The ‘Ti Void’

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  • Chiron
    Participant
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: ll-l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    I wanted to share this here to attempt to answer what seems to be an unstated question in CT: ‘What *is* the Ti void some of us experience?’

    Because it seems not everyone who’s Ti-lead has this experience, and some ppl who don’t even have Ti do relate with it. I think though that because of a lack of refinement of the definition of ‘Ti void’, several causalities that lead to a similar effect have gotten lumped together: namely something related to the nature of Ti, an emotional response to nihilism, and the effect of depression.

    So, some background on what lead to my thoughts on the Ti void.. The present shelter-in-place situation has given me an opportunity to observe the phenomenon as it exists in myself and my partner who’s also TiNe. We’ve been stuck at home almost constantly, with basically no social interaction except each other, and in my case very limited internet access XP And we started to notice that our conversations became more and more about the ontological question, and they became circular, always settling on absurdism (bc that’s the philosophical view we both hold). We had the same conversation several times, until it basically became a given fact and felt stale. And having answered the essential question of ‘how to be’, and having no external input, we ground to a halt, spending days in our rooms doing nothing and seeing no reason to do anything. This absence felt like a relief, and a ‘reset’ into our most intrinsic nature.. nothingness.

    This made me realize that with Ti there is an inherent lack of activity that can be interpreted as ‘nothingness/void’. Deduction takes having something to deduce, and once a line of thought has been brought to conclusion, the deductive process then ceases.  What’s left is inaction, which is sensed as a kind of base-state. I think this is why so many Ti-heavy people end up resonating with Eastern thought, especially traditions such as Zen and Taoism, because there is an association of lack/void/inaction with origin and perhaps even more importantly to the notion that a conclusion has been reached. The sentiment is, after ‘the answer’ has been found, there is rest. This makes ‘the void’ seem like the summum bonum, something deeply sacred.

    I think the reason only some Ti users experience this flatline effect is partly due to how engaged the other functions are, as well as the individual’s subjective disposition concerning the concept of inaction. While some consider the state restful or even sacred, others might find it disturbing, and avoid letting themselves fall completely into Ti’s absence. If another function such as Se or Fe, etc. is significantly involved in processing, or especially if it’s associated to self-concept, I think this would also prevent the complete neutralization of energy.

    I believe this lack of activity experienced with Ti differs from other experiences such as a deadening of psychic energies by depression, or an emotional state resulting from the acceptance of meaninglessness. In these cases the end result is still a lack of energy/motivation, but it’s not an inevitable result of processing – it’s more of a circumstantial reaction. idk if that makes sense?

    Anyways, maybe all this has been discovered already, but there’s my observations if useful 🙂

    fayest42
    Participant
    • Type: FiNe
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    Inasmuch as Fi might have a similar experience (because I suppose you have to be presented with something to have a feeling about, just as you have to be presented with something to deduce–although I would still say that my self-perception is that I’m looking for things to logically analyze and not to have a feeling about, but that’s another topic), I think I can see how my experience is influenced by having Ne conscious. Because I never really feel comfortable just resting in the void left by reaching a conclusion. Instead I immediately feel an itch to look for something new so that I can go through the process again. But then you have Ne conscious too, @alerith. How do you think it changes your experience?

    bella
    Participant
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Directive

    {Sometimes I wish there was a way for me to record my own thoughts as they spontaneously arise from my subconscious, raw, and then listen to them again when I attempt to actually word them out on paper. Random//}

    But anyway << .. I’d like to share my experience about the topic and my thoughts too 🙂

    Tbh, I don’t even know if the Void is really a Ti thing.. or a phenomenological quality that is rooted in something else (like Ji in general) but in the case that it is..

    Personally I don’t see Ti’s lack of activity as synonymous with ‘the Void’ nor as a product of having reached certain conclusions. I see Ti’s inactivity as a function of it being a self-sufficient introverted function that doesn’t seek to influence the external world. I agree that Ti doesn’t need nihilism, depression or an acceptance of meaninglessness to be inactive. It just is due to its properties.

