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Thread: Inner Worlds

  1. #1
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Default Inner Worlds

    This is a squirrely topic. Everyone has an inner life, but my impression is there is some distrust in them. Witness for example that persistent notion of a "loop". But, what are these inner worlds? How are they to be assessed? the other persistent notion is "healthy", but what's that?

    See, healthy, obviously, is some kind of balance between inner and outer. The inner world doesn't wander too far of the outer path. But, it's kind of weird to press too closely to the outer path too. You lose the independent aspect to your personality.

    So, the inner world... it makes people nervous to talk too freely of what's in there, but if there's nothing in there, there's no "you" either... so what are they, these inner worlds?
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    It's.... an idea, a metaphor, a figure of speech, a story, or a glowing fire that radiates light. The most simple form (for me) is just the imagery of fire (like a candlelit fire,) a fire that burns eternally. No matter what the circumstances, it burns.

    How does this inner world work with the outer world? It continues, it seeks, it dims but never fade (otherwise, it is just an empty shell.)

    Think Walt Disney or Ansel Adams, they create images, they capture the essence of their inner worlds, they "create" magic. That is how they bring their inner worlds outside to "reality." Think of the Wright brothers and their will to fly. Think of the spirit of Ellis/Angel Island and the power that both of these places evoke to the wills of those that visit those places. Think of the power that resonates when you read Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. In all of these circumstances, there is this magic.... this fire.

    They seek the thing that captures that embodied fire - that embodied will.

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    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    I was wondering if it was going to be an F thing, this topic, BECAUSE THE INNER WORLD IS SENSITIVE1. And it is sensitive, right? Even for the people who base their inner world around thinking, the world is personal, individual, and... sensitive.

    It's there. though. And persists over time. And it kind of defeats the conception to start talking about what everyone's inner world has in common, but probably inner worlds do have a lot in common. They have one vital thing NOT in common, they're only experienced by the one person, but other aspects likely exist too, and may be common.

    The thought is starting to be that, heaven help me, it's poetry.

    Poetry is a high-minded form, and probably no one will ever confidently say that their inner constructs are sufficiently rarefied that if you took them out and looked at them, they'd be beautiful. But that's sort of the idea. Only it's the other way around.

    See, maybe proper assessment of an inner world is in terms of some notion of beauty. The beauty of the individual construct, or the individual terms of experience, or... some damn thing.


    But calling it actual beauty or proper poetry *FEELS* wrong, like too pure a claim. Inner worlds aren't pure, and they aren't lovely.

    Or are they?
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

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    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Cool thread. Very interesting. Probably easier for me to talk about in Myers-Briggs/Enneagram terms, so I'll go about it that way for now -- although there's obviously so much more to it than that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    This is a squirrely topic. Everyone has an inner life, but my impression is there is some distrust in them.
    Not sure. I get the impression from some people that their inner world is less scary, more trustworthy, and better in general than their outer world. Seems more common with introverts than extroverts (and I'm not using those terms by their MBTI definitions), and more common with other-focused people than self-focused people.
    the other persistent notion is "healthy", but what's that?
    Regarding this question, I think I agree with you about balance. You aren't leading a balanced life if you're cultivating your inner life and not your outer one, or vice versa. Both of those things exist for a reason, and there will be consequences for your well-being if you don't achieve that balance.
    So, the inner world... it makes people nervous to talk too freely of what's in there, but if there's nothing in there, there's no "you" either... so what are they, these inner worlds?
    I'm guessing that the reasoning behind not wanting to talk about one's inner world depends on the person. In my case, it's because I know it isn't rational. I take a lot of pride in being rational and reasonable most of the time, but inside, it's all emotion, it's all resentment and gut reactions and id. I want to be reasonable all the time, but my inner world gets in the way. On the one hand, like you said, it can be poetic, it can be artistic and beautiful, and it provides 99% of my motivations in life, but it is also dangerous, unreliable, and potentially humiliating. I try and express it, and it almost always sounds childish or stupid. And it can be hard to accept that my inner world, which technically defines me as much as my outer world, expresses the complete opposite of what my outer world does. It represents everything I don't want to be: childishness, irrationality, selfishness. It not only makes me feel like a hypocrite, but it makes me realize that the very fabric of my being is hypocrisy. And oh, do I loathe hypocrisy.

