extraverted is the introverted type subject to misunderstanding: not so much because the extravert is a more merciless or critical adversary, than he himself can easily be, but because the style of the epoch in which he himself participates is against him. Not in relation to the extraverted type, but as against our general accidental world-philosophy, he finds himself in the minority, not of course numerically, but from the evidence of his own feeling. In so far as he is a convinced participator in the general style, he undermines his own foundations, since the present style, with its almost exclusive acknowledgment of the visible and the tangible, is opposed to his principle. Because of its invisibility, he is obliged to depreciate the subjective factor, and to force himself to join in the extraverted overvaluation of the object. He himself sets the subjective factor at too low a value, and his feelings of inferiority are his chastisement for this sin. Little wonder, therefore, that it is precisely our epoch, and particularly those movements which are somewhat ahead of the time, that reveal the subjective factor in every kind of exaggerated, crude and grotesque form of expression. I refer to the art of the present day.

      The undervaluation of his own principle makes the introvert egotistical, and forces upon him the psychology of the oppressed. The more egotistical he becomes, the stronger his impression grows that these others, who are apparently able, without qualms, to conform with the present style, are the oppressors against whom he must guard and [p. 498] protect himself. He does not usually perceive that he commits his capital mistake in not depending upon the subjective factor with that same loyalty and devotion with which the extravert follows the object By the undervaluation of his own principle, his penchant towards egoism becomes unavoidable, which, of course, richly deserves the prejudice of the extravert. Were he only to remain true to his own principle, the judment of 'egoist' would be radically false; for the justification of his attitude would be established by its general efficacy, and all misunderstandings dissipated.

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