Happiness Academy Online

A Blog about Psychology (Jungian), Spirituality and Happiness, By Roberto Lima Netto.

The four functions of the Psyche

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The four functions of the Psyche



Jung postulated that the psyche has four functions. Two rational functions: Thinking and Feeling and two irrational functions: Intuition and Sensation.
As a baby, when we start to grow, we give preference to one of the functions. This turns to be our principal function. Automatically, its opposite will be the inferior function.
For instance, if we are a thinking type, feeling is our inferior function. Our Ego will have difficulty to work with feelings. Feeling is less developed than the other functions; it is buried in the unconscious.
The other two remaining functions will be auxiliary functions. As we grow, we start to bring the two auxiliary functions to consciousness, and our Ego will be able to deal with them.
But the problem of the inferior function remains. Jung teaches that our goal in life is individuation, roughly defined as the increase of our consciousness. Only when we feel comfortable with our inferior function, we can be considered a whole person. Until then, we are a split personality because our Ego does not feel comfortable with our inferior function.
If you want to delve further in this subject, I suggest you read Jung´s Typology, a book written by Marie-Louise von Franz and James Hillman, big names of Jungian Psychology that deals with the inferior function (von Franz) and the feeling function (Hillman). This is a must reading if you are serious about your psychological growth.

I’m Roberto Lima Netto, a Jungian. I write Jungian books – The Jungian Bible, The Little Prince for Grownups — and Psychological thrillers – The Amazon Shaman, – In Search of Happiness.



I was involved in the business world, as an executive of large companies and university professor since recently. I was the president CSN, the largest steel-mill of Latin America and was responsible for its turn-around. My first encounter with the teachings of the Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung, one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th Century, was during my midlife crisis. Reading "Man and his Symbols" at that time, inspired me to go into Jungian analysis and to begin devouring the writings of Jung and his disciples. Since then, I've been studying psychology, especially Jungian psychology and, after reaching my seventies, I decided to become a full time writer, specializing on books on Jungian psychology and psychological thrillers. Every masterpiece of literature can be absorbed through multiple interpretations, and yield powerful insights for our daily lives. My first Jungian book, “The Little Prince for Grown-ups“, in its fourth edition in Brazil, was based on the famous book of Saint-Exupéry. The second, - “The Jungian Bible” - interprets some stories of the Old Testament and world myths. As I get older and, with a bit of luck, wiser, I want to pass on to the younger generations the lessons life has taught me. Jesus Christ taught that it was easier to sell ideas with stories. Following the Master, I published in English "The Amazon Shaman" and "In Search of Happiness", two psychological thrillers around the theme of happiness.

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