# Thread: S/N as Space/Time Awareness

1. ## S/N as Space/Time Awareness

Decided that the best way to frame the perception perspectives is simply

S=SPACE
N=TIME

Where S was said by Jung to “register reality as real" or cover "what is", N was connected to time; "where it's heading". This does not explicitly mention space for S, but when you think of it, all sensory perception is spatial. We see or hear waves that come to us through space, smell particles that flat to us through space, and touch and taste things we reach out through space and take. This occurs in time as well, but all the perceived objects are experienced through space. Time is where occurs the "idea" of them.
Like you can have a tangible unit like a building or even our bodies, but if every part (or our cells) are replaced one by one, then is it still the same material? What passes down through time is really an "idea" that the tangible "here and now" parts simply make up instant by instant. Matter itself may actually be waveforms that transfer from one string to another as the forces of acceleration or inertia "push" all the energy of the string from one location to the next, relative to other objects. The best way to think of this is a moving image on a screen of pixels. Nothing's actually "moving" except an "image", conveying, essentially, an "idea" programmed into the electronic circuits. Again, functions are by nature "mixed together" or "undifferentiated in reality, and only separated out by our consciousness.
Hence, both S and N are involved in these examples. But to divide them, S is the spatial (random access) aspect, while N is the sequential (causative) aspect.

So, "What is" refers to what is sitting there in space, while what "could be" implies a time element; what could take on a tangible shape in the future, or even what could have been, in the past.

So now, to factor in the attitudes, extraversion deals in the "environment", while introversion is about the individual. Both space and time consist of linear "dimensions", of biploar "directions", by which every conscious entity immersed in it divides reality. (and I've been expressing the functions and attitudes themselves as divisions of reality). Space has three (randomly accessible, again), and time has one, which is one way.

So Se is basically what you experience in the immediate environment, as you look out into any of the three dimensions of space. Again, the visual and audial waves, olfactory particles, and gustatory and tactile contact.

Si is the same spatial data, but stored individually in memory.

So Ne then involves what you experience when following the chain of occurrences when looking through the dimension of time. Its inferences occur along this time line. Hence, what "could" happen. Also, following past patterns, and continuing their trajectories to get a sense of what will happen. (Of course, things can change, and so Ne remains "open").

So then Ni (what I devised all of this to continue to try to get a better understanding of and way of expressing) also looks at the dimension of time, but its inferences do not come from the timeline, but rather from the individual, which is the unconscious. This is the domain of the "archetypal" (images that are collective, and not tied directly to our external experience), and what do we often describe archetypal images as? "Timeless"! (meaning pervasive through time; not on our individual timeline of experience).

The way this was once described to me, was that while N overall dealt with patterns that can be abstracted from one situation to give meaning to another; Ne attempts to understand a situation (or otherwise disparate external elements) in terms of a pattern (a larger arrangement that give them meaning; and also "stored in memory"), while Ni begins with and looks outside of the pattern (the existing arrangement of elements) and infers what's being left out; what it doesn't it into account.

This was helping me get a better understanding of the difference, but for some reason wasn't totally clicking. Me, in my Ti fashion, needed a better system of parallel, like S, T and F all handle the same things (tangible, mechanical and anthropic or "soul"-related), but the "e" attitude determines what "is", is "true" or is "good" from the environment, while the "i" attitudes determines them from within the individual.
The obvious word I took notice of for N was "pattern", and it was tempting to simply define "N=patterns". But I held off from that, because for one thing, "patterns" could be sensory as well, such as a "pattern" on a fabric, or music. (Actually, these, especially the latter, are timelike as well as spatial/tangible, and with visual patterns, you can think of them as timelike, in it requires time to compare one part to another and see the markings look the same).
Also, because I thought the general N description, and Ne sounded similar: involving comparing one thing to another. And Ne dealt directly with the external pattern, making me think then that Ni was inferring from a "subjective pattern" (and I think I had at that point said that here). But instead, it looks "outside" a pattern. So what really was the common "element" that tied both attitudes of iNtuition? It's clearly not the "pattern". If anything, it made Ne sound internal ("patterns stored in memory", which also makes one think of Si) and Ni sound external ("outside the pattern").

So upon reading Beebe's book, where he pointed out Jung associated N specifically with time, that got me thinking more about it. Space and time together to make make sort of a partial "trinity" reflection, with space compared to the "Son" who appeared physically in space, and the "Spirit" who afterward came over the time since, to indwell man. I for some reason had not directly associated S with "space", because I realized time was involved as well. But just in the past few days, "trying on the idea", it really fits!

