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  1. #31
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Cascadeco : Thanks so much for your perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quay View Post
    Sorry for confusing you, really..

    I was dead wrong for believing I was right. lol. nail on head

    Self-preservation because I thought I was doing the correct thing and I wasn't. My concept of what the world should be was blasted open right in front of me, like "oh shit wait...this is not what I thought this was.". I started scrambling to catch hold of some reality.

    And what I initially perceived was not at all according to worldly standards, just my "innocence" and idealism and not really factoring in what was outside of me and my inner world. So I had to try and re-establish myself, and factor in what I'd left out....there was a great deal of selfishness that came with that idealism and innocence.

    The roots are important. I thought I was rooted and I wasn't.

    It begs the question though if one goes against one's previous held beliefs one always gets the same result and conclusion "I thought I was rooted and I wasn't". I mean, where does one draw the line? Theoretically one can revise our whole personality based on circumstances. What should stay and what should not stay (in terms of world view)? What works? Why be an idealist then?



    Quote Originally Posted by Affably Evil View Post
    Learning is unlearning? And what, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength?
    And what facepalming is showing respect for and greeting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Affably Evil View Post
    I know you're talking about learning from experience here, but it holds for learning from positive experiences just as well as the negative ones. I don't agree that the best state is the most innocent state, because one of my credos is "All knowledge is worth having." Not that you'd want to know something or that you're happy to know it, but knowing more gives you more options, more choices, and expands your reality.
    I agree. I also gave the example of the SP (stereotyping to more simply convey my point here) having more of a need to do before thinking it true than myself as an NF. I had this discussion before with a friend...not all experience comes from action. Introspection, pondering and theory also produce results with minimal casualties even. Man didn't go to the moon for the first time based on previous experience. And I use that illustratively.

    Going with your metaphor, a perfectly innocent human would have no capacity for forgiveness, because they'd've never had someone hurt them. They wouldn't need to understand compassion.
    You are completely misunderstanding the concept of empathy then. Empathy is just that...theoretically putting yourself in someone else's shoes. If I had to be where that person was to understand that he/she might be hurting I'd have to have every bad experience in the world.

    Being hurt is a terrible experience, and we don't want it to happen to people, but at the same time as you go through life you'll experience wonderful things and terrible things and how you react to them, how you cultivate yourself, is how you grow and become a person.
    That is a simplistic way of looking at things. Again, I didn't to experience everything to know how I'd act. You don't dabble into everything

    And a lot of that is being able to deal with harsh, hurtful realities and, as an NF not giving up on the ideals that you believe in — or being able to amend your ideals to include more of your new understanding of reality. That doesn't mean having to dump everything and starting from scratch all over again, though that's how some people do choose to go about it.
    It's not dumping everything. But if you have a value that tells you "I shall not kill" and you murder someone you need to dump that one at least.

    I don't think that being realistic and being idealistic are incompatible. Being realistic is seeing the world as how it is. Being idealistic is being able to imagine the world as it should be.
    Quite frequently they are incompatible. I dont' know about you, but for me this world is far from perfect and often "how it is" is different from how I think "it should be".

    People can fail you, and hurt you, and not live up to what you believed them to be. But that doesn't mean that they can't be that person that you believed in. It just means they're human.
    If "that person that you believed in" didn't "live up to what you believed them to be" how can we even know if we knew that person to begin with? People don't LOVE other people because they are human. If I love you because you are blonde and you eventually prove yourself to be brunette....how can I magically say now that I love you because you are brunette, when that's not the reason why I loved you in the first place?

  2. #32
    Member Affably Evil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    And what facepalming is showing respect for and greeting?
    I was intending it to show bafflement at something I found to be completely contradictory and frustration at myself for not being able to wrap my head around it. It's so far from my experience because for me learning is utterly essential to forming my self. I read it a few times and I'm still not sure I properly understand what you were saying.

