Jung the Man:
Part III—His Type and Personality
“Everybody would call me an introvert.”
“One does not doubt at all the introversion. Only introversion of the deepest kind can explain why outwardly his life was so uneventful and inwardly so packed and overflowing with an historic eventfulness. Nor does one question Jung’s fears about the relative inferiority of this [sic: his] feeling function because he was so aware of it and worked so hard to compensate for its deficiencies.”
Laurens Van der Post, 1975
When Jungians speak of “type,” they refer to Jung’s “system in which individual attitudes and behavior patterns are categorized in an attempt to explain the differences between people.” This system has been discussed in the essay “What is America’s Shadow?” now archived on this blog site. In that essay we handled type in terms of a collective—American society. Here we will focus on type in an individual—Jung himself—and then we will examine some of the features of Jung’s personality, in its positive forms. The difficult aspects of his personality—Jung’s shadow and his complexes—will be the subject of the next essay.
Using the letter designations of the Jung-based Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, we can say Jung was an INTP, i.e. an introverted intuitive thinking perceptive type. We will consider what these terms mean in general and then in relation to Jung.
His Introversion. What is meant by “introvert”? The introvert, as a type, is a person who can take only limited amounts of interaction with others before hi/her reserves of energy are exhausted. The introvert goes to a party (especially one full of strangers) and comes home tired, unlike the extravert who gets energized by the company of others. Introverts are territorial; they need private space—what Virginia Wolff called “a room on one’s own.” Introverts pursue solitary activities: reading, writing, doing scholarly or scientific research, meditating. Their focus is inward, on their inner life and internal reactions. They have what Edward Edinger called a “fear of the object,” “objects” here being anything outside of themselves. Introverts can be friendly, but their friends tend to be other introverts who understand their limits and will allow them the space and solitude they need.
In “What is America’s Shadow?” we typed the collective American type as ESTJ—extraverted, sensate, thinking, judging. Switzerland’s collective type is very different: Like most northern European countries, Switzerland’s type is much more introverted, inward, private. Few Swiss, for example, entertain others in their homes. Where an Introvert in America is the “odd man out,” in Switzerland, the Introvert is the norm.
In being an introvert Jung was like his fellow countrymen. No one who knew him even slightly would doubt his introversion, as the above quotes indicate. Everyone who knew him recognized how much he preferred to work alone, how he got recharged in quiet solitude, how he required silence when he was writing, how he craved time in his beloved private Bollingen retreat, how he disliked crowds and talking on the telephone.
This inward orientation was obvious early in his life, when he played alone, even when other boys were around. His first 9 years as an only child may have intensified this tendency to prefer solitude but even in school he found that the other children served to alienate him from himself. In his adolescent years, when most teenagers seek to relate to their peers, Jung developed more extraversion, in joining a fraternity, drinking beer with his chums, laughing and sharing in the military songs of his army units.
His preference for working alone presented problems in his early career, when he was the Oberarzt at the Burghölzli Clinic, a position that required him to supervise other doctors. His involvement with Freud also strained his introverted nature as Freud looked to Jung to lead the International Psychoanalytic Association and handle all the administrative chores connected with that very public role.
Extraverted demands on his time continued after his break with Freud. Barbara Hannah reported that he had to live a more extraverted life in the 1920’s and ‘30s, when he was building his practice and developing a group of followers. These were the years when Jung traveled the world, studying foreign cultures and their myths and legends to confirm his theory of the collective unconscious. In this interval he was also active in the Psychology Club, another extraverted activity. It was only in his later years that he was able to spend more time in the solitude of Bollingen, writing, carving, re-energizing away from people, patients and other externals that might divert his attention away from his inner life.
His Intuition. Seventy-five percent of Americans are “Sensates:” living through their five senses, dealing with concrete, tangible reality, focused on the here-and-now. Intuitives are different. Living in relation to their inner voice or guidance, focused more on the future and the possibilities it holds, enjoying fantasy and imagination, knowing “out of the unconscious,” intuitives can be ingenious, inspiring, and visionary but not always practical or grounded in the realities of the present moment. Where their Sensate cousins like details and can identify every tree in the forest, Intuitives like the big picture and will see the forest, not the individual trees. Sensates make good administrators because they enjoy detail work and handling organizational issues. Intuitives make good artists, architects, ER physicians, scientists and therapists.
Jung was a strong intuitive. He trusted and honored his hunches, and he had many of these throughout his life—from his knowing he would marry Emma Rauschenbach the first time he saw her to his premonitions about World War I. His strong intuition fostered his working with symbols and developing the technique he called “active imagination.” The wealth of insights and discoveries he made about himself in the Red Bookwere the product of his intuitive nature.
