“The peculiar nature of introverted intuition, if it gains the ascendancy, produces a peculiar type of man: the mystical dreamer and seer on one hand, the artist and the crank on the other.”
Disclaimer: As mentioned in my previous two profiles, I write about the unconscious tendencies of the type and not personality. Therefore here I do not wish to probe into how our local INTJs tend to behave, but explore the character of the INTJ thought. Here I am more concerned with the INTJ philosophy than with the INTJ behavior. Unconscious tendencies evinced should not be accepted as set in stone, they in themselves are malleable and adaptable. The examples I shall provide will only be a few cases in point for how such unconscious tendencies will manifest. They are not an end in themselves, but means to the end of grasping the archetypal quiddity of the aforementioned unconscious tendencies. What I shall provide is no more than cues and hints in regards to what the unconscious tendencies may be, I leave it up to my just reader to discern what the tendencies are--as I wish to inculcate no dogma.
Introversion-The attitude of assessing the external world based on the internal standards. Takes the inner world for granted and not the outer.
Extroversion-The attitude of assessing the inner life by virtue of the external standard.
Perceiving-The function of collection of information.
Judgment-The faculty of decision making.
Intuition-A faculty of abstract collection of information.
Sensation-A faculty of Concrete collection of information.
Rational-A judgment oriented procedure in regards to acquisition of knowledge. Tantamount to judgment. Thinking and Feeling are considered Rational functions. One may think that only Thinking should be considered rational, and this is indeed the case from the colloquial linguistic perspective. Yet Jung considers Feeling to also be a rational function because Feeling is the conscious scrutiny of personal values and emotions. Essentially it is perfectly analogous to the kind of conscious scrutiny Thinking does to impersonal data.
Irrational-A perception oriented approach to knowledge, one that seeks to provide no rational. Irrational, in the Jungian sense of the word does not mean contrary to reason, but rather one that does not directly rely on 'judgment' for assessment of the situation. Thus hunches and impulses constitute such irrational faculties, despite that a rational explanation could be found for discoveries made by hunches and intuitions.
"Introverted Intuition is directed to the inner object, a term that might justly be applied to the contents of the unconscious. The relation of inner objects to consciousness is entirely analogous to that of outer objects, though their reality is not physical, but psychic. They appear to intuitive perception as subjective images of things which, though not to be met with in the outside world, constitute the contents of the unconscious, and of the collective unconscious in particular."
Introverted Intuition is an irrational function by the previously established definition. It does not rely on conscious scrutiny for assessment, but to something most closely in tune to the colloquial notion of 'hunches'. Since such Intuitive force is internally aimed, unlike the Extroverted Intuition, it requires very little external stimulus. We also know that Intuition is an information collecting faculty--as it is a perceiving function. Here we are struck by a paradox that Intuition is primarily concerned with collection of information, yet at the same time seems to rely little on the external stimulus. This leads us to question whether such an information collecting faculty truly does suffice to adequately collect information. Does it fall to the same malady Jung has evinced in Introverted Sensing?
"Even with only a slight increase in the power of the unconscious, the subjective component of sensation becomes so alive that it almost completely obscures the influence of the object. If the object is a person, he feels completely devalued, while the subject has an illusory conception of reality, which in pathological cases goes so far that he is no longer able to distinguish between the real object and the subjective perceptions....Actually he lives in a mythological world, where men, animals, locomotives, houses, rivers, and mountains appear either as benevolent deities or as malevolent demons. That they appear thus to him never enters his head, though that is just the effect they have on his judgments and actions. He judges and acts as though he had such powers to deal with; but this begins to strike him only when he discovers that his sensations are totally different from reality."
What, one may wonder, accounts for such a striking difference between the object itself and the IJ's perception thereof? Could it be due to the fact that this perception is Introverted? Namely that it defines the object by the internal agenda and the internal agenda itself is rarely clearly pronounced as it is an irrational function. Thus, if this were the case, the way the object is perceived is directly filtered through the scope of the introverted perception. For this reason, the objects are not assessed in terms of their own validity, but in terms of how they relate to the perceiver. Therefore, the perceiver tends to assume that the objects are much like himself, as he sees locomotives and animals as demons or benevolent deities.
The accentuation here was on the locomotives and animals because the Introverted Sensing type, the type that the previous quotation meant to depict is focused primarily on concrete things--or sensations. Hence, he anthropomorphizes concrete entities. Or assumes that the objects in themselves have much to do with his own personal qualities. This is precisely the reason why we often have seen eyes on the Moon, the nose on the sun, and the Sword in the hands of the clowd. So our mythologies have compelled us to see!
However, since Introverted Intuition, the function by which the INTJ is lead is abstract, it tends not to see the external world in this fashion. However, the relationship it has to abstract perceptions is indeed much analogous to the relationship Introverted Sensing has to concrete data. Thus, Introverted Sensing anthropomorphizes the physical world, Introverted Intuition, almost wholly without a doubt, anthropomorphizes abstractions and ideas. For this reason it is not uncommon for INJ philosophers and scientists to be observed deeming some ideas as wicked and others as benevolent without having any reasonable explanations for such taxonomy. That is because there truly is not an explanation for such a thing, as judgments of the like reflect more about them personally rather than about the matter they have commented on and therefore often serves as evidence of their personal biases and prejudices.
Because the way they interact with the world is necessarily influenced by their subjective perceptions, they are automatically drawn to focus most intensely on ideas that their unconscious minds tend to gravitate towards most. Such ideas soon flourish to be of solid and constant conscious interest in which their whole being shall be thoroughly imbued. Conversely, ideas that are not in tune with their unconscious predilections, will be paid little heed to. This is where the INJ stands in sharp contrast with their Extroverted Intuitive counterparts who lack focus of perception because they are forced to confront all external phenomena at once. Introverted Intuition, however, has a distinct idea which entities are worthy of perception. To an outside observer, such judgments often appear arbitrary, yet this is more than likely the case because such Intuitive perceptions have a lot more to do with the inner life of the perceiver rather than the external world. The subject distinctly holds primacy over the object, and the Intuition itself has a clear notion of what is worthy of focus.
