author & life enthusiast for a discussion about
“The Dance of Life”
May 12, 2013
It has been snowing, and we are waiting for the sun.
In order to Balance our Life we have to “Know Our Selves”.
Humans are part of the manifested Universe. On this planet earth we share the Biological Life with all living beings, both animal and vegetal. Our physical body expresses this same biological life with the automatic regularity of circulation, respiration and other biological functions. But Humans are more complex than plants and animals. How? Obviously, we have a gift that makes us capable of abstract thinking, appreciate beauty, experience compassion and use mathematical concepts to develop sophisticated tools.
This Gift makes us able to experience SELF-Consciousness and also to get in touch with UNIVERSAL CONSCIOUSNESS. In scientific terms, Biological Life has a lower rate of vibrations as compared with Conscious Life. The goal of Balancing our Life is to be able of developing subtle rates of vibration. The key for a balanced lifestyle is to be fully aware of both, our Biological and our Conscious Life. The Individual Human has a Personal aspect that is Biological and Self-Conscious aspect that is Spiritual. Across millennia of evolution we have constantly aimed at understanding and finding a balance between them.
Tonight we will discuss a few point related to this search about Knowing-Our-Selves.
The research and study of Psychology have addressed this question. In particular the findings of the Clinical Psychologist Carl Jung at the beginning of last century have clarified important aspects of human Attitudes and Functions.
Attitudes: Extraversion and Introversion. Analytical psychology distinguishes several psychological types or temperaments:
Extraversion means “outward-turning” and introversion means “inward-turning. These specific definitions vary somewhat from the popular usage of the words.
The preferences for extraversion and introversion are often called as attitudes. Each of the cognitive functions can operate in the external world of behavior, action, people, and things (extraverted attitude) or the internal world of ideas and reflection (introverted attitude).
People who prefer extraversion draw energy from action: they tend to act, then reflect, then act further. If they are inactive, their motivation tends to decline.
To rebuild their energy, extraverts need breaks from time spent in reflection. Conversely, those who prefer introversion expend energy through action: they prefer to reflect, then act, then reflect again. To rebuild their energy, introverts need quiet time alone, away from activity.
The extravert’s flow is directed outward toward people and objects, and the introvert’s is directed inward toward concepts and ideas. Contrasting characteristics between extraverts and introverts include the following:
- Extraverts are action oriented, while introverts are thought oriented.
- Extraverts seek breadth of knowledge and influence, while introverts seek depth of knowledge and influence.
- Extraverts often prefer more frequent interaction, while introverts prefer more substantial interaction.
- Extraverts recharge and get their energy from spending time with people, while introverts recharge and get their energy from spending time alone.
Four functions: sensation, intuition, thinking, feeling
Carl Jung identified two pairs of psychological functions:
- The two perceiving functions, sensation and intuition
- The two judging functions, thinking and feeling
Sensation and intuition are the information-gathering (perceiving) functions. They describe how new information is understood and interpreted. Individuals who prefer the sensation function are more likely to trust information that is in the present, tangible and concrete: that is, information that can be understood by the five senses. They tend to distrust hunches, which seem to come “out of nowhere.” They prefer to look for details and facts. For them, the meaning is in the data.
On the other hand, those who prefer the intuition function tend to trust information that is more abstract or theoretical, that can be associated with other information (either remembered or discovered by seeking a wider context or pattern). They may be more interested in future possibilities. They tend to trust those flashes of insight that seem to bubble up from the unconscious mind. The meaning is in how the data relates to the pattern or theory.
Thinking and feeling are the decision-making (judging) functions. The thinking and feeling functions are both used to make rational decisions, based on the data received from their information-gathering functions (sensing or intuition). Those who prefer the thinking function tend to decide things from a more detached standpoint, measuring the decision by what seems reasonable, logical, causal, consistent, and matching a given set of rules. Those who prefer the feeling function tend to come to decisions by associating or empathizing with the situation, looking at it “from the inside” and weighing the situation to achieve, on balance, the greatest harmony, consensus and fit, considering the needs of the people involved.
As noted already, people who prefer the thinking function do not necessarily, in the everyday sense, “think better” than their feeling counterparts; the opposite preference is considered an equally rational way of coming to decisions. Similarly, those who prefer the feeling function do not necessarily have “better” emotional reactions than their thinking counterparts.
The eight psychological types are as follows:
- Extraverted sensation
- Introverted sensation
- Extraverted intuition
- Introverted intuition
- Extraverted thinking
- Introverted thinking
- Extraverted feeling
- Introverted feeling
Carl Jung theorized that the dominant function characterizes consciousness, while its opposite is repressed and characterizes unconscious behavior. Generally, we tend to favor our most developed dominant function, while we can broaden our personality by developing the others.
The contribution of Carl Jung to the understanding of human nature helps us analyze ourselves by reflecting on these characteristics.
The next step is to practice in order to establish our balance in a concrete form.
We achieve this with both Yoga and Martial Arts.