If it is an object-like a tree or cloud-I will actually start intuiting patterns out of the clouds.
Not like "wow that cloud looks like a dragon" but more "That cloud IS A DRAGON" It just is. It is a cloud. but it is a dragon. Or with a tree, it is a tree-but it is also a women peering at me through her hair, All of the trees become symbolic beauties watching me. Yet the fucking things are still just trees. It is WEIRD.
This is not Ni as I experience it. If that happened to me I would pause and think why is my brain doing this. What did I eat? What mood am I in? Am i dehydrated? Have I accidently taking some kind of drug? etc If it happened to me again I would go see doctor.
Though at the time, questions of which functions are "better" than others (or something like that) seemed to be more interesting, and I guess this was tl;dr.:rolli:
Anyway, Ni is about significance (where Ne is about "new meanings and perspectives"), which is really a subjective thing, not directly implicit in the object.
A good way I have just thought of of describing this is what I have decided to call an "event template". These can be abstract "stories" so to speak, which would form a mental background future events could be guaged against. the templates can be personal, or tie into universal meanings.
One example is conspiracy theories. In this case, the negative outcome has already occurred, and now you employ a template of conspiracy scheming to "reconstruct" how it was carried out.
Ni is often described as dealing with "frameworks", which is a term usually associated with Ti (also making it confusing). But Ti deals with frameworks of judgment, you make decisions with, such as sets of principles. Ni would deal with frameworks of perception, in which you take in new information. I would say all four introverted functions have frameworks. Ti is logical frameworks (involving "principles"), Fi is ethical frameworks ("values"), Si is concrete frameworks (i.e. memories of how things should be), and Ni is abstract frameworks, such as these event templates.
It's the act of creating a template of events that is the process of abstracting (from memories), not just any "foretelling" of the future. It generates a concept.
So just as you can experience a current event, which is Se, or abstract a new meaning from it, which would be Ne; you can also look back at a memory, which is Si, or abstract significance from it in the form of things such as these templates, which would be Ni.
The so-called "aha-moment" would be from the sudden realization that an event/data is fitting into a template. Then, you can see its underlying meaning, and likely, where it is going.
All supposed visions are not Ni. I know an ISTJ who has apparent visions, but they are filled with literal, concrete imagery rather than symbols.
^^^^ Wow that's pretty good stuff. Pretty much when I'm thinking about a problem I am almost sorting through all the "frame works/templates" I've constructed through my life one by one to find the best fit for what's in front of me. To be honest, if someone says something to me, or I reading something or doing something, and it doesn't involve work I can do in my head to create/modify/link frameworks, I consider it a waste of time
interesting thoughts... I'll have to process that...
If I was learning how to cook using an oven, someone teaching me might say pasta = 10 minutes, turkey = 2 hours and chocolate = 30 seconds. I would need to know the connection between the food and time, I'm not happy just knowing what to do with the specific examples, it's too limited. Why does turkey take 2 hours? I'd figure its to do with mass and material. This is the information that dominates my world. So now if you gave me some weird food from mars never before seen, I know how to cook it. Also I want to know how cooking works...oh it works like that...let's invent a microwave then. Why not? Same principle even though fire and microwaves seem completely different at first glance.
Dunno if this helps and apoligises if it's patronising but I'm tired
hmmm... for oven time I process things as something like "well, it's obvious that a turkey should be cooked longer than a chicken, it's greater mass and the inner portions need to reach a specific temperature before you're safe to avoid salmonella... chocolate would take less time because chocolate melts faster... the fat and sugar content probably..."
Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom? -Terry Pratchett
I realise that my example might be a bit misleading. Change it to learning to cook, being told/realising the point of cooking is to kill germs, so therefore heat kills germs = safe to eat. Then if confronted with loads of germs in a room and wanting to get rid, I would set fire to the room. I'm trying to show how I would see a link between cooking, and cleansing a room full of germs. I take a framework from one thing and can use it in a completely unrelated circumstance because I look and work with underlining principles (they are always abstract). That is to do with Ni (I think).
I think it might help to understand Ni at various levels of skill.
Really basic Ni tends to get ignored. You notice that X fits with Y, but you know that X has nothing to do with Y, so you ignore it. For example, Ni loves playing with puns, where you fit words together in ways that they don't really fit, yet they do fit. Or they fit in unexpected ways that mean nothing like you intended. E.g., a newspaper headline, "Escaped Leopard Believed Spotted".
At a higher level, you tend to pay attention to it. perhaps you pay too much attention to it. It tends to be paranoid. It is trying to figure things out with the barest of clues. (In fact, any time you try to figure things out with hardly any real info, it should exercise Ni to a degree.) The problem is that at this level, Ni offers up too many conclusions, and you can't tell which one is real.
Once one becomes skilled with Ni, then in all areas of life with which you are familiar, your intuition will offer up uncannily accurate predictions. For example, I can predict where storylines will go very early on in a book or movie or TV series. (This is not a good talent to have: it makes most such things very boring!) There is no real "proof" that a storyline will progress a particular way, but you know how the stories are "supposed" to fit together.
At the highest level, it's kind of a supercomputer. As long as the computer has a program to solve what you're looking at, you can toss a problem at it, and get a solution. In my case, I'll toss things between Ni and Te and iterate to a real solution to a very complicated problem remarkably quickly. If I used "just Te", I'd get nowhere, and "just Ni" would give me a list of guesses. Ni and Te can cycle back and forth, leapfrogging each other to arrive at the solution. Given a needle in a haystack, Te would methodically start searching through the haystack. Ni would mention that a magnet or an electromagnet might be really useful. Te gets the electromagnet (somehow) and find the needle in a jiff.