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  1. #1
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Default Paradox of a young INTP

    I am 21 years old, intensely focused on ideas. Spend most of my time, even when involved with the external world.

    Have published a book, working on another one, eager to learn more and delve head on into the inner life.

    Yet this attitude stands in sharp contrast with the idea of exploring life and living it to the fullest. As the intellectual path obviously insists on detaching yourself from the external world to analyze it, relating to the world in an almost wholly vicarious fashion, yet going out to experience it is visceral.

    The 'youthful vigor' certainly gives me the extra energy to pursue intellectual endeavors, but I am far from pretending that this is all that my energy is channeled into, no matter how much I at times may wish it were so.

    Thoughts on this matter, everyone? Especially the younger INTPs?
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Senior Member Snowey1210's Avatar
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    I can understand your situation somewhat, as at times I thought I was an INTP however I reassessed my self and decided an ENTP was a more fitting description. Whilst for me personally I can see the merits of having an intellectual engagement in various ideas and concepts, I still see the need to engage within the reality outside of a textbook. I guess that at least from my perspective, theory without some sort of external application or observation simply becomes heresay and that is my justification for choosing to live in this external manner.

    The key to it all is to somehow balance these two elements of life. I understand that everyone has different preferences and you're saying that you have a preference for the intellectual internalised world, but I can tell you that there is no harm in dipping your toe into externalised pool once and a while, if just for confirmation of your ideas. To hypothesize without partaking always has an element of disconnection. Our ideas are formed from our experiences within the context of reality(nowhere else, they can lead us elsewhere though!) so why not embrace them?

    BTW, I've got to say I'm impressed that you have published a book by the age of 21! If this is not living life to the fullest I don't know what is!
    Good Dog Nigel

    Arf, arf, he goes, a merry sight,
    Our little hairy friend,
    Arf, arf, upon the lampost bright
    Arfing round the bend.
    Nice dog! Goo boy,
    Waggie tail and beg,
    Clever Nigel, jump for joy
    Because we're putting you to sleep at three of the clock, Nigel. -John Lennon

  3. #3
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    What? I thought Blue was Spinoza!

    My mistake. Carry on. Blue, if it's really so much of a problem, get into some debauchery and see if you like it. The best sort of hooligans are the ones who innocently go back to their studies after a long night of partying.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  4. #4
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I'm a nineteen year old INTP, and I often take objection to the definition people give for "living life to its fullest".

    My impression has been that ones own cognizance is the defining factor of being alive. Everything moves around, is technically subject to experiences, but everything is not necessarily alive. So it is mental awareness and comprehension that makes a human live. As such, I've always put top priority on my internal thought processes. I think, for instance, someone who thinks more of less experiences is actually living life more than someone who thinks less of more experiences.

    Now we could argue that the person who both seeks many experiences and fully subjects them to the rigors of thought is the most alive of all, but some caution has to be added to even this. One experience many people seek is drug use, but this is actually detrimental to cognitive power I'd say. Becoming extremely intoxicated blunts the mind, and so, I think in cases like these, seeking the experience itself is a detraction from mental awareness.

    So what experiences do you seek? I personally take lessons from experiences, but I don't seek them as much as most people. I only need conceptual understanding of things to be satisfied. Sometimes it greatly aggravates or perplexes my acquaintances.

    I good example of this is my relationship with video-games. I've spent more time watching people play video-games, or reading descriptions of them, than I have actually spent playing them. For me, once I have absorbed the concepts of the game, playing it loses a great deal of the attraction. Further more, I am someone that hacks and mods computer games, but even this has hang-ups. I may develop an idea for a modification for a game, at which point I must do a lot of thinking to complete the conceptual design and to determine of it is possible to do. The problem is, once I figure that out, I often lose all of my motivation to turn my mod concept into a tangible thing.

    I do not regret this tendency of mine for my own sake. I feel perfectly content with my non-experiential, highly internal approach. The one thing that does bother me is that I feel like I don't contribute. I am so un-inclined to actualize something from my mind that I give nothing to the world, and there is a sense of failure associated with this for me. This feels worst for me when I love someone, because I realize that I'm so internalized that it inhibits my ability to give anything to the person I love.

