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Thread: A CLUE! A CLUE!

  1. #1
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Default A CLUE! A CLUE!

    Let's put it in our handy dandy notebook! *DING!*

    Okay, enough of that. I had an experience recently that made me wonder about myself. I was driving to my parents' house with the kids on Saturday, and since my shuffle was dead I was flipping through the regular old radio stations. The Classical Station (awesome station btw, highly recommended- they broadcast here and they also stream on the web) was playing Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring Suite, which I dearly love. So I cranked it up, ignored the children, and proceeded to weep like a little girl.

    I don't know what happened, but I can't say it was an unusual reaction for me. I am a cryer, and not just at sad stuff. I crave that deep, physical experience of feeling emotion, and it's one reason I love music. (It's also one reason I stopped going to church, because it alarmed me that I didn't think I was truly present unless I was emotionally moved.)

    There's a lot about this particular music that makes me feel strong feelings. Some of it I can't put into words. (I think that's one reason music exists- to express feelings we can't express with words.) It gives me a wistful, joy/sorrow feeling. The passage starting at about 3:10 or so just kills me and I don't understand why.

    Here are a few of the things about my reaction to the music that I can identify. Maybe they are clues to my type.

    *It reminds me of my mother, as it's one of her favorite pieces too and she adores Copland. She used to sing the hymn Copland used for the melody in the variations section (the first part of that link above, although it's well into the actual piece) to me and my younger siblings as a lullabye and I sing it to my children now. It makes me feel fondly toward her and at the same time gives me a bittersweet, melancholy feeling because I know I won't always have her.

    *It reminds me of my time at a Quaker school (the melody is from a traditional Shaker hymn, Simple Gifts, the one my mother sang, and which we sang there at the school). Being at that school, quite literally, shaped me into the person I am today. I don't know who I would be without that experience. Not only was I free for the first time from grades, heavy top-down discipline, and stuff like that- but I felt truly respected and admired by adults, instead of patronized or consumed.

    *The lyrics to the song are beautiful and moving to me:

    'Tis a gift to be simple
    'Tis a gift to be free
    'Tis a gift to come 'round where we ought to be
    And when we find ourselves in a place just right
    We will be in the valley of love and delight

    When true simplicity is gained
    To bow and to bend, we will not be ashamed
    To turn and to turn, it will be our delight
    'Til by turning and turning, we come 'round right
    Simplicity, earnestness, and no-bullshit. These are ideals I try to live by.

    *It makes me think about the genius and heart of the man who wrote the music. (I was fortunate to take a music appreciation class with one of his students who teaches at UNC.)

    And that's about it. If you can still stand to look me in the eye, tell me what you think this means about my personality!
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    I dunno. That seemed like a very intuitive post. The organization of your posts always seems kinda T to me. Still, I can see the NF/SJ aspect here and there.

    Glad to be of service.


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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    I dunno. That seemed like a very intuitive post. The organization of your posts always seems kinda T to me. Still, I can see the NF/SJ aspect here and there.

    Glad to be of service.

    Maybe what you're seeing as T is actually J? I don't feel very J because I don't like being nailed down and I resist finalizing stuff, but maybe I'm wrong about what J means.

    To me, the nostalgia/sentimentality stuff is what makes me think ISFJ. Things remind me of times in my past when I was happy (or not) and that's how I often relate to the world. Perhaps to the point that I would call it my dominant function. Still, is that Fi? And isn't Fi an INFP thing?
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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    Crying women scare me.

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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Crying women scare me.
    According to someone I live with who was once also frightened by crying women, you get used to it after you figure out it's not the end of the world.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  6. #6
    heart on fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Maybe what you're seeing as T is actually J? I don't feel very J because I don't like being nailed down and I resist finalizing stuff, but maybe I'm wrong about what J means.

    To me, the nostalgia/sentimentality stuff is what makes me think ISFJ. Things remind me of times in my past when I was happy (or not) and that's how I often relate to the world. Perhaps to the point that I would call it my dominant function. Still, is that Fi? And isn't Fi an INFP thing?
    I get hung up, side tracked and paralyzed by nostalgia and that makes me think it is tertitary thing for me, not really coming from Fi.

    I don't know if that helps you or not though.

    Edit to add: I rarely cry. I have only cried in front of two people in my whole life.

    I do get overwhelmed with emotion by music and lyrics. I will sit and listen to a song over and over and over and get a high off the emotion it gives me. It stimulates my creativity, makes my heart feel like it is soaring and expanding and in the right mood can achieve something like a religious experience type euphoria.

