Sloth Personality Test

Live Without Suffering From Inferior Functions【Jungian Psychology】


The inferior function is always a significant problem in your life.

The quality of life changes depending on how you deal with it.

In this article, I will explain what Jungian Psychology tells us about how to deal with the inferior function.


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Without the Inferior Function, Your Life Would Become Boring


When eating sushi, many Japanese people use wasabi.

(Although some Japanese eat sushi without wasabi)

Sushi without wasabi is somewhat bland for those who like wasabi.


And the inferior function is also similar to wasabi.

The inferior function might be what makes us more attractive.



Also, somehow we are attracted to areas regarding our inferior functions.

Even though we know we are not good at the area, we are prone to getting involved.


The more something is unavailable, the more you want it


Nothing is more boring than a life in which everything is easy to do and get.

A life where you have something you can’t do is more interesting than a life where you can do everything.


However, when you try to use your inferior functions, they are too low-level to be useful.

Thus you realize how difficult it is to handle inferior functions.



Inferior Functions Pull You Into a Lower World


It is difficult to overcome inferior functions.

Nevertheless, some people try to improve their inferior functions or even use them as freely as their superior functions.


Marie-Louise von Franz, whom I have mentioned before, says the following about the efforts of such people in her book.


“Trying to develop inferior functions is like casting a thin fishing line into a vast unconscious swamp and trying to fish up the unconscious swamp itself!”


And she goes on to caution as follows.


“Yet if you somehow try to do it, you will be pulled into a lower world.”


That’s so scary!


The superior function and the two auxiliary functions she calls the “upper structure.”

This upper structure is the part you can control with your consciousness.

It seems stable, but she says that as the inferior function rises, this whole upper structure collapses.



Let me explain the above with an example.


The upper structure, consisting of superior and auxiliary functions, is like a sophisticated, civilized society.

We live our lives benefiting from this civilized society and utilizing it conveniently.


On the other hand, the inferior function is primitive.


However, if you wanted to incorporate such a primitive environment into your daily life, what do you think would happen?


For example, going to work wearing animal pelts like those worn by primitive people, cooking with a stone axe, or making a bonfire in your living room…

What would happen to your life if you tried to live like that?


Your life would fall apart.

You will have tried to use your inferior functions somehow, and as a result, your life will revert to primitive times.



See the following figure.

The figure on the left is the one you saw in the first article of this series.

The figure on the right shows that you are trying to pull up your inferior function, which causes the upper structure to collapse.


This is what we call being “pulled into the lower world.”



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Overusing Superior Functions Leads to the Revolt of Inferior Functions


As mentioned before, the inferior function keep you from being bored with life.

But the inferior function is too low level to be helpful.


So you end up using only the superior function because it is easier to handle.


The more you use the superior function, the more sophisticated it becomes.

Eventually, you will find that one superior function is all you need to do anything.

And you might even forget to develop auxiliary functions.


This situation can be described as follows.

The dictatorship of the superior function


Then, the inferior function secretly prepares for revolt in unconsciousness.

I have described it in detail in this series’s fourth and fifth articles, but I will briefly explain it again.


The superior and inferior functions are located in the conscious and unconscious realms, respectively, and maintain a good balance with each other.

This is called compensation.

(Compensation is explained in the third article)


However, when too much energy focuses on the superior function, the inferior function, located in the unconscious realm, suffers from a lack of energy.

As a result, a distortion occurs in the inferior function.

This distortion will have a negative impact on the person’s personality.


Earlier, I used the word “revolt” to describe that situation.


Imagine a scene where the inferior function revolts against the dictatorship of the superior function



Use the Superior Function With Humility


Indeed it is convenient to remain dependent on the superior function and use it alone.

But it will further pull down the inferior function.


On the other hand, the inferior function is too low-level to use.

What can we do to make these problems a little better?


M.L. von Franz says roughly in the following way.

“We have no choice but to pull down the upper structure.”


As I described, the upper structure means the superior and the two auxiliary functions, i.e., the three functions located in the conscious realm.


Some people have only the superior function in the conscious realm



Let me explain this in a little more detail.

For us, the inferior function is the problem.

However, as mentioned above, improving or raising its level is impossible.


Therefore, we dare to “lower” the level of the three functions that make up the upper structure, especially the superior function.


M.L. von Franz describes it this way:

“Going down to that lower level means having humility.”



You have been using your superior function as a matter of course.

But from now on, you should use your superior function more modestly.


If you intentionally lower the level of your superior function, the level of consciousness of the whole upper structure will also be lowered.

As a result, the inferior function would float up a little bit because it no longer has to sink to the bottom of the unconscious.


This is to maintain the right balance between the upper and the lower.


But the inferior function will never leave the unconscious realm completely



It is often said,”If you develop your strengths, you won’t care about your weaknesses.”


But psychologically speaking, if you focus too much attention only on your strength, your weakness, which continues to be ignored, will cause more serious problems.

And you may finally realize them after the balance in your mind has been destroyed.



Live neither Superior nor Inferior


When the upper construction, consisting of the superior and auxiliary functions, is lowered slightly, the inferior function also rises somewhat.

The figure below shows that.

As mentioned earlier, the inferior functions will never wholly leave the unconscious realm.

Nevertheless, the four functions will come together in an area that is “neither too much above nor too much below.”


M.L. von Franz calls the above area the middle realm.


It is tough to control your personality, even though it is your own.

But the only way to overcome that problem is to create this middle realm within ourselves.



Creating a middle realm means slightly restraining the superior function.

That is, for example, as follows:


If you are the Thinking Type, try not to think too logically or rationally about everything.

If you are the Feeling Type, refrain from making decisions based on likes and dislikes.

If you are the Sensation Type, stop thinking that “realism is the only thing that matters.”

If you are the Intuitive Type, spend less time pursuing ideals or daydreaming.


To restrain the superior function means to “give up something.”

It means that if you had used the superior function to get everything you wanted, from now on, you would keep it at about half that level.



More energy will now be supplied to the auxiliary functions by restraining the superior function.

Then, auxiliary functions will start to help the inferior function.


The superior function can’t directly help the inferior function, which has the exact opposite property


The above can be explained using the thinking type as the following example.


First, you try to restrain the thinking function, which is your superior function, a little.

As a result, your sensation and intuition, which are your auxiliary functions, are supplied with energy.


The feeling function remains inferior, but the level of unconsciousness is reduced, which makes it easier to handle.


And if there are areas where the feeling function is not working well, the intuitive function, for example, could help.



According to M.L. von Franz, it isn’t easy to create the middle realm well.

But if you can do it well, she says, you will be able to control your personality, just as you can manage your tools.


She describes this way of life as follows:

Living like

Zen Buddhist Masters



This is the last article I will give an overview of the inferior function.

The next step is to create a new personality test incorporating the idea of the inferior function.

That will probably be a new version of the “Sloth Personality Test.”



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