The following chapter has been imported from the Cognitive Type book and made freely available online. It provides a technical explanation for the information metabolism that define each core element of the model, independent of any behaviors. Type, as you’ll read below, is a cognitive equation capable of producing infinite (although thematically linked) vultological and behavioral outcomes in diverse points in history and culture.
- Psyche as a Feedback Equation
- Continuity of Consciousness
- Perception & Judgment
- The Necessity for Abstract & Concrete Perception
- The Necessity for Logical & Ethical Judgment
- The Necessity for Proactivity & Reactivity
- The Ne-Si & Ni-Se Oscillations
- The Fe-Ti & Te-Fi Oscillations
The phenomenon of consciousness, from its very placement within human physiology, gives multiple implications about its own nature. If we begin by considering that sentience is one sub-system of human biology, then we understand that the entirety of its manifestation has its origin within our genome and is confined to certain biological realities.
In previous eras it was difficult for us as a species to comprehend how so many diverse perspectives, infinite ideas, concepts, abstractions, dreams and languages could be confined by such a finite container; the body. And indeed this has been one of the grounds from which the belief of an extra-body sentience, or the eternal soul, has predominated history. As Jung noted in his many books, much of that mysticism comes from our own unconscious – which appears to us to bring forth knowledge from some unknown place seemingly outside of us. But the mechanism which gives rise to consciousness as well as the unconscious can be explained without resorting to an outside source. All of our imaginings and thoughts stem from a finite genetic coding, and immediately this in itself presents the question: how could infinite thoughts be generated by a finite code? From a mathematical perspective the answer is quite straightforward. The human psyche could not produce the infinite variations it does, using such a finite code, without it also being a feedback equation. The information generated by our body’s collision with our environment – what becomes our individuality – is not part of our genome, yet within that finite code we have the instructions which give birth to all the billions of different perspectives in our species through exposure to life.
This brings the focus of this chapter directly into cognitive science, which attempts to understand the systemic workings of cognition as a computational mechanism. What I am attempting in this book is essentially a detailed explanation of the nature of this equation, according to the multiple patterns visible in our countenance and how they reveal to us the quality of our thoughts during these expressions.
Not all components of the brain are concerned with the creation of consciousness, and a great part of them are preoccupied with the difficult task of regulating all other systems in the body. However, for the formation of consciousness, there are two predominant neural processes at work: the synthesis of data and the process of decision-making. What I will hereafter quantify as our Cognitive Type is the sequence in which one’s brain processes information and makes decisions. It is a rhythm of brain activity responsible for the way in which we construct our perception of reality and navigate within it. The specific rhythm of brain activity we possess remains constant from our very earliest days throughout our lifetime. The most elemental component of this algorithm is a never ending oscillation between eternally conflicting processes in the psyche.
Our awareness remains continuous, not static, because of this never-resolving tension among antagonistic processes. Were this tension to resolve, the algorithm of consciousness would cease – but by remaining unresolved, the psyche is in a continual challenge between data absorption and processing.
The psyche aims to resolve all incoming information by categorizing each component, but it fails to achieve this due to the endless stream of data entering the psyche. However, it is equally dependent on this data’s introduction in order to operate – as it would have no purpose without perceived information to discriminate between. The psyche can no more cease to perceive as it can cease to process – even if the operation is taking place outside of conscious awareness.
This oscillation wheel between data absorption and processing is what C.G. Jung termed Perception and Judgment; however the definition herein will contain a few peculiarities not mentioned in Jung’s definition. The role of Perception in the psyche is the synthesis of information.
Data synthesis is the automatic population and correlation of information into the psyche absent of any conscious scrutiny of the data. There are two types of perceptive data; incoming and pre-existing, and synthesis is the process of associating the incoming data to the pre-existing – the specifics of this process will be explained further in the next chapter.
As rightly defined by C.G.Jung, Perception is an irrational process, though not necessarily because the connections it makes are linked improperly, but because the links are formed incidentally, not through rational deduction. Associations made by the perception processes are made on the basis of shared attributes – data is connected so long as it relates to other data, independent of any rational justification for the association within parameters of laws or axioms.