    That's how I feel, but I am not entirely clear on what your worries are.
    Are you more concerned with whether or not you are impacting the world enough, or are you more concerned with whether or not you are perceiving the world enough?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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    Live and let live will just amount to might makes right

  5. #5
    Junior Member the_STRATOSPHERE's Avatar
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    24 year old INTP here.

    So...what is the paradox exactly? Is it; you must be detached from the word to analyze it, yet to analyze things you need to be acquainted with them, and to be acquainted with them you must experience them directly, contradicting the method of detachment?

    Also, what does being young have to do with a paradox in this case? If you have more energy, it can be spent in various endeavors simultaneously, no? Now if those endeavors contradict, then you have a problem....

  6. #6
    Junior Member BrianBear's Avatar
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    Turn off your brain every once in a while and enjoy life for what it is.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    I am 21 years old, intensely focused on ideas. Spend most of my time, even when involved with the external world.

    Have published a book, working on another one, eager to learn more and delve head on into the inner life.

    Yet this attitude stands in sharp contrast with the idea of exploring life and living it to the fullest. As the intellectual path obviously insists on detaching yourself from the external world to analyze it, relating to the world in an almost wholly vicarious fashion, yet going out to experience it is visceral.

    The 'youthful vigor' certainly gives me the extra energy to pursue intellectual endeavors, but I am far from pretending that this is all that my energy is channeled into, no matter how much I at times may wish it were so.

    Thoughts on this matter, everyone? Especially the younger INTPs?
    I think you first need to sort out your goals or see how they work together. Is your goal intellectual insight? Living life to the fullest? Peace of mind? Self-intimacy?

    After that, you need to decide how to go about achieving that. As I see things, I think they all converge on the same thing, which is getting to know things without disturbing them, and trying to fit everything into some category (as you do with MBTI) is one way things are disturbed. It's very insidious and subtle. You probably disagree, but I'm not sure you've really stepped out of your mind to challenge your notions about knowledge and insight; I'd bet that most of your ideas feed off other prior ideas. What I'm saying is try putting all those ideas down for a while.

    One of those ideas that you hold that interferes with things, I think, is how you perceive emotions and feelings as inferior. They may not be the best tool for understanding certain things, but you push so hard against them that it seems as though you neglect them, and that, imo, is not beneficial. It reminds me of how some atheists can't stop talking about atheism and bashing god because they've had such a bad experience with it. They cling to a cold, mechanical view of the world and prevent themselves from wondering and seeing beauty in things, which is a shame. (And I used to be like this, both with regard to feelings and god.)

  8. #8
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    One of those ideas that you hold that interferes with things, I think, is how you perceive emotions and feelings as inferior. They may not be the best tool for understanding certain things, but you push so hard against them that it seems as though you neglect them, and that, imo, is not beneficial. It reminds me of how some atheists can't stop talking about atheism and bashing god because they've had such a bad experience with it. They cling to a cold, mechanical view of the world and prevent themselves from wondering and seeing beauty in things, which is a shame. (And I used to be like this, both with regard to feelings and god.)
    How does not believing in God stop one from seeing the beauty and wonder in things?
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  9. #9
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    What's to observe if you don't DO anything?
    There again what's the point of enjoying observation if you don't stop to look?

    Do a few things you enjoy, pick your battles carefully and every once in a while keep them guessing by just saying "Okay let's give it a whirl".

    Admittedly it took my school chum getting married to get me to try deserts, gambling, flying and extreme heights but hell I enjoyed it and guess what... I'm not actually sensitive to heat.. more humidity. Now I wouldn't have guessed that with my obsession with keeping myself at less than 20 degrees c.

    Anyhow, having been there and having observed how others live I have greater appreciation for my usual crowd and a better sense of comparison for my observations. After all what is light without darkness? It's one thing to observe darkness from a well lit area but quite another to be in the darkness observing the light.

    So yeah balance is good but that's not to say 50/50 or anything of the sort. Your balance will be personal to you.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  10. #10
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    How does not believing in God stop one from seeing the beauty and wonder in things?
    Logically, it doesn't, but when people get force-fed theistic dogma, they can polarize and get forced into an ideology where the entire world is explainable and devoid of contemplative mystery.

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