“The peculiar nature of introverted intuition, if it gains the ascendancy, produces a peculiar type of man: the mystical dreamer and seer on one hand, the artist and the crank on the other.”
Disclaimer: As mentioned in my previous two profiles, I write about the unconscious tendencies of the type and not personality. Therefore here I do not wish to probe into how our local INTJs tend to behave, but explore the character of the INTJ thought. Here I am more concerned with the INTJ philosophy than with the INTJ behavior. Unconscious tendencies evinced should not be accepted as set in stone, they in themselves are malleable and adaptable. The examples I shall provide will only be a few cases in point for how such unconscious tendencies will manifest. They are not an end in themselves, but means to the end of grasping the archetypal quiddity of the aforementioned unconscious tendencies. What I shall provide is no more than cues and hints in regards to what the unconscious tendencies may be, I leave it up to my just reader to discern what the tendencies are--as I wish to inculcate no dogma.
Introversion-The attitude of assessing the external world based on the internal standards. Takes the inner world for granted and not the outer.
Extroversion-The attitude of assessing the inner life by virtue of the external standard.
Perceiving-The function of collection of information.
Judgment-The faculty of decision making.
Intuition-A faculty of abstract collection of information.
Sensation-A faculty of Concrete collection of information.
Rational-A judgment oriented procedure in regards to acquisition of knowledge. Tantamount to judgment. Thinking and Feeling are considered Rational functions. One may think that only Thinking should be considered rational, and this is indeed the case from the colloquial linguistic perspective. Yet Jung considers Feeling to also be a rational function because Feeling is the conscious scrutiny of personal values and emotions. Essentially it is perfectly analogous to the kind of conscious scrutiny Thinking does to impersonal data.
Irrational-A perception oriented approach to knowledge, one that seeks to provide no rational. Irrational, in the Jungian sense of the word does not mean contrary to reason, but rather one that does not directly rely on 'judgment' for assessment of the situation. Thus hunches and impulses constitute such irrational faculties, despite that a rational explanation could be found for discoveries made by hunches and intuitions.
"Introverted Intuition is directed to the inner object, a term that might justly be applied to the contents of the unconscious. The relation of inner objects to consciousness is entirely analogous to that of outer objects, though their reality is not physical, but psychic. They appear to intuitive perception as subjective images of things which, though not to be met with in the outside world, constitute the contents of the unconscious, and of the collective unconscious in particular."
Introverted Intuition is an irrational function by the previously established definition. It does not rely on conscious scrutiny for assessment, but to something most closely in tune to the colloquial notion of 'hunches'. Since such Intuitive force is internally aimed, unlike the Extroverted Intuition, it requires very little external stimulus. We also know that Intuition is an information collecting faculty--as it is a perceiving function. Here we are struck by a paradox that Intuition is primarily concerned with collection of information, yet at the same time seems to rely little on the external stimulus. This leads us to question whether such an information collecting faculty truly does suffice to adequately collect information. Does it fall to the same malady Jung has evinced in Introverted Sensing?
"Even with only a slight increase in the power of the unconscious, the subjective component of sensation becomes so alive that it almost completely obscures the influence of the object. If the object is a person, he feels completely devalued, while the subject has an illusory conception of reality, which in pathological cases goes so far that he is no longer able to distinguish between the real object and the subjective perceptions....Actually he lives in a mythological world, where men, animals, locomotives, houses, rivers, and mountains appear either as benevolent deities or as malevolent demons. That they appear thus to him never enters his head, though that is just the effect they have on his judgments and actions. He judges and acts as though he had such powers to deal with; but this begins to strike him only when he discovers that his sensations are totally different from reality."
What, one may wonder, accounts for such a striking difference between the object itself and the IJ's perception thereof? Could it be due to the fact that this perception is Introverted? Namely that it defines the object by the internal agenda and the internal agenda itself is rarely clearly pronounced as it is an irrational function. Thus, if this were the case, the way the object is perceived is directly filtered through the scope of the introverted perception. For this reason, the objects are not assessed in terms of their own validity, but in terms of how they relate to the perceiver. Therefore, the perceiver tends to assume that the objects are much like himself, as he sees locomotives and animals as demons or benevolent deities.
