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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Default Another Try At Tertiary Temptation

    I'm trying to find out more about tertiary temptation. I think there are great ideas to be found in that topic. But I can only find one article on the subject:
    Tertiary Temptation in INFJ | Stellar Maze

    The article above on INFJ's temptation toward Ti is very right on. It is on fleek. It is extremely correct. An INFJ I know of used Ti temptation to become an engineer and work for a large corporation. Ayn Rand used Ti temptation to become a philosopher and stopped writing fiction altogether.

    Ti temptation draws the INFJ toward even more introversion, thus even less connection with people (Fe-auxiliary).

    But what does it mean for the other 15 types to have a tertiary temptation? What does it mean for an INTP to have a Si temptation? How does Si concretize itself, as Ti does for INFJs in the pursuit of careers? Why is an INTP tempted away from using Ne (a powerful and creative mental tool) and toward Si which is more solid and traditional, backward looking instead of forward looking? And how does this manifest itself in the life of the INTP?

    The reason I put an x in place of the N in INTP in my profile was to denote the effect of my tertiary Si and the fact that it manifests itself in the traditional MBTI dichotomies test in which I have always scored IxTP.

    Is the tertiary a source of internal conflict? It is after all the exact opposite function of the auxiliary. Or does it serve to eliminate a conflict (dominant function vs. inferior function) by replacing it with another more subtle conflict?

    The article at Tertiary Temptation in INFJ | Stellar Maze calls the tertiary function a "hobbyist" function, a function that apparent dabbles in topics that it would like to mature to as a professional. My tertiary leads me away from creativity which I define as a synthesis of mind and matter to produce something novel in concept or in reality. The problem with auxiliary Ne is that this product often never leaves the conceptual (or mathematical) level, and is ultimately dissatisfying. Si tertiary brings Ti back down to earth, but sacrifices Ne altogether. The product of Si-tertiary in the life of an INTP would constitute living a traditional lifestyle: house, spouse, career, and supporting 2.5 children. The pressures of life upon the ego tend to do away with creative impulses when those creative products are not life supporting, or let's say, when they lead to regress instead of progress, particularly when, out of frustration, they lead to self-defeating mischief.

    Does anybody here have any input on the goal of tertiary temptation?
    "If you try to build something that is idiot-proof, the universe will build a better idiot."
    I'm an extrovert trapped within an introverted soul.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    I found an answer online to the question of the Ti-dom/Si-tert relationship:
    Accurate Typing:
    Tertiary Temptation - Cognitive Function Theory

    "Tertiary Si (INTP / INFP)

    healthy Si: practical and detail-oriented; able to learn in an orderly manner; realistic about strengths and weaknesses; appreciates routine and stability in promoting physical health; focused, persistent in improving and following through with ideas/plans; accepts responsibility for consequences of actions; learns incrementally from mistakes
    resisting Si development: impractical and careless about details; resistant to routine or consistency; poor relationship to physical health; often dismissive of practical matters and concerns; unfocused, unable to learn well, repeats mistakes, abandons plans midstream; resistant against external structure or limitations
    defensive loop tendencies: stubborn and fussy about doing things a particular (known) way; unnecessarily confines oneself to routines or comfort zones and then feels stuck (but cannot admit that it was due to bad personal choices); suspicious, uncompromising, resistant to new ideas; pessimistic, cannot see positive potential and shoots down good advice/criticism; abnormal relationship to physical health; feels isolated or misunderstood; only notices details that confirm worldview; obsesses about past events/missteps; broods about insignificant details or overindulges fantasy with the unconscious intent to repress the need for real growth and improvement
    Ti-Si loop dynamics: gets subconscious emotional relief from using past knowledge and experiences to explain away one’s mistakes or problematic beliefs about the world -> but fails to make any progress because of being unable to see new possibilities for solving recurring or long-running problems, resulting in paralysis that stokes inferior Fe fears about being completely isolated in one’s own head ->
    Fi-Si loop dynamics: gets subconscious emotional relief from using past knowledge and experiences to explain away one’s mistakes or problematic value judgments about the world -> but fails to make any progress because of being unable to see new possibilities for living life better, resulting in paralysis that stokes inferior Te fears about being completely worthless and inconsequential -> "

    I don't know if any of that is true but it's all I could find on the subject.
    "If you try to build something that is idiot-proof, the universe will build a better idiot."
    I'm an extrovert trapped within an introverted soul.
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  3. #3
    Mind Wanderer Zeego's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal12345 View Post
    I'm trying to find out more about tertiary temptation. I think there are great ideas to be found in that topic. But I can only find one article on the subject:
    Tertiary Temptation in INFJ | Stellar Maze
    I have some issues with Stellar Maze in general as a source of information, but for now I'll focus on this specific article.

