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THE ONTOGENESIS OF INTROVERT AND
BY ALICE G. IKIN.
From the Department of Psychology, University of Manchester. If we consider the primal psychic force as an undifferentiated élan vilal, it soon becomes apparent that a differentiation occurs into two main streams which Freud has called interest and libido respectively. Interest is the psychic force which motivates the ego-instincts, branching out and becoming differentiated as the mentality of the child develops. The emphasis lies on the cognitive and conative side, though as in all psychic forces, cognition, affect and conation are involved. The libido is the mainspring of the sexual and parental instincts; it, too, becomes differentiated and develops. Here the emphasis is on the affective, and conational side. Feeling urges to action and cognition is so little developed, that a transfer of libido from one object to another can occur without the subject being aware that the emotion felt is not due to the present object but has been transferred from a past object: this underlies the phenomena of transference in psychotherapy.
Jung has suggested that the biological forerunner of his distinction of extrovert and introvert types lies in the two fundamentally different ways of adjustment in nature. The one way is increased fertility accompanied by a relatively small power of fighting and duration of life in the single individual. The other is the equipment of the individual with many means of self-support and relatively small fertility. For Jung this biological antithesis is not merely the analogue but the general foundation of the two psychological modes of adjustment. In man the adaptation to life and the continuance of the species are tending towards the latter method of increasing individual powers of subsistence with relatively small fertility. That is, it is tending towards a predominance of the ego-instincts over the sex instincts, or in Jung's terminology, towards introversion rather than extroversion. Obviously if individual development is carried too far so that the sex instinct falls into disuse, the method of adaptation has overshot its goal and the race is sacrificed to the individual and therefore dies down. In order to avoid this it seems as if nature had endowed man with more libido, with a stronger sex instinct, than is necessary for reproductive purposes when individual life is so prolonged; as if the development of the ego-instincts were superposed upon the primitive prolific fertility, rather than replacing it. There is thus in the individual a conflict between the two. The relative proportions vary in different individuals, but conflict there must be for all. Freud states that the conflict is between the ego-instincts and the sex instincts: Jung that it is between the introvert and extrovert modes of reaction, postulating that if introversion is the conscious mode of reaction, extroversion compensates for it in the unconscious and vice versa. Both make the conflict universal.
In both cases if one factor is relatively strong a one-sided development will occur with an easy victory for the strong factor and a repression of the value of the other. The balance of the two, with keener conflict, which leads to the psychoneuroses, is also the condition that leads to a well-developed personality if the outcome of the confļict is successful.
In connection with Freud's concept of libido it is necessary to keep in mind that this is not the physical side of the sex instinct, not the physical sexual energy, but that libido is essentially psychic force, mental energy. It can be aroused by inner physical stimulation, and it can induce the physical activity suitable to its needs, but it is not that physical force. It is not at first even focussed on the sex organs necessary to fulfil the reproductive instinct, but is more diffused, only later becoming attached to genital activity in a specially intimate way so that reciprocation between physical stimuli and mental desire is established. Thus being psychic energy ab initio, its sublimation into non-sexual channels after its diversion into physically sexual ones, becomes explicable. Similarly we have the normal sublimation from say five to twelve years old, when almost the whole force can be led beyond the physical and bring about mental development naturally, combining with the ego-interest to give rise to emotional and intellectual development.
Both Jung and Freud have worked out theories in their own terminology, which though differing in many fundamental respects, yet prove on closer examination to have more in common than the difference in terminology would lead one to expect.
Jung differs from Freud in considering the primary psychic force as sexual, only becoming desexualised secondarily, but he considers that desexualised primal libido can never be restored to its original function, though sexual libido may still be sublimated or may regress. Since Freud and Jung both agree to this distinction between a sexual force, capable of sublimation or desexualisation, and a force which is innately desexualised, or, according to Freud, non-sexual (which he calls interest, retaining the term libido for the sexual component) and believe that they are not mutually convertible forces, it is scarcely permissible to trace the origin of both of them to one of them as Jung does. The primal force, whatever its nature, should be capable of developing into one or the other. It is like the Anlage of the gonad which is neither testis nor ovary, but is that from which either testis or ovary (not both in normal individuals) can develop according to certain other conditions. It cannot be identified in principle with either component, though the development of that component can be traced from its undifferentiated source. The analogy may be carried further since in abnormal cases the Anlage of the gonad may attempt to develop partly into testis, and partly into ovary. In such a case neither can develop to maturity since part has developed into the other; hence there is a conflict between the two, so that neither sex is matured. So the primal force, at first developing predominantly into sexual force or libido, was also capable of developing into a non-sexual force when suitable conditions arose. The history of evolution is the history of the conflict between the non-sexual individualising derivative and the sexual undifferentiated reproductive force. So the evolution of man from infancy to maturity repeats the conflict. Jung and Freud agree here in spite of their different terminology. Each factor strives to fulfil itself, to follow out its own evolutionary plan, but the presence of the other factor conflicts, and since both are within one individual, there results compromise in some form. Either one-sided domination is evolved, as in the intellectual individualist who has repressed his emotions (introvert), or as in the frankly sensual, pleasure loving, emotional individual who satisfies his feelings at the cost of his intellectual development (extrovert), each thus repressing one factor. Or, where both are too evenly matched for any decisive victory for either one, we have on the one hand the neurotic, in whom the compromise is a failure both from the individual and reproductive point of view (comparable to the physical hermaphrodite who is neither man nor woman); and on the other the development of a socially useful compromise through the sublimation and fusing of interest and libido in an altruistic synthesis. This latter is the highest product of evolution so far, a personality built up through the interaction and progressive development of the differentiated psychic energy into a harmonious unity, not of simplicity but of integrated complexity, in which all the energy becomes available for adaptation to life (which includes reproduction). So far only a few outstanding personalities have apMed. Psych. In
proached this level adequately; there is still a long evolutionary process necessary if we judge by the majority of us. Possibly psycho-analytic knowledge will shorten this as scientific knowledge has produced the apple from the crab-apple.
