This is an outgrowth of some conversations from Discord with @zweilous - and others - so feel free to pitch in guys! 🙂
edit: This article is also rather technical, and written somewhat as a stream of consciousness,
but I hope it can be of some value to some people?
The question of identity encompasses more than type but it manifest in typology as an extension of a broader phenomenon. As such, I'll be looping the discussion in and out of how it affects typology, and our endeavor here at CT, even though the central premise of this thread is to explore a general difference between Fi and Ti.
The question of identity is most chiefly grounded in Ji, and perhaps Je to a lesser extent. By identity I mean self-concept, so that there is a conceptual boundary between "self" and "not-self"; the former holding all that is understood by our reality. It is the realm of J because J is that which differentiates and defines.
So far what I have found is that the evaluation of identity, for Fi, is at the level of personal resonance/dissonance. What the self "is", comes to be a much more intimate matter that is composed of those things which are affiliated with the self. So affiliation/disaffiliation plays a more important role as to what is accepted as a proper definition of self.
Echoing what @faeruss said once, it turns out it's not possible to describe the 16 types without a starting cognitive bias centered on one's own psychology. So it was my initial inclination to misunderstand this Fi "affiliation" proclivity, and to dismiss such subjectivity as circumstantial -- and perhaps even view them as misunderstanding themselves or confusing circumstantial affiliation with self-essence.
But such things are not treated lightly by Fi. Indeed, I am only just coming to understand that the choices of Fi users, with regards to their self, are not merely imaginal but have very durable effects and life-long consequences that can remain essentially static features of personhood. It is for this reason that we see an abundance of Fi users in LGBT+ circles and many famous trans activists (Nicole Maines, Blaire White, etc) who advocate for the reality and supremacy of self-verdicts regarding sexual affiliations. And if I am to maintain a neutral or agnostic position, I don't know to what extent an Fi user's choices affects their essence. The relationship between Fi and essence appears to be a complicated matter, as often times I have seen Fi users describing aspects of themselves as "fundamental" when such things may be viewed as preferences or choices at a more behavioral resolution.
So the matter of what is essential, in the Fi sense, can be at right angles to what CT considers essential; namely one's cognitive information metabolism. For CT, being an information metabolism model, a person's essence or nature is void of specific content and thus is affiliation-less, choice-less and character-less. Such a sterile description is at odds with not only the way Fi comes to judge information, but how they may come to read and interpret descriptions when presented.
The Fi user has a much more acute instrument of diagnosis when it comes to themselves or discrete others, so that generalities are not as valuable as specifics. Thus, when a given description is put forth for a type or function, the Fi diagnostic instrument will select out the specific resonances/dissonances with each item listed, and make a call as to whether the content matches the subject on a case-by-case basis.
This situational analysis or cherry-picking of affiliations within what is supposed to be a general description of type or function, has been conflated by me as a stubborn desire to cling to one's favored tastes at the expense, or lacking acknowledgement, of the greater pattern. But there is another view to consider; that we may be talking about two different things.
The reality of Fi's identity-formation may not be at all the reality of what cognitive type measures, and both can be valid in parallel. It may be wrong for the Fi user to say they are (insert type) because they display affiliations and resonances with a fair deal of listed things, but it may also be wrong for the cognitive theorist to suggest those things are at all false about them.
The idiosyncratic nature of Fi therefore tends to resist proper cognitive categorization by the use of anecdotal information, or specifics. By its very nature, Fi will be mistyped if the way in which we are attempting to type a cognitive (and thus general) phenomenon is by using specific cases or instances. The problem here isn't with the Fi's affiliation to the content, but with the suggestion that affiliation to the content must indicate a fundamental cognitive/metabolic reality.
But then, what is Fi doing?
Now, another aspects of this that has been evolving in my mind is that Fi's valuations are not inferior to Ti's more depersonalized ones, with regards to their capacity to identify truths about the self. Quite oppositely, it seems to be that Fi does excel at a certain kind of analysis, and that is more in terms of territory like the enneagram -- where things are more about motive, and others are evaluated more based on subjective intent and the drives behind their compulsions.
Having one foot in the emotional register, the instrumental analysis of Fi capitalizes on a subjective comprehension of itself and others from the vantage point of this limbic/etc truth, so that impulses, drives, fears, defense mechanisms and strategies of the heart (at the individual level) are the ones most chiefly focused on. In one word: character. What is a person's character, rather than their cognition.
If information metabolism is a Ti-heavy analysis of the essential self, by way of examining the pre-cognitive formation of thoughts, then [enneagram/schema-therapy/naranjo] is an Fi-heavy analysis of the essential self by way of examining the formation and existence of character.
Now, it would be unfair to designate the description of character wholly to Fi, as Fe also has its own version of the same. However, in the Fe domain, character is understood not with a definite article (i.e. "a character") but as a dynamic attribute of a person, subject to transformation by its dialogue with the social sphere. Character, for Fe, is the current condition of our transmutable moral or ethical standing.
Fe, especially with the help of Ti, has a third-person view of people and thus tends to take a more behaviorist approach which evaluates more macro effects on one hand (Fe) but forms an abiotic theory for why that is (Ti), that deals with metabolic "principles of human psychology." The kind of understanding that Fe develops, of humanity and even of the subject, is always in some way decentralized from any individual. What one comes to understand as true for oneself must then have some wider/universal anchoring in humans at large. With Fi, the self is understood in more nuclear terms.
While both functions share a lot in common, and strive towards the same goals in many ways, there is an eternal polemic between them. With Fe, there is an inter-subjective "definition" of the self/identity, where identity is not only in constant negotiation within the social economy and transactions between people (in the form of reputation/etc), but the treatment of the question itself is always carried out in universals and abstractions that can make sense of the "human" as an object, rather than a subject.
This is what, I believe, makes for the much higher representation of high-Fe users in the philosophy of human nature -- such as anthrolologist SiFe Mary Douglas, historian FeSi Yuval Harari, author FeSi Simon Sinek, psychologist FeNi Jordan Peterson, professor SiFe Richard Schechner, philosopher NiFe Humberto Maturana (and so on).
But what then are we to make of Fi's diagnoses?
Fi faces the same relationship to Fe that Ti faces with Te. The extroverted counterpart speaks in broad strokes about universal causalities, while omitting the specific instances and nuances present in the process. All the things that can be said, universally, about human nature by Fe are things Fi can find a counterpoint to. And this is a necessary process.
Again, an example of this can be found in the battle between Fe/Fi in gender, where the broad-strokes of Fe may have dominated for centuries by implementing a system of social economies and social transactions that was largely sexually binary and functional/instrumental to the needs of societal organization -- while ultimately being untrue to the reality of subjects. The pushback of Fi against Fe comes now in the form of an acknowledgement of the reality of human nature from the inside-out, rather than the outside-in.
It goes without saying that all humans have the capacity for self-knowing and this is not part of type itself, but insofar as possessing Fi vs Fe makes a difference in what kind of knowledge our understanding consists of -- the differences appear to be those listed above.
There is a necessary distance inserted even in high-Fe's about what it means to be themselves. In this sense, Fi's self-knowledge is less removed from the self. That is, less inclined to view oneself from the outside, due to the embodied valuation rather than the treatment of oneself as an object. But "closeness" and "distance" are just two forms of data magnification. Distance is not automatically a superior view, anymore than the macro is better than the micro when it comes to observing human anatomy. Both are equally important and valid focal lenses.
