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- The central complex in the field of consciousness. (See also self.)
The ego, the subject of consciousness, comes into existence as a complex quantity which is constituted partly by the inherited disposition (character constituents) and partly by unconsciously acquired impressions and their attendant phenomena ["Analytical Psychology and Education," CW 17, par. 169.]
Jung pointed out that knowledge of the ego-personality is often confused with self-understanding.
Anyone who has any ego-consciousness at all takes it for granted that he knows himself. But the ego knows only its own contents, not the unconscious and its contents. People measure their self-knowledge by what the average person in their social environment knows of himself, but not by the real psychic facts which are for the most part hidden from them. In this respect the psyche behaves like the body, of whose physiological and anatomical structure the average person knows very little too. ["The Undiscovered Self," CW 10, par. 491.]
In the process of individuation, one of the initial tasks is to differentiate the ego from the complexes in the personal unconscious, particularly the persona, the shadow and anima/animus. A strong ego can relate objectively to these and other contents of the unconscious without identifying with them.
Because the ego experiences itself as the center of the psyche, it is especially difficult to resist identification with the self, to which it owes its existence and to which, in the hierarchy of the psyche, it is subordinate.
The ego stands to the self as the moved to the mover, or as object to subject, because the determining factors which radiate out from the self surround the ego on all sides and are therefore supraordinate to it. The self, like the unconscious, is an a priori existent out of which the ego evolves.["Transformation Symbolism in the Mass," CW 11, par. 391.]
Identification with the self can manifest in two ways: the assimilation of the ego by the self, in which case the ego falls under the control of the unconscious; or the assimilation of the self to the ego, where the ego becomes overaccentuated. In both cases the result is inflation, with disturbances in adaptation.
In the first case, reality has to be protected against an archaic . . . dream-state; in the second, room must be made for the dream at the expense of the world of consciousness. In the first case, mobilization of all the virtues is indicated; in the second, the presumption of the ego can only be damped down by moral defeat.["The Self," CW 9ii, par. 47.]
- An involuntary reaction due to an active complex. (See also affect.)
On the one hand, emotion is the alchemical fire whose warmth brings everything into existence and whose heat burns all superfluities to ashes (omnes superfluitates comburit). But on the other hand, emotion is the moment when steel meets flint and a spark is struck forth, for emotion is the chief source of consciousness. There is no change from darkness to light or from inertia to movement without emotion. ["Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype," CW 9i, par. 179.]
- An introjection of the object, based on the unconscious projection of subjective contents. (Compare identification.)
Empathy presupposes a subjective attitude of confidence, or trustfulness towards the object. It is a readiness to meet the object halfway, a subjective assimilation that brings about a good understanding between subject and object, or at least simulates it. ["The Type Problem in Aesthetics," CW 6, par. 489.]
In contrast to abstraction, associated with introversion, empathy corresponds to the attitude of extraversion.
The man with the empathetic attitude finds himself . . . in a world that needs his subjective feeling to give it life and soul. He animates it with himself. [ Ibid., par. 492.]
- Literally, "running counter to," referring to the emergence of the unconscious opposite in the course of time.
This characteristic phenomenon practically always occurs when an extreme, one-sided tendency dominates conscious life; in time an equally powerful counterposition is built up, which first inhibits the conscious performance and subsequently breaks through the conscious control. ["Definitions," ibid., par. 709.]
Enantiodromia is typically experienced in conjunction with symptoms associated with acute neurosis, and often foreshadows a rebirth of the personality.
The grand plan on which the unconscious life of the psyche is constructed is so inaccessible to our understanding that we can never know what evil may not be necessary in order to produce good by enantiodromia, and what good may very possibly lead to evil.["The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales," CW 9i, par. 397.]
- See final.
- In Greek mythology, the personification of love, a cosmogonic force of nature; psychologically, the function of relationship. (See also anima, animus, Logos and mother complex.)
Woman’s consciousness is characterized more by the connective quality of Eros than by the discrimination and cognition associated with Logos. In men, Eros . . . is usually less developed than Logos. In women, on the other hand, Eros is an expression of their true nature, while their Logos is often only a regrettable accident. ["The Syzygy: Anima and Animus," CW 9ii, par. 29.]
Eros is a questionable fellow and will always remain so . . . . He belongs on one side to man’s primordial animal nature which will endure as long as man has an animal body. On the other side he is related to the highest forms of the spirit. But he thrives only when spirit and instinct are in right harmony.["The Eros Theory," CW 7, par. 32.]
Where love reigns, there is no will to power; and where the will to power is paramount, love is lacking. The one is but the shadow of the other: the man who adopts the standpoint of Eros finds his compensatory opposite in the will to power, and that of the man who puts the accent on power is Eros.["The Problem of the Attitude-Type," ibid., par. 78.]
