In his letter to the church in Rome, the Apostle Paul said to “not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment.”[Romans 12:3 New International Version] In the original Greek language the words “sober judgment” literally mean “save the mind”. To “save the mind” is critical to Paul’s concept of spiritual growth. In another letter he wrote that we are “to be made new in the attitude of [our] minds . . . created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” [Ephesians 4:23-‐24] In other words, we are on a journey of transformation. In Jungian terms, this journey is a spiritual journey, one in which the psyche is on a natural trajectory towards health and balance in a soul-‐satisfying state of wholeness. To Carl Jung, a vital aspect to saving our minds is coming to terms with our God-‐given natures. In terms of typology, saving the mind means consciously allowing our mental processes to be directed towards spiritual wholeness. It is ironic that Jung saw no point in using typology to classify people. His interest was not to have people see the ways in which they are like others, but to provide a framework by which people could see themselves as individuals uniquely created by God. His concept of Self was meant to describe a psycho-‐spiritual experience that he referred to as "God within us". The Self is the innate beginnings of our psychic life and it contains both the roots and the energy that are designed to incite us to fulfill the ultimate purposes for which we were created. The Jungian psyche is on a religious journey and his typology has provided each of us with a roadmap for that journey. Borrowing from Rudolf Ottos The Idea of the Holy, Jung used the phrase "numinal accent" to describe the key features of each of the four basic psychological functions. Numinous refers to the non-‐ethical experiences of religion -‐ the thrill and awe of a person created in Gods image being in the presence of God. To Jung, while we could not comprehend God, we could experience the wonder of the presence of God in part through the exercise of our psychological type preferences. In Psychological Types [para. 982-‐985] Jung states that the numinal accent "plays the predominant, determining, and decisive role in all psychic processes from the start", determining whether extraversion or introversion has "positive significance and value" to us. In addition, the numinal accent "selects the conscious function of which the individual makes principal use", i.e. the four functions of sensation, intuition, thinking, and feeling. For Jung, numinosity is an alteration of consciousness involving an experience of spiritual power and therefore, when we are using our dominant function we are experiencing the divinity that is part of our God-‐given image. Saving the mind begins with a strong identification with our dominant function as an essential aspect of the Self and the beginning of our spiritual journey.
The data below summarizes the numinal accent of each type according to the four dominant preferences. Type Numinal Accent Sensing (ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTP, ESFP) Establishing what are the actual facts and details Intuition (INTJ, INFJ, ENTP, ENFP) What are the possibilities regardless of the way things are at the moment Thinking (ISTP, INTP, ESTJ, ENTJ) Logical and critical discrimination of data and ideas Feeling (ISFP, INFP, ESFJ, ENFJ) Empathy and compassion, relatedness and connection Saving the mind, however, means much more than identifying with the numinous of our dominant function. A mind that is whole is able to manifest the numinal qualities of all four functions. By gravitating towards mindsets that allow our less dominant functions to be disregarded, we deprive ourselves of their spiritual powers. A one-‐sided psyche is the result of persisting in those preferences that come naturally and remaining spiritually incomplete. For example, when Jesus accused the Pharisee’s of ignoring justice, mercy and faithfulness in favor of strictly interpreting the law, he was exposing a bias for legality over compassion We were born for a greater, more multi-‐faceted state of being and awareness than what our dominant function provides us. Saving the mind, then, is a psycho-‐spiritual renewal that broadens our powers of perception and judgment. It is also a reunion with the truest nature of who we were created to be. We were designed to grow into this fullness with a divinely inspired drive toward wholeness according to a design already imprinted into us. When we respond to invitations to manifest the gifts of each of the four functions, where we are able to love God and others with the entirety of our being, we meet God in such a way that we transcend ourselves. It is at those moments that we can experience the soul-‐satisfying wholeness of a new mind and the thrill and awe of being made in God’s image.