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Various Typological and Life experience thoughts

September 6, 2014

Sensing and iNtuition and people’s value

Tangible/intangible (S/N) extends to people, who are both tangible bodies, as well as intangible ideas or concepts. The term “person” means “presence” or “mask” in a play. A person’s “influence” can spread way beyond their location in space (where they are now) or time (their lifespan). Internally, they can be thought of as a collection of memories that builds their sense of identity.
The tangible body is the most easy part to recognize and “locate”, so it often becomes what’s used to define the person. It’s also the most vulnerable, being easy to destroy, and the rest of the “person” is dependent on it to maintain recognition as a person, and communication with the rest of us, at least in this universe of physical space and time. (And even with “faith”, there’s still an element of uncertainty as to what happens after we die).

Women, for instance, want to be accepted for the concept of who they are (subject) rather than strictly the tangible body (object). On the flipside, this can start by realizing that they are tangible creatures whose bodies have a tangible purpose (their physical life, and the gender specific organs for reproduction), and not just the conceptual images (of attraction, conquest, etc.) men project onto them.

Thinking and Feeling and true justice

Introverted Thinking (Ti) favors a symmetrical tit for tat system of justice, where for every action, there is a reaction. This is what the “when every sin is judged” idea of divine justice as promised by futurist Christianity appealed to when I first became a Christian.
Yet after awhile, especially when my tolerance of problems seemed to wear even thinner (and some of them seemed to get even worse, making me feel totally dehumanized in life), this sense started coming up, that this would “justify” the initial offense. In other words, if the end is “good”, then “the end justifies the means”. This is often suggested by those trying to teach “hope” in suffering. “God is doing it [or at least “allowing” it] for a good purpose”. They often put it forth in an impersonal, “matter of fact” way.

But this violates a more “personal” or “humane” (F) perspective (which naturally tries to gain the attention of the ego as it develops), that says people should be treated in certain ways simply because it’s “right”, and the end does not justify the means. You can’t always undo some evil by covering it up with some good. (And such a philosophy will often encourage people to do evil and buy their way out of any culpability).


The dominant functional perspective leads me to expect the world to act according to internal sense of logic, especially as it directly affects me. When I see someone else experiencing some setback that brings back a painful memory for me (or even something hypothetical I might fear happening), I “personally identify” with them (whether they feel as strongly about it or not). This is the definition of Fi, but I’m not really “using” the function in any differentiated sense. It is not necessarily a “daemon” constellation, or even a right brain “crow’s nest”, (though enough one-sidedness of the dominant demand for logic, or emotional trauma associated with the memories, might trigger those things. It may be something that stemmed from the younger period when the Crow’s Nests responses were natually more common; but then later on, the tertiary is used more instead).

Less differentiated forms of T/F products

The world operates from a legalistic sense of “give and take”, or expense and benefit. (“transactional” view as opposed to “transformational”, and would also represent a lopsided undifferentiated “T” perspective; i.e. not specific to Thinking types and the conscious T decisions they make).
There’s a saying I’m seeing going around “Power isn’t given, it’s taken”. To “take” power is counted as “expense”, or “delayed gratification”, that is rewarded with benefit later on; no matter how bountiful it may be.
To fail to rise up and “take” power is assumed to be undelayed gratification, and so the supposed “path of least resistance” taken is presumed to be the “benefit”, then to be followed by the “expense” of living on the bottom of the ladder.

What people who seem to believe this ignore, is the role of factors such as personality type (where the act of “taking power” comes more naturally to the ego, and thus IS more of a kind of “gratification” than a real “challenge”), as well as simple fate, meaning being in the right place at the right time; having the ability, etc. (like as an extreme example, if you were mentally challenged, you would not have been able to make the achievements you can claim).

If the truth be known, people are not as much the masters of their own destiny as they think.
This parallels the religious concept of “works-righteousness” versus grace.