Conversely, Jung’s Sensation was inferior: He hated the gymnastics classes that were required in school. He had a “certain physical timidity,” and in medical school he disliked anything to do with touching bodies, living or dead. He found administrative work—the sort of activity he had to do at the Burghölzli clinic or on behalf of Freud—very unpleasant and stressful, as is typical for anyone who has to work in his/her inferior function. Laurens Van der Post noted Jung’s “under-developed sense of the reality of his physical here and now.” This is characteristic of the intuitive person. Jung’s preference for Intuition can also be seen in his writing style: Sensates are linear; they develop an argument step-by-step in a way that is easy to follow. Jung’s writing style was quite different: his works are notorious for their circular thinking and “peripatetic” process. Jung himself admitted that he like to regard an idea from many different perspectives and many readers (especially Sensate ones) find themselves frustrated by the numerous digressions and amplifications that Jung makes in his essays.
His Thinking. The Thinking type can be objective, operating on principles, policies and laws with firmness and an impersonal approach. Good in analysis and argumentation, the Thinker is comfortable handling concepts, theories, and generalizations. He (more men than women type as Thinking types—the only one of the type categories that is gender-biased) tends to make decisions based on logic and principles, rather than feelings or values. While they are generally able to see others’ points of view, Thinkers tend to be embarrassed by intense emotional displays and are prone to say and do things which hurt others’ feelings. Thinkers have great powers of concentration, and need to understand “why”—what things mean.
As strongly as he was introverted and intuitive, Jung also had a strong preference as a thinking type. He was much more interested in the ideas his patients brought him than he was in the actual patients. Both his wife and his associates recognized this. Emma endured this; some of his associates did not: they left him. Hans Schmid, for example, questioned Jung’s “strangely affective, almost ironically spiteful tone” in discussions at Psychology Club events and eventually left the club. In his altercation with Hans Trüb, Jung displayed his Thinking preference when he admitted “Personal relationships don’t count very much for me.” Trüb eventually left. Henry Murray felt Jung was not attentive to others in his “consuming interest” in his own mental processes. Murray eventually returned to America.
His interest in research, his sarcasm in response to the views of others and his brusque behavior in dealing with people all bespeak Jung’s strong preference for thinking. Jung recognized this, and also recognized how it made him a poor judge of people and hampered his effectiveness in relationships. He felt his deficiency of feeling was due, in part, to the sexual assault he experienced as a child by a man he had “worshipped,” which left a “permanent wound” on his feeling nature. He was a Logos, or thinking-dominated man, leaving people feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable in many situations which we will examine in the next essay, when we consider some of the negative aspects of Jung’s personality.
His Perceptiveness. Where Jung had a strong preference for introversion, intuition and thinking, on the final component of type I believe he was much more balanced between Judging and Perceiving. The Judger likes closure, tends to be impatient, is organized and works well with timetables and meeting deadlines. The Perceiver resists closure, preferring to leave things open-ended. The Perceiver also is more tentative than the Judger, as well as more patient and open to gathering information. The Judger is good at administration and running things, while the Perceiver will keep his/her options open and look for things to turn up.
The Swiss are certainly a Judging culture: they make watches, after all. The Swiss culture is work-focused, even driven, in terms of work. The trains run on time, the society is well-organized, and the Swiss as a people tend to be insular, even critical of others. As a Swiss citizen Jung certainly felt the pressures toward Judging that his culture laid on its people (just as we Americans experience the pressure of our culture’s strong J preference, in our impatience with the political process and our distaste for Presidents like Clinton and Obama, who are more Perceptive in their decision-making style). Jung seems to me to have qualities of the Judger in his drivenness around his work, in his organization (although how much that might have been due to his secretaries is a question), in his punctuality, and in his own admitted lack of patience and tendency to judge others.
But he also had qualities of the Perceiver. Consider, for example, his willingness to let life happen, when he warned Aniela Jaffé not to interfere with things; his tentativeness, when he could allow things to hang without definitive definitions or descriptions; his tolerance for ambiguity; his great patience in collecting data in his years-long research projects. His dislike of administrative work could be due, as noted above, to his inferior Sensation, but it might also be linked to his preference for Perception. Another line of argument supporting Jung as a Perceptive is linked to the myths he lived. This brings us to a consideration of his personality.
