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“And the first lesson of all was the basic trust that he could learn. It is shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult. Muad’Dib knew that every experience carries its lesson.”
— Dune, Frank Herbert.

  • Introverted Intuition (NI) and Extroverted Feeling (FE) are the cognitive tools utilised by the INFJ mind to build a map of all associated elements within the scope of focus. With these dominant functions working in concert a sense of the whole is sought through inference and extrapolation, a kind of built in epistemology circuit. It can be a bit trial and error so therefore, it may take some time before the possibilities afforded by the system are fully integrated and appreciated.

    Fresh incoming data may need to be ingested several times in order to lock down a concept. For each exposure the underlying meaning of the information is stripped away, broken up into its constituent parts and analysed in isolation.

    Only after perceiving the concept from multiple angles can the idea confidently be held fast in conscious thought. This can sometimes be evidenced as a tendency to drift off in the middle of a stimulating conversation, zoning out whilst exploring a personal reverie. This happens because, input that stimulates previously established ideals can inspire an instant fascination in the moment.

    The imagination quickly expands to capitalise on this, tracking burgeoning possibilities in real time. The quality of this processing depends significantly on the overall mental stability and maturity of the individual. The child INFJ for example, if not encouraged properly may not realise how to take full advantage of this dynamic experience and assume that their cognitive abilities are flawed. This can lead to a handicapping of the efficacy of NI.

    Guilt and shame are potent influencers of lethargy, but that is perhaps a contentious topic for another time.

    After NI and FE have plotted a course Introverted Thinking (TI) [tertiary function] attempts to establish a systematic framework based on a slightly wonky yet, fairly trustworthy flavour of logic. This is required for structuring a reliable resolution that can be made manifest in the real world. Contemporary realisations can seemingly, just fall into place; sometimes with an uncanny prescience.

    As the process happens mostly behind the scenes, when a realised concept is conveyed to the physical world it may not necessarily be immediately comprehensible in its form, although, clear in its meaning.

    This system may not employ the sophistication of pure rational reasoning or match the speed of sequential ordering →

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“In Budapest, surgeons operated on printer's apprentice Gyoergyi Szabo, 17, who, brooding over the loss of a sweetheart, had set her name in type and swollowed the type.”
— Time Magazine 1936. From the book
Just My Type, by Simon Garfield.