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.