"Like sensation, intuition has its subjective factor, which is suppressed as much as possible in extraverted attitude but is the decisive factor in the intuition of the introvert. Although his intuition may be stimulated by external objects, it does not concern itself with external possibilities but with what the external object has released within him."
Thus, unlike the Extroverted Intuition that is concerned with collection of all ideas and assesses them based on how such ideas influence the external environment, the Introverted Intuition assesses such hunches based on its internal agenda and is interested strictly in ideas that befit the previously established agenda. Whilst Extroverted Intuition requires continuous stimulation, Introverted Intuition runs on itself. The Extrovert will be forced to engage himself in abstract external activities, such as writing or debating to maintain his world of ideas, yet the Introverted Intuition requires no more than a solitary retreat. The more peaceful the environment, the better, to a greater degree the vivid imagination shall flourish. Thus for an INJ, it would hardly be hyperbolic to claim that the creative energy derives literally from nowhere.
"The extravert would say: "Reality does not exist for him, he gives up to fruitless fantasies." The perception of the images of the unconscious, produced in such inexhaustible abundance by the creative energy of life, is of course fruitless from the standpoint of immediate utility. But may give life a new potential, this function, which to the outside world is the strangest of all, is as indispensable to the total psychic economy as is the corresponding human type to the psychic life of a people. Had this type not existed, there would have been no prophets in Israel."
Incidentally, here we touch basis upon the notion of the introverted perceiving faculty to anthropomorphize. For this reason ideas generated by these types appear flattering to men, as they seem to suggest to us that the greatest possible essences of the universe have much to do with our tastes and prejudices. No doubt, the greatest religions of the world are thoroughly imbued in personalities of their initial propounders. As the God of Christianity is much similar to Jesus, of Islam--Muhammad and respectively Moses for Judaism.
Such ideas of the Introverted perception are highly abstract as this type is most intuitive of all--due to the intensification factor of introversion. Incidentally the perceptions of the INJ are ineffable and cannot be properly transmuted into the realm of concrete phenomena. When they do attempt to, their initial hunches are either grotesquely distorted or lost altogether. However, the Intuitionist himself appears much content with merely having the hunches that he has as they adequately guide him, even if he cannot duly explain it to others.
Naturally, the INTJ converts these hunches into conventional symbolism by applying Extroverted Thinking to his perceptions. Yet, clearly the Introverted Intuition holds priority, the Intuition is the master and the Judgment is the serf.
As Jung put it.
'As a rule, the intuitive stops at perception; perception is his main problem--in the case of a creative artist--the shaping of the perception .But the crank is content with a visionary idea by which he himself is shaped and determined."
Indeed, the perception needs to be shaped in order to be shown to others, as this is what the artist will be compelled to do. Otherwise his ideas are mythological and unintelligible to others. Mythological no doubt, as he himself holds the central role in his fantasies and unintelligible to others because they are incepted in the irrational guise, or one that is not depicted in a systematic fashion.
As a last word on this contention one shall wonder if it is truly the case that Introverted Intuition, as contrasted from the Extroverted is unable to properly perceive the external environment because it anthropomorphizes it. It is indeed the case that Intuition is an irrational function and is therefore outside of the province of our conscious control, and hence many things are possible as a result of this. Especially if we take in consideration the extraordinary power of imagination entailed by such a faculty. The objects are indeed distorted, and the way they are represented is unintelligible to an outside observer, however perfectly discernable to the perceiver himself. For this reason the Introverted Sensor is well aware of the moon and the relation it has to himself, despite that he may see eyes on such a thing. The same should be said about the Introverted Intuitionist and his awareness of his abstract environment. Essentially, Intuition as perception allows for us to be most in tune with our external environment. Extroverted Intuition has a superficial awareness of all things that could be perceived, or as large of a network as possible. However, Introverted Intuition naturally focuses on the smaller pertinent zone and attains as profound of an understanding thereof as possible.
Unlike Extroverted Intuition, Introverted Intuition cannot adapt itself to the external perceptions and the external environment but instead has a tendency to create an environment of its own. Since we know it is not possible to wholly create a world of one’s own, this endeavor of the INJs does not appear particularly promising---as nonetheless they will require some external stimulation to propel their perceptions in motion. Accordingly, just like the Introverted Sensor grasps the image of the external environment and then explores it in depth, the Introverted Intuitionist does no different. As he grasps the external environment in the guise of abstract perceptions and seeks to solidify the image. He does so because as an introvert, he forces the external environment to adapt to his own agenda, as his inner perceptions, unlike that of the ENPs are not capable of doing so. For this reason, status-quo for such a type must be preserved under all circumstances. Any variation in perceptions is tantamount to variations in the external environment itself, this strikes the IJ as unfathomable horror, as this is nearly tantamount to having their whole world unsettled. For this reason the INJs tend not to handle change well, especially change in their intellectual climate. They are forced to stick to their one vision upon which their whole worldview has been established. For the INJ, this is analogous to the axiomatic, foundational principles that the worldviews of INPs hinge upon. However, the principles of the INPs can be slowly altered as they do not depend on the fixed perception of the environment and by nature of themselves require emendation, yet the vision of the Introverted Intuition must remain solid as it serves not only as principles and guidelines in the mind of the INJ, but as the view of the world itself. If the INP was forced to change his axioms, he would rely on the Extroverted Intuition to collect the necessary information about the external environment as well as the prospects of changing the inner maxims, yet if the INJ were to attempt to do the same, he would undermine the very foundation that he stands on. As to interact with the external environment is tantamount to losing grasp with all that has been taken for granted hitherto.