An unconscious Eros always expresses itself as will to power. ["Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype," CW 9i, par. 167.]
- A mode of psychological orientation where the movement of energy is toward the outer world. (Compare introversion.)
Extraversion is characterized by interest in the external object, responsiveness, and a ready acceptance of external happenings, a desire to influence and be influenced by events, a need to join in and get "with it," the capacity to endure bustle and noise of every kind, and actually find them enjoyable, constant attention to the surrounding world, the cultivation of friends and acquaintances, none too carefully selected, and finally by the great importance attached to the figure one cuts.["Psychological Typology," CW 6, par. 972.]
Jung believed that introversion and extraversion were present in everyone, but that one attitude-type is invariably dominant. When external factors are the prime motivating force for judgments, perceptions, affects and actions, we have an extraverted attitude or type.
The extravert’s philosophy of life and his ethics are as a rule of a highly collective nature with a strong streak of altruism, and his conscience is in large measure dependent on public opinion.[ Ibid.]
Jung believed that type differentiation begins very early in life, so that it might be described as innate.
The earliest sign of extraversion in a child is his quick adaptation to the environment, and the extraordinary attention he gives to objects and especially to the effect he has on them. Fear of objects is minimal; he lives and moves among them with confidence. . . and can therefore play with them freely and learn through them. He likes to carry his enterprises to the extreme and exposes himself to risks. Everything unknown is alluring.["Psychological Types," ibid., par. 896.]
In general, the extravert trusts what is received from the outside world and is not inclined to examine personal motivations.
He has no secrets he has not long since shared with others. Should something unmentionable nevertheless befall him, he prefers to forget it. Anything that might tarnish the parade of optimism and positivism is avoided. Whatever he thinks, intends, and does is displayed with conviction and warmth.["Psychological Typology," ibid., par. 973.]
Although everyone is affected by objective data, the extravert’s thoughts, decisions and behavior are determined by them. Personal views and the inner life take second place to outer conditions.
He lives in and through others; all self-communings give him the creeps. Dangers lurk there which are better drowned out by noise. If he should ever have a "complex," he finds refuge in the social whirl and allows himself to be assured several times a day that everything is in order. [ Ibid., par. 974.]
The psychic life of the extreme extraverted type is enacted wholly in reaction to the environment, which determines the personal standpoint. If the mores change, he adjusts his views and behavior patterns to match. This is both a strength and a limitation.
Adjustment is not adaptation; adaptation . . . requires observance of laws more universal than the immediate conditions of time and place. The very adjustment of the normal extraverted type is his limitation. He owes his normality . . . to his ability to fit into existing conditions with comparative ease. His requirements are limited to the objectively possible, for instance to the career that holds out good prospects at this particular moment; he does what is needed of him, or what is expected of him, and refrains from all innovations that are not entirely self-evident or that in any way exceed the expectations of those around him["General Description of the Types," CW 6, par. 564.]
Extraversion is an asset in social situations and in relating to the external environment. But a too-extraverted attitude may result in sacrificing oneself in order to fulfil what one sees as objective demands-the needs of others, for instance, or the requirements of an expanding business.
This is the extravert’s danger: He gets sucked into objects and completely loses himself in them. The resultant functional disorders, nervous or physical, have a compensatory value, as they force him into an involuntary self-restraint. Should the symptoms be functional, their peculiar character may express his psychological situation in symbolic form; for instance, a singer whose fame has risen to dangerous heights that tempt him to expend too much energy suddenly finds he cannot sing high notes . . . . Or a man of modest beginnings who rapidly reaches a social position of great influence with wide prospects is suddenly afflicted with all the symptoms of mountain sickness.[ Ibid., par. 565.]
The form of neurosis most likely to afflict the extravert is hysteria, which typically manifests as a pronounced identification with persons in the immediate environment.
The extravert’s tendency to sacrifice inner reality to outer circumstances is not a problem as long as the extraversion is not too extreme. But to the extent that it becomes necessary to compensate the inclination to one-sidedness, there will arise a markedly self-centered tendency in the unconscious. All those needs or desires that are stifled or repressed by the conscious attitude come in the back door, in the form of infantile thoughts and emotions that center on oneself.
The more complete the conscious attitude of extraversion is, the more infantile and archaic the unconscious attitude will be. The egoism which characterizes the extravert’s unconscious attitude goes far beyond mere childish selfishness; it verges on the ruthless and brutal. [ Ibid., par. 572.]
The danger then is that the extravert, so habitually and apparently selflessly attuned to the outside world and the needs of others, may suddenly become quite indifferent.