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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I so often see discussions of Ni suggesting that it is somehow built or created by Ni-dominants. Like it's a world of our (somehow imaginary) ideas that we create and manipulate.

My own experience of Ni is that I haven't built or created it - it just is, it is something that exists without me and that I am inside of. I don't create or build it. I perceive it.

I'm not into socionics, but a discussion in one of the socionics forums yielded this comment where I responded to spiritualtramp1948's Ni descriptions:

Ni doesn't want to manipulate anything. Ni wants to see. That is it. Nothing more. In fact "it" wants to see its intuitions manifested in (Se) reality, to be a reflection of what is. That is all.
Exactly. And I've never seen such a marvelous link of Ni and Se. Yes. I think this is quite true for me.

I do think there is an overemphasis on Ni being so future oriented. I am not biased in where my attention is held. The past, the future, the present. It all gets its air time. I experience myself as being oriented toward timelessness, though I do keep track of which way the wind blows and how fast.
I have said many times that time isn't only linear in my Ni landscape, and this is exactly why Ni's supposed future orientation doesn't make sense to me. Time is basically one of various coordinates in the Ni landscape for me, not a unidirectional flow from past to present to future. Cause and effect moves differently in the "physics" of my Ni landscape.

This is where symbolism and imagism and metaphor and etcetera become useful in an Ni base's arsenal. For example, a circle has no beginning and no end. I experience existing with a giant metal hoop (let's just pretend its diameter is 100 meters) lodged through my abdomen; and as time passes, so too do I pass through scenes, going wherever my giant metal hoop takes me. Where am I going on this hoop? I do not know, nor does it matter as I was set on this hoop sometime before I became aware of myself or the hoop or both.
Descriptions of Ni that suggest it is created by whoever has it as a dominant function are inaccurate, and this is one of the reasons. It exists and we are in it. We don't create it.

What is inferred to is an image in one's mind. For Ni bases specifically, a lot of the time, that image is in motion or evolving, dynamic. Kind of hard to put into words. There comes a point where an Ni-dom will have a sense of his language being meaningless and devoid of substance, despite how others may perceive it as being rich in both. They can also be frustrating to deal with, because it may seem as though they are being purposefully elusive (which may be true), or coming to strange conclusions that seem to take several leaps in logic (a problem you and itsme45 have had with different members of this thread, that was the Ni throwing you off), or sound unnecessarily riddling.

Yes, of course other types can feel misunderstood, which is what I said. But rational types seek to reconcile misunderstanding to regain a sense of purpose or direction. Irrational types are okay experiencing life as a series of events that happen to them, they are okay not doing things, especially Ip types [note from Aquarian: if I understand correctly, this is analogous to IJ types in MBTI] since they're perception is introverted. They don't need a purpose or direction, or are okay with purposeless and directionlessness being their respective purposes and directions. They don't have to rationalize themselves to others or rationalize others to themselves. Everything just is.
*nods* Trying to have/find purpose is disorienting to me. It feels like falseness, like bordering on deception because it's my (and/or others') construction of something (to rationalize or justify action or understanding) and to my perception is so much less real and layered and true that what I simply perceive.

I'm most centered when simply attending to and responding to stimuli from my perception.
[HR][/HR]
So, fellow INFJs:

What do you think about this?

And since that's a pretty broad question, here are some more specific questions in case they help. Feel free to use or not use them as you're moved)

~What's your response when you hear or see descriptions of Ni that suggest that you build or create whatever comes from Ni .... rather than simply perceive it?

~Does Ni perception help guide your actions and if so how?

~What does rationalization (eg trying to justify your life or actions in terms of purpose) feel like to you?
 

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~I don't experience it as simply perceiving or creating, for me as I perceive interconnected relationships are formed and realized.

~I don't think that I rationalize with my dominate function but rather use my judging functions to sort out my perceptions.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
~I don't experience it as simply perceiving or creating, for me as I perceive interconnected relationships are formed and realized.
Can you say more about what you mean here? How are those relationships formed and realized?