The negative sense of “destruction” in the universe (and thus, the whole “power” issue) stems from the value we put in things (undifferentiated F). Like we may see a black hole rip up a star and fling the planets into darkness, and we subconsciously put ourselves in that place and imagine it happening to our solar system. Since we depend on it for our existence, it conveys a very negative sense of “destruction”. The same with animals devouring one another, which is even closer to home.
We realize this is simply the laws of the universe at work (where the more energy something has, including through more mass, the more it can affect other objects) and then put this all together into an overall principle of “the strong survive”, which people then use to justify the actions of themselves or institutions they identify with, or to trash the physical universe as “fallen” and in need of replacement with a new universe.

But it’s really our own perception, as the Fall account shows (i.e. “who told you you were naked?”)

This raises the question of what the ideal “unfallen” perspective is like? Would we value anything in the world, sinc that seems to be the source of [emotional] pain? Or would we be able to just shrug and say “oh, well” whenever things are destroyed, including other people? Or, we would feel the pain, but it wouldn’t effect us as it does now? (I guess it really is all about the guilt).

  1. Difference in S/N perspectives and “life”

    N (change to what could): all about the “story”; reality threatens this. Try to change reality to match or “live out” story.
    But reality, governed by fixed natural “laws”, often can’t be changed; at least not as much as desired.

    S (exploit what is): all about “reality”; “stories” (our “thinking”) threatens our perception of reality. Try to change the “stories” (our thinking) to match reality so that we “think positively”.
    But these “stories” don’t go away, and are simply forced into the shadow, where they erupt, and the person’s “attitude” or behavior ends up ultimately no better than the person frustrated from trying to change reality.

    In my view (N)

    The tangible world is based on physical energy, vibrating in several different dimensions of “event displacement”; three are random access (you can move back and forth between the coordinates), and one is strictly sequential (you can only “pass by” each coordinate point once), along which a process called entropy guides nature. This pushes matter toward a less “organized” state, and once something is “broken” from a more organized state, it’s very hard, if not impossible to restore it to exactly the way it was. When it comes to more complex living creatures, “death” is final. Many other actions (such as missed opportunities, most injuries, etc.) are also “final”.

    So the tangible world is full of irreversible elements, and what’s done is done, and can’t be undone. So as S’s often say “it IS what it IS”. We can only adapt to the changes, and at best try to patch up the physical items or systems that we consider “broken”, but it will be at best, a weaker facimile of its former “whole” state.

    The N world in contrast consists of mental constructs that as properties of the human mind, can be changed and shaped at will.

    So the S perspective is “scary” to me because of its irreversibility, and the N world much “safer”.
    But as an S will point out, we do still have to LIVE in this physical world, so to them, it’s much safer to focus on the what is rather than get lost in the world of “could”.
    So both sides feel things are “out of their control” in the other realm. I end up demanding S “reality” conform to my N ideas, and S’s demand N ideas conform to S reality. They see me as unrealistic, and I see them as “fatalistic”.

    Ne vs Ni perspective

    When I look for “new possibilities”; “different perspectives”, I do it by looking outward at other patterns (even though it’s technically “inside” in memory, usually) to frame what I think should be done. Ni looks totally within

    The perfect example is discovering type, and yet seeing the APS multilevel classic temperament system as “missing” from the equation (similar to the way Ni might be described), and then “filling in” where it fits. But this is one external pattern being corresponded to another.
    Ni, if the person is not impressed with the correlation, will pull seemingly out of nowhere various objections, often altogether rejecting some of the patterns, such as temperament. (If an INTP objects, it will be from Ti already choosing other ideas as more likely “correct”, rather than ruling out what “could” be).
    These objections will then “fill in” the discussion of the patterns. They will be inferred from individual (and invisible) impressions, unless Te has already determined from the environment that they are “incorrect”.

    SJ vs FJ and “Needing belonging to a group”

    SJ’s desire “belonging” in a non-“rational”, perceptive way; just experiencing a unity that matches the tangible data they’ve internalized. (Keep in mind, Keirsey did not even believe in the functions, but the behaviors still reflect the preference).
    FJ’s desire group harmony in a more rational way. With them, it’s more about decision-making; establishing what’s “good” for the group.