The accentuation here was on the locomotives and animals because the Introverted Sensing type, the type that the previous quotation meant to depict is focused primarily on concrete things--or sensations. Hence, he anthropomorphizes concrete entities. Or assumes that the objects in themselves have much to do with his own personal qualities. This is precisely the reason why we often have seen eyes on the Moon, the nose on the sun, and the Sword in the hands of the clowd. So our mythologies have compelled us to see!
However, since Introverted Intuition, the function by which the INTJ is lead is abstract, it tends not to see the external world in this fashion. However, the relationship it has to abstract perceptions is indeed much analogous to the relationship Introverted Sensing has to concrete data. Thus, Introverted Sensing anthropomorphizes the physical world, Introverted Intuition, almost wholly without a doubt, anthropomorphizes abstractions and ideas. For this reason it is not uncommon for INJ philosophers and scientists to be observed deeming some ideas as wicked and others as benevolent without having any reasonable explanations for such taxonomy. That is because there truly is not an explanation for such a thing, as judgments of the like reflect more about them personally rather than about the matter they have commented on and therefore often serves as evidence of their personal biases and prejudices.
Because the way they interact with the world is necessarily influenced by their subjective perceptions, they are automatically drawn to focus most intensely on ideas that their unconscious minds tend to gravitate towards most. Such ideas soon flourish to be of solid and constant conscious interest in which their whole being shall be thoroughly imbued. Conversely, ideas that are not in tune with their unconscious predilections, will be paid little heed to. This is where the INJ stands in sharp contrast with their Extroverted Intuitive counterparts who lack focus of perception because they are forced to confront all external phenomena at once. Introverted Intuition, however, has a distinct idea which entities are worthy of perception. To an outside observer, such judgments often appear arbitrary, yet this is more than likely the case because such Intuitive perceptions have a lot more to do with the inner life of the perceiver rather than the external world. The subject distinctly holds primacy over the object, and the Intuition itself has a clear notion of what is worthy of focus.
"Like sensation, intuition has its subjective factor, which is suppressed as much as possible in extraverted attitude but is the decisive factor in the intuition of the introvert. Although his intuition may be stimulated by external objects, it does not concern itself with external possibilities but with what the external object has released within him."
Thus, unlike the Extroverted Intuition that is concerned with collection of all ideas and assesses them based on how such ideas influence the external environment, the Introverted Intuition assesses such hunches based on its internal agenda and is interested strictly in ideas that befit the previously established agenda. Whilst Extroverted Intuition requires continuous stimulation, Introverted Intuition runs on itself. The Extrovert will be forced to engage himself in abstract external activities, such as writing or debating to maintain his world of ideas, yet the Introverted Intuition requires no more than a solitary retreat. The more peaceful the environment, the better, to a greater degree the vivid imagination shall flourish. Thus for an INJ, it would hardly be hyperbolic to claim that the creative energy derives literally from nowhere.
"The extravert would say: "Reality does not exist for him, he gives up to fruitless fantasies." The perception of the images of the unconscious, produced in such inexhaustible abundance by the creative energy of life, is of course fruitless from the standpoint of immediate utility. But may give life a new potential, this function, which to the outside world is the strangest of all, is as indispensable to the total psychic economy as is the corresponding human type to the psychic life of a people. Had this type not existed, there would have been no prophets in Israel."
Incidentally, here we touch basis upon the notion of the introverted perceiving faculty to anthropomorphize. For this reason ideas generated by these types appear flattering to men, as they seem to suggest to us that the greatest possible essences of the universe have much to do with our tastes and prejudices. No doubt, the greatest religions of the world are thoroughly imbued in personalities of their initial propounders. As the God of Christianity is much similar to Jesus, of Islam--Muhammad and respectively Moses for Judaism.
Such ideas of the Introverted perception are highly abstract as this type is most intuitive of all--due to the intensification factor of introversion. Incidentally the perceptions of the INJ are ineffable and cannot be properly transmuted into the realm of concrete phenomena. When they do attempt to, their initial hunches are either grotesquely distorted or lost altogether. However, the Intuitionist himself appears much content with merely having the hunches that he has as they adequately guide him, even if he cannot duly explain it to others.
