Blog of Sara Jakša

The General Patterns or How Jung's Functions can Help with Personal Development

I was reading the article in the journal Type in Depth titled Cultural Atttitudes. There the Beebe used the Henderson's basic cultural attitudes and relate them to the functions. The religious attitude was covered by the introverted perceiving functions, the philosophical attitude was covered by the introverted judging function, the aesthetic attitude was covered by extraverted perceiving functions and the social attitude was covered by the extraverted judging functions.

This reminded my of the four concepts that I have seen used in the personal development. I am talking about the body, mind, heart and spirit.

For a record, I don't recommend actually googling these words. I don't know what google thinks about me, but on the first page they were all these energetic, spiritual, I-don't-want-to-say-anything-concrete. There are some people that write about it on clearer level (like Steve Pavlina), so I suggest finding a person like that.

But let me return to these concepts. I can actually relate each of the four concepts to one of the cultural attitude. The body is the aesthetic attitude, the mind is the philosophical attitude, the heart is the social attitude and the spirit is the religious attitude.

That is assuming that I understood the attitudes correctly.

Based on this analogy, and that people usually bring to the consciousness at least two functions, I can say that this can tell us where our strengths are and what to work on. Because usually some attitudes are going to be more developed than others.

Let me take my as an INTP as example. Based on this, I would be having a more developed philosophical/mind part of me, and relatively well developed aesthetic/body part of me. But on the other side, the heart/social and spirit/religious would be less developed.

For one thing, a lot of things that people label as religious or spiritual seems like either an inconsistent dogma or a wishy-washy talking. Some might not be, but they I probably don't get to this, because I get turned down by the social aspects. I never spend much time on it either. Maybe that is among the reasons why the NLP (neuro-lingustic programming, and not natural language processing - I always wanted to say that) techniques generally don't work for me. I am also not good at manifesting all the small stuff people practice with when starting with the law of attraction.

Also, the spiritual/religious sense would be, that there is something worthwhile to work into. It implies purpose. Something that so far I had no luck finding. I mean, I hat to come the the Austria to be able to experience at least some amount of narrowing my field of possibilities.

So based on this, I would say that this part is not well developed in me. Neither is my social/heart part of me. I mean, I have spend years trying to improve my social skills. It started with every book and person that I talked to (baring my father) saying that networking and social skills are the most important part of being the entrepreneur. Then it ended up being a hobby, because I still don't get people. I constantly create new theories and try to discern rules that govern situation. I greatly admire the people that make it look effortlessly, but at least some of them admitted to me, that it is not.

What about the supposed better part. The body/aesthetics and mind/philosophical part of me. Well, I am not sure how well developed my body/aesthetic part of it is. I don't really mind much the visually pleasing stuff. On the other hand, apparently I was advancing relatively quickly, when I was training karate, so on the balance I would say that I have shown development in some areas.

Out of the four ones I would say that mind/philosophical is the most developed in my. If nothing else, the constant making theories and refining them is a good indication of this.

Well, but how can this helps a person? Be it Jung, when he talked about the individualization or the today's personal development, we need a minimum level in each of these four. But this analogy then helps us work on the right thing, by working on using the functions connected with these attitudes.

So a person that is weaker on the social/heart part of it, like me, could work on either Fe or Te in order to improve the general level. One way that I got to get a better grip on my Fe, was to go and have an internship at the middle size village in Hungary. This made me a lot more aware of it. I guess for a Te, any company with the emphasis on the efficiency would do the same trick.

For a person that has a weaker spirit/religious part, maybe have problems that can not be solved by logic? I know I only became aware of how my Ni feels after being in a situation like that. I guess for body/aesthetic, maybe trying new things, doing sports, being spontaneous or enjoying good food?

Hard to come up with the one for mind/philosophical one, since it is somehow natural for me. I guess overthink stuff? With everything being fair game?

It can be an additional way to improve all of the areas of life. If you don't know how to improve the mind part of it, simply find a way to improve the Fi or Ti part of yourself.