Since neither the individual nor the race is to be sacrificed, the compromise must be a new product, differing from either egoism, or sexuality, yet including both components. This product is altruism. Through it personality is evolved, since personality is essentially a social product, the relations of the egoistic self to the environment (including other selves). This concept differs from Freud's and Jung's, though it is an extension of Freud's methods to the analysis of the Ego. It differs from Freud's because he considers the libido can never be altruistic, calling the projection of interest on to objects, which I should call object-interest (corresponding to object-libido), the only altruism. In this he ignores the fact that mature libido is the mainspring of the race preservation instincts, and hence must play its part in altruism. It seems then preferable to call interest focussed on objects, object-interest (which springs from ego-interest), and to reserve the term altruism for the higher sublimation of both interest and libido. For this, the term sublimation would have to be extended from the deflection of sexual energy into non-sexual social channels,' into the deflection of the energy motivating any instinct, into social instead of egoistic channels.' This is nearer to the common use of the word, and agrees with Jung's use of it. De-sexualisation of libido can be thoroughly egoistic, and thus fall short even of the Freudian definition of sublimation, whereas sexual energy can be thoroughly social. Thus the wider definition suggested, coupled with the prefix 'desexualised,' when necessary, would probably prove more valuable.
The Freudians have worked on the deeper layers underlying Jung's introvert-extrovert distinction, and their findings support Jung's differentiation into the two biological modes of adaptation, one emphasising individuality, the other prolific fertility as the basis of the introvertextrovert antithesis. Neither school seems to have recognised the complementary nature of their views, however. The introvert-extrovert conflict seems to be the conflict between narcissistic libido and object libido dominating syntheses of libido and interest with different direction of libido, emphasis being on ego and object aspect respectively. Jung finds that if the introvert attitude dominates consciousness, the extrovert attitude compensates in the unconscious. But he does not make it at all clear how this antagonism results in one opponent becoming unconscious and relatively undeveloped. Freud postulates the conflict between ego and sex, interest and libido. For bim the two undergo development side by side, the ego striving to adapt itself to the libido development or to adapt the libido development to itself. If the stage of libido evolution is incompatible with ideals incorporated with the self, it must be either sublimated and thus utilised by the ego, or it becomes repressed, the ego refusing to recognise its presence. Ego-instincts have repressed the sex instincts and the conscious reaction is introvert. If the ego fails to repress or to utilise its libido in sublimated channels, then the object libido moulds the ego, depletes the ego, and adaptation is through feeling, the conscious reaction being extrovert. In both cases however the opposite tendency is repressed into the unconscious. There is still conflict between the two since both thought and feeling, self preservation and race preservation instincts, are deeply rooted and, for balance, both must be developed. The third alternative mentioned above is that instead of ego repressing sex, or sex repressing ego, the ego utilises its libido in sublimated (i.e. social) channels, thus satisfying and harmonising both, developing both thought and feeling to maturity. In this way individual development is better balanced and at the same time the race preservation libido is fulfilling its true function, of which actual physical reproduction is only a part. In this case both introvert and extrovert reactions will be in consciousness, coming into play according to the needs of the situation. The self becomes a social self, i.e. a self in relation to other selves, not an egoistic self; both interest and libido are synthesised within a single sentiment (McDougall's self-regarding sentiment seems the result of this synthesis), and personality as we know it develops. The repressing force thus seems to be, not egoistic interest alone, but narcissistic libido and interest focussed on the ego-ideal which strives to keep out of consciousness anything incompatible with it. Conscience or the 'censorship’thus seems to me to derive its driving force from interest and libido fused within, or to adopt Pear's term 'embodied'1 in, the ego-ideal which has been raised in the mind through interaction with the environment. It is thus a social product2.
In the normal individual the possibility of identifying the self with the ego resulting from any of the three alternative solutions to the
1 Remembering and Forgetting, London, 1922, 165 f.
* This is supported by the fact that Freud states that without a strong sex instinct there can be no great power of sublimation. He thus recognises implicitly the part played by libido in repressing or controlling less mature forms of itself, instead of being repressed or controlled by ego-interest alone. It is however desexualised libido that thus joins with interest to repress the sexual libido, as is shown by the ontogenesis of the ego ideal.