    So... Where I struggle to find the balance between the two, is struggling to accept the more lovely aspects of that despite the aspects that I'm ashamed of. Technically they should balance each other out, but it really doesn't feel like they do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    I was wondering if it was going to be an F thing, this topic, BECAUSE THE INNER WORLD IS SENSITIVE1. And it is sensitive, right? Even for the people who base their inner world around thinking, the world is personal, individual, and... sensitive.
    Indeed. I know that in my case, what I've been describing is almost entirely my sensitive Fi. I wonder what the inner world of an Fe user would be like in comparison. I can't even imagine.
    It's there. though. And persists over time. And it kind of defeats the conception to start talking about what everyone's inner world has in common, but probably inner worlds do have a lot in common. They have one vital thing NOT in common, they're only experienced by the one person, but other aspects likely exist too, and may be common.
    Does it defeat the conception? Frankly, I think it would be more constructive to compare and contrast, than to pretend like there are no patterns at all and that we're all Unique And Special Snowflakes. We're all human, we're all driven by our gut and our emotions (and sometimes our minds and capacity for logic), and in theory we should have more in common than not.
    The thought is starting to be that, heaven help me, it's poetry.

    Poetry is a high-minded form, and probably no one will ever confidently say that their inner constructs are sufficiently rarefied that if you took them out and looked at them, they'd be beautiful. But that's sort of the idea. Only it's the other way around.

    See, maybe proper assessment of an inner world is in terms of some notion of beauty. The beauty of the individual construct, or the individual terms of experience, or... some damn thing.
    Maybe. It would explain how some people are so much more comfortable with their inner worlds than others. Like the experience of being an actor. At the very beginning of your career, you learn that you will take criticism personally, because method acting is so personal, that criticism of your performance can feel like criticism of who you really are -- and feel all the worse because you know they're right. But many actors begin to build up a shell after that, where they decide that they will not accept anyone's criticism, except for a select few people that they trust -- and they will become much more confident in their acting. I think it's the same with expressing your inner world. Either you share it unashamedly without fear of getting hurt, or you hide it for fear of someone criticizing it and making you feel like less of a person.
    But calling it actual beauty or proper poetry *FEELS* wrong, like too pure a claim. Inner worlds aren't pure, and they aren't lovely.

    Or are they?
    Beauty isn't perfect or pure either, so it makes sense to me. Seems fair.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


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  5. #5
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Inner world is a metaphor for basic emotions surrounding core concepts
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  6. #6
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Not sure. I get the impression from some people that their inner world is less scary, more trustworthy, and better in general than their outer world. Seems more common with introverts than extroverts (and I'm not using those terms by their MBTI definitions), and more common with other-focused people than self-focused people.
    Oh yeah, for sure. But a few distinctions might be in order. There's the inner world of introverted functioning, which is one kind of identifiable world, but there's another one, I think. It'll definitely be based around introverted functioning, but a bit more inclusive of... more personality stuff, I guess. Perhaps this is more like the idea of ego.

    Anyway, what I was thinking is, there's a difference between trusting an inner world by virtue of cognitive preference and trusting an inner world by conscious choice. I guess the first is more or less the definition of an introvert, while the second is something that anyone struggles with, especially if the idea of trust includes "trusts enough to display in public". In that sense, inner worlds seem to be sources of considerable anxiety. (I may be projecting here.)

    I'm guessing that the reasoning behind not wanting to talk about one's inner world depends on the person. In my case, it's because I know it isn't rational. I take a lot of pride in being rational and reasonable most of the time, but inside, it's all emotion, it's all resentment and gut reactions and id. I want to be reasonable all the time, but my inner world gets in the way. On the one hand, like you said, it can be poetic, it can be artistic and beautiful, and it provides 99% of my motivations in life, but it is also dangerous, unreliable, and potentially humiliating. I try and express it, and it almost always sounds childish or stupid. And it can be hard to accept that my inner world, which technically defines me as much as my outer world, expresses the complete opposite of what my outer world does. It represents everything I don't want to be: childishness, irrationality, selfishness. It not only makes me feel like a hypocrite, but it makes me realize that the very fabric of my being is hypocrisy. And oh, do I loathe hypocrisy.
    :thumbs up:

    Does it defeat the conception? Frankly, I think it would be more constructive to compare and contrast, than to pretend like there are no patterns at all and that we're all Unique And Special Snowflakes. We're all human, we're all driven by our gut and our emotions (and sometimes our minds and capacity for logic), and in theory we should have more in common than not.
    It does in the sense that inner worlds are automatically unique. Until we get some superior toys, like say the kind of brain scanner that can take a sufficiently complete picture of your brain that an exact AI copy of you can be reproduced on your computer, inner worlds are accessed and experienced by one and only one person, the owner of that world.

    (Actually, even if there were a complete AI copy of you, the worlds are even so probably still formally non-identical. Sorta. There's personal identity arguments galore to be had on this question.)

