How the Mind Works

You are either Judging, or Perceiving

While processing information the mind follows a Matrix, and the first division is:                   Rational (Judging) or Irrational[1] (Perceiving)


You either process data RATIONALLY through the Judging axis via Thinking or Feeling,



you process data IRRATIONALLY through the Perceiving axis via Sensing or iNtuition. 

Mixture is impossible between the opposites: thinking-feeling and sensation-intuition. But there is always a compensatory relation between them. Where one function is overemphasized, in a one sidedly intellectual individual for example, the opposite function, here feeling, will set up a compensatory drive. In the present case, of course, feeling will take its inferior form. Quite unexpectedly the intellectual will be overcome by outbursts of infantile feeling; he is beset by fantasies and purely instinctual dreams against which he feels quite defenceless. And similarly, the neglected sensation function of the one-sided intuitive type will compel him, often by seemingly incomprehensible onslaughts to take account of hard reality.    (Jolande Jacobi)

The Four Functions

         The thinking[2] function conceives the world around it by way of thought (cognition). 

         The feeling function apprehends the world through an evaluation based on the feelings of ‘pleasant or unpleasant, wanted or unwanted’, and is the function in which ‘fight or flight’ decisions are made. 

    The sensation function perceives things as they are through the 5 senses[3].

         The intuition function perceives things in terms of the potentiality of things.[4] [5] [6]


The top part[7] of the psyche spectrum is the thinking/conscious part, which is referred to as the superior function.  The bottom darker area is the feeling/unconscious part of the mind, referred to as the inferior function[8]. 

DATI - Dominant, Auxilliary, Tertiery, Inferior

We are constantly exercising all four functions (TFSN), but are predominated by a Dominant function, that is coupled with an auxiliary function[9] making up the Primary axis.  The 3rd Tertiary function is accessed less often (by your own preferences/bias) and the 4th and least developed function, is referred as your Inferior function. 

Experience shows that it is practically impossible, owing to adverse circumstances in general, for anyone to develop all his psychological functions simultaneously.  The demands of society compel a man to apply himself first and foremost to the differentiation of the function with which he is best equipped by nature, or which will secure him the greatest social success.  Very frequently, indeed as a general rule, a man identifies more or less completely with the most favoured and hence the most developed function.  It is this that gives rise to the various psychological types[21].

·        Regarding the Dominant function:  “Just as the lion strikes down his enemy or his prey with his fore-paw, in which his strength resides, and not with his tail like the crocodile, so our habitual reactions are normally characterized by the application of our most trustworthy and efficient function; it is an expression of our strength.”[10]  “In the struggle for existence and adaptation everyone instinctively uses his most developed function, which thus becomes the criterion of his habitual reactions.”[11]  The dominating function gives each individual his particular kind of psychology.

·        Regarding the auxiliary/tertiary functions; whichever axis (judging or perceiving) the dominant function comes from, the auxiliary and tertiary (#2 & #3) will come from the 2 functions of the opposite axis.  That axis will be home to both the auxiliary and tertiary roles, but one will be preferred over the other. 

·        Regarding the inferior function; it is your ‘Achilles heel’ and is what gets outwardly projected during times of emotional outbursts.  The inferior function exists beyond the reach of the conscious in the unconscious, and is referred to as the Shadow[12].  As a rule, the inferior function does not possess the qualities of a conscious differentiated function.

Feelings of lack of self-worth, which are universal, can be ascribed to an inferior function, i.e., to the parts of one's self that really are inferior.  The recognition of the existence of an inferior function can eventually lead to self-acceptance.  The realm of the inferior function is where people are emotional, touchy and unadapted, and they therefore acquire the habit of covering up this part of their personality.  JewishViJP 119

If we think of the psychological functions as arranged in a circle, then the most differentiated function is usually the carrier of the ego and, equally regularly, has an auxiliary function attached to it.  The "inferior" function, on the other hand, is unconscious and for that reason is projected into a non-ego.  It too has an auxiliary function.  But this totality is ego plus non-ego.  Therefore the centre of the circle which expresses such a totality would correspond not to the ego but to the self as the summation of the total personality.

   Feeling vs. Feeling

Feeling is a term that is often used to describe one’s expression of the Sensing/Intuition functions.  For clarity’s sake, the following expresses more clearly the difference between those ‘feelings’ and the Feeling function. 

The key distinction between Feeling and the sensing/intuition usage of the word is Rationality.  Feeling in the Rational/Judging axis is marked by feeling values and feeling judgments – value assessed.  They require reason and are as discriminating and logical as Thinking.


