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  1. #1
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Default Literary Examples of Ni

    I've seen so many people asking what Ni is like. I feel I've found a few examples that may be elucidating for others and take them down the rabbit hole with us.

    ENTJ, INTJ, ENFJ, INFJ, ESFP, ISFP, ESTP, ISTP: feel free to chime in.


    *****************************************

    I'm going to start with a quote from Walter Pater's "The Renaissance". I feel that it's not only a reflection of how I absorb things, but also how I deal with and perceive Ni.

    If we begin with the inward world of thought and feeling, the whirlpool is still more rapid, the flame more eager and devouring. There it is no longer the gradual darkening of the eye, the gradual fading of colour from the wall --movements of the shore-side, where the water flows down indeed, though in apparent rest-- but the race of the midstream, a drift of momentary acts of sight and passion and thought.

    At first sight, experience seems to bury us under a flood of external objects, pressing upon us with a sharp and importunate reality, calling us out of ourselves in a thousand forms of action. But when reflexion begins to play upon these objects they are dissipated under its influence; the cohesive force seems suspended like some trick of magic; each object is loosed into a group of impressions --colour, odour, texture-- in the mind of the observer.

    And if we continue to dwell in thought on this world, not of objects in the solidity with which language invests them, but of impressions, unstable, flickering, inconsistent, which burn and are extinguished with our consciousness of them, it contracts still further: the whole scope of observation is dwarfed into the narrow chamber of the individual mind.

    Experience, already reduced to a group of impressions, is ringed round for each one of us by that thick wall of personality through which no real voice has ever pierced on its way to us, or from us to that which we can only conjecture to be without.

    Every one of those impressions is the impression of the individual in his isolation, each mind keeping as a solitary prisoner its own dream of a world.

    Analysis goes a step further still, and assures us that those impressions of the individual mind to which, for each one of us, experience dwindles down, are in perpetual flight; that each of them is limited by time, and that as time is infinitely divisible, each of them is infinitely divisible also; all that is actual in it being a single moment, gone while we try to apprehend it, of which it may ever be more truly said that it has ceased to be than that it is.

    To such a tremulous wisp constantly re-forming itself on the stream, to a single sharp impression, with a sense in to, a relic more or less fleeting, of such moments gone by, what is real in our life fines itself down. It is with this movement, with the passage and dissolution of impressions, images, sensations, that analysis leaves off --that continual vanishing away, that strange, perpetual, weaving and unweaving of ourselves.

    This was ably provided by our own MDP2525 (ISTP) in my blog. It blew my mind so much I had to include it here. A quote from "American Psycho":

    "There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable... I simply am not there. "

    This is a piece called "The Windhover" by Gerard Manley Hopkins that I think illustrates the use of strong Ni in structure and substance:

    I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-
    dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
    Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
    High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
    In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
    As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
    Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
    Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

    Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
    Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
    Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

    No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
    Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
    Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

    For me, Ni makes impossible strings of connections and builds something like a spider web of nodes and lengths and meanings. It reflects in my thought processes and my writing.
    eNFJ 4w3 sx/so 468 tritype
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  2. #2
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    A good thread idea, Pink!!

    Some quotes from a dom-Ni writer, Salmon Rushdie, from one of his books; they seem to be a bit more 'pure' Ni in my opinion. The quotes from the other authors are more Ni-inspired, so not just Ni....but demonstrate more the connectivity. Unfortunately these are all of more of the INFJ flavor...I'll have to see if I can dig up some INTJ-author quotes.

    --------------

    Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems—but as you approach the present, it inevitably seems incredible.


    To understand just one life you have to swallow the world ...

    Our lives disconnect and reconnect, we move on, and later we may again touch one another, again bounce away. This is the felt shape of a human life, neither simply linear nor wholly disjunctive nor endlessly bifurcating, but rather this bouncey-castle sequence of bumpings-into and tumblings-apart."

    "The only people who can see the whole picture," he murmured, "are the ones who step out of the frame." (The ground beneath her feet.)"

    "Who what am I? My answer: I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come. Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each ‘I’, every one of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you’ll have to swallow the world."

    "Unless, of course, there's no such thing as chance;...in which case, we should either-optimistically-get up and cheer, because if everything is planned in advance, then we all have a meaning and are spared the terror of knowing ourselves to be random, without a why; or else, of course, we might-as pessimists-give up right here and now, understanding the futility of thought decision action, since nothing we think makes any difference anyway, things will be as they will. Where, then, is optimism? In fate or in chaos?"

    -------------------

    W. Somerset Maugham

    Nothing in the world is permanent, and we're foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we're still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it. If change is of the essence of existence one would have thought it only sensible to make it the premise of our philosophy.

    ----------------

    Dostoyevsky




    People talk sometimes of a bestial cruelty, but that's a great injustice and insult to the beasts; a beast can never be so cruel as a man, so artistically cruel. The tiger only tears and gnaws, that's all he can do. He would never think of nailing people by the ears, even if he were able to do it.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  3. #3
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Walter Pater:
    "For with this desire of physical beauty mingled itself early the fear of death - the fear of death intensified by the desire of beauty."
    Matthew Arnold:
    "Following our instinct for intellect and knowledge, we acquire pieces of knowledge; and presently, there are arises the desire to relate these pieces to our sense for conduct, to our sense for beauty - and there is a weariness and dissatisfaction if the desire is balked....Everyone knows how we seek naturally to combine the pieces together, to bring them under general rules, to relate them to principles, and how unsatisfactory and tiresome it would be to go on forever learning lists of exceptions or accumulating items of fact which must stand isolated."
    eNFJ 4w3 sx/so 468 tritype
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    EII-Fi subtype, Ethical/Empath, Delta/Beta
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  4. #4
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Ah, Ayn Rand to represent dom-Ni with Te. (No matter what people may think of her philosophy, her books reek of Ni)


    ---------

    From the smallest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from one attribute of man - the function of his reasoning mind.