    But, yeah, I agree LET'S FIND AN OBJECTIVE BASIS FOR THIS UNIQUE SNOWFLAKE STUFF!@

    Maybe. It would explain how some people are so much more comfortable with their inner worlds than others. Like the experience of being an actor. At the very beginning of your career, you learn that you will take criticism personally, because method acting is so personal, that criticism of your performance can feel like criticism of who you really are -- and feel all the worse because you know they're right. But many actors begin to build up a shell after that, where they decide that they will not accept anyone's criticism, except for a select few people that they trust -- and they will become much more confident in their acting. I think it's the same with expressing your inner world. Either you share it unashamedly without fear of getting hurt, or you hide it for fear of someone criticizing it and making you feel like less of a person.

    Beauty isn't perfect or pure either, so it makes sense to me. Seems fair.
    It's always going to be problematic though. If inner worlds are based on, or at least heavily influenced by, introverted functioning, then end states or finished products are relatively rare. It seems inappropriate to speak of beauty... unless perhaps we speak of the beauty of the process. Which I guess might look like some idea of an eternal flame.
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

    Boy meets Grr

  7. #7
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    Oh yeah, for sure. But a few distinctions might be in order. There's the inner world of introverted functioning, which is one kind of identifiable world, but there's another one, I think. It'll definitely be based around introverted functioning, but a bit more inclusive of... more personality stuff, I guess. Perhaps this is more like the idea of ego.

    Anyway, what I was thinking is, there's a difference between trusting an inner world by virtue of cognitive preference and trusting an inner world by conscious choice. I guess the first is more or less the definition of an introvert, while the second is something that anyone struggles with, especially if the idea of trust includes "trusts enough to display in public". In that sense, inner worlds seem to be sources of considerable anxiety. (I may be projecting here.)
    Maybe. Honestly, besides my irrationality (and my smaller insecurities that aren't really related to personality), I'm having a hard time thinking of things that I would feel insecure about displaying. Maybe "brutal honesty"? Obviously my inner world is full of my uncensored opinions of people. And I guess sexual fantasies are included here too. I dunno. You said you might be projecting? What personal example were you thinking of?
    :thumbs up:
    Thumbs up, as in, you relate? Or are you being sarcastic?
    It does in the sense that inner worlds are automatically unique. Until we get some superior toys, like say the kind of brain scanner that can take a sufficiently complete picture of your brain that an exact AI copy of you can be reproduced on your computer, inner worlds are accessed and experienced by one and only one person, the owner of that world.

    (Actually, even if there were a complete AI copy of you, the worlds are even so probably still formally non-identical. Sorta. There's personal identity arguments galore to be had on this question.)
    I guess that's true. Can't argue with that!
    But, yeah, I agree LET'S FIND AN OBJECTIVE BASIS FOR THIS UNIQUE SNOWFLAKE STUFF!@
    Yes indeed. Let's analyze the un-analyzeable!
    It's always going to be problematic though. If inner worlds are based on, or at least heavily influenced by, introverted functioning, then end states or finished products are relatively rare. It seems inappropriate to speak of beauty... unless perhaps we speak of the beauty of the process. Which I guess might look like some idea of an eternal flame.
    Do you associate beauty with a finished product? Surely there's beauty in particular phases of the process, too?
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  8. #8
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Maybe. Honestly, besides my irrationality (and my smaller insecurities that aren't really related to personality), I'm having a hard time thinking of things that I would feel insecure about displaying. Maybe "brutal honesty"? Obviously my inner world is full of my uncensored opinions of people. And I guess sexual fantasies are included here too. I dunno. You said you might be projecting? What personal example were you thinking of?
    No particular personal example, just a general sense of the outer world as unmanageable and unsafe, at least for some aspects of the self, which I know I have, and some FPs seem to suggest it too. ENFJs are kind of famous for the mysterious inner world too. Maybe it's only the ESJs who live totally out in the open?

    But I was thinking, one interesting thing about being J as compared to P is in terms at least of active introverted functions, inner perception is more present to consciousness that judgment. For the Ps, judgment is uppermost. IN TERMS OF INNER WORLDS, PEEEZ ARE MORE JUDGMENTAL!!!

    Which I think is priceless. When it comes to making judgments on the probable inner nature of other people or their convictions, the Js can, and maybe should, be telling the Ps to lighten up. :horor:

    Anyway, I do wonder if that makes a difference. The presence of perception, and the attendant unwillingness to decide too soon, leads to a sense of--not fragility. More like, unwillingness to circumscribe too soon. And then also an unwillingness to be too clear too soon.

    Oh lol, now there's even an explanation for the much lolled at TJ's inability to explain their feelings. It's not that we don't know, IT'S THAT THE PROCESS IS STILL GOING ON.

    I may be making this up.


