2.34 The Duality of Your 4 Thinking Styles
THE TWO POLAR AXIS OF YOUR PERSONALITY WHEEL
According to the psychological methods of Carl Jung’s system of thought, which described the operations of the Frontal Being, or in his terms the personality or psyche, he felt that the human psyche is best understood in terms of internal duality’s or polar tensions.
Jung identified two different principal polar tensions that come into play. He claimed that there were two primary ways in which evaluations or judgments could be made, and they were mutually exclusive. When you are expressing your temperament along one of the polar axis, you cannot simultaneously be expressing it along the other axis.
The first polar axis (A/C) concerns how you make evaluations in your daily life circumstances. The second (B/D) concerns the way you perceive and interpret your experiences.
THE A/C AXIS:
The A/C axis of your Personality Wheel Profile, contains two opposing functions:
1. The first function is “thinking”, the logical, analytic process which measures a situation by rules, laws, principles or standards. There is an objectivity and consistency in the process used by “thinking types” as they arrive at their evaluation.
2. The polar opposite is what Jung called “feeling.” This involves evaluations which are more subjective and are based on personal values rather than the more external laws or criteria of the “thinking” function. The “feeling type” judges or evaluates based upon the uniqueness of each circumstance. Things are more situational. Memories and feelings which the circumstance evokes are influential.
As you go back to your Thinking Style profile you should examine your scores on the A/C axis. Keep in mind, that no matter what your results may be, that both poles are represented within you. The question is rather which of the two is most featured by your temperament. If you scored high in quadrant A, on thinking, it does not mean that you are a callous person who never feels anything. Rather, it implies that you are more comfortable with or inclined toward objective, logical evaluations. If you scored high in quadrant C, it does not mean that you are a feather-brained person who can never think straight. Instead, it indicates a preference in style for how you meet and measure life.
If your score is fairly balanced between the two quadrants, one of three possible conclusions could be drawn:
1. First is the possibility that the questionnaire did not ask quite the right questions to draw out of you a proper reading to disclose your temperament on this polar axis. Perhaps from the description of the poles you get a sense for which one you feature more often, even if the questionnaire results are inconclusive.
2. Another possibility, however, is that this is a transition time in your life, a period where you are shifting from one pole to the other. The apparent “balance” is actually indicative of change, like catching a glimpse of yourself sitting on the top of a mountain from the adjoining mountain. Such transitions in temperament may happen occasionally, but they are not frequent in most people’s lives. Many people go through their entire lives and maintain a single temperament style.
3. The third possibility is that this polarity is rather balanced because these two functions are what Jung called “auxiliary functions,” and the distinctiveness of your temperament style is not created by this polarity but instead by a clear difference in the other polarity, the B/D axis (sensation/intuition).
As an example lets say that you have scored significantly higher in quadrant B (sensation) than in quadrant D (intuition), and at the same time you have scores in quadrants A (thinking) and C (feeling) which are similar. In Jungian terminology, your “primary function” would be sensation (that is, sensation is the primary descriptive term to use to describe your temperament). Your “inferior functions” would be thinking and feeling. Some people will find that this fits their thinking style profile; others will find that each of the two polarities yields a distinctly predominant function.
The question of balance is important to consider. It does not appear from his writings that Jung felt the ideal would be function scores on the profile that were identical. In other words, the individuation process or the living of your soul’s mission can be accomplished even if you are strongly a particular temperament type.
A problem arises only if you are alienated from one of the psychological functions and unable to call upon it when it is needed and appropriate. This would occur when you have measured below 33 points in any one of the quadrants or have what we call an avoidance tendency within a particular quadrant. On the scoring scale utilized on your profile this would be given a 3 rating.
The ideal, therefore, might be clear access to all the functions and familiarity with them, even though in daily living one or two of them are especially prominent in your personality.
These ideas about the thinking/feeling polarity also hold true for the second polarity which Jung felt was central to the make-up of the personality. This one concerns how you make perceptions in life. The first mode of perception is what Jung called “sensation.” This pole entails the use of the physical senses to perceive life. It is exclusively concerned with what is “here and now” as concrete physical reality. When you perceive life with this function, you deal with life in a very present-oriented kind of practicality. Its polar opposite is what Jung called “intuition”, not merely psychic perception, but more broadly the use of creative imagination to perceive the possibilities of life. Intuition, in this sense, is future-oriented; it can perceive what is coming or what might be, but that which is not yet manifest in a physical way.
Sensation and intuition (B/D) have to do with the way we perceive our experiences:
A person with a highly developed sensation function (B) perceives experience through the sense organs as well as through interior sensations. This function is sometimes called the reality function since it is alert to factual detail. It tells us that something exists.
The intuition function (D), on the other hand, operates almost as a “sixth sense.” This function perceives almost instinctively . . . perceptions are mediated to the intuitive function in an unconscious way. It is not as alert to the sense data, but it perceives the meaning and possibility of a situation.
Thinking and feeling (A/C) determine the manner whereby we judge, or come to conclusions about our perceptions:
The thinking function (A) uses a logical process that links ideas together which then lead to a conclusion. It is an intellectual function which seeks to understand something.
The feeling function (C) uses a process of evaluation leading to like or dislike, acceptance or rejection. Something is accepted or rejected depending upon whether it arouses a pleasant or unpleasant feeling.
RELATING THE FOUR FUNCTIONS TO YOUR SOUL’S PURPOSE
It is extremely important to understand the operation of your Frontal Being and its habitual ways of functioning. The discovery and living of your Soul’s Purpose rests largely upon being able to free yourself from your Frontal Being’s mechanical, automatic habits.
This is not to say that once you have found your mission in life that you will cease to have a Frontal Being. Nor is it to say that you must radically alter your personality temperament in order to live your Soul’s Purpose.
Instead, the problem that you and every seeker faces can be summarized as follows:
Your personality has certain strong predisposition’s for perceiving and evaluating life. There is nothing inherently wrong with your thinking style (your personality type). Your Soul’s Mission can be lived with those predominant feature. However, making heavy use of those predominant functions, you have slipped into habitual ways of seeing and reacting to life, you have become hypnotized into a sleeplike existence based upon routine rather than the conscious use of your will. This may have worked well to produce a comfortable, predictable life, but it probably does not result in a creative, dynamic life experience that will be fulfilling.
Relating Your Thinking Style to Your Soul’s Purpose