    The mistake many people make is to pursue what the tertiary function symbolizes outright. It tempts many INFJs into thinking they could be professional computer programmers for example. It is because of their introverted thinking tertiary that they may begin to become interested in machines and how they work and this is where there tertiary is pulling them off course.
    Why is it a mistake for an INFJ to be interested in technological matters? In my opinion it's fine for anyone to be interested in anything. Interest indicates that you're internally motivated by something. If you're interested in something a model says you shouldn't be interested in, then you should change the model, not change yourself to fit the model.

    If you want to be a happy person, then do your first two functions. It is as simple as that.
    Honestly I think this is really bad advice. As in the previous quote it's telling people to alter themselves to fit a model instead of thinking about what would be good for them on an individual level. No one is as simple as "two functions," we all have all 8 to some extent and it's our choice how we use each of them.

    Conversely, the moment the INFJ starts thinking, “Hey, maybe I could systematize these abstruse thoughts into a closed system or philosophy of some sort”, they are on the road to ruin.
    Aren't there a ton of INFJ philosophers? Plato, Spinoza, Schopenhauer, Wittgenstein, etc.?

    It will feel superficial at first if you are not used to this type of expression and you will probably want to abandon it in favor of your introverted refuge in an ivory tower . You will feel like you are missing great expanses of information in your communication and that you have glossed over important facts, points and considerations. But, that is okay. Extraverted Feeling is supposed to be superficial.
    Why must INFJs aspire to be more superficial? Here the author is telling people to ignore their inner voice because, once again, they need to fit a model, even if that model isn't the ideal version of how the individual actually is. If your inner voice is telling you that something is wrong, listen to it.

    Anyway, on to the rest of your post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal12345 View Post
    The reason I put an x in place of the N in INTP in my profile was to denote the effect of my tertiary Si and the fact that it manifests itself in the traditional MBTI dichotomies test in which I have always scored IxTP.
    I like that you did this, it provides a clearer image of who you are. I'm an example of an INTP who doesn't relate much to descriptions of tertiary Si, so this demonstrates that you have a stronger Sensing than I do. Indicating differences in letter strength like this allows for more nuance in distinguishing between individuals who are supposedly the same type.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal12345 View Post
    The article at Tertiary Temptation in INFJ | Stellar Maze calls the tertiary function a "hobbyist" function, a function that apparent dabbles in topics that it would like to mature to as a professional. My tertiary leads me away from creativity which I define as a synthesis of mind and matter to produce something novel in concept or in reality. The problem with auxiliary Ne is that this product often never leaves the conceptual (or mathematical) level, and is ultimately dissatisfying. Si tertiary brings Ti back down to earth, but sacrifices Ne altogether. The product of Si-tertiary in the life of an INTP would constitute living a traditional lifestyle: house, spouse, career, and supporting 2.5 children. The pressures of life upon the ego tend to do away with creative impulses when those creative products are not life supporting, or let's say, when they lead to regress instead of progress, particularly when, out of frustration, they lead to self-defeating mischief.
    Fun fact: the view that the tertiary is oriented in the same direction as the dominant isn't held by most official MBTI practitioners. Here's a screenshot from the 1998 MBTI Manual:



    So according to this, INTPs have tertiary Se!
    We will meet again in Etruria.

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  4. #4

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    I'd give up my current life for a different outcome in a heartbeat. I'd give up marriage and parenthood. It's a prison and requires an endless overreliance on the tertiary, which isn't all that well-developed in me to begin with.

  5. #5
    Parody Parrot meowington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asynartetic View Post
    I'd give up my current life for a different outcome in a heartbeat. I'd give up marriage and parenthood. It's a prison and requires an endless overreliance on the tertiary, which isn't all that well-developed in me to begin with.
    Could you elaborate on this ? I don't understand how marriage/parenthood would rely on Ti ... All I know is that it consumes a lot of my energy, but I would be far worse of alone. (in other words, I'm happily married, for now ).

    @Zeego @Mal12345
    I find the original article pretty interesting but after going through it all, it comes across as wishy-washy. It basically seems like a warning for a Ni-Ti loop.
    I'm an INFJ and very comfortable and good at a technical job. I'm good at dealing with machines and people. I don't look for an objective system to categorize all and everything. I'm aware reality and especially people are subjective (Fe).
    I think it's a fearmongering sort of article, not grounded in anything. Like all these "loop" theories of every type. It's all speculation, impossible to put into a valid theory, let alone practice.

    PS. I do think it's important for INFJs to do at least something artistic. I personally picked up the guitar decades ago to ease my mind / ease my Ti I supose.
    "I’m forever near a stereo saying, ‘What the fuck is this garbage?’ And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers" ~ Nick Cave
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by meowington View Post
    Could you elaborate on this ? I don't understand how marriage/parenthood would rely on Ti ... All I know is that it consumes a lot of my energy, but I would be far worse of alone. (in other words, I'm happily married, for now ).

