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Thread: Ni - What the hell is it?

  1. #381
    Happy Dancer Array uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    I have had many Ni-ers trying to explain to me what Ni is. I sort of feel like it is a bit of a paradox in that to understand Ni you almost have to BE Ni. I keep trying to come at it with a relatable understanding that only touches a tiny fraction of what Ni is.

    It's like I am a flat lander and my friend is a cube trying to explain to me how he may look like a square but in reality he is actually a cube. And I'm all, but you're a square!!

    /feels inadequate.
    Eh, you're fine. You're forgetting all the things that you can see and do that Ni types cannot. It's kind of like many prophets/seers in fiction: they're blind, because it is the price they pay for being able to see the future.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  2. #382
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Array Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    This site: http://www.kiloby.com/writings.php?o...&writingid=263 discusses the shadow, and defines them (as well as the rest of our "dualistic" thinking) in the term "stories". "The separate self is a set of dualistic stories such as, 'I’m nice,' 'I’m a victim,' 'My life is incomplete,' 'I’m a successful news anchorperson,' or 'I’m unhappy.' This is the play of opposites playing itself out in our lives." "Your defensiveness is revealing that you are carrying a self-critical story around. You have a story that you are fat. You have a story that you are greedy."

    Well, "stories" are basically "archetypes"--"ruling patterns" or models of events (as well as people, which we normally think of as archetypes); and as such are the domain of Ni.

    Thinking upon this, in light of my own internal struggles, I realizes these were examples of "what's been left out". Like both my wife and even my counselor had recently been complaining that when I argue against certain aspects of Christian teaching on "growth", that I criticize a lot of arguments they didn't say, and [they say] they don't really believe in. But having studied all the doctrines for over 25 years, and participating in many online debates, I know that there is a lot of inference in many Christian doctrines, especially when it comes to God's nature and activity in salvation and our own "walk" with Him or "growth". Like The Trinity, for instance, is never spelled out in the Bible, but said to be "inferred" from various scriptures put together. These inferences often overlook other data.
    Now, inference is a feature of iNtuition (focus on where things are heading, instead of just what they are). I've noticed, in many cases, a lot of Christians who are not really doctrinal experts will parrot the popular belief on something, but not realize its implications. So when I call those implications out, they feel I've "jumped the gun", and even "too black and white" (and as many black and white statements the Church makes on many things).

    I realize that when people say things about God, especially as touching upon my own life, then a story or various stories emerge. Like if someone says that something painful was "God doing it for your own good", then a story emerges of Him singling me out and putting His own stamp on my problems (rather than helping me), and then, they're also telling me "submit to God", but it's becomes harder to do that with that story in the background. I also have trouble pontificating that something good was a particular act of Him, because that implies that the lack of good is also by Him, like what they call "permissive will". (And people then bow out and say "we can't understand His ways").
    I then use all of this to "fill in what's missing"; that the person talking to me isn't even aware of. They then tell me "no, that's not what we meant"", and often put together a less critical string of meaning of the situation. But I "look at the trajectory" of "where the data wants to go", and what's "beyond the map" people are reading (As the person describing Ni told me), and it always seems to lead squarely to these negative conclusions. Conclusions which their rosy views of God's involvement in life "must leave out in order to remain intact".
    This should have figured all along, when I was struggling to understand what I was told!

    So I realized this was Senex Ni; the "critical" part of me that scans people's words looking for negative stories via inferences and implications.
    Of course, for me, this is shadow, and very erratic, and I guess, often off-base, as the people are complaining. For Ni preferrers, it could be like this, in a negative situation (hence they're often characterized as "conspiratorial"), but it would also be used in a more mature fashin in good situations.

    So can the NJ's here identify with this description?
    This is very interesting. The line' the trajectory of where the data wants to go' is an extremely relatable term for myself. Ive often had issues when discussing or debating on forums because I make an assumption of motive, which is more to do with feeling I suspect, but it has that same problem with an interpretation of data, following it back and leading it forward again to a conclusion, all the while looking between the lines at what has NOT been said or seen but which is, to me, quite presently there.

    However the risk is if you get it completely wrong and if I find myself making an unfair assessment of motive in others.

    For example recently I was on another forum I frequent to do with a video game mod and I made a comment on the general state of the module as I perceived it, in other words; I gave an opinion. Not long after another poster replied to it in, (what appeared to me), a rather reactionary reply, in fact one of his first lines in said post was a rather soft ad hominem attack on myself.

    I examined his post, I examined mine, I looked at the data available, I followed it back and followed it forward. No matter how I tried to twist it I could not see his motive as anything other than being threatened by what I posted and so he felt compelled into a knee-jerk reaction. The information always seemed to reach a head at this point, after all every person has an emotional investment in SOMETHING even if they are a die-hard logician.

    Unfortunately I cannot say that I think he is being reactionary and knee-jerk without him considering what ive said, even though his reply instantly showed how much he had missed my point, because to do so invites him to quite easily state that this is not the case and that I am detracting from his points, which, (apart from the ad hominem), he did in fact make.

