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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Some thoughts I had this morning (for the sake of a theoretical debate):

When considering someone's enneagram, the gestalt of the person is usually quite important. This is because, fundamentally, enneatypes are ego fixations which are, unlike cognitive functions, visible to the discerning eye. This is especially the case with the image types, 2 3 and 4. Roughly, the 2 image is of being loving/lovable, the 3 image is of being successful, the 4 is being unique. We all know this by now, and we're also aware of what this looks like in the type cliches of everyday life.

What I'm interested in, then, is how a type 4 image fixation is expressed in the stripped down, abstract space of a forum. In particular, how the physical image we present to one another in each post (our avatars) reflects both our fixation and our Jungian function. To cut to the chase, I see the avatars of most 4s as being very very un-fourish. They generally fall into two archetypes: fairy tales and cartoons.

Why aren't these reflective of a 4 fixation? I should state that I like fairy tales and cartoons, a lot, and that type does not necessarily determine taste. That said, type does to a great extent determine presentation. The type 4 wants to ultimately be unique, to distance itself from associations with the mundane and inauthentic. Supposing that an avatar is an expression of ourselves, I don't see a 4 as expressing itself as a cartoon or in the soft glow of a benign fairy-tale. Cartoons are simplifications of human experience into flat, monochromatic fragments. This is the opposite of how a 4 sees itself (or others, but more on that in a moment). The same can be said of the type of fairy tale avatars I see on this forum (see below). Both of these presentations seem obvious of type 9 and the introverted sensing function.

Type 9, and introverted sensors, have a tendency to view life as having fairy tale qualities. This is fundamental to the introverted sensing function, which is all about the subjective impression of an object as filtered through the subconscious. Because the subconscious is ripe with symbolism and archetypes, the introverted sensor views objects through a lens of mysticism and exaggerated impressions. This correlates well with type 9, which sees others in a hazy, simplistic, positive light. Others, and the self, are viewed as caricatures, subjects of an "internal wonderland," where, stripped of their harsher realities, they pose less of a threat to harmony.

Okay... that's it for now (writing from my phone is too difficult).
 

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Hm, interesting interpretation but I would have to disagree with you that fairytale avatars aren't particularly representative of fours. Fairytale avatars, especially the first two you give as an example, suggest to me a desire to live outside the realm of normality - to be a romantic, isolated and extraordinary figure. (And one whose life has a definite meaning and purpose).

On a not entirely off-topic note, I do like your avatar. I love the symbolism of the Ouroboros. I was curious though, what is in the centre of the image?​
 

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I disagree with you. I use Ni, which is very focused on archetypes and symbolism, and I'm very obsessed with fairy tales. My current avatar matches my username (my avatar is of the character Unico) and I use it because it reflects how I see life and always have, since I was a small child and introduced to the Unico movies. I care for people, want to help people, and feel like people often drift away from me. I also very much like unicorns, which relates to my fairy tale obsession (which, as I said, could be associated with Ni just as much, if not more, as Si). Being authentic is more important to me than being unique, which can be the sign of a healthy 4, and Unico represents the authentic "me."
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I disagree with you. I use Ni, which is very focused on archetypes and symbolism, and I'm very obsessed with fairy tales. I also very much like unicorns, which relates to my fairy tale obsession (which, as I said, could be associated with Ni just as much, if not more, as Si).
Not so much. Si is the impression of the object as filtered through the subconscious, whereas Ni is the impression of the subject (idea). For example, an Si man meets a beautiful woman. He is taken by the exaggerated sensation of her, filtered through a magical lens, of her being (shape, smell, expressions). An Ni man would be taken by what she represented in his subconscious, whether that be the idea of a true love, the projection of the shadow self, or any set of metaphorical images: teetering on the edge of a precipice with a dagger through one's heart, and then falling into the black depths, into the wraith-like waiting arms of this woman, who represents beauty and death.

So what is it about fairy tales that appeals to you? Becoming enraptured in the magical sensation of an altered world? Or the story as it exists as a metaphor for your soul?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hm, interesting interpretation but I would have to disagree with you that fairytale avatars aren't particularly representative of fours. Fairytale avatars, especially the first two you give as an example, suggest to me a desire to live outside the realm of normality - to be a romantic, isolated and extraordinary figure. (And one whose life has a definite meaning and purpose).​
The tone of these avatars is too bright. The question usually asked to differentiate the fantasy of a 9 vs. 4 is: does this represent the bright world (optimistic outlook) or dark world (melancholic outlook)?

On a not entirely off-topic note, I do like your avatar. I love the symbolism of the Ouroboros. I was curious though, what is in the centre of the image?[/CENTER][/FONT]
Thanx :). The center image is a fish egg/embryo
 

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Interesting, I see what you mean and would agree there's some kind of pattern.

I'd prefer the three "4" type avatars you put up though, although I really like the one below as well. It's not as if 9's identify themselves with lighthearted things only and are naive beings. The world is a gray battlefield, full of shades of gray.