    Therefore, to say that its inactivity is a byproduct of the cessation of the deductive process “once a line of thought has been brought to conclusion”, is to assume additional dependence of the function on circumstantial output (“The sentiment is, after ‘the answer’ has been found, there is rest.”).

    I would assume all types may experience a ‘rest’ when they deduce or otherwise come to an answer that feels satisfying to a question that has irked or more neutrally captivated the mind. Or they may experience a ‘rest’ when the ontological questions become ‘“circular, always settling on absurdism” and the only answers answered are thus “the essential question of ‘how to be’” – but not the why or what for.. — this seems to be describing an existential approach to accepting life’s unanswerable questions as such. This may indeed give a sense of peace or inactivity, but due to the emotional attitude (living within the absurd paradoxes) and philosophical reasoning having reached a ‘conclusion’, rather than due to a deductive process unique to Ti. Whereas, Ti lacks activity regardless.

    As for the Buddhist Zen phenomena, I’ve seen it as being very widespread across the West, and in other places like Israel, in a way that seems less related to type and more related to a post-modern search for a non-systematized spirituality that allows for transcendent experiences and instrumental wisdom devoid of mythology. But I agree that its axioms are more correlated to the phenomenology of Ti as a function.

    While I share the inactivity of Ti, when I think of the Void, I think of a different experience, and give it a different reasoning. For me, the Void has been experienced in my teens and early twenties, when my Ti was heaviest, as very literal and visceral. It felt like an empty hole inside of my gut, a type of irritating existential dissatisfaction, that seemed to come from a phenomenology inclined towards a sense of the futility of a finite existence. Sometimes the void ached or itched, sometimes it was masochistic divine bliss, and most often it was numb and silent, But it was always there as part of my default state of being. There was a “nothing” inside of me, yet it was not a “nothing”, as I could experience it. I was an oxymoron, as absence existed inside of me.

    I don’t see it as plausible that the Void was a function my Fe seeking meaning, as my Fe was virtually non-existent, and because if anything, it was the integration of Fe that may have assisted in its gradual diminishing. Rather, I think it may be the essentialist quality of Ti that may have given rise to my experience. This reminds me of a conversation I had with Auburn about a year ago:

    bellabella08/04/2019

    there is a forever remaining question mark in life

    its not a question mark that asks a specific question

    its just. THE question mark

    it doesn’t know specifics..

    it doesn’t know what to ask..

    Auburn08/04/2019

    do you wish to have an answer to that question mark..?

    bellabella08/04/2019

    its not sure what the question is

    shrugs

    i donno what the question is

    Auburn08/04/2019

    so that the question mark goes away for a while, ..while life is good?

    bellabella08/04/2019

    no..

    life doesn’t feel bad now

    but the question mark is still there

    its always there

    Auburn08/04/2019

    mhm..

    perhaps it’s not really a bad thing– ..maybe it’s part of being human..?

    bellabella08/04/2019

    it can’t ask because its confined within the limitations of this world

    when the question isn’t

    its not bad i guess… it just is..

    Auburn08/04/2019

    what do you think it means..?

    bellabella08/04/2019

    maybe that the tragedy of being human is that we can’t think outside of our own limitations

    maybe that’s why ppl seek transcendent experiences. they fool them into thinking they have broken out for a while..

    but even the ‘breaking out’ is confined.. to what is humanly possible to transcend

    (…)

    bellabella08/05/2019

    (…) i want the question mark to reveal its question to me — and then have it answered. and as always – i desire truth and love in their utmost purest ideal

    (…)

    i want there to be a way to know things with certainty, to have a verifiable way to know truth from fallacies, and right from wrong

    i want to have a way to know how close/far i am from truth, and morality – objectively

    i want to know why. all the why’s..

    the most painful of the ‘wh’ questions^

    Auburn08/05/2019

    (…)

    so, why is the ‘why’ the most painful..?