As mentioned in the ENTP profile, Extroverted Intuition works vertically, or in other words perceives all that could be perceived in the external world. However, Introverted Intuition works horizontally. Or perceives only what is relevant to the subject. Hence, it charts out one single path. Whilst the Extroverted Intuitionist often struggles to decide which path to take, the Introverted Intuitionist is never at a loss to do so as he always has his own perspective in mind, and has his aim set on the one path that comes naturally to his intuitions. This, however, leaves him very far from knowing where he stands or what he thinks, as such knowledge requires conscious awareness of his own perceptions. In order to achieve this, the INTJ will need to be able to use Extroverted Thinking soundly. Or he will need to be able to translate his amorphous hunches into symbols that are intelligible to a conscious mind. That is the topic we shall inquire into next.
In the end of our inquiry into the functioning of the Introverted Intuition, one is compelled to question whether or not the ostensible aversion to change precludes the Introverted Intuitionist from being open-minded as traditionally associated with intuition. Can the INTJ be open-minded in the same respect that the ENTP is often well renowned for? In fact, I would argue that the INTJ is even more open-minded, despite that it may appear to be so otherwise to outside observers who are only superficially acquainted with the type and individuals representing it. Essentially, because of the boost of the Introversion factor, the Intuition of the INTJ is supported further and this respect becomes superior to the Extroverted Intuition of the ENTP. Intensity and not extensity is the aim of the Introverted Intuition. The ENTP will wish to explore all new ideas that befall his lot, and as soon as he has become acquainted with them, he will abandon them to move on to something new. This is the case for him because his perception is in constant need of external stimulation and he cannot stimulate himself from within when associating with the external entity which has long been depleted. The INTJ by contrast is on the radically different side of the spectrum. Introverted Intuition has a surplus of inner energy and can stimulate itself from within whilst requiring very little external stimulation. Thus the INTJ will entertain a myriad of ideas, more than any other type as long as they are relevant to his vision and can be explored in depth. Introverted Intuition is naturally at home in exploration of ideas because it is the very essence of pure imagination. It is most comfortable in contemplation and cognitive manipulation of images conjured by the imagination. Much analogously to how the Extroverted Intuition is at ease in manipulating external images and ideas of practical application, the Introverted Intuition is most comfortable at contemplating whatever images and ideas shall befall its mind.
“Just as the world of appearances can never become a moral problem for the man who merely senses it, the world of inner images is never a moral problem for the intuitive. For both of them it is an aesthetic problem, a matter of perception, a “sensation”.
Accordingly, because the Introverted Intuition is most at home in the realm of abstract perceptions, it is most open to the work of the imagination and for this reason most distinctly in the position to entertain ideas.
Before we are ready to move on to the secondary axis of the INTJ function—the Extroverted Thinking, there is one important point that we would be well advised to take note of. The INTJ stands in sharp contrast to the aforementioned ENTP in the regard of awareness of one’s own security. The ENTP is by nature adventurous because he perceives the external environment as an end in itself (as we have mentioned that extroversion is the attitude that perceives the external environment as foundationally existent—this not at all could be changed, thus because of the very weak perception of his inner climate, the ENTP pays little heed to his own security and unscrupulously dives forward into the external world. Introverted Intuition is quite the opposite in this respect. It does not take the external realm for granted. It takes the perception of itself, or an intuitive self-consciousness for granted and views the environment in terms of how it relates to the self.) Accordingly, the INTJ is remarkably unadventurous because he has difficulty interacting with the external world. And when he is forced to deal with novel environments, he inevitably imposes his vision of the previous environment that is still stored in his unconscious perceptions onto the new one. This is anathema to adaptability and therefore the INTJ struggles to properly adjust to change.
Extroverted Intuition, as mentioned in the ENTP profile, tends to take the external world lightly as it is not fundamental to the inner being of the individual representing such a function. In effect, often has a playful, if not banal, happy go lucky—pick the berries attitude. Yet the introverted intuition, does indeed take the environment for granted as that is fundamental to its inner being, and in effect takes the external world quite seriously. Thus, security, especially intellectual security is of foremost and personal concern for the INTJ. If the INTJ has not managed to move his vision outwards and become properly attuned with the external environment, likely will become very rigid and dogmatic. As then the preservation of his vision, for the sake of his own security, will become more important to the INTJ than the pursuit of truth. This again is an inevitable result of the Introverted Intuition having equated the existence of their entire inner world with the existence of their inner vision. Thus in such a case, the INJ will find himself barricade in his fortress of for the sake of which he will go at whatever length necessary to preserve his current train of thought.
As this allusion could not have been carried out any more soundly than it has been here in Jung’s autobiography.
“I can still vividly recall how Freud said to me “My dear Jung, promise me never to abandon the sexual theory. That is the most essential thing of all. You see, we must make a dogma of it, an unshakable bulwark.” He said to me with great emotion, in the tone of a father saying, “And promise me this one thing, my dear son: that you will go to church every Sunday.” In astonishment I asked him, “A bulwark—against what?” To which he replied, “Against the black tide of mud”—and he hesitated for a moment, then added—“of occultism” was virtually everything that philosophy and religion, including the rising of contemporary science of parapsychology, had learned about the psyche.”
Incidentally, Introverted Intuition without the due support of Extroverted Thinking will become very narrow and self-involved, focusing on nothing else but the quintessence of the internal vision. Whatever is not in tune with the internal vision will almost certainly be dubbed evil. Not because there is a reason to believe it undesirable, but simply because the INJ has deemed such idea evil, much like the ISJs often deem certain trains and dogs evil. Incidentally Freud’s expression of ‘occultism’ to depict ideas that disagree with his sexual theory was off-base. He was using this word emotionally, rather than in linguistically precise fashion as he seems to have been carried far away by his hunches. The term ‘bulwark’ that Freud has used in that fragment is strikingly indicative of the state of mind he has held—that he wished to fortify his vision from all ideas that are even slightly inconsistent with his, as they are simply ‘the black tide of occultism’. Freud of course did not give an argument for deeming the things he considered occultism as such, and this seems to evince the subjective bias of his own perceptions.