Ne's patterns "stored in memory" by which it actually does its looking down through the dimension of time is precisely what makes it work with its opposite tandem mate, Si. Hence, both are associated in the new "Intentional Styles" model, with "Inquiring"; which is basically going mentally through time to access previous spatial experience.
Se's immediate space orientation then works with Ni's immediate "outside the pattern" awareness, and hence are called "Realizing".

Since all of science (including psychology) realizes naturally that we deal in space and time (in addition to impersonal mechanics, and personal affect), putting for the functions in these terms (again, one or the other preferred by our divisions of reality) would have a better chance of proving the theory is not some pseudoscience or ridiculous idea like astrology.

2. I like this idea of N being related to time and S being related to space. However, the one issue I have with your write-up is that it relies on the idea of Si being related to memory (as opposed to the present, future, or timeless experience), which is a phenomenon unique to MBTI only. It can not be found in either Socionics or Jung's original writings. According to Sociotype.com, the Socionics version of Si is more related to the present than the past:

Si is associated with the ability to internalize sensations and to experience them in full detail. Si focuses on tangible, direct (external) connections (introverted) between processes (dynamic) happening in one time, i.e. the physical, sensual experience of interactions between objects. This leads to an awareness of internal tangible physical states and how various physical fluctuations or substances are directly transferred between objects, such as motion, temperature, or dirtiness. The awareness of these tangible physical processes consequently leads to an awareness of health, or an optimum balance with one's environment. The individual physical reaction to concrete surroundings is main way we perceive and define aesthetics, comfort, convenience, and pleasure.
Additionally, Jung's original description of the Introverted Sensing type in Psychological Types is much more unusual and esoteric, actually displaying some similarities to MBTI's Ni:

Above all, his development estranges him from the reality of the object, handing him over to his subjective perceptions, which orientate his consciousness in accordance with an archaic reality, although his deficiency in comparative judgment keeps him wholly unaware of this fact. Actually he moves in a mythological world, where men animals, railways, houses, rivers, and mountains appear partly as benevolent deities and partly as malevolent demons. That thus they, appear to him never enters his mind, although their effect upon his judgments and acts can bear no other interpretation. 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. If his tendency is to reason objectively, he will sense this difference as morbid; but if, on the other hand, he remains faithful to his irrationality, and is prepared to grant his sensation reality value, the objective world will appear a mere make-belief and a comedy. Only in extreme cases, however, is this dilemma reached. As a rule, the individual acquiesces in his isolation and in the banality of the reality, which, however, he unconsciously treats archaically.
Here we have three very different versions of Si: Jung, Socionics and MBTI. Jung associates Si with internal consciousness, Socionics associates it with the present, and MBTI associates it with the past. Both Jung and Socionics emphasize the irrational (perceiving) nature of the Si type, as opposed to MBTI, which associates it with a rational (judging, specifically SJ) nature. These different definitions of the Si function have a rippling effect on the rest of the system, so you may want to consider the implications these differences might have on your theory. Once again though, excellent write-up. I look forward to reading more from you.

3. I've tried to avoid the common misconception that Si=“memory”, but still, because it is internal, the data it draws on is largely from memory. And yes, stuff like awareness of internal body sensations, though immediate, are considered Si. But even with them, the whole point is that they too are stored in memory, so that when a sensation occurs, those aware are unconsciously comparing with previous instances, to realize somathing is not right, or whatever.

Plus, it's not just Si that deals in memory, but also the Ne working with it.

Here are some more points I meant to add:

Examples of N=time: typology; patterns of behavior observed through time.

numbers: represent hypothetical sensate objects in space (like if we see three groups of three items, and we know the total is really nine things sitting in space), but when we begin representing them with numerals and operator symbols, we have turned them into ideas that only work through time.

Forgot to mention Bruzon (“Fundamental Nature of MBTI”) description of N as the “motion” component (represented as a whole grid) while S was the “static” objects on the grid

4. I believe what led some researchers to make a connection between "memory" and Si is an over-simplification of the Jungian concept of the unconscious in general.

Essentially, the Jungian model of the unconscious can be thought of as having two major divisions:

(a) the personal unconscious, which is all the accumulated information over a subject's lifespan, including genetic information and biological foundations specific to the subject (including species)
(b) and, the collective unconscious, which is all the accumulated information that has no correlation with any individual subject's lifespan in particular, and with no implicit set of genetics or biology.

The first category is contingent on the passage of time to some extent, as we have a set of "built-in" features exposed to life which evolve over a long period. In a sense "memory" works here, but only in a vague sense and not a very accurate one in my opinion.