Response to some older criticisms:
In this light, the function and value of Fi can be more appropriately framed as not just a "more muddled" Ti, or a more conceited Fe, but as something altogether different and complementary to both. I know that in the past I have been met with some friction by members who felt that Fi is painted in CT as a more biased Ti, or things to that effect. And I hope the commentary above can help spur discussions that can shift the direction of the discussion into a more holistic and balanced direction.
It must be appreciated, although it's embarrassing to say, that my own type and distance from Fi as a function has been a part of this absent framing. But this is something I hope can be alleviated with a more collaborative investigation.
This article is pretty technical, and I have to admit up front that I haven't yet read it with the closeness it requires yet. From what I understood, though, most of it seems to me to make sense.
However, I do have one caveat...This part doesn't quite ring true to me, at least from my own experience:
There is a necessary distance inserted even in high-Fe’s about what it means to be themselves. In this sense, Fi’s self-knowledge is less removed from the self. That is, less inclined to view oneself from the outside, due to the embodied valuation rather than the treatment of oneself as an object.
I think I can understand & relate to what this concept is getting at, but I would not agree that there's a distance from my own knowledge of myself. It seems like something else that I'm not quite sure I can articulate right now. But here's a shot at it.
I feel quite quite settled into the experience of being myself, and even though I sometimes have doubts about my self-identity, I experience these doubts very much as a part of the experience of existing.
Ti detachment is often described as having a self-vanishing quality to it--as constructing its thought-castles as if they were a timeless part of nature itself, or something like that. My own experience of Ti is quite a bit different from this. I'm not truly able to divorce my ideas from my own viewpoint--doing so would feel intellectually dishonest to me. Something like If I've built the castle, of course it's covered in my own fingerprints! I experience a similar dilemma when it comes to self-knowledge: on the one hand, self-knowledge is useless if there's not an honesty to it. It has to be more than just a collection of conceits & platitudes I've made up about myself. Yet on the other hand, it would be disingenuous not to recognize that self-knowledge is inextricably infused with intensive personal investment. And I'd say the same thing about the knowledge of people or issues that I feel strong connection with.
As far as I can tell, I experience Ti detachment as more an acknowledgment of the ways in which my own perspective is limited. Even if I have an intense conviction of something, I might have detachment in the sense that I can't consider the issue honestly without seeing that there are other people with perspectives that are different from mine. Acknowledging this requires that not burrow too deeply into my own viewpoint--that I keep open the possibility that it may be limited.
Actually, I've been thinking lately about the subject of the Si-lead anthropologists that came up in the other thread (also mentioned here). I was thinking about it more in terms of how anthropology often manifests Ne-Si pluralism, but I think it might also connect with this topic of self-/other-knowledge. I actually work as a cultural anthropologist myself, and I think one of the things that got me interested in studying anthropology is that you encounter ways of seeing/understanding the world that are radically different from your own. Over the years I've had a number of experiences living, working and traveling cross-culturally. Anyway, my point is that in order to understand other cultures' ways of viewing reality, I've found that you have internalize them to some degree, which means acknowledging that from some perspective or at some level, there's truth to them. You have to be able to juxtapose multiple worldviews, or realities, which means you can't be so sunken into your own way of seeing things that there's no room for other possibilities. In contrast to the natural sciences, contemporary anthropologists don't usually try to erase their own involvement as observers--or even agents--from their work.
After writing all this, it's occurred to me that maybe what I'm describing here is similar what auburn meant by self-distance. I can relate to self-distance in the sense of acknowledging the limitations of my own perspective, and being able to balance my own subjectivity against those of others. (It's easier for me to do this when I'm relatively calm--not too worked up or under stress). However, where I may differ is that I still experience my own perspective on the world as a very palpable and personal thing--not as something I'm merely looking in on from the outside.
Admittedly, maybe I'm a bit coarse in my understanding of the points this thread is making. At some point I'll try & read over it again with a finer-toothed comb.
Yes, I haven't written a long TL;DR like this in a while. >.>
And I don't think I was very succinct.
Admittedly, maybe I’m a bit coarse in my understanding of the points this thread is making. At some point I’ll try & read over it again with a finer-toothed comb.
It's possible that it's just unintelligible, too.
But assuming it's not just a heap of incoherence-- I don't think your insights are incompatible with what I described above. The main point I was making above with regards to Fe, is its tendency to view the self as an object. This doesn't stop high-Fe's from feeling and experiencing life with vividness and personal significance (indeed, that seems to be the case), nor without holding preferences.
The difference being highlighted relates more to.. hmm, an ontological difference in position of what the self is. It seems to me that Fe is more inclined to side with an ontology that is broadly/universally psychological -- and then narrow into specifics (and the self) from the universals. One's specific acquired preferences in life are often decentralized away from the "essential" definition of self. And it seems that is more or less part of what you describe above.
In contrast, I make note of how there's a trend in high-Fi users to treat the "contents of character" as more essential, rather than starting their self-concept with more generalized aspects of human psychology.
But I think there may also be some cross-over here between Si and Fi when it pertains to "affiliation with specifics." I do note, in the Mary Douglas post, that Si hearkens back to the contextual. From the Si+Fe samples in the database, we see that they do highlight the value of discrete cultural pockets and even describe their own life in terms of the particular things which they find personally meaningful.
But when it comes to any fundamental questions of "being", I still tend to see Si+Fe users begin from a broadly human place, and if there's any affiliation with contents, there's an explicit understanding of their environmentally inherited status. So Si may have specific preferences in abundance, but the matter doesn't appear to be tied to their fundamental existence/ontology. Si seems to not have an ontological 'stake' in the issue of identity, even if it can describe itself through an assortment of specifics. I wonder if that makes sense?
p.s. In trying to differentiate Si and Fi, I may have gone too far the other way.. with saying Fi treats its character contents as possessing essential, ontological reality. I imagine high Fi users are cognizant of the acquisition of traits, too. So there's something here I'm failing to articulate.
One idea that comes to mind is that perhaps Fi users don't necessarily consider their contextual affiliations to be central to their essence, but the other way around; they make contextual affiliations as an expression of their essence. In this sense, their views of self are not contextually contingent, while still not being content-less in the 'a priori' sense.
But I've said too much already, and feel I'm speculating far too widely so I'll stop there and hope to get some proper corrections from real Fi users on all this. How do you guys relate to the above? What qualifies something as fundamental to your essence?
"One idea that comes to mind is that perhaps Fi users don’t necessarily consider their contextual affiliations to be central to their essence, but the other way around; they make contextual affiliations as an expression of their essence."
This is correct, as is much of what you say. Fi/Te works from the inside out, while Fe/Ti works from the outside in (Ti fills in what's implied). When I've had to make diagrams of my self (thank you, junior high), I noticed that everyone included contextual affiliations, and I was doing that as well, but those things seems incidental and peripheral. However, I did realize our experience and circle shapes us.
I have noticed that the resistance you often meet form high Se and Fi users comes from the fact that your definitions seem to include correlations, which, I think a lot of people believe are incidental and not central. The definition of Fx by incidence/prevalence of x is an what I call "Fe isness," or the taking of socially normative data and forming axioms from them. The axioms are formed unconsciously, taken as givens, and I believe it is Ti that challenges them. Higher Fe users formulate these axioms a bit differently, but they are nonetheless, as you say, behavioral.