    I agree. I also gave the example of the SP (stereotyping to more simply convey my point here) having more of a need to do before thinking it true than myself as an NF. I had this discussion before with a friend...not all experience comes from action. Introspection, pondering and theory also produce results with minimal casualties even. Man didn't go to the moon for the first time based on previous experience. And I use that illustratively.
    I definitely agree with you. Meditation, contemplation and introspection are all forms of action, and can be just as important as the external "do." As NFs we probably need to do more personal introspection than most people.

    You are completely misunderstanding the concept of empathy then. Empathy is just that...theoretically putting yourself in someone else's shoes. If I had to be where that person was to understand that he/she might be hurting I'd have to have every bad experience in the world.
    Not at all. You have to admit that people who have gone through similar experiences to yours can empathize better than people who've never experienced a problem or situation like yours; isn't that why there are groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, group therapy sessions, or organizations like GLBTQ in high schools. I'm not in any way trying to say that you can only empathize with someone if you two have had the exact same experience — how could I? Everyone's experiences are different. But if you've never been hurt or had difficulty with prejudice or had a drug addiction it is much harder to imagine their situation than if you had that kind of common experience with them. I'm not going to tell my friend whose house burned down that I understand how she feels — how could I even begin to imagine what that would be like? And it would be presumptuous of me to say "I understand how you feel." Of course, like any NF you would try to imagine it, but you'd be able to empathize better if you had also had a relatable devastating loss. It's not a failure on your part if you haven't, just as it's not a failure on your part if your friend is gay and you aren't.

    My point is that accumulating more and more of different kinds of experiences helps you to relate to other people better, not whether you can relate to them at all or not. If you've never been hurt, then how can you imagine what it would like to be hurt? You have no starting baseline to try to empathize.

    It's not dumping everything. But if you have a value that tells you "I shall not kill" and you murder someone you need to dump that one at least.
    But it's not a straight-up dumping, is it? If my "I shall not kill" value was strong, then my reasons for breaking that ideal have to be more powerful. There's going to be some internal logic there — he was attacking my wife, it was an accident, my loyalty to my country is more important, or else that ideal was never strong in the first place. That doesn't mean that you have to totally dump the ideal, but you have to think about it carefully and understand what parts of it you want to preserve (for example, the basic protection of human life) and how your internal logic navigates that (except if someone is going violate someone and I can do something about it). It means you refine your values. Just because you kill one person doesn't mean that you're immediately going to go on and kill every person you see. You're still going to carry around part of that value with you, even if you find it a bit fractured.

    Quite frequently they are incompatible. I dont' know about you, but for me this world is far from perfect and often "how it is" is different from how I think "it should be".
    Let me put it this way: for me, the ideal is the guide. If your ideal is, "I don't want there to be any starvation in the world," and if there was no starvation in the world, that wouldn't be as much of a guiding star because that's how the world would already be. You use realism to see the world how it is and make a map with that to your ideals: to where the world ought to be. Believing in what it can be, and working to change the world.

    ...how can I magically say now that I love you because you are brunette, when that's not the reason why I loved you in the first place?
    For me, loving a person doesn't mean loving pieces of them and just taking the bits that agree with you. Loving a person means discovering new things about a person and understanding them better. But if you're loving someone as an ideal, then you're loving your image of them and will be in for a shock when they topple from that pedestal.

    It's even more devastating when that person is your own self.

  3. #33
    Peaced Quay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    It begs the question though if one goes against one's previous held beliefs one always gets the same result and conclusion "I thought I was rooted and I wasn't". I mean, where does one draw the line? Theoretically one can revise our whole personality based on circumstances. What should stay and what should not stay (in terms of world view)? What works? Why be an idealist then?
    My idealism really comes in the form of love. I have always unconditionally loved people and that is something I am not willing to compromise because I can't compromise it. It's not really a belief system.

    On the flip side, just because I love everyone does not mean that they will be receptive or that I am manifesting love in the manner that is needed by them. This is the realism part of it, for me anyway..