    Perception and Judgment attitude group perspectives

    ST what is true (“Realist”)
    SF what is good (“Aesthete”)
    SP what is, in the immediate environment (“Artisan”)
    SJ what is, according to my internal knowledge (“Guardian”)

    NT what could be true (“Rational”)
    NF what could be good (“Idealist”)
    NP what could be in the environment (“Dreamer”)
    NJ what could be according to my internal impression

    STJ Guardian of what is true
    SFJ Guardian of what is good
    STP Crafter of what is true (to the physical world)
    SFP Crafter of what’s good
    NTJ Rationalizer of internal impressions of truth
    NTP Rationalizer of external possibilities of truth
    NFJ Idealizer of internal impressions of goodness
    NFP Idealizer of external possibilities of goodness

  2. From:

    «So you have Asperger Syndrome, are theistic and yet also very interested in science, are familiar with typology as it relates to neuroscience, and you like writing and dissecting such things from about 500 different angles?
    Are you my twin? 🙂
    (I actually participated in some debates about the Duggar situation recently also. You broke it down even more than I did!)

    …I would ask if you were INTP too, but breezing through some of your articles, ENTP seems to be the one you talk about the most, so its that what you are?
    (Looks like interesting discussions).

    khendradm Original comment 3083

    I’m not 100% sure where I fall between ENTP and INTP. I could name 30 things that seem to be in favor for INTP, but someone would counter that INTPs could never get into mixed martial arts or make videos of themselves. If forced to choose between the two, I think INTP might win out slightly, however.

    Indeed, where extroversion ends and introversion begins can be a tough issue; I’ve written some articles about it before.

    [would have been original #3085]

    There’s no “never” in personality. They might be less likely to do those things, but there’s always people who for some reason do get into those things. I’m sure you can find many INTP’s doing videos (likely discussion the technical elements of type) on YouTube.

    The way you describe “dissecting things”, in comparison to me, sounds like you too have Ti out front. An ENTP might do that sometimes, but they have Ne out front, which will be more about taking in information, such as exploring ideas, and Ti is just to add rational support to it.

    In the temperament system I often discuss, using the FIRO-B 0-10 score range, I/E (i.e. “expressed behavior”) IS on a graduated scale. If you think you might be between, then perhaps you’re one of these blends, in the social area:

  3. khendradm permalink

    Interesting links; thanks. I relate well to Phlegmatic and Phlegmatic/Supine, except for the #1 example in both for Inclusion. I don’t relate better to people than tasks, and I don’t function well in a hostile environment.

    I do like that folks are trying to establish behavioral principles for subtypes, however. There is complaint often that the 16 types are not specific enough for all the variations in individuals. While I don’t think this discredits types themselves, I do see the point in needing greater precision. If I’m an ENTP, for instance, I’m most definitely NOT the Robin Williams variety that Jon Niednagel seems to think best represents the type (I understand RW is usually viewed as ENFP in MBTI circles; regardless of methodology and secondary function, he was a virtual extreme of Ne dominance, and I can’t relate to that kind of constant spontaneity of trans-contextual thinking that he exhibited).

  4. Those are assuming a “pure” temperament, but Inclusion is only one of three areas, and the others will influence each other.

    First, PS says “relate better to people than tasks”, while P says “relates well to tasks… and also relates well to people”.
    The difference between those two is what’s called “responsive” behavior. Phlegmatic is dead center, and can basically “take ’em or leave ’em”, while Supine and Phlegmatic Supine are “high” in responsiveness, which will relate more to people. So if you don’t relate better to people, then you’re probably Phlegmatic, which would also likely lean towards INP (“Behind the Scenes” Interaction Style) than ENP (“Get Things Going”). Phlegmatic is midway on I/E as well, but traditionally, because of their lower energy, has fallen into the I (introvert) category.

    So do you relate equally, or it is that you think you relate better to tasks? If so that can be explained by the other areas of temperament (next).

