Reply To: (V)ortical vs (M)odular

Index Forums Cognitive Functions (V)ortical vs (M)odular Reply To: (V)ortical vs (M)odular

  • Type: TiNe
  • Development: ll-l
  • Attitude: Adaptive


I think this is a more coherent description of the P functions, however not that different from what you’ve said before. It’s more in-depth though, more complete of an idea which is great! 🙂

That said, having studied archetypal psychology in-depth and spoken to many people about their archetypal experiences (both V and M types), I don’t think it should be extrapolated that Jung was describing the vortical nature of his perception functions when speaking of the mandala. I’m convinced he was speaking of something else, something more on the level of primordial imagery. Archetypes seem to be something truly universal, at a deeper level than the cognitive functions. Really they are the symbolization, the abstraction, of our instincts and other long-standing interpretations of our intuitional sensing of reality. This is why Jung compares the propagation of the archetypal structures to crystal formation, like a crystal growing from microscopic seeds the ultimate form of the unconscious mind is determined by apparently invisible impetuses which manifest as emotional complexes/images to our conscious mind.

The mandala in particular seemed to represent to Jung the kind of self-similar, symmetrical form of the association between the Archetypes. He wrote about the rose windows in churches being especially accurate representations of the psyche because they usually premiered Christ – a character of the Self – at the center, surrounded by concentric rings of other characters including Spirit, Messengers, Mother, Father, Deciples, Adversaries and often portraying a narrative such as the Birth of the Hero or Death and Resurrection.

The way I’ve come to see it, and I think Jung was eluding to this in comparing the psyche to a physical 3D crystal, is that the Self is our closest approximation of our entire experience, i.e. all the causality of our biology and the greater world. This includes subliminal awareness not only of every chemical change in every one of our cells, but that expansive awareness which connects us to the state of every other living thing on planet earth and to the timeless sense of past and future. In his Red Book Jung says the Self is the closest thing to ‘the God’, which I’ve interpreted to mean ‘the whole of Nature and its proper causality’. Every other archetype springs from the Self, i.e. every instinctual constallation is an inevitable result of our fundamental nature. This is why the mandala seemed such a perfect representation of the psyche to Jung, with Self at center perpetuating the characters and narratives of survival and life events. But he didn’t just come up with this idea either, his obsession with mandalas came from years of witnessing them emerge spontaneously to mean similar things in his patients, and indeed in historical art. The mandala is an archetypal symbol, a shorthand the unconscious/body/nervous system generates to express its tendencies and movement to the conscious mind.

I’ve seen mandalas many times in dreams and visions and interpreted them, and you know I’m definitely Ne! ;p

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