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Carl Jung

During the process of discernment, the manner in which we perceive reality can unconsciously make us consider some criteria more important than others. Jung urges us to be on the lookout for this, for that which is shrouded in the shadows of the unconscious can influence us, without our knowing, in disconcerting and sometimes irrational ways.

In his work on "The psychological types", Jung demonstrates that each of us prefers to perceive reality from a particular perspective, whether from the perspective of: important principles, strong sentiments, intuition, or of facts.

During our childhood, we spontaneously selected the particular perspective that served us best. In order to become adult and grow in maturity, we need to learn to open up to ways of perceiving that we have left unexamined. Giving the Exercises as a team, and doing them together, helps us to do this because each person’s psychological type interacts with that of the others.

In the Exercises, Ignatius provides access to all of the psychological types. He finds a balance between the affective criteria (the discernment of “spirits”, or “forces”, that influence us to act or to not act), and the rational criteria (the Principle and Foundation) which selects the means to be used in accordance to the end that is sought. And when it comes to integrating the ordinary facts of our lives, he gives equal place to the imagination and intuition.


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