Jan 22, 2007

Simplifying Reality Through the Weak Functions

This topic came to me while working on a translation of Augusta's The Dual Nature of Man. Augusta's type was ILE. She had a definite tendency to simplify factors affecting relationships and interaction between people. Today her theoretical understanding of socionics and intertype interaction still lies at the foundation of socionics, but they have been fleshed out and are widely recognized to be not as clear-cut as she originally described them. In comparison, my blog and website show a more diverse approach to the topic of human interaction that includes other sources of insight (psychology, evolution, personal observations) in addition to socionics.

The difference? Augusta was an ILE with weak (simplistic) introverted ethics, whereas for me introverted ethics is an area of creativity and multi-dimensional perception. Augusta in effect describes a introverted ethics sphere with the aid of introverted logic. Since her explanations of relationships are secondary to her discovery of new patterns and structure in personality and information interchange, her oversimplifications are permissable, but in the long run they lose out in memetic competition to more fleshed-out and sensitive approaches to understanding relationships. Her understanding of relationships is rough and simplistic and doesn't pick up on the nuances of people's subjective feelings and the diversity of factors that influence these feelings from day to day.

Each of us simplifies certain aspects of reality as well. Have you ever met people who say and believe that all you have to do to maintain good health is eat less than 2000 calories a day, or visit the doctor every six months, or jog three times a week for 40 minutes? Have you ever met people who say and believe that all you have to do to develop your intellectual powers is read one book a week? Or that the key to maintaining a good relationship with your spouse is to frame statements about the relationships in the first person rather than the third (e.g. "I feel distressed when... " instead of "You never... !")? Or that the key to professional success is to perform one's duties and assignments diligently? Or that the way to ensure their physical safety is to take a self-defense course?

Each of these beliefs bears the mark of a weak function (usually the Super-ego). People take a one-dimensional approach toward a multi-dimensional issue. The purpose of this approach is to avoid thinking about this particular aspect of life in order to direct a larger proportion of attention and energy to our "favorite" tasks and activities. People with a multi-dimensional intuitive understanding of the area in question display a willingness to examine the nuances of each problem as it comes up instead of applying a blanket solution (one might say, a "final solution," to use Hitler's revealing choice of words). In certain areas of life each of us is prone to concoct "final solutions" that - naturally - must ultimately fail, since we assume that the problems that arise in this area will always be of the same narrow type that we have been able to foresee. But not all health problems arise from obesity, reading does not involve the entire intellect, relationships cannot be saved through careful wording, diligent employees are often laid off, and robbers do not always attack from the front and warn that they are assaulting you.

In the absence of close relationships with duals (and, to a degree, activators and partial duals), this one-dimensional approach often turns into a rigid false conviction; the individual believes he has found the single correct way of doing things and does not recognize his own incompetency. Dual relations in particular tend to keep the psyche flexible and constantly remind the individual of his own subjectivity in many areas of reality.


Anonymous said...

This is great...the simplification of that which is not well understood is a step on the road to developing personal "rules of thumb" for using weaker areas.

Dancing Butterfly Mama said...

yes, i find this useful too. can you give examples of an oversimplication of Se and Ne. thanks! :) i have ideas of them but don't know if i'm on track with them or not.