    bellabella08/05/2019

    because there is resistance behind it

    who/what/where/when – just ask for the neutral facts

    why – desires the reasoning for things/events

    ///

    So it appears that as I seek to grasp the utmost essential — The pre-questions ‘Question Mark’ that transcends my limited time-space phenomenological capacities to articulate, I arrive in the Void (or as the Kabbalists term it – ‘Chalal Hapanuy’ – the ‘pre-existence vacuum of empty space’). As it is pre-existence it is pre-speech and ultimately remains non-verbal. All answers that are circumstantial to our limits as humans remain insufficient and are thus stripped of their ultimate meaning. In this way I relate to the enneagram 5 description of “life is meaningless unless ultimate meaning is found” or as I would say “life remains a Question unless the Ultimate Answer is found”. All other answers remain relative and contextual, fragments of a larger, deeper but ever elusive Answer.

    But we don’t even know what the ‘Question’ is.

    Dives into the Void

    Today I no longer experience the Void in the same way. It is no longer an acute experience. It’s more subtle.. but it’s the same fundamentally — for me the Void has less to do with the aspect of ceasing to deduce after having reached a conclusion, and more to do with realizing I can never truly reach a conclusion to the most fundamental questions.. it’s the knowing the ultimate *full* Truth is out of my reach.. which leaves me with ‘nothing’. It is thus the essentialist nature of Ti ‘s deductive process which seeks to capture what is by definition out of reach (‘an absence’), which seems to give rise to my existential psychic void.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by bella.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by bella.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by bella.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by bella.
    fayest42
    Participant
    • Type: FiNe
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    @bella, have you ever read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Your description of “the question mark” reminded me so much of that. In that series, some aliens create a supercomputer to come up with “the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.” When the program finishes, the computer gives the answer of “42” (that’s where the 42 in my username comes from), and then they realize that the answer is meaningless to them because they don’t know what the question is.

    Anyway, it definitely sounds like you two are thinking of different things when you talk about “the void.” Bella, although I don’t so much relate to the visceral way you describe the feeling, I definitely relate to seeking out an answer to an unknown question. That has been the central theme of my life for the entirety of my 20s and now part of my 30s. Perhaps it does have to do with being an enneagram 5, and that’s why 5’s are always learning things. It’s like we have this sense that there is something really important we need to figure out, but we’re not sure what it is, so we have to learn a bunch of stuff from different subjects to check if the answer might be there.

    Auburn
    Keymaster
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    Why is @fayest42 a TiNe with FiNe vultology!

    *tosses theory out the window*

    I have no answers either.

    (What was the question again?)

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Auburn.
    bella
    Participant
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Directive

    @fayest42 I haven’t read it but oh so cool! I might just get it and read 🙂


    @auburn
    – nyoooo! you must figure it out! fayest will end up helping perfect the theory even more precisely 🙂

    CB
    Participant
    • Type: NeFi
    • Development: l---
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    have you ever read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Your description of “the question mark” reminded me so much of that.

    I was scrolling down expecting Auburn to ask Bella “Do you want to know what the Matrix is?”

     

    wlk

    Supah Protist
    Participant
    • Type: SeTi
    • Development: ll-l
    • Attitude: Directive

    I thought “the void” was my pattern of questioning all of my assertions or thoughts. I thought the original Alin Mythology entry encapsulated it well. For me, if this is Alin, it’s not that esoteric or abstract, it’s my asking myself “How do you know that?” “What do you mean by that?” etc. It’s not a sense or anything static, it’s more of the process of endless questioning itself. It’s not static because it doesn’t have a conclusion. It doesn’t really stop anywhere because any conclusion I’ve arrived at has been questioned away eventually. I’ve been at a place where I thought, “I’d I don’t think anything, then I can’t question it away” but even that’s a position so it was questioned.