Introversion or extraversion, as a typical attitude, means an essential bias which shapes the whole psychic process, establishes the habitual reactions, and thus determines not only the style of behavior, but also the nature of subjective experience.  And not only so, but it also denotes the kind of compensatory activity of the unconscious which we may expect to find.”[17]

“… a man may give preference to thinking, whether he be extraverted or introverted, but he always uses it in the way that is characteristic of his attitude-type.[16]

A third attitudinal axis expresses the Z-axis (3rd dimension) of the mind by providing the introvert and extrovert elements.  The functional types (TFSN) describe how psychological material and experiences are processed and illustrate to us a person’s psychological character.  The attitude types (E-I) however tells us the direction (inward/outward) in which the functions are interested in (the concern of the movement of libido)[15].

  Willed introversion, in fact, is one of the classic implements of creative genius and can be employed as a deliberate device.  It drives the psychic energies into depth and activates the lost continent of unconscious infantile and archetypal images.  The result, of course, may be a disintegration of consciousness more or less complete (neurosis, psychosis: the plight of spellbound Daphne); but on the other hand, if the personality is able to absorb and integrate the new forces, there will be experienced an almost super-human degree of self-consciousness and masterful control.  This is the basic principle of the Indian disciplines of yoga.

Because there are 4 different axes[18] there are 16 possible psychological types.  They are:

ENFJ (Giver)

ENFP (Inspirer)

ENTJ (Executive)

ENTP (Visionary)

ESFJ (Caregiver)

ESFP (Performer)

ESTJ (Guardian)

ESTP (Doer)

INFJ (Counselor)

INFP (Healer)

INTJ (Scientists)

INTP (Thinker)

ISFJ (Nurturer)

ISFP (Artist)

ISTJ (Duty fulfiller)

ISTP (Mechanic)


By taking the well-known Myers-Briggs[19] test you can get a clear indication of your functional typography.  It can be taken on the Internet for free in a matter of minutes[20].  This descriptive analysis of the mind is a good starting point in understanding how your mind is biased, while clarifying if some areas are too one-sided. 

Conscious contents that have lost their intensity, or their actuality sink into the unconscious, and this we call forgetting.  Conversely, out of the unconscious, there rise up new ideas and tendencies which, as they emerge into consciousness, are known to us as fantasies and impulses.  The unconscious is the matrix out of which consciousness grows; for consciousness does not enter the world as a finished product, but is the end-result of small beginnings.  TDoP 52

[1] Jung coined the term irrational, but with today’s common understanding of the word – thinking of the term non-rational will provide more clarity. 

[2]When, for instance, I speak of “thinking,” it is only the philosopher who does not know what I mean; no layman will find it incomprehensible.”  C.G. Jung

[3] There is an objective and subjective perception with sensation.  Objects in themselves have specific characteristics that are not subject to opinion, but subjective perception is characterized by the “meaning that clings to it”.

[4] While witnessing a crime scene a sensation dominated person would recognize all of the details of a crime scene, while the intuitive person would recall the general attitude of what was happening.

[5] “The intuitive function is represented in consciousness by an attitude of expectancy, by vision and penetration; but only from the subsequent result can it be established how much of what was “seen” was actually in the object, and how much was “read into” it.” (BW page 214 par 610)

[6] “… so intuition is not mere perception, or vision, but an active, creative process that puts into the object just as much as it takes out.” BW page 214 par 610

[7] In reality, there is no top/bottom/etc… but this is the commonly accepted view (picture) of how the mind ‘is’ by the psychology world. 

[8] The different zones are meant as only a clarifying guideline because there is no fixed separation between them and they are in actuality lines in a constantly changing spectrum with shifting frontiers.

[9] i.e. thinking/intuition, thinking/sensation, intuition/thinking, feeling/intuition

[10] Modern Man in Search of a Soul – page 88

[11] Ibid

[12] Which I detail more fully on page

[13] Modern Man in Search of a Soul – page 92-93


[15] “Jung’s model is concerned with the movement of energy and the way in which one habitually or preferentially orients oneself in the world” Jung Lexicon – Typology pg 140.

[16] No idea where this is from  J

[17] Modern Man in search of a Soul – page 86

[18] 1) Thinking/Feeling  2) Sensation/Intuition  3) Judging/Perceiving  4)  Introvert/Extrovert

[19] Even though I am emphasizing the value of this test I must point out that 1) even Jung says “Everybody is an exception to the rule, 2) 1 in 4 results come out wrong, and 3) there are instances where people are quite well balanced on any of the axes and thus can drift over depending on their mood while taking the test.  Some people find very powerful correlations with their results and some do not. 

[20] But there are many versions of this test varying in detail and depth

[21] [Definitions, CW 6 par. 763].   (lexicon primary function)