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- A complex of ideas or imaginative activity expressing the flow of psychic energy. (See also active imagination.)
A fantasy needs to be understood both causally and purposively. Causally interpreted, it seems like a symptom of a physiological state, the outcome of antecedent events. Purposively interpreted, it seems like a symbol, seeking to characterize a definite goal with the help of the material at hand, or trace out a line of future psychological development. ["Definitions," CW 6, par. 720.]
Jung distinguished between active and passive fantasies. The for-mer, characteristic of the creative mentality, are evoked by an intuitive attitude directed toward the perception of unconscious contents; passive fantasies are spontaneous and autonomous manifestations of unconscious complexes.
Passive fantasy, therefore, is always in need of conscious criticism, lest it merely reinforce the standpoint of the unconscious opposite. Whereas active fantasy, as the product of a conscious attitude not opposed to the unconscious, and of unconscious processes not opposed but merely compensatory to consciousness, does not require criticism so much as understanding.[Ibid., par. 714.]
Jung developed the method of active imagination as a way of assimilating the meaning of fantasies. The important thing is not to interpret but to experience them.
Continual conscious realization of unconscious fantasies, together with active participation in the fantastic events, has . . . the effect firstly of extending the conscious horizon by the inclusion of numerous unconscious contents; secondly of gradually diminishing the dominant influence of the unconscious; and thirdly of bringing about a change of personality. ["The Technique of Differentiation," CW 7, par. 358.]
- Father complex
- A group of feeling-toned ideas associated with the experience and image of father. (See also Logos.)
In men, a positive father-complex very often produces a certain credulity with regard to authority and a distinct willingness to bow down before all spiritual dogmas and values; while in women, it induces the liveliest spiritual aspirations and interests. In dreams, it is always the father-figure from whom the decisive convictions, prohibitions, and wise counsels emanate. ["The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales," CW 9i, par. 396.]
Jung’s comments on the father complex were rarely more than asides in writing about something else. In general, the father complex in a man manifests in the persona (through identification) and as aspects of his shadow; in a woman, it manifests in the nature of the animus, colored by the projection of her father’s anima.
The father exerts his influence on the mind or spirit of his daughter-on her “Logos.” This he does by increasing her intellectuality, often to a pathological degree which in my later writings I have described as “animus possession.”["The Origin of the Hero," CW 5, par. 272.]
The father is the first carrier of the animus-image. He endows this virtual image with substance and form, for on account of his Logos he is the source of “spirit” for the daughter. Unfortunately this source is often sullied just where we would expect clean water. For the spirit that benefits a woman is not mere intellect, it is far more: it is an attitude, the spirit by which a man lives. Even a so-called “ideal” spirit is not always the best if it does not understand how to deal adequately with nature, that is, with animal man. . . . Hence every father is given the opportunity to corrupt, in one way or another, his daughter’s nature, and the educator, husband, or psychiatrist then has to face the music. For “what has been spoiled by the father”[ A reference to Hexagram 18 in the I Ching (Richard Wilhelm edition, p. 80): "Work ok on What Has Been Spoiled."] can only be made good by a father.["The Personification of the Opposites," CW 14, par. 232.]
- The psychological function that evaluates or judges what something or someone is worth. (Compare thinking.)
A feeling is as indisputable a reality as the existence of an idea. ["The Psychology of the Transference," CW 16, par. 531.]
The feeling function is the basis for “fight or flight” decisions. As a subjective process, it may be quite independent of external stimuli. In Jung’s view it is a rational function, like thinking, in that it is decisively influenced not by perception (as are the functions of sensation and intuition) but by reflection. A person whose overall attitude is oriented by the feeling function is called a feeling type.
In everyday usage, feeling is often confused with emotion. The latter, more appropriately called affect, is the result of an activated complex. Feeling not contaminated by affect can be quite cold.
Feeling is distinguished from affect by the fact that it produces no perceptible physical innervations, i.e., neither more nor less than an ordinary thinking process. ["Definitions," CW 6, par. 725.]
- See anima, Eros and Logos.
- A point of view based on the potential result or purpose of psychic activity, complementary to a causal approach. (See also constructive, neurosis, reductive, and self-regulation of the psyche.)
Psychological data necessitate a twofold point of view, namely that of causality and that of finality. I use the word finality intentionally, in order to avoid confusion with the concept of teleology. [Teleology implies the anticipation of a particular end or goal; finality assumes purpose but an essentially unknown goal.] By finality I mean merely the immanent psychological striving for a goal. Instead of “striving for a goal” one could also say “sense of purpose.” All psychological phenomena have some such sense of purpose inherent in them, even merely reactive phenomena like emotional reactions.["General Aspects of Dream Psychology," CW 8, par. 456.]
Jung also called the final point of view energic, contrasting it with mechanistic or reductive.
The mechanistic view is purely causal; it conceives an event as the effect of a cause, in the sense that unchanging substances change their relations to one another according to fixed laws. The energic point of view on the other hand is in essence final; the event is traced back from effect to cause on the assumption that some kind of energy underlies the changes in phenomena, that it maintains itself as a constant throughout these changes and finally leads to entropy, a condition of general equilibrium. The flow of energy has a definite direction (goal) in that it follows the gradient of potential in a way that cannot be reversed.["On Psychic Energy," ibid., pars. 2f.]
Jung believed that laws governing the physical conservation of energy applied equally to the psyche. Psychologically, this means that where there is an overabundance of energy in one place, some other psychic function has been deprived; conversely, when libido “disap-pears,” as it seems to do in a depression, it must appear in another form, for instance as a symptom.
Every time we come across a person who has a “bee in his bonnet,” or a morbid conviction, or some extreme attitude, we know that there is too much libido, and that the excess must have been taken from somewhere else where, consequently, there is too little. . . . Thus the symptoms of a neurosis must be regarded as exaggerated functions over-invested with libido. . . .The question has to be reversed in the case of those syndromes characterized mainly by lack of libido, for instance apathetic states. Here we have to ask, where did the libido go? . . . The libido is there, but it is not visible and is inaccessible to the patient himself. . . . It is the task of psychoanalysis to search out that hidden place where the libido dwells.["The Theory of Psychoanalysis," CW 4, pars. 254f]
The energic or final point of view, coupled with the concept of compensation, led Jung to believe that an outbreak of neurosis is essentially an attempt by the psyche to cure itself.
- Fourth function
- See inferior function.
- A form of psychic activity, or manifestation of libido, that remains the same in principle under varying conditions. (See also auxiliary function, differentiation, inferior function, primary function and typology.)
Jung’s model of typology distinguishes four psychological functions: thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition.
Sensation establishes what is actually present, thinking enables us to recognize its meaning, feeling tells us its value, and intuition points to possibilities as to whence it came and whither it is going in a given situation.["A Psychological Theory of Types," CW 6, par. 958.]
Though all the functions exist in every psyche, one function is invariably more consciously developed than the others, giving rise to a one-sidedness that often leads to neurosis.
The more [a man] identifies with one function, the more he invests it with libido, and the more he withdraws libido from the other functions. They can tolerate being deprived of libido for even quite long periods, but in the end they will react. Being drained of libido, they gradually sink below the threshold of consciousness, lose their associative connection with it, and finally lapse into the unconscious. This is a regressive development, a reversion to the infantile and finally to the archaic level. . . . [which] brings about a dissociation of the personality.["The Type Problem in Aesthetics," ibid., pars. 502f.]