    My gut reaction when I realized this was to hate humans. "I mean, really, wtf...who doesn't want love and if yall don't want it, fuckallyall then" was my mindset. Then I developed huge amount of paranoia regarding the sincerity of people and myself. I'm not placing blame here, just relaying what my feelings were at the time.

    That was the big adjustment for me, to begin to learn how to make my idealism work in this world. I wouldn't say I've revised my whole personality either. I'm critical of myself, and question my ideals, but mostly because I want to improve. I would say I'm refining what is naturally there.
    Last edited by Quay; 09-10-2010 at 09:49 AM. Reason: please kick in coffee

  4. #34
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    she definitely is infj. took the test many times, one of them on paper in the psych dept of her university.

  5. #35
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    ^Exactly. That's my whole point. So long destination.

    I actually go about it differently. I believe that if I choose good paths, it will always take me to a nice destination. I don't plan ahead...but the here and now, the current decisions and actions have to jive with my values at all times.

    It's like...if you are going to build a building, the foundations must be strong, and I always make sure of that. I do not allow myself to set a lesser stone into place because then the finished building won't be a great one since I've just justified my way out of having to always set a good stone....which makes it more likely I'll set more shitty stones as time goes by. So much for wanting to build the most awesome building ever....
    I just don't see anything wrong with changing. I don't see the original as superior in some way. A sapling is not superior to a fruit producing tree, even if that grown tree grows a little crooked and has some scars.

    My core value is to try to do as little harm and as much good as I can while still living a reasonably enjoyable life. Refusing to integrate new information and act accordingly is, to me, no virtue. I don't care about building the most awesome building ever. I'm really not all that special. I'm one human among millions of humans. No one will remember me in a hundred years and that's okay. I hope to have a legacy in the attitudes of my offspring, the way I've taught them to be capable and kind, but that will be their choice, ultimately.

    To me, that which cannot interact functionally with it's environment is little use to even itself. Values that don't work in real life aren't really much good to anyone -- it's like making an amazing invention that doesn't actually work or that is too expensive to be anything but a novelty for the very rich. I don't live in a sterile, well-funded laboratory. I live in a working class neighborhood of a midsized city on the edge of the rust belt -- I need things to work here and now at a price I can afford. Real life is messy like that. I could choose to unsully myself with the dirt of life, but I'd rather get my hands dirty doing good than sit in my house staying clean and thinking about how good I am.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  6. #36

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    I agree with both. Life is about learning, adapting, being new things, trying new things. What sytpg is saying (I think) is that he is careful with what he changes in the fundamentals. It's probably just a different way of working. I'm similar in a way; I like a solid base to work from. On top of that I'm happy to wander in most directions, talk to any crowd, see any crazy event, get lost in dangerous places. That strength in knowing the unchangables (which do change occasionally ) is that it helps anchor all the thoughts and options in reality and understand my environment. Without those references I'd have a lot of things in front of me, which I could see quite clearly and understand on the surface, but have little insight into the workings of.

    Being built differently and probably working from different principles, this foundation might not be as important for an INFJ. The unstructured nature of ENFP thinking tends to demand it, because otherwise we end up in some fantasy world of connections and possibilities.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  7. #37
    Member JFNI's Avatar
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    She's probably depressed with an anxious attachment style. Anxious people tend to use sex to gain love, and not just sex. This is necessarily true for INFJ's.

  8. #38
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Affably Evil View Post
    My point is that accumulating more and more of different kinds of experiences helps you to relate to other people better, not whether you can relate to them at all or not. If you've never been hurt, then how can you imagine what it would like to be hurt? You have no starting baseline to try to empathize.
    Okay. But they are thresholds. If "I shall not kill" is an extreme example that warrants a "level 10", some other thing could be a "level 7" for you, while for me is a "level 9".