As a side-note on Introverted Intuition as a function in itself it should be noted that it does not perceive the world in the conventional fashion of Extroverted perception, or in terms of how the individual may contribute to his environment. But perceives the environment in terms of how it strikes its own apparatus of perception. In this respect, the external influx of ideas is imposing and invading to the INJ because his primary purpose is to preserve the vision that he has in mind, which by all rights to him is superior to that of the External vision. Had he had his way, he would freeze the scenario he has in mind and be content with that eternally. The following picture is often paradigmatic of the way the INTJ perceives the external world—he lives in the state of antithesis of his own will to promote his inner being through his inner vision and the external world which by virtue of itself thwarts the inner vision. Nietzsche, an INTJ himself, has argued that two drives inhere within human nature. That of the Will to Power and that of fear. Incidentally, the will to power is the vision the INTJ ought to impose on the external world, and the pursuit of power is necessary, because failure to attain power means succumbing to the terms of the external world and the renunciation of the inner vision, which in itself is unacceptable because the INJ equates this with a negation of existence itself. For this reason, INJs are often uncomfortable with the world itself, as external environment, by definition is cruel and imposing. Very often INJ philosophers asserted that we are at the very essence of our being, are driven by fear. As by Nietzsche’s theory, fear is indeed the main drive in human nature. This fear, doubtlessly, represents the INTJ’s fear of the External environment, especially of the external, concrete world which is represented by their shadow side of Extroverted sensing.
Introverted perception, by the nature of itself is intensely focused on the future. This is the case because its primary focus is the perception of the individual, or what the individual needs from the environment inhering within his perceptions. The INTJ for this reason, as an abstract introverted perceiver, is most concerned with the abstract problems of the future. This makes them avid students of human nature, as through their abstract perceptions they are able to discern ideas that come to great difficulty to those of us who rely primarily on systematic thought. Incidentally, the fear complex and the greatest problem of all, our demise appears to be of much interest to many INTJs. As Ernest Becker has argued the thesis that death is indeed the greatest anxiety of man which is not over the horizon for any of us. This is less of a claim about Becker’s work, but more about his INJ prejudices. As becomes obvious to any sober thinker, most of us do not see far-ahead enough to envisage such a problem, or even less be preoccupied with it. Yet, INTJs very much do for the aforementioned reasons.
II.Interrelations of Introverted Intuition and Extroverted Thinking (Ni-Te axis)
Introverted Intuition alone manifests to the psyche in the form of amorphous hunches. Such a vision by itself is a phantasmagoria. Without order or due sequence or a sense of self-consciousness, but it is simply no more than amorphous, hunches that not even the INJ himself knows what are about. Application of Extroverted Thinking, the rational or conscious function to such visions leads to the objectification of the Intuition. Or perception of the vision in conscious terms. This is where the vision becomes a notion that the INTJ becomes clearly aware of. Where it is not an unintelligible flow of perceptions, but is an entity shaped in coherent and intelligible units of ideas. Extroverted Thinking seeks to organize the inner visions with the laws of simple logic and external standards. This function, most of all ties the INTJ to the convention or the external protocol of thought and action. This manifestly goes against the grain of the INTJ as the dominant Introverted Intuition faculty is radically individualistic. The central goal of Introverted Intuition is to concoct one’s personal vision out of which the inner life of the subject shall spring and guide the external behavior of the individual representing the type. The external action, to the INTJ should be no more than an entailment of, or a manifestation of the inner vision. This is where the INTJ runs into conflict with the typical J approach to activities, as Extroverted Judgment (J) by virtue of itself implies the necessity of being guided by an external standard.
Yet the INTJ sees the satisfaction of the external standard as only means to the end and not an end in itself as it is for the typical Judging types. The true end for the INTJ is emendation of the vision to the point of a satisfactory hunch. Paradoxically, such an end is not possible. This, however, is indeed possible for the Extroverted perceivers who oriented around practical goals in the external world, as the famous ENTP Walt Disney once uttered—if you can imagine it you can do it, as indeed most of the visions of the ENTP do come true. Yet the INTJ would likely attribute such a possibility to the poverty of the imagination of the ENTP, as their visions are much more complex and more original than those of the Extroverted perceivers. As a faculty of introversion, Introverted Intuition needs much less external stimuli and the visions it conjures are much less relevant to the external world than those produced by the ENPs. Because of the extremely abstract nature of the Introverted Intuition, properly assessing such a vision as it is possible for the ENPs is out of the question for INJs. This leads to further internal conflict for the INTJ as their Judgment oriented mindset vehemently insists on meeting concrete external agenda which is ostensible to all—one that has a beginning and an end. This is manifestly impossible for the INTJ because the vision in itself takes on the other world, continuously flowing aura. It certainly does not appear to have a beginning nor an end and a sober thinker must deem the mere idea of pigeonholing such a grandiose vision into simplistic conventional moulds that the Extroverted Judgment insists on employing.
Incidentally, Introverted Intuition reaches for the heavens that not a word of ours could describe, yet Extroverted Judgment of the INJ refuses to recognize any notion that cannot be properly depicted in conventional terms as substantial. The Extroverted Judgment would insist on repudiation of such ideas, yet the Introverted Intuition is far from complying and as a rule demonstrates its preponderous superiority over its Externally judicious proponent. Even though Extroverted Thinking of the INTJ would have long asserted the vision should be dismissed because it is not relevant to a clear-cut external agenda, the vision continues to be the primary driving force of the INJ, and rarely hesitates to do different or the opposite from what the Extroverted Judgment prescribes. Interestingly enough, this is manifestly the case for the INTJ, a Thinking type, a type that significantly relies on mere reason, yet in the cases of a discrepancy between their reasoning and their hunches, their hunches are much more likely to prevail. Yet, the INTJ nonetheless maintains a cool and unperturbed demeanor despite the chaotic and erratic environment within them, as they are only comfortable putting notions on display that do indeed agree with reason. The rest, far from being suppressed, thrive internally and serve as the guiding light of the INTJ thought.