    I believe NT corresponds with Choleric in Control
    And I know for me, THIS is what provides an element of task focus (even though I’m solidly Supine in the other areas, which is purely people-focused). In type, Linda Berens has identified something called “structure focus”, which both NT and SJ have in common, and would represent “low responsiveness” or “task focus” in the area of action or leadership, rather than socially.
    Both temperaments have more of a “critical” edge to them, because of a stricter criteria they have, in accepting control from others, which is what’s getting called the “structure”. For the SJ (Melancholy in Control), it’s something “concrete”, like an institution or other “appointed” authority. For the NT’s, it’s his ideas and plans (also making us more “pragmatic” or quick to take action, when something “works”, which would be expressed Control).
    So does that one identify with you? (You can also try the other Controls, especially CP and PC).

    I don’t know what Robin Williams is. Never looked at the real actor’s personality, so again, unless someone’s personality really stands out, I often am not quick to try to type celebrities.
    However, speaking of Niednagel and criticism of typology in general, see this comment I just now put up on that:

    Also, before I forget, can you point me to the articles where you discuss being between in introversion and extroversion?

  5. Job interview question and answer: Why are manhole covers round?

    A FB friend [in fact, this person: who is very close to us, and got some national attention for her physical condition] said she had a question like this, and someone posted the link to this site. The rationale given is:
    “It is an example of a creative problem-solving question that is used to assess how a person approaches a problem with more than one possible answer, and to test their logic, common sense and ability to think through an unusual question.

    According to Joel Spolsky, one of Microsoft’s early program managers, questions like these distinguish between people who are smart and get things done, people who are smart but don’t get things done, and people who get things done but are not smart.”

    I wanted to translate it, into them testing introverted Thinking (perhaps with extraverted iNtuition), but of course, a lot of people don’t know what those mean (including probably, the Microsoft people themselves and other employers as well). “Circular covers don’t need to be rotated or precisely aligned when placing them on the opening.” was the answer I thought of.
    Also, “smartness” and “getting things done” were really other than TiNe products, and that it seems odd that they would use that question to try to determine “smartness” coupled with what might be essentially a more Te product.

    Of course, any type can use that basic logic. But to be an NTP means that the TiNe perspective that this utilizes (individually [i] assessing impersonal truth [T] from inferring [N] from an object [e]) falls into a dominant and auxiliary place in the ego structure. So we’re more likely to “think like that”. For others, they’ll be able to figure it out if they try, but they may have to dig deep in their brain to do it, and it comes off as something totally trivial.

  6. All this time, I had thought I did a review of Keirsey’s last book, Personology, but see I had only done it on boards and a list, and not here (but it was around the same time I started this blog).

    [Edit, new review of both books together, here:

    Having passed over Keirsey’s Brains and Careers, from about three years ago ([as of Oct 28, ’11] figuring it was to help people find careers), yet interested in seeing his development of a theory of Interaction Styles, which of course Berens had done first, I recently decided to get his latest (and likely, last) book, Personology.

    It seems he has completely dropped all type codes now. He briefly mentions letters/functions in his description of Myers’ theory as part of the “history of temperament” in the opening chapter. But for the rest of the book, he goes purely by names. And at that, many of them have changed since previous books!

    Personology new names

    He had already introduced the four “roles of interaction” (Corresponding with Berens) with the last book.

    Initiator (EST/ENJ) and Contender (IST/INJ) are the same

    Coworker (ESF/ENP) is now Collaborator.
    Responder (ISF/INP) is now Accomodator

    These two match the corresponding Thomas-Kilmann (TKI) Conflict Modes

    He’s also changed some of the factors:

    Cooperative: Compliant with Norms
    Pragmatic: Adaptive to Circumstances

    Role Directive: Proactive (Enterprise)
    Role Informative: Reactive (Inquiry)

    p.75 He appears to have completely dropped E/I; mentioned once, as “expressive” vs “attentive” on p.321 as part of the “Word usage synonyms of three dimensions of human interaction” with “Tell vs Ask” as Enterprise vs Inquiry, and the following cross factor (tying together what were previously “opposites”), which are what are used in place of E/I [as Berens outlined]:

    Control(Outcome): Interlinking
    Movement/(Process): Intersecting

    Interlinking: the role of one person is related to the role of another such as to be linked or fit together. Such as when one person directs, and the other does as directed.

