The introverted intuitive perceives connections and meaning in the internal world, and with as much spontaneity and conviction as the extraverted intuitive sees them in the external world. It is not primarily his own personal inner life that he grasps in this way, but rather inner life in general, the inner nature of things. The aim of intuition here is to perceive the ideal essence of all things — animate and inanimate, and in their inter-relations. The clearest example of the kind of thing is seen in Plato's "ideas", which give a purer representation of the inner being of the world than does reality itself. Jung calls these mental images, supplying meaning and a standard of comparison, "archetypes", and he regards them as a deposit of ancestral experience. Others see in them the immediate expression of a spiritual world. These questions lie outside the realm of psychology, and would lead us to that of metaphysics. Here we must confine ourselves to the statement that intuitions of this kind concerning the inner essence of things do occur in the human mind, and that for a certain type of mind, that of the introverted intuitive, they determine and control the direction and the content of life. Here, also, intuitive knowledge is felt by the person concerned as objective and as having the universal validity of truth. Here we find, in addition to the tangible reality of sensory perception, and the conviction of instinctual impulse, another source of certainty, of great significance for humanity, for from this intuitive knowledge there arises not only religious conviction, but, in fact, all spiritual assurance. Spinoza speaks in this respect of "scientia intuitiva". Hence there are found also among intuitive introverts great spiritual leaders, prophets, founders of religions, all those people who, for the sake of some sacred inner conviction, will endure the world's misunderstanding and contempt.
It would be a mistake, however, in studying a function, to consider only its extreme potentialities, in which all that is most profound in the human mind has taken form. For this type assumes also many much less noble forms, and there is peculiar difficulty, where this inner knowledge is concerned, in finding even approximate expression for what is perceived. It is extremely important, therefore, for people of this type to attain through their education a technique of expression, as was the case with two great artists, Rembrandt and Beethoven, both of whom I include in this class. The development of this type is slower and more arduous than that of most other people. In childhood, these people have something about them as spontaneous as have the extraverts of this type; but it is, both in form and expression, more bizarre, and less intelligible, owing to the causes being less explicable from external conditions. Such children are not very amenable to influence from their environment. They may have periods of uncertainty and reserve, after which they suddenly become very determined, and if then they are opposed, they may manifest an astonishing self-will and obstinacy. As a result of the intensely spontaneous activity within, they are frequently moody, occasionally brilliant and original, then again reserved, stubborn and arrogant. In later life, also, it is a persistent characteristic of people of this type, that while on the one hand they possess great determination, on the other hand they find it very difficult to express what they want. Although they may have only a vague feeling about the way they want to go, and of the meaning of their life, they will nevertheless reject with great stubbornness anything that does not fit in with this. They fear lest external influences or circumstances should drive them in a wrong direction, and they resist on principle.
In their mode of life, and in their immediate environment, they seek to regulate everything according to their own ideas, which is apt to make them tyrants within their own small circle. Rather than adapt themselves, they will limit their contact with those who do not fall in with them. The rest of the world matters, in fact, very little to them. In contradiction to this reserve, there is the genuine enthusiasm which they may suddenly display for something. If some individual, or some event, or some object, responds to this sense which they have of the meaning of their life, and reveals to them something of their deeper purposes, then they take up a different attitude, and become conscious of a more intense, more profound connection in things. The highest form of this function would imply a capacity for perceiving the deeper meaning of verything. The marvellous richness of life would then be revealed. As a rule, however, this only happens at certain moments and in relation to certain persons or things. This contradiction between intimate contact and cold reserve has been very clearly described by the introverted intuitive, Buber, in his account of the "I — you" and the "I — it" relationship. This contradiction also occurs in other people, but not with the same mutual exclusion, nor with such definiteness, as in this type. Where the inner life finds expression, there will be close attachment; but side by side with this there will be a cold aloofness.
As far as material and instinctual life is concerned, these people feel exceedingly helpless, like people suddenly transplanted from another planet. They feel much more at home in spiritual things. In the realm of the spirit they have far greater assurance than other people. Here they are stimulating; one feels that something peculiar to themselves is operative within them. But its activity often remains indefinite, owing to an inability to find adequate expression for the tension of what they mean. The spiritual side of life can only be approached through symbols; its cnport can only be understood in mental images, and it is by no means always possible to find this approach. Moreover, a great deal of confusion arises, because it is not understood that this is, in any case, only an approximation. Certainty in regard to the underlying intent is then transferred to the form in which it is expressed, as a result of which formulations become dogmatic and judgment rigid. Incidental and inadequate points in the formulation are then regarded as essential and absolute. The firm conviction of these people may in such cases arouse strong opposition or find blind support. They often lay down the law in regard to what they have perceived, without its even occurring to them that it might be possible to find incorrect as well as correct elements therein. This often makes their influence over others the more effective, but it may prepare the way for great confusion. One is reminded of the influence which a man like Nietzsche has had on our generation.
In the realm of thought we shall to some extent find the same characteristics as we found when extraverted intuition influences reason. Here also the influence of reason is very variable and ego-centric, and knowledge fragmentary. Ideas must come of themselves, and great effort is required if this does not happen. Thought is, however, less flexible than with the extravert of this type, but frequently even more original. Many new ideas, especially in the spiritual realm, have originated with people of this type; but they are often not worked out systematically. Their thought remains aphoristic, and is often expressed in paradoxes. Men like Emerson, Shaw and Chesterton belong to this type. Side by side with ideas expressive of genius, they will occasionaJly propound with equal conviction mistaken and fantastic views, which they maintain with obstinacy in the face of all criticism. Intuitive conviction stands for more than rational argument, which renders such people occasionally extremely conceited and opinionated.
Where it is a question of feeling with people of this type, it also assumes the peculiar characteristics of intuition. As has already been said, this gives rise to a contact with other people which is changeable and peculiar, according to whether something important is felt to lie in it, or not. As a result, emotional contacts are extremely inconstant; these people are at one moment full of enthusiasm and devotion, at the next utterly cold and stand-offish. It is always necessary, when with them, to be on the look-out for which way the wind is blowing. Spontaneous insight, and the images associated therewith, affect the feelings of the introverted intuitive in a somewhat different way from what we have seen in the case of the extravert of this type. With these extraverts the danger is that feelings are for show, with no development of inner reality. A living relationship with other people and with personal standards is lacking when this is so. With the introverted intuitive, the image of what the feelings should be may easily be substituted for a feeling-relationship. He will then make demands on others without being prepared to meet the same demands on himself. Egotism, and a desire to dominate, may then make use of these requirements of an ideal relationship, for their own ends. Another peculiarity which may be manifested by feeling, when influenced by introverted intuition, is intense ambivalence, the co-existence of two absolutely opposed emotional attitudes. We have already seen in extraverted intuition how spontaneity favours the loose juxtaposition of opposing manifestations. In the introvert there is less variety in the form assumed by these contradictions, but great inner tension. The introverted intuitive may identify himself alternately with the divine and with the diabolical within himself. Occasionally he is unaware of this himself; when it becomes too intense, however, he feels as if he were being torn in two by conflicting forces within. In this struggle the individual concerned may be thrown hither and thither between the extremes of godlike assurance and diabolical confusion. In extreme cases the result may be a character like Rasputin.
As with extraverted intuition, here, also, contact is least with the facts of the external world, and with instinctual life. Such people live, as it were, alongside their bodies, until these by some disturbance demand their attention. The main thing is, however, that ordinary practical things and the world of facts are far removed for them, and they try to confine their contact with them to that which they can regulate according to their wishes. Everything else appears to them as something disquietingly incalculable, against which they must defend themselves as far as they possibly can.