Existentialist writers, from Nietzsche to Camus were predominantly INJs—or led by the faculty of Introverted Intuition. Their thesis was that the external world is bereft of meaning and the individual must turn inwards in order to come to terms with his existence. They also contemptuously dismissed systems, even the Rationals INTJs, as they tended to associate systems with pigeonholing. For the INTJ, this is indeed the case as no conventional mould is commensurable to the powerful imagination that dwells within them. Incidentally however, the reason why an INTJ may find life to be bereft of meaning is because his internal goals could only be satisfied by virtue of an abstruse and perhaps inscrutable to the conscious mind hunch. Yet, the INTJ, as a Judger is tied down to the external agenda and only ideas that are in tune with the external agenda could be properly analyzed or processed by the individual representing such a type. Evidently, the Judgment is unable to deliver the resources the INTJ needs to function properly, hence he is left to work with only his abstract hunches which seem to be of no utility to him as a thinker because he cannot properly translate them into ideas that he deems to have objective soundness.
Introverted Intuition craves internal resolution which could only be acquired through profound scrutiny of thought, this can only be accomplished through acquisition with the Introverted Judgment in combination with Intuition. Such a combination can be found in the INP types, the INTP and the INFP. Yet the Introverted Judgment of the INTJ remains out of reach because it is positioned in the Tertiary slot as well as is being countervailed by the Extroverted Thinking—the anathema to the Introverted Judgment of the INTJ. Because this function is in the third position, the INTJ cannot properly access its domain before marching through the secondary Extroverted Thinking.
In order to find contentment with his inner life, the INTJ must learn to let go off the External world and the External benchmarks that he is tied down to. Yet this he cannot do because in order to do any kind of conscious Thinking, he must rely on the Extroverted Judgment which insists on doing just the opposite of this. Or adapting the external standard as the primary method of self-assessment. In order for the INTJ to master Introverted Judgment or learn to be devoid of external standard, paradoxically, he must first master Extroverted Judgment.
The Introverted nature of perception of the INTJ insists on the fundamentality of the environment to the inner being of the INTJ. Hence, the INTJ is unlikely to be able to imagine his inner life without any relation to the external environment. There must be an environment for the INTJ to envision and very often it is one of make belief, where the INTJ has conjured a world of its own. Such an egocentric attitude is often implicit in the mindsets of unhealthy and unbalanced INTJs—this, without a doubt, in combination with Extroverted Judgment that is notorious for such behavior—compels them to control the external world by all means necessary. Yet, unlike their ENTJ cousins, the INTJs often lack the external resources to be successful at such an endeavor and resign themselves to the mercy of their blind and restless internal vision. In this position they likely have convinced themselves that the world is as chaotic as their inner life because of their inability to control it. Yet, they must learn that in order to overcome their problem of dissatisfaction with their inner life, they must stop seeking for external accomplishments that shall satisfy them, but instead aim for the inner, perennial pursuits that could go side by side with their vision that requires no beginning and no end.
This noble truth was fully realized in Camus’ Myth of Sisyphus where the protagonist, much antagonistically to the INTJ over-achieving spirit, finds satisfaction not in rolling the boulder up the hill and ensuring that it stays there, but in the activity itself of rolling the boulder up and down the hill. Hence, he has found meaning in life because he has elected a perennial task, one that could truly satisfy the agenda of the vision of his inner intuition. This process once again is rendered difficult to achieve due to the concrete and externally focused of their primary conscious function—the Extroverted Thinking. The INTJ for this reason, despite his radically individualistic mindset, unlike the INP does not subscribe to the attitude of concocting his worldview strictly for himself with no wish to impose it on any other individual. Instead, he deems for his radically subjective and individualistic vision to be one that others should embrace, and often deems for the vision to be a failure because it has not succeeded by the external standards. Despite how much the hunches of the Introverted Intuition may remonstrate, this is indeed the case with the Extroverted Thinking. The INTJ would render himself a service by reminding himself that the acquisition of success by external standards is never an end in itself but means to the end. Essentially, this is only part and parcel of coming to terms with the vision of the Introverted Intuition which insists on concrete, external manifestations. However, in the beginning of his quest, the INTJ will be forced to pursue success by external standards in order to make his introverted judgment accessible. But after he has accomplished this, he will be on his way to attunement with his inner interests and will see them as an end in themselves. At that point he will have a coherent sense of self which is founded not upon mystical and amorphous hunches, but on a clearly outlined perspective. How this shall happen and what the INTJ must accomplish in order to make this happen shall be the subject matter for our next discussion in section III, which is primarily concerned with the interplay of Introverted Intuition and Introverted Feeling.
Yet, at this point for the purposes of exegesis of Extroverted Thinking, it should be noted that the INTJ will indeed be forced to confront his tendency to control the external environment. This, without a doubt is deeply connected with the notion that the INTJ wants to be fully aware of the environment that is important to him. This, as aforementioned is closely attuned with the notion that the environment is essential to the inner being of the INTJ. (By virtue of the factor of Introverted Perception.) Incidentally, because the INTJ is not adept at adapting to external environment, his perceptions unconsciously force the vision of the environment onto the changing environment.