    But it's not a straight-up dumping, is it? If my "I shall not kill" value was strong, then my reasons for breaking that ideal have to be more powerful. There's going to be some internal logic there — he was attacking my wife, it was an accident, my loyalty to my country is more important, or else that ideal was never strong in the first place. That doesn't mean that you have to totally dump the ideal, but you have to think about it carefully and understand what parts of it you want to preserve (for example, the basic protection of human life) and how your internal logic navigates that (except if someone is going violate someone and I can do something about it). It means you refine your values. Just because you kill one person doesn't mean that you're immediately going to go on and kill every person you see. You're still going to carry around part of that value with you, even if you find it a bit fractured.
    There are some precedents I don't think I could live in and am afraid to find out.

    If I don't like the idea of one night stands and end up getting into one...I've open a precedent. I can never tell someone I love - "sex has this particular meaning to me, and I only reserve it for someone I truly understand and love" - with a straight face.


    Let me put it this way: for me, the ideal is the guide. If your ideal is, "I don't want there to be any starvation in the world," and if there was no starvation in the world, that wouldn't be as much of a guiding star because that's how the world would already be. You use realism to see the world how it is and make a map with that to your ideals: to where the world ought to be. Believing in what it can be, and working to change the world.
    Exactly. And if I have an ideal, I strive at all times to adjust my reality to the ideal. If I see a person starving I give him/her food. If I fail to do this every single time I can, what does that say about me or my ideal?



    For me, loving a person doesn't mean loving pieces of them and just taking the bits that agree with you. Loving a person means discovering new things about a person and understanding them better. But if you're loving someone as an ideal, then you're loving your image of them and will be in for a shock when they topple from that pedestal.
    Exactly. So, say you're an INFJ that equates sex with love. If you have sex with someone and that find out that person is not who you thought, and that you don't love that person, how does that make you feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe
    I just don't see anything wrong with changing. I don't see the original as superior in some way. A sapling is not superior to a fruit producing tree, even if that grown tree grows a little crooked and has some scars.

    My core value is to try to do as little harm and as much good as I can while still living a reasonably enjoyable life. Refusing to integrate new information and act accordingly is, to me, no virtue. I don't care about building the most awesome building ever. I'm really not all that special. I'm one human among millions of humans. No one will remember me in a hundred years and that's okay. I hope to have a legacy in the attitudes of my offspring, the way I've taught them to be capable and kind, but that will be their choice, ultimately.

    To me, that which cannot interact functionally with it's environment is little use to even itself. Values that don't work in real life aren't really much good to anyone -- it's like making an amazing invention that doesn't actually work or that is too expensive to be anything but a novelty for the very rich. I don't live in a sterile, well-funded laboratory. I live in a working class neighborhood of a midsized city on the edge of the rust belt -- I need things to work here and now at a price I can afford. Real life is messy like that. I could choose to unsully myself with the dirt of life, but I'd rather get my hands dirty doing good than sit in my house staying clean and thinking about how good I am.
    I like to believe I'm an example to the person I'm close. I like to be an unwavering example of how believing in a couple of "childish" ideals can produce fruit in the long term.

    I don't sit thinking how good I am for being better than average. If I'm better than average I sit there saying "why the fuck didn't I try harder or hold an even higher standard". I try to be morally perfectionist, so that the people around me, follow my example at their own pace and capacity doing their incremental betterment of the world while I stand for the ultimate goal they should strive for.

    I realize how that made me sound incredibly arrogant and conceited, but it's something I believe in - trying to be perfect, not just good. I'm no longer a christian but I really admire the character of Jesus. He had really high standards and wasn't afraid to die for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    The unstructured nature of ENFP thinking tends to demand it, because otherwise we end up in some fantasy world of connections and possibilities.
    Yes. Because if you open one precedent it's very easy to justify your way down the high standard ideal into no ideal at all.

  9. #39
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    I like to believe I'm an example to the person I'm close. I like to be an unwavering example of how believing in a couple of "childish" ideals can produce fruit in the long term.

