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  1. #1
    darkened dreams Ravenetta's Avatar
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    Default Carl Jung describes Ni

    This is an important reference for understanding Ni
    He refers to the use of metaphor and certitude in process.

    It's entirely possible and realistic to live your life in such a way that you don't accidentally rape people.

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    darkened dreams Ravenetta's Avatar
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    The above video applies of course to both INTJ and INFJ, although there could be some feeling of it being more of an NF description. My theory about what happens in the INFJ description, what makes it so irregular, is that it is difficult to grasp Ni and to make meaningful sense of it, so some descriptions rely on Fe or Ti to describe the INFJ and just add a little Ni spice to the mix to show that it isn't exactly like an ISFJ or an INTP or ISTP. I suspect there is a tendency to want to broaden the category so it has more meaning as a personality option. If you hold it to exactly what Jung says, then it becomes more rare and loses meaning for most of us, because how many people know someone who has a "snake in their abdomen"? People who talk like that are considered possibly mentally ill, really off, and avoided and forgotten. I can see reason to broaden the category beyond what Jung describes, but what typically happens is that the concept of Ni gets mostly abandoned because it feels almost useless in getting a sense of how someone is going to behave. We can also ask if Jung's concept of the Ni-dom actually is too esoteric. Are there enough people like that to make it a meaningless category?

    I have a new friend who is an older lady (80 years old) who I think may be a classic example of a Ni-dom INFJ. She won't wear black because the "vibrational energy weighs her down too much". She is extremely right-brained and has zero aspects of what we often think of "J"s as being. She is the opposite of the Type A personality, she is entirely unstructured, but lives in this abstract world of metaphorical impressions.

    Anyway, this is worth discussing and finding out some opposing ideas about it.
    It's entirely possible and realistic to live your life in such a way that you don't accidentally rape people.

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    darkened dreams Ravenetta's Avatar
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    9. The Introverted Intuitive Type
    
The peculiar nature of introverted intuition, when given the priority, also produces a peculiar type of man, viz. the mystical dreamer and seer on the one hand, or the fantastical crank and artist on the other. The latter might be regarded as the normal case, since there is a general tendency of this type to confine himself to the perceptive character of intuition. As a rule, the intuitive stops at perception; perception is his principal problem, and -- in the case of a productive artist-the shaping of perception. But the crank contents himself with the intuition by which he himself is shaped and determined. Intensification of intuition naturally often results in an extraordinary aloofness of the individual from tangible reality; he may even become a complete enigma to his own immediate circle. [p. 509] 

If an artist, he reveals extraordinary, remote things in his art, which in iridescent profusion embrace both the significant and the banal, the lovely and the grotesque, the whimsical and the sublime. If not an artist, he is frequently an unappreciated genius, a great man 'gone wrong', a sort of wise simpleton, a figure for 'psychological' novels. 

Although it is not altogether in the line of the introverted intuitive type to make of perception a moral problem, since a certain reinforcement of the rational functions is required for this, yet even a relatively slight differentiation of judgment would suffice to transfer intuitive perception from the purely æsthetic into the moral sphere. A variety of this type is thus produced which differs essentially from its æsthetic form, although none the less characteristic of the introverted intuitive. The moral problem comes into being when the intuitive tries to relate himself to his vision, when he is no longer satisfied with mere perception and its æsthetic shaping and estimation, but confronts the question: What does this mean for me and for the world? What emerges from this vision in the way of a duty or task, either for me or for the world? The pure intuitive who represses judgment or possesses it only under the spell of perception never meets this question fundamentally, since his only problem is the How of perception. He, therefore, finds the moral problem unintelligible, even absurd, and as far as possible forbids his thoughts to dwell upon the disconcerting vision. It is different with the morally orientated intuitive. He concerns himself with the meaning of his vision; he troubles less about its further æsthetic possibilities than about the possible moral effects which emerge from its intrinsic significance. His judgment allows him to discern, though often only darkly, that he, as a man and as a totality, is in some way inter-related with his vision, that [p. 510] it is something which cannot just be perceived but which also would fain become the life of the subject. Through this realization he feels bound to transform his vision into his own life. But, since he tends to rely exclusively upon his vision, his moral effort becomes one-sided; he makes himself and his life symbolic, adapted, it is true, to the inner and eternal meaning of events, but unadapted to the actual present-day reality. Therewith he also deprives himself of any influence upon it, because he remains unintelligible. His language is not that which is commonly spoken -- it becomes too subjective. His argument lacks convincing reason. He can only confess or pronounce. His is the 'voice of one crying in the wilderness'. 

