INFJ use of spatial thinking in the abstract? | INFJ Forum

INFJ use of spatial thinking in the abstract?

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by saint fushimi, Aug 22, 2022.

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  1. saint fushimi

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    This is a bit hard to explain, but I have an extremely visual imagination and way of approaching ideas, questions, theories, etc. which is so abstract that I can only work it out through a bizarre use of intuition and shapes. Unlike other people who say they are 'imaginative,' I never use it to think of stories. I'm not sure why, but I seem either incapable or uninterested in daydreaming into complex stories and dialogues. I am much more detached and abstract, and my imagination is philosophical. Because the concepts I work with are so abstract, I have to abandon linear or analytical, rational thought based in language for something based in symbols and shapes. Questions, relationships between things, complex ideas, etc. appear in my mind as literal shapes that I can sketch out. I feel it intuitively and effortlessly. It is otherwise impossible to convey such complex relationships(which i see in multiple dimensions, both through time and layers within itself) in words.

    Furthermore, it seems that I use spatial reasoning, which traditionally is about awareness of the real world, for my own internal, abstract use. Just as someone can read a map, orient themselves in a space, understand where everything is, and know how it all connects, I do this in my mind for ideas. It really does seem like the same processes of spatial reasoning, but used abstractly instead of concretely. My attempts to research this(along with most other things i think about) come up empty. Does anyone else experience this? I understand that even among INFJs I am extremely abstract and philosophically-oriented, so maybe it's not universal among us, but I wish I could find any leads. It's almost impossible for me to explain any of it because it's all connected within itself, so no single part could ever really be explained alone. Not to mention that the vast majority of people find it incomprehensible. How could I ever explain with language the huge web of connections I feel and see in my mind? they have no intuition for it; they do not sense the flow.


     
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  2. Wyote

    Wyote Meka Istaqa
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    My spatial reasoning is pretty high, I think I get what you're driving at generally.
    Carl Jung kind of delves into this a bit.
    I do think it's kind of an infj thing.
     
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  3. aeon

    aeon Amoureux des Chatons
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    From time to time, I will imagine/create a vignette, which will be the physical manifestation of ideas, and it will have a fantasy/fairy-tale aspect as well as a hyperrealism aspect.

    But most of the time, it is...symbolic? There are no shapes, no spatial dimension whatsoever. Nothing is discrete, but instead exists only as the implicit result of other things.

    Cheers,
    Ian
     
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  4. John K

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    For me, intuition can be like standing on a hill overlooking a wide landscape, full of other hills and valleys, trees and lakes, towns and villages - there is a wide sky which can be full of clouds of all sorts of different shapes, and the sun might be shining through spotlighting different parts of the landscape, while other parts can be deep in shade. Only I can see it though, so expressing it to others can be like describing it in linear humanspeak over the telephone to someone who can't see. If ever you try describing a real landscape in a narrative, you can get the feel for it. For me, the landscape is there in a simple glance, but the words take much labour and time to express, and they always fall short of the real thing. That doesn't mean they aren't significant to me as well as to others though - it makes me stop and really look at the features of the inner landscape instead of just feeling it as a whole. I gather new information that way too, as well as from external input, with Ti judgements feeding back into further Ni insights.

    It's fascinating experiencing the thing in reverse too - if a book I'm reading really grips me then I don't really see the words, but seem to live the story. My subsequent memory of the best of these is like remembering real situations rather than just the words.

    I think you are describing what Ni feels like without having an easy means of expressing it to others - deliberately cultivating my Ti and Fe in partnership can be a big help, I find. Also, playing with non-verbal expressions such as pictures and music, or maybe playing with figurative language and metaphor.
     
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  5. seeofheart

    seeofheart Newbie

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    I might be taking things totally out of context by saying this, but I do this with music and emotion/mood. When I hear a sound or song, I tend to mentally visualize shapes & compositions and sometimes even colors with the sounds and melody. The song will have an identity or presentation through the shapes and composition of them. It's so weird to be saying that out loud, but I'm always doing it. On the same note, if I am feeling a certain way, I would easily be able to portray it with shape and line. I am an artist, so I guess it's not a far-fetched concept. But, I think the way that you do this with more complex situations is really fascinating.
     
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  6. OP
    saint fushimi

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    Oh, I can do this with emotion as well! My art is extremely flowing with very strong movement and shape, because it’s what i focus on most. I can convey emotions with flowing shapes too, like it’s made of moving evergy. the way it moves describes the essence of how the emotion is. i like to use the example of describing irony like a kleine bottle, but it’s too convoluted to explain right now lol.
     
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  7. seeofheart

    seeofheart Newbie

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    Yes, energy - that is exactly what it is that is given the visual form.

     
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    saint fushimi

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    You would probably like Taoism and its idea of wu wei. There are almost no good descriptions of it online though. It can only really be understood through poetry or art, indirectly. Chinese philosophy be like that a lot. It’s about the energy, chi. fortunately sumi-e painting is basically taoism in art form, so you might enjoy xieyi, which means “to write an idea.” it’s like painting the essence of a subject. it was taught as a way to enable someone to really understand the Tao. Otherwise it is very hard. i have a fantastic book on it called Chinese Brush Painting by Jane Evans and it actually contains one of the best descriptions of wu wei that i’ve seen. don’t know if you can find it online though.
     
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  9. uuu

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    This is interesting, reminds me of a post I saw on Tumblr maybe where this guy said that until he was in high school or college or so, he never had an "inner monologue" but instead his internal conscious experience was just a continuous flow of ideas, shapes, and concepts. And then once he started doing serious academic work which required him to write and verbalize his thoughts, he went through a rapid shift and suddenly discovered that he was thinking in words instead. And he was never able to go back to the wordless thing after that. Is this what you're like, @saint fushimi ?

    I have always had a very strong sense of inner monologue: I think in complete sentences and paragraphs, and I don't feel like I've really "thought" a thought until I have found the words that make it make sense. For me, anything that isn't expressible in words is at the epistemological level of a "feeling" rather than a thought. The way that I work through tough problems—both emotional problems and stressful situations at work, and also logic puzzles and math problems—is by talking things through to myself, or sometimes actually writing my thoughts out, and trying to make sure that I understand each sentence as clearly as possible.
     
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