This is augmented by Extroverted Thinking of the INTJ where he consciously and aggressively imposes his views and visions onto others. Often his plans for accomplishment of such tasks are highly intricate to the point of impossibility of being carried out properly and on this account such a type is often nicknamed as the mastermind. The INTJ is the introverted version of Machiavelli, the chief mastermind of political history. And in truth, the two are mirror images of each other, one is internally focused yet the other is externally. Hence, this is the reason why the comparison of the ENTP with the INTJ has been very fitting for this essay. The INTJ’s vision is indeed much more complex, though carried out with less careful analysis than that of the ENTP. As we see that the visions of the INTJ are often lofty and esoteric, yet that of the ENTP Machiavelli was simple—winning in the political arena in our dog eat dog world, yet clearly the Thinking (Introverted Thinking) of that ENTP was much more intricate. Visionaries like Sartre and Nietzsche hardly managed to clearly define their visions, yet prescriptions for how they ought to be implemented were quite simple to the point of crudity. The stark difference between these heroes is that Machiavelli’s vision was aimed chiefly at the individual in one indiosyncratic and esoteric position, the political leader—and he sought not to impose it on anyone. Yet Nietzsche and Sartre pleaded to have their vision to be embraced by everyone, and those who reject the vision must be either bourgeois or philistines. Yet, however, the discrepancy of Extroversion and Introversion manifests in one special regard. Machiavelli was concerned with applying his vision to an environment that is ostensible to all, the realm of politics, as ENTPs often tend to gravitate to enterprises similar to this one, yet Sartre and Nietzsche sought to show the individual how to find the highest satisfaction of the inner being possible.
Thus the ENTP targets a very small spectrum and in classical aristocratic fashion of the Introverted Judgment insist on the vision to be applied only by the select few, competent individuals. They insist on a goal that can easily be achieved in this world to be carried out by the selected few. Yet the INTJs insist on building the tower of Babel for all to reach the heavenly gates. For this reason, the INTJs, unlike other NTs are most reluctant to acknowledge that abstract ideas are not for everyone and not everyone is able to embrace their vision. As arriving at such a scenario is tantamount to failure itself. Thus, the INTJ, striving to avoid the scenario where their vision cannot be embraced by all attempts to pigeonhole such a vision into the conventional standards that can be accessed by even the starkest of philistines. Unfortunately, much of their teaching is in effect lost because they have simplified it to a greater extent than was permissible in order to preserve the content thereof. In other words their vision is much too abstract to be made concrete.
Moses Maimonides, an eminent 12th century apologist of integrity of religious prophecy argued persuasively in his celebrtated Guide of the Perplexed that the Prophets were able to access the other world because of their vibrant imagination. And indeed most prophets were either INTJ or INFJ—dominant Introverted Intuitionists. There can be no doubt that Introverted Intuition endows the individual with the most powerful imagination possible. The ideas perceived within such a subject are almost certainly ineffable to the conscious mind, especially to the very crude and simplistic Extroverted Thinking that accompanies the dominant Introverted Intuition of the INTJ. The case in point of INTJs losing their teaching because they have attempted to make it simplistic enough for philistines to understand is manifest in organized religion. Where their lofty and esoteric visions, which should have been prescribed to the select few were toned down to a set of concrete texts and rituals. In effect, their philistine public was unable to grasp the true essence of their teaching because it was too abstract for them and incidentally they have mistaken the concrete and conventional symbols the INJs used to depict their visions, for the vision itself! This is precisely the reason why our beloved Christian Church has this superstition concerning salvific power of belief in the dogma of Christ as our savior and the dogma that if we say our prayer in one specific fashion god must do our bidding!
Clearly, the prophets, be they in their right mind and sincere would not have recommended anything like this in their wildest flights of fantasy—and to us, as outside observers, this is one more proof of the INTJ not being properly in tune with the external world, as the vision of the Introverted Intuition has replaced the external world itself. Even though the INTJ, to the outside observer, seems to rely on conventional terms for self-expression, what he means by such terms is far from the same thing as what the conventional terms intended to mean. The more unbalanced the INTJ becomes, the less control he will have of his conscious faculty of Thinking. The more unintelligible to the intellect his visions will become and even more difficult it will be for others to understand him. At this point, the reliance of the INTJ on his internal vision will be preponderous over his reliance on reason itself. He will be stuck in the motion picture of his own inner life which in itself may have little to do with the current situation of the external world, but with how the external world should be.
When the INTJ has become thoroughly absorbed in his inner vision, he will heavily gravitate towards isolation and slowly shall turn his back on the most important conscious goal of his. Maintaining control over the external environment and ensuring it is transformed in accordance to his vision. That, manifestly, is the despondent outcome that the Existentialist school of thought wished to draw our attention to. Unlike INTPs, the INTJs do not have the proficiency in analysis to resolve even the most complicated of paradoxes and they therefore resign themselves to the view of the universe which suggests a very chaotic scenario—as favored by their dominant Introverted Intuition. INTPs, as is the case with the three great rationalists, Spinoza, Descartes and Leibniz find solace in merely constructing a logically sound worldview enveloping all phenomena. Devoid of thoughts concerning external application, political involvement of their ideas, or interaction with their external environment. Confidence in objectivity of their worldview springs from such knowledge—often successfully covering ground on ideas that are most difficult to find objectivity in, like ethics.
