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  1. #1
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Default Understanding Functions in terms of Emotions

    OK, here is another way to view functions, that should really bring them to life, in part from the way someone explained it to me. Even better and more in depth than the "perspective" designation I had adopted!

    The functions represent the different ways the emotions are brought into relationship with our higher mental operations.
    Every person goes though life having to process both concrete and abstract information, and then make both impersonal (logical) and personal (value) judgments. Where our type theory begins; and the whole key to it, is in the way this processing affects us emotionally. The functions are differentiated when a greater value is given to those choices where emotion and reason are in synch. When we use a function that is destined to become "preferred", we feel an emotional investment in what we're doing, and we feel in control of our emotional life, so we keep on doing it. We tend to be more stimulated by the function. It then appears to "develop" or get "stronger", and behaviors associated with it will increase.

    This is pivotal to understanding the concepts, as many become confused in their or others' types from looking at behaviors, thinking "such-and-such type can't do that", or "He does such and such too much to be this type".

    We all can see, hear touch, taste etc. But only some will have more of an emotional investment in that process, where it becomes "preferred". What is seen right before them is more important as data. To others, the information gained from it will be less relevant.

    We all can recognize likely possibilities from situations. But only some will gain the emotional investment from that process, and it will be those same types who saw the plain, concrete data as less relevent. To them, there must be more to what is seen before you.

    Here now, we can really clear things up regarding emotions, since this often gets mixed up with one of the functions.
    We all have emotions and like and choose things based on likes and dislikes. Yet only some will have an emotional investment in emotions for their own sake, and specifically prefer to make their decisions accordingly.

    We all can see impersonal cause-and-effect relationships in objects and situations, and make decisions accordingly to them. Yet only some will have an emotional investment in this process. Emotion for its own sake will be seen as almost nonsensical.

    When functions are undifferentiated, It's not really the functions themselves that are suppressed, and merely waiting for us to "develop" skills associated with them. They simply remain tied to the emotional responses to life, as mobilized by the dominant function.
    In other words, for the type preferring concrete data, any immediate abstractions of this data implied will simply support the emotional investment the person has in that concrete data. For the person who prefers impersonal criteria for decisions, the value he places on them will support his Thinking, rather than being a differentiated "Feeling" process.

    So types for whom Si is not a conscious function (such as NJ's), will be able to remember things like anyone else; yet they will tend to see the past as less relevant than the Si-preferring SJ's (who will likely demand everything they are involved with be familiar to them). So when they are remembering something, they are not necessarily "using Si". As a primary perspective carrying an emotional investment, it is normally outside the consciousness.
    Likewise; with me, I'm usually so busy looking at something for the concepts I associate it with or extract from it; I do not "see" everything that is there.
    While I can actually see as good as any SP type, still, the attention is clearly focused elsewhere. I always gained more of an emotional high from pondering meanings, so just looking at something for nothing more than it being there just leaves a very "boring" or "incomplete" feeling. The Se perspective ends up less relevant (until I find I have missed something important, or are called to remember certain details of what was there).

    An SJ type we would expect to also not be good at seeing what is there, because they only operate off of stored data. But to the contrary, because they need to take in current data in order to have something to store, they too will likely be better at just seeing what is there for what it is.
    Hence, we can describe one single "S" function, that deals in sensory data, regardless of whether it is oriented inward or outward. However, what will happen with them is that the purpose of taking in the new information will be to create such a storehouse to draw from, and taking in new experience just for its own sake will be seen as less relevent (if not overly risky). To the SP type, a storehouse will be less relevent. Just deal with the new experience as it comes. (This further illustrates the difference between the J and P attitude).


    This focus on emotions should also make the concept of the archetypes easier to understand; like the function themselves; they and their differentiation are forms of emotional reactions.
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  2. #2
    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
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    Default

    A lot of stuff to think over there. I found the bit about undifferentiated functions interesting. I'll stew it around within my head for awhile, and see what comes out.
    Don't make whine out of sour grapes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    This is fascinating. Really interesting to ponder.

