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  1. #1
    Sniffles
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    Default St. John of the Cross - INFJ?

    That's certainly seems to be the argument made here: Typological Portrait of St. John.



    Some excerpts:
    The introverted intuitive child can possess the pervasive feeling of not being at home in the world. By nature his intuitive gaze goes elsewhere, while his extraverted feeling and sensation functions which would help root him in the here-and-now remain undeveloped. He can possess an other-worldly nostalgia, and this conviction that his true homeland ties elsewhere can be reinforced by the misfortunes of his early years, which are seen as confirmations that this earthly life does, indeed, have not much to offer. Since St. John's earliest years were marked by genuine tragedies, dire poverty and the lack of any supportive extended family, it would not be surprising if these events resonated in his psychological type and later formed a background to the way he viewed the relationship between the mystical life and daily human existence.
    The introverted intuition type often excels in academic work, while the inferior function of extraverted sensation can express itself in the kinds of failures that St. John experienced. This is not the result of a lack of manual dexterity or artistic ability in itself, but rather, the inability to focus the attention for any considerable length of time on the external physical work to be completed, especially if it is repetitive.

    The tragedy of John's home life could have accentuated his already predominant introversion, his placement in this institutional setting would have only increased this process. He would not be the kind of boy who made friends readily, or could hold his own in a group where the more outspoken and aggressive personalities tend to dominate. His feelings would become submerged. The nuns found him suitable for taking care of the Chapel, but this is the kind of occupation that would tend to isolate him from his companions and the outside world, though it reinforced his religious inclinations.

    St. John was an excellent student and a meticulous observer of the rule, both qualities that are often associated with his type, but he was also someone who had very definite ideas about his inner vocation. In some way, at some point, he had discovered his contemplative vocation, and having discovered it, was exerting all the energy of the powerful faculties of intuition and thinking that he was gifted with to pursue it. He had no time for anything else, and no inclination, and finally, no way of seeing the exterior effect of this single-mindedness....While many things did not matter to St. John, one thing was of supreme importance: the will of God must be followed in all things great and small, and the rule was seen by him as a concrete embodiment of God's will for the present moment, and thus had an intrinsic connection with his search for holiness. Therefore, he felt compelled, despite his desire to efface himself, to speak out when it was a matter of his inner convictions. His fellow students, no doubt, took a less serious and weighty view of the matter. St. John's strict spiritual interpretation of the rule had a psychological dimension as well. The introverted intuition type often exhibits a meticulous and careful fulfillment of their obligations that can become tinged with scrupulosity. They are far removed from the everyday, normal ways of judging human situations. They can interpret the rule and the wishes of the people in authority in a much stricter fashion than others, and often stricter than the authorities themselves intended.
    I don't know does the bolded sound like anybody here?


    Concerning the effect of his brutal imprisonment on the development of his type:
    From a psychological point of view he was plunged into extreme introversion and cut off from the feeling and sensating dimensions, or rather, they became negative realities opposed to his conscious personality. It was as if a nightmare of the introverted intuition type had come true. This type loves freedom and movement, even though it is often expressed interiorly rather than in outer actions. The outer imprisonment would have been much more bearable if it were simply a care of exterior confinement. But St. John's torments went deeper. These were not strangers who were tormenting him, but people from his own religious family. He knew some of them personally, and the superior of the house had been his superior at the University of Salamanca. This superior hammered away at him, telling him that he was disobedient, for he was refusing to obey lawful commands. These tormentors actively played out the role of the negative aspects of his own extraverted feeling and sensation. John had always been concerned with an exact observance of the rule, motivated, as we have seen, by the belief that the rule embodied the will of God here and now. He began to wonder whether he was, indeed, disobedient.
    Amazingly interesting. St. John is certainly one of my favorite mystics, and I can so readily relate to his Dark Night of the Soul.

  2. #2
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    That link was very interesting, Peguy.

    I actually just bought Dark Night of the Soul a couple days ago. I haven't started it yet and I am a bit intimated by the difficult language. I read about St. John and I felt I resonated with him so I went to get the book. I really relate to the bold parts. I think this is a classic INFJ thing which makes them drawn to monastic life or like pursuits. We tend to find something, something of serious meaning to be unearthed, and dedicate all of our time to it...putting this task above everything and everyone. Mystics are probably most likely to be INFJs than any other type. We tend to be very serious folks. I think INTJs share this singlemindedness, but with more tangible results, like that of a scientist. It is interesting to notice the differences in how Ni is used in conjunction with Fe or Te.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kristiana's Avatar
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    Yah, I could see that.

    Some of it sounds similar to my own spiritual life, in ways... Ni dominant thing perhaps?

    Oh and speaking of Christian mysticism, have you ever read anything by Morton Kelsey?
    j'adore les chats

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    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristiana View Post
    Oh and speaking of Christian mysticism, have you ever read anything by Morton Kelsey?
    No can't say I have, have books has he written?

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    Quote Originally Posted by peguy
    St. John of the Cross - INFJ?
    yes, that had been my guess.

    Teresa seemed far more ESFJ, based on her personality compared with people within Christian denominations I've known throughout my life.

    They're an interesting study in contrasts, since in some ways she was his mentor.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #6
    Sniffles
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    I thought Teresa is usually classifed as ISFJ?

    I don't know, but I think the I is a mistake.

    The E is the type that is free to explore things the way Teresa explored them, her writing was VERY liberated. ISFJ women are very restrained in their writing and exploration, remember they are adhering to Si and not Fe... Teresa shows far more Fe in her work. Study the values she proposes and her excessive emotional language; it's not nearly as common in ISFJs.

    Probably the largest quantity of women I've known in traditional Christian community have been ISFJs, followed by ESFJs, and all the ESFJs who moved away from legalism reminded me of Teresa in their approach. ISFJs? Not really.

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    Senior Member Kristiana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    No can't say I have, have books has he written?
    Here's a list!

    And yah, Mother Teresa seems S to me too.
    j'adore les chats

  8. #8
    Senior Member Kristiana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Probably the largest quantity of women I've known in traditional Christian community have been ISFJs, followed by ESFJs, and all the ESFJs who moved away from legalism reminded me of Teresa in their approach. ISFJs? Not really.
    I've seen about an equal number of introverted and extroverted women, in Christian circles. Definitely a ton of SF types though.
    j'adore les chats

  9. #9
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer?
    I don't know, but I think the I is a mistake.

    The E is the type that is free to explore things the way Teresa explored them, her writing was VERY liberated. ISFJ women are very restrained in their writing and exploration, remember they are adhering to Si and not Fe... Teresa shows far more Fe in her work. Study the values she proposes and her excessive emotional language; it's not nearly as common in ISFJs.

    Probably the largest quantity of women I've known in traditional Christian community have been ISFJs, followed by ESFJs, and all the ESFJs who moved away from legalism reminded me of Teresa in their approach. ISFJs? Not really.
    Jennifer is this your response to me? Cause I don't recall writing any of this, and I'm not drunk atm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristiana View Post
    Ok thanks, I'll look through that list for anything that interests me.

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