~I don't think that I rationalize with my dominate function but rather use my judging functions to sort out my perceptions.
How does that work for you? (I'm curious about the specific roles/dynamics of Fe and Ti in relation to Ni perception for you)
 

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Wasn't there some kind of an older movie where a guy had these glasses that made him see things for what they truly are? The very essence of everything, below the surface, behind the masks, facades, deceitful titles... That's one of the major characteristics of Ni for me. That's the filter of Se I see the world through. Ni is timeless because it exists outside of time and space, it is universal and much less subjective than descriptions convey. Like you said, it simply concentrates of what really IS. It is not MY reality, it is natural law, the rules by which things work, and we are detached but very interested observers.

Ahh found it: (if it won't play, type "They Live sunglasses scene" in Youtube)

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wasn't there some kind of an older movie where a guy had these glasses that made him see things for what they truly are? The very essence of everything, below the surface, behind the masks, facades, deceitful titles... That's one of the major characteristics of Ni for me. That's the filter of Se I see the world through. Ni is timeless because it exists outside of time and space, it is universal and much less subjective than descriptions convey. Like you said, it simply concentrates of what really IS. It is not MY reality, it is natural law, the rules by which things work, and we are detached but very interested observers.
The embedded video you posted won't play in my country (copyright or something) but found another scene with those sunglasses on youtube.

How interesting to think of Ni like a pair of sunglasses!

Musing on what you wrote and the concept of the video:

In my case, I'd turn it around and say that Fe most often functions like a (distortion) filter over my built-in organic Ni perception, so in my case the sunglasses would be from Fe and would distort my organic perception (so I would become willing to see what everyone around me seems to see even though it disorients me to some extent) ... and the act of taking them off would allow me to see true.

There was a point in my life when I felt like I needed to be able to function in the society around me, and I couldn't do so seeing things around me so differently than everyone else seemed to. I mean, for example from my own organic Ni perception, I often perceive what's going on around me like colored river-like flows intersecting in a landscape that doesn't operate in linear time. From this perception, I see individuals not as individual egos/people disconnected from each other, but as interconnected channels animated and spoken through by larger flows that aren't just those individuals.

Fe gave me a way to have an overlay so I could see (well enough to function at least) the landscape that others around me seemed to see and move in.But it also messes with my organic perception.

And I feel like the descriptions that say Ni is imaginary or just ideas may well be a product of a system that has a cultural "way of seeing" (or not-seeing) that is very very different from what and how we see in Ni perception. Maybe even a systemic hostility to some of what we might see from that space. And from that cultural perspective, it's better for us to believe that Ni perception is a product of our own subjective imagination or just our created ideas rather than reality, because then we police ourselves and agree to wear the Fe sunglasses (Fe judges external values as legitimate)... we believe the Fe glasses are correcting our vision when in truth they most often distort it. And what does this system do people who go around responding to things that most people don't believe are really there?

Also. How I actually experience my Ni/Fe shifts is not actually like putting on and taking off glasses. I experience as a movement of myself from one landscape to another, where the landscapes are overlaid one over the other. I once got so toned in this movement that I could sort of flex some sort of inner muscle and shift very quickly from the distorted cultural landscape into the Ni landscape. I'd be looking at and experiencing something in the distorted landscape, then shift up/down into the Ni perceptual landscape, and see the same things from inside that landscape of Ni perception. And yes, it was also like changing vision, changing what I could see around me. Same external world, but completely different landscapes, physics, landmarks, cause and effect etc etc.

Just rambling. You did get me thinking.....
 

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I certainly agree that Ni is not something created, it is simple the way I perceive the world.

I suddenly has a 'click' moment about what people call the Ni-Ti loop (though is it a loop?)

Ni "This is the way it is"
Ti (or even Fe can do this too) "No, it can't be like that because of x, y, z"
Ni "This is the way it is"

Se I guess, would say the same, "This is the way it is" except that for Se, it is looking at a concrete reality, while Ni is something of a more abstract reality.

Do I build or create at all? I do think Ni sometimes operates a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, there are all these peices broken up, and they have to be put together to create the picture. But when you do a jigsaw puzzle, you do not create the actual picture, the picture was, and as you put the puzzle pieces into place, suddenly you go "Oh, that white dot is that girl's hand.". But the Ni did not make the white dot the girl's hand, the white dot was always the girl's hand, we just did not see it until that moment.

But I don't think it is right to say Ni always operates in this jigsaw puzzle manner, that happens when we don't have enough information to start with and more information comes along.
 

