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Metaphysics & Psychology

Is introverted intuition helpful or harmful?

As a growing number of people turn to online self-help content as a way to reorder their lives, certain ways of understanding or reshaping your own identity are flowing in and out of popularity. At the moment, the idea of ‘introverted intuition’ (Ni) is the subject of lots of attention, particularly on social media.

But what exactly is Ni? Where did the concept come from? And will it help you to figure out who you are?

In this article, I’ll give you the lowdown on introverted intuition. We’ll look at what it is and how to recognize it in yourself, and how some people believe it plays an important role in their lives.

Then, with the help of psychologist Katie Woodland, we’ll cut through the mystery and myth of intuition and consider a different possibility. That rather than helping you understand who you are and how you work, labeling yourself in this way could limit your ability to change.

What is introverted intuition?

Introverted intuition (Ni) is a trait identified through the Myers Briggs personality type test. Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, created the test based on Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types. First published in the aptly named book Psychological Types in 1921, Jung offered an innovative way of understanding and ordering human behavior.

Distilled from the complexity of Jung’s work, the Myers Briggs assessment was intended to make self-psychological profiling easy for everyone. Briggs and Myers suggested that if everyone could define their personality type they’d be able to use it to their advantage; capitalizing on their strengths and embracing the differences between them and the people around them.

So, 16 personality types were defined. These definitions came about through oppositions: some personality types were ‘judging’ while others were ‘perceiving’; some were ‘extraverted’ while others were ‘introverted’, some ‘sensing’ while others were ‘intuiting’; and some ‘thinking’ while others were ‘feeling’.

The assessment uses a series of questions to put together a four-letter code—and that code is your personality type. Each type is associated with specific characteristics, preferences, strengths, and weaknesses.

And introverted intuition is a trait associated with two personality types in particular: INFJ and INTJ.

It’s a ‘perceiving function’. It is, essentially, the cognitive ability to notice and make sense of patterns so that a plan emerges. Someone with Ni can effortlessly observe, reshuffle, and piece together complex information. All of this happens below the surface and the human experience of it is a ‘hunch’ or a ‘gut feeling’; an intuitive sense of the future.

Some people seem to have greater intuition than others, and it’s not unusual for intuition to be perceived as some kind of psychic ability. But actually, psychological research shows that all human brains are subconsciously processing loads of information all the time. It’s just that some people are more likely to notice or trust their intuition than others. A report by Thea Zander and colleagues, published in the journal Frontal Psychological, note that intuition becomes apparent when the perceiving person also experiences insight.

Insight and intuition have to occur together, perhaps simultaneously or in a constant cycle, in order for someone to be aware of those subtle cognitive perceptions and form some kind of future thought out of them.

When it comes to intuition and gut feelings, psychologist Katie Woodland says:

“Every single individual will have experienced this. However, not everyone chooses to follow those hunches. If a non-intuitive individual (or rather, someone who does not give weight to their intuition) has a hunch and the logical aspects of the outside world seem to contradict their gut feeling, they are more likely to ignore it.”

In contrast, someone who is intuitive is simply someone who does give weight to their intuition. In terms of Myers-Briggs personality types, those people would have the INFJ or INTJ codes, leaning towards introverted traits. Rather than being some kind of magic, intuition is the tendency to rely on ‘feelings’ and hunches. Woodland says “those who are deeply religious will call it faith, those who are spiritual may believe it’s the Law of Attraction.”

Whatever the label, intuition is available to all of us. Some of us are just more likely to live by it, or act on it, than others.

How do you know if you’re the Ni type?

According to personality type literature, such as the book Type Talk by Otto Kroeger and Janet Thuesen, introverted intuition characterized by a focus on the internal world. You look for abstract connections and symbols to represent relationships between your subjective internal world, and the empirical world around you.

If you’re someone who finds hidden meanings and notices signs in your environment all the time, you’d probably fall under the introverted intuition label. You might have a sense that you can predict the future; a deep confidence that what you believe will happen, will happen.

Actually, Ideapod’s Genefe Navilon has written about the signs of introverted intuition, so I won’t go into too much detail here. Instead, I’ve interviewed someone who identifies strongly with the experience of Ni, and believes that his intuition is one of the foundational blocks of his lifestyle and choices.