    People create their own questions because they are afraid to look straight. All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don't sit looking at it - walk.

    Haven't I? -- he thought. Haven't I thought of it since the first time I saw you? Haven't I thought of nothing else for two years?... He sat motionless, looking at her. He heard the words he never allowed himself to form, the words he had felt, known, yet had not faced, had hoped to destroy by never letting them be within his own mind, Now it was as sudden and shocking as if he were saying it to her…Since the first time I saw you.... Nothing but your body, that mouth of yours, and the way your eyes would look at me, if... Through every sentence I ever said to you, through every conference you thought were so safe, through the importance of all the issues we discussed... You trusted me, didn't you? To recognize greatness? To think of you as you deserved -- as if you were a man?

    In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours.

    You know how people long to be eternal. But they die with every day that passes. When you meet them, they’re not what you met last. In any given hour, they kill some part of themselves. They change, they deny, they contradict--and they call it growth. At the end there’s nothing left, nothing unreversed or unbetrayed; as if there had never been an entity, only a succession of adjectives fading in and out on an unformed mass.

    ----------------------

    CS Lewis


    Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.

    Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.

    It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

    Telling us to obey instinct is like telling us to obey 'people.' People say different things: so do instincts. Our instincts are at war... Each instinct, if you listen to it, will claim to be gratified at the expense of the rest.


    We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  5. #5
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Coleridge:
    ... the power by which one image or feeling is made to modify many others and by a sort of fusion to force many into one...
    Sir John Davies:
    "Doubtless this could be not, but that she turns/Bodies to spirit by sublimation strange/As fire converts to fire the things it burns..."
    eNFJ 4w3 sx/so 468 tritype
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    EII-Fi subtype, Ethical/Empath, Delta/Beta
    RLUEI, Choleric/Melancholic
    Inquistive/Limbic
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  6. #6
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    I wonder if Ni is easier to identify when it's being "mystical."

    I read mostly non-fiction (papers, scholarly/magazine articles, and books) and sometimes I think I can detect when there's a lot of Ni being thrown around. For example, I read half of this book earlier this year:



    And it just felt very Ni and Fe in the way language was used and how themes were explored and the like. I dunno, it explored a lot of tropes, symbolism, and very "This is how it goes down" the certainty that something will play out in a specific way. I can't pull out a passage that makes me think this, but the overall tone just seems like it's using those two functions.

    So what I'm asking is how do people identify Ni when it's not being mystical, when it's being applied to the real world?
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
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  7. #7
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Coleridge:
    "It dissolves, diffuses,dissipates, in order to recreate; or where this process is rendered impossible, yet still, at all events, it struggles to idealize and to unify... a mode of memory emancipated from the order of time and space...
    eNFJ 4w3 sx/so 468 tritype
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    EII-Fi subtype, Ethical/Empath, Delta/Beta
    RLUEI, Choleric/Melancholic
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  8. #8
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    So what I'm asking is how do people identify Ni when it's not being mystical, when it's being applied to the real world?
    I have a lot of difficulty applying Ni power to the ground. It's like the tires were made to spin. What *does* make an Ni user "real"? An excellent question, one that I can't answer.
    eNFJ 4w3 sx/so 468 tritype
    Neutral Good
    EII-Fi subtype, Ethical/Empath, Delta/Beta
    RLUEI, Choleric/Melancholic
    Inquistive/Limbic
    AIS Holland code
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    Dramatic>Sensitive>Serious

  9. #9
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    So what I'm asking is how do people identify Ni when it's not being mystical, when it's being applied to the real world?
    I am not certain how Ni would differ from Ne in non-fiction or scholarly writings.

    I might venture to guess that Ni would be really focused on a centralized theme, and would keep on rehashing the theme/symbols/principles throughout the book, such that it might almost become repetitive. (??) I'm thinking 'Guns, Germs, and Steel'..... even comparing it to fiction (Ayn Rand), I got the same feeling from both...like, I 'got it' within the first quarter of the book - the remaining 3/4 was just repeating the same thing endlessly, just adding more substance/detail/argument to it.

    Whereas Ne, while still having to reign in all of the mental leaps/various ideas, might still come across a bit less 'settled' - more exploratory - and not as concerned with keeping to the same theme. I'm thinking of an old TLC show (I think it was TLC?) called 'Connections', and there was a book on the same premise...and it just seemed more Ne to me -- jumping all over the place. Less concerned with focusing in on a common principle and tying everything in back to that principle; more just demonstrating how all of these random things are connected. But I really don't know, Ni and Ne might both do both to a degree....
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  10. #10
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Joe Strummer:
    "You gotta be slightly stupid."
    eNFJ 4w3 sx/so 468 tritype
    Neutral Good
    EII-Fi subtype, Ethical/Empath, Delta/Beta
    RLUEI, Choleric/Melancholic
    Inquistive/Limbic
    AIS Holland code
    Researcher: VDI-P
    Dramatic>Sensitive>Serious

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