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Thread: INFJ Question

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    Senior Member OctaviaCaesar's Avatar
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    Default INFJ Question

    I am thinking that Athenian will probably be able to answer my question, and I hope that a lot of people can...

    What does Kiersey mean when he writes that "INFJs are the most vulnerable to their archetypal material"? Is this good or bad? I am worried about it, should I not be?

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    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OctaviaCaesar View Post
    I am thinking that Athenian will probably be able to answer my question, and I hope that a lot of people can...

    What does Kiersey mean when he writes that "INFJs are the most vulnerable to their archetypal material"? Is this good or bad? I am worried about it, should I not be?
    Since you didn't quote it in context, I'm not sure. I have a few guesses, though.

    1. They are more vulnerable to random thoughts they cannot shake.

    2. They are the NF type most likely to be frustrated by their own idealism, realizing how pointless it is to seek those ideals, yet unable to be fulfilled without pursuing them.

    3. They are the NF type most likely to become frustrated by typical NF behavior.

    4. They are more likely to attempt to live out unconscious archetypes.

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    Senior Member vince's Avatar
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    You shouldn't worry about that at all. I think you need to translate "vulnerable" as "aware" & "archetypal material" as "inner mechanics/dynamics of your mind".
    In other words : INFJ is the type most aware of dynamics of the mind/psyche. We're psychologists after all.
    I think the word archetype in this context is ambiguous & misleading.

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    Senior Member tovlo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post

    4. They are more likely to attempt to live out unconscious archetypes.
    Some form of this is how I've generally read that quote.

    I don't completely understand why that would be or how it manifests exactly though.

    On another forum there was a thread with made-up quotes describing each of the different MBTI types. One person quoted "Physician heal thyself" for INFJ. I think somehow that quote is apt and applies to this thread's idea.
    "We don't see things as they are,
    we see things as we are."
    ...Anais Nin

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    Member whatnot's Avatar
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    Huh. Would it be weird to say that this thread just made my life make sense?

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    Senior Member OctaviaCaesar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatnot View Post
    Huh. Would it be weird to say that this thread just made my life make sense?
    That's so cool. Lucky you! Do you care to elaborate?

    Thanks all for your responses!

    Athenian, I love your analysis. Could you please explain no. 4, that Tovlo found so resonant? I am not sure what an archetype is. It's a strictly Jungian concept, right?

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    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OctaviaCaesar View Post
    That's so cool. Lucky you! Do you care to elaborate?

    Thanks all for your responses!

    Athenian, I love your analysis. Could you please explain no. 4, that Tovlo found so resonant? I am not sure what an archetype is. It's a strictly Jungian concept, right?
    IIRC (I read a book a couple months ago that dealt with them to a certain extent), an archetype is a general "pattern of reality" as I like to call it. For instance, a sellout musician could be considered one form of archetype-- the general pattern of somebody starting out with nothing, finding a talent, developing it, then using it with others' help, to later become successful, eventually succumbing to greed, and eventually using monetary gain as their principle driving force... That whole sequence of general "events" could be bottled up into a single archetype. I am not certain if it is applicable to this sort of level, but I suppose another archetype could be the basic concept of rising and falling--a car driving over a hill plays out this archetype, as the does the sun when it moves through the sky, from our point of view anyway.

    Jung's theories took that a few levels deeper to suggest that archetypes of all differing and various forms are present in every aspect of our reality, and the fact that we can perceive them as distinct common patterns even though they can manifest in almost any form means that the archetype itself has a special mental or psychological component.

    That is then integrated into his theory of synchronicity, to (here's where I may be adding my own interpretation) suggest that some meaningful coincidences occur between seemingly unrelated objects because the components are actually playing out part of a larger archetype or pattern of reality that we aren't perceptive enough to notice (or just don't have the ability to draw information on the scope and magnitude necessary to see it).

    I'm sure others on here are more knowledgeable of the subject than I am, seeing as I've only read one book about it so far, but that's my take.

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    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    This is perhaps related to the archetype thing, but I find one of my big-picture struggles is wanting to follow many 'paths' -- i.e. patterns of reality? -- all at the same time. Feeling myself pulled in many possible directions, having a hard time 'choosing' which one I want, which one makes sense for me - because on some level I can relate to all of them at the same time, and want it all. I can see many ways I could 'be', and many ways of making my life, but I don't like being constricted to just one, or feel immobilized because I can see value in many paths. One path may fulfill 50% of what I want, another path may fill the opposite 50%, a third path may fill 65% but at the expense of a really important 35%....etc.

    I might be speaking of something else though.

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    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Sounds about right to me. If you are particularly adept at thinking of your goals and future in terms of the paths and patterns you will follow in the process, it becomes an interesting dilemma and choice you have to make when you consider which one you want to follow.

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    Member whatnot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    2. They are the NF type most likely to be frustrated by their own idealism, realizing how pointless it is to seek those ideals, yet unable to be fulfilled without pursuing them.

    3. They are the NF type most likely to become frustrated by typical NF behavior.

    These two points really struck a chord with me. I tend to get rather frustrated with my NF side, and I'd always attributed it to the fact that I'm so close on F/T. And I've often been typed as INTJ by people at first meeting, but I think its because of my own frustration with NF idealism and low social index. I can be quite pragmatic, but ultimately, I'm an NF.

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