Back to Fi. I'll get to that perhaps this weekend, but you are correct about the assumption of intrinsic character. Whether it's something we want to believe or not, we are constrained by that in our value judgments. There is a moral vector we can't ignore with Fi->Te (much like Si), an assumption that "Good comes from Good." And because likewise, "Bad comes from Bad," I think the dark/extreme side of this is what we see with Hitler and Osama bin Laden, or the desire to eradicate evil - or ill form - from the root. There are healthier ways for Fi to deal with this, and I'll address that later. We have some good examples from people on this forum.
. The main point I was making above with regards to Fe, is its tendency to view the self as an object. This doesn’t stop high-Fe’s from feeling and experiencing life with vividness and personal significance (indeed, that seems to be the case), nor without holding preferences.
The difference being highlighted relates more to.. hmm, an ontological difference in position of what the self is. It seems to me that Fe is more inclined to side with an ontology that is broadly/universally psychological — and then narrow into specifics (and the self) from the universals.
But I think there may also be some cross-over here between Si and Fi when it pertains to “affiliation with specifics.” I do note, in the Mary Douglas post, that Si hearkens back to the contextual. From the Si+Fe samples in the database, we see that they do highlight the value of discrete cultural pockets and even describe their own life in terms of the particular things which they find personally meaningful.
OK, yes, this makes sense.
I have noticed that the resistance you often meet form high Se and Fi users comes from the fact that your definitions seem to include correlations, which, I think a lot of people believe are incidental and not central. The definition of Fx by incidence/prevalence of x is an what I call “Fe isness,” or the taking of socially normative data and forming axioms from them.
That's an interesting observation, because the stuff I often tend to feel resistant toward--in CT and elsewhere--is more the essential/metabolic assertions. I think something about their absoluteness tends to make me squirm a bit (even in instances I know them to be true) because of the fear of being trapped, inescapably, into a certain way of being...And I always imagine that every now and then, there must be a crack in this essential reality that someone accidentally falls through. So I often feel a tension between wanting to understand things about human nature, on the one hand, and feeling that there's something sacred/mysterious about the essence of human-ness that's destroyed by trying to understand it. I wonder if this is something other Fe/Ti users experience--it seems like this broader topic connects with the "Transmutable Soul" aspect of the Fe profile.
But when it comes to any fundamental questions of “being”, I still tend to see Si+Fe users begin from a broadly human place, and if there’s any affiliation with contents, there’s an explicit understanding of their environmentally inherited status.
This is a random anecdote that this made me think of: Some years ago when I worked at a fish-weir, I was snorkeling, cleaning debris off the weir. At one point I came face-to-face with a salmon, and I started visualizing it as a person whose ancestors had taken a radically different turn a very long time ago, and who'd since then been formed by dramatically different environments into a very different kind of person. Naturally, I started imagining how, if my ancestors had taken that turn, I could have ended up as a fish, and I began envisioning what that would have been like, and how it would feel completely normal to have fins instead of arms & legs. These visualizations caused me to feel a strange sort of dissonance between my own perspective (where it feels normal to have arms) and that of the fish.
I wonder if once my Fe began to equate the fish with human-ness, it started seeing arms & legs as more of an environmentally inherited status than an essential quality of personhood.
@teatime Ohhhhh, of course! *mind blown*
I have been treating Fi through the lens of Fe, when I think that their affiliations are the cause of their character, rather than the other way around. There seems to be a sort of chicken-and-egg problem with Fe and Fi. Fe is more inclined to say the behaviors birth the character, while Fi might side with character birthing the behaviors. I can certainly imagine how this might cause tensions in descriptions, as describing Fi through Fe's angle can appear wrong in a fundamental way (not to mention belittling, and missing the point).
For Ji, the metabolic processing is axiomatic rather than causal. So [ I am ] always comes before [ I do ], and the latter stems from the former. I'm rather familiar with this approach in my own J axis, but hadn't quite conceptualized it in the opposite axis.
It seems like, when we boil it down, all functions have a deep epistemological prejudice at core; one that is as valid as its counterpart in the domain of metaphysics/philosophy. I've come to grasp this epistemic leaning in Ti, Fe, Ni and other functions... but perhaps I'm approaching Fi now. Looking forward to your other thoughts Tea. 🙂
@hrafn - Peterson does something similar with the lobsters.
We're all long lost lobster-cousins.
There is a moral vector we can’t ignore with Fi->Te (much like Si), an assumption that “Good comes from Good.” And because likewise, “Bad comes from Bad,” I think the dark/extreme side of this is what we see with Hitler and Osama bin Laden, or the desire to eradicate evil – or ill form – from the root. There are healthier ways for Fi to deal with this, and I’ll address that later. We have some good examples from people on this forum.
Heh, this reminds me of this TeNi lady describing narcissists:
At around 1:10-2:00 she makes note of the irredeemable aspect to them. It's very sassy. But I also think that in her case this may be compounded by gamma meritocracy [ in relation to people ], and the "one non-negotiable reality." There's a very clear actionable bottom-line (Te), "run as far as u can", in accompaniment with that Fi character evaluation.
And if I am to maintain a neutral or agnostic position, I don’t know to what extent an Fi user’s choices affects their essence. The relationship between Fi and essence appears to be a complicated matter, as often times I have seen Fi users describing aspects of themselves as “fundamental” when such things may be viewed as preferences or choices at a more behavioral resolution.
I think there are some layers which make this a complicated matter. I don't understand how this works in case of Ti users, though I suppose the layers exist in your case too. And I can not be sure that all Fi users will resonate with this either.
It looks like there is a core formed of receptivity and love (I have seen them called spaciousness and passion - if this is of any help). I am not completely sure if this is one substance that can take 2 different forms or have 2 different attributes (like water reflecting and nourishing) or if they are 2 substances that can never be completely separated from each other. Maybe from CT's perspective they could simply be P and J, but they seem to be somehow deeper than human experience and thought patterns and at least partly in the sacred/mysterious sphere that Hrafn mentions.
This core seems to create a layer around it, formed of general beliefs about who you are. Like "I am a woman, I am a mother, I am a good person, I am open minded, I am ambitious, I am strong, I am vulnerable, I am an artist, I am a spiritual person etc"... Indeed sexual orientation would usually be part of this layer. People tend to identify with some roles that they feel more comfortable in, though they are none of these roles, they are receptivity and love that created an identity around it. The roles can change and then our beliefs about our identity will change too. But this is not a frequent occurence. For example you may have thought you are straight and at some point you start feeling attracted to someone of the same sex and relabel yourself as bisexual. Or you thought you are a good person and you do something you consider evil and then start viewing yourself as evil.
Around this second layer, a third layer forms that is made of what you show to the outer world. How you present yourself. Your image. Your identity (which I think is the second layer) can be different or similar to your image. I think in CT this is about inner essence and self expression. But firstly, this is not the true inner essence (since it is just the second layer) and secondly, it's not necessary to express it, it's a choice everyone makes. The choice can depend on second layer content - like someone who considers himself creative and honest will show more of his identity than someone who considers himself cunning and cautious.
Oh ! Maybe this is what you mean by saying we look at this from the inside out?
