THE FOUR FUNCTIONS
Jung came to view the psyche as having four functions: thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition. These are not "things" in the way that the archetypes are; rather, they are modes of behavior, or attitudes-ways of relating to the world and to the unconscious. According to him each of us has one function that is dominant: the "superior function" which is our primary modal type; another function is "inferior" -largely unconscious and uncontrollable; and an "auxiliary" function which is less developed but which can assist the dominant function. The fourth function is totally unconscious until some deep experience calls it forth. This is a rare experience, however, so we generally remain unconscious of this function. This does not mean that the fourth function does not act, but it acts totally against our will, or despite it. Jung said that each of us has all these functions in us, but in different degrees, and we may be classified by the relative strengths and weaknesses of the four types.
These four functions are paired as rational functions (thinking and feeling) and irrational functions (sensation and intuition). Thinking and feeling are rational because they deal with making value judgments, while sensation and intuition deal with direct apprehension. The thinking type judges the world on the scale of truth vs. falsehood; the feeling type judges it as pleasant or unpleasant. The sensation type reacts directly to the world as it is, and the intuitive type apprehends the interior world-the abstract or gestalt view. The functions are paired in such a way that if one type is dominant, its pair will be the inferior function, i.e., if feeling is the superior function then thinking will be the inferior function, and either sensation or intuition will be the auxiliary function.
These functions roughly correspond to the four somatic divisions of the body as described in the Greek Gnostic system: body, emotions, mind, and spirit. Because of this correspondence, there is an immediate relationship between the four functions and the process of individuation, particularly in the interaction of the personality with the Individuality (Higher Self). The four functions may also be approached as applying to the four worlds of the Tree of Life. When matched with the Qabalistic Worlds, these functions would correspond as:
Sensation -- Assiah
This type of correspondence, while accurate in a qualitative way, can be misleading if we are accustomed to thinking of the four worlds as up and down or in and out, progressing from a coarse-tamasic Assiah to a refined or quality-less Atziluth. Jung had no such idea in mind when he formulated (or rather reformulated) the concept of the four functions.
The four functions are also a re-naming of the four temper-aments outlined by the ancient alchemists: the bilious, phlegmatic, sanguine, and choleric. In early physiology these four conditions were used in diagnosis of illness, but that was such a long time ago that these terms now seem rather icky to us (after all, who wants to be bilious or choleric?), so we shall pass over them in favor of the Qabalistic view. These functions may easily be placed upon the five lower sephiroth, which can readily help us to see their qualities and their interaction:
Sensation-- Malkuth and Yesod
Malkuth and Yesod share one etheric surround, just as the earth and moon do, so these two go together for all practical purposes.
These sephiroth represent the sphere of the human mind. Of them, Dion Fortune says that if we consider them subjectively, they constitute the personality and its powers. It is the aim of occult initiation to develop these powers and, if taken from the higher standpoint, as it always should be if it is not to degenerate into black magic (the use of these powers for selfish purposes), to unite them to Tiphareth, which is the focusing point of the Higher Self, or Individuality. Thus with Jung her psychological teachings show us that feeling and sensation and thinking have their proper function in the integration process, and that these psychological types, as well as the intuitional type, must be taken into account in respect thereto. The more enduring gratifications of the psyche are to be absorbed by and treasured in the Individuality. By the process of Individuation the higher element or influence impinges upon consciousness and may if rightly integrated be woven into the texture of being. A fissure in consciousness, brought about by Yoga practice, and even sometimes by accident, as in the case of Jacob Boehme, allows the radiation of the higher states to be received by the four lower sephiroth.
The psychological teachings of the Qabalah show us that full integration implies the coordinated function of the thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition principles. It cannot be by any other way that man becomes an integrated unit with an integrated personality whereby he maintains the integrity of his being. This may be implied in the idea of wholeness. Jungís idea of wholeness as also with the same idea in the teachings of the Qabalah, embraces the shadow side of life and consciousness as well as the side turned toward the light. This is an idea that is almost impossible for the Christian conditioned mind to accept, but it is a fact of experience to anyone who has labored to integrate the psyche. To try to write about it, however, will only lead one who has not experienced it to misunderstand the intentions of the writer, so most of us regretfully gloss over this in writing, or even in talking about it. But if any one of the four functions is missing, the final force being released by any high realization cannot come through fully to consciousness. Of course, for the average man this state is as yet far off, and therefore we see that we must each work toward this from the point of view of our own basic or dominant type, or state.