Thus anomalies/contradictions in logic as well as ethics will exist in perception and go unchecked for as long as the data is not critiqued with a judgment process. Perception processes draw associations, while the judgment processes break associations that cause contradictions according to the judgment process’ criteria of measure. The process of discrimination, also known as Judgment, is the deliberate arrangement of incoming data into harmony; it is the recognition and elimination of contradiction – be it logically or ethically.
The psychic recognition of the data obtained by the perceptive organs requires the cooperation of more than one operation. The perception of the world is done both in the literal and in the implied sense. Literal perception is that which intakes reality in a realistic and tactile form as it appears before our senses. Implied perception intakes reality via proxy, extracting from the environment instead what it alludes to, rather than what is.
Both of these forms of data intake are necessary for the comprehension of reality. Were we without abstract perception, we would be incapable of seeing beyond the immediately observable – unable to foretell coming events or imagine alternatives to situations. Were we without concrete perception, our minds would never form a tactile and correct concept of reality and would be utterly lost in an abstract delusion where imagination is taken as literal reality.
Implied data is data not directly attained from the environment, but generated by the mind’s activity of paralleling. When two adjacent points of data are so positioned in space, time, shape or concept, that parallels exist between them, they lend to a necessary and intermediate “connecting point”.
The implied data was never directly observed, felt, seen, or heard. But its existence is quite strongly felt in the mind, often to the same degree of certainty as the literal data was. To give a few elementary examples of this activity, we might hear a person speak in a mumbled way and be able to make out their speech through context. They may have literally said “psn.. m.. saut” but we interpret it as “pass me the salt”. These new implied datapoints are handled by the judgment processes in the same way the literal datapoints are, when it comes to discriminating between information.
The decision-making apparatus is equally divided into two components according to the themes it is responsible for administering; themes which have often been differentiated as the conflict between the Heart and Mind. While such terms are far too broad to be of use for our purposes, the general concept present in them is not unrelated to the phenomenon underlying this dichotomy.
A more precise definition would be to say the Heart, so to speak, is that which manages decisions that deal with Humanity and living things: it is the principle of Ethic. The Mind, so to speak, is that which manages decisions that pertain to non-living things: it is the principle of Logic. Both processes operate on the principle of reason but in different topics and with different criteria. This separation is also essential as the criteria for Logical decision making left to itself may generate an erroneous choice that is entirely inhumane, but which appears most reasonable to it. Likewise the criteria for Ethical decision making by itself would cause an erroneous romanticizing of reality, applying the principle of Ethic to all realms, including the non-living, anthropomorphizing all of life and being incapable of understanding or managing situations objectively when needed.
As was clarified by James Hillman, an early student at the C.G. Jung Institute, the process of Ethic, or “Feeling”, is not the same as emotions, though emotions are often present alongside it. But I feel I must make a further clarification as to what relationship the Ethical process has to the emotional register of an individual, beginning by contrasting it against the operation of the Logical process.
The Logical process is one disassociated from the emotional register. It is a process that discerns between data, but it does so without any recognition of things outside of the of principles of deduction. It is sequential reasoning; if this → then this. A process associated to the emotional center is likewise a process that discerns between data, but it does so within a different framework; different parameters. The sequence of “if → then” is processed within the context of bodily experience.
The aim is not logical consistency but a consistency of the body/emotional-register with the principles of survival/life versus death. The aim of logical consistency is without consideration of the body as anything more than a data source. Logic has no bias for its own body. Consequently, “Ethics” can be defined as the proper alignment to, and management of decisions in the context of life & death, where life is the central bias and aim. Consistency versus inconsistency is to logic as life versus death is to ethics.
The Logical process differentiates itself from the personal self and thus does not perceive one’s own importance as anything more than yet another variable within the information registered. It can only possess this lack of bias, and thus be a dispassionate process, through this lack of self-investment. If a creature existed who was purely logical and entirely lacking the ethical dimension, its absence of regard for its own life would not take long to terminate its own existence.
