p. 196: "Intuition draws our attention to context and we adapt to sensory events in terms of it."
p. 197: "Once we've grasped a whole pattern, we can envision options that don't yet exist. Indeed, one of the drawbacks of Intuition is that it conjures up a future before we know very much about the present. For example, given enough elements to suggest a star or a square, we have a hard time not filling in the blanks and seeing the complete image."
p. 198: "...to leap from a few immediate cues to a quick impression of the whole..."
p. 223: "Extraverted Intuition would move us to unify our sense impressions with their larger context, thereby creating new options for meaning and response."
p. 224: "Extraverted Intuitives are right-brain types who deal with their sense impressions by unifying them into larger outward patterns. An ENP physician, for example, may realize, with sudden insight, that several unexplained symptoms are actually part of a single disease. As an Extraverted type, the physician has no doubt that the disease syndrome really exists. The pattern was always there, waiting for someone to discover it."
Proposed definition #1
Extraverted Intuition (Ne) is the attitude that what is manifest (apparent, observable) is a reflection of a greater reality. The dinosaur bone hints at the dinosaur, the cloud hints at the coming thunderstorm, the thunderstorm is a reflection of the rotation of the Earth within its atmosphere. Whatever you find, there is something more to find: a broader context, a whole, which will change your understanding of the part.
Proposed definition #2
Extraverted Intuition (Ne) is the attitude that the unknown is filled with wonderful things. To make use of them, you must be flexible in your goals. If you try to set things up so that only something known to be good can happen, you close your eyes to the zillions of opportunities that you can't know or define in terms of what you know now. As more of the unknown becomes clear, the more it changes your understanding of the (currently) known.
To live, then, you need to continuously welcome the unknown, by always being ready to adjust in unanticipatable ways. What seems like a mistake is not a mistake when viewed in a larger pattern--and it's your job to find that larger pattern.
(Compare Introverted Sensation, which leads to the exact opposite attitude toward the unknown. Ne says to anchor yourself nowhere, so you can continuously adapt to exploit unknown opportunities; Si says to anchor yourself firmly to what matters regardless of change, in order to keep out the unknown and its attendant, unknowable risks.)
I known ENPs who aren't specially optimistic or brave. Ne makes them see all the horrible things that can go wrong as well as the ones that can go very good. Yet they are undeniably ENPs. I don't know. I remember reading in the book thet ENFPs where the most optimistic of the types. Maybe their optimism depends on their society being extraverted perciever? --Michelini
Proposed Definition # 3
Ne is curiosity (but of course it's not that simple). Describing it as "looking" isn't deceptive, because Ne as an attitude is one of seeing what's there. The idea is that possibilities are visible in the Ne sense.
There's a film called the Zero Effect. The main character is probably an INTP. A quote from the film that encapsulates Ne:
"If you go looking for something in particular, your chances of finding it are very bad, because of all the things in the world, you're only looking for one of them. If you go looking for anything at all, your chances of finding it are very good, because of all the things in the world, you're sure to find some of them."
Even if you look for anything at all, and find nothing, then you found something. You just didn't find anything new, but this is an opportunity in disguise. That's Ne. It's the attitude that searching is inherently valuable because no matter what outcome you get you find something.
(Tangent: This also highlights the importance of Lenore's idea about developing the secondary. Ne by itself is very indiscriminate. There's a point at which "looking for anything at all" really risks being too randomly useful or too randomly pointless to be helpful. A dominant Ne type needs to be able to distinguish between the relative importance of things, or be able to identify the needs and people they really care about, to make the most of it.)
Proposed definition #4: The "outside the box" attitude
Extraverted Intuition (Ne) is orientation by what is outside the box and how it could change the way people are thinking if the box were expanded.
"The box" means the context that governs the way people are giving meaning to objects of attention. Going "outside the box" means broadening the context: exploring or including things that are outside the currently accepted definitions and assumptions.
Some examples: How would the restaurant industry change if really good, healthy food became available very cheaply? How would physics change if the speed of light were a constant in every reference frame? How would our culture change if we had portable phones that we could carry with us everywhere, instead of having each phone tied to a specific location? How would this organization change if we brought in my friend Terry? Terry brings a peculiar focus on the bottom line: that will alienate some people and endear him to others, likely causing various relationships and alliances to shift.