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I've never before seen any Orthodox quoting Hilaire Belloc...!

Good food for thought. Did you write this for Lent?
 

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...the god of the age is profit above almost all else.
I think this is the heart of the issue. Unless a skill can make a quantifiable contribution to a company's profit margin, there is little perceived value in said talent. Sad, really.

As a kid I had a fascination with video games, which I think at least some INFPs share. Unlike most INFPs, I took the next step and learned how to build gaming PCs, which launched a career in computers. While I'm certainly not pulling down a huge salary, it is enough for me to afford a small house and a decent car. Since I have a skill that the market values (at least somewhat), I can count on a living wage.

I'm not sure what the remedy for this is. But at least here in America, the incessant cycle of materialism, conspicuous consumption and debt slavery are producing a mental health crisis. Even if businesses can't get it through their thick skull that profit isn't the only thing worth living for, society needs to realize that humans have needs other than greed.
 

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I think this is the heart of the issue. Unless a skill can make a quantifiable contribution to a company's profit margin, there is little perceived value in said talent. Sad, really.

As a kid I had a fascination with video games, which I think at least some INFPs share. Unlike most INFPs, I took the next step and learned how to build gaming PCs, which launched a career in computers. While I'm certainly not pulling down a huge salary, it is enough for me to afford a small house and a decent car. Since I have a skill that the market values (at least somewhat), I can count on a living wage.

I'm not sure what the remedy for this is. But at least here in America, the incessant cycle of materialism, conspicuous consumption and debt slavery are producing a mental health crisis. Even if businesses can't get it through their thick skull that profit isn't the only thing worth living for, society needs to realize that humans have needs other than greed.
It is not going to be around for much longer as the old saying "life finds a way" and all these systems of control will come down be it willingly or otherwise. The root of it all has always been the programming at the heart of the human condition that makes slaves of all.
 

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I'm not quite sure I follow, but admittedly this is a dense topic; there's just so much to consider, and so many of these things coincide and factor into eachother that it becomes really difficult to pin down which is the cause and which is the effect. For example: I would consider it a bit of a stretch to propose that the disappearance of iconography post-reformation would cause INFPs to lose interest in religion — I'm not entirely sure what caused the gradual loss of interest by not just INFPs but the population at large, but I'd be more inclined to see the changes in religious expression, as well as the overall interest in those expressions, as effects of a common cause. I certainly haven't figured out what that might be, let alone do I know how to articulate it, but on an intuitive level I feel like it has something to do with an increasing tendency to rigorously seperate the literal from the figurative, and the increasing prevalence of "left brain" thinking that is primarily interested in systematizing the world. This has slowly caused symbolism to be considered irrelevant or at best as an aesthetic frivolity that should be eschewed in favor of rational discourse whenever we want to communicate something clearly, and IMO it's plausible that this mentality changed religion by first removing the overt (as in physically manifest) symbolism, after which the symbolism in its language slowly eroded away too and people started regarding religion as a whole as something that ought to be dismissed because it isn't "true". Then again, I might have cause and effect upside down here as well. I mean, did a seperation with spirituality cause a lack of religiosity, or was it the other way around?

That brainfart aside, my first thoughts when reading your essay (which arose in the form of a faulty expectation about where it was heading) are that in 21st century society, religious idols have all but been replaced by a new form of idolatry: the veneration of material wealth as the divine principle, and celebrity as the higher ranks of its clergy. It's a bit of a cliché perhaps, but you might consider brand logos and advertising as the new iconography... some high profile brands even use overt religious symbolism in their branding (car manufacturer Mazda even took their name from a deity ffs). I suppose that with this in mind, you could argue that INFPs would actually benefit from a metaphorical iconoclasm, because a hyper-consumerist society where superficial appearances matter so much and art is frequently reduced to a commodity more comparable to a pack of gum rather than an expression or honoration of the transcendent, makes for a rather unforgiving climate for creatives who value integrity in their work. It's very difficult to make commercially viable art without serious compromises, because even though there are plenty of jobs that offer some sort of creative outlet, most of the ones that will actually pay the bills require you to make what is essentially a form of corporate iconography. That's a price not everyone is willing to pay, because no one actually believes in Coca Cola; we all know that these icons ultimately stand for nothing but profit.
 

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I would like to add some more information. I've recently come across a book that is called "The Gift of Dyslexia" by Ronald D. Davis. Do I believe that all INFPs have dyslexia? No, but the book explains some of the struggles that people who are like INFPs visual-spatial learners and big picture thinkers face at school and at work. Davis describes dyslexics as big picture thinkers who have tremendous gifts like a well-developed intuition, perceive things multi-dimensional, have a vivid imagination, greater curiosity, insightfulness, the ability to experience thought as reality, heightened awareness of the environment, the ability to think in pictures, the ability to alter and create perceptions, the ability to think outside the box, empathize, to predict trends, the ability to synthesize information from various sources and the ability to see things from different perspectives. Everything of the mentioned facts applies to me and I'm sure to several other INFPs as well. The problem for us is that education at school, university, and even traditional work relies a lot on literacy and does not support people who think and perceive everything in pictures. This leads us to feel different, alienated and isolated because all other students and people seem to get along just fine. "When all others get along fine there must be something wrong with me" is something I used to think a lot. No, there's nothing wrong with us but we have a different learning style and strengths than the mass of people. The irony is that it is precisely these difficulties that create geniuses. It is well known that INFPs, artists, dyslexics, and physicists prevalently use their right brain hemisphere which allows us to see the work in a different way. I would like to encourage all INFPs to support these strengths and to develop alternative learning styles, to search for professional niches, and possibly even to create their own professional fields that correspond to our strengths instead of trying to adapt and change who we are.
 

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Here is the link to the book "The Gift of Dyslexia" by Ronald D. Davis. It is available as online book. I fully recommend it for INFPs, all big picture thinkers and all visual-spatial learners to read: The Gift of Dyslexia, Revised and Expanded
 

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i don't think the causes for our unfavorable financial situation is in the outer world at all.
i think it is all ours "to blame".

us INFPs are deeply inside our own worlds, dwelling in inner emotions is basically our place of residence. our thoughts and actions are mostly scattered and slow to manifest, rarely creating something concrete.
we tend to jump from one project to another, rarely finishing something that we started.
we are the dreamers and wanderers of this world, inspiring others more so than creating something real ourselves. being the inspirers seems to be our true purpose, as i've come to learn with time.

being that way, it is pure luck and a string of coincidences if some of us end up making good money in this world as it is.
i cannot think of any model of society where INFPs would achieve "more" in an earthly sense of the word. in any world we would still be on the inside of ourselves, and breathing our own way. face it, even when you have vacation and all the time free to do whatever, how much is actually being done?

by saying all this i don't mean no offense to us all here. i'd much rather discuss the cases where INFPs have achieved some high bar (career, status, moneyz) and then sustaining it, that's the phenomenon to study XD


so, why do we as a type deal with low income?
how can you thrive in a world you don't even live in...?
 

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I make decent money at my day job. Could make more, but I've told those I worked with I'm at my ceiling and don't want anything else on my plate. The work is not hard, but I've done it so long it's just boring. I did a project today, and was able to piece things together with limited info, I knew I could, just hard to do it anymore partly because I know I can do it. Just seeing how much I can crank out in a day is painfully dull. So, that's where my income limit stands. All based on my motivations. I can do more than pay the bills, so yeah, I argued against getting big of a raise recently because I did not want that justifying putting more put on my plate. The most work I crank out is usually just before vacation, because I have a week of interesting stuff to look forward to.
 
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