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Thread: Looking for Input: The Functions as Natural Archetypes

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for Input: The Functions as Natural Archetypes

    (Looking for input on the following. Little bit of background: I'm hoping to become Myers Briggs certified later this year and I'm currently pursuing a degree in psychology)

    The functions can be pictured and understood by using natural archetypes and symbolic systems. In particular extraversion and introversion lend themselves well to this kind of understanding. Scientifically, the ability of an object to either release or absorb energy can be related to the qualities of extraversion and introversion. Similarly, as described by Jung in "Psychological Types" Nature knows two types of biological adaptations to life: "that of increased fertility accompanied by a relatively small degree of defensive power and individual conservation, the other by manifold means of self protection coupled with relatively insignificant fertility". According to Jung this biological reality is not only an analogue for our mode of individual adaptation but the foundation of it. It is interesting here to consider these analogues in the world of biology. Solitary creatures, in the wild, for instance, must by necessity be equipped with means of protection, whether this manifest as biological adaptation in the form of a hide, disguise or means of retreat. Social creatures, on the other hand, group together purely because such natural means of protection are absent. They depend upon strength in numbers to avoid predators and to protect the integrity of the genetic pool.

    Using what we know then, of nature, as a projection of the "nature" of extroversion and introversion, can elucidate those things that, as a result of their psychological influence, are otherwise opaque to us. For instance, in our vocabulary a "hive mind" is attributed to a society in which the will of the collective has replaced the will of the individual as a governing force. We derive this idea from our own observations of creatures (primarily insects) that operate in the same way. As such a societal structure would correspond in our system with "extroverted" behavior, we can tentatively draw the conclusion that the extraverted attitude in its pure form emphasizes the will of the collective. Several advantages and disadvantages of this attitude will occur upon investigation. Firstly, as any attitude of emphasis naturally includes and equal and opposite action of de-emphasis upon its opposite, the emphasis upon the will of the collective of the extraverted attitude will repress the will of the individual. In psychology we call this "repression". In the extraverted attitude then, not only the will of the individual is repressed but everything relating to the individual. As this impacts the role of the extraverted standpoint in decision making then, it stands to reason that because the extraverted standpoint is concerned primarily with the needs of many individuals collectively, the decisions arrived at must suit the needs of that collective as a whole and thus may not, by definition, be uniquely suited to each individual. Thus we see that "expendability", the idea of safety in surplus is an idea thoroughly suited to the extraverted paradigm. Indeed this can be seen in the value that extraverts place upon materiality- the source of their safety is in productivity and, as Jung noted, fertility. This is just one example of the many ways in which such a method can be applied.

    In applying this methodology to the orientation of functions I will use the example of Introverted Intuition and Extraverted Intuition. We will consider a pool of water and the properties of water as they relate to its propagation. Water, in its liquid state knows either containment or dispersion As it relates to the qualities of intuition water is a suitable metaphor for its life-giving qualities. We shall equate the introverted orientation with containment and the extraverted with dispersion. If this is not immediately apparent consider the fundamental nature of both. Introversion is containment or saving within the self and Extroversion is dispersion or spending of the self.

    Water in its contained state accumulates. Without the aid of a dispersive method the accumulation rises creating what we call "deep". Without motion to aid in its disbursement this water is still. As an analogy for Introverted Intuition we can use the qualities of "deep water" to better understand the nature of the function itself. Just as such water is still, heavy (by merit of its mass), old (rather than new as it would be if its quantity were continuously being refreshed), and (as in the ocean) home itself to highly specific forms of life, so with Introverted Intuition we can expect to see these same qualities manifested on a psychological level. Indeed, it is the comprehending that the differences between physical and metaphysical are semantic in nature that breaches the gap between experience and understanding.
    Water that is flowing, while identical in essence imbibes different qualities. Because of its dispersive qualities no amount of the same water will gather in any one place at any given time. Unlike Introverted Intuition then, Extraverted Intuition has no memory or ability to place its vision within the greater context of previous visions. Lively, quick, playful, uninhibited all words that describe the essence of moving water. All of these as well as the deeper mechanical principles that underly them can contribute to a greater understanding of Extraverted Intuition. Water that accumulates too long in one place will stagnate. Similarly, water that flows too far too fast runs the risk of evaporation. Both of these physically represent some of the pitfalls that each function encounters when it is allowed to dominate the personality unchecked.

    The strengths and weaknesses of each function can thus be pictured through the analysis of physical phenomena to which they are related. Thinking and Feeling can likewise be approached by an understanding of the properties of temperature, and Judging and Perceiving through an analysis of the properties of our experience of Time.

  2. #2
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    The hive mind as a metaphor for all extraverted functions doesn't 100% make sense to me. I could easily see it as a metaphor for Fe, and maybe Te to some level. But Se and Ne dom people are usually pretty individualistic, more so than some introverts.

    I thought the section about intuition as water was great though.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Chiharu's Avatar
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    7w6 sx/so
    ENFp None


    I think if you look at Fe and Fi you could say that Fe is a hearth or bonfire and Fi is a candle.

    But these are both man-made, so idk if this counts.

    I may elaborate more
    Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness." ― Kurt Vonnegut

    ENFP. 7w6 – 4w3 – 1w9 sx/so. Aries. Dilettante. Overly anxious optimist.

  4. #4
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    From my own reflection upon MBTI, the T/F, S/N, and P/J functions are different ways in which a persons mind operates while the I/E function is how a person displays their mind operations to others around them.

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