An interview with an intuitive introvert

Mark asked for his last name to be kept private. We spoke on the phone, and he told me that learning about personality types and introverted intuition has changed his life.

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“I was never an outgoing person, as a kid and then into adulthood. People always told me I’d ‘come out of my shell’ eventually but it never happened. I liked my own company and kept myself to myself—I still do really. But I always had this sense that I could make things happen.

“Not that I had superpowers or anything but…I could tell what would happen in different situations, and I knew what my life would be like in five or ten years. Or at least I knew what I thought it would be like and I believed it could happen, and now looking back, it has happened. I guess the more time goes on, the more I can see my intuition in action because I can look back and know I was right about things.”

I asked Mark how this intuition plays out in his daily life, and he said that he ‘notices things’ constantly; images and signs that relate to big decisions he needs to make, and patterns that confirm thoughts he’s had in the past. When he talks about discovering personality types and the idea of introverted intuition, his voice lifts:

“It was like a light going on. It was this kind of knowledge about myself that someone else had researched and written down that made it acceptable for me to respect myself. I’d always felt bad for being shy or socially awkward, but suddenly I found all this literature that said my intuition was important, and people like me were valuable in our own way—I didn’t have to be loud and extraverted and I could ask other people to respect me for who I was.”

A quick look at the benefits of Ni

In general, the benefits—or positive qualities—of a person with introverted intuition, as agreed by pop psychology websites across the internet, include:

  • Strong instincts that go deeper than what’s superficially obvious; for example, they’re unlikely to be swayed by loud opinions or strong personalities
  • They’re actively focused on the future and making positive things happen
  • They’re creative and innovative, drawing on seemingly random stimulus to come up with new ideas
  • Openness to alternative perspectives and non-dogmatic
  • An ability to predict pitfalls and prevent mistakes
  • Being comfortable with silence, and speaking when they have something genuinely valuable to say

All of those traits could be highly positive in work environments, and for the wider world. But for Mark, it’s clear that the benefits of Ni aren’t just in his personal abilities. Instead, delving into the world of personality types gave Mark the permission he’d craved to value himself.

He found a new way of talking about himself and felt empowered to pursue a career in digital research that utilized his skills and, in particular, his attention to detail and capacity for noticing and interpreting patterns.

So if there is a value in the idea of personality type categories and introverted intuition, perhaps it’s just that. The very fact of having something written that validates the experience of people who feel excluded from society can create opportunities, confidence, and personal freedom.

Is introverted intuition real?

Introverted intuition is a way of describing certain traits that seem to be common among people who share particular personality characteristics. But the problem with labels like this is that humans are complicated, nuanced, and can change. 

Woodland points out that having these resources so readily available to us can have an impact on whether or not we take responsibility for our own actions and choices. Personality types, and the various categorizations that fall within them—including Ni— are, she says, “simply a way for someone to attempt to understand why they behave in certain ways, so they can figure out how they can fit into society and be accepted.”

And Woodland notes that placing labels on certain people and traits could be harmful, trapping us in cycles that we can’t escape from. “This is not to say that labels aren’t helpful in allowing effective treatment,” she says,

“They are. Understanding that a client is struggling with anxiety and is introverted helps me to create an individualized plan which takes into account how they are currently interacting in society. However, the most important thing about labels is that as we evolve, they change.”

The problem with theories of categorization, such as personality types, is that the way they’re communicated to the general public “misses this fundamental truth”—that if a label is fixed forever, with no awareness that people can and do change and become different as their lives and internal work go on, then that label can become harmful. It can become a limiting force; a restriction that prevents you from changing in positive ways.

It can become a justification for the behavior that holds you back in life: Oh, I have XX personality type and introverted intuition so putting myself out there and trying that potential new situation won’t work for me.

But Woodland suggests that putting a theory like personality types out into the world, and then saying, “but be mindful, this is not fixed and will change based on your continual personal growth,” is not profitable. Companies don’t drive enrollment into their training programs or persuade people to buy their books or lectures or equipment, by encouraging people to take responsibility for their own experience and accept that they will continue to grow and change for the rest of their lives.

A helpful thought exercise

So perhaps personality type categories can be more helpful if we reframe them. Instead of seeing them as fixed labels that dictate how we can and should live our lives and interact with other humans, we can use them as starting points for thinking about ourselves differently.