In looking at this from the point of view of Jungís four types, we see that if the thinking type is the dominant factor by which a man adjusts to reality, and if this type is extraverted, then the feeling function is the inferior function. That is, in this case the feeling function would be the type which opposes thinking, according to the glyph of the quaternary of types. If we place ourselves within the sphere which represents our basic type, then the two neighboring types serve as helpers or auxiliaries which we can employ from time to time. The function opposite us is our deficiency. When it acts in us, it acts as an inferior function, that is, it acts blindly, uncontrolled, and most likely in its baser or more undeveloped form. In Qabalistic terms, it expresses the vice of the associated sephirah. But because this circle of types is a circle, it is complete and balanced. Thus the inferior function does not fail to act just because it is not the dominant type. That is to say, we all have the vices of our virtues, so that about half of the time we act through the inferior function, and half of the time through our dominant function. The balance of psychic function demands this, so anyone who happens to think that he does not act on his inferior function now-and-then had better carefully observe his dreams! He may be able to repress his inferior function in his waking state, though this is doubtful, but his dreams will compensate for his neglect; the sins of omission are quite as serious as the sins of commission. "I would thou wert cold or hot," but being neither, "I will spue thee out of my mouth."
We could, then, view this inferior function as the nether side of a personality, or its link with the unconscious. To the extent that one is unconscious of this fourth function, so will it automatically possess him. Who has not seen the highly controlled man burst into a fit of rage, or the great cool and calculating scientist weep over maudlin poetry? Because this function is inferior and unconscious, it is the type that is most subject to projection. Thus will a man tend to form love-hate relationships with people represented by the type which forms his inferior function. He may love them or hate them, but he cannot ignore them because they are essential to him; his personality requires them for its own fulfillment, to make up for what is deficient, to maintain the delicate typological balance. It might be noted here that as long as this function is projected, one never has the opportunity to develop it within oneself. So do most of us spend our lives, using others for our mirrors, grasping and needing and lonely. Self in others still preferred. This shows us too, why getting married again is generally a case of history repeating itself. Occultism would place all of this in the framework of karma and would declare that we will live with someone we may not love at all, so long as he represents our karma. Be that as it may, it is true that a husband or wife we stay with even though we are not happy with them, represents our unconscious. The unconscious bond will last as long as we have not integrated the qualities we project onto our mate. Oneís husband or wife may actually act out the qualities one projects upon them. This is equally true of a people, such as the Jews or the Blacks who are scapegoats for other races.
Because of the requisite balance of dynamics of the four types, the inferior function acts to compensate for the over-differentiation of the superior function. When it acts, it will tend to act in its natural inferior form, resulting in an inundation of consciousness by the repressed material and the explosive release of libido as typed by the sphere affected. We must remember that Jungís libido includes all psychic energy, and that this is typed as it is expressed through the various sephiroth. We also observe that in connection with the four functions one makes a partial use of the relatively differentiated or auxiliary functions as an accessory to the differentiated or dominant rational factor. Jung pointed out, however, that the third function is seldom available for ordinary manís use, and that the fourth function is never at the disposal of manís will. When, through great effort, the third function is raised slightly to consciousness, in the process of its passing into consciousness it automatically acts as mediator between the conscious and the unconscious. It thereby brings with it some of the contamination from the inferior function. Though the fourth function is never at the disposal of manís will, it can be raised to consciousness, but when consciousness is confronted with this content, the individual is faced with three possibilities, any one of which brings about a monumental change in attitudes. The three possibilities are: 1) Either the conscious mind will take one look at the content and throw up its hands in horror and dread and refuse to accept it, in which case the function immediately reverts to the unconscious level. The individual will never be quite the same again, however, even though immediate repression of the content seems to restore oneís former state of consciousness. The result is like having seen a ghost that one refuses to believe one saw. The effect of having seen something that one does not believe exists is as real as though one believed it to exist, as with a nightmare. One knows it is not for real, but one feels spooky about it nevertheless. 2) Or the fourth function with its reservoir of power from the unconscious so shocks the mind that the content gains control and swamps the conscious mind. This is enantiadromia (Jekyll-Hyde) wherein a person can become his opposite (for good or ill) in a momentís time. We all know someone who has lived an exemplary life for forty years, and then suddenly, overnight, and for no apparent reason, becomes a profligate. Just as frequently a profligate becomes exemplary, and for the same reason.