Yet INTJs, because of their inability to do the same are often forced to concede to relativism, and in extreme cases nihilism. Nihilism, no doubt is very common in our Western society, and the ignorance of the public of having such a malady does not make them any more or less nihilistic. At any rate, the INTJ could well claim to be less nihilistic than their ENTP cousin, yet of all types, they are most likely to use this word to depict their views. What they mean in such a case is that truth for them, because of the Extroverted nature of their Thinking is largely contingent upon External environment. The thoughts are not truly theirs, but they are merely regurgitations of what has already been stated, as their Thinking does not run deeply enough to penetrate their inner being. Thus, if this case were true, truth itself would vary with the climates of culture. What does penetrate the inner being of the INTJ, however, is the Introverted Intuition, which by definition of itself is radically subjective—as it is founded upon hunches refined within the intricacies of mind. As Jung earlier mentioned, this function is the strangest of all and most difficult for the individual to transfer them onto the outside. Incidentally, such radical subjectivity of the INTJ leads them further down the path of relativism. Relativism is notorious for discounting the validity of the views of the individual. A collectivist mindset is often promoted instead of the individualistic. Yet INTJs are far from collectivistic, despite recognizing their own subjectivity and adhering to the relativistic theory of truth, they are most loyal to their vision. Often to the point of confusing the personal interests propounded by their intuitions for the interests of the entire world, and indeed this hardly is an exaggeration as such INTJs do indeed often assert that their vision must be embraced by the entire world. Unlike the NTPs who insist on acceptance of a doctrine only if it is true, such INTJs are often compelled to doubt that truth exists, yet, enigmatically, have no compunction about imposing their vision on others. Such a mindset shows a distinct superiority of the intuition over the intellect for the INTJ, as they expect for others to be inspired by their teaching less by mere reason, but more so by hunches and sentiments. For this reason, Giordanno Bruno, the famous 16th century martyr for science was committed to the flames countervailing the Chrisitan dogma that truth is objective with his heterodox notion that truth is relative.
Reason, however, is indeed an efficient instrument to make their visions more acceptable others. This is especially pertinent because their Thinking is externally aimed, and often orients itself around political, external goals—this makes them more adept at propounding their vision to others. On this account, INTJ debaters often aspire to convince their opponent to embrace their views. Hence there can be no doubt that the relativistic post-modernist philosophical turn of our present day, imbued in mysticism and politically inclined approach to philosophy was inoculated in the INTJ flavor.
INTJs, despite their closure-seeking approach to logic appear to be perennial learners. This phenomenon is most easily described in essence of them never running out of intuitions to process, as Introverted Intuition is in closest affinity possible with the essence of pure imagination. Very often, after the INTJ has externally dismissed an idea, he will retreat to his inner life to process the notion further. This activity, however is much different from the careful analysis of the INTP—the INTJ is concerned with perception more than judgment or just exploring the idea as an end in itself, often pushing his imagination to the greatest extremes possible. As a result, most ideas are either divorced from reality or the INTJ is unable to communicate them in a way they could be easily accessible to all. However, the few ground-breaking insights the INTJ will make, one can almost certify could not have been attained with conscious thought. As a last word on the interplay of Introverted Intuition and Extroverted Thinking, it should be noted that INTJs heavily gravitate towards paradoxes, or the very idea that certain notions cannot be discerned with the laws of logic alone. This attests to their marked preference for perception over judgment, and the superficiality of their Thinking. They do not strive to scrutinize thought to the smallest and purest essence, as INTP philosophers like Hegel and Heidegger were known to do---but tend to see logic as means to the end of giving affirmation to their vision and imposing external order. Thus their greatest merit lies in prescience of intuitive insights. INTJs were often deemed prophetic by those who have observed them as they seemed to have generated insights out of nowhere---in a metamorphosis like fashion. Many were able to predict the future with considerable accuracy, this, no doubt, one may argue is because their perceptions run deeply and intensely enough to notice the patterns in nature that are inscrutable to the conscious mind.
Yet because their hunches are in closer affinity with their internally envisaged world rather than with the world of external perception and for this reason the INJs are unable to communicate their vision in a way that is intelligible to others as they simply do not live in the same world as the rest of us. Hence, the justification INTJs offer for their ideas is often untenable. A striking case in point for this is the belief in karma or how there may be a mystical connection between the lines on our palm and our life-span Such beliefs are more common among INFJs than INTJs, yet as a rule this evinces the marked preference for the intuition over the intellect, whereas many of the true insights of the INJs are supported by poor reasoning and on this account the Western civilization has lost much. As it has dismissed the ideas of the INJs mistakenly believing that they could not be supported by argument, whilst the case was only that the INJ has not found a way. to do so.
The ethic of the INTJ often remains relative for the aforementioned reasons and most importantly extroverted judgment which insists more on good manners rather than emendation of the inner being. As Ivan Karamazov insisted, without God all things are permissible. Or without an authority to impose a regime upon us, we will be running amuck. This is exactly the case of Extroverted Judgment destitute of introverted—what ensues as a result, evidently, is the individual lacking principles that are truly his, he then pantomimes those universally accepted as desirable. As Thomas Hobbes, an INTJ himself, argued that without a sovereign human life is nasty, brutish and short. Or in other words, we need to rely on authority, as failure to realize this will lead to monstrous consequences. Evidently, what the INTJ needs is not achievement of their outer goals, or Te—which would recommend bringing about order to their external world through the mouth of a sovereign who shall make the world conform to their visions, but ability to find peace from within, and not from without. This can be accomplished only if the introverted judging feeling faculty is properly employed.
INTJ, of all four rationals, is most in tune with the Feeling aspect of their psyche. Essentially, their visions are meant not only to be oriented around impersonal agendas, but also make a powerful appeal to the human element. Corrupt introverted judgment, however, as explored in depth in the INFP profile leads to radical egocentricity. This can be a particular menace with types operating on auxiliary Introverted Judgment whereas it will be powerful enough to inflict serious harm on the external world. Least harmful perhaps in types with inferior introverted judgment. We know that the less properly a function is utilized, the more corrupt it is likely to become. Hence EJ types, with inferior introverted judgment are most likely to have such a faculty corrupted. INJs are less likely, though their introverted judgment is more powerful than that of the EJ types indeed. This places the introverted judgment in a very peculiar position. The EP types may not be corrupt enough to become egocentric, but INJs have shown to be far more likely to succumb to this malady. As the three greatest proponents of ethical egoism, Hobbes, Nietzsche and Sartre were INTJs.