We all need a push now and then to view ourselves in a new light and embrace the things about us that we don’t usually like. If, like Mark, you’re someone who experiences self-doubt because you don’t feel like you fit in, then using personality type literature to see your personal traits as valuable and vital elements of society could provide the inspiration you need to love yourself a little more.

When you’re stuck in a pattern of putting yourself down, a different perspective can make all the difference.

But that different perspective shouldn’t necessarily become your only perspective. Learning about introverted intuition and other personality type traits could be an exercise in learning itself. A gateway to allowing yourself to consider the possibility that what you think of yourself isn’t always true.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Ancient civilizations used acoustics to change consciousness and communicate with the dead

The prehistoric necropolis in Malta provides the key to the ancient use of sound and its effect on the activity of the human brain, and it shows that ancient civilizations used acoustics to change consciousness and communicate with the dead.

It is well known that ancient civilizations associated a particular sound with sacred knowledge. They isolated these hypersonic places from worldly everyday life and attached great importance to them because abnormal sound behavior implied a divine presence.

This is especially true for Mayans and the Aztecs, as evidenced by the chirping noise of the Kukulkan pyramid in Chichen Itza and the terrifying Aztec death whistle found on the skeleton of a sacrificial person found in front of the temple of their god of the wind.

Another example of how ancient civilizations used sound to change consciousness and communicate with the dead is the Maltese Hypogee Al-Saflini.

Al-Saflini and its mysterious sound phenomenon is located in the city of Paola, Malta. The Neolithic underground structure dates from the Saflini period (3300 – 3000 BC). It is believed that it was a sanctuary and a necropolis, as archaeologists have discovered more than 7,000 skeletons.

One of its rooms, known as the “Oracle Room”, has a legendary reputation for exceptional sound behavior. 

The room is a sound chamber carved with a rounded inner surface. The result is an echo, which is reflected throughout the hypogee.

Standing in Hypogeea is like being inside a giant bell. In certain places, a person feels how the sound vibrates in the bones and tissues, and also hears it in the ears.

The word spoken in the Oracle room is amplified a hundredfold and is heard throughout the building.

Now imagine how the oracle spoke, and his words rumbled with a roar through a dark and mysterious place with a terrifying impression.

So what happens in the oracle room?

A male voice casting spells in the range of 70-130 Hz could turn the entire temple complex into a trance inducing room that could stimulate the creative center of the human brain.

At these resonant frequencies, even small periodic motive forces can produce large-amplitude oscillations, since the system stores the oscillation energy.

The echo bounces off solid surfaces and connects before they disappear.

This highly effective acoustic technology allowed ancient people to change the consciousness of both the physiological and psychological behavior of those exposed to it.

How and why did ancient people use sound?

An international team of scientists recently uncovered the ancient mystery of the Oracle Room in the Maltese Hypogee Hal Saflieni.

As demonstrated in a new scientific study, each person has his own individual activation frequency, always between 90 and 120 Hz.

During testing, a deep male voice tuned to these frequencies stimulated a resonant phenomenon throughout the hypochondrium, creating the effect of cooling the bones.

Sounds were reported to echo for 8 seconds.

Archaeologist Fernando Coimbra said he felt a sound cross his body at high speed, leaving him feeling relaxed. When this was repeated, the sensation returned, and he also had the illusion that the sound reflected from his body to the ancient red-ocher paintings on the walls.

One can only imagine this experience in antiquity: standing in the dark and listening to ritual singing, while faint light flickered on the bones of deceased loved ones.

The same people also developed a complete solar calendar aligning the solstices and equinoxes, which still function today in one of the terrestrial megalithic structures.

There is no doubt that a complex school of architectural, astronomical and audiological knowledge existed already a thousand years before the Egyptians began to build the pyramids.

People in the Neolithic past in Malta discovered the acoustic effects of Hypogeea and experienced them as extraordinary, strange, perhaps even strange and “otherworldly”. Maybe they tried to talk with our alien brothers? 

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Man is an animal that has gone crazy. We are not born to be happy, evolution has no such purpose

The great Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung said:

Man is an animal that has gone crazy. There are two ways out of this madness: it needs to either become an animal again, or become bigger than a person.

Do you know truly happy personalities?