Fortunately the human psyche is not so one-dimensional as to make us entirely motivated by logic or strictly by the impetus for survival. Both are present in each individual and the interplay between these two dynamics can indeed become very complex. One soon finds logical reasons to support ethical pursuits (and vice versa) as dispassionate analysis is used to inform the ethical process. Through this convergence, the ethical and logical processes can better execute their respective decisions. This collaborative dynamic I will hereafter refer to as harmonizing.
We also understand that the matters which motivate humanity toward self-preservation lie within the instinctual and “reptilian brain”. The ethical discernment process is not itself those impulses, nor would I suggest it lies within the limbic system, but it draws from them pre-existing parameters from which to formulate judgment. The logical process generates its parameters naturally via exposure to the environment, using initially only the discernment between similarity and dissimilarity. It would, if it existed in isolation, attempt this process in whatever universe – with whatever laws – it woke up to, creating an organized catalog of parallels from the data presented to it by the perception processes.
This would not be true of the ethical process, as it would – if awoken in a universe with alternate laws – conceive this universe using pre-existing “human” archetypes and measure the substances and perceptive impressions available through that human judgment. It would define more and less valuable substances depending on their capacity to cause or prevent death – however it came to understand it.
This following differentiation pertains more to the direction of energy flow within the psyche and less to a psychic function. I will be describing two terms in this section: proactive and reactive. These correspond directly with C.G. Jung’s objective and subjective attitudes, also known as introversion and extroversion. Rightly so, Jung distinguished this axis from the others as a causal mechanism akin to the heart’s systolic and diastolic relationship. The proactive process is one ever leaving the subject, while the reactive process is ever returning to the subject.
As mentioned previously the human psyche maintains continuity via a feedback system, and this motion must be maintained through a direction of energy flow; the psychological processes cycle within either a proactive or reactive direction. This dual process is by no means unique to our psyche as it imitates the same causality that exists in countless natural systems from electric currents to biological sex.
Were there no proactive/reactive divide, there would be nothing initiating an interaction or dialogue between the two opposing aspects of the psyche: they would remain static. As a causal necessity of a feedback cycle, one must feed into the other, which in turn responds and that response is absorbed again by the first process – and this cycle continues ad infinitum.
It is due to the presence of this innately cyclical quality that I would add an amendment, or perhaps clarification, to Jung’s definition of the introversion-extroversion duality and hence why I prefer to use the terms proactive and reactive.
As I hope will be seen in the whole of this book, a fundamental property of cognitive elements is oscillation. The necessity for one to feed into the other was not explicitly highlighted by Jung, who viewed the two terms as more contrasted and capable of retaining their own nature at the suppression of the other.
But the contrary is true, as they are much more dependent on each other than this and not just for a healthy operation. In any sort of processing, even within cases of strong suppression, both aspects of the cycle can very well be seen operating and transpiring continually within every passing second.
When the explorer process is proactive abstraction (Ne) and the worldview process is reactive and concrete (Si), the psychological approach to information synthesis is prolific; one of plurality. Inversely, the Se-Ni duality has a psychological approach tending toward linearity. If we were to compare the processes via a ratio, the Ne-Si pair generates more connections but with each having a shorter range, while Se-Ni generates fewer connections with each holding a larger range.
In extraverted perception, this phenomenon of plurality arises inevitably when we have abstraction – which is the process of interrelating – oriented outward. If we consider the explorer processes’ operations, then we understand why it is that when the explorer process is also the abstraction process, many more connections are formed in more rapid succession and of shorter range. It’s because the explorer process is real-time, absorbing reality at miniature intervals in order to give us our constant and unbroken sense of reality, and always moving its gaze to new observations. If the exploration process must also be abstract, then the activity of abstracting must keep up with this pace. For Ne, abstraction cannot be a long and premeditated activity, but one which coalesces with, and retains the qualities of its own rapid exploration.
