Development levels refers to the level of consciousness of each of the four functions within a person, with “l” being used to designate fully conscious and “-” used to designate subconscious or unconscious. We have found that there is variation even within the same type as to how much the lower three functions are utilized. When lower functions are developed they will show up clearly in their vultology and psychology at levels comparable to the primary function.
It’s important to remember that all four functions are active in all people at all times, causing each type to have the baseline qualities of their function quadrant (Alpha/Beta/Gamma/Delta). Not having a line mark (“l”) on a function doesn’t mean you don’t use the function, or use it well in support of others. But what it means to have a line mark is to have a function fully conscious to the point where it rivals the primary and has a level of autonomy in the psyche. When this happens, the function takes over the body’s energy and embeds its rhythm into their vultology as well as approach to life. Thus, a person with more than one conscious function is essentially a plural personality; switching between energetic modalities that are each core to their personality.
This represents a “standard” or “default” development where the first function is the only one firmly conscious with the remaining three subconscious or unconscious. In general the primary function is always conscious outside of very special conditions. But it’s important to note that the primary function still must undergo a process of individuation through childhood and adolescence. The process of individuating from one’s parent culture is the tale of the primary function asserting its individuality and establishing the person’s unique perspective in the world. If the conditions of childhood have been inhibitory to personal development, the drama of realizing one’s primary function may become the work of a lifetime synonymous with finding and becoming one’s true potential. Thus the place of the primary function as head of the psyche does not automatically make it an easy function to wield, and attaining competence through it still requires growth and perpetual refinement throughout the course of one’s life.
This represents the top two functions being conscious, making an individual a clear conductor (Je+Pi) or reviser (Pe+Ji). If Je+Pi are the top two functions, this development implies agency in the world, an assertion of agenda and ability to steadily organize reality and pace oneself towards those aims. It will give a person a sense of ambition while also having moderation. If Pe+Ji are the top two functions, this development implies an eternal receptiveness and adaptiveness to the world. These individuals will be imprudently inquisitive about life, exploratory and responsive to the world more than obligated to its responsibilities. Those of this development will typically be energetically ambiverted, in the colloquial sense of the word. The presence of one conscious extroverted function and one conscious introverted function creates a net energetic balance, allowing them to have lucidity in their movements through life, while also having a tendency to recede from it.
This represents a doubly introverted or extroverted type. If the person is doubly extroverted by having both Je+Pe conscious, they will be a powerhouse of energy, having a combustive quality and animated vibrancy. They may be restless busybodies, or scattered busybodies, or both. They may not always have the prudence to channel their excessive energy forward, but will often compensate through that very abundance and achieve their aims in a roundabout way. The agenda of Je will often conflict with the free spirit and desires of Pe, but their combined operation will cause things to tumble forward anyway as one moves things along for the other. If the person is doubly introverted by having both Ji+Pi conscious, they will be highly removed from the world and non-participatory. They will escape into their inner tower, and nurture a private worldview — choosing to live vicariously through the sidelines, rather than stepping foot in it. These will be the most hermetic types and may come to develop cryptic philosophies and ideologies.
This represents a polarized development, where the primary oscillation (1st+4th) is conscious, and the secondary oscillation is unconscious. If the individual is a J-lead type with Je+Ji conscious, they will be exceedingly calculative, meticulous with their thoughts, rhetorical, political and have a lot of stances on a lot of topics. They will often be cause-driven or have an idea of “truth” that they wish to crusade or relay to the world. These types may be consumed by ideas of rightness, integrity and not compromising in their values at any time. If the individual is a P-lead type with Pe+Pi conscious, the complete opposite will be the case. They will be rather averse to the angularity and rigidity of political squabbling and enjoy a fluid, river-like existence that is in harmony with the moment and aware of our context in the flow of time. There may be a sense that most answers are relative, and there are endless ways to view things; all of which are instrumental but never able to capture the amorphous and dynamic nature of life.
This represents the first three functions conscious. Another way to think of this development is as either P(JJ) or J(PP) where the entirety of the secondary oscillation is conscious but still contained within the scaffold of the primary function. If the individual is a P-lead type, their J oscillation will be fully conscious, causing them to be very meticulous and rhetorical about the meaning of being a P-lead. They will use their J oscillation to give formulation and articulation to that dynamic flow of existence that is central to them. This is because their psyche, despite having a lot of angular J energy, is still governed by perception and seeks to elucidate reality more than it aims to grasp or control it through order. If the individual is a J-lead type their P oscillation will be fully conscious, causing them to be very loose and casual about life, despite viewing things from a more definite place of stances and answers. Their exploration of information may be unrushed and recreational, but always instrumental in supporting a certain belief structure that is held at the center of their psyche.