The second category is far enough into the abstract as to have no conceptual basis in time or space at all. Such information is sufficiently "archetypal" as to border on mystical, instead representing the primordial "containers" or "shapes" of all concepts a priori, the foundations of every thought or representation of anything belonging to category (a).

To give further example of what I mean by primordial shapes and archetypes, consider the relationship of arithmetic to algebra. Within arithmetic you work with real numbers that serve to demonstrate the result of various mathematical operations. By adding 2 and 2 we get 4. However, to understand this operation in its purest form, you abstract away from the numbers and are left with X + Y = Z. This formula represents the "primordial shape" of "addition." It is like a Jungian archetype, because it exists as a principle which encompasses all possible specific forms it could take (i.e., you can substitute X and Y and Z for anything you want and the formula still applies).

Therefore, when attempting to understand the essence of introverted functions, it helps to imagine that they have two layers: the personal, and the abstract, with the personal being information belonging to category (a) and the abstract being information belonging to category (b). The total information being processed and/or generated by each introverted function would possess aspects of both kinds of information, and so not necessarily correlate with "memory" in the case of category (b) specifically, and only vaguely with "memory" in the case of category (a).

5. Originally Posted by Eric B
Plus, it's not just Si that deals in memory, but also the Ne working with it.
How would you say memory works in an NJ or SP?

6. Originally Posted by Straylight
The first category is contingent on the passage of time to some extent, as we have a set of "built-in" features exposed to life which evolve over a long period. In a sense "memory" works here, but only in a vague sense and not a very accurate one in my opinion.

The second category is far enough into the abstract as to have no conceptual basis in time or space at all. Such information is sufficiently "archetypal" as to border on mystical, instead representing the primordial "containers" or "shapes" of all concepts a priori, the foundations of every thought or representation of anything belonging to category (a).
This reminds me of Agnes Pentocz's distinction between "metaphor" and "true symbolism" in Freudian theory:

7. Originally Posted by Zeego
How would you say memory works in an NJ or SP?
They have memory just like anyone else (which is why remembering something is not “using Si”; at least not in any necessarily differentiated sense), but for them it is not as tied to the specific complexes that make it a bit more relevant for the Inquiring (Si/Ne) types.

8. Socionics has something like this -- static vs dynamic, where iP/eJ are dynamic. However, probably the idea there should be seen as different, in that I don't tend to see static as space-oriented, so much as time-LESS.

It still meshes with some of your stuff in the sense that N will always involve potential, but the way they do it, Ne is static potential, so yes it's referencing time, but not referencing an "unfolding" so much as the potential for unfolding.

This is not Jung's interpretation, it's mine, but I like to think of there being an association with Jung's stuff in the following sense: if Ni is oriented most directly to the archetypes of the collective unconscious, you can think Ni's description in terms of changing potential by the fact that Ni tries to directly perceive the archetypes, but where this is impossible, hence what can be seen is a shadow that morphs. Vs by projecting the archetype to objects, you can maybe view it in terms of a static/unchanging form.

9. That "Static" and "dynamic" is obviously different from what I'm talking about. I had heard of it a while ago. Others are pointing out elsewhere (including the Ni thread where I mentioned this) that Socionics directly ties S/N to space/time.

More points:

I had begun using the term “implications”/"inferences”, in addition to “conceptual”, “ideational”, “mental constructs”, “filling in”, "intangible" etc.; and implications and inferences point through time (which is intangible in the moment) via the mental ideation and constructing and filling in processes used to become aware of them.

“The big picture” also, is in practice timelike, as it's something that “comes together" or basically revealed in time.
Ni deals with an existing "big picture" by "filling it in from the images of the unconscious. Ne forms its sense of the "big picture" by putting together the "objective" patterns, stored in memory, filling in the patterns with fitting elements of each other. Both the "putting together" and "memory" are technically "internal", to the "subject", which is what made this confusing; but it is in the dimension of time, not space, that they are external objects!
So about Ne sounding like N in general; N can be described as grasping a pattern that two otherwise disparate situations have in common, and gambles that the new situation is going to operate in the same general way as the one already known. First, here we see the clear time element; the predictive sense; based on "patterns" that themselves deal in some kind of "motion" (change) that is not necessarily spatial. Both Ne and Ni do this, but Ne simply looks along time at the motion component (whether temporal, spatial, or just mental) of the pattern to make the "guess", while Ni references the archetypal images to gain something more like a "hunch".

As Ni looks "outside the pattern" to access the unconscious, Si could likewise be seen as looking "outside the immediate environment" to access the stored images of experienced tangible reality.

10. Have you seen this video, Eric? I don't necessarily agree with what the host is saying, but it seems related to (if somewhat different from) what you're saying. Thought you might find it interesting.

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