    Long story short, I always associated Alin with my endless questioning.

    fayest42
    Participant
    • Type: FiNe
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    @auburn, I wish I knew! If this were happening to my husband, he’d be thrilled. He always likes to say he can’t be defined by any system. But I want there to be an accurate system! I’m with bella though, you musn’t give up! There must be some explanation for what’s going on with me. We’ll figure it out 🙂

    Chiron
    Participant
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: ll-l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    argh sorry abt not getting back to you guys >.< I’ve been absitively *swamped* with work lately.. But I didn’t forget about your replies, thanks a lot for discussing! 😀


    @fayest42

    “Instead I immediately feel an itch to look for something new so that I can go through the process again. But then you have Ne conscious too, @alerith. How do you think it changes your experience?”

    That’s interesting you feel compelled to seek something new rather than resting in inactivity. Perhaps we could say you a-void teh void lol XD I think a lot of people feel this way actually. It may have something to do with having Pe conscious, but in a lot of cases I think it’s more about disposition, core schemas, and the rest of psychology. I do find in my experience, I tend to shift between introverted (Ti) and extroverted (Ne/Fe) modes which correspond roughly to depression and mania. My partner has a similar development and experiences the same thing, so I think it may be a thing for introverts who have both extroverted processes conscious. When in Ti mode I find my mind is rather blank a lot of the time (I feel like a ‘ghost’), and it’s that experience I was describing, defaulting to inactivity and detachment and having thought processes arise out of that state only when sparked by external input (especially if something is sensed as ‘incorrect’ ;p). I do find it hard to stop when in Ne/Fe mode though! Then I feel restless unless I’m doing *something* and feel I *have to* be growing/making progress.. I’ve gotten myself into trouble more than once with this, since I tend to feel an uninhibited energy, curiosity and expansion into the rest of humanity/the world. I’ll tend to push myself too far and take on too much at once. I wonder if you relate to any of this?

    btw, I’ve known other FiNe who are similar to you.. I think what might be going on is that Te plays a significant role in your psyche, although not necessarily as a ‘Je’ process. As we’ve talked about in other places, it’s often high Fi users who are theoretical scientists seeking the answers to why reality is the way it is. I think, Fi and Te are part of the same system, and if Fi is lead and its emphasis is on finding the truth, then Te is kind of channeled in service to this ultimately ethical direction. But the result looks Ti-esque, as logos is being utilized to pursue theoretical questions.


    @bella

    Thanks for sharing abt your experience ^^ I might not have time to touch upon all the points you make, but I relate to a lot of what you say, especially:

    “it’s the knowing the ultimate *full* Truth is out of my reach.. which leaves me with ‘nothing’. It is thus the essentialist nature of Ti ‘s deductive process which seeks to capture what is by definition out of reach (‘an absence’), which seems to give rise to my existential psychic void.”

    I think I know what you’re talking about here. It reminds me of something I wrote around 5 years ago:

    “i am sorrowful, and feel like i’m reaching for something that is out of reach. there is a tragedy in my soul.. i desire for the ultimate, the purity and extremity of experience, and to know all to its sharpest detail. i am nothingness yearning to touch the universe, knowing how likely i am to fail, yet being unable to stop trying.”

    Looking back on this now I find it funny, I was such a navel-gazy melodrama queen lol XD But I think this is talking about the same kinda thing, I wouldn’t call it an experience of ‘the void’ though, more like a ‘lack’, ‘defeat’ or like I call it ‘tragedy’. In a way it’s like being left with nothing, but what I’d call ‘the void’ isn’t a lack per se.. it’s like, have you ever meditated until your mind is completely cleared and you lose sense of the limitations of your body, and it feels like you *are* the infinite stillness beneath and beyond all things? That deep emptiness is what I think of as the void.

    Which shows how subjective this whole concept is, since we’re calling two different psychic experiences ‘the void’..