The third possibility is a true integration, which is a marriage of all functions into a new and unique whole man. Due to manís evolutionary status this is not likely to happen in the ordinary manís case, for, as is also to be realized, the raising to consciousness of the third function causes it to become positive, whereas formerly it had a negative potency. According to the Qabalah this means that the poles of this axis have reversed, so in Qabalistic terminology it is said that the daughter has become the son. Because this function now becomes like a mediator, and because the Qabalah assigns a masculine potency to the mediator, this function would now have to be the son. This all fits on the Tree very nicely because in the Qabalah the son is Tiphareth and the daughter is Malkuth. If at this point the reader is more mystified than enlightened, that is not to be wondered at, because how the psyche functions, the structure, function, order thereof, has not been defined by anyone except the Qabalists. until Jung undertook the task. If one is not familiar with the mystical marriage as defined by the Qabalists. one might easily be led to believe that the Qabalists sanctioned incest, because the Holy Tetragrammaton, as laid out on the Tree of Life, shows us that the Father (Chokmah) marries the Mother (Binah) and the Mother marries the Son (Tiphareth) and the Son marries the Daughter (MalKuth) and the Daughter marries the Father (Chokmah). These are all united within the psyche. The Holy Name of God is a family name; all members of the name are equal in their oneness. It is Jung, however, who has done more research in our times into these combinations of marriages (both historically and in the psyche) than anyone is ever likely to do in the future. His book Mysterium Coniunclionis gives all the possible combinations so there is no need to labor the point here. He shows, as the Qabalists did before him, that the whole thing is summed up in the Holy Name of God, and in the realization resulting from the unity of the quaternity.
Jung shows that with the third possibility (Integration) something is out of order anyway, according to the norm, so we see why it isnít likely that this process is going to occur smoothly for average man, as Jung has discovered. It will take a most unusual person to get through it. By its very rarity, however, one can say that any man "attacked" by the unconscious in this manner is by definition not average! Once these four functions are brought into some semblance of balance (no easy task) then they can function in harmony and under control. Not that they always do, but the possibility is there. It is this level of function that Dion Fortune refers to when she says that an Adept can change his poles at will. Anyone who can do this deserves the title of Adept. When the reversal of poles first starts to occur though, there is no control, and the quickened change of state is a tremendous shock to the personality. In the case of ordinary man, man not consciously preparing for this change, the result can be quite disastrous to the personality due to consciousness being flooded with and at least momentarily becoming identified with the archetypal contents representing the opposite of the physical structure. Such an identification with the archetypes opposite to the physical basis of the incarnation, can cause considerable misery for both doctor and patient, or teacher and student. To classify this as a sudden eruption of homosexual tendencies merely begs the question. There is not room in this book to argue the pros and cons of homosexuality. To a good Qabalist it is no problem at all because the Tree has two sides and man, in the mass, is based in either one side or the other. The old idea that what is on the right side in man is on the left side in woman, when one is backed into the Tree, is merely a blind to cover up the fact that in all ages and in all times the percentage of homosexuals to heterosexuals has remained about the same as it is today. This is just the way it is and always has been. It is stupid to argue about the right and wrong of something that just is.