Here we see a diagram that depicts the difference in the process of interrelation as it transpires within the two perception oscillation pairings. As you’ll see, The Se-Ni pairing holds its abstraction process internally and its concrete process is held outward, thus it never abstracts when coming outward.
Inversely, for the Ne-Si pairing abstraction is done by the explorer process when coming outward. This means that for Ne, the interrelation process happens while fast, multiple/prolific exploration of the environment is taking place, shown here by the interconnecting lines. To elaborate on the precise mechanics of this disposition toward prolific, quick and fleeting interconnections, I would like to describe two factors that strongly affect the attitude of Ne.
The first I have termed the refresh factor. The perspectives of the two explorer processes are contingent on what is transpiring in real-time, while the worldview processes are constant perspectives not dependent on the present moment. Each time the mind conceives a topic, an event or happenstance, it is recreated by the explorer process as if it was occurring for the first time. The explorer processes by themselves have no precedent, seeing reality anew each passing moment and this is a crucial element of their operation.
It is the role of the worldview process to echo back a precedent. The perspective of the explorer process alone would be entirely dependent on the present moment and what can be extracted from it were it not in dialogue with the worldview process. Due to this constant refreshing, Ne’s ability to interrelate information is confined to what variables appear in its thoughts at the instance of interconnection.
While this may include some of what it manages to receive from the echo of the worldview process Si, it does not have the whole of Si’s reservoir in mind, lacking its scope and breadth. This shortsightedness inherent to the explorer process contributes to Ne forming short-lived, situational connections rather than long-spanning connections as does Ni. The second and perhaps strongest contributing factor of Ne’s shortsightedness is what I have termed the diverging factor.
As Ne is an explorer process but also an abstract process, its focus in exploration is directed toward the symbolism of things; what something implies. It does exploration for the sake of making connections, not so much to quantify the actual qualities of the environment and this places Ne in a somewhat paradoxical role in the psyche. On one hand, it must assimilate sensory data, but on the other it must disengage from the presently-observed data in order to “leap” its mental or literal gaze to another dataset with which it can make an association.
This leads to a natural divergence of attention away from the literal qualities of objects in the outer world at every leap, causing it to lose focus on an object when it ceases to be a source of correlation. That is to say, unlike Se who looks at an object for its qualities, Ne is less equipped to ascertain the literal qualities of an object – as it becomes, almost immediately, a symbol. Indeed, often Ne may fail to truly grasp what it is perceiving as it does not allow itself to linger long enough to absorb its nuance, but is instead diverted immediately into a chain of interconnections spawned from the symbol that the object represents at a very immediate glance.
When Se explores reality it seeks to assimilate a plethora of data as it appears to its senses without any modification, which is then all synthesized with the help of Ni into interconnections. Ne proactively seeks to interrelate elements together, while Ni generates connections reactively from Se observing reality unfold. Hence, as one would expect, the Ni tapestry is much more tied together due to its interrelating transpiring within the worldview process and not the explorer process.
Ni is not quite as generous in its interrelations as Ne, as the role of the worldview process is to give predictability to the world. In comparison to Ni, Ne carries an optimism in association-forming – as it makes a point of finding ways that data can fit together, and its talent does not lie in making the data rational within itself, nor is its motivation the creation of a consistent and predictable landscape of reality. It will see no limitations as to what can be interrelated, nor does it seek to hold itself accountable for the interrelations it previously formed, as its own interrelations quickly become obsolete to it when refreshing occurs. Se, also being an explorer process, is equally constantly in an accelerated state of refreshing and absorption, but it doesn’t finish absorbing the qualities of an object as quickly as Ne, because it actually is gathering the literal qualities, which are more plentiful than the general symbolic meanings.