    This has always presented a problem in such arena's and it ends up that I often have to constantly check what I might say in case I somehow do intepret the information in a manner of inaccurate assumption. So much so that ive found it is perhaps better to ignore it completely or else spend time arguing over little details that are not only insignificant, but also are completely unrelated to the original content.

    In this way it could be said that feeling sabotages thinking and involves itself in subject matter that values have neither the place, nor the aptitude.

    Ive also noticed that who said what and how seems to be one of the most popular methods of debate degradation online and in real life.
    'Consciousness is not simply a sensory-perceptual affair, a matter of mental imagery, as the contents of our mind would have us believe. It is deeply enmeshed with the brain mechanisms that automatically promote action readiness' - Jaak Panksepp

  3. #383
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    Ni is the crafting of clever schemes for World Domination!

  4. #384
    ⒺⓉⒷ Array Eric B's Avatar
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    I'll have to get back to some other comments (such as "building a worldview", which two people said. Didn't think I was doing this here at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    FWIW, these are more the domain of Ni-Fe than Ni-Te. Even taking into account an INTJ's Fi, the Fi-side analysis is more holistic, and doesn't really delve into specific "stories". Imagine Ni-Te as having physical/mathematical/procedural archetypes. Like software Design Patterns, or in physics, having to choose which realm of physics to use to study something. It's especially clear in physics, where there is overlap between quantum mechanics, statistical physics, and thermodynamics, but if you try to use quantum mechanics to model a car engine, you're not going to get as far as you would using thermodynamics. Quantum mechanics might be "more correct" in an overall abstract sense, but it's sufficient to demonstrate that it approaches normal thermodynamics as Plank's constant approaches zero, and use thermodynamics instead.
    If you're referring to the examples of "stories" I gave, those are from the site I was quoting, and I was using them just to establish the concept of "stories", to relate it to Ni in general; I wasn't specifying which judgment function is was in conjunction with. So those examples might seem more "F"-ish, but they are really general things any type can feel; T or F.

    Sort of ... but it's not "senex Ni" so much as it is "trying to reach Ni-style conclusions using Ne and Si" (and not a little bit of Ti ). Why does it seem to miss the mark? It misses because Ni doesn't look for a trajectory of where the data wants to go beyond the map. It's more like having a treasure map with landmarks, but it's totally unfamiliar - the map is useless. So you pull out all your maps and photos that you do know, and start comparing them with the map, and eventually you spot a photo with a location where the landmark looks correct from the angle on the treasure map and *boom*, you know how to map your maps to the treasure map and back. (The treasure maps in Skyrim work like this, which is where I got the idea for this analogy.) Ni fills in what is missing not by following through on all possible logical paths (that's Ti-Ne!), but by trying out different maps, different "boxes", different "explanations", until one finds a map/box/explanation/archetype that points out where to look for the missing element. From your explanation, I read that you aren't trying out different maps/boxes: it's always the same map/box, but you're trying to look beyond the edges using pure reason.

    So you're following a normal logical path, namely that if you include some things (in a category or set or whatever), you necessarily exclude other things. This is your Ti doing its normal duty. The negative stories always exist. The proper question, however, isn't whether they are true (is the glass half empty or half full? both are true). The proper question is, "What does it mean?"
    My premise was that this was a shadow form of Ni, so it would manifest differently than it would for you, and be strained by an ego-syntonic TiNeSi. The way I see these things, function-attitudes (Xe/i) aren't totally separate things; they're just two sides of the same perspective. When the Ne "good parent" complex feels negated; it switches to its dark side, the usually suppressed inner world of intuition, and a more negative parental complex. Also, when the tertiary "child" feels threatened. (In this case, same attitude, but S/N switch, and a negative parent filling in for the weak child). These things are all mirrors and shadows of each other. (Or in the technical term, compensate for each other).

    I got that description from an INTJ (Ni dom), and it wasn't "looking for a trajectory"; it was taking an already existing one and following it to see if it justifies the conclusions other people have drawn with it.

    I don't think I was following through on all possible paths. That's the way I usually think, and expect things to be that way, but now (precisely the problem), it seem to be narrowed it all down to one likely path, and again, part of this is from the defensive Tertiary Si, but now it moves into meanings rather than just the concrete experience. It's sort of like a rapid version of what you described with the treasure map and boxes. I do consider different boxes, but it's quickly and rashly narrowed down to the one most feared; using landmarks that seem to fit. Again, this is an unconsciously controlled shadow process, so it won't be as mature and ego-achieving as it is for you.

