The Sword

There are many parts of a life,
That make up the whole,
And many components of a man
That forge his character.
Chill winds and winter snow,
Or sun and sea,
Each can test a man and temper his steel,
The mix of the iron the bough
That breaks or bends,
In the storm of his making

I am completely overwhelmed to have won the perfect poet award for week 48. More than anything it wonderful to be read and have so many great comments. Here’s to all you readers and writers out there, and all the inspiration you pass around, like torches burning in the depths of night.

I would like to nominate: Braga

Feelings, thought, intuition and sensing

Feeling is…

Geese hooting at the moon over water,

The gentle lap of waves on the shore

Thinking is…

Tilting scales on creaking chain,

Not a grain of sand is lost

Intuition is…

Sparks that fly from the fireside,

Eyes that stray to the stars

Sensing is…

Soil under feet,

Loamy taste of earth on fingers

Insights on personality

Image via Wikipedia

Carl Jung (26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961), whose ideas modern personality tests are based on, believed that in addition to our conscious persona – the mask we wear to conform with our own and society’s expectations, there also exists a large unconscious element, which itself has several layers. It was vital, Jung believed, that the separate conscious and unconscious parts of a person were integrated into a whole and complete individual, though he admitted the process was not easy.

During his extensive clinical experience he identified four main functions of personality, an observation he discovered was in agreement with many philosophers before him (think: air, fire, earth and water). Of these four functions, two he termed irrational – based on our perception of the world, and two he called rational, based on how we judge the world around us.

The two perceiving functions are: Intuition – this kind of person sees the big picture, the concepts and possibilities, and Sensing – where the person tends to be more precise, practical and present orientated.

The judging functions are: Thinking – where the person prefers to base their decisions on detached reasoning and logic, and Feeling – where the person is more informal and prefers to rely on empathy and association with others.

These descriptions are of course highly simplified but they can give good guidance and all fit together within a specific personality. To see how let us imagine a cross, with one line having a perceiving function at each end, and the other line having a judging function at each end.

The function at the top of the cross is called the ‘superior’ function, with a corresponding ‘inferior’ function at the bottom of the cross. So if a person is a Thinker, their so called inferior function will be Feeling, or if a person is a Sensor their inferior function will be Intuition. It is the superior function that this person will be most comfortable using and will do so consciously whenever they get the chance. It is the inferior function that they will have most difficulty with, and will often be completely unaware when this function comes into play or should be used. Imagine someone who is extremely logical and analytical. To them what is right is right, and it will often not even occur to them to consider how a particular action will affect others’ feelings. This is because the Feeling function is unconscious.

It now becomes obvious that in order to be a complete and well rounded individual they must address this ‘blind spot’. This goes for all the personality types, I have just used the Thinker as an example.

We have mentioned the top and bottom of the cross, which correspond to the conscious ‘superior’ function, and the unconscious ‘inferior’ function, but not the other line; the horizontal beam of the cross. In our particular example this would refer to the perceiving functions of Intuition and Sensing, which in this example play a supportive role. These may be partially conscious or unconscious depending on the person. For example our thinker may have a fairly strong sensing function, but a weaker intuitive function or he may have access to both or neither.

Finally to complete this rather sketchy outline of Jungian Types, we must mention a person can also be a Extravert – more focused on objects in the external world around him or her, or an Introvert – more focused on internal goings on within themselves.

If you are interested enough to investigate this further try out the very simple test at the following website. It may not be entirely accurate, but it should give you an idea of which is your superior function. Try to answer the questions quickly and without thinking too much about them.

There is no right answer! All types are as ‘good’ as each other. What matters is that we are interested in developing in all areas, and becoming an individual who can cope in all avenues of life;  someone who is not afraid to step outside their comfort zone once in a while to find out who they really are.

(C) Copyright Mark B Williams 2014 Registered & Protected