Now...I really don't know if all this is typical just for Fi-Te users or a general pattern. I honestly don't understand how you can see identity as divorced from specific content and I know this is typically gamma, but I would need concrete examples in order to understand what you mean.
If these layers are not built in the same way for Ti-Fe users, then it is possible that Ti-Fe and Fi-Te will react differently to CT or any other typology profiles. My assumption is that the layers are the same but Ti-Fe users look at them in a different way and I am curious what that is.
Yes, when I read the function descriptions, I check if they resonate or not. It is a process purely based on affiliation/disaffiliation. The issue is not that I would do this differently, the issue is that I don't understand how this can be done differently. 🙂
For sure second layer (identity) affects third layer (image). So, we will make choices based on our identity. As in - I will help this homeless person because I am generous. I will go to this party because I am sociable and fun.
But at the same time identity looks like a construct and therefore not completely unchangeable, so our life choices can further make our identity change. For example when you join a political party or a church, you may just be curious about it. In time though you can feel more and more as part of the community and start to integrate some beliefs as your own. Which can change the shape of your identity. And then, of course, also your future choices.
I don't know how this is different for Ti-Fe users and again, I am curious about it.
Another question is what to make of content that you don't consciously identify with but that still consists of beliefs about yourself (for example you may identify as a strong person but have an unconscious fear of losing control...is that one part of your identity too?).
But I think the first thing to clarify is what Ti-Fe sees as identity and how it is different from what Fi-Te sees as identity.
This whole thing I just said does sound more similar to enneagram. :)) But...the relationship between cognitive functions and identity is not very clear to me. I think type shapes the way these layers (for lack of a better word) are formed and the connections between them, the processes that are going on and it might even partly determine the content of the 2'nd and 3'rd layers. But it doesn't seem part of identity itself (as I understand it and I might very well be wrong), unless you "identify" with your type and integrate the profile into your identity.
Oh, we wrote at the same time and I just saw it...I ll get back later. 🙂
I become incredibility respectful of Fi after watching JP's videos. This is the funniest one by far. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD8TKkwd6AE
I use this sheep/dogs in a fence analogy with Fe and sheep/dog chained to a post analogy with Fi to show how we draw (epistemologically) our constraints.
We also see reflected in Fe v Te movements. With Fe there clearly predefined parameters defined from the outside in. With Te, it’s like “Where is it gonna land?” Yank! Chain. Yank! Chain.
Hi! Just riffin here, but the initial post may be steeped in a little too much Ti to fully understand an Fi point of view. Not that you didn't do a very nice job! Understanding my own interior mechanics from a logical point of view gives me a lot more insight into people.
But my understanding of my own self and people in general is that they are un-understandable and unreducable to any simple terms. This viewpoint is where a lot of 'snowflake' jokes come from probably, but I think for an Fi user, it's difficult to define anything any way other than completely unique and unlike anything else. I think the dichonimous 'i am this or that' idea is closer to Ti than Fi. The concept of dichonomy is inherent in Ti I think, where Fi gets to be a little more specific / less essential in our evaluations.
I could look at someone named Sarah for example and give a list of things she is or is not. "Sarah is a woman and not a man. Sarah is tall and not short. Sarah is smart and not dumb." Etc etc
OR I could look at Sarah in terms of various qualities, attitudes and motivations she possesses! "Sarah was born into a family with three other children. Sarah likes blue. Sarah has been having a hard day. Sarah likes it when, after a hard day, she can take a nice bath. Sarah is opposed to many American liberal political views." Etc etc. These things can all be held alone or be put together. Is Sarah conservative because of the family she grew up in? Why does Sarah like blue? What was making Sarah have a bad day, and why does she take comfort in soothing physical activity when she is sad?"
Just a few guesses as to the differences here between Ti and Fi! The system of CT is inherently a logical one as well, and maybe a closer example of Ti over Fi. I hope any of this makes sense, I'm on public transit on my phone and can't really proofread hahaha
Edit: something I just thought of! Fi isn't really that interested in defining things. For example, what is a woman? Who cares! It's how I view myself! Couldn't really tell you why!
You view yourself as man? Sweet! All I need to know is how you'd like me to treat you. Sure it's interesting to hear how and why you view yourself certain ways, but it isn't really necessary information. I can trust you to define yourself without my knowledge or input.
Maybe you view yourself as a mixture of man and woman, or a negation of both, or something that is neither. Ok! I personally know that masculinity and femininity are not opposites and can coexist. In fact, they coexist within all of us. Its possible to be two opposite things anyway!
Maybe Fi is more concerned with the aspects of every single instance of everything and not in defining things into general categories?
I use this sheep/dogs in a fence analogy with Fe and sheep/dog chained to a post analogy with Fi to show how we draw (epistemologically) our constraints.
My Ti is offended if you are calling me an Fe sheep🤣.
It looks like there is a core formed of receptivity and love (I have seen them called spaciousness and passion – if this is of any help). I am not completely sure if this is one substance that can take 2 different forms or have 2 different attributes (like water reflecting and nourishing) or if they are 2 substances that can never be completely separated from each other
Yes, and at the core perhaps there is also repugnance and hate? Which I think feeds on our animal instincts/emotions for living life. Both Fi/Te and Ti/Fe are manifested in our need for bonding/acceptance/identity/survival/attacking but in different ways. One thing I noticed on in your post is that Fi builds a belief structure through their "core" attraction/repulsion, while I feel Ti does the same way (as in there is an element of instinctual attraction/repulsion) but through a method of attraction and repulsion that finds inconsistencies in relationships if information. And the self is not thought of as coming from inside but as a process of delineating relationships. What do you think?
[QUOTE]One idea that comes to mind is that perhaps Fi users don’t necessarily consider their contextual affiliations to be central to their essence, but the other way around; they make contextual affiliations as an expression of their essence. In this sense, their views of self are not contextually contingent, while still not being content-less in the ‘a priori’ sense.[/QUOTE]
I agree with this, strongly. However... there's a lot I don't agree with, where do I begin. 😀
@Ivory and my FeNi friend both express the belief that people don't fundamentally change. In fact, they are much more adamant about this than I am. "This is the foundation of the person" and that's that. Whereas I give people more chances.
I see people as a spectrum of potential. So let's say my best and worst quality is my rawr passion. This could be narcissistic and self-indulgent in lower states of mind, and could be inspiring and help people to awaken their own passion in higher states of mind. So I disagree with someone being irredeemable, because generally speaking, people do have the capacity to heal if they decide to. (I sure did.) Most people don't put in the work, however. That said, the thing that CAN'T change is the SPECTRUM ITSELF. So, my 'spectrum of potential' will not change; however it's up to me to channel it for good or for ill.
As for enneagram, I've said this before: the people who catch on quickly to its fundaments, and are best able to identify types with comparatively less training, tend to be Se/Ni users. I've never seen anyone faster than @synthetic and @ivory when it comes to picking up the core principles of enneagram and applying it to real exemplars, understanding the depths of that type's psychology and also how it manifests visually in the typee. Synthetic barely studied but SeTi is built to notice this sort of thing, so he asks pointed questions and each answer takes him far. My father is NiFe and also excellent at understanding such principles. He doesn't know enneagram per se, but when it comes up he gets the general principles as if he's been studying it his whole life. @Tberg is damn good too. These things are just part of the cosmos for Ni people who are into archetypes.