The inner life of the INTJ tends to be chaotic as aforementioned due to the lack of proper use of introverted judgment, and Introverted Feeling appears far too soft-hearted to bring about the inner order the INTJ longs for. INTJs are most adept at scrutiny of aesthetics and the human element as their Feeling function is the strongest out of all Thinking types. For this reason we often observe INTJ novelists and poets competing with the Intuitive-Feeling types in the literary arena. In that regard the visions of the INTJ become even more forceful than that of the ENTP, as they primarily rely on hunches and sentiments to convince others to embrace their vision. In that regard, they are supreme.
As Jung noted about the ENP..
”He brings his vision to life, he presents it convincingly and with dramatic fire, he embodies it, so to speak. But this is not play-acting, it is a kind of fate.”
The ENTP is much skilled at expression, or presenting his external vision to others. Yet the INTJ is not, his vision is far richer and more profound than that of the ENTP, but in mere essence should affect the individual in the same fashion—the impact, however, should be much more profound as Introverted Intuition focuses more intensely and is far richer in imagination than the Extroverted.
The nature of Feeling for the INTJ is predominantly negative, as they tend not be comfortable with this function. Much more comfortable than the rest of the Thinking types, however, not to the extent that the dominant or auxiliary Feeling types tend to be. Feeling is also subordinate to their Intuitive and Thinking faculties. For this reason their visions are often fraught with sentiments romanticizing their abstract notions about the world and celebrations of their successful by the conventional standards endeavors. Feeling, very rarely has an autonomous voice of its own and merely cheers to what the Ni-Te axis considers desirable, and frowns at what it considers undesirable. But when it does acquire autonomy of its own, the INTJ almost infallibly overcomes his ‘existential crisis’ and his life is radically altered for the better. As then his visions will be satisfactory by virtue of their significance to the inner being and not the seemingly hollow external standard. Often INTJs will distort their perceptions of their feelings to better accommodate their hunches or logical reasoning.
IV. Extroverted Sensation
Extroverted Sensation is the weakest aspect of the INTJ’s psyche and represents most of his fears. As mentioned in the first section, the fear of being invaded and having one’s inner vision crushed by the external material world. INTJs, as introverted perceivers, take their external environment very seriously, and the playful attitude of Extroverted perception is anathema to them. Extroverted Sensation, for aforementioned reasons is the most negative of all functions for the INTJ. For this reason, externally oriented memories remembered are often of despondent mood, and due to the apparent instability of this function within the INTJ psyche, impulses and memories are distorted to better befit hunches. INTJs tend not to be adapt at memorizing facts or applying them to their concrete environment, as well as tend to struggle with SP-oriented tasks that require hands on interaction with the external world. The bright side of this, however, is that INTJs are unlikely to fall victim to overindulgence in sensual pleasures as this tends not to be a significant part of their lifestyles. Mostly they abhor the sensualist approach to life and without much hesitation favor the intellectual/imaginative path over that of the sensuality, and mostly fall victim to overindulgence in sensual pleasures in extreme cases of neurosis where Extroverted Sensation spirals outside of their conscious control and begins flooding them with strange impulses they neither wish to face or understand.
-INTJ is primarily driven by the internally focused intuition which produces a vision aimed at highly esoteric and abstract goals. Highly esoteric because of the intense abstractness of the faculty of Introverted Intuition, and abstract because Intuition of the INTJ, by virtue of the Introversion factor has the most intensified form of intuition. The stronger the intuition, the more abstract it will be. Introverted Intuition is the strongest form of intuition.
-Because perception is oriented around the subject for the INTJ, their attitude towards life stands in sharp contrast with that of quintissential perceivers. Preservation of the subject is of foremost priority. INTJs tend to handle change quite poorly as their minds get attached to the process of modifying the environment that best befits their inner vision. Conforming to the external agenda is closer in tune with Extroversion rather than introversion, and conformity or adaptability to the external environment is a property of Extroverted perception which is anathema to the INTJ.
-Extroverted Thinking of the INTJ insists on the external application of the vision, though this is difficult to accomplish because the vision is too abstract to be easily applied to the external world. Moreover, the standard of Extroverted Thinking is too meager and impoverished to capacitate the lofty visions conjured by the Introverted Intuition.
-The INTJ struggles to find meaning in life because he is at a loss to come by an internal standard to assess his intuitions by. Extroverted Thinking is unacceptable not only for the reason mentioned above, but also because it is simply an external standard incommensurable to the intensenly internal vision of Introverted Intuition.
-Cultivation of Introverted Feeling does indeed lead to meaning in life for the INTJ, yet this proves to be a difficult process to accomplish because Introverted Feeling is but a third faculty in rank. Yet when this is accomplished, the existential angst desists.
-Extroverted Sensing is the shadow side of the INTJ and represents the most undesirable elements to the type.
-INTJs tend not to be able to acquire the due conscious grasp of their intuitive insights because they do not have the sufficient faculties of conscious scrutiny(introverted judgment), nor able to present them to the outer world in a fashion they could be understood because they are out of tune with mutually shared perception. (extroverted perception)
Despite that their visions in regards to the amelioration of human nature and society are unacceptable, there is much to learn from this type as their perceptions often run to lofty heights and when we do manage to see what is going on in their minds, we often acquire insights that we could not have acquired from rational thought alone. Moreover Introverted Intuition is the source of inspiration in itself as it requires little external stimuli in order to conjure the most ground-breaking of insights. Individuals representing this type are often unable to express their visions in an adequate fashion, yet they certainly embody their vision enough to teach by example.
As Jung would quite concur. "The irrational introverted types are certainly no teachers of a more perfect humanity; they lack reason and the ethics of reason. But their lives teach the other possibility, the interior life which is so painfully wanting in our civilization."
The author of this profile is SolitaryWalker who is also an active member of typology forums. This profile is published in the book 'Principles of Typology' by Aleksey Bashtavenko http://www.amazon.com/Principles-Typology-Aleksey-Bashtavenko)/dp/1438927142/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265601192&sr=8-1