Se will linger, both mentally and visually, longer on objects in order to receive their literal qualities. And from this large array of “premises”, the internal process of interrelating weaves together more encompassing connections retrospectively – having also at its disposal all prior knowledge. In other words, for Se-Ni, each new event is synthesized viscerally with all prior connections, rather than with what is brought to mind in the moment. This is not to say Ni-Se is any more rational or objectively accurate in its approach, although it will most certainly experience its own associations with more certainty than Ne would. This self-persuasion toward surety may ebb across the whole psyche, convincing the individual that certain inevitabilities are at play before any situational grounds exist to warrant such suppositions.
I would also like to elaborate on the relation the worldview processes have to memory. As mentioned earlier, the worldview process is a function of the psyche that handles the structure of our memory; the way in which such information is stored and recalled. There is a general reluctance existing in both worldview processes towards new information, as new information offsets the worldview and forces reconsideration.
The worldview process by itself holds no desire for outside information and would be content holding a perception of reality generated entirely by the data already accumulated. While it will not venture into the external world by itself, it is forced to adjust itself by the intake from the explorer process – and as these readjustments occur it regains predictability. While Si accomplishes predictability by storing the real-time associations of Ne as concrete information that can be referenced as static facts, Ni accomplishes predictability through tying together Se’s array of static, sensory input into a lattice of directional outcomes.
Hence, the tapestry of Si is filled with situational, largely isolated and compartmentalized interconnections which are continually being re-triggered into consciousness by the environment and reordered by Ne through active rearrangement before they re-settle again into a static form. It is necessary for Ne that Si store data as static information, as this allows Ne the freedom to rearrange and selectively connect data clusters into new forms without being restricted by the connections they might have to other datasets.
The Ni worldview works in an inverse manner, as new data from Se alters its tapestry in such a way that the rearrangement of any dataset affects all other datasets that it may be connected with – as a ripple spreading through an ocean surface. Such interconnection can cause undesired effects, as what might have been a correct perception, initially arrived at from direct Se experience, is altered by modifications to adjacent datasets into something erroneous. And this new perspective is felt with the same level of inevitability that the original perception was felt with, even though it had no direct sensory basis for its newly modified form.
As is no doubt clear at this point, both the Si-Ne and Ni-Se perception oscillations contain logical fallacies in their functionality. The former is prone to fallacies of anecdotal overreliance and wishful thinking, the latter of unwarranted assumptions and an inability to theorize alternatives. It is the task of the judgment functions to weed out these fallacies, but the tendency to make them will forever exist within the corresponding users, as they are a natural consequence of the perception oscillations’ normal operation.
While the perception pairings viscerally construct a view of reality as it appears in the present, including within it the context attained from the past, the judgment pairings will register the meaning of those perceptions according to their criteria of judgment. I will be using the term “register” to refer to the ignition of a conclusion by the judgment processes; the very moment at which the environment is consolidated into a deduction.
All variables in the environment congeal into a panorama which the judgment processes can see and, via an application of thresholds, draw lines in that panorama to differentiate substances and situations. The psyche reduces environmental variables by drawing these conclusions, then only consciously manages those conclusions. Without the judgment processes, the causality around you would continue to flow as one endless stream between the present sensory experience and how it triggers previously observed sensations but with no ability to contrast the two between themselves or to chronicle them properly in space or time.
Furthermore, the rate at which these differentiations are executed is comparable to the rate at which perceptions congeal, making judgment – at its most incremental scale – an incredibly rapid process. Because of this the registration of any single judgment is not always clearly echoed in the awareness of the individual as a thought. One may only become slightly aware that one’s disposition toward the environment has shifted to a conclusion. By the time we become aware of a thought and it is clearly echoed through our mind, it is no longer a single judgment but the apex of an enormous architecture; a pyramid built from a foundation of hundreds of micro-judgments converging into a broad-reaching conclusion.
Above we have a diagram to help represent this higher and higher convergence. Toward the bottom of the pyramid each dot represents the register of a basic sensory input. As we move up toward the top of the pyramid those dots merge into more complex conclusions that account for more variables, including previously reached conclusions. The convergence to greater complexity happens as a gradient effect, without any strongly differentiated levels; the five sections listed herein are only to give a general concept of the contents that may be contained along various points of that gradient.