The introverted intuitive's chief repression falls upon the sensation of the object. His unconscious is characterized by this fact. For we find in his unconscious a compensatory extraverted sensation function of an archaic character. The unconscious personality may, therefore, best be described as an extraverted sensation-type of a rather low and primitive order. Impulsiveness and unrestraint are the characters of this sensation, combined with an extraordinary dependence upon the sense impression. This latter quality is a compensation to the thin upper air of the conscious attitude, giving it a certain weight, so that complete 'sublimation' is prevented. But if, through a forced exaggeration of the conscious attitude, a complete subordination to the inner perception should develop, the unconscious becomes an opposition, giving rise to compulsive sensations whose excessive dependence upon the object is in frank conflict with the conscious attitude. The form of neurosis is a compulsion-neurosis, exhibiting symptoms that are partly hypochondriacal manifestations, partly hypersensibility of the sense organs and partly compulsive ties to definite persons or other objects. [p. 511] 

Chapter 10 of Carl Gustav Jung's work "Psychological Types" (1921):
[ Web Source: Classics in the History of Psychology -- Jung (1921/1923) Chapter 10 ]
    It's entirely possible and realistic to live your life in such a way that you don't accidentally rape people.

  4. #4
    darkened dreams Ravenetta's Avatar
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    Here are some more questions: To what extent does historical and cultural context influence the expression of Ni? The elderly lady I mentioned is much closer to Jung's generation, so is she more likely to express it in the same terms as he describes? Now we live in an age of science and technology that dismisses "magical thinking" (unless tied to a structured religion), so would a Ni-dom express differently now?

    Also, what are the universal components that define a function and what are the context specific components. Si involves mapping concrete experience as an internal point of reference, but those experiences are as varied as culture and individual. How many fundamentally different versions of Ni are possible? What core attributes define it as a category? Will everyone see distinct metaphorical expressions of internal processes like the lady with the "snake in her abdomen"?
    It's entirely possible and realistic to live your life in such a way that you don't accidentally rape people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by labyrinthine View Post
    Here are some more questions: To what extent does historical and cultural context influence the expression of Ni? The elderly lady I mentioned is much closer to Jung's generation, so is she more likely to express it in the same terms as he describes? Now we live in an age of science and technology that dismisses "magical thinking" (unless tied to a structured religion), so would a Ni-dom express differently now? Also, what are the universal components that define a function and what are the context specific components. Si involves mapping concrete experience as an internal point of reference, but those experiences are as varied as culture and individual. How many fundamentally different versions of Ni are possible? What core attributes define it as a category? Will everyone see distinct metaphorical expressions of internal processes like the lady with the "snake in her abdomen"?
    The short answer (I do want to get more in-depth but time doesn't permit currently) I don't think culture affects the act of inner perception, rather the contents of the perception, which would be unique to the individual.

    I believe Jung also said intuition is communicated through sensation, thinking and/or feeling, but is none of them.
    So an Ni Dom would not necessarily just 'see' a metaphoric image (sensation) but could be aware of a thought or feeling communicating the unconscious material/possibility.


