The Mandala Typology of C.G Jung

Psychological Types

This is not the place to enter into a detailed discussion of the typological model Jung presented in Types but here’s a brief overview touching on several of the essentials. Jung distinguished four modes of conscious functioning which he called, not surprisingly, functions. In his model, two of the four functions, thinking and feeling, were identified as rational in nature but were polar opposites, while the other two functions, sensation and intuition, were described as irrational in nature and also formed an axis of polar opposites. The basic structure of the model could be illustrated with a simple cross. In the figure below, the rational functions form the vertical axis, the irrational functions the horizontal, but note that the axes could be just as readily reversed so that the irrational functions formed the vertical axis etc. Again, quite arbitrarily, I’ve placed the feeling function at the top of the rational axis (which means the thinking function will be at the bottom) and the sensation function to the left of the horizontal axis (intuitive function to the right).

Each function, however, was expressed in terms of what Jung described as either an extraverted or introverted attitude. Put them together and you have eight kinds of typical differences.

If you should ask, why four functions? Why not five, or six, or twenty-seven, you’re just going to have to do some reading and some homework. But if you’re wondering how Thinking, Feeling, Intuition, and Sensation are defined, Jung himself provided a thumbnail sketch:

Sensation tells you there is something. Thinking, roughly speaking, tells you what it is. Feeling tells you whether it is agreeable, to be accepted or rejected. And a perception via the unconscious.
C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews & Encounters. pp. 306 - 307

Question: Is a just and stable democracy possible without an understanding of psychological types?

Jung’s own detailed description of the eight types which result from the combination of the four functions with the two attitudes is available on several websites in the translation by Baynes referred to earlier. I mention this, knowing that Jung was concerned that many of his readers simply went to this chapter chapter 10 and missed chapters two and five, the ones he felt were the most important. His introductory paragraph explains what’s coming:

"In the following pages I shall attempt a general description of the types, and my first concern must be with the two general types I have termed introverted and extraverted. But, in addition, I shall also try to give a certain characterization of those special types whose particularity is due to the fact that his most differentiated function plays the principal role in an individual's adaptation or orientation to life. The former I would term general attitude types, since they are distinguished by the direction of general interest or libido movement, while the latter I would call function-types."

There’s one more question, however, which requires attention at this time. Why have I chosen to call Jung’s typology a “mandala” typology? The answer is complicated but here goes. Consciousness has been described as an island surrounded by the ocean of the unconscious. The centre of consciousness we know as the ego. Jung, taking consciousness and all levels of the unconscious together called the combination the psyche. And. Just as consciousness has a centre, so has the psyche. Jung called this centre the Self. The interesting characteristic of the Self, aside from its pre-eminence as the archetype (yes - google it) of supreme importance in Jung’s conception of the psyche, is that it has a structure. That structure is quaternion in nature and we find its expression in a multitude of examples: the four directions, the four gospels, the four children of Horus, the Buddhist’s four paths to wisdom, the four components of our DNA (AGC&T) etc. etc. AND Jung’s four “typical difference” functions. The Self also expresses itself in the kind of image we know as a mandala, a word which comes down to us from Buddhist traditions. The cross itself is a simple form of mandala and when it is used in the configuration of typological functions outlined briefly above, it may reasonably be described as a typological mandala.

Hence the title of the E-book offered on this website: The Mandala Typology Of C.G. Jung & Its Literature: 1903 - 2007.

Page 2 of 2

The Mandala Typology - G. Campbell Trowsdale - © 2007 Web Site Designed & Managed By: AdVision Multi Media Productions © 2007