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NiSe and SeNi: My Explanation


New member
Jun 28, 2021
Instinctual Variant
This write-up reflects my current understanding of NiSe and SeNi. The main source of inspiration comes from Jung. In the following sections, I’m going to explain how these two work together, what it is like to have NiSe or vice versa, and their major differences.

Should new data come up, this piece will likely be revised. Unless otherwise noted, all represent original thinking.
I hope it will help clear some confusion regarding Ni and Se.

Definitions: here, "Ni dom" is used interchangeably with "Ni types". "Conscious Ni" or "strong Ni" means Ni as the dominant function. In this case, Ni is fully conscious and independent. In the cases where Ni is the auxiliary function, Ni will play an assisting role to the dominant, thus it tends to be weaker and more dependent on the dominant function.

My basic assumption is that every human cognitive activity is conducted with a combination of functions. In other words, no cognitive activity is completed by a single function alone. Ni and Se are not completely separate and always work in coordination.

Following this assumption, Ni and Se form an integral perceiving process. In reality, they are in a cooperative relationship. The strengthening of Ni might also lead to a corresponding strengthening of Se, and vice versa. In other words, in order to develop stronger Ni, one has to improve their Se simultaneously. Seeing them as mutually exclusive indicates a misunderstanding more or less.

Jung has explained the individual functions very clearly, so I’m not going to repeat what he has written. Below I offer my own interpretation of this cognitive process of Ni-Se, from a lay perspective.

Before we begin, it is necessary to clarify some misconceptions. In particular, what Ni is not.
  1. Ni is not imagination. Any type is capable of that. One does not have to have Ni in order to be imaginative. In fact, a vivid imagination with stories and/or details is more often an indication of active Si and Ne in coordination. A typical example of SiNe imagination in full swing is the Book of Revelation in the Bible.
  2. Ni is not abstract thinking. Any type is capable of thinking in an abstract sense. Abstract thinking is more of a product of judging (thinking in particular) functions, Te or Ti, working together with either sensation or intuition.
  3. Ni is not hallucination. It is not about seeing things that do not exist in reality. It is not about surreal or paranormal experiences. It is not about hearing voices. Nor is it about seeing usual objects in unusual shapes. Ni does not mean psychotic episodes.
  4. Ni is not equal to long-term planning. All types can be forward-looking and while Ni can help one understand more deeply and see further into the future, it is not about making plans for the far future. Planning is an activity jointly carried out by a combination of various functions. Any type can be excellent at planning.
  5. Ni is not exactly the same as aha-moments. I guess this popular interpretation of Ni is meant to help people understand Ni in an easier way. Any type can have Aha! moments, sometimes more, sometimes less. In other words, Ni is not the function solely responsible for generating the Aha! moments.
  6. Ni is not the same as dreams or the act of dreaming. People without conscious Ni can still (day)dream a lot. Sometimes Ni revelations are reflected in dreams, but the dreams themselves are not Ni, but can be seen as Ni messages.
  7. Ni is not about reading people’s minds. Although high Ni may result in psychic powers or supernatural abilities, not every Ni type can automatically see what is on the mind of everyone around them.
About NiSe (dominant Ni):

This process is not quite the same as “filling gaps”. In some online tests, NiSe is described more or less as a process where you know something intuitively and find missing information in the external reality, thus filling the gaps - the missing information. Not quite like that, in my understanding. The NiSe perceiving process seems less linear (as in a historical sense) nor is it overtly causal (as in logical causality).

Se, simply put, is about “what is out there”. Its focus is always on the external world, in the present tense. Se gives people the sense of living in the moment, the “right now”, the “current, ongoing” reality.

Ni, on the other hand, is about internal realizations, revelations, understandings, principles, universal truth, etc. Ni messages tend to be highly abstract and difficult to explain or describe in words.

How do Ni and Se work together? For the Ni-dom, it goes like this: they see what is out there, and inside their minds, in the mindscape, they come to realize something, which goes beyond what is there in the current reality, penetrates through time and space, and arrives at something fundamental and general. This process is an integral one without gaps. The external object serves as a trigger leading to the revelations, understandings, realizations, and in the broadest sense, what is universal, timeless, and true. What does Ni do in this process then? Ni leads to that realization but without leaving a trace behind. That is why for the Ni dom, understanding something often comes relatively easy but to explain it would require quite an effort.