    Intersecting: When we line up opposite of opponents, and besides proponents, the roles intersect; each person intent upon their own agenda. Such as in any competition where we side with our team mates, and oppose the opposite team.

    I find these to be accurate.

    16 type and 8 role variant name changes (Others remain the same).

    NTP Engineer: Constructor
    NFP Advocate: Mediator
    STJ Administrator: Monitor (revert to Portraits of Temperament)
    SFJ Conservators: Providers (takes on old ESFJ name, below)
    STP Operators: Expeditors
    SFP Entertainers: Improvisors (Berens’ name for the entire SP

    (Only NFJ “Mentors”, and NTJ “Coordinators” are the same. Also, half of the types are changed):

    ESFJ Provider: Supplier
    INTJ Mastermind: Arranger
    INFP Healer: Reconciler
    INTP Architect: Designers (similar to Berens)
    ENFP Champion: Advocate (Similar to Berens)
    ENFJ Teacher: Educator
    ENTP Inventor: Modelers
    ENTJ Fieldmarshal: Mobilizer (similar to Berens)

    There is a heavy focus on what were known as “skills sets” (Diplomatic, Logistical, Strategic, Tactical). Used more, it seems, than the official temperament names.
    Also, an alternative set of descriptive names used with these: Enablers, Safekeepers, Builders, Manipulators

    There are also descriptive titles for the four roles:

    Preemptive Initiators, Confrontative Contenders, Complementary
    Collaborators, Responsive Accomodators

    He also crosses Proactive/Reactive, with Compliant/Adaptive creating four groups comprising of (not using the letters, of course) STJ/NFJ, NTJ/STP, NFP/SFJ, and NTP/SFP.

    With all these new names and combinations all over the place, it takes time to remember what’s what.

    Makes me wonder more about what Brains and Careers was like. The Facebook page

    8021003 says this was just a “rewrite” of it (one evidence is that B&C is omitted in the “Temperament Revisited” section (p24) listing his other three main previous books), but I wonder if he still kept the letters, and gave more of a description of the four roles (I was looking forward to seeing him break them down with E/I and D/Inf as the factors). So I have still not gotten the book (would hate to get it if is is just a rewrite with only the names changed).

    Keirsey also uses the four card suits to represent the temperaments:
    ♦ diamonds: Artisans
    ♥ hearts: Idealists
    ♠ spades: Guardians
    ♣ clubs: Rationals

    There’s also a temperament/role matrix for each type, with the roles as the horizontal rows and the temperaments as the vertical columns. The type being profiled is in upper right position and is more likely to play the role of the type in the row or column in descending order. INTP “Accomodating Strategist” [again, names are used, not the type code] will more easily play the role of fellow Rational ENTP than the lower down Rationals the NTJ’s. It will be the same for fellow “Accomodators” ISFP, followed by INFP and ISFJ. The type in the far lower right corner will be the ESTJ, the Initiating Logistician.

    As others have also felt, it seems to me like he is just rehashing the theories. Again, all the new names did make it a bit confusing, because I had to remember what type they are referring to (especially since he doesn’t use the code
    His theory seemed to hit its peak (in my view) with Brains and Careers, because that’s where he adopted the Interaction Style groups (“roles of interaction”). That was the improvement over the PUM’s, and the completion of the ideas he introduced in Portraits of Temperament (which is where he introduced the 8 intelligence variants, based on directive/informative). So that’s why I’m curious about B&C. With this one, he seemed to push things too far with all the renaming and reconfiguring. So I wonder if he had done that in B&C, or if it was still more like his older theory, with the type codes and letters, and such.

    What I have always said, is that since he really wanted his theory to be separate from MBTI (I originally thought it was all the same thing, since they used the same type codes), then perhaps this is what he should have come up with originally, from his first Please Understand Me book. (And then it would be a matter of us drawing the correlations to MBTI type). He has truly moved further away from the popular typology.

    I have been trying to get Brains and Careers to see if it was different, but every time I ordered it at a decent price (under $10) from Amazon, something went wrong with the order. So now, it’s only the full priced ones, which have since gone up from $20 to over $30, which wouldn’t be worth it if it is the same as the newer book.