Would be interested in knowing what type you would categorize my illustrative artwork: http:// cargocollective.com / wijnand (remove the spaces)

 

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I still disagree. Fairy tales are so wound up in my understanding of the world and archetypes that my impressions of the world *are* reflected in fairy tales. I like all aspects of fairy tales, but especially I am interested in their archetypal nature and how they reflect my soul.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I still disagree. Fairy tales are so wound up in my understanding of the world and archetypes that my impressions of the world *are* reflected in fairy tales. I like all aspects of fairy tales, but especially I am interested in their archetypal nature and how they reflect my soul.
Your impression of the world being reflected in fairy tales is about as indicative of Si as you can get. Have a read:
Classics in the History of Psychology -- Jung (1921/1923) Chapter 10
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Interesting, I see what you mean and would agree there's some kind of pattern.

I'd prefer the three "4" type avatars you put up though, although I really like the one below as well. It's not as if 9's identify themselves with lighthearted things only and are naive beings. The world is a gray battlefield, full of shades of gray.

Would be interested in knowing what type you would categorize my illustrative artwork: http:// cargocollective.com / wijnand (remove the spaces)

I don't think 9s are as lighthearted or naive as the general descriptions paint them. Not at all. Lots of 9s are quite troubled indeed. What's relevant here is the barrier 9s set up between their emotions, themselves, and "reality," which is different than the barriers of the other withdrawn types.

I like your artwork a lot. I think it reflects your 9 fixation. 9w1 has been called The Surrealist.
 

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I've read Psychological Types before and always related to Ni with Feeling as auxiliary. I just reread the Si description and didn't relate to it, nor did I see the connection between what you are claiming as Si and what Jung described as Si.
 

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So wait... Si = 9 and Ni = 4? Why are we mixing Jung with the Enneagram? O_O

Well, anyway, everybody has a different reason why they chose a particular avatar. Somebody's avatar not being a dark symbolic fantasy thing doesn't mean they're not a Four. ^^
 

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So wait... Si = 9 and Ni = 4? Why are we mixing Jung with the Enneagram? O_O

Well, anyway, everybody has a different reason why they chose a particular avatar. Somebody's avatar not being a dark symbolic fantasy thing doesn't mean they're not a Four. ^^
I don't believe 4's are usually Ni-dominant, I'm just arguing I don't think my avatar or interest in fairy tales is reflected in being a 9 *or* being Si-dominant. Just to clarify:)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So wait... Si = 9 and Ni = 4?
Generally, yes.

Well, anyway, everybody has a different reason why they chose a particular avatar.
This is the whole point. 4s are quite aware of the image they create. I cannot see 4s presenting themselves with a lighthearted fairy tale avatar, or a cartoon. That's quite the opposite of how a 4 wants to be seen.
 

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I think you make a really interesting point. I'm always extremely conscientious about online avatar choice (LOL I just said that). It's an image space you have entirely to yourself to express anything you like and it's how you will be recognized. I need that space to reveal some essential characteristic about me. I think uniqueness is achieved in expressing my individuality to such an extent, but it is not necessarily the intended goal.

...Um or maybe subconsciously it is, bleh.

My avatar is a brightly-colored cartoon AND depicts a fairy tale but hopefully I'm not the only one who senses the darkness in it :9
 

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@Ylajali, fairy tales and anime style animation are very much not my thing either. I have no interest in fantastical worlds and happily ever after, etc. my fantasies have always been very personal, interaction with a soul mate, if only I were a better musician, etc. apparently some fours are into it, though..?

I would like an explanation from fours interested in it as to why, because it's something which has never held my attraction, so I'm intrigued.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I think you make a really interesting point. I'm always extremely conscientious about online avatar choice (LOL I just said that). It's an image space you have entirely to yourself to express anything you like and it's how you will be recognized. I need that space to reveal some essential characteristic about me. I think uniqueness is achieved in expressing my individuality to such an extent, but it is not necessarily the intended goal.

...Um or maybe subconsciously it is, bleh.

My avatar is brightly-colored, a cartoon, AND depicts a fairy tale but hopefully I'm not the only one who senses the darkness in it :9
Thanks, this is what I'm getting at. To 4s, in a public space like this, the only way we have to express our individuality is through our avatar and our text.

It's not that cartoons are inherently 9. I'm interested in the general tone and what they represent as an expression of the self in an avatar. I don't think your avatar is particularly 9 at all.
 

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Fairy tales aren't always "happily ever after" if you read older versions of them. I study fairy tales intensely and have read many variations of tales that are often quite sexual or gruesome. Though I enjoy the lighter-hearted ones, too. I love beauty and am attracted to color and softness in art. I love Impressionism, for instance. Fairy tales show me how my life (filled with sorrow, abuse, and betrayal) is a story all of its own. Fairy tales also remind me I create the world around me and I can have those "happier" elements in my life if I choose to. Healthy 4's often aren't as dark and depressed as average or unhealthy 4's. It's perfectly possible to be a 4, but to have outgrown a lot of the darkness associated with it.

Edit: I wrote "Happy" 4 when I meant "healthy" 4.
 

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Also if anyone would watch Unico instead of just making assumptions from the cheeriness of my icon from him (which I find beautiful, which is why I chose that image, as well as for the fact that it depicts my curious nature) they would know that he always helps people, loves people (or animals), but always has to be whisked away from them just as he gets close to them. He has to move onto other people (and animals) to help. He is actually a lonely soul in a lot of ways, hunted, and loving despite all his loss.
 
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