Now, the process by which things congeal is what differs between the judgment processes. Each of the four judgment processes has a different way of consolidating this data into conclusions and so data is taken to represent different things. As thousands of minute conclusions converge, the end result contains a very clear imprint of the methodology being utilized in processing the perceptive data. It is these methodologies that are the defining attributes of the judgment processes as, when divorced from context, individual judgments coming from various processes can overlap one another. The same conclusion can be reached via different avenues, however the same methodology will never be employed by more than one process.
I would first like to contrast the consolidation process of Te against Fe. Both of these processes may be described as a registering of, and dynamic execution within, an ethical or logistical economy. I use the term economy not strictly in the materialistic sense but to describe a system of managing available resources of any sort and coordinating the distribution of energies. At the smallest scale, this management is done through a continual comparison between one perceivable variable and another, and then arriving at the conclusion that the relation between those two things is either beneficial or detrimental to the desired external arrangement.
As such, the entirety of the extraverted judgment (Je) processes’ functions take place within an external setting and are related to other external factors. If something is not in the environment or affecting the environmental situation, then it is not considered relevant to their deductions. For Fe, these factors relate to an external management of social economy and to Te this translates to a management of logistical economy.
The economy which Fe registers, and which it manages is one where the emotional states within people are registered as though they were tangible factors in the environment and are manipulated with energy distributions; energy which can be either positive or negative. If Fe registers that there is too much energy in one area, it may siphon it off to another area. If for example someone is gaining too much at another person’s expense, Fe may coordinate the translation of negative energies via shame or some other tactic to rebalance the circumstance.
It is important to emphasize that these tactics relate to a translation of emotional energies and not necessarily a logistical arrangement. The actual environment may suffer no change as the movement of energies transpires within the individuals involved. If a logistical arrangement facilitates a needed translation of energies, then Fe may arrange the situation but for the sake of making that energy exchange possible. Even so, Fe will not be the most adept process at coordinating a logistical arrangement, and will first and foremost seek to arrange the situation by persuading the parties involved of its reasoning and have a collaborative effort taken towards that logistical aim.
Thus, Fe compensates in part for its inability to change logistical causalities effectively by moving people’s motivations; by persuading more hands to get involved in the problem in order to bring it to a solution. Inversely, Te rearranges variables according to where substances need to be placed in order to perpetuate systemic functioning as Te does not manage via the manipulation of emotional states, but by the rearrangement of the environment.
While the conclusions that Fe and Te arrive at may sometimes appear identical if expressed verbally, they will differ fundamentally in their implications. What the conclusion means in a practical sense will be very different to each function due to the different methods employed to correct or direct a circumstance. Te is a process which by itself is blind to the effects that its proactivity has on the people involved, unless the effects are so blatant that they immediately become logistical problems, due to its disassociation from the emotional register.
Indeed, Te must disassociate itself from the emotional register if it is to gauge a situation objectively. While Fe, as an ethical process, is tended towards anthropomorphizing a situation, Te will tend toward viewing humans as objects no different than mechanical items. It is only in Fi that Te recovers a sensitivity toward the dimension of people, and indeed such sensitivity can be strong when the Fi-Te oscillation pairing is harmonizing. Yet this will not alter its methodology of proactive execution.
Instead, a Te user may feel deeply affected by the ethical reality of a situation, and will use that passion as a motivator to channel their focus towards finding objective, logistical solutions to perceived environmental imbalances.
At their most incremental scale, the operations of both introverted judgment (Ji) processes and the methodology they employ to differentiate perceptions compares not one external variable to another, but instead compares all to itself. Both lie at the center of all focus, judging situations and occurrences via a timeless, philosophical sense divorced from the particular dynamics occurring in the present. With this methodology, each individual instance of judgment measures whether or not the matter at hand resonates or clashes with a principle.