    @Zeego @Mal12345
    I find the original article pretty interesting but after going through it all, it comes across as wishy-washy. It basically seems like a warning for a Ni-Ti loop.
    I'm an INFJ and very comfortable and good at a technical job. I'm good at dealing with machines and people. I don't look for an objective system to categorize all and everything. I'm aware reality and especially people are subjective (Fe).
    I think it's a fearmongering sort of article, not grounded in anything. Like all these "loop" theories of every type. It's all speculation, impossible to put into a valid theory, let alone practice.

    PS. I do think it's important for INFJs to do at least something artistic. I personally picked up the guitar decades ago to ease my mind / ease my Ti I supose.
    Ah, my mistake for confusing you. I don't really think I'm an INFJ; this was a joke typing and then I forgot to switch it. At the time I made that comment I was under the assumption I'm an INxP relying on tertiary Si. It was my thought that I'm not in a situation that favors exploration and transcontextual thinking (Ne) as much as it favors and necessitates the "muscle memory" of Si to get through the drudgery and challenges of fatherhood and husbandhood--family provider, bill payer, chore doer, etc.--all tasks that can be rewarding in their own way but don't really necessitate a break from monotony and routine, and much of which requires a lot of sensory memory and recollection of past experience to help inform my judgment and navigation of the world.
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  7. #7
    Parody Parrot meowington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asynartetic View Post
    Ah, my mistake for confusing you.
    No problem. Apparently I didn't read the line "formerly Anaximander". Here I was thinking "who the hell is this guy with over 9000 posts !? :p"

    Sorry to hear about marital problems btw ! Hope you find happiness soon one way or another.

    If it makes you feel any better, I don't even have Si in my stack. Totally clueless
    "I’m forever near a stereo saying, ‘What the fuck is this garbage?’ And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers" ~ Nick Cave
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by meowington View Post
    No problem. Apparently I didn't read the line "formerly Anaximander". Here I was thinking "who the hell is this guy with over 9000 posts !? :p"

    Sorry to hear about marital problems btw ! Hope you find happiness soon one way or another.

    If it makes you feel any better, I don't even have Si in my stack. Totally clueless
    Yep. INFJs should be issued personal butlers. Bruce Wayne would be nothing without a Si user like Alfred to wipe his ass.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meowington View Post
    Could you elaborate on this ? I don't understand how marriage/parenthood would rely on Ti ... All I know is that it consumes a lot of my energy, but I would be far worse of alone. (in other words, I'm happily married, for now ).

    @Zeego @Mal12345
    I find the original article pretty interesting but after going through it all, it comes across as wishy-washy. It basically seems like a warning for a Ni-Ti loop.
    I'm an INFJ and very comfortable and good at a technical job. I'm good at dealing with machines and people. I don't look for an objective system to categorize all and everything. I'm aware reality and especially people are subjective (Fe).
    I think it's a fearmongering sort of article, not grounded in anything. Like all these "loop" theories of every type. It's all speculation, impossible to put into a valid theory, let alone practice.

    PS. I do think it's important for INFJs to do at least something artistic. I personally picked up the guitar decades ago to ease my mind / ease my Ti I supose.
    Don't you think the term "fearmongering" is a bit strong to use here?

    Aren't you fearmongering over an essay on the INFJ tertiary type?

    It sounds like the article doesn't apply to you anyway.

    Nobody said a tertiary function couldn't be healthy. Right?
    "If you try to build something that is idiot-proof, the universe will build a better idiot."
    I'm an extrovert trapped within an introverted soul.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Pentarius's Avatar
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    The way I view my Si is a way for external observed phenomena (Ne) to be internalized. Once there, my Ti can slice and dice it up using Ne for the initial framework and also as a guide in order to come to a conclusion. It seems to me that my functions back each other up according to rank. Ne backs up Ti like you initially explained. Si backs up my Ne. And Fe backs up my Si. Fe gets no support and is problematic.

    So, from my point of view, how I can utilize my Si (tertiary function) depends on my Fe (shadow), not Ne (secondary). With Fe backing up Si, the internalized forms become charged with the raw and pure emotions of the shadow Fe. If Fe is particularly weak, this may not be possible. The fear inherent in the Fe will drive the Ti-Si loop while Ne looks the other way, whistles, and pretends not to notice.

    Instead of Si becoming a list of how things were and how much sense they make, it can become a list of how those things felt. Nostalgia is a word I keep hearing about an INTP's tertiary Si, and for this reason, I'd believe. Ne can then work its magic and learn about Fe using Si as a mediator. If Ti and Ne can systematize the data from the Fe charged Si into something more concrete which "feels right," then Si related activities can be actually reinforced by the dominant functions. I believe this is a way an INTP can utilize tertiary temptation successfully, and also, typing this out, I see why "photography" is listed as something an INTP can be good at.
    Crazy doesn't have to make sense.

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