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  1. #1
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Default compensatory aspect of the unconscious

    Here is Jung's reasoning behind the idea that unconscious compensates the conscious attitude:

    unconscious behaves in a compensatory or complementary manner towards consciousness…The reasons for this relationship are:
    (1) Consciousness possesses a threshold intensity which its contents must have attained, so that all elements that are too weak remain in the unconscious
    (2) Consciousness, because of its directed functions, exercises an inhibition on all incompatible material, with the result that it sinks into the unconscious.
    (3) Consciousness constitutes the momentary process of adaptation, whereas the unconscious contains not only all the forgotten material of the individual's own past, but all the inherited behavior traces constituting the structure of the mind.
    (4) The unconscious contains all the fantasy combinations which have not yet attained the threshold intensity, but which in the course of time and under suitable conditions will enter the light of consciousness. (Jung 1960, p69)
    Because majority of people on these forums are more interested in typology, ill explain how this structure relates to functions in my understanding:

    1) Contents which the functions provide that are strong enough enter the realm of the consciousness. This doesent necessarily mean that only the most differentiated functions would be able to come into consciousness, but the difference between differentiated and undifferentiated functions that do come into consciousness, is that only the differentiated functions can be directed by the consciousness, undifferentiated functions come in the form of perceptions(intuition to be more exact). Its like directing a movie vs watching a movie.

    2) Inferior function produces incompatible material for the dominant function and because dominant is the function directed by the consciousness, it inhibits inferior as it is incompatible in the view of the dominant function.

    3) When it comes to functions and adaptation, we tend to adapt using our most favored functions, since that is the attitude(automatic response) towards the demands of the world. Even the most favored function is guided by the unconscious via learned(implicit memory) and inherited behavior patterns(archetypes).

    4) Undifferentiated are left in the unconscious because of their low intensity(in most situations), but in the course of time and having to deal with situations that require the use of the undifferentiated functions, they start to become more strong and enter the consciousness easier and while doing so, they gradually get differentiated more and more, possibly even to the extend where they can be consciously directed with ease.

    Also, if the undifferentiated functions do not get the attention from the consciousness that they require, they start to build up energy and come out in less healthy ways and possibly in inappropriate situations.
    Last edited by INTP; 02-07-2013 at 04:21 PM.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I think Jung was the man, his theory of the unconsicous wins.

    I think this linking to MBTI wins too BTW.

  3. #3
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    Here is Jung's reasoning behind the idea that unconscious compensates the conscious attitude:



    Because majority of people on these forums are more interested in typology, ill explain how this structure relates to functions in my understanding:

    1) Contents which the functions provide that are strong enough enter the realm of the consciousness. This doesent necessarily mean that only the most differentiated functions would be able to come into consciousness, but the difference between differentiated and undifferentiated functions that do come into consciousness, is that only the differentiated functions can be directed by the consciousness, undifferentiated functions come in the form of perceptions(intuition to be more exact). Its like directing a movie vs watching a movie.

    2) Inferior function produces incompatible material for the dominant function and because dominant is the function directed by the consciousness, it inhibits inferior as it is incompatible in the view of the dominant function.

    3) When it comes to functions and adaptation, we tend to adapt using our most favored functions, since that is the attitude(automatic response) towards the demands of the world. Even the most favored function is guided by the unconscious via learned(implicit memory) and inherited behavior patterns(archetypes).

    4) Undifferentiated are left in the unconscious because of their low intensity(in most situations), but in the course of time and having to deal with situations that require the use of the undifferentiated functions, they start to become more strong and enter the consciousness easier and while doing so, they gradually get differentiated more and more, possibly even to the extend where they can be consciously directed with ease.

    Also, if the undifferentiated functions do not get the attention from the consciousness that they require, they start to build up energy and come out in less healthy ways and possibly in inappropriate situations.

    At bolded: I've come to think of it more like there being a never-ending series of puppet-masters. Because we're always going to have at least a modicum of both 'watching' the movie and 'directing' the movie going on- it's not an either/or kind of thing so much as different degrees of both happening. The more in touch with the original puppet-master we are (which would be the primordial source, though it simply isn't possible to ever get *there*), the less the energy builds up and 'pulls our strings'. And I think at the far end where there's lots of compensation, we're basically puppets to our own impulses.