    I don't sit thinking how good I am for being better than average. If I'm better than average I sit there saying "why the fuck didn't I try harder or hold an even higher standard". I try to be morally perfectionist, so that the people around me, follow my example at their own pace and capacity doing their incremental betterment of the world while I stand for the ultimate goal they should strive for.

    I realize how that made me sound incredibly arrogant and conceited, but it's something I believe in - trying to be perfect, not just good. I'm no longer a christian but I really admire the character of Jesus. He had really high standards and wasn't afraid to die for them.
    I have my doubts about the actual virtue of that stance -- it does sound more like pride and self-righteousness to me than anything else. Not that that's really a problem. Some people do have to be like that and sometimes it does provide a useful example or serve as a catalyst. Often, though, it just makes everyone around the person miserable. That level of pride and inflexibility makes it difficult to hold a job or engage in meaningful relationships with others because the person is always right, always morally superior. It's also, to some degree, disingenuous to me. You either are constantly forcing yourself to be virtuous whether you feel like it or not or else you have to convince yourself that your particular wants and feelings are virtuous whether they are or not. I don't think either is particularly healthy.

    As far as the long term goes, I really haven't seen it work. I mean, for Jesus, he did have a huge impact on the world and if you believe in the gospel accounts (and I do) he is still alive and will one day return, so that is long term, but for him personally as a human, it wasn't long term because he was murdered at thirty-three. We can't all be famous martyrs. Most of us have to be just everyday people trying to raise the kids and pay the bills. I'm one of the kid-raising, bill-paying types and I don't think there is anything wrong with either choice (well, unless by martyr you're some kind of suicide bomber or something).
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #40
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I have my doubts about the actual virtue of that stance -- it does sound more like pride and self-righteousness to me than anything else. Not that that's really a problem. Some people do have to be like that and sometimes it does provide a useful example or serve as a catalyst. Often, though, it just makes everyone around the person miserable.
    As convenient as it might sound, it's one of the things my friends like about me.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    That level of pride and inflexibility makes it difficult to hold a job or engage in meaningful relationships with others because the person is always right, always morally superior.
    Wrong. I'm not a preacher or anything that goes around hitting people I'm close to for not doing what I think is right. I hold jobs as long as I want to hold them and can't say I have an inherent problems in engaging in meaningful relationships (although romantic relationships I have not that much experience with). Most people love me.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    It's also, to some degree, disingenuous to me. You either are constantly forcing yourself to be virtuous whether you feel like it or not or else you have to convince yourself that your particular wants and feelings are virtuous whether they are or not. I don't think either is particularly healthy.
    I don't think it brings me a great deal of happiness all the time no. I don't see how forcing myself to be virtuous when I don't feel like it is bad though.

    But I don't do the second. I don't tell myself what I wanna do is virtuous just because I feel like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    As far as the long term goes, I really haven't seen it work. I mean, for Jesus, he did have a huge impact on the world and if you believe in the gospel accounts (and I do) he is still alive and will one day return, so that is long term, but for him personally as a human, it wasn't long term because he was murdered at thirty-three. We can't all be famous martyrs. Most of us have to be just everyday people trying to raise the kids and pay the bills. I'm one of the kid-raising, bill-paying types and I don't think there is anything wrong with either choice (well, unless by martyr you're some kind of suicide bomber or something).
    Paying the bills and raising kids is something I see myself doing too in a few years. That won't change who I am though. That's not gonna magically gonna change my Fi into Fe to be more adaptive to the context if that's what you are thinking

    And I'm not a martyr. I still have more fun than a lot of people I know. And I have a black sense of humor, it's not like I got something stuck up my ass.

    I think people associate moralism with bad traits....I think they are too used to some few stupid church figures we see...Moralism has gotten a negative term over the years, and I think it's sad. No friend of mine ever complained about me in this regard. I don't shove my morals down people's throats.

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