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I have something I've been mulling over that I would like to describe in terms aside from type. For this exercise I'm looking to describe it for a bit without resorting to the terminology of functions but rather just the impression of how it feels when it happens. It's a kind of reverie that comes up on me seemingly involuntarily, but once it presents itself I'm able to do many things at one time after a period of reflection. i am curious if other INFJs experience these states of mind and how you would describe them.

It generally happens if things just get quiet for a bit. This can be late in the evening, early in the wee hours of the morning, standing on a mountain top, sitting next to a stream deep in the forest, curled up in the corner of the bookstore. If I can get quiet for a little bit this reverie sneaks up on me and takes hold.

Next what happens is I get this sort of internal low grade white noise happening it's just this feeling that pervades my body and my mind. If I'm in a positive environment like the forest or at sea I can just allow the atmosphere to sink in very deeply and combine my reverie with the world around me. Humans can cease to exist or if I do contemplate them it can be as a mass or an individual but actually I tend to sort of tune out humans in this state of mind. It's just me and life and the wind or the surf or the rustling of the trees. If I allow my imagination to take hold even further at this point my conceptions can grow larger and ever larger until I can just imagine dimensionally moving away from myself - aware of myself as consciousness distinct from form. I'm still seeing the world as comprised of "real" things at this point. I'm not experiencing it consciously as some mystical thing but it does feel rather otherworldly. In this state I can bring together untold images of particles interacting with one another, expanses of space and time, the rotation of galaxies or even envision how a tree grows cell by cell from the interior perspective of the tree all the way out to an external view of the tree.

The way I feel at this point, once I've reached that state, I can describe it like having a set of dials. I don't visualize it in my head like a set of dials but it's just a useful analogy for how I'm compartmentalizing this experience. As far as the emotional component and the general feeling it can vary from quiet and peaceful to a kind of underlying drama such as one feels if gazing on a great work. If I turn down the other dials I can turn this one all the way up to eleven and just drown out anything around me I don't want to get in - while at the same time I'm expanding and traveling past any mundane experience - so I'm kind of tuning it out but also the mundane takes on a very diminished quality that makes it easier to tune out.

I can turn up the dial on the environment and turn down the other dials. I can let the environment come in like a torrent, flooding me with the experience of what is around me. If I drift into this state while playing guitar or painting, hours can pass by but it feels like the passage of days inside me. I can just go on and on, and the work that comes out of this state if it's a painting or a drawing is usually of such superior quality to what I do in other frames of mind that it looks like two completely different people might have created the works.

I can listen to the environmental data and compartmentalize part of it sometimes while maintaining the overall mood. I registered this morning the sound of a wheel attachment making a subtle noise along with a slight shimmy. it was so low that it might have gone undetected if I was in a normal frame of mind. But in my state of reverie I experience it, store it away as a useful fact and then move on to More Reverie!

If I maintain the mood and turn down the dials for environmental dat - and turn up the dials for abstract data - I can visualize large systems of interaction and how objects within those systems interact. I can solve intractable problems in this state of mind. I try to get into this mode at work because I become extremely productive. I can think of all these problems in our collaborative system, see all the interfaces at once, imagine everything on the client side, the server side, the application the middleware - heck it seems sometimes like I could even imagine what color socks the developer was wearing the day he wrote a block of code! It may sound stupid but it's like I can see this with such remarkable fidelity that it's almost beyond belief.

Big problems can be worked out in this state of mind. All these little things; the gutter that was damaged on the back of the house in the last storm, the supporting documentation the state department of revenue requested from me for a show I did, the paperwork I have to turn in for my daughter's school grant, the phone call I have to make to my insurance agent, buying a birthday card for person X, remembering to call person Y - all these things get shuffled into actionable "To Do" folders which I can address when I come out of this reverie. And of course some things I ponder on and I just think I don't have time for this crap and I just take that notion - a phone call I don't think is important, a piece of junk mail that I just don't care about - the old furniture in the storage pod that I suddenly decide to give away instead of selling - I just dispense with it all like a potentate sentencing inpenitents to their doom. And there is no rescue for these ideas that I have discarded in my reverie. They are gone. I may forget later to throw away the piece of junk mail and my wife might wind up putting it in the trash, but it is as dead to me as a piece of fossilized wood. Actually more dead because I can imagine the natural processes that fossilized the wood and have fun with it, but just discard the junk mail. It literally becomes a non-entity as if it doesn't exist at all.

The next stage can happen in different ways. If I am not interrupted I can turn the various dials up and down to increase or decrease the various experiences. If I come to the natural end of the reverie - I can come off of it with a kind of euphoria, this HIGH that feels like you could fly by flapping your pinkies because you feel so good. Or if I've been dispensing with a lot of negative things in my mind I can come out of it the way a nervous dog emerges from a shaking episode. If you've ever had a nervous dog you'll know what I mean. They have these periods where they burn off all this pent up energy by shaking and at some point they've done enough, they stop shivering and let out a big sigh like they've just had Atlas's weight removed from their shoulders.