I was faster and better at understanding the meaning of cognition than Ivory, for a long time. It was me who typed a lot of people here correctly before we knew vultology. I also kept saying I related to Se the most as it was described elsewhere, but people told me I was deluded etc, as you know. I was willing to reconsider because I am all too aware of reality, which is that people can't necessarily see themselves clearly. I have no doubt about my strong sense of personal identity, but my highly personal individual identity is a different phenomenon than where I fit in the scheme of typology. My identity is not "four" or "Se" - it's about being a vessel through which passion emerges (which is a dedicated life choice and sense of purpose, not per se, an inborn gift) - but I expect that my correct classifications in typology will match with the archetypes that come up in my work (which they do, perfectly).
I have never understood the idea that typology makes someone 'stuck in a box.' To me this sounds like the person doesn't get what typology is or they don't know themself and they need someone else to tell them who they are. (I'm not saying that's true, it's just how it sounds to my ear.) They are who they are no matter what. Type is a language to describe something that already fundamentally exists. You are who you are whether you like it or not and typology simply classifies this. With or without typology, you have the same amount of personal mobility - but typology in some cases can help people to learn more about themselves and others so they can be MORE free.
In the past, I brought up my own perceptions of Se which I could see echoed in Jung's work and Socionics (not that it's perfect or beyond scrutiny, but I'm talking fundamental principles) - and I had these same thoughts about Se before I typed as Se lead. But when I brought up my problems with the description, you thought I was talking about myself and my personal experience at the expense of all else. We talked past each other on this, probably because of how we use language which must be an opposite quadra issue. I tend to cite specific examples which may make you believe I'm fixated on that one example, but I'm not. The example is just one incident which is symbolic of something bigger. Unfortunately my Ni sucks so this is my fault because I suck at articulating the bigger thing; I am much better at citing examples. So I understand your confusion, but it wasn't about Fi making it "about me" or "personal," it was about my horrible Ni failing to put the specific examples in wider perspective, verbally. I do put them in perspective in my head but I just suck at articulating it. (This is one thing Ne and Ti are both excellent at; articulating abstract phenomena. I am better at tapping into it and showing it through application; ie typing people correctly or using type to unravel deep personal issues with them.)
As Jung describes, Fi sees some level of the personal as being universal. So basically, if I understand why I am Se, and why 10 other people are Se -- and I really understand this well, down to the bone and the meat and the core - then I'm getting real close to the axiom. The axiom should apply to the Se sportos, the musicians, the computer programmers, the makeup artists, the homeless and the rich; so focusing on any one of those is irrelevant. (Again, I'm using Se as an example; I don't care to argue about Se right now. It's just the best example I can come up with where you saw me being over-personal and it wasn't actually where I was coming from.)
Jung on Fi:
In order to communicate with others it has to find an external form which is not only fitted to absorb the subjective feeling in a satisfying expression, but which must also convey it to one's fellowman in such a way that a parallel process takes place in him. Thanks to the relatively great internal (as well as external) similarity of the human being, this effect can actually be achieved, although a form acceptable to feeling is extremely difficult to find, so long as it is still mainly orientated by the fathomless store of primordial images.
I do think in general terms, and it's not just about me, it's about the principle of the thing, and the pattern that I see over and over, in front of me, which repeats ad nauseum. This is the fundament of a type, the axiomatic principle. I would only emphasize it as a crucial, central part of the type, if it applied to every member of the type that I encounter. Otherwise it isn't an axiomatic principle. Ivory agrees with this too so this is not Fi.
From my point of view, there's a Se 'realism' which is often missing from theoretical descriptions of abstractions such as averages, or personal visions of how a type should manifest in the average person. My close friends & fam who are Betas all seem to see this similarly. Typology is a language to describe natural law, universal principles, real patterns. Thus every real exemplar will embody its core essence. This universal principle manifests through any singular person in the reality that's in front of us right now, and that same pattern always did, and always will, manifest through people of that type. So any individual example is as good as the next. 'Averages' is an abstraction but 'reality' is a principle that actually shows itself right here, right now - and then can also apply on a wider scale.
If I can't see a principle manifest in front of me right now, with the sample set right in front of my eyes, who I am typing at that type - then either the principle at hand isn't indicative of that type, or I am wrong about their type. And Ivory says this exact thing, often. Each individual exemplar must match the description, otherwise it's the wrong description OR they are mistyped. I am inclined to say that this is Se-Ni. It's beyond cultural context of things like sports and stunts and veers into the more universal principles that never change, such as "Tricksters." 😀 (Again, just an example.)
So I have a hard time seeing how this is my 'Fi individualism.' The part that is Fi/Te is me citing examples and getting deep into each one, instead of describing the wider, general phenomenon itself. And that method of communication is explained by the Jung quote. If my example is correct, it should be paralleled in others. And generally it IS paralleled in others, but like Jung explains also, Fi is not as good at precise, impersonal language and may have a better time using the arts and other types of communication to demonstrate something personal, which serves as a mirror in which a universal experience may be reflected.
I notice that high Ne users are more likely to have "non-human' cartoon faces as avatars... it can express a lot, but it's like a cartoon image of a sentiment. This is very hard to describe. While Se users also can use cartoons, they tend to have more fierce lines, encompassing more realism which makes it feel more 'human.' And sometimes I also feel like Ne more easily discovers and unravels new, abstract concepts in ways that Se doesn't, but in order to do this they have to divorce from the "holism' or the current reality "as it is," so their examples of how a type looks in humans, can feel cartoonish to me. Like an attempt to 'flatten' things.
Anyway, I'm pontificating here, not claiming anything I say is correct except the stuff about myself haha. I wasn't concise but I don't think I can do better 🙁 . Your description was actually quite readable and concise to me. There is a lot of good stuff in there but I just think there's more to the story.
@Animal is right: when it comes to typology, our strengths are opposite from what is being suggested in the OP: she (Fi) is better and faster at detecting cognition than me, I (Ti) am better and faster at detecting motive/schema/Enneagram than her.
Well, maybe "better" isn't the appropriate word per se. It's more that these models come more natural to us. CT for her, Enneagram for me. Practice can, of course, put one up to par with the other.
She is also correct that I perceive character as largely immutable and "eternal." It's been a slow learning process to accept the role of environment in personality. I'm notoriously bad at context.
What the OP does get right about my Ti-Fe is that I evaluate people's character in a way that removes their personhood. I objectify people in order to get a better read on them, it's automatic. This gives me a cleaner channel to look for the fundamental self of the individual I am typing. I am extremely attuned to this -> even before encountering the Enneagram I was doing this. It comes automatic to me. Cognitive type, however, does not.
Delta NF's are stellar at articulating their inner experience, by the way. I admire how raw they get. I think it's the connection to the earthly Si which makes them a bit more modest than Gamma Fi, who self-mythologize more. Showing my world through various mediums is easier for me but when it comes to articulating one's Fi, I have to hand it to Deltas.
@animal and @ivory I was actually thinking of you two as counter examples to this today while driving, specifically how Ivory is more onto motives while Animal is more in tunes to meeting the person where they are. I have to say, I do think there is variation is how Fi and Ti assess and conceptualize motivation and cognition, but I can't put my finger on it yet. It bothers me that I can feel it but putting it into words escapes me. I can only say with certainty that Ti does seem to further remove personal context and treat the self in the second person. Oh, and that a FeNi would feel the weight of human constraint with similar gravity that I think a Fi lead would. Even moreso because the parameters are clearly defined from the outside, with both Fe and Se. So it's like a "What I'm seeing doesn't lie" kind of a belief.
