Jan 20, 2011

Introverted Intuition and Mystical Experience

Here is my response to a reader's letter, which is posted at bottom:

Your first question — "what exactly is Intuition of time" — is hardest to answer. The simple answer is that it is the internal experience of physically intangible phenomena. Ask 10 different socionists, and you'll get 10 different answers. But there is nothing inherently "mystical" about introverted intuition.

According to socionics, every function is responsible for both input and output — perception and behavior (passive and active "uses" of the function). Every type has all the functions and thus, at least to some degree, all the perceptive and behavioral potentialities of all the other types, however, the functions have different roles and importance for different types.

Next, what exactly is a mystical experience? Once you have defined it, can you assign that type of perception/behavior to a specific function? I suspect you cannot. Most people occasionally experience unusual states where their consciousness expands into unusual territory. This ability seems to me to be mostly unrelated to type. But is this what you mean by mystical experience? If you mean some type of totally otherworldly experience, then that is something that is indeed rare. I certainly don't have it, and most other people don't, either. This also suggests it's unrelated to socionics, because something socionically related should be more or less universal, while having different importance for different people.

If by mystical experiences you mean your own "beautiful impressions and poetical dreams," these are probably more or less universal. Almost everyone has these. Not the fact itself that you have impressions and dreams, but perhaps some of the content of your dreams and impressions is related to your specific socionic type, just as it is related to your basic personality and temperament.

I'm interested in transpersonal psychology. So I wanted to know, what exactly is Intuition of Time? Socionists believe, that this function is responsible for mystical experiences. So, can I ask an answer in simple English, why there is that function? How it makes mystical expreiences real. Why do socionists believe that it comes from this world and how sure we can be in that? Is this understanding final? Or is there place for other worlds?
I have a weak intuition, but I'm thinking that weak intuition too can have such experiences. I have had beautiful impressions and poetical dreams. But, are, in orthodox socionists understandings, the mysticism available only to strong intuiters?


Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I think introverted intuition is the most misunderstood function. I believe most everyone experiences a dose of mystical experience from time to time, and assume this is a component of Ni.

Those with dominant Ni experience a daily preoccupation with the examination and exploration of dynamic (time axis) internal landscapes and web networks (imagery/vision) of thoughts filled with imagery, symbolism and archetypes as guideposts. This ability or thought process can make them excellent artists, poets (NiFe) or planners, designers, forecasters and strategists (NiTe). On the negative side, some might find them idiosyncratic and/or useless if there is no tangible/realistic and objective grounding to their thoughts and actions. Ask a realist/sensor to lay down on a couch for a few hours to explore internal dreamscapes or exercise some imagery, and he/she will tell you to go fly a kite.


Rick said...

I basically agree with you, but the professions you've listed are all at the upper end of the abilities spectrum and are by no means monopolized by introverted intuitive types:

This ability or thought process can make them excellent artists, poets (NiFe) or planners, designers, forecasters and strategists (NiTe).

Art is a very broad realm. Visual art, I think, slightly favors sensing types. Music composition somewhat favors intuition. Poetry — I can't tell. I know SLIs who write poetry. Spatial (interior, landscape, etc.) design somewhat favors sensing types, but I don't know about clothing design. Forecasting strongly favors intuitive types, but I don't think Ni is favored over Ne, and likewise for strategy. ILEs and IEEs can be very strong in both.

But all of these professions are highly specialized and favor intelligence and independence.

Anonymous said...

IMHO Ni is actually a pretty simple info element to understand.

It's responsible for the perception (when in an accepting function) or the manipulation (when in a producing one) of the relationships between hidden /intangible/ processes.

Time is just a subset of what Ni (internal dynamics of relationships) covers; if it's about multiple dynamic things influencing each other in a non-directly-tangible way, it's about Ni.

So, perhaps oddly enough, IMHO i.e. ILIs are pretty adept at figuring out how people's attitudes towards each other (intangible + process + relationship) dynamically change based on the events those people are going through together / the ways their actions interact.

They're just "unlucky enough" not to be able to express the changes those processes evoke within them, or to affect the internal state of others (Ni unblocked with Fe + Fe-PoLR)...
...while IEIs get much fewer problems doing that.

OTOH, they will be able to influence visible processes
*without* them (external dynamics of objects, or "singled out processes") so as to evoke the most favourable interaction of hidden processes possible.

Based on that, I suppose you would get a prevalence of ILIs in the broker world (tied with LIEs, or LIEs being a close second).

Warm greetings, everyone, and don't take socionics too seriously :)
Like Rick said, it's just a philosophical school - let's not blow it out of proportion.