    [What was the point of the op, were you looking for something specific- or just random thoughts on the topic?]
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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    FRACTALICIOUS phobik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    At bolded: I've come to think of it more like there being a never-ending series of puppet-masters. Because we're always going to have at least a modicum of both 'watching' the movie and 'directing' the movie going on- it's not an either/or kind of thing so much as different degrees of both happening. The more in touch with the original puppet-master we are (which would be the primordial source, though it simply isn't possible to ever get *there*), the less the energy builds up and 'pulls our strings'. And I think at the far end where there's lots of compensation, we're basically puppets to our own impulses.


    [What was the point of the op, were you looking for something specific- or just random thoughts on the topic?]
    I get that in dreams often. What does it say about my type?
    To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
    ~ Elbert Hubbard

    Music provides one of the clearest examples of a much deeper relation between mathematics and human experience.

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    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phobik View Post
    I get that in dreams often. What does it say about my type?

    Your post frightens and confuses me.

    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    At bolded: I've come to think of it more like there being a never-ending series of puppet-masters. Because we're always going to have at least a modicum of both 'watching' the movie and 'directing' the movie going on- it's not an either/or kind of thing so much as different degrees of both happening. The more in touch with the original puppet-master we are (which would be the primordial source, though it simply isn't possible to ever get *there*), the less the energy builds up and 'pulls our strings'. And I think at the far end where there's lots of compensation, we're basically puppets to our own impulses.


    [What was the point of the op, were you looking for something specific- or just random thoughts on the topic?]
    Well what you said was pretty much what i said at op, but i explained the mechanics of it a bit and how functions are related to all this. I wasnt looking for anything, just gave some info and thoughts of how functions and the unconscious operates.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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  8. #8
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post

    Also, if the undifferentiated functions do not get the attention from the consciousness that they require, they start to build up energy and come out in less healthy ways and possibly in inappropriate situations.
    Question, INTP: are you proposing that the way to become conscious of our own personal clouds of unconsciousness (or as Jung put it, 'bring consciousness to light')- is to focus on 'strengthening' our lesser functions (auxiliary/tertiary/inferior)?

    [eta: I'm personally of the mind that focusing more directly on what's hiding in the unconscious is what will reduce stress, thereby allowing a person to feel less stressed by tasks involving their lesser functions- and that focusing on 'strengthening' those functions directly is like putting the cart before the horse.]
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    I'm personally of the mind that focusing more directly on what's hiding in the unconscious is what will reduce stress
    Can you give an example of this? Sounds interesting, but "what's hiding in the unconscious" is vague enough that I'm not actually sure what it means.

    Also, if it (whatever it is) is hiding in the unconscious, how can we become aware of it? It's (almost by definition) in our blind spot.

  10. #10
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Question, INTP: are you proposing that the way to become conscious of our own personal clouds of unconsciousness (or as Jung put it, 'bring consciousness to light')- is to focus on 'strengthening' our lesser functions (auxiliary/tertiary/inferior)?

    [eta: I'm personally of the mind that focusing more directly on what's hiding in the unconscious is what will reduce stress, thereby allowing a person to feel less stressed by tasks involving their lesser functions- and that focusing on 'strengthening' those functions directly is like putting the cart before the horse.]
    Well strengthening of functions comes from learning to pay attention(focus) to them and what they say. I mean the reason why some people never develop much their "lesser" functions is because the focus is so heavily on the dominant, and also because dominant function is opposite of the inferior and thus inferior gets repressed by the dom(and this happens also with aux/tert, but the repression of tert is lower because ego is less fixated on aux than dom, but naturally this depends on person).

    Fundamentally this is an issue of the ego and gets really complicated.. I listed the 5 functions of ego here: Jungs five functions of ego and am referring to the first one; "1) Stability of personality: Ego tries to keep general personality reasonable stable over time. This is to keep you from suddenly acting outside of your character and/or your strongest sides(for example dominant function or some other habits that define your personality) that you have developed over time.".

    I agree that trying to force some development of functions leads nowhere, because then you lack the attitude that the transcendent function brings Lexicon of Jungian Terms | New York Association for Analytical Psychology

    I dont really feel like writing an essay about this, but heres some other relevant terms:
    Lexicon of Jungian Terms | New York Association for Analytical Psychology
    Lexicon of Jungian Terms | New York Association for Analytical Psychology
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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