Ni messages stay in the mindscape of the Ni dom, so it is purely internal and can hardly be noticed by the outside observer if the Ni dom does not reveal it. To the Ni dom, the external object captured by Se is like an epitome of universal truth, and the ultimate destination is that truth. Thus, the external object is perceived but assigned little importance. To the Ni dom, it comes naturally for them to realize something deep behind what they experience at the moment.

This means that the Ni dom’s internal mindscape can keep changing without leaving a visible trace to the outside observer. Suppose that the world has reached the end of time and time has stopped for everyone. In this situation, the external reality stays roughly the same, but not the Ni dom’s mind. If everything outside remains the same, the Ni dom’s mindscape can still undergo dynamic changes, as one realization after another becomes known to them. Put differently, even if the entire outside world has stopped, the Ni mind might not. It may keep changing, and the changes happen inside. While everything external remains the same, the Ni dom has completed an internal transformation.

Following this, it seems not hard to imagine that the Ni dom can often be a highly contemplative person. They might not actively practice meditation, but they might realize something every moment, every day. The Ni dom lives in the world but often plays the role of an observer, thus not of the world. They can be described as above the world because they have the ability to see through things and pursue what is universal, principal, fundamental, and true.

In the above explanation, I specifically used the verb “see”, but Se is not only about seeing. It is about experiencing the current and ongoing external reality with all your senses.

An Ni dom who is blind can still realize internal changes through NiSe, it’s just that they don’t have to see, but still, they can experience the world with Se, through other senses. This also applies to an Se dom, however, in this case, being blind perhaps has a more negative impact on their pursuit of the fullest sensory experiences due to the loss of vision.

About SeNi (dominant Se):

Conversely, the Se dom wants to have the closest contact with the external world and to experience everything to the fullest extent and all the time, making the best use of all their senses. Thus, the Se dom is constantly looking for new tangible experiences and opportunities to be more involved with the outside world. The primary focus of Se is on the present, what is out there, and what is being sensed right now. The Se dom can be restless and intensely curious, and any new sensory experience can be exciting to them. They live out their lives vividly and actively through constant engagement with the external reality. The Ni is generally suppressed by them. The primary focus on the external reality and the present means that they tend not to pay special attention to what is suggested, inferred, implied, indicated, etc. They tend to take things as they come and accept them as they are, without taking much time to ponder on a deeper meaning.

Different from the Ni dom, the Se dom can be athletic, vivid, active, restless, sociable, and constantly on the go. Without new sensory experience from the outside, they are likely going to get bored and look for anything exciting.

Which type is more realistic? NiSe or SeNi?

It depends on what it means by being realistic. The Ni dom, while usually immersed in highly abstract messages and complex inner realizations, cannot be seen as unrealistic because they see through things. They know the principles behind things, thus they tend to have a better grasp of reality because they are able to reach the essence of it. In this sense, the Ni dom can be said as highly realistic, as they are able to know without having tangible experiences. They are able to predict, based on Ni messages, what will happen next. The prediction can possess a certain degree of accuracy (although it may not be absolutely correct every time.). In contrast, it seems much easier to understand how an Se dom can be realistic, due to their constant active engagement with the outside world.

What is Ni after all?

It is very difficult to explain in words. For the best explanation of Ni, see Jung’s Psychological Types. Ni is very intangible and what an Ni type often gets is the messages sent by Ni. Ni can be described as an invisible messenger. You can say that high Ni, in a healthy mind, suggests wisdom. If you have high Ni, you will know it. It is part of your mind.

I hope you find this article interesting and helpful. Thanks for reading.

Indigo Rodent

Active member
Apr 4, 2019
The problem is that according to Dario Nardi, any type can do basic use of functions.

On his old site he described basic use of Ni as:
Receive "ah-ha" insights and realizations.
And advanced use as:
Persue a greater level of awareness to transform who you are and how you think.