But if we take strength to mean raw psychic power, then it becomes a little easier to get an objective understanding of the relative strengths of our typological stack.
And by power, I mean access to psychic energy or libido. As Jung said, we can think of the personal psyche as a dynamic, self-contained, self-regulating psychic system, in the same way our bodies are dynamic, self-contained, self-regulating biological systems. “Dynamic” implies action or movement; because we are not static, unchanging and immovable statues.
And action or movement require energy to power the activity. Our bodies, of course, require fuel in the form of glucose sugar, which we obtain from our food.
The psyche is powered by an entirely different type of energy, what Jung and others called libido.
And just as with our physical bodies, there is a finite limit to how much energy/libido we have available at any one time to carry out the essential functions of the body and mind. When we burn up our current stores of physical fuel, then we must rest and eat. The same applies to psychic energy, we need to rest when our reserves become depleted. But in place of eating, the psyche requies a different source of fuel, typically sleep, so we can dream and replenish ourselves in the inner world.
As with our bodies, there is only so much psychic energy to go around, which means different functions and processes must compete with each other for the scarce resources of precious libido. As life evolved from primitive bundles of organic chemicals to ever more-complex multicellular organisms, the number, variety and scope of energy-draining life processes muliplied exponentially. This eventually lead to the requirement for some kind of high-level regulating executive function to manage the energy demands of the whole life-form and ensure that energy is directed to where it is most needed at any given time.
This adaptation was highly successful, organisms with a regulating energy management function were not only better equipped to thrive and multiply in their traditional ecological niches, but also benefited from an enhanced ability to adapt to changing conditions, and were more likely to survive, say, significant climatic change or the intrusion of new species into their territory.
Evolutionary success generally grants a species access to improved resources (food, territory etc), which means more energy becomes available to fuel further physical adaptations to the environment, such as enhanced senses, improved weaponry for killing prey or defending against predators, or greater size, strength and resilience.
But as a species increases in size and complexity, it becomes increasingly difficult for a primitive control centre to monitor and direct the activities and conditions of different parts of its larger body, whilst simultaneously paying attention to the outer environment in order to scan for threats and opportunities.
The necessary upgrade was achieved by both plants and animals evolving a series of sophisticated internal communication networks, including both chemical signalling (such as hormones circulating via the endocrine system), as well as electro-chemical networks to rapidly transmit signals from the sense organs to the central processing unit, and then swiftl
1 to the muscles if immediate action was called for.
This is where plants and animals began to diverge, since non-ambulatory plants only need to coordinate and manage internal, cell-based biochemical processes, for which a decentralised network of fluid-carrying tubles and interlocking nodes is more than sufficient.
The physical mobilty and faster-paced metabolisms of animals required a different approach, and so evolved both a biochemical (endocrine) system, and a separate, bioelectrical neural network.
At first, both of the chemical and electrical signalling systems would have been coordinated in primitive animals either by basic glandular organs to store or generate signalling hormones, ony chemicals or a centralised nerve-cluster (or several clusters) for the nervous system. But as time marched on, the nerve-clusters grew in size and complexity, until they started to resemble what we would recognise as primitive brains. Brains allow for a degree of self-awareness because they are able to store memories and experiences, which in turn allows a creature to learn from its experiences and draw from its memory-banks to make predictions about the future.
In other words, animals slowly evolved a basic executive operating system - a hugely important development because it vastly increased the chances of survival and reproduction for a given species.