This article continues the series focused on Jungian typologies and expands the notion of functions, associating to each function a certain archetype. I mean, the functions are rather dry psychology if we don’t see and use them in a practical way. Here I made an image (click to enlarge!) with the 8 functions each of us has. Above the line are the 4 functions we naturally use and below the line are the 4 shadow functions we use when we get nasty. The functions are ordered in a circular way, clockwise. Also, I repeat again what an archetype is: an energy principle in our psyche that is represented by a symbol. In this article, the functions are approximated by archetypes and visualized as some sort of characters, each of them having a name.
The image is made for a man; for a woman, the archetypes change gender, except for the 7th and 8th functions. Each of the 8 archetypes may appear in dreams or visions and usually have the gender as specified in the image. As a rule, we should develop our functions during our entire life, as fast as possible, and we should avoid at all cost to use our shadow functions. We know we’re using our shadow functions when we get anxious, stressed, pissed off. A shadow function is a function that changes direction, becoming extroverted or introverted when it isn’t supposed to be so. For instance, extroverted feeling becomes a shadow function when it is used as introverted feeling. A calm person typically uses the correct functions; as it gets more and more anxious, she reverts to shadow functions one by one. Knowing your type has therefore a benefit, because you can force you back into using your natural functions.
In case you don’t know your MBTI type, your have 2 options: either a faster way – you go to this website and recognize yourself in the descriptions – or a slower way, but more accurate – you do this test. Then, you may go on Wikipedia and search your type and find out what your 8 functions are or visit this link.
So, let’s meet the functions, seen as archetypal energies.
1. Your first function is the Hero in you. You were born with this function fully available and it is often seen by the others as “your gift”. Everybody is good at something – that is their first function. If you don’t know what are you good at, you were probably forced by the education you received to develop and use a different function. It is imperiously important to know your heroic function because it is only through it that you will achieve success in your life. Otherwise, you’ll only be a mediocre being. Be aware that our present society values differently the 8 possible functions!
The Hero usually acts like a boss or a tyrant in its negative form. It’s the daemon inside you that is abusing you all the time. For instance, an extroverted intuitive will wake up at 3 o’clock in the morning with a new idea for a new business or a new discovery; it’s practically no escape from this, the extroverted intuitive does this all the time. Introverted intuitives, even when they are on their last leg, close to the grave, in the hospital, they still see patterns and the ideas behind any manifestation of the surrounding world. An extroverted thinker, woken up in the middle of the night by an earthquake, will naturally begin to give orders and directives, even if he’s half-awake. This is the Hero in us…
2. The second function is the Parent. It is less developed, but by the end of the college it is fairly well mastered. It has always a contrary focus versus the Hero; if the Hero is focused outwardly (extroverted), the Parent is focused inwardly (introverted).
The majority of the people you meet on the street use only the first 2 functions (sadly); the Hero takes care of one’s life and the Parent takes care of the others’ life. It’s typical for the Parent to be absolutely idiot when it comes to looking after oneself. For instance, an extroverted feeler will take care of the whole humanity but will witness the fact that he doesn’t care about himself (doesn’t love himself). An extroverted thinker will be expert in leading the lives of the others but will be totally bewildered when it comes to make a decision for himself. An extroverted intuitive will be creative and build businesses for everybody but he won’t be able to build a business for himself and struggle with poverty or will be forced to work as an employee, even if he’s a genius when it comes to other peoples’ businesses. And so on…
3. The Child is the first seriously weaker function. It gets exhausted easily, just like a child who plays a little and then it gets bored. It’s like a fire made from hay: burns fast and fades away. For instance, an introverted thinker will analyze a lot, make huge and detailed plans and then, when it comes the time to implement them, he will just leave them in a corner and focus on something else, using a different function. An extroverted intuitive will get creative and then forget about his discoveries in the garage. The introverted feeler will fall in love deeply and sincerely, and then will get absolutely bored and get involved into something else, forgetting about his beloved one or starting the search for a new love, screwing up everything around.
4. The 4th function is Anima for men and Animus for women. It’s the weakest natural function and needs constant training. If you’re an idiot in your life, it is probably because you lack balance, and you achieve balance only when you use your inferior function. Also, when you lack energy and enthusiasm, it’s because of the same thing: you don’t use your Animus/Anima. Be aware that this is the first function that has the opposite gender. In your dreams, if you’re a man and see a woman, often asking for help or helping you, she might likely be your Anima. Same for the Animus in women.
The inferior function is used rarely and you will never achieve the same degree of mastery compared to the first three natural functions. It will always be your weak spot and you will constantly have to take care of it and train and develop it. Some examples?
An extroverted feeler (in Hero) will likely be like a ping-pong from one lover to the other, or be humiliated or abandoned, until he will learn to use its Anima of introverted thinking, thus balancing his personality and using reason to analyze his life and plan the next steps carefully. An introverted intuitive Hero will have to balance its impressive clarity of mind with the extroverted sensing of his Anima, thus coming into contact with his body and senses. An introverted sensing Hero however will have to force himself out from his burrow and get as creative and imaginative as possible to achieve balance.
5. The Opposing Personality is our first shadow function. We have a love-hate relationship with it. It is everything we always wanted to be… but we aren’t. An extroverted feeler would love to cease feeding from others’ feelings and come into contact with his own feelings. A hyper-analyzer introverted thinker would love to become, at least for a day, a pragmatic executive and make things happen, act-out, for God’s sake! An introverted intuitive would love to enjoy, at least for an hour, the scatter-minded psyche of the extroverted intuitive and generate 10 new ideas per minute. And so on.
The 5th function is also of the opposite gender. Highly attractive, we often form couples with persons having as 1st or 2nd functions the same function we have in our 5th position. We will be fascinated by this function. And we will equally hate them for the same reason.
6. Senex is often experienced when our Parent becomes stressed. A loving extroverted feeler in Parent becomes a self-absorbed introverted feeler in Senex. A mindful introverted intuitive in Parent becomes a Senex who is full of doubt, hesitating between several options and not being able to choose what’s best, tormenting everybody around him. A Parent extroverted thinker will become a controlling introverted thinker Senex, someone who keeps talking and gives you advices you don’t need and directives you don’t intend to follow. The Senex is basically the parent-from-hell.
7. The Trickster always creates havoc. Bisexual or transgender in dreams, shocking when you meet it projected on someone else, it can be a creative force but also delusional. Think about the jesters that used to live in the middle age castles. Both evil and smart, both grotesque and ingenious. If you behave as a clown or the others appear to you as clowns or fools, you’re experiencing the 7th function.
8. The total chaos happens when you encounter your 8th function – the Demon. The Devilish function can totally change your viewpoint. Remember what the Devil did: he opened our eyes to what is good and what is bad, but also caused us to be thrown from Paradise. Same goes for our nightmares: they scare us but also teach us if we’re ready to learn something from them. I mean, if we don’t understand something and keep persevering, we probably need a nightmare to scare us to the core in order to wake up and pay attention to some aspects that have been overlooked for a long time.
This is the end of what I wanted to write. Will it be helpful? Well, I did my best to cast a ray of light on a tricky subject.