Myths Jung Lived. Various friends and biographers of Jung have identified several myths he lived. R.F.C. Hull, the translator of Jung’s Collected Worksand one of the few men with whom Jung was able to sustain a long-term relationship, called Jung a “shaman” after reading the Red Book. Shamans are definitely Perceptives in their ability to seek their own way in the wilderness, in their refusal to take others’ word for what the gods say, and in their gift for getting into the interiority of others. Several people noted in interviews how Jung seemed to them to be a mind-reader, or to have some sort of magic-like capacity to get right to the heart of their concern or problem. Like the shaman traveling between two worlds, Jung was able to live in his own skin while simultaneously resonating with the other person.
Maggie Anthony, who interviewed many of Jung’s students for her study of the women around Jung, felt Jung lived out both the Pygmalion and Dionysus myths. Both the artistic Pygmalion, creator of the woman out of his own anima nature, and the mystic Dionysus, stirring up ecstasy and abandon in others, draw on the quality of Perception, and Jung drew upon his Perceptiveness as he encouraged his students to venture into their depths and experience the divine for themselves. In fostering the growth and development of so many of the women around him, Jung was able to perceive their true natures and abilities and counsel them in ways that helped transform them, much as Pygmalion transformed Galatea from an inert piece of stone into a beautiful woman. In his Dionysian moments, Jung was able to perceive possibilities of behavior and living that transcended the strait-laced Swiss modus vivendi.
Jung was able to do this in part because he was unusual, and he recognized this. He described himself as “someone who cannot be made to fit into the ordinary schema, and that is the meaning of my life… What I am describing is a fact: it is me.” Jung lived life on his own terms, but also “in the grip of the daimon,” which would overpower him at times and drive him to create.
His Two Personalities. He was also unusual in being quite matter-of-fact and “up front” about his two personalities: the outer (which he called his #1 personality) and the inner (#2). Some of Jung’s critics have used his remarks here to claim he was schizophrenic, but Jung denied that he had a dissociation or split personality. Rather, Jung felt we all have these two facets to our personality, but few of us are either aware of them or inclined to talk about them openly.
Jung’s #2 personality was the “ancient, intuitive man, wise and redeeming,” the Wise Old Man able to quell African tribal uprisings and restore order in situations approaching psychic chaos. This #2 side lived outside time and drew upon eternal wisdom. Jung referred to this side as “the son of the maternal unconscious,” and it was from this side that Dionysus appeared and his shamanic abilities manifested. It was this side of Jung that “was engaged in a totally different dimension of reality,” that could see the vast potential in his patients and in our collective future. This side made him able to talk with all sorts of people and put them at ease. This side was “the oracle,” with charisma, presence and a “genial spirit.” This side cast a spell over people, and still casts a spell, because “we moderns crave some source of wisdom.” This side was what Miguel Serrano saw that reminded him of an “ancient alchemist.”
Jung’s #1 personality was the intellectual modern man, medical doctor, husband and father, Swiss citizen, Captain in the Swiss army, author of dozens of books and articles, honored scholar and global traveler. When we think of Jung, this is the personality most people identify, and this personality can be described from the wealth of interviews and memoirs of his students, family and friends.
Jung identified himself as an intellectual in his interview with Gordon Young. He cited this as the reason he was not “taken in by intellectuals.” There were other reasons why Jung was not taken in, e.g. he was very independent in his thinking, always ready to go his own way, follow his own experience and define truth for himself, even if no one else understood or agreed with him. He was a truth-seeker who was willing to take independent positions and never back down. This led some to call him pig-headed and obstinate, but Barbara Hannah felt he was willing to entertain other points of view if they were intelligent criticisms and he had sufficient time to weigh the arguments presented to him. Freud failed to understand this aspect of Jung’s personality, in expecting him to toe the Freudian line on the sexual nature of libido. While he was concrete in his character and empirical in his thinking style, he was open to the irrational too. Barbara Hannah felt this openness to the irrational was due to his personal history as a country boy—that rural people lived in touch with Nature and the irrational aspects of life.
Growing up in the country could be the source for Jung’s earthy, peasant quality. He got his start in a “rough kind of life,” a life in which he had to fight peasant boys and live in Nature. Playing with blocks and stones as a boy, he grew up with the peasant’s respect for wood and stone and he retained a love of building well into old age. He was working with stone, chiseling memorials to Toni and Emma well into his 80’s. His mother tried to improve his peasant manners but her heart was not in these efforts, and he went through life with table manners that appalled both his wife and children, as well as others. With his “peasant solidity,” he always felt free to be himself, robust, simple and natural.
