“Development of individuality is simultaneously a development of society. Suppression of individuality through the predominance of collective ideals and organizations is a moral defeat for society”-Carl Jung
Carl Jungs greatest contribution to psychology was his theory of Individuation. It is the process in which an Individual is formed and differentiated into a Transcendant Self.
This lifelong process, includes the development of a psyche and personality, the late adolescent battle of “Self-Sacrifice”, the “Persona Fracture” in the externalized ego-based consciousness, and the subsequent “Shadow” encounter, assimilation and the integration of the unconscious into one expanded actualized fully accessible Consiousness.
The end point of Individuation, similar to and as rare an acheivement as Maslow’s Self-Actualization and Transcendence, is the realization of ones full creative potential culminating in a balanced overall personality. Like many other great thinkers, Jungs central theme is one of the interplay of opposite tendencies or energies, that provide the basis for growth and eventual expansion of the individuals psyche into an integrated whole.
To provide a context for understanding general personality types, but not to limit or label individuals, Jung provided 4 basic personality functions and 2 basic personality attitudes. The attitudes are well known and include Extroversion and Introversion. The functions, though less well known, are of equal importance as they represent the different conscious strategies that individuals employ to acquire knowledge of themselves, others and their world.
The 4 functions are grouped into 2 subgroups:
The Non-Rational Conscious Functions:
Intuition and Sensation
The Judgmental Conscious Functions:
Thinking and Feeling
People tend towards one dominant conscious function, and the other function within that group characterizes their unconscious manifestations tending towards limiting them.
For example. If ones dominant function is Intuition, then Sensation would be their primary unconscious manifestation.
People also tend to display a secondary conscious function, that is in the opposite subgroup, than their dominant conscious function.
For example, if ones dominant function is Intuition, then either Thinking or Feeling would be their secondary conscious function.
Jung constructed this model to illustrate the different approaches to acquire meaning that we humans employ, and though we do gravitate towards holding onto labels, that the Individuated person would consciously have access to all of the functions and both of the attitudes (extrovert and introvert) through a mediating transcendent function as a result of working through and achieving Individuation.