    “Therefore, to say that its inactivity is a byproduct of the cessation of the deductive process “once a line of thought has been brought to conclusion”, is to assume additional dependence of the function on circumstantial output (“The sentiment is, after ‘the answer’ has been found, there is rest.”).”

    ah I think that’s not exactly what I was saying 😛 What I was trying to say is that I think the default state of Ti is one of inactivity, because as you mentioned it’s an introverted process, but also because it isn’t associated to memory/stored info like the Pi functions are nor to the emotional/visceral experience like we’ve posited Fi to be. Ti is only active when it’s deducing something, and I do believe it’s dependent on information from outside itself (whether from the external world or other functions) so when it stops receiving information, it goes into its default of inactivity. This is what exists both before and after deduction, the way I’ve experienced it it’s as though my thoughts emerge out of this stillness, and form *something* out from the formless *nothing*, then it all settles into nothing again. Does that make sense?

    The idea I had about the origins of the subjective ‘spiritual’ experience of Ti was mostly an attempt to find a collective underlying basis for the phenomenon. Which as we’ve found, prolly doesn’t exist! Personally I feel like the Void is THE ANSWER to the grand WHY as the foremost underlying principle of reality. Like what you described about ‘Chalal Hapanuy’ – the ‘pre-existence vacuum of empty space’, isn’t the potential of empty space the answer to the origins of the universe? We don’t understand the how, but it seems like we at least have an idea of ‘where’ it all began.

    In another sense, the Void as silence/stillness comes closest to reality, to both the WHY and the ANSWER. Because as you indicate in what you said last year, the actuality of things can’t be captured by words. It can’t be comprehended with logos, and so the closest we can get to understanding reality is to just be in it as it is. I really like the way Alan Watts puts it here:

    Of course, I dunno if the grand WHY you’re sensing is the same question that I sensed.. or really it was a compound of the subliminal questions “what is reality?” “how did/does it come to be?” “what/who am I?” and “where do I belong?”. But what you say is that you don’t really know what ‘the Question’ is.. do you think perhaps this is because what you sense is unconscious?


    @SupahProtist

    “Long story short, I always associated Alin with my endless questioning.”

    Sounds like endless questioning *and* endless negating of your own answers XD So for you the ‘void’ is the lack of answers/meaning caused by Ti’s deconstruction.. that makes sense. It kinda reminds me of what Bella was saying about having a lack, but it seems like the lack she’s describing is in the ability to comprehend reality overall.

    I wonder, do you find the lack you experience troubling? Or are you indifferent about it, or maybe find it relaxing?

    fayest42
    Participant
    • Type: FiNe
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    Perhaps we could say you a-void teh void lol XD

    😂

    btw, I’ve known other FiNe who are similar to you.. I think what might be going on is that Te plays a significant role in your psyche, although not necessarily as a ‘Je’ process. As we’ve talked about in other places, it’s often high Fi users who are theoretical scientists seeking the answers to why reality is the way it is. I think, Fi and Te are part of the same system, and if Fi is lead and its emphasis is on finding the truth, then Te is kind of channeled in service to this ultimately ethical direction. But the result looks Ti-esque, as logos is being utilized to pursue theoretical questions.

    I think you may be right about this, and that is starting to make sense to me. It seems like I embrace the aspects of Te that can help me in my Ji goals, but I reject the Je-aspect of it (in the sense that I have an active dislike of topics like money, business, status, etc). In the Daimon/Muse view of unconscious functions, it’s almost like Te is half-daimon and half-muse for me. This makes me wonder what kinds of things influence peoples’ relationships to their functions.

    EpicEntity
    Participant
    • Type: SeTi
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Directive

    @SupahProtist

    I find that you do focus on reasoning, in this case past events as primary.

    As you go along with this you seem to be making sure your reasons were the right FIT for each event.

    Voiding and purifying Ti use (unconscious and conscious)

    OR

    Only Unconscious

    Was trying to…

    Expand..

