While alot of people study the cognitive functions by simple operable definitions such as “introverted intuition is the act of big-picture theorizing on complex information” my personal demands on good introverted intuition definitions are a lot more strict. I believe we need an introverted intuition definition that explains why: some types are introverted intuition dominants, and others are auxilary. Or how extroverted intuition types use introverted intuition. Or how introverted intuition is different from introverted sensing. In short:
I’m looking for an introverted intuition definition that:
1) Describes the instincts that drive the cognitive functions behavior instead of just the behavior itself.
2) Clarifies how dominant introverted intuition, second or unconscious introverted intuition is experienced differently.
3) Definitions that described introverted intuition and introverted sensing as the true opposites. In practice, people prefer to compare introverted and extroverted intuition.
4) Definitions that understand extroverted feeling and introverted feeling as how they see and experience each other.
5) Definitions that post extroverted feeling and introverted thinking as opposites while still explaining why a person can have both functions.
6) Definitions that explain how introverted intuition can change depending on your health and development.
For example, this rough introverted intuition definition kind of meets the above rules:
1. Introverted intuition is the instinctual drive to recall, organize and be aware of what you don’t know. It’s the need to look at what you are uncertain about, and what is too complex for you to currently understand. It is the need to formulate concepts, theories, and perspectives to draw meaning from this information. Insight comes from successfully being able to come up with a theory that solves what it is you have been wrestling.
We call introverted intuitive types philosophers. (People who love wisdom) and as formulated by the ancient greeks, wisdom is to know how little you know. People often say it’s hard for introverted intutives to explain their wonky minds but perhaps this is because people expect you to only talk when you are certain, and Ni-doms never work with certainty, only with speculation, theory, and approximation.
2. Introverted sensing is the instinctual drive to recall, preserve, and organize what you know and what you feel certain about is true, and what you can use to navigate and understand your surroundings in a controlled and balanced manner.
3. Extroverted intuition is the instinctual curiosity to solve mysteries and puzzles in your emerging environment by carefully gathering evidence about subtletlies and hidden details, or by looking between the lines, and to creatively formulate abstractions and ideas that can fill in the blanks or what fits in the patterns you see.
4. Extroverted sensing is the desire to understand and feel immersed by your emerging environment and it’s sensory input, and the need to act in a raw, wild, and direct manner to obtain your needs and what you desire.
Here you can see that:
1. Introverted intuition share a drive to recall organize and be aware of something, but that they are completely opposed in values, which creates a strong and intense rivalry. I call introverted sensing the demon or bane of Ni’s existence. If things are set in stone and known, there is no room for creative interpretation or theoretical observation. With introverted sensing, everything is set in stone, with introverted intuition, everything is always up for discussion.
2. Introverted intuition and extroverted sensing are seemingly opposed both in values and in temperament but should have a tandem/codependendant relationship. I would call both functions hunter priorities. Ni because it’s always “Looking for something, but doesn’t know what”. Se because it’s driven by strong instincts and an acute awareness of what it wants and needs. But both see the other as a distraction from “the right way to fulfill your needs as a hunter”. No, extroverted sensing, we do not have time to smell the flowers, we have a puzzle we need to solve! No introverted intuition, we do not have time to think, the prey is right here and we need to get rid of it before it dissapears!
The hunter types (the philosophers and hedonists) can be described as types who seek a deep, visceral, and raw understanding of information, and types who are wild, with little need for preservation, with little interest in new patterns and changes, but a desire to keep moving forward even when you don’t know where you are going.
Introverted intuition and extroverted intuition
3. Introverted intuition and extroverted intuition share similar values and needs (complex, difficult, subtle, vague, theoretical, abstract, original information) but different approaches on how to get there. Ni has the more careful, deliberate search for it’s unknown desires, Ne has the more explorative, adaptive search for the unknown in a more broad sense.
Ne gathers all kinds of random data and information to understand constantly emerging patterns. Ni gathers no new data but contemplates and reinterprets it’s unknown data over and over until it achieves understanding.
But both see the other as misguided in it’s means of seeking understanding. Introverted intuition sees a danger in how extroverted intuitives seek information, and Ni believes there is a risk that Ne will be tricked or deceived by the environmental data, or that Ne will lose sight of the whole. Ne believes Ni is stuck, egocentric, and wasting time. Still, ideally, both should be able to help each others experience integration. Integration is when you experience raw intuition, both extroverted and introverted at the same time. So you can see both the big picture and all the patterns around it.
I am not sure if I will ever set the foot down and say “this is the correct introverted intuition definition”. I do think Neojungian is in the lead in the race to finding the best introverted intuition definition. Most others aren’t even in the contest. While Jung is propably the best source, his theory is hardly a complete and thorough work. He’s better at pinpointing how the functions look to him, than how they work. Or worse, they use the 70s MBTI definitions, that look nice on the surface, but are meaningless in practice.
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