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“Introverted Intuitives”, Carl Jung

“…The tendency to be more influenced by environmental influences or more influenced by the subjective factor. That’s all. And you see, there are people who are very well balanced and are just as much influenced from within as they are from without, or just as little. And so, with all the defined classifications,- you know- they are only sort of points for orientation. My whole scheme of typology is merely a sort of orientation.

Namely, there is such a factor as introversion; there is such a factor as extroversion. The classification of individuals means nothing! Nothing at all! This is only the “instrumentarium” for the practical psychologies to explain, for instance, a husband to a wife. For instance, it is very often the case… one could trust to almost say, it is almost a rule, but I don’t want to make  too many rules here, in order not to be schematic, that an introvert marries an extrovert for compensation. Or another type marries the counter-type to complement himself.

Well, there is quite a simple explanation of these terms (concepts of thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition) and it shows at the same time how I arrived at such typology.

  • Namely, sensation tells you that there IS something.
  • Thinking, roughly speaking, tells you WHAT it is.
  • Feeling tells you whether it is agreeable or not… to be accepted or not… accepted or rejected.
  • And Intuition –now there is a difficulty- you don’t know, ordinarily, how intuition works.

So, when a man has a hunch, you can’t tell exactly how he got at that hunch, or where that hunch comes from. It is something funny about intuition. Well, sometimes, -you know- you can really find out how it works by finding the intermediate links; you see, it is a perception by intermediate links, and you only get the result of that whole chain of associations. Sometimes, you succeed in finding out, but more often you don’t.

So, my definition is: “Intuition is a perception by ways or means of the unconscious.” That is as near as I can get. This is a very important function because when you live under primitive conditions, a lot of unpredictable things are likely to happen. And there you need your intuition because you cannot possibly tell by your perceptions, by your sense perceptions, what is going to happen.

(Example or difference between an intuitive extrovert and an intuitive introvert): Well, you know, you have chosen a somewhat difficult case, you know, because the… one of the most difficult types is the intuitive introvert. The intuitive extrovert you find them all over –renters, bankers, gamblers-. That is quite understandable. But the introvert, the introverted variety is more difficult because he has intuitions as to the subjective factor, namely The Inner World. And of course, that is now very difficult to understand. Because what he sees are most uncommon things and he doesn’t like to talk of them –if he’s not a fool- because he would spoil his own game by telling what he sees because people won’t understand it.

For instance, once I had a patient –a young woman about twenty-seven or eight- and her first words were when I had sited her… she said: “You know doctor I come to you because I have a snake in my abdomen.”. I said: “WHAT??” and she said: “Yes! Snake! A black snake, coiled up right in the bottom of my abdomen!” and I must have made a rather bewildered face at her and she said: “You know I don’t mean it literally but I should say it was a snake, it was a snake.” You see? Now, our further conversation a little later was as you say it… in the middle of our treatment that only lasted for ten consultations. She had foretold me: “I come ten times and then it’s all right”. I said: “How do you know?”, “Oh, I’ve got a hunch you see!”. And, really, about the fifth or sixth hour she said: “Doctor, I must tell you the snake is about here” “Hunch!” and then on the tenth day I  said: “Now? This is our last hour! Do you feel cured?” and she said: “Beaming!” she said: “You know, this morning it came up and came out of my mouth and the head was golden”. And those were her last words.

Now, that same girl when it comes to reality, she came to me because she couldn’t hear the steps of her feet anymore “because she walked on air” literally. She couldn’t hear it and that frightened her. And then she came to me. I was going for her address. I never had heard of it! I was curious I had never heard of it. It’s a very nice place! She cannot possible speak of her experiences because everybody would think she’s absolutely crazy! I, myself, was quite shocked and I thought: “For heaven’s sake, is that case schizophrenia?” Because you don’t hear that kind of speech, but she assumed that the old man, of course, knows everything and he even understands such kind of language.

So, you see, if… when the introverted intuitive would speak what he really perceives, then, practically no one would understand it. He would be misunderstood. And so they learn to keep things to themselves. And you hardly ever hear them talking of these things. That is a great disadvantage but it is an enormous advantage in another way.

Not to speak of the experience in that regard… in that respect, but also in human relations. For instance, they come into the presence of somebody they don’t know and suddenly they have inner images. And those inner images give them a more or less complete information about the psychology of the partner. You know that is… but it, of course, can also happen that they come into the presence of somebody who they don’t know at all and they know an important piece out of the biography of that person and are not aware of it and tell the story and then the hat is in the fire. You see? So, the introverted intuitive is… has, in a way, a very difficult life –although, one of the most interesting lives-. But it is difficult, often, to get into their confidence.

It’s just a sort of a skeleton to which you have to add the flesh or say, it is a country mapped out –you know- by triangulation points. That doesn’t mean the country consists of triangulation points. That is only in order to have an idea of the distances. And so it is a means to an end. It only makes sense such a scheme when you have…when you deal with practical cases.

Well I told you that case of the intuitive girl who suddenly came out with that statement that she had a black snake in the belly. Well now, that is a collective symbol! That is not an individual fantasy that is a collective fantasy. “

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