Naturally, the INTJ converts these hunches into conventional symbolism by applying Extroverted Thinking to his perceptions. Yet, clearly the Introverted Intuition holds priority, the Intuition is the master and the Judgment is the serf.
As Jung put it.
'As a rule, the intuitive stops at perception; perception is his main problem--in the case of a creative artist--the shaping of the perception .But the crank is content with a visionary idea by which he himself is shaped and determined."
Indeed, the perception needs to be shaped in order to be shown to others, as this is what the artist will be compelled to do. Otherwise his ideas are mythological and unintelligible to others. Mythological no doubt, as he himself holds the central role in his fantasies and unintelligible to others because they are incepted in the irrational guise, or one that is not depicted in a systematic fashion.
As a last word on this contention one shall wonder if it is truly the case that Introverted Intuition, as contrasted from the Extroverted is unable to properly perceive the external environment because it anthropomorphizes it. It is indeed the case that Intuition is an irrational function and is therefore outside of the province of our conscious control, and hence many things are possible as a result of this. Especially if we take in consideration the extraordinary power of imagination entailed by such a faculty. The objects are indeed distorted, and the way they are represented is unintelligible to an outside observer, however perfectly discernable to the perceiver himself. For this reason the Introverted Sensor is well aware of the moon and the relation it has to himself, despite that he may see eyes on such a thing. The same should be said about the Introverted Intuitionist and his awareness of his abstract environment. Essentially, Intuition as perception allows for us to be most in tune with our external environment. Extroverted Intuition has a superficial awareness of all things that could be perceived, or as large of a network as possible. However, Introverted Intuition naturally focuses on the smaller pertinent zone and attains as profound of an understanding thereof as possible.
Unlike Extroverted Intuition, Introverted Intuition cannot adapt itself to the external perceptions and the external environment but instead has a tendency to create an environment of its own. Since we know it is not possible to wholly create a world of one’s own, this endeavor of the INJs does not appear particularly promising---as nonetheless they will require some external stimulation to propel their perceptions in motion. Accordingly, just like the Introverted Sensor grasps the image of the external environment and then explores it in depth, the Introverted Intuitionist does no different. As he grasps the external environment in the guise of abstract perceptions and seeks to solidify the image. He does so because as an introvert, he forces the external environment to adapt to his own agenda, as his inner perceptions, unlike that of the ENPs are not capable of doing so. For this reason, status-quo for such a type must be preserved under all circumstances. Any variation in perceptions is tantamount to variations in the external environment itself, this strikes the IJ as unfathomable horror, as this is nearly tantamount to having their whole world unsettled. For this reason the INJs tend not to handle change well, especially change in their intellectual climate. They are forced to stick to their one vision upon which their whole worldview has been established. For the INJ, this is analogous to the axiomatic, foundational principles that the worldviews of INPs hinge upon. However, the principles of the INPs can be slowly altered as they do not depend on the fixed perception of the environment and by nature of themselves require emendation, yet the vision of the Introverted Intuition must remain solid as it serves not only as principles and guidelines in the mind of the INJ, but as the view of the world itself. If the INP was forced to change his axioms, he would rely on the Extroverted Intuition to collect the necessary information about the external environment as well as the prospects of changing the inner maxims, yet if the INJ were to attempt to do the same, he would undermine the very foundation that he stands on. As to interact with the external environment is tantamount to losing grasp with all that has been taken for granted hitherto.
As mentioned in the ENTP profile, Extroverted Intuition works vertically, or in other words perceives all that could be perceived in the external world. However, Introverted Intuition works horizontally. Or perceives only what is relevant to the subject. Hence, it charts out one single path. Whilst the Extroverted Intuitionist often struggles to decide which path to take, the Introverted Intuitionist is never at a loss to do so as he always has his own perspective in mind, and has his aim set on the one path that comes naturally to his intuitions. This, however, leaves him very far from knowing where he stands or what he thinks, as such knowledge requires conscious awareness of his own perceptions. In order to achieve this, the INTJ will need to be able to use Extroverted Thinking soundly. Or he will need to be able to translate his amorphous hunches into symbols that are intelligible to a conscious mind. That is the topic we shall inquire into next.