    The other aspect of these metaphoric images, they aren't literally seen. They are seen in the mind's eye. Being internal it comes down to whether the individual wants to communicate them directly or not. Just like whether someone tells you what emotion they are experiencing.
    I think the expression commonly seen would be more how they orient themselves/life around these perceptions. Especially when an image has profound meaning or a future prediction.
    The concrete action is seen (what they do about their perception) which could be expressed in a number of different ways and could be affected by culture/their environment.
    (And that's if they choose to do something about it :P)
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  6. #6
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Beebe's new book Energies and Patterns in Psychological Type gives good snaphots of Jung's teachings on the subject:

    In describing the Ni-Si tandem, we get some good descriptions of Ni. It “trusts one’s own interpretation of what is real, fundamental, and of lasting importance over what others may see and think”. He quotes from Henderson on the difference between the two functions: “Introverted intuition perceives the variety and the possibility for development of the inner images, whereas introverted sensing perceives the specific image which defines the psychic activity that needs immediate attention”. (emphasis added). Extraverted intuition is shortly afterward described as spotting “the still unrealized possibilities in things”

    Ne/Ni difference: “seeing possibilities in what was consciously shared with me that others might never have imagined”.
    “Look[ing] at the big picture of the unconscious where the gestalts that moved nations, religions and epochs lay, even in the midst of apparently individual experience” (p.31)

    “unconscious images acquire the dignity of things” (Jung). It naturally “apprehends the images rising from the a priori inherited foundations of the unconscious” (where Ne’s images arise from looking at objects), and thus rather than thinking about, experimentally comparing, or feeling the archetype that arises in relation to a situation, Ni “becomes directly aware of the archetype as an image, as if ‘seeing’ it”. Later, (p.184, citing Jung) it “peers behind the scenes, quickly perceiving the inner image”, and is “directed to the inner image”, and observes “how the picture changes, unfolds and finally fades” (and is the consciousness most consistently devalued in contemporary Western culture).

    It also helps to take this in context of what he says about introversion in general:
    (Beebe citing Psychological Types): dependence “on the idea, which shields him from external reality and gives him the feeling of inner freedom”. The term “idea” is used to “express the meaning of a primordial image, that is to say, an archetype. An introverted function, therefore, is one that has turned away from the object and toward the archetypal ‘idea’ that the object might be closely matched to.
    This archetypal idea, residing in the inner world, can be understood as a profound thought, a value, a metaphorical image, or a model of reality”.

    To translate: an 'image' of “true/false” (T), “good/bad” (F), an image itself (N; i.e. “an image of an image“, and there we see Ni’s “meta-perspective”!), or “what is” (S).
    When orienting something external, “it is in the end, the comparison to the archetype, not the stimulating object of situation itself, [this will be what Ne is driven by] that finally commands the attention of the function".
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    Very, very thought-provoking (OK, I was going to type "disturbing" but I chose to water it down!). Jung cites pure examples of the dominant functions and you don't come across many of them in everyday life. Introverted Intuition is probably more in thrall to the auxiliary function than other types and before hearing about the snake lady I would have said this was a good thing, but now I'm on much shakier ground! There really is no use for introverted intuitives in Modern Western society, which of course makes them all the more necessary. Lenore Thomson had a passage in her book advising Ni doms to urgently find a way to express what was inside of themselves that I always read as the standard "be more extroverted" sort of nonsense but of course that's not what she meant at all. I'll just add, kind of as a half-response to Labyrinthine's 80-year-old friend example, that although Type experts claim that mature development involves engaging more and more with the non-dominant functions, I'm finding that after years of using my non-dominant functions to try to be a "normal" person, I'm going the other way and trying to honor introverted intuition, which I thought I was enjoying immensely. Once in a while I encounter my own personal snake lady and I'll explore it for a while -- but take it seriously? That's terrifying!
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  8. #8
    one way trip Abendrot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labyrinthine View Post
    9. The Introverted Intuitive Type
    yet even a relatively slight differentiation of judgment would suffice to transfer intuitive perception from the purely æsthetic into the moral sphere. A variety of this type is thus produced which differs essentially from its æsthetic form, although none the less characteristic of the introverted intuitive. The moral problem comes into being when the intuitive tries to relate himself to his vision, when he is no longer satisfied with mere perception and its æsthetic shaping and estimation,
    A wild theory of mine is that the moral ideal is an archetype embedded in the collective unconscious, and this ideal can be perceived through the aesthetic sense, which is why different cultures tend to converge on similar aesthetics and morals.