While the whole scope of the reverie feels "timeless" - there is volitional awareness of the past and the future. This is when I determine a sense of scale of things that have occurred before and also I can plan for future actions and visualize future energy expenditure. I have learned with experience over time that I generally don't judge my energy expenditure very well in the moment in real time, so I visualize it based on memory and projection. If I do tasks X,Y,Z in the mornings to finish "Project Omega" based on past experience I will crash and hit my recovery period in approximately 21 days. I can even visualize alternate courses of action for likely interruptions.

But:

The absolute worst thing that can happen is if I am interrupted during this state of mind. If it is a momentary interruption I can usually shake it off. But if somebody is hitting me up to concentrate on something in the real world my typical reaction is not pretty. I'm usually quite grumpy because I've been in my little world where I solve problems and somebody has interrupted me. Sometimes a co-worker can rub me the wrong way like this. I've known guys who come in in the morning and they are ready to hit the whiteboard and work out all these problems and I'm just not in that frame of mind. This is a time when my teachers would frustrate me because they would hound me for not "paying attention" when in fact it was at this moment I was at my Most productive. Solving all these little insignificant problems they think are so important. In other words when some people think I'm spaced out and not paying attention to their desires is often quixotically the time when I am paying the Most attention to their situations. it's maddening at times.

This morning I was in that state. My wife was driving us in to work and it's about an hour. I'm processing all this stuff and she shakes me out of it. Literally! I said what the heck are you doing? She said you're in that place. I said yeah, what of it I'm solving problems. I said you've known me for years and you know not to disturb me when I'm in the zone. She said "Well sometimes I don't like what you are like when you are 'in the zone' and besides we're at my office so we have to switch out. It's time for you to go to work."

And so it was. We had arrived at her office. I think I went on autopilot all the way from there to the lab. Construction in the back so I grumbled and groused as I walked all the way around the back of the building and entered from the front. In the while that I had travelled I had solved many problems. Had what felt like a lifetime of experiences in a moment - and among other things wrote this missive in my head. The only thing left to do when I got in the door was to move my fingers. But I didn't actually type it in real time. I was just going through the motions of typing what I had already memorized in my head. So my fingers have been typing this out while I carry on a conversation with a coworker about a new server monitoring agent we are installing. It's all this giant mess of compartmentalized experience. When I'm in that moment I can come out like I can conquer the world or I can come out ready to slug somebody. It all depends if I was allowed to come out of it naturally.

Now what is this process? What is this state of being, this frame of mind? Does anybody else experience it? Can you control it? Can you make it happen on purpose? Do you get really pissed off if somebody interrupts you?
 

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Hmm, I suppose I have had similar experiences like yours only on a less toned down scale because of the way I see the world.

I usually tap into the universal consciousness to gain a better interpretation of a situation I am mulling over after doing my divinations. So I would need to consider things on a more cosmic scale. I have to link all conceivable events that could affect a situation in unconceivable ways. So even if I am somewhere, I am actually in another world focusing on something else. I am aware of my surroundings and if I am outside, I subsconsciously try to find a safe place to deposit my body while I reflect. That's one way I reach this zone.

Since I don't play the guitar or paint, another way I reach this zone is when I am lifting my weights in the gym. That's when I have a really super productive and intense workout because I am able to focus and shut out everything else that is unimportant. Time loses all meaning for me and I seem to have great bursts of energy.

The last way is when I am doing my work or writing something. I am able to tap into this zone and reach this stage of inspiration where everything just flows naturally for me. I know exactly what I have to do and how to do it and so on.

Like you I get extremely irritated if someone interrupts me when I am in this state because I wish to get all the insights out of my head before I lose them. But I make sure I minimize the chances for interruption when I know I'm going into that zone. So interruptions happen only occasionally.
 
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I'm always in this state

It's the real world that keeps pulling me out every now and then
 

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Like Zomboy, I feel that the condition you describe is my natural state. Unless I am actually forced to interact with the world (i.e. humans), or to deal with necessary bodily functions (namely eating, which I often to forget to do if left to my own devices), I am generally in this state of reverie. Also, states of worry or agitation can interfere with this. I often feel as though I am not anchored to the earth, that I might simply float away. During extended periods of isolation, I withdraw ever further into this state, and the feeling intensifies. When someone attempts to rouse me from this reverie, it is as though I am lost in the depths of a very deep well, and I always "awaken" disoriented (and sometimes irritated). I love it. I want to stay there.

I their have similar experiences with certain external stimuli. At the end of a yoga session, for example, when I am in corpse pose and fully relaxed. Also once when I smoked hash, though this was more intense. It was as though I had four or five different trains of thought all going at once and I felt this intense euphoria and a profound sense that I could understand everything at once.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
But I make sure I minimize the chances for interruption when I know I'm going into that zone. So interruptions happen only occasionally.
Hit or miss with me. But I don't feel like such a weirdo. That's what is cool about Personality Cafe. You can tell the weirdest stuff that ever happened to you - and people are like myeah - happens all the time.

Ok well back to making my tinfoil hats to protect me from the mind control beams from space.
 
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