If a transference occurs at this point (and not much can be done for a patient, or student, unless some degree of empathy exists between patient and doctor or student and teacher), the unconscious content becomes projected. In some of the would-be occult schools this transference results in a "discovery" that "we are soul mates!" All hell is to pay in this instance if one or both parties are married to someone else. This depends of course on whether the transference is double, which it usually is. There is another disagreeable aspect to this stage, too, that may take the place of the "soul mate" identity. In an occult school if the teacher is a man, the students, both male and female, see him as the acme of the father image; he is "our master" and he may even try to live up to this image. If the teacher is a woman, the students, both male and female, become her "soul children." If she tries to live up to this image she has to be too good to be true! Another complex may become exacerbated here: the Christ complex with all of its unlovely elements of pride and spiritual arrogance. Ambivalence may blind consciousness to the value resident in the dual sense of right and wrong, too. We are striving to overcome a belief in sin, guilt, etc. We are striving to overcome the pull of the opposites, but to overcome the dual throng does not mean that we may take upon ourselves the right to say to the devil, "be thou my good." That would merely be identifying with the opposite and rejecting the original, a mere exchange. This is not transcendence of the duality.
It is at this juncture in the Journey Into Self that one is verily on the razor-edged path. If one has had a road map of the journey then this phase may be passed through with cooperation from the intellect, which can "remember" and act as guide. Otherwise we need a guide (a teacher): one who has passed that way before us. So many of us have, however, found ourselves on the journey without even knowing that there is such a thing as a journey into Self. Even the best road maps (and there is hardly one of these to be found anywhere that shows in any detail what to expect) have been put together by teachers who know by experience that they dare not point out all the pitfalls in plain terms so that just anyone might read and understand. Furthermore, there is no one more unpopular than the harbinger of bad news. Even people who have gotten in way over their heads by indiscriminately using Yoga exercises, drugs, etc., refuse to listen to any warning that reminds them of past unpleasantness. Having been committed once, they prefer to believe that it cannot happen again if they do not believe in it! Metaphizzlers, one and all, know that if you do not think about it it canít happen, even though it happened the first time without having thought of it! A good road map must direct us through the labyrinth of the unconscious and there are many dark corners and turns in there that have not been explored by every teacher, so we all just do the best we can out of the memory of our own experiences in the dark night of the soul. We do not expect our own experiences to be appreciated either, until, one by one, those we would warn have come to their own dark night.
Road maps also come from different hands in times and cultures past, and bear the stamp of the age of those who suffered therein. Some may be more pure than others by being the essence of a collective journey, as in the Tibetan or Egyptian Book of the Dead, but these must necessarily suffer from translation errors. It is thus wise to read them all, to sift and merge them and to remember, all the while holding to oneís favorites, as these most probably represent oneís "natural" way. For in time we will pass all the relics of the past-Egyptian, Chinese, Eskimo, Christian, and Buddhist. This is, after all, the way of man through the unconscious, which has no time (so we pass the future also!). Therefore we need an experienced hand to go with us at least part of the way; someone who is not afraid of the unexpected, and even the impossible, because we do meet with the impossible, too, on this journey! Jung discovered, as Qabalists know, too, that there is always something to be experienced by each wayfarer that has never before been met by another. Anyone who drives the chariot of service has to know that not every rider appreciates the lift, and that the destination of each depends on where each one just happens to get off. This sudden termination of a riderís trip at a cross-roads the driver has never seen before, lends an air of suspense to his service. If he isnít the nervous type he may be able to work at this task for a long time. If he is the nervous type he should not be in the business.
Dion Fortune points out, for one thing, that if we are not in touch with the aspect of Deity (as she put it) which emanated a given sphere and manifests it, then the forces belonging to that sphere on the elemental level may get out of hand and cause difficulties. This is a great deal more serious than it can be made to sound in mere words or on paper. Jung also points out that we must be in possession of the ego in order to have the faculty with which to integrate the contents of the unconscious. We are not in possession of this faculty if an inflation has occurred, whereby the ego becomes identified with the archetype that possesses it! We are also not in possession of the ego if it for any reason feels inferior, so we must somehow map our course between these two extremes. By ego Jung does not mean egotistical either, which is how some have misinterpreted him. He means that there must be some sense of self-identity remaining; there must be some "it" which can "do" the integration. This is in contradistinction to the Eastern (Oriental) way, which commands that the personality must die utterly and be absorbed by the Atman. In the East "the dew drop slips into the shining sea" and in the West the sea slips into the dewdrop. This is an important point, and it is a major point of departure of West from East. In the West we seek to bring Godhead into Manhood ("in my flesh will I know God"), to integrate the unconscious to consciousness. In the East the Sun rises, but in the West it descends to Earth, where in Life is made incarnate in Man. Involuntary samaddhi is not desirable in either East or West, but the consciousness of consciousness itself is sought for as an out-of-the-body experience in the East, and as an in-the-body experience in the West. This would be the difference between the mystic and the occult approach to consciousness as ding an sich. In the long run, however, both mystics and occultists read the fateful hour by the same clock. They both see the hands of the clock standing on the zero hour and pass on to where All is One.