In the end of our inquiry into the functioning of the Introverted Intuition, one is compelled to question whether or not the ostensible aversion to change precludes the Introverted Intuitionist from being open-minded as traditionally associated with intuition. Can the INTJ be open-minded in the same respect that the ENTP is often well renowned for? In fact, I would argue that the INTJ is even more open-minded, despite that it may appear to be so otherwise to outside observers who are only superficially acquainted with the type and individuals representing it. Essentially, because of the boost of the Introversion factor, the Intuition of the INTJ is supported further and this respect becomes superior to the Extroverted Intuition of the ENTP. Intensity and not extensity is the aim of the Introverted Intuition. The ENTP will wish to explore all new ideas that befall his lot, and as soon as he has become acquainted with them, he will abandon them to move on to something new. This is the case for him because his perception is in constant need of external stimulation and he cannot stimulate himself from within when associating with the external entity which has long been depleted. The INTJ by contrast is on the radically different side of the spectrum. Introverted Intuition has a surplus of inner energy and can stimulate itself from within whilst requiring very little external stimulation. Thus the INTJ will entertain a myriad of ideas, more than any other type as long as they are relevant to his vision and can be explored in depth. Introverted Intuition is naturally at home in exploration of ideas because it is the very essence of pure imagination. It is most comfortable in contemplation and cognitive manipulation of images conjured by the imagination. Much analogously to how the Extroverted Intuition is at ease in manipulating external images and ideas of practical application, the Introverted Intuition is most comfortable at contemplating whatever images and ideas shall befall its mind.
“Just as the world of appearances can never become a moral problem for the man who merely senses it, the world of inner images is never a moral problem for the intuitive. For both of them it is an aesthetic problem, a matter of perception, a “sensation”.
Accordingly, because the Introverted Intuition is most at home in the realm of abstract perceptions, it is most open to the work of the imagination and for this reason most distinctly in the position to entertain ideas.
Before we are ready to move on to the secondary axis of the INTJ function—the Extroverted Thinking, there is one important point that we would be well advised to take note of. The INTJ stands in sharp contrast to the aforementioned ENTP in the regard of awareness of one’s own security. The ENTP is by nature adventurous because he perceives the external environment as an end in itself (as we have mentioned that extroversion is the attitude that perceives the external environment as foundationally existent—this not at all could be changed, thus because of the very weak perception of his inner climate, the ENTP pays little heed to his own security and unscrupulously dives forward into the external world. Introverted Intuition is quite the opposite in this respect. It does not take the external realm for granted. It takes the perception of itself, or an intuitive self-consciousness for granted and views the environment in terms of how it relates to the self.) Accordingly, the INTJ is remarkably unadventurous because he has difficulty interacting with the external world. And when he is forced to deal with novel environments, he inevitably imposes his vision of the previous environment that is still stored in his unconscious perceptions onto the new one. This is anathema to adaptability and therefore the INTJ struggles to properly adjust to change.
Extroverted Intuition, as mentioned in the ENTP profile, tends to take the external world lightly as it is not fundamental to the inner being of the individual representing such a function. In effect, often has a playful, if not banal, happy go lucky—pick the berries attitude. Yet the introverted intuition, does indeed take the environment for granted as that is fundamental to its inner being, and in effect takes the external world quite seriously. Thus, security, especially intellectual security is of foremost and personal concern for the INTJ. If the INTJ has not managed to move his vision outwards and become properly attuned with the external environment, likely will become very rigid and dogmatic. As then the preservation of his vision, for the sake of his own security, will become more important to the INTJ than the pursuit of truth. This again is an inevitable result of the Introverted Intuition having equated the existence of their entire inner world with the existence of their inner vision. Thus in such a case, the INJ will find himself barricade in his fortress of for the sake of which he will go at whatever length necessary to preserve his current train of thought.
As this allusion could not have been carried out any more soundly than it has been here in Jung’s autobiography.