There was nothing phony about Jung. He knew he was real and he felt this was one explanation for why so many Americans sought him out: Jung believed that Americans have a sixth sense for the “real deal,” more so than Europeans. Many people who knew him spoke of the “remarkable force” that emanated from him, and the “wholeness” that he had. Joseph Henderson, one of his early students, felt he was “the most deeply rooted man I ever met.” Barbara Hannah claimed to feel healed just by sitting in his presence—that his wholeness had that powerful a healing effect. Wholeness implies integrity, and Jung had integrity.
Integrity requires being willing to face painful facts about oneself, and Jung was willing to do this because he had courage. Courage takes different forms and Jung had them all: he was physically courageous in confronting wild African tribesmen on his trip to Africa; he was ethically courageous in taking up the task of dealing with his life; he was morally courageous in facing the unconscious, in asking of himself what he was asking of his patients; he was professionally courageous in breaking with Freud to follow his own inner direction and live out his own truths.
A final key feature of Jung’s personality centers around his success with patients. Having suffered himself, he understood others’ suffering, and as a doctor, he was committed to easing this suffering. He inspired confidence and respect in his patients because he never asked of others what he wouldn’t do himself. He took every life seriously and dealt with his patients in a warm, sympathetic way, drawing them out and stirring up their unconsciousness. He was a great listener, patient, simple and caring, and not easily dismayed. With his perceptiveness and keen intuition he seemed like a miracle worker to some of his patients, as he would tell them what they were thinking, leading them to feel he could read their minds!
He also had a great sense of humor. When he told stories “great gusts of laughter” were part of the tale. These have been described by some as “whoops of wild Indian laughter,” and a “booming laugh.” Other spoke of his “inimitable Rabelaisian wit” and “infectious humor.” Mary Bancroft felt his wit was surprising, considering he was “a person of… vast erudition.” Certainly his humor helped to put his patients at ease and lighten the atmosphere of the analytic session.
With his humor and intuitive insight, compassion and sensitivity to patients’ situations, Jung was a great therapist. Several people spoke of how he “saved their life.” But adulation was not on everyone’s lips. As I noted in Part II of this essay, Jung was a controversial figure and full of contradictions. As positive as his personality was, he also had a dark side. Jung’s shadow and his complexes are the subject of Part IV.
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Bair, Deirdre (2003), Jung: A Biography. New York: Little, Brown & Co.
Black, Stephen (1977), “The Stephen Black Interviews,” Jung Speaking, eds. William McGuire & R.F.C. Hull. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Brand, Reneé (1977), “Four Contacts with Jung,” Jung Speaking, eds. William McGuire & R.F.C. Hull. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Briggs Myers, Isabel (1980), Gifts Differing, with Peter Myers. Palo Alto CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
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Edinger, Edward (2009), “Soul Mates,” An American Jungian: In Honor of Edward F. Edinger, eds. George Elder & Dianne Cordic. Toronto: Inner City Books.
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Freeman, John (1977), “The ‘Face-to-Face’ Interview,” Jung Speaking, eds. William McGuire & R.F.C. Hull. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Gerster, Georg (1977), “Jung and the Christmas Tree,” Jung Speaking, eds. William McGuire & R.F.C. Hull. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Giannini, John (2004), Compass of the Soul: Archetypal Guides to a Fuller Life. Gainesville FL: Center for Applications of Psychological Type Inc.
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Jaffé, Aniela (1984), Jung’s Last Years. Dallas TX: Spring Publications.
Jung, C.G. (1965), Memories, Dreams, Reflections. New York: Vintage Books.
________ (2009), The Red Book Liber Novus, ed. Sonu Shamdasani. New York: W.W. Norton.
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________ & Marilyn Bates (1984), Please Understand Me. Del Mar CA: Prometheus Nemesis Books.
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Moore, Thomas (1988), “Psychology, Typology and the Wise Old Man,” The New York Times Book Review(February 14, 1988), 22.
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Sharp, Daryl (1991), C.G. Jung Lexicon: A Primer of Terms and Concepts. Toronto: Inner City Books.
Van der Post, Laurens (1975), Jung and the Story of Our Time. New York: Vintage Books.
von Franz, Marie-Louise & James Hillman (1971), Jung’s Typology. Dallas TX: Spring Publications.
Woolf, Virginia (1929/1957), A Room of One’s Own. New York: Harcourt Brace.
Young, Gordon (1977), “The Art of Living,” Jung Speaking, eds. William McGuire & R.F.C. Hull. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
 Black (1977), 256.
 Van der Post (1975), 249
 Sharp (1991), 140.
 Posted in May 2009.
