14 May 1930

Now, I hope you understand what I said about that acquired divinity. It doesn’t mean that you are going to be gods. The most confusing thing seems to be that people think the three functions must be specific functions. That is not at all the case. You see, there are always the types, and for certain people a certain one is differentiated and three are unconscious; that is, the majority of the functions are unconscious. That is what the Trinity means; it is by no means three specific functions.

For those among you who don’t know why we speak of four functions, I must explain that they are the four sides of our orientation in the field of consciousness. I am unable to add anything to that. The four functions are based upon the fact that our consciousness says there is something in the unconscious. Sensation is a sort of perception, it knows the thing is there; thinking tells us what it is; feeling says what it is worth to one, whether one accepts or rejects it; and intuition tells us what it might become, its possibilities.

I must confess I don’t know what more I could include. I could discover no other. With that everything is said.

And the peculiar fact that there are just these four coincides with the fact, which I only discovered much later, that in the East they hold the same conviction. In their mandalas, the four gates of consciousness express the four functions, and the four colours express the qualities of the functions. You can see that very well in the text I mentioned, the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Are there any other questions concerning the functions?

Mrs. Henley: I think most of us are clear as to thinking, feeling, and sensation, but we are least clear about intuition. Could you say something more about that?

Dr. Jung: Sensation simply tells you the visible, tangible, sense qualities, while intuition is sort of a guess about its possibilities. Your senses tell you that here is something, and your thinking tells you what it is, but it takes a lot of intuition to tell you what is behind the walls.

If you allow an unbeautiful way of expressing it, intuition is a sort of elephant’s trunk put into someone’s spinal cord–to go into and behind it and smell it out. Therefore good intuition is often expressed by the nose. A primitive uses his nose, he smells out thieves and ghosts, and it is the same with mediums in our day. One may discover a peculiar psychology by smell: you smell a rat. That is intuition.

Dr. Deady: What is the condition of the differentiation of the three functions still in the unconscious of the relatively primitive man? Could you say that they were differentiated?

Dr. Jung: No, they are not differentiated. Anything that is in the unconscious is contaminated with everything else. Only the conscious function is differentiated. That is the split between man and the pleroma, or God, or the universal unconsciousness, whatever you like to call it.

He stole one function from the gods. That is beautifully illustrated by the myth of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods. Whatever consciousness man has acquired he had to steal from them. He emerged from the thick cloud of general unconsciousness, and it s was only by tearing loose one of the functions that he was enabled to become detached.

How that was brought about I don’t know; it is a peculiar quality in the psychological structure of man; animals have not that ability to free themselves from the original psyche. It is a kind of dissociability. That is mysterious, one can speculate about it; we do not know how that came about, but it was so.