Therefore, disagreement with a variable happens not by whether the whole situation necessitates a certain disposition, but by how the variable relates to the disposition of introverted judgment. Both Ti and Fi give priority to the internal rather than to how those internal ideas manifest in the outside world. If something ought to be true in principle, the principle is sustained even in opposition to an environment that may make the principle impractical.
This is not to say that adaptation of judgment is impossible for Ti and Fi, but for these two processes alteration of a principle happens through a general reconsideration of the underlying reasoning to the principle. Should a shift in its principles occur, it will not only affect the present situation, but the individual’s psychic disposition altogether as the compass process strives for convergence; a unification of focus in all of its judgments without any contradiction.
The Je processes, in contrast, will feel entirely justified in executing the appropriate situational judgment to accomplish the desired outcome without any regard for internal consistency. “The ends justifiy the means” is perhaps an apt description of the economical thinking that the Je processes utilize when working out of harmony with the compass process. We can exemplify this difference in functionality by the diagram in Figure 6.
The light grey circles represent the individual. The small black circles represent environmental variables. To the left we see an example of the compass operation, with the central compass process (the small dark grey circle) in the middle of the individual. Notice here how it analyses the top variable in isolation. One by one, the compass process individually compares each variable to itself before going on to the next. The Je process to the right always compares things to other things, and there is no central comparison point, seen here by the absence of the inner dark grey circle.
Now, Fi and Ti differ from each other primarily through the association or disassociation with the emotional register.
For Ti, disassociation from the emotional register refers to a lack of consideration of one’s own bodily sense. The Ti process is unique in its operation as it is not only disassociated from the object – the external – but also disassociated to a degree from the internal. It is neither connected to the topic of life or death, nor to what is happening in the world. Due to this twofold disassociation, the experience of Ti may be one where the individual experiences themselves as though from a third-person perspective, and while this is surely an illusion – as it is not possible for any psychic process to escape its psychic origin – this disassociation from the self can be a pertinent experience.
Being divorced from external happenings, its operation in data discrimination, instead, turns purely to the conceptual. Its impetus drives it naturally toward a convergence of concepts and the formation of a perfect, internally consistent logic. As it removes itself from the material and the personal, it is no surprise then that individuals with Ti often re-discover the philosophy of Zen with every passing generation, as this is a natural mode of operation for this process.
The Fi process, being instead connected to the emotional register, is in a continual state of sensitivity – registering how a situation strikes their heart. It weighs situations by how they independently benefit or hinder life in whatever way the individual comes to personally define life. However, it is not necessary for an Fi user to have complete conscious awareness of their own definition of life – which their psyche may viscerally form through communion with the emotional register – but the effects of that definition will be strikingly exposed when a situation prompts their revelation. Such revelations will nonetheless be indirect, manifesting through another process as Fi itself never leaves the subject for the object.
The Fi process is fully capable of registering the emotional truth of a situation, but there will exist a level of blindness as to how to go about moving people’s hearts. This ignorance exists because Fi disassociates itself from the outer world and its dynamic operation. It seeks only to internally dissolve dissonance within its ethical principles. However, its association with the emotional register creates a paradoxical situation which I will refer to as emotional radiation.
Despite not deliberately moving emotional dynamics, Fi users incidentally do so, to some degree, by their own sheer permeability and sensitivity to the emotional. As reality registers very personally for a Fi user, others may see how this impacts them and may be indirectly moved by their internal conviction. Nonetheless there will be an element of privacy and passivity to such radiation. It will differ from the influence of Fe, as Fi’s radiation is unintentional and has no dynamic coordination. By itself it cannot select what type of impact to give, or what is appropriate, for the situation at hand; it cannot convey anything other than what the Fi user currently and genuinely feels.
The diagram below shows the essential elements of information metabolism. Each of the four energetic functions fills a necessary role in our metabolism of data – from initial input, to comparison with existing data, to evaluation of it against our inner alignment/misalignment, down to a necessary action.
Through this algorithm and its exponential operation, our perceptions and deductions quickly multiply into countless expressions, beliefs and worldviews – each stemming from relatively few fundamental principles working in unison and in rapid succession.
Each human possesses one of these two judgment oscillation pairings and a perception oscillation pairings, completing all the necessary functions for cognitive operation. The necessity for the presence of one oscillation pair at the exclusion of the other relates directly to the energetic relationship that defines those pairings. As we have established in this chapter, the operation of Ne-Si, for example, is entirely counter to that of Se-Ni both in its way of perceiving reality as well as in its process of archiving memories.
The discord that would result from the presence of both oscillations within the same individual would be an inability to properly record or recall memories, or interpret the environment due to conflicting instructions in the same domain.
The overarching algorithm of cognitive type includes an antagonistic relationship between Te-Fi and Ti-Fe as well as between Ne-Si and Ni-Se. However, because each individual human can only possess one or the other, the final antagonistic relationship of this algorithm magnifies and completes itself beyond the individual level and cannot be understood in whole without an understanding of the collective. As some humans represent one aspect of the equation, others will display the opposite – and thus not only are there internal oppositions within the same individual, but this psychic tension exists also between humans.
There are two factors at play in determining differentiation of types between people: the oscillation pairs that are present within them and their energetic arrangement. We see four general sub-classes of human emerge from the mutual exclusion of oscillation pairings, as Ti-Fe and Fi-Te can exist with either Se-Ni or Ne-Si. These four sub-classes each possess all necessary components for psychic operation, however the energetic arrangement of those processes differs in people.
This is because the psyche requires an energetic vector in order to perpetuate the cycling of those processes forward. An individual can either lead with the judgment oscillation pairing or the perception oscillation pairing, and of those two options an individual can either lead with the proactive or reactive function of that oscillation.
The default state of an individual’s psyche will rest in the primary oscillation pair while the secondary oscillation pair will be supportive and feed the first pair, but its aims will never be pursued outside of their ability to properly aide the prime directive.
The primary ‘drama’ within a psyche is the first oscillation; the attention and obsession of the psyche will be directed toward synthesizing the two polar ends most native to it, and while it will never succeed in fully doing so, via its effort it will generate an ever refining comprehension of the themes it touches upon.
If for example we take an individual who possesses the Ti-Fe and Se-Ni oscillation pairs, their core psychological disposition will be either that of judgment or perception. In the case of wielding Ti-Fe as their primary mode of operation they will be lead towards certainty, internal alignment and conclusiveness since both Ti and Fe hold the same decisive disposition and can communicate and compromise with one another even if they disagree on the specific content involved.
They strive for accuracy in deduction and require the antagonistic operation of each other in order to do this successfully. They will then use Se-Ni as subordinate processes to aide them by delivering data from which they can draw more distinguished conclusions. The data fed in by Se-Ni will be analyzed and concluded upon by the joined effort of the Ti-Fe process.
The diagram above shows a depiction of what this arrangement looks like. One oscillation has been expanded, as seen here by Ti-Fe, while Ni-Se is contained within the diameter of the larger oscillation. It is in this sense, also, that cognitive type differs greatly both from type as defined originally by Jung as well as Isabel Briggs Myers.
The psyche does not work as compartmentalized bits, nor does it work with percentages of use of each process. It would be simple to say that each function has a general definition and that an individual has 100% of that first function with progressively less amounts of all the rest, as if assuming functions came in quantities. But instead the functions work as a complex system and that system is interwoven by governing dynamics in ways more nuanced than a simple sliding scale of prevalence in the psyche.
And so a hierarchical arrangement as described by these principles would not be “Fe > Ni > Se > Ti” but instead “Fe(Ni-Se)Ti” – where Ni-Se is contained within Fe-Ti and the psyche is led by proactivity. If instead the psyche is led by reactivity, then the resulting hierarchy is Ti(Se-Ni)Fe. These two hierarchies are the same fundamental sub-equation, differing only in their overall direction of energy flow, making them closer to one another in functionality and information processing than to any other types. This polarity in energy flow exists for each of the other pairings, leading to the sixteen cognitive types.