    Thumbs up, as in, you relate? Or are you being sarcastic?
    Thumbs up as in I have no other obvious comment I can't direct the thread away from that kind of discussion given that that kind of discussion is what the thread is supposed to be about, probably.
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

    Boy meets Grr

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    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    No particular personal example, just a general sense of the outer world as unmanageable and unsafe, at least for some aspects of the self, which I know I have, and some FPs seem to suggest it too. ENFJs are kind of famous for the mysterious inner world too. Maybe it's only the ESJs who live totally out in the open?
    Maybe. I know I feel like my inner world is much more dangerous and much less manageable than my outer world is. I wonder how SPs feel about it.
    But I was thinking, one interesting thing about being J as compared to P is in terms at least of active introverted functions, inner perception is more present to consciousness that judgment. For the Ps, judgment is uppermost. IN TERMS OF INNER WORLDS, PEEEZ ARE MORE JUDGMENTAL!!!

    Which I think is priceless. When it comes to making judgments on the probable inner nature of other people or their convictions, the Js can, and maybe should, be telling the Ps to lighten up. :horor:


    Judgmental how, in your inner world? Judgmental of various aspects of yourself? Of ideas within your inner world? I ask because I tend to associate judgmental behavior with the outer world.
    Anyway, I do wonder if that makes a difference. The presence of perception, and the attendant unwillingness to decide too soon, leads to a sense of--not fragility. More like, unwillingness to circumscribe too soon. And then also an unwillingness to be too clear too soon.
    I may have seen that worry in some NPs I know. I was reading a post from one INTP on the forum, saying that he constantly regretted alternative routes in his life that he didn't take. Do you think that relates to it? That it's a fear of creating that certainty, and making those decisions that you can't turn back from, because it removes the safety of the huge number of options that were previously available? Not sure if that was just the particular INTP, or whether it's a P problem, or a Ti problem.
    Oh lol, now there's even an explanation for the much lolled at TJ's inability to explain their feelings. It's not that we don't know, IT'S THAT THE PROCESS IS STILL GOING ON.

    I may be making this up.
    It's okay, buddy! We TJs can work through this together!

    Seriously though, you're right. Seems especially tough for NTJs, since Ni makes for difficulty explaining a lot of other things, not just feelings.
    Thumbs up as in I have no other obvious comment I can't direct the thread away from that kind of discussion given that that kind of discussion is what the thread is supposed to be about, probably.
    Meh. It doesn't have to be about that. Wasn't sure if it would be helpful or not, so I put it out there.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


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    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    No particular personal example, just a general sense of the outer world as unmanageable and unsafe, at least for some aspects of the self, which I know I have, and some FPs seem to suggest it too. ENFJs are kind of famous for the mysterious inner world too. Maybe it's only the ESJs who live totally out in the open?
    Maybe. I know I feel like my inner world is much more dangerous and much less manageable than my outer world is. I wonder how SPs feel about it.
    But I was thinking, one interesting thing about being J as compared to P is in terms at least of active introverted functions, inner perception is more present to consciousness that judgment. For the Ps, judgment is uppermost. IN TERMS OF INNER WORLDS, PEEEZ ARE MORE JUDGMENTAL!!!

    Which I think is priceless. When it comes to making judgments on the probable inner nature of other people or their convictions, the Js can, and maybe should, be telling the Ps to lighten up. :horor:


    Judgmental how, in your inner world? Judgmental of various aspects of yourself? Of ideas within your inner world? I ask because I tend to associate judgmental behavior with the outer world.
    Anyway, I do wonder if that makes a difference. The presence of perception, and the attendant unwillingness to decide too soon, leads to a sense of--not fragility. More like, unwillingness to circumscribe too soon. And then also an unwillingness to be too clear too soon.
    I may have seen that worry in some NPs I know. I was reading a post from one INTP on the forum, saying that he constantly regretted alternative routes in his life that he didn't take. Do you think that relates to it? That it's a fear of creating that certainty, and making those decisions that you can't turn back from, because it removes the safety of the huge number of options that were previously available? Not sure if that was just the particular INTP, or whether it's a P problem, or a Ti problem.
    Oh lol, now there's even an explanation for the much lolled at TJ's inability to explain their feelings. It's not that we don't know, IT'S THAT THE PROCESS IS STILL GOING ON.

    I may be making this up.
    It's okay, buddy! We TJs can work through this together!

    Seriously though, you're right. Seems especially tough for NTJs, since Ni makes for difficulty explaining a lot of other things, not just feelings.
    Thumbs up as in I have no other obvious comment I can't direct the thread away from that kind of discussion given that that kind of discussion is what the thread is supposed to be about, probably.
    Meh. It doesn't have to be about that. Wasn't sure if it would be helpful or not, so I put it out there.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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