    I didn’t really oh…

    Not fill a role but

    Relative to my… non-social…

    It wasn’t intrinsic…

    All these like.. social norms

    Questioning and reasoning Enneagram 5 (perhaps) Head fix 5 Gut fix 9 Heart fix 4. I only really see enneagram as a good way to guesstimate childhood up bringing.

    OR

    Use of conscious Ti

    Cause I like I almost join that frat

    Because I was like trying to expand

    Because it was something I wanted to do

    Why I am I filling all of these should(s)

    ——————————————————————————-

    Conclusion:

    From this I’d have to say your voiding and questioning overlap each other. That you inquire thinking that is void and you void in-between your inquiries.

    If this is wrong then I’d say it’s likely do to me being likely to be someone ask just as many question as you. Only my Ti is no longer found to have been conscious. So I could be trying to feel is if something is right. As to answering subconscious question that appear on the surface to be going with the flow.

    I just twisted my brain!

    I hope that was clear enough!

     

    Robert Mitchell
    Participant
    • Type: NeFi
    • Development: l-l-
    • Attitude: Seelie

    I put it down to Ti correlation with enneagram 5

    there is a void that exists between 4 and 5.

    4s seek to differentiate themselves from the void (of commonality)

    5s exist between the duality of worthlessness(the void) and omniscience.

    5s also use withdrawal (freeze)as their escape mechanisms from fear(Fight, flight or freeze)

    Supah Protist
    Participant
    • Type: SeTi
    • Development: ll-l
    • Attitude: Directive

    @alerith I guess I’m indifferent towards it emotionally, but I value its presence. Questions like “How do I know that?” and “What do I mean by that?” are useful in that they protect me from believing untenable thoughts. However, I’m not sure that what I’m experiencing is actually an example of Ti. I’m not asking “What is X?”, but rather “How do I know X?”  I’m not really looking into the fundamental nature of things as much as I am my basis for believing in these things.

    Alice
    Participant
    • Type: FiSe
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    …have you ever meditated until your mind is completely cleared and you lose sense of the limitations of your body, and it feels like you *are* the infinite stillness beneath and beyond all things? That deep emptiness is what I think of as the void.


    @Alerith
    , sorry to have another non-Ti user weigh in, but I just wanted to say that I relate to this very deeply. This is an experience that I am chasing constantly, though it doesn’t manifest as a feeling of emptiness, it exists as an experience of oneness – like I’m literally losing myself to crystal-clear reality. I am not emptying myself, I am vanishing myself. There are no barriers in which to hold an emptiness when I am in this state. I always imagined this experience to be one of Se flow, but maybe it has something to do with the essentialism of Ji. I might be coming in contact with an essential truth when I fully blend into a moment: that this moment is happening, and that I am a piece of that moment. As the one experiencing the moment, I am channeling something that is true, and that is deeply meaningful on a basic level. It might also have to do with my conscious Se channeling into my lead Fi. I am seeking meaningful life-truths through coming in direct contact with what is real, and what is real is the now-moment. I think some TiSes come to this conclusion too.

    Going back to the topic at hand, Ti, reading all of this reminded of me of something I’ve heard in numerous casual philosophical conversations – that there is one basic truth to every story, one essential force, and one natural state that everything exists in: Entropy. Everything begins as nothing, and everything ends that way too. In silence, in stillness. Stillness makes up the infinity that holds literally everything. I feel kind of silly saying all of this, but in the most basic way there is, nothing encapsulates everything. That is the fundamental truth of reality. The entire universe exists as a possible pinprick of meaning in a vast 4-dimensional tapestry devoid of meaning, energy, and matter.

    This also makes me feel silly to mention, but in the Elder Scrolls series there is some really neat lore surrounding this topic. There is an esoteric and frightening metaphysical force in the Elder Scrolls lore known as Sithis. It is literally the nothing that is opposed to the everything. It is described as a brutal and infinitely cold stillness, a Nothing, and is understood by it’s followers as the basic force of Death in all things. It is known as the “father” of reality, which is mythologically interesting to me, because a basic Fi archetype is “mother Earth.”

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