    How to answer "What does it mean?" Here's my answer. I have problems in my life, like anyone else. I have problems at work, I have problems at home, I have problems with my girlfriend, I have problems with kids. Does that mean my life sucks? Hell no! These are good problems to have! I have work! I have a home! I have a girlfriend! No matter what you have, no matter how good you have it, you will have problems. That's called LIFE! My life isn't "evil" because it has problems. Rather, my life is good, because I am capable of handling all of these "problems." I am capable of living and learning and growing and dealing with anything that comes my way. ... Oooorrrr, I could just go around complaining about how much my life sucks, because no matter what I do, I end up with more problems.
    And is this connected with a functional perspective? I used to get this a lot from ISTJ parents and others, especially in the Church (everyone pitches this "good attitude", but most ultimately don't seem to handle life any better themselves; they preach the former and then do the latter, and this is also something that makes this stuff hard to grapple with).
    Seems like some sort of S + Fi/Te. And it is a sort of reasoning, but, but one that simply justifies acceptance.
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    Active Member Array Poki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Yeah, I think that actually is a good, simple way to look at it.

    The question then becomes, tho, what's the difference between Ni in an NJ and Ni in an SP?

    Wouldn't you rather just be an SP, if this Ni stuff is gunna figure out the connections, and you can still rock at Se?

    To some extent, I think there's actually some truth to that, but, at the same time, it's simplistic. The truth is, SPs, I believe, tend to just trust whatever it is that Ni comes up with to explain the connections underlying all the otherwise meaningless (i.e., lacking connection to anything else -- almost how one would exist if one were in a permanent blacked-out state) sensory data, whether those connections are accurate or not. NJs, on the other hand, spend far more time ruminating on those connections, checking them, questioning them, testing them, verifying them (hence, part of the reason why I said not to listen to your explanation about Ni [which told a very different, very false story]). We don't just take them for granted (at least not nearly as much as SPs). But then, at times, we will instantaneously just "see" (btw, it's an extremely spatial awareness [which has even been shown in Nardi's eeg studies of our brain functioning] -- I once revealed to my likely INTP [and genius] college professor that I remembered things in terms of images, usually moving images, like a movie, after he said something along the lines of how people's memory is based off of words) the connection (the over-mentioned "aha!" or "eureka!" moment), and be absolutely certain that we're seeing the phenomenon the right way -- understanding the underlying reality connecting the otherwise meaningless sensory data. And, when we do, we are often right. Not all the time. But most of the time.
    The difference is that we DONT have to have an answer. We can fall into Se and just keep trugging through things finding answers as we go. Its not that we just trust Ni...its that we dont think there is a definitive answer to everything, there are so many variables that all you have are concepts that plays out all these different ways depending on all the different variables that come into play. If you understand the concepts you can control the outcome instead of just "see" the outcome.
    Take what I say with a grain of salt, because that's all it is compared to the ocean of complexity when it comes to actions and real life.

  6. #386
    ¤ Array Zarathustra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Poki_ View Post
    The difference is that we DONT have to have an answer. We can fall into Se and just keep trugging through things finding answers as we go. Its not that we just trust Ni...its that we dont think there is a definitive answer to everything, there are so many variables that all you have are concepts that plays out all these different ways depending on all the different variables that come into play. If you understand the concepts you can control the outcome instead of just "see" the outcome.
    My Ni sees that you just trusted whatever connections subconscious Ni came up with to explain the otherwise meaningless sensory data.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    My Ni sees that you just trusted whatever connections subconscious Ni came up with to explain the otherwise meaningless sensory data.
    My knowledge of myself and the way I work says that you may want to tweak your "vision". What I mean by the way I work is "what I actually do everday of my life", not some MBTI function analysis.
    Take what I say with a grain of salt, because that's all it is compared to the ocean of complexity when it comes to actions and real life.

  8. #388
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Poki_ View Post
    My knowledge of myself and the way I work says that you may want to tweak your "vision". What I mean by the way I work is "what I actually do everday of my life", not some MBTI function analysis.
    And here is the typical suppression of Ni, and (crass, imo) Se expression of "if it ain't right smack in front of my face, it ain't real."
    The Justice Fighter

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    I don’t see it as you stepping away from the fire. I see it as the fire directing your course.
    No matter how airy or earthy or watery you become... to many of us you will always be...a super nova."

    "Behind these gates of seeming warmth sits, loosely chained, a fierce attack dog. Perhaps not crazy, but dangerous"

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  9. #389
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    My Ni sees that you just trusted whatever connections subconscious Ni came up with to explain the otherwise meaningless sensory data.
    Are you looking in a mirror? I didnt recieve any sensory data that was meaningless, I have a screen, it shows me what people type, my sensory data pulled everything in so I can read the screen, that is the extent of my sensory data. Are you hearing voices again that you dont understand? You lost me.
    Take what I say with a grain of salt, because that's all it is compared to the ocean of complexity when it comes to actions and real life.

  10. #390
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    And there is the typical suppression of Ni, and (crass, imo) Se expression of "if it's not right smack in front of my face, it ain't real".
    Like I said, I go back and forth between Se and Ni. I eat, breathe, and sleep Ti. That wasnt very crass, I can be much more crass then that when I want to
    Take what I say with a grain of salt, because that's all it is compared to the ocean of complexity when it comes to actions and real life.

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