    Quote Originally Posted by labyrinthine View Post
    The unconscious personality may, therefore, best be described as an extraverted sensation-type of a rather low and primitive order. Impulsiveness and unrestraint are the characters of this sensation, combined with an extraordinary dependence upon the sense impression. This latter quality is a compensation to the thin upper air of the conscious attitude, giving it a certain weight, so that complete 'sublimation' is prevented
    Could it be that there is a connection between the archetypes of the collective unconscious and the unconscious and evocative images produced by Ni? Could it be that Ni-Se axis is a funnel from the sublimated collective unconscious into the outside world?
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  9. #9
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labyrinthine View Post
    The above video applies of course to both INTJ and INFJ, although there could be some feeling of it being more of an NF description. My theory about what happens in the INFJ description, what makes it so irregular, is that it is difficult to grasp Ni and to make meaningful sense of it, so some descriptions rely on Fe or Ti to describe the INFJ and just add a little Ni spice to the mix to show that it isn't exactly like an ISFJ or an INTP or ISTP. I suspect there is a tendency to want to broaden the category so it has more meaning as a personality option. If you hold it to exactly what Jung says, then it becomes more rare and loses meaning for most of us, because how many people know someone who has a "snake in their abdomen"? People who talk like that are considered possibly mentally ill, really off, and avoided and forgotten. I can see reason to broaden the category beyond what Jung describes, but what typically happens is that the concept of Ni gets mostly abandoned because it feels almost useless in getting a sense of how someone is going to behave. We can also ask if Jung's concept of the Ni-dom actually is too esoteric. Are there enough people like that to make it a meaningless category?

    I have a new friend who is an older lady (80 years old) who I think may be a classic example of a Ni-dom INFJ. She won't wear black because the "vibrational energy weighs her down too much". She is extremely right-brained and has zero aspects of what we often think of "J"s as being. She is the opposite of the Type A personality, she is entirely unstructured, but lives in this abstract world of metaphorical impressions.

    Anyway, this is worth discussing and finding out some opposing ideas about it.
    A lot of arty farty people talk like this. My ISFP step-dad and I can have conversations resembling this way of communicating.

    It may also be cultural. My grandma will roughly translate stuff like this from Spanish, and it sounds dramatic in English, but in Spanish it is a normal way to talk.

    Many idioms have this kind of flavor too. I suspect NFs introduce these metaphors as ways explain things that normal language can't capture.

    And yes, I think it is more of an NF thing cuz I see NFPs talk this way all the time. The older friend you have may fit NFP descriptions pretty well...

    As for Jung's take being too esoteric, I think that is true of almost all of his descriptions.

    As for it being useless for getting a sense of behavior - that is also the case with all the introverted functions and why the auxiliary is seen as a kind of "face" and why the P/J dichotomy (arguably the most behavioral) is based on the extroverted preference.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily Bart View Post
    Very, very thought-provoking (OK, I was going to type "disturbing" but I chose to water it down!). Jung cites pure examples of the dominant functions and you don't come across many of them in everyday life. Introverted Intuition is probably more in thrall to the auxiliary function than other types and before hearing about the snake lady I would have said this was a good thing, but now I'm on much shakier ground! There really is no use for introverted intuitives in Modern Western society, which of course makes them all the more necessary. Lenore Thomson had a passage in her book advising Ni doms to urgently find a way to express what was inside of themselves that I always read as the standard "be more extroverted" sort of nonsense but of course that's not what she meant at all. I'll just add, kind of as a half-response to Labyrinthine's 80-year-old friend example, that although Type experts claim that mature development involves engaging more and more with the non-dominant functions, I'm finding that after years of using my non-dominant functions to try to be a "normal" person, I'm going the other way and trying to honor introverted intuition, which I thought I was enjoying immensely. Once in a while I encounter my own personal snake lady and I'll explore it for a while -- but take it seriously? That's terrifying!
    Could you tell me what Lenore meant then?

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