This represents a development where the bottom two functions are conscious in addition to the primary. As with the lll- development, this is an unusual case and is better viewed as that type’s polar opposite embedded within the structure of the primary function. For example if a type is FeSi l-ll they will essentially be an Fe(TiNe), or a TiNe flipped on its head. If a type is SiTe l-ll they will be an NeFi analog manifesting through an Si-lead psyche. What may be felt as more central or psychologically weighty for these types will be the lower two functions. However, in practice they will demonstrate themselves to have a different rhythm to those who actually are that type. If the person is a TeSi l-ll (or an FiNe within a Te-lead scaffold) they will be focused towards Fi aspirations and Ne fantasies, but will never lose the utilitarian, executive and yang force of a Te-lead psyche. This will lead to a rather paradoxical set of personality traits, as the psyche is pushed in two different directions at once.
This represents a development where the two introverted functions are conscious in an extrovert, or the two extroverted functions are conscious in an introvert. A better way to view this development is as I(EE) or E(II). If the type is natively introverted, both Je+Pe will be conscious and participate in the creation of an animated and productive personality who would otherwise be entirely removed from life. The introverted ll-l type will be pushing themselves to their energetic limits, pressing themselves to be present despite a heavy call back into the self. In practice they may rival or exceed the baseline level of animation of a natively extroverted type (in a default l— development). However, unlike the native extroverted type, the introverted ll-l will be taking a heavy energetic toll and need to compensate for this with their own effort. Oppositely, if the ll-l type is natively extroverted, both Ji+Pi will be conscious and cause them to be heavily slowed down and observant of life from a comfortable distance. The extroverted ll-l type has had to learn the opposite lesson and develop temperance, precision and craft to offset what may have been a boisterous personality in their time of youth. The extroverted ll-l type will appear able and ready to animate at any moment, but choosing to reserve their energies like a predatory cat lying in cover.
This represents a psyche with all four functions fully conscious. Any type that reaches this stage of development will be difficult to differentiate from any of the four types within that function quadrant. All of the properties available to the quadrant will be available to them without the functions conflicting with one another, but instead being complementary. However, this will still not eliminate the energetic toll that characterizes their primary function. If the individual is a Ji-lead type, then exercising both Je+Pe will still remain an energetic challenge, and incur a penalty on their personal reserves even if the action is desired and invigorating. Because this development takes a heavy amount of modulation, types who reside here will often slip back down to a more energetically stable development in times of stress or fatigue. If a person first developed as a l–l type, then grew into ll-l and finally into llll, then when energies are low, they will modulate downwards in the same direction that their development came from. A special note should be made to the fact that the llll development does not necessarily represent a superior modality to any other. Each human has roughly the same amount of computational power available to them, and development is more indicative of the chosen distribution of mental resources across important tasks. Therefore a l— development will be more specialized to the aims of the primary function, and a llll development will be non-specialized and take no function’s agenda to its utmost extreme. The moderation provided by the llll development, while haromonizing of any internal paradoxes and frictions, will also lose some of the audacity and keenness provided by an unbalanced psyche aiming to fight against its antagonist through a singular vector.
There are two other variables that can be involved in the expression of function development, which are termed ego association and repression. These two are not identifiable in vultology but are relevant to a person’s psychological and mythological narrative. They are identified through a psychoanalysis.
A function that is not conscious is not necessarily repressed. When we are born we don’t shun any part of us, and generally have a neutral relationship to our unconscious functions. Repression happens when the qualities of one of a person’s own functions are demonized and cast deeper into the recesses of the psyche. The qualities of that function will be absent from the core personality and also disliked when viewed in other people. However, due to enantiadromia this will cause the function to develop an unconscious autonomy and aim to rise into consciousness against the best wishes of the person. One of the symptoms of a repressed function is its spontaneous, uncontrolled emergence in inappropriate situations. If it is repressed Je, then it may come out in snappy argumentation and compulsive aggression. If it is a repressed Pe function, it may come out in unexplained indulgences and risky or daring episodes that are altogether out of character. When this happens the function is struggling to attain proper psychic representation, and beckons a call to individuate and integrate its energy into the core personality.
The opposite attitude is ego association, which marks a deep fascination with a given process. People who are ego associated with a function will often consider it their primary function, whether it is conscious or unconscious, because all attention and libido is going in that direction. It is most common for the primary function to be ego associated, and thus aligned with the natural libido of the psyche. However, the experience of ego association on an unconscious process will be very different from how it would be in a normal situation. An unconscious ego function will carry a mystical quality to it, often being fetishized and placed in divine regard and uplifted as a gateway to the transcendent or as the path to an actualized or fully realized existence. This grandiose attitude is, ironically, missing in those who have the function fully conscious, as its integration into the psyche leads to a more humbled recognition of its limitations. When a function becomes fully conscious, it becomes a part of us, and so we no longer see it as a source of projection.
However, an ego associated unconscious function may create some of the most compelling works and depictions of said function due to how it is able to epitomize its essence in a person’s thoughts. The works of J.R.R. Tolkien are an example of this, wherein he describes the ethereal fantasy world of Fi+Ne in rich nuance, while he himself was TeSi. There is a muse relationship to the unconscious ego, as it may be conflated with the anima/animus. An unconscious ego function is not any less strong than a conscious function, but is simply different in its quality and influence within a person’s psyche. Often, however, ego association is a precursor to a function reaching fully conscious levels, as our initiation into a mythical journey can end in the integration of that content with our core personality.