    • OK, finally, finally, FINALLY got this book (for $8 rather than the $30, and not after the first order being cancelled due to some “technical error”; and this after several tries before).

      So it does seem to be very similar to Personology, with the same emphasis of the former “skills sets” names for the temperaments (“Diplomatic”, etc and “cooperative/pragmatic” renamed “compliant/adaptive” like in the final book), and factoring the new “roles of interaction” by the renamed “Enterprise” (Role Directive)/”Inquiry” (Role Informative) with the new cross factors Interlinking/Intersecting instead of any analogue to I/E (which again are mentioned once as “expressive” vs attentive” as reported before, in the “end notes” second as one of the “three dimensions of human action”. “Tell vs Ask” was “Assert vs Inquire”.

      The book is outlined a bit differently, with standard chapters on the basic concepts covering the first 90 pages, then mini chapters on each of “the Nine Personologists” (Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Paraclesus, Adickes, Spränger, Kretschmer, Fromm and Myers; the term/concept “personology” that became the title of the final book was actually introduced in this book). Then, “Temperament Revisited”, chronicling his earlier three books on the subject, and the evolution of the temperament names. Following this, are the four “books”, containing the lengthy profiles of each of the the temperaments. Then, the Appendix, containing the end note, bibliography, etc. (Personology is still ultimately not that much different).

      Otherwise, it has many of the same tables, the playing card suit and bell curve graphs toward the beginning, and the avoidance of the type codes, until the end notes, where there is a third section of “Personology” (p.362) omitted in the revised book bearing that title. It’s called “two ways of grouping the sixteen types”, which both use the standard codes: “Myers 16 types sorted in accord with Jung’s ‘psychological functions'”, which discusses the eight “dominant function” types, with four groups of four types by S, N, T and F.
      Then, you have the “Kretschmer regrouping of the Myers types”, which group the types by his (Keirsey’s) temperament groupings, SP, SJ, NT and NF.
      It concludes with a “Career – Type” table factoring the skills sets with the roles, and using the type codes

      Tables I see in the first book that were not in the second are “Framing and Keying” (“Overview”, p.10-14), framed around “Compliance” and “adaptation” division of the temperaments, and “Roles—Methods—Careers—Niches” on p.26, which consist of four tetramerous circles; “roles” are the four “interaction” groups; “Methods” are the four “skills sets” representing the temperaments; “Careers” is “Builders, “Enablers” “Savers” and “Handlers”, and “Niches” is “Laboratory”, “Institution”, “storehouse” and “Court”. Following this, are tables and graphs (similar to the other book) showing which temperaments, roles, the eight “brain types” are suite to careers or niches.

      The unofficial “annoying/contagious” description for the temperaments, corresponding with Berens’ “Structure/motive”, as reported in Personology, were actually introduced here, on p123 (In both instances, they were passing comparative descriptions mentioned in the Idealist temperament profile. The cross-dimension is not even mentioned in the above comment, because I hadn’t noticed it at the time of writing that review. It was actually someone else, on the list I had first written that on, who noticed).

      The colorful “Playing Roles” table on p60, showing the eight groups introduced in Portraits of Temperament as “Intelligence Variants” (Now known as the “careers“; corresponding to the last eight letters of type), divided into the two types making up each, and divided by lines representing “Compliant/adaptive” and “enterprise/inquiry”. This leads into the profiles of each type based on a “tree” of “Role Playing” that breaks down into “Enterprise” vs “Inquiry”, which themselves break down into the four roles: “Preemptive” (Initiator), “Competitive” (Contender), “Cooperative” (Coworker) and “Accomodative” (Responder), which then divide between “Compliant” and “Adaptive”, which the divide into the 16 types.
      In Personology, the tree is “role Enactment”, which breaks down into Compliant and adaptive first, then the four temperament skills sets, then the eight “Variants” or “Careers”, and then the 16 types. (This reminds me of the “rings” his son had produced on one of the online sites and was picked up by Wikipedia).

