This cognitive function asks, ‘What Will Be’
What Carl Jung said about Introverted Intuition:
“The peculiar nature of introverted intuition… produces a peculiar type of man; the mystical dreamer and seer on the one hand, or the fantastical crank and artist on the other. The latter might be regarded as the normal case, since there is a general tendency of this type to confine himself to the perceptive character of intuition. As a rule, the intuitive stops at perception; perception is his principal problem, and — in the case of a productive artist — the shaping of perception. But the crank contents himself with the intuition by which he himself is shaped and determined. Intensification of intuition naturally often results in an extraordinary aloofness of the individual from tangible reality; he may even become a complete enigma to his own immediate circle. His argument lacks convincing reason. He can only confess or pronounce. His is the ‘voice of one crying in the wilderness.’
What does it do?
Introverted intuition (Ni) desires to know the future. Its fundamental question is, “What will it be?” Because it is an introverted function, the what will it be-ness is entirely subjective, though to the user it feels entirely universal and objective. It has as its main goal the quest to bring together the vast amount of cosmic data into a singular point. This quest has been represented throughout history and fables as prophets, shamans, and mystics.
As Carl Jung noted, introverted intuition is tough to articulate. For Ni dominant users, that being the INTJ and INFJ, the clarity of understanding is almost inversely proportional to the ability to articulate it. After all, would it be fair to know all the secrets of the universe AND be concise in your explanatory abilities?
Ni types have often described the ‘a-ha’ moment that comes to them randomly the way that Nikola Tesla did: “My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists.”
It’s like a lightning bolt of insight from the Beyond. This profound clarity can lead the Ni user to become the crank that Jung describes. “Don’t ask me how I know it, BUT TRUST ME I DO!”
Ni is often recognized from the outside as pattern recognition. You might know someone who is always connecting dots or making analogies as to how THIS connects to THAT and with that connection, a VERY BIG truth is revealed. Or it’s not and you’re making something out of nothing.
How it Develops
Introverted Intuition in its healthiest form provides clear insight that is derived from trustworthy data points. It is refined in its predictive ability. It doesn’t run wild with a random string of information, but takes a rather cautious filter when preparing a conclusion.
In its most unhealthy form, Ni can lead us astray towards delusional visions, paranoid thoughts, and dissociation. In a phrase, “seeing things that aren’t there.”
John Beebe, world-renowned Jungian author, and Typology professor revealed in his book Energies and Patterns in Psychological Type, the ways in which each of the 8 cognitive functions develops.
For Ni, it goes imagining -> knowing -> divining.
We move from simply imagining a scenario playing out, to making a scenario playout.
Put another way:
Imagining: “This would be interesting if it happens.”
Knowing: “This is going to happen.”
Divining: “It’s already in motion towards happening.”
Ultimately, for any type, what seems to be the most effective way of utilizing introverted intuition correctly is knowing how to harness the insights that the universe sends you to capture them. This could be as simple as having the Notes app easily accessible on your phone or having a pen and paper next to your bedside table.
We never know when Ni is going to activate, so be ready to capture its brilliance when it decides to show up.
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