I saw brief bits of a convo on Discord but didn't have time to read it. It mentioned emotion, and I think emotion is tied to belief. Change your thoughts, change your emotions. Though I can't see how access to unconscious beliefs would be restricted in any type, some people seem better able to change an underlying belief that doesn't serve the self well psychologically, and I'm not sure if that is somehow related to the J axis. I feel I'm pretty sharp at accessing the belief behind the response (in myself and others), but the belief itself is a bit more immutable to me. I also know how much value you (Animal) put on the ability to become what we choose to become, and I wonder if that belief is something that comes easily or if this is something you've fought for.
PS. Was thinking of counter examples this am because I have also known some FeTi people who are shred at picking up on motivation. As well as others who are not. So, grrr, what's the difference? Perhaps more enneagram related?
"This core seems to create a layer around it, formed of general beliefs about who you are."
Up until two years ago I have been fully indoctrinated by all layers including 2 & 3 with CT/MBTI being apart the last two layers. So I can't say Ti/Fe is different from Fi/Te in such a way. However Fi/Te character creating behavior VS Ti/Fe behavior creating character that's interesting thought. I think Si/Ne would focus on behaviors, whereas Ni/Se would replace behaviors with experiences. So in this instants; Fi/Te character creating experiences VS Ti/Fe experiences creating character. I feel like I just nailed myself down with pinpoint accuracy.
I was wondering what your thought would be of these adjustments.
The first layer is all you need, as pure least resistance flow/being or a single expression of god.
The second layer can be no longer perceived, but is psychologically difficult, yet beneficial overall.
The third layer can be no longer perceived, but is socially difficult, yet beneficial overall.
CT can be apart of the second layer but is beneficial overall for it to be perceived in none of layers or perceived as the body layer like one's neural network structure.
I might say your Fi was creating a density were as my Ti was just creating a vacuum.
"I could look at someone named Sarah for example and give a list of things she is or is not. “Sarah is a woman and not a man. Sarah is tall and not short. Sarah is smart and not dumb.” Etc etc
OR I could look at Sarah in terms of various qualities, attitudes and motivations she possesses!"
I love your contrast it give me a much needed clear view of the objective and subjective different between Fi and Ti. This example coming up definitely takes those 'is statements' into account. If a man thinks he is a woman. Many years ago I would've laugh at him. A few years ago I wouldn't care. Today I don't say he is delusional for thinking he is a woman; instead, I'd say he is delusional for taking the social construct of gender roles and physical apparatus at that level is as important as an "I am" statement. This is what I did a few years ago saying " I am a straight male". Such a believe is inhibiting of the persons inner essence and is wasting potential. If close-minded I don't want him as a friend.
This could be a misconception but I think TePi tend to keep the social construct and make an objective judgement at 'I am' level statements.
"Yes, and at the core perhaps there is also repugnance and hate?"
Seeing you possess TiSe and writing this makes me feel like I am more Fi friendly. This makes me want to see the world from your shoes. Which may have something to do with me never fully being an atheist or even agonist after I left Christianity. This might have something to do with my continued admiration for the Starwars universe and 'the force'. I think it locked me in as deist without my intellectual knowing. Until I looked up the all the proper terms on the tube at age 25. I never thought of it that much but I actually love being a plain deist.
"I see people as a spectrum of potential. "
It's amazing the pretuclar way as to how I relate to Spectrum. My SiFe Mom wants me to identify myself with something I appeared to like as a child which was her musturd chicken but I can't... not the way she may want me to. At first I thought I like a constant variation of foods. Which is also true but less so than how I made it out to be. What really happens is that I like a variations of something that is pretty familiar to what I had before, but not too far unfamiliar. So order for me to eat a PhillyCheeseChicken I'd have to have eaten a PhiliyCheeseSteak a least a week before hand. So I'd like to call it Spectrum squared to the power of 2. For me I find a STRUCTURED change in my fundamental spectrums. But maybe this is still exactly what you are talking about... if so that sucks... I wanted to be contrarian toward you.
"FeTi people who are shred at picking up on motivation."
I think Ji is seeing what have to happen inevitably.
Fi is like this person and person/situation this doesn't match they will explode.
Ti is like this person believe this and thinks that so this and that will happen.
I think Je is creating favorable odds.
Fe is like this demographic loves this and hates that so I will create this experience.
Te is like this demographic doesn't know this and that so at this time I will inform them of that knowledge and leave this untold.
That was my best shot what do you think?
I'm still catching up here. @Bera - I read your post more slowly and I love it. Personally I don't naturally identify with things like "sociable," "straight," "bi," as those things seem extraneous to what's inside me. I have a hard time answering questions like, are you sociable? Are you socially introverted or extraverted? Are you gay, straight or bi? My answer is: I socialize when I want to, I am introverted and extraverted depending on the situation and how I respond to it, and I don't care if I'm gay or straight, I just want who I want. Basically, i DO what I want and what suits my agenda. So my 'way of life' is 'passion and purpose.' But who I am has a whole mythology that writes itself through me, relaying a world of symbolism to show who I am, even in ways I wasn't aware of. (Ie my home planet and all the symbolism therein.) This is how I develop a sense of identity, by expressing what I feel driven to express, and then seeing what themes keep coming up. But again, my themes are things like "Fire/Tiger," "Animal/Volcana" "Passion & purpose" "Hard work pays off."
I think enneagram heavily influences identity. A 2 (like you) may identify with how they relate to others (sociable or hate people?) or go to a party because they're sociable and fun (super ego; they should act like X if they are Y) -- whereas a four (like me) may have a separate personal mythology which some people may see as fictional, but is more real to the four than life on earth. Note that other 2s and 4s do this differently and I am not attempting to paint with broad strokes; just talking about you and me with this, and how enneagram manifests through our take on identity. To write about 2 vs 4 as a whole, is an entire project.
In my particular case, I do things without thinking about why. Then I look back and see the patterns in what I did, and I figure it revealed what's inside me. When I've really wanted to, I've changed some of these deep patterns to become better; but it requires YEARS of pointed, purposeful intrapsychic work.
But it doesn’t seem part of identity itself (as I understand it and I might very well be wrong), unless you “identify” with your type and integrate the profile into your identity.
I completely agree with this. I think I said something similar in my post before I read yours in full.
Back to Fi. I’ll get to that perhaps this weekend, but you are correct about the assumption of intrinsic character. Whether it’s something we want to believe or not, we are constrained by that in our value judgments. There is a moral vector we can’t ignore with Fi->Te (much like Si), an assumption that “Good comes from Good.” And because likewise, “Bad comes from Bad,” I think the dark/extreme side of this is what we see with Hitler and Osama bin Laden, or the desire to eradicate evil – or ill form – from the root. There are healthier ways for Fi to deal with this, and I’ll address that later. We have some good examples from people on this forum.