Initiation in the West is critical because the Higher Self must be united with the personality in such a way that the incarnation is preserved (an unimportant matter to a Hindu). This means that John, or Jane, the personality, the ego, though badly battered by the trials of the confrontation with the unconscious, must nevertheless be the instrument of the act of integration. John, or Jane, or some small semblance of them, must hang on just enough to be able to effect the crystallization and absorption of the unconscious content. Otherwise what comes out of the experience may be Napoleon, or Jesus, or Mary, or Hannibal, or Cleopatra, and John or Jane will be unconscious. This is not intended to imply that the ego performs this act intellectually, for it is far from being an intellectual activity. True, the intellect is a part of the ego, but it is not necessary to be an intellectual heavy-weight. On the other hand, if the ego is fuzzy from faulty disciplines, or the use of drugs, etc., then the content of the unconscious will take over the position of the conscious mind and will appear on the surface with no means of integrating the content. Students who ingest drugs (this does not apply to smoking pot., etc., or to burning herbs and incense) do not realize that the "spirit" of that drug is the power of one of the tattvas (the cosmic tides). This is true of any food we eat, too, but most of the foods we eat from the vegetable kingdom are forms for the innocent elemental forces in nature and are not powerful enough to disturb human consciousness. The point to note, however, is that certain drugs, plants, etc., correspond to certain of the sephiroth. This means that those substances embody the corresponding tattvas. Anyone who thinks that a weed or flower has no power, should try a few drops of the essence of the deadly nightshade. If he were not dead in a short time he would at least be very ill. Or take a chew of tobacco and then swallow it. "As below so above" however, so, as the Qabalists know so well, what we do in the physical body is "done" for the inner bodies as well. It is not for nothing that the ancients called the scarab beetle (Spanish fly), and certain herbs such as marijuana, the opium poppy, etc., gods. Anything that affects consciousness, whether it is a chemical drug prescribed by a doctor, or hemp prescribed by our Hindu teacher, has the power of a god over us. The ancients realized this so they did not bother to be scientific about it. They just called these substances gods. But what else?
"Union with God" or union with the gods, then, is no idle task, no project to be planned for next weekend. It is the Path, the Way, and is functionally identical with Individuation as seen by Jung. Within his diagram of the four types exists one standard "pattern" which can be used to describe the dynamics of this process and how it may function within an individual. That is, through a study of types, one can come to understand and invoke oneís opposite, or at least be prepared for its appearance. This is not different in essence from the Qabalistic technique of passing through the spheres; or of standing in oneís "home" sphere and relating to the opposite via the appropriate path. This is a well documented procedure in functional occult schools. Each method has its own advantages. The Jungian method does not give value to the types, whereas with the sephiroth the student tends to think of one sphere as better than another if it is "higher" on the Tree. This is the cause of much error in amateur Qabalism, which again shows the advantage of Jungís circle of types (without high or low). The spheres of the Tree are sometimes shown as concentric circles, too, one outside the other. This is best given in Dr. Regardieís books, to which I refer the reader.
The Qabalah does have its own inherent virtue, which is that it is by far the greatest storehouse of symbolic material we have available to us today. These symbols can be used to great advantage to maneuver through the alleyways of the Astral World (the Collective Unconscious), a power that is not yielded up by a mere knowledge of psychological types. Further, the Qabalistic correspondences give the keys to contact and make peace with the gods who rule the Paths. These gods are archetypes which are not merely personal contents, but universal or collective forces and thus Beings in their own right. However, for the transition across the personal abyss, the veil Paroketh, the schema as outlined by Jung is a complete glyph.