    Could it be rephrased as " that from birth certain functions stimulate us more-allowing us to feel more emotionally in control-thus we become more emotionally invested in using that function? Sort of in control of our own self stimulation? So we choose to keep developing that particular function as a result." I Could have totally messed this up...

  4. #4
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    I guess that will work!
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  5. #5
    Uniqueorn William K's Avatar
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    Well, it's sort of like the swarm intelligence method of solving the shortest path problem. You have ants moving through different routes laying chemical trails on the ground, as the shortest route means more ants will cross it, the amount of chemical is higher and it is more likely that other ants will choose that path. In the end, all the ants will congregate to the shortest part. Or at least the theory goes

    So, our brains will take the 'path of least resistance' when making a decision. And making the same sort of decision over and over will make it become like a instinctive reaction than a calculated thought. Of course, how this path of least resistance comes about is another issue.
    4w5, Fi>Ne>Ti>Si>Ni>Fe>Te>Se, sp > so > sx

    appreciates being appreciated, conflicted over conflicts, afraid of being afraid, bad at being bad, predictably unpredictable, consistently inconsistent, remarkably unremarkable...

    I may not agree with what you are feeling, but I will defend to death your right to have a good cry over it

    The whole problem with the world is that fools & fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. ~ Bertrand Russell

  6. #6
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Well, the path of least resistance will probably be what is set by neurological factors. The theory of type being inborn would ultimately have to rest on neurology.

    Like what I was suggesting here http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...ary-codes.html, was that the factors of stimulatability that lead to expressive and responsive behaviors might be what sets the path of least resistance. (I'm trying on tying stimulation directly to those factors, and then only indirectly through them, to the functions. These factors seem a bit more elemental than the functions).

    If you're understimulated by the external world (binary code: 1xxxxx), then the path of least resistance will be a dominant extraverted orientation, as you express yourself highly to the world in order to gain more stimulation. If in addition to that, you're overstimulated in both of the responsive areas (10x0xx), then the path of least resistance will lead to an extraverted Thinking dominance, as you tend to resist interference from the outside world in social and leadership decisions (i.e. TJ, both directive and structure focused).

    The person will then be able to feel most in control through a Te perspective, and thus have more of an emotional investment in it.
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  7. #7
    Uniqueorn William K's Avatar
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    Do you believe it's more nature or nurture? How much of the hard-wiring of the neurons in the brain and the sequence they fire, etc can we modify (not consciously of course)?
    4w5, Fi>Ne>Ti>Si>Ni>Fe>Te>Se, sp > so > sx

    appreciates being appreciated, conflicted over conflicts, afraid of being afraid, bad at being bad, predictably unpredictable, consistently inconsistent, remarkably unremarkable...

    I may not agree with what you are feeling, but I will defend to death your right to have a good cry over it

    The whole problem with the world is that fools & fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. ~ Bertrand Russell

  8. #8
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    I believe it's more nature. We can modify some of the outward behavior, but the preference will still be there; just not as free as it should naturally be, and this will be a source of stress.

    I should also add, that looking at them in terms of emotions makes it easier to see that undifferentiated functions can come into play, without having to fit into an archetype, or suppose that it is really a combination of other functions. For instance, one source out there would lead one believe that a person is always "irritated by" or "has an allergic reaction to" their shadow functions. So then, they are assumed to hardly ever be "used".
    But the archetypes are really only constellated in reaction to particular threats against the ego. Then, the emotions associated with the complexes reach you by way of the function. And you tend to return in kind to the threatening parties.

    But if the function is not apart of these threats, then it simply remains "undifferentiated" (and just tied to emotional subsystems; still trying to fully understand this), and if they support the ego's goals, then you will still have a positive reaction. (Just that it won't be as particular as with the preferred functions).
    So, it's really not about "using" functions. It's more about emotional reactions.
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  9. #9
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Continuing to expand upon this, undifferentiated functions can be described in terms of elements that carry a "sense of meaning" when brought into consciousness by the ego, and when not conscious, come out as felt reactions.