I don't have such a strong distinction between "good" and "bad." First of all, you can think good things and still do bad things, or vice versa. To me, there's no thought or desire that is inherently wrong, but not everyone is in touch with their true, deepest, desires - such as compassion. When I say things like "I live in accordance with my desires," I don't need a whole "Moral Code" on top of it because my desires include the desire to be compassionate, and to honor my natural empathy. Maybe for other people they need to follow a structure in order to demonstrate empathy that they don't feel inside. That's fine too.
For me, I am alert to things I desire (to have, to become, to learn) and turned off to things that are extraneous noise. I lure my demons out of the closet to dance with my angels. I express the beauty and the pain, the selfish desire and the compassion, all together in my art. I express my perception of others, but I don't see other mindsets as being worse than mine. I look for internal consistency. If their mindset is consistent within itself, and they OWN IT - as in, their actions match - and they still retain general respect or compassion, then I respect that. Come to think of it, if someone's personal attitude, no matter what it is, causes them to disrespect others blatantly - that's fine for them, and perhaps some fields require that (like politics), but it's not for me, so I know that person isn't from my planet. Doesn't mean that I can't be cordial; we just won't be best friends any time soon.
I can have strong reactions for or against sub-cultures running on ideas that I feel will (or did) lead to society's downfall. But I can still see why those schools of thought exist and why they came to be; it's just, I believe society would be healthier if it considered this from a different angle. When it comes to politics, religion and culture, most of it is reactionary against another culture that became oppressive. At core, they are all stemming from the same internal motives - to protect oneself & loved ones, to have freedom, to live with dignity, to find meaning, and so forth. But once someone has been traumatized, abused, rejected or marginalized (which... let's face it... most of us have), they are deprived of these basic human desires in varying degrees, which breeds FEAR in the soul - and they quickly become dogmatic. This is human nature. It's not about how good or bad someone is 'inherently,' per se, but how far they have fallen down a dogmatic rabbit hole. Note that I include myself in this. I have my own dogmatic rabbit hole - and although I am always working on myself and my mindset, I also allow myself to express it and be human.
That’s an interesting observation, because the stuff I often tend to feel resistant toward–in CT and elsewhere–is more the essential/metabolic assertions. I think something about their absoluteness tends to make me squirm a bit (even in instances I know them to be true) because of the fear of being trapped, inescapably, into a certain way of being…
I pick this up a lot from Si/Ne and Ne/Si users. I'm sure there are some Se/Ni people who feel trapped by it as well but I just don't see it as much. This gets back to Se/Ni holeism vs Ne/Si divergent thinking, which has been discussed a lot elsewhere.
We also see reflected in Fe v Te movements. With Fe there clearly predefined parameters defined from the outside in. With Te, it’s like “Where is it gonna land?” Yank! Chain. Yank! Chain.
This made me laugh out loud 😀 Yeah, I fall in Te there for sure. Too much pre-thinking slows me down and takes me out of the flow.
One thing I noticed on in your post is that Fi builds a belief structure through their “core” attraction/repulsion, while I feel Ti does the same way (as in there is an element of instinctual attraction/repulsion) but through a method of attraction and repulsion that finds inconsistencies in relationships if information.
Haha, I was just going down the posts and responding to each one. I saw this right after I wrote that I respond badly to inconsistencies. But I suppose for me it's not inconsistencies in argument as much as inconsistencies in general outlook. I have quite an eye for hypocrisy, although I keep 99.9% of my observations to myself, and spend much more time examining my own inconsistencies. I will say that while I have many flaws, I tend to be almost offensively internally consistent. My verbal arguments might not always be, but my general mindset fits with itself - if that makes sense? - even if it doesn't fit with anyone else. 😀 And this is extremely important to me in others too, which I guess is why I've always been so into Ti leading men. Consistency and 'owning your shit' is much more important to me than kindness. (Note that kindness and compassion are different.)
I will admit I'm biased because it can take me some time to see consistency in Ne/Si users, given that they express divergent takes on things, but I don't assume inconsistency; I just find that I need to observe them for longer to understand it.
And the self is not thought of as coming from inside but as a process of delineating relationships. What do you think?
Personally I think the self is a mix of two things:
We cannot escape our 'spectrum of potential' but we choose what to do with it. I believe I am mostly self-made, and it's been important to me to recognize my own spectrum of potential (including my limits) and stay in my lane, regarding my choices. I don't feel "Anyone can do anything," To me that's a load of bs. But there is a lot we can do within our own parameters, and if we are realistic enough to accept what we are given and to seek opportunities to channel it, and pursue them at any cost - then we build character.
Ok, that's my responses to a lot of page 1.. more coming soon.
Two threads split off:
I too felt quite interested in what Bera & Tea were saying, so I split the Ne/Se discussion off too, to leave this one more appropriately focused on examining how Fi operates. I hope that's okay with you guys. (carry on)
@scientiam, I aim to offend!
@animal, agree with your observations.
So this then becomes a what vs. how problem. Both Fe/Ti and Fi/Te can have similar behaviors/observations/etc., but it's the how they get there that are different, and I believe that TeFi in a sense is more attuned to the how and Fe to the what specifically with respect to behaviorism.
I had some other thoughts earlier this week, but I don't remember what they were. It was an insane week! The most central, though, was regarding how - to borrow @animal's term because it's apt - "spectrum of potential" is perceived between Fe and Fi users. But I feel I've already described it with the fencing vs chaining analogy. And I think I'll leave it at that for the time being.
(Lastly, I don't think is strictly binary in the sense of good/bad, Animal, but it's more qualitative. I still think there's a grainier approach/avoid relationship Fi has to certain qualities. "Good" I guess is the things we resonate with, and bad are the things that would repel us. And each person and object has a mix of each. I think this plays into what Bob calls Fi's "Byzantine" nature.)
It took me a while to parse what I personally "believe" my identity to be. I had a couple of ideas, but through my self-reflection I noticed that I tend to have various levels of engagement within groups, and myself. Apart of myself, as I see it, is "The Static Self." - It's a personal buildup of abstract principles and logical frameworks that reflect my thought process as it pertains to the world around me. The other part would be the "Dynamic integration of momentary information" where I subsequently take into consider the demographic I'm dealing with, the thoughts being considered externally, and external affiliations.
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Songs like this really vibe with me, because of the "Self-Reality" that it's built on. It's a song about a man's mission in society and his understanding of the world in the context of his life. It's about him communicating his inner-found meaning and bringing life to others who have lost their internal fire. It's primarily a struggle of self, verses the structure of reality, to create a resemblance that they can call "Self."
I can hear the lyrics over and over again...
"All they ever see is my face,
it's all part of the show,
our masquerade, always
Dawn is only so near,
and our pain and our pride
is all we have here,
Streamline for Ji energetic abilities in the guides tab.
--scrutinize, refine, and condense inner frameworks for alignment to a personal ‘purity’ sense
—– delicately parse out details within details
—– form castles, crystallizations, systems, backbones
--form your own customized semantics, concepts, and facilities.