      The new names for four of the “brain” variants were introduced here (Improvisor—SFP), Expeditor—STP, Provider—SFJ, Monitor—STJ), while NFJ remains “Mentor” as it always was.
      However, the remaining three have names different from either before or after:
      Interceder (NFP), Structurer (NTP), Stratifier (NTJ; went back to “Coordinator” afterward).

      For the new type names. “Educator” (ENFJ), “Advocat[OR]” (ENFP), “supplier” (ESFJ), “Designer” (INTP), and “Mobilizer” (ENTJ) were introduced here. INFP was “Conciliator” instead of Reconciler, INTJ was “Planner”), and ENTP was “Engineer”.

      So I was hoping that things were not as changed as they were in the final book, but everything I saw changed in Personology had been changed here, and some simply changed a second time in the latter book. (The only thing original were the interaction roles and Interlinking/intersecting poles, but those were introduced in this book anyway).

      Glad I didn’t spend $30 on it! The only additions I think add anything really useful to the overall theory were the four “roles” and the “interlinking/intersecting” factor (and “annoying/contagious” as well).

  7. I had already gotten in e-mail this link:
    The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement

    Then, was in a discussion on a type board where someone asked how I think the collective unconscious plays in with Ti specifically.

    Even though I mention the “collective unconscious”, usually in conjunction with the archetypes (in which they move to the personal unconscious, and then become “complexes”); I’m still trying to make out how I would define it. It seems to have been some sort of “mystical” thing, at least that’s what Christians are taught about Jung. Like in this article it says Jung originally got the concept from “biogenetic law” (the theory that the development of embryos follows the pattern of evolution of the species it is being born as. Makes sense as all embryo’s start out as the same shape). Then,

    Around 1916 Jung stopped referring to a phylogenetic unconscious and began instead to speak of an impersonal or collective unconscious. By so doing he was shifting his emphasis from a biologically defined unconscious composed of layers of evolutionary experience to a more Platonic unconscious composed of certain symbolic ideas and images (dominants or archetypes).
    To prove his theory of a collective unconscious Jung cited the recurring independent appearances of the same archetypes in mythological traditions and in the delusions of his psychiatric patients

    Then goes into the influences of theosophy and spiritualism and concludes “It would seem then that Jung’s approach is essentially a fusion of spiritualism with psychology, the “collective unconscious” being nothing other than a psychoanalytic term for the same realm of experience that occultists call “the spirit world.”

    Noll also indicates that Jung’s long-time interest in spiritualism gave him “ample experience of how one may deliberately enter a dissociative state, or trance, that allowed such automatisms as automatic writing or even alternate personalities to emerge. Jung had observed this at séances, and indeed, his entire mother’s side of the family . . . . seemed to have regularly engaged in discourse with spirits” (202).

    After having repeated visions in 1913 of all Europe being destroyed in a sea of blood, Jung heard a disembodied voice speak to him about the visions. Desiring to hear more from the voice and engage it in conversation, Jung offered the entity the use of his body so that it would have the necessary “speech centers” to communicate with him. “This,” Jung wrote, “is the origin of the technique I developed for dealing directly with the unconscious contents.” Noll makes the obvious but critical point: “Jung is therefore admitting here that his psychotherapeutic technique of active imagination is based on the techniques of spiritualism” (203).

    Active imagination became the foundation for Jung’s entire approach to psychotherapy, as Noll describes:

    It was in December 1913 that he begins the deliberately induced visionary experiences that he later named “active imagination.” From this time forward, Jung engages in these visions with the attitude that they are real in every sense of the word. In these visions he descends and meets autonomous mythological figures with whom he interacts. Over the years (certainty by 1916) a wise old man figure named Philemon emerges who becomes Jung’s spiritual guru, much like the ascended “masters” or “brothers” engaged by [Theosophy’s H. P.] Blavatsky or the Teutonic Brotherhood of the Armanen met by [Guido von] List. Philemon and other visionary figures insist upon their reality and reveal to Jung the foundation of his life and work. He refers on many occasions to the place where these beings live as “the land of the Dead.” These visionary experiences — Jung’s mythic confrontation with the unconscious — form the basis of the psychological theory and method he would develop in 1916. (209-10)

    From here Noll proceeds to describe how “active imagination” led Jung to an experience of deification in which he identified himself with Christ. And Noll leaves no room for doubt that such self-deification is one and the same as “individuation” — the therapeutic goal of analytical psychology.