    The music more engenders in me a panorama of possiblities and thoughts, new perspectives on old issues.

  7. #7
    perdu fleur par bologne Martoon's Avatar
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    Being at that school, quite literally, shaped me into the person I am today.
    Quite literally, you say? What shape are you, exactly? Some type of Quaker shape, I assume.

    Okay, now that I'm done abusing you, an actual comment on your post.


    To me, that craving deep emotion, and being hit with a melancholy rush from certain sensory experiences, strikes me as a T characteristic.

    It's probably a little different for you, but I crave emotional depth because I'm so lousy at producing it myself. The inside of my mind, while being a pretty rich, complex place, also feels rather cold and sterile to me, to the extent that I get tired of it. So I tend to be drawn to uninhibited, very expressive things (and people, for that matter) sometimes. I also find myself being suddenly and unexpectedly moved by some things, often for reasons I don't completely understand. Not quite to the point of crying, but moving in that direction.

    For me, I'm sure this is all because I'm such an extreme T that I have a kind of void in that other part of my mind.

    Yours sounds a little different than this, but the way you describe craving emotion, and the way certain things dramatically move you, actually suggests a T leaning, IMO.
    I'm not a procrastinator. I'm a long-term planner.

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    A lot of your particular experience is tied up in the associations that the song has with everything from childhood experiences to present-day feelings about your mother.

    Some people here have said that associations can be tied up with Si (in that sensory perceptions like a smell or a taste can bring up a childhood experience very vividly). But I tend to think that the basic process of associations exists aside or apart from MBTI or functional considerations. It's simply one of the ways we generate trains of thoughts quickly and efficiently--for example, by linking a stimulus or experience to an emotion for quick retrieval.

    It's basically the way a dog "learns": they associate a stimulus with a positive or negative reaction. Pissing in the house = angry master. Certain smells signify friend and other smells signify enemy. Ringing food bell = salivate. As a result, an odor or a tone of voice can send them into transports of delight or despair.

    I suppose some types might be more liable to using (and trusting) associative thought paths than others. But like I say, it's such a fundamental thought mechanism that I find it hard to link it solely to one function.

    I love doing the associative thing myself. Music transports me back to specific times and experiences in my life. And reading the "Playdoh" thread instantly brought up old memories of the taste of Playdoh and playing with the stuff as a kid...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    According to someone I live with who was once also frightened by crying women, you get used to it after you figure out it's not the end of the world.
    I prefer not to stick around long enough to find out.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    A lot of your particular experience is tied up in the associations that the song has with everything from childhood experiences to present-day feelings about your mother.

    Some people here have said that associations can be tied up with Si (in that sensory perceptions like a smell or a taste can bring up a childhood experience very vividly). But I tend to think that the basic process of associations exists aside or apart from MBTI or functional considerations. It's simply one of the ways we generate trains of thoughts quickly and efficiently--for example, by linking a stimulus or experience to an emotion for quick retrieval.

    It's basically the way a dog "learns": they associate a stimulus with a positive or negative reaction. Pissing in the house = angry master. Certain smells signify friend and other smells signify enemy. Ringing food bell = salivate. As a result, an odor or a tone of voice can send them into transports of delight or despair.

    I suppose some types might be more liable to using (and trusting) associative thought paths than others. But like I say, it's such a fundamental thought mechanism that I find it hard to link it solely to one function.
    Isn't the cognitive function that this involves still Si, no matter who is using it or their type? Even though we all use it, it is still a product of a cognitive function, isn't it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Isn't the cognitive function that this involves still Si, no matter who is using it or their type? Even though we all use it, it is still a product of a cognitive function, isn't it?
    Put it this way: When it occurs unbidden, it's usually tied to a sensory experience (S). But there is usually also an emotional affect tied to it (F). In fact, it works best when tied to an emotion, because early in the evolutionary chain (and subsequently and more personally--in our own infantile stages of development) we made heavy use of emotion (fear, pleasure, anger) and sensory associations as our primary means of processing the world around us.

    But it can also be stimulated intellectually (perhaps in the sense of N? T?): For example word associations, Freudian associations, puns/wordplay/jokes, Rorschach tests, etc. Thinkers even talk about getting thrills of delight from contemplating mathematical formulas.

    Like I say, the associative mechanism is so basic and is used in so many forms that it's kind of hard to say it's related to one MBTI function alone. [Edit:] To me, that would be like saying that memory is related to one MBTI function alone. Use of sensory/emotional associations are our earliest and most infantile use of the associative mechanism; but that isn't our only use of that mechanism by any means.

    Just my opinion, of course.

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