—– develop a personal world of premise-based linked frameworks
—– develop idealisms, placement in universe, inner direction
—– honors diversity above similarity
-- minimize influences from outside forces
—– honors inner direction above majority consensuses
—– exist in real-time,
—– think on your feet,
—– react to change,
—– be spontaneous,
—– have wit/humor,
—– take in new data immediately and flow with it
—– bounce back up after a disappointment
—– act, when action is necessary of you
—– get things done
—– speak fluently and rapidly without being clamped, having good rhetorical ability
—– debate/argue effectively
—– teach, and maybe lead if called upon to
—– think pragmatically
—– withdraw and scrutinize inner realities for alignment to a personal ‘purity’ sense
—– delicately parse things out
—– form castles and crystallizations
—– nurture an inner world of sound axiomatic frameworks
—– form idealisms and self-identities
—– honor the self above the collective, and not yield to outer pressures
—– hold to true north despite it being impractical or outwardly ‘wrong’
—– take things easy, with moderation rather than ‘thirst’ or ambition
—– have temperance, an appropriate sense of ‘pace’
—– have a panoramic view of the situation (tied to history and world events), not just the moment
—– not get ahead of oneself and be impulsive
—– avoid unnecessary risks
I can't help but feel that Ji is far more complex and less comprehensible than the other three energetics. Although it could partly be interverted energetics needing more explanation.
What do you all think?
Did I take away any points I didn't know was important?
Did I reach deeper level in some way?
@Auburn it makes me very happy to see that you have deepened your understanding of Fi. It seems very rare for someone who doesn't have it themselves. I find the posts all the more beautiful because it gives me sort of a glimpse into how these insights are arrived at from a Ti perspective. (I have a fascination with wanting to know what life, or consciousness, is like, to other people.)
So, I will try to answer with my own perspective as a Fi, and I can only hope it makes sense, since Fi is by nature, subjective, emotional, and difficult to communicate. I bet my stream of consciousness was way more all over the place. I had to let it coalesce overnight, and then heavily edit what I typed, for clarity.
Ok, so, what qualifies something as fundamental to my essence?
From my personal experience, it largely has to do with how things are evaluated through my "Fi database". This is basically analogous to a "Ti database", but it includes personal emotional data, and is subjective, intensely personal, and partially subconscious. I thought it interesting when I asked my high-Ti boyfriend why he finds it so important to mentally collect so many facts on so many different subjects, and he said, roughly, 'To detect bullshit. i.e, in order to have the most comprehensive knowledge base on anything that could be important, so that I will be able to defeat any opponent by being able to call them out if they are wrong.' I quite admire it, to be honest.
So then for me, the purpose of an Fi database, would be to amass and keep tabs on personal life experiences ('one foot in the emotional register'), in order to figure out what is most important to me in life. What everything boils down to in the end. How to rank everything in terms of personal importance, so as not to be deceived by people (with either malicious intent, plain igornance, or are just somehow different from me) trying to force feed me what is and isn't important, what I should or shouldn't do, or care about, what my priorities should be.
So yes, this is a completely inside-out job. And yes, I do take it very seriously. I am the one who curates this database, because no one else has had my exact experiences, has walked my life's path. Likewise, I respect everyone else's right do their own, as long as no one does any harm. Live and let live.
How I built up the database? starting when I was old enough to desire to make sense of my emotions (mabye 5-7 y.o. but idk), since as a sensitive person, my emotions (especially the negative ones) were strongly affecting me and my sense of self among others (who experienced less/different ones) and made me alienated from others. Out of necessity, I learned to manage my emotions alone in private. I started tracing them back, locating the thoughts that precipitated them them, and what external events prompted me to have those thoughts. And I started saving them in my "feelings database". As if an event and/or a thought is a lookup key, and each corresponds to one or more emotions.
When it started growing to a certain point, is when I started drawing on it to do cognitive empathy--a process I best understand as being described by the "Fi: Permeability" section under Behaviorism & Mythology on this site. To locate the corresponding feelings in the Fi database when someone else experienced a particular event, and bring them back up into my present. When the "database" got complete enough, I considered was when I had experienced a reasonably full range of human emotions, which made me feel like I had pretty much the range of human emotions, and was therefore decent at empathizing with others [although the condition is, that other human beings experience emotions similarly, which some people do take issue with. I've previously heard people in MBTI groups I was in who test as INFJ, claim this process drives them crazy when INFPs do it, but I believe their own cognitive biases and daimon functions play a role in that, but I digress.] Positive feelings are in there too. Life's little pleasures, life's great pleasures, and how my subjective experiences of things change over time (Si also has a database, as alluded to in this thread, and here may be some of the overlap, but differ in perceived purpose and relation to the subject, I think).
The older I've gotten, the database has grown to kind of like "big data", and I have even forgotten how I came to know some of the specifics of what I know. I can only see it from a more zoomed out perspective. But nevertheless, I know the process has been without wax the whole way, cause I was there. So, for one thing, with cognitive empathy, many connections have become semi-automatic. So less having to consciously think, "how would I / did I feel in this situation?", it just happens when I see people sometimes. Also, I've started addressing more intricate questions, based on patterns in the frequencies of some feelings and how reliably they followed certain events. How heavy of emotional imprints they have left. As the case may be, how damaging they have been to my psychological well-being, and what it has taken to recover. Looking at all of it from a more distant perspective, I see how it boils down what's ultimately important to me vs what is just a great big distraction that people make a fuss about, but will soon be forgotten. It reminds me of equanimity and the Asian parable of the man who just said "Is that so?" to everything that happened.
In any case, I periodically ask myself if something is not essential / if it drops away, by querying the Fi database with questions like, "If today was my last day, would I still spend it doing this?" "Is this going to matter in 3 years? 6 months?" "Would I *really* be any happier with any more money?" "Am I going to regret behaving like this so often in the end?" Other "check-ins" (a term I've seen used elsewhere about Fi) are more routine, like, "wait, why do I care so much about (insert current activity here) again? Is it really worth *this* much of the time I have on earth" Or, "Before I do this action, am I *sure* I would be ok if someone else did this to me if the situation were reversed" ... and just sort of feel into the answers. My Fi lets me know the answers, because it's been building this database up for life, experience by experience.
As the database grows and becomes abstracted out, is how it becomes about motives, and character. And the interest in the roots of good and evil--more like Plato's forms--after seeing the patterns so many times over and over what has caused the most suffering for myself and others throughout life and history, by tracing those incidents back to their common denominators. Generalized concepts such as evil, good, roots, and character emerge.
When I learned about Descartes in college philosophy, it was interesting because I had kind of had my own version of his experience, with the main difference being that, Descartes strikes me as very Ti. (Is this correct?) "I think, therefore I am" vs "I feel, therefore I am"? A lot of his views I agree with; however, one thing that jumped out at me as disagreeing was this: "Descartes also held that, unless people believe in God and immortality, they will see no reason to be moral." First I thought it was because he didn't have Fi; however, I have since seen Ti come to some very high moral conclusions too.
From an inside out perspective, is where my conscience/moral compass/core values come from. There isn't anything really that's more core about me, at least in the present way I know myself in this lifetime. I can only presume it is what people are talking about when they talk about a little voice that whispers what's right and wrong. It is without regard to what I get punished or rewarded for by the external world, or whether or not anyone else understands. Cause in the end, well...God will understand, if there is a God. That's why they say he's the only one who can judge us. Now, I consider myself agnostic, so speak of deities with a grain of salt. But I disagree with Descartes that belief in one is absolutely necessary (for *everyone*) in order to care about living a moral life. I see the conscience and spirituality as coming from within, and religion from without (contextual affiliation).
I'll close with some resonating quotes.
I feel this relates to Fi values:
"I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind." -Khalil Gibran
I feel this quote by Viktor Frankl relates to being fundamental to essence:
"The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance."