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S/N as Space/Time awareness

May 22, 2017

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 float to us through space, and touch and taste things we reach out for through space. This occurs in time as well, but all the perceived objects are experienced through space. Time is where occurs the “idea” of them and the “possibilities” of where they can go. I got into this a bit here: https://erictb.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/another-crack-at-function-definitions-relationships-of-objects/#comment-1962
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 (its “environment”). 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).

So, for the perception attitudes, space and time are the corresponding “environments” that define the extraverted perspective. Introversion, (just like the stereotypical picture of an “introvert”) withdraws from this, to the individual perspective, to conjure up images either of spatial reality, or temporal patterns.

The way this was once described to me, was that N overall dealt with patterns or the salient points of a pattern that can be abstracted from one situation to give meaning to another, transferring the acquired patterns to new contexts, largely unconsciously, in order to get the gist of a subject; and operating by inferring from a few elements some larger arrangement in which they’re characteristically included. Ne attempts to understand a situation (or otherwise disparate external elements) in terms of a pattern (the 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 take 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 or transferring one thing to another and the “larger arrangement that gives them meaning”. (But of course Ni deals in this latter part; the so-called “big picture” too. And I had to think whether the “pattern” referred to the “larger arrangement” for one or both attitudes, or if the “larger arrangement” was what’s outside the pattern, or if both the initial thing and what it was being compared to were both “patterns” and “larger arrangements” in this particular description, etc.).
And Ne dealt directly with the external pattern, making me think then that Ni was inferring from a “subjective pattern” (such as the “templates” I mentioned in my earlier descriptions of Ni). But instead, it looks “outside” a pattern.

So what really was the common “element” or “product” that tied together both attitudes of iNtuition? It’s clearly not the “pattern” itself. 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”).
Really, the problem in distinguishing Ne vs Ni was the need to determine what exactly the “environment” of iNuition was to begin with! (It was obvious for S, T and F, and so what happened was that we assume the same “environment”, often called “the outer world” held true for N. But what really did that mean; especially since iNtuition is all technically “internal”, and imagines possibilities for things on the external world?)

So upon reading Beebe’s book, where he pointed out Jung associated N specifically with time, that got me thinking more about it. (Also, even more recently, in reviewing The Iceman Inheritance, where time was mentioned as the awareness that came with our sapience as developed hominids).
In my view, space and time together make up sort of a partial “trinity” reflection, with space comparable to the “Son” who appeared physically in space, and the invisible “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 (e) time (N) to access previous (i) spatial experience (S).
So Si technically also has a time element, as stored memory is from the past. But the difference is that N is about objects or models that play out in time, while Si is about models of objects in space remembered through time (and also current internal senses).

Se’s immediate (e) space (S) orientation then works with Ni’s immediate “outside (i) the [timelike(N)] pattern” awareness, and hence are called “Realizing”.

Lenore had defined Ni in the book (p223) as “liberate our sense impressions from their larger context, thereby creating more options for perception itself“, which might be hard for non-Ni types to really grasp. The timeline idea explains it. The “larger context” is what occurs in the time dimension, but the “unconscious impressions” are from outside of the time dimension, and so you can get more kinds of interpretations than what were available in the temporal environment.
The example given is raising the question in one’s mind of the possible reasons a suntan is valued by people today, when the original circumstances that gave it its meaning have changed. Again, we see the time element of this, and the pondering steps outside of this timeline to raise the question of why it’s still considered attractive.
(Likewise, “perspectives” is the single word nickname Personality Hacker gives to Ni, and they describe it as “not married to its own perspective”, and “watching your mind form patterns”, and eventually, over time, you’re going to get the ‘pattern of the pattern'” [hence, “meta-awareness”], and so when listening to another person they can shift out of their own perspective and into the other person’s perspective and get a sense of what’s going on with them, and be able to guess “I bet this is the pattern created in the other person’s mind”, so it looks like reading their mind. These would be the “internal connections” corresponding to Ne’s “external connections” They also describe Ne as asking “what if” and Ni as asking “why”?).

So Ni is like Fi in thinking “if that were me, I would…”; Fi says “feel this way”, and Ni says “perceive it this way”. This affinity is why both are so “deep” and the hardest to understand or explain. Both N and F are the most complex as their products only have meaning to sapient beings, where S and T is “what is”, whether anyone is there to perceive or assess it or not.
I would also say if you consciously compare patterns, that’s Ne, while a feeling more like a premonition of what something means, or what will happen is Ni.
(For me, when the premonition is good, I don’t trust it; when it’s bad; I try to resist and fight against the outcome playing out in life,or I just go with it and become totally down and pessimistic).

Looking at the temporal patterns limits us to what we can see from them, where we can’t see the future, and so the possibilities in the environment remain “open”. A lot of different things “could” happen. Looking outside the pattern is “open” in an internal sense, as you don’t have to rely on patterns of experience. However, it ends up creating less “open” environmental possibilities, and also working with extraverted judgment, which makes the observations and solutions more “closed”.

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

So if we make the S/N environment “space/time”, then by extension, T/F could be something like things vs people (i.e.“social”). (And we are also still “things”, hence we can be looked at through a T lens).

So:
space—time—things—people = the environment of reality
tangible—potential—mechanical—anthropic = our immersion in reality

More 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 objects 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.

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.

I once read about tests that had been done in type classes, of showing an image of a triangle with horizontal bands. With a surprising amount of consistency, the Sensates describe it just like this, or as a three-sided plane with parallel bands. The Intuitives say they see a railroad track or a striped dunce cap. Each side can see why the other described it the way they did, but the S’s heard: “What are the properties of this image?” and N’s heard “What does this image mean to you?”; that is, what pattern is it like in your tacit memory?
This is timelike in that these “patterns”, again, are constructs formed over time, where the S’s simply described exactly what they saw in space.

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”.

So to do the completed function attitudes:

Se awareness of objects in space is stimulated by the environment (as it emerges in the external world)
Si awareness of objects in space is stimulated by individual reference (filtered through internal recollection)
Ne awareness of patterns through time is stimulated by the environment (one pattern implies another “externally”)
Ni awareness of patterns through time is stimulated by individual reference (looks outside the pattern to the internal subconscious)

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 ridiculous idea like astrology.

(I also thought, if S as space corresponds to the Son and N as time corresponds to the Spirit, then what corresponds to the Father? It would be the “transcendent function” of course, which would correspond to what I’ve considered the Farther-like continuum, or “Patrix”, the “chance” medium. But that’s on the axis of S and N. What about T/F, which is the other axis the transcendent function lies between? I would think T would be more material, like the Son, and F, dealing with “the heart” as like the Spirit. I had considered T=”matter” and F=”soul”, but I used “material” for S; and again, this shows that both S and T deal in “what it is” in their own ways; and “soul” could include animals, but they don’t have a Feeling “function”; it’s all instinct for them, and though I use “soul-affect” for F, this does extend to animals, inasmuch as we relate to them and their emotions. But without our sapience, F would have no meaning).

I’ve also been informed that Socionics considers S as space and N as time (and T as “objects” and F as “energy”) http://en.socionicasys.org/teorija/dlja-novichkov/aspekty.

An example of Ne’s time orientation:

Like I liked to look at possible subway service patterns, and was particularly interested years ago, when the Manhattan Bridge was stuck, seemingly forever, in the “north side tracks open only” configuration, allowing the 6th Avenue traffic to run over the bridge, but not Broadway. So the Broadway “Q” was moved to 6th Avenue, while the express “N” was moved to the Montague tunnel, where it could access the Broadway line, but as a local and via a much longer path. The next phase of the work was to close the north side, and reopen the south side, allowing the Broadway expresses to cross, but not the 6th Avenue service. It had switched from this pattern several years before, but since this was initially planned to be temporary, they created a makeshift arrangement where the 6th Ave. B and D service ran in two sections; one rerouted to Broadway, and terminating at one of its terminals in Manhattan or Queens, and the uptown halves already on 6th, from uptown, terminating at 34th St. The two halves actually overlapped between 34th and 57th, so that you had two separate routes with the same letter, and different route colors running through midtown Manhattan. I thought this was an incredibly sloppy arrangement.
But then when I found out that there was a time when 6th Avenue didn’t connect to the bridge at all (the north side used to connect to Broadway, and the south side, to the now severed Nassau St. loop, which had very little service as it was), and that the old service pattern included a “T” train that was replaced by the “B” I was familiar with, and a “family” of “Q”‘s replaced by the D, and the primary Nassau service was on the West End, much the way the M had been moved from the Brighton to the West End, so that was similar also. So I got the idea for the next time to just restore that old pattern and the letter “T” instead of a second “B”, and since the Q locals used double letters, which were no longer used, then the new Brighton local would be “U”, because it sounds like “Q”, is used with “q” in written language, and the lines were really just an express and local version of the same line, not going anywhere different, like when a 6th Avenue and Broadway line run there.

I took the pattern from one situation, and moved it to a similar situation according to the infrastructure, and then forecasted what “could” be done. This also involved judgment, in determining from an internal framework what would be “correct” (different lines should each have their own letter, and letters should be allocated to the same line, even if unused for a long time).
But in organizational decisions, the judgment that wins out is usually Te, based on environmental criteria including “efficiency” and rider demand; often decided by running the data through computer analysis. Like in Buses, they’ll slap any route number on a new route, like the B47 I grew up with becoming the B43 when it was merged with another route, and then B47 came to be used for the B78 when it was merged with another route. B47 is still burned in my mind as the Tompkins Ave. bus I sued to take to my grandmother’s.
So apparently, the Brighton had much more demand, so both of its services had to continue to use the bridge (unlike the original BMT pattern, where it had one bridge and one tunnel route on weekdays), and it needed no tunnel service anymore, and so it had the priority over the N, which remained relegated to the “rathole” as one irate Sea Beach transit fan always called the tunnel.