    To get an idea of the functions as senses of meaning, first, we should look at the root definitions of the functions I have been highlighting since starting this topic:

    Se: focus on emergent facts/experience
    Si: focus on stored facts/experience
    Ne: focus on emergent meanings/patterns
    Ni: focus on stored meanings/patterns
    Te: focus on set standard of technicality
    Ti: focus on variable essence of technicality
    Fe: focus on set standard of humanity
    Fi: focus on variable essence of humanity

    We take in and process these elements continuously, but for each type, according to this theory, only one will be our main outlook in life. The others will either come and go inasmuch as they align with that main outlook, or be more tied to emotions (hence, the premise of the topic) and affect our reactions, or they will align with the archetypes of functional development which form complexes. There are actually hundreds of complexes, but for typological purposes, the eight often mentioned here are those representing how the ego (which is itself a complex; the "main" one of consciousness, of course) experiences other complexes in relationship to the structure it sets up to manage the information allowed into or barred from awareness.

    So for examples of this, my main perspective in life is what makes sense, which is a technical focus with an internal standard of analysis using variables that form essential dynamics of how things work. Linear if-then "principles" in decisions, as well.

    A focus on emergent patterns and meanings accompany this, and provide the variables in situations in light of my intended effect. This then hooks up with a parental archetype, that becomes personalized as a complex of helping others understand patterns in the form of shared ideas. In Jung's terminology, only the dominant function is "differentiated". Yet, since the parent archetype and it's associated function are prominent, it basically acts like it is differentiated. It is frequently "used" by the ego to fill the role of that complex. So is the tertiary, actually, for a matured person. And at midlife, the inferior also fits its archetypal role more often.

    What we call function "development" is likely the increased awareness of the complexes in our consciousness. It's not the undifferentiated "neutral" form of the function that we choose to "develop" through "skills" increased by doing more activities associated with it.
    I believe the remaining functions; the "shadows" don't "develop". The most we can do is own the complexes in ourselves that they align with. Outside the complexes, they will just continue to be connected with our emotions.
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  10. #10
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    So I can see emergent facts and experience emerging events. Unconsciously, they might produce the emotions of fear, joy, anger, etc. and I'll react. In certain instances, I'll consciously use it to find out facts that align with some framework I'm researching. Other times, when I feel bound by something, the Trickster complex will constellate, and I'll use facts to bind the other person, or if there's enough fear in some physical activity, then the Trickster will turn on me, and bind me by making it look more impossible so I'll protect myself by giving up.
    There's also a special use by the ego, when it wants to be devious in a playful way, or just silly. This will usually involve sensory experience in some way.

    I can also sense how the emerging variables will affect me personally, and this will cause a conscious reaction in favor or against.
    If it's a situation not connected to my technical focus, then the reaction will be less conscious, and more emotional.
    If it's big enough where the ego feels totally threatened, then the Demonic personality Complex will constellate, and I'll for one, likely feel crushed inside, or perhaps condemned, and then set out to destroy the threat, often from some sort of universalistic moral stance.
    When this is constellated a lot, eventually, some sort of resolve will be seen, and then the functional perspective then provides a kind of comfort. It becomes an "angel"

    For a long time, I was led to believe that all of the latter might be an NFP's normal Fi "use", and many others seem to think or struggle with that. It was hard to tell one "use" in one type from another, given the functions are basically defined in terms of behaviors. But for the NFP, Fi will be more conscious, tying into a heroic or parental complex, where they valiantly try to solve problems or help others. Total different "use" of it than mine; including the "good" use, which is still connected with something very negative, even if a past experience.

    So this should help understand the three different types of role "undifferentiated" functions play, and how their "use" degrades from a normal conscious use by the ego, to unconscious connection with emotions and reactions, and then, (for the shadows) the archetypes (including their positive flipsides).
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