Most people in the world suffer for one reason or another all their lives.

  • Sitting in small apartments or huge mansions
  • In Tata Nano or the new Porsche
  • Playing games or working hard
  • Doing business or working for someone
  • Being married or single gay people.

How many stories in the world about married top managers who were found dead from substance abuse on escort yachts? How many movie, music and art stars have become alcoholics? How many people started wars and killed hundreds of thousands of people?

Happiness is not and never has been the goal of evolution. Do not die and extend your family – this is what is required of a living being. The rest is not important.

Man appeared in this world by chance. We are the product of coincidences that have led us to the fact that we are now “allowed” to think, speak, analyze, predict, create paintings, films and fly into space.

But all this does not bring joy in the end. Still bad. Anyway, something is missing.

Why? Good question. Joy can only be here and now, in the sense of one’s emotions and feelings. How animals can do this when they run for a walk, as young children can do, until they become morose adults.

Many of us watched a video in which a father spent 18 years in a row videotaping his daughter? The older she became, the more she turned from a joyful girl into a sad teenager.

We have been taught from childhood: it is impossible, it is impossible, it is not necessary, it is wrong, it is not necessary, it is necessary. This is upbringing, without it anywhere. Parenting is always prohibitions, restrictions, regulation. But such a life leads to the inability to enjoy the moment. We think about what other people will think, what awaits us in the future, what we still lack, what needs to be done, done, done. These voices constantly sound in our heads; they cannot be shut up for no reason.

We cannot go back and become animals again. So Jung is right, we need to become something more than a person. Someone who knows how and look to the future, and at the same time enjoy the moment.

How to do it? Another good question. 

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Psychologists have identified a connection between schizotypy and belief in conspiracy theories

What qualities do you think people who believe in conspiracy theories possess? According to a study published in the Journal of Individual Differences , people with certain personality traits and cognitive skills tend to believe in conspiracy theories. 

Recall that conspiracy theories have existed throughout the history of mankind, but in recent times they have become increasingly visible. Researchers suggest that partly the reason for this was social networks. But what exactly attracts people to conspiracy theories and most importantly, who are these people?

“I don’t know if you noticed, but among us is a reptilian”

Who believes in conspiracy theories and why?

ScienceDaily quoted authors of the study that people who believe in conspiracy theories tend to be more suspicious, distrustful, eccentric, they need to feel special. They also tend to view the world as a dangerous place. Researchers believe that such people are more likely to find meaningful patterns where they may not exist. But opponents of conspiracy theories and people who are not inclined to believe in them, as a rule, have opposite qualities.

During the study, scientists interviewed more than 1,200 adult Americans. The subjects were asked a series of questions regarding their personal qualities, preferences, and the history of their family. Scientists were also interested in whether the subjects agreed with general statements , such as: “the power that the heads of state possess is inferior to the power of small unknown groups that really control world politics”, and “scientists manipulate public opinion or hide evidence of important research to deceive public”.

Some conspiracy theorists believe that everything on the planet is ruled by a secret world government or that scientists are constantly deceiving everyone around. This indicates that personality traits or other individual differences may matter.

By the way, some supporters of conspiracy theories believe that aliens have enslaved our civilization a long time ago.

Researchers wanted to test how each of several previously identified personality traits could explain belief in conspiracy theory. By studying several attributes at the same time, researchers could determine which qualities were most important. The results showed that the strongest predictor of faith in a conspiracy is the totality of personality characteristics that is called schizotypy.

Schizotypy is not a clinical diagnosis and can manifest as strange or eccentric behavior, a tendency to social isolation, coldness or inadequacy of emotional reactions, etc. The study also showed that supporters of conspiracy theories often evaluated meaningless statements as deep.

But what does all this mean?

According to the authors of the study, the worldview of the “conspirators” as a whole is rather bleak. At first glance, this may seem a little strange, but if you are the type of people who look at the world and see a chaotic, vicious landscape full of senseless injustice and suffering, then perhaps you can find at least some comfort in one of conspiracy theories.

In the end, in many of them, a small group of people is responsible for everything that happens in the world. The authors hope that the results will help to understand why some people are more attracted to conspiracy theories than others.

The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and i am not quite sure that i know that.’ Socrates

You can never be sure of anything and must constantly doubt everything.

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