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~What's your response when you hear or see descriptions of Ni that suggest that you build or create whatever comes from Ni .... rather than simply perceive it?
I'm not fond of those descriptions. They don't really reflect my experience of my perceiving function. It is a perceiving function, like Se. It just perceives things that are not apparent. It's not like it's just 'imagination'... building some far out theories. The experience is one of perceiving, not an active thing. I do see the subjective part, but I think of my personality more as a slightly distorting lens among other lenses. The light shines through but by default because of the nature and physical attributes of the lense the light projected takes on the qualities of the lense.

~Does Ni perception help guide your actions and if so how?
Yes. As a main mode of perception it is my primary source of information.

~What does rationalization (eg trying to justify your life or actions in terms of purpose) feel like to you?
I don't know if I quite understand what you specifically mean by this. I do think it's good to have a 'purpose' in the sense of having a goal of sorts that gives the feeling of purpose and meaning to one's existence. Something to do even if it's in essence meaningless. Some point of orientation. At the same time it's good to be open ended and be more like freely flowing water, adaptive to changing circumstances. I usually have an idea of what I'm aiming to do (project to learn something in the next X years) but I can pretty quickly see when there's an element that emerges that is a 'game changer'and pursue another, even wildly different, opportunity opening. I do think there is a kind of a consistency, a cohesion, in my cluster of existence that I call my 'personality' and it has preferences. Those colour the pursuits I engage. ...and I usually have goals. So yes, and no would be the answer.
 

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Can you say more about what you mean here? How are those relationships formed and realized?



How does that work for you? (I'm curious about the specific roles/dynamics of Fe and Ti in relation to Ni perception for you)
Sorry if my wording was/is confusing or vague. Let me try to explain it better.

As for the first statement: I see the world for all it's interconnections. If you wish, visualized everything having a string is attached to several other things. Even events or concepts have connections to other things and even other connections. It works well with abstract things and owns up to it's name of intuition; the connections don't feel very solid or concrete but rather fluid and almost instinctive. "thing" in this post is really an all-encompassing word. As I am perceiving the world and it's connections I see never before seen connections or finalize connections that have slowly been forming and new things get woven into the existing connections.

As for the second: Fe is my default judging function and has a stronger overall effect on my Ni perception. Fe helps attach attitudes and others perceptions to my own. I think this is what makes INFJs seem "mystical" as it adds feelings into the already abstract Ni. Ti analyzes and sorts, that part helps me make sense of it all. For me categorization is big learning tool that I guess comes from that NI-Ti interaction. Ti gets to the nitty-gritty and fills in the blanks after Ni and Fe make a sweeping guess. Fe and Ti can be used to "check" my Ni perceptions. Is it logical? Is it in line with the standards of the world/the impressions of others I get? More simply Fe becomes is that right? and Ti becomes is that correct? (entering slight rant)
I believe the non-dominate functions are a double-edged sword. If Ni is unchecked it can become overly idealistic and unrealistic, checked too much and we loose the point and our direction in the details. If used correctly the way we (and INTJs) take in and perceive information can be incredible, this is what I think makes us so good at seeing the inner working of things. Pi>Je>Ji>Pe or more specifically Ni>Je>Ji>Se as Ni is better for theory as it's aimed more toward what could be than what is. Those internal perceptions are checked by external data through Je and then by internal data with Ji followed by a double take of the perceptions with Pe.

I ranted to some degree throughout the post, that might have muddied my answer to your question but I think the extra information is nice.
 

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I'm trying to think of how I understand this. I don't guarantee this will be in any way correct or necessarily coherent.

I think the way I see it is more building with things that come from Ni or possibly building within Ni. The Ni itself isn't built or necessarily building. I kind of just see it as a space perhaps?

I think the way I want to describe it right now is this idea of standing in a space that seems to be temporarily void of any light, objects . . . anything. Suddenly a ball comes hurling out of nowhere and smacks you in the head which is a little confusing because this is a void, isn't it? Then there are some more balls, and they're just bouncing all over the place. If a pattern can be discerned from the balls then a person is much better able to deal with them.

Though sometimes the balls just roll along curiously on the ground and I chase them around.

Sometimes two of them can be caught and put together and they somehow form an entirely different ball.