 For full explanations of the MBTI, cf. Keirsey & Bates (1984), Keirsey (1998), Briggs Myers (1980), Kroeger & Thuesen (1988), von Franz & Hillman (1971), and Giannini (2004). Jung’s own work on type can be found in Collected Works,vol. 6.
 Keirsey & Bates (1984), 15.
 Woolf (1929/1957).
 Keirsey & Bates (1984), 15.
 Ibid., 16.
 Edinger, in Elder & Cordic (2009), 139.
 Hannah (1976), 92.
 Bair (2003), 209.
 Brome (1978), 169.
 Fischer (1977), 167.
 Anthony (1990), 12,53.
 Ibid., 85.
 Brome (1978), 32.
 Hannah (1976), 30.
 Brome (1978), 200.
 Hannah (1976), 13.
 Bair (2003), 99.
 Ibid., 233.
 Hannah (1976), 147.
 Keirsey & Bates (1984), 25.
 Ibid., 18.
 Ibid., 19.
 Ibid., 70,72-3. Most physicians are Sensates, with the exception of ER doctors (who need a strong Intuition to be able to size up quickly what’s going on in a patient in an emergency situation) and psychiatrists (who, like Jung, need to see holistically the potentials and future possibilities of their patients).
 Hannah (1976), 83.
 Ibid., 111.
 Brome (1978), 189.
 See, e.g. Jung (2009), 333-4.
 Bair (2003), 30.
 Ibid., 41.
 Ibid., 209.
 Van der Post (1975), 37.
 Bair (2003), 211; cf Jaffé (1984), vii.
 Keirsey & Bates (1984), 20.
 Edinger, in Elder & Cordic (2009), 81.
 Keirsey & Bates [(1984), 20] claim that 60% of American men type as T’s.
 This is Jung’s own assessment of T’s; Anthony (1990), 47.
 Hannah felt this was especially true for Jung; Hannah (1976), 75.
 Bair (2003), 262.
 Hans Schmid, quoted in ibid., 284.
 This altercation is described in ibid., 310-313.
 Quoted in ibid., 541.
 Ibid., 387.
 Ibid., 61.
 Ibid., 252.
 Ibid., 284.
 Ibid., 440.
 Ibid., 71.
 Brome (1978), 225.
 Bair (2003), 312.
 Keirsey & Bates (1984), 22-23.
 Ibid., 23.
 Ibid., 24.
 The watch is the quintessential “J” device, designed to structure life and define deadlines.
 Anthony (1990), xii,22-23.
 Hannah (1976), 75.
 Jaffé (1984), 107.
 Jung (2009), 333-334.
 Jaffé (1984), 102.
 Ibid., 12.
 Ibid., 115.
 Bair (2003), 293.
 Anthony (1990), 99.
E.g. Reneé Brand (1977), 161-162; Dr. Liliane Frey-Rohn, in Anthony (1990), 100; cf. Brome (1978), 18,214-215.
 Anthony (1990), 6,72.
 Ibid., 99.
 Quoted in Bair (2003), 640.
 Jung (1965), 356.
 Brome (1978), 47.
 Sergeant (1977), 56.
 Brome (1978), 209.
 Jung (1965), 225.
 Van der Post (1975), 195.
 Brome (1978), 19.
 Ibid., 214.
 Moore (1988), 22.
 Serrano (1977), 383.
 Sergeant (1977), 56.
 Young (1977), 443.
 Bair (2003), 215.
 Brome (1978), 85.
 Bair (2003), 463.
 Hannah (1976), 259.
 Brome (1978), 107.
 Oeri (1977), 79.
 Hannah (1976), 58.
 Brome (1978), 212; cf. Gerster (1977), 453.
 Freeman (1977), 429.
 Hannah (1976), 35.
 Ibid., 327.
 Ibid., 36.
 Bair (2003), 319.
Brome (1978), 212, quoting Margaret Flinters.
Van der Post (1975), 258.
 Bair (2003), 365.
 Brome (1978), 16, quoting Elizabeth Osterman.
 Hannah (1976), 191,200.
 Quoted in Brome (1978), 19.
 Hannah (1976), 200.
 Ibid., 190.
 Brome (1978), 209.
 Hannah (1976), 43.
 Brome (1978), 162.
 Bair (2003), 233.
 Brome (1978), 20.
 Hannah (1976), 133.
 Ibid., 247.
 Brome (1978), 178.
 Ibid., 214.
 Harding (1977), 179.
 Brome (1978), 214,222.
 Anthony (1990), 100.
 Brome (1978), 16.
 Ibid., 32.
 Ibid., 152.
 Harding (1977), 175.
 Brome (1978), 265.
 Anthony (1990), 87.
 Ibid., xii.