Thankfully, however, the same “environmental” criteria; this time, rider confusion, led them to eliminate the “split” B and D, which had already had provisions on the new signs, with both orange and yellow sets of both routes. Instead, they used an existing “W” (which was allocated on the signs for the Whitehall St. short line service it appears as today) for the West End (it had become my second choice in suggestions, for the Brighton local when I found out about the letter being on signs), and came up with a “diamond Q” sign for the Brighton express (with the circle as the local, since they had decided diamonds would now only be used for express versions of local lines that run at the same time; the only other examples now being on the 6 and 7. While I had also had ideas for a dreaded “bridge fully closed” scenario ⦅that looked like a real possibility throughout the whole time⦆, and we imagined what the final “bridge fully open” scenario” could be like, as it turned out, the B and D would not even return to their old lines when the work was finished, but actually switch places).

I’m not sure how Ni would handle this. From what I heard, it would gather a final conclusion, and “work its way backward” to find holes in the pattern and see which way the data “wants” to go, which I imagine would then be assessed for the correct course of action with Te. The decisions of Transit are basically Te+S (with computers doing the “timelike forecasting” work, and decisions based off of the “tangible” spatially perceived data produced).

So we see how it’s all timelike, in comparing the patterns over time, and what could be done in time. Those “patterns” in this case also involve the routing of trains, moving from one place to another.

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2 Comments
  1. http://bigthink.com/21st-century-spirituality/how-does-intuition-work

    Again, you can see the time element: “This network is informed by previously learned patterns, which help determine moral rules, acquired habits, and beliefs. As with riding a bicycle, repetition leads to mastery—no longer restricted by uncertainty, we free up cognitive space to focus on other things. When a recognizable pattern later emerges, intuition seems to arise spontaneously.” “our subconscious pays close attention to its surroundings, piecing together parts of a narrative outside of conscious attention”

  2. Should point out that S as “spatial” awareness differs from what’s called “visual and spatial logic”, which is connected with the “right brain” of the “P” preference (PeJi), and is mentioned in Lenore’s book, p.73-4.

    “Spatial logic” just means that we all have the ability to map our environment in our heads, to recognize landmarks, to adjust ourselves to changes in the pattern.
    For P types, this is their introverted judgment making its internal “models” of what’s desired or correct. For left brain J types, extraverted judgment is cultivated by culture and is “local”, serving the needs of the environment and preserving the institutions it needs to survive, rather than individual needs. (So this also corresponds to fellow BTi theorist Bruzon’s “wide”[r] vs “local”[l] area matrix).

    “Spatial” awareness I’m using to refer to the contiuums of perception to begin with.

    This may help clarify what we mean by “consciousness” altogether.
    We are only conscious of one instant of time, at a time. This is “spacelike”. On a Minkowski spacetime diagram, a 2D grid has the vertical dimension used to represent time, and horizontal as all three dimensions of space. A vertical line is someone sitting in one point in space, just moving through all points of time. Horizontal is all points of space in one instant of time. From this, they imagine a four dimensions version of this diagram, called a “block universe”, where all of the universe’s history is represented in a static fourth dimension axis through which the “world lines” of all the 3D objects in space is carved. What we perceive as time is a single slice of the block that moves up from frame to frame (as in a film). This is how “consciousness” can be represented. (Some versions of this have the future being created. Others see “cause and effect”; including what causes the apparent “free will” of sapient beings, predetermining the future, and we can only see it as it plays out).

    So we can see the three dimensions of space, (and experience the other senses through them as well). Anything past or future is not conscious. We can’t readily experience it. We can only wait for it to happen, or remember it if it’s already happened.
    Remembering is the process associated with the introverted version of Sensing. It is still spacelike as it is basically simply a record of all the spacelike “slices” of spacetime that have already passed. It forms a “pattern” of what has actually occurred. (Note, it deals more with the FORMing of the pattern, not really perceiving the whole pattern itself, though it does often put together particular individual events making up an overall pattern). Its specifically timelike tandem-mate extravarted iNtuition then takes these patterns and attempts to extend them to the future (or sometimes even the past, if it is not known. It still draws on other patterns already known). These patterns consist of “instants” that ONCE WERE conscious, put together into a sort of “conscious” but intangible “object“ in a timelike “environment”.

    So Si is unconscious perception of what [was] conscious. (Internal body sensations which are also associated with Si are immediate and technically “conscious”, but since they are so internal, they too are what’s familiar).
    Ne is conscious perception of what’s not [at least, yet] conscious.
    {introversion of any function always deals with what’s remembered, while extraversion is “real world”; hence “conscious”}
    Se is of course conscious perception of what’s conscious (meaning experienced by everyone, in the environment). Ni is unconscious perception of what’s not conscious.

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