I think that, over time, the drive to build becomes a way of dealing with the input perhaps. After all, if a person can become good at figuring out the timing of the bounces, they're less likely to get clocked in the head. If a person can figure out how to catch and bounce the balls around, to control them, then, again, things are going to be less scary in that void.

Except that the void isn't a void. It's a room full of people throwing balls. It's just that you don't see the room or the people necessarily; you just see the balls. It's over time you start to see the source (the physical reality of the room and the people throwing those ridiculous balls) and that you start to figure out how to handle the balls.

I think I perceive it this way mostly because my experience of life has been one of feeling continually overwhelmed by input, but not physical input in the way that it would seem. I mean the input of symbols and images and vague fleeting impressions. Dreams. Weird twisty gut feelings. Security comes from learning to see the source influences (subconscious environmental input) and developing capacity to build and structure with it.

On the other hand, imagine instead of balls, metal bits like large molecules floating and pinging about in the air and the self as something of a system of magnets that can weave invisible threads between the molecules.

In both the example with the balls and the metal molecule-like bits, Ni is represented to me as the space itself with the contents (balls/"molecules") being an inherent part of the space. The space just exists. It isn't created. It simply is. The building aspect is a learned skill and is more about the individual's ability to use and manipulate the space. I feel like I want to say this is Ni-Ti, but that's a gut driven guess, and I ultimately don't know.

As for time . . . I can see the way in which the linear orientation is useful to some and how the idea of being future oriented might come into play when a linear temporal context is considered. I'm not sure I would necessarily conceive of it in such a way (I see time as interwoven, and in a more meaning/symbolic way) but I can see how from an externalized view filtered through a linear temporal orientation that the future aspect would come into play.

Again, this is just what I see and think, so I'm not at all being definitive here.

Edit: Oh. Also. I'm wondering if output generated from an Ni source perhaps give the impression that Ni itself is built because something has to be constructed to be expressed where as Ni, being what it is -- intuition inward -- is not something that really can be expressed unless things have been built from the Ni for the purpose of expression. SO externally that might give the impression that Ni is built because the visible product of Ni is a construct? The perceptive nature of the Ni space might be masked by the structuring process required to externalize any part of the Ni space. Just a thought that popped into my head just now. Thought I'd throw it out there to see if it's of any worth or use.
 

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I experience myself as being oriented toward timelessness, though I do keep track of which way the wind blows and how fast
I identified so strongly with that. I have a sense of being within time, but also timeless at the same time, as a mere observer of what happens, and that happenings are brought out with or without my interference the way that they should be. Almost a sense of pre-ordinance that happens. Like it's all supposed to work one way, to the exclusion of any other way of things being.

There's a sense of being old enough for an age, but young enough for an infant, if that makes any sense.
 

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I disagree. I think a lot of people are confusing function with application.

Every function is a perception.

Yes Ni does seek to uncover the hidden underlying nature of things, but that is only one example of how it is applied. To Ni there should be no such thing as "what is" since this implies a static perspective. The fact that it is hidden does not somehow ground how it could be perceived since the idea of it being hidden is a potential distortion of perspective in itself.

Ni is subjective intuition so it does not focus on the objective reality. It focuses on what has been derived from it...whilst retaining an awareness of how it is impossible to objectively define, since the nature of whatever "it" is will always be dependant on our perception of it.

But an awareness of a perspective does not necessarily imply automatic rejection or trivialisation of it. So Ni must temporarily anchor itself somewhere in relation to the context. But Ni operates outside of the realm of objective definition, so what it creates is a symbolic representation of what it perceives. The inevitable paradox being that it must rely on the very perspectives it seeks to escape...although it remains consciously aware of doing so.

I don't know if anyone has ever done this...but I've always had this weird thought process that I used to amuse myself with. Basically I always thought..."I'm watching something from the outside...but there must be something outside watching the watcher...so there must be another outside...and then something watching all of the watchers watching each other...and something watching the watcher watching all of the watchers"...and it would carry on like that. Infinitely recurring perspective. It is impossible to reach the end since perspective requires context. So, of course, the only way for my mind to make sense of such a thought was to create a symbolic pattern of these infinitely recurring contextual perspectives. In this case a sort of pattern of expanding circles. That is a basic example of what Ni creates. Symbolic imagery which eventually gathers into a sort of internal landscape of abstract geometry.

As an artist, I obviously utilise it as a creative function.
 
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