    Jungian analysis, explains Noll, is essentially an initiation into a pagan mystery — a means to experience what Jung experienced. It is an occult process in which the opposites of creation supposedly reconcile in the oneness of the god within, and thus the individual becomes psychologically and spiritually whole. As Noll aptly observes: “Jung’s familiar psychological theory and method, which are so widely promoted in our culture today, rests [sic] on this very early neopagan or volkisch formulation — a fact entirely unknown to the countless thousands of devout Christian or Jewish Jungians today who would, in all likelihood, find this fact repugnant if they fully understood the meaning behind the argument I make here” (219).

    Significantly, Jung’s path to individuation “demanded breaking bonds with one’s family, one’s society, even one’s God, for ‘by cutting himself off from God’ the individual becomes ‘wholly himself.’”

    After the atrocities of Hitler’s regime came to light, Jung shifted his metaphysical focus from volkisch themes to the “rich symbolism of alchemy” (284).

    Noll extensively documents that “Jung’s earliest psychological theories and method can be interpreted as perhaps nothing more than an anti-Christian return to solar mythology and sun worship based on Romantic beliefs about the natural religion of the ancient Aryan peoples. What Jung eventually offered to volkisch believers in sun worship circa 1916 was a practical method — active imagination — through which one could contact [Teutonic] ancestors and also have a direct experience of God as a star or sun within” (136). Indeed, Noll affirms that “sun worship is perhaps the key to fully understanding Jung and the story I tell in this book” (137).

    I’m not into that stuff. (It’s hard enough to believe in a spiritually sanitized monotheism). I had discussed some of this stuff with Lenore Thomson, and she seemed to indicate that the collective unconscious is more about what’s inherited through, I would say, instinct, stemming from the limbic system. All of our “emotionally freighted images”, such as mother, father, hero, etc. come from the experiences we pass down, and which are apart of our instincts even if each individual hasn’t experienced all of them themselves.

    So I don’t think I’ve said that introverted functions come from the collective unconscious; though I know that’s what Jung said. I haven’t really addressed that (though I think it sounds interesting, as far as being a key to understanding his concepts), because, again, I’m not totally sure of what to make of it.
    I just know that for me, my primary introverted functions are Ti and Si, and so I reference my own determination of what’s correct, and my own tangible experience, rather than following a logical convention, or just taking current tangible reality as it comes. I don’t think I need any spiritualistic concept for that,* or even to use the term “unconscious” so much.

    That’s what makes Jung so hard to understand, as there’s so much “cross-talk”, or multiple uses of terms. “Unconscious” refers both to iNtuition, but also refers to any introverted function, as well as unpreferred functions, and the whole Shadow itself.

    *(Christians, including those who staunchly oppose even so much as terms associated with psychology, still need to watch out, as their “biblical answers” to both psychology and occultism, often subtly become the same things, by stretching the aim of the Gospel, along with “regeneration”, “sanctification” and spiritual “growth”, to something that’s essentially little different than what Jung or other religions teach; being “healed” and mentally and/or behaviorally “whole” by a process including prayer and meditation, which is still turning” within”, even if we insist God is external. [They all believe God is “in” us through the Spirit, as scripture does say; —they don’t believe He’s an external “object” we can access through sight, sound, touch, etc.] The biggest difference being that the Christian does these “disciplines” in the name of Jesus rather than other gods. But they have extended the “power” of Jesus and the Spirit to beyond what Scripture actually teach about this power, and which match any other human “self-improvement” concept. The Gospel is about forgiveness of guilt, based on what Christ did on the Cross [which is what makes us “one” with Him], and not our own “will” or efforts at “changing our life”, with which an alchemist would say is what is symbolized by “turning lead to gold”, for instance).

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