Is Alan Watts an INFJ??? | INFJ Forum

Is Alan Watts an INFJ???

Discussion in 'Famous INFJ Personalities' started by SPQR, Jul 25, 2010.

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  1. SPQR

    SPQR Community Member

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    He always struck me as being an INFJ (though I can't quite put my finger on why I think this). He's not extremely famous, but he was quite a personality and at least somewhat well-known. If you don't know who he is, watch this youtube video. Don't be put off by the title. As he explains in the beginning, this isn't so much about religion, as it is about philosophy and observations. You won't regret it:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BE5M8743a1s&feature=related"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BE5M8743a1s[/ame]

    What do you think? :confused:
     
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  2. durentu

    durentu Regular Poster

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    I've always thought he was an integrated intp.

    introverted - self evident basically. takes the things around him and makes or relates it to internal symbols and models.

    intuitive - creating patterns and finding general threads within the world

    thinking - being analytical and clear

    perceiving - holding the bigger picture


    I hardly hear any NFs talk like him. but I do hear NTs who have gone through individuation. Much like an old physicist who writes poetry.
     
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  3. DefectiveCreative

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    He's difficult for me to type, but I can see him as an INFJ.

    Guys like Carl Sagan and Albert Einstein seem to me to be examples of integrated INTPs, and Watts doesn't seem to have the same feel to him as either of those two.

    My understanding is that looking at the "bigger picture" is indicative of N, not P. Perceiving types are supposed to prefer an open-ended approach to things, whereas Judging types prefer closure.
     
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  4. durentu

    durentu Regular Poster

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    The thing about N is that it's pattern finding, not necessarily about the bigger picture. The perceiving type is required to hold the bigger picture because it requires one to suspend conclusion until the real conclusion is actually found and not merely evaluated and determined.

    The J type will probably ponder until "It's good enough for me" where as the P type will ponder until "Is the picture complete"


    Another thought about it is that Js generally take on a lot of assumptions without realizing it. Like in math, 1+1=2. Everyone is fine with that and nobody bas a problem. But is going to be a P that's going to question the underlying assumptions: does ! + 1 really equal 2? And yes, there's a 1000 page mathematical proof in 2 volumes proving that 1+1 indeed equals 2.

    The trigger that showed me that Watts is a P and not J is the style of his thinking. He's questioned just about everything and thus gained a much deeper understanding of the things he talks about. Citing clear examples and thought experiments initiated by the word "suppose that" or "imagine that".

    Stereotypically, Watts as an INFJ would have assumed a great many things and would be engaged in an emotional level with the audience and not the analytical level. The topic would also me more of mysticism talking about the chakras and the pillars of wisdom than actually going through the mechanics of spirituality and clear delineations of ideas.

    If you can see it, his speech is that of math.

    Let x equal the universe.
    x+y = parallel universe

    which is similar to

    suppose we have two circles.
    then suppose we draw another circle.

    ---
    more on J/P
    There is some research linking the J type to a left brain dominance and the P type to a right brain dominance. The left brain being the ego, self and boundaries where as the P is about the whole picture, relational thinking and holistic thinking.
     
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    #4 durentu, Jul 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  5. beetpoet

    beetpoet Community Member

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    i have always enjoyed his message whatever his type. he seems intuitive for sure.
     
  6. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
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    One video certainly isn't enough to type. I relate completely to a lot of the topics in this. Just because one doesn't discuss a certain topic or make it too difficult to understand doesn't mean they aren't a certain type.

    I intend to read at least a couple of his books.
     
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  7. crystaluni

    crystaluni Community Member

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    He definitely uses the language of symbols (Ni) but his logic is not the analytical logic of Western thought (classically Ti), in fact, I find many of his arguments illogical. I doubt he's an INTP. I see more signs of Ni + Te use - categorizing facets of human experience, pointing out contrasting points of views and how these paradigms influence behavior. He's always asking - what's relevant? what can we control? and more specifically, what's relevant to our value system. I think he also uses Ne + Te + Fi in his caricatures of persons. He points out the absurdity in their perspectives and behavioral patterns, yet he seems to be able to laugh with them, not laugh at them. The way he evaluates religion and human behavior is spot on the way my INTJ and ENTJ family members do so. The way they use Ni + Fi comes out just as mystical and piercing - they understand others' motivations very well. Also, his values are more individualistic (Fi) rather than based on social expectations (Fe).

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qSCaxaUyf8&feature=related"]On Jesus and Religion[/ame]

    So for me, he must be one of the N+Te+Fi types.
     
  8. Neuropedia

    Neuropedia In Transit

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    OMFG I didn't know anyone else knew alan watts existed. I found some of his book amongst my dad's old collection when I was like 12 and I was like WTF is this
     
  9. Saru Inc

    Saru Inc Schrödinger's Pussy
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    Alan watts? didn't he invent the lightbulb? i coulda sworn that would be more intj than infj....




    :m058:
     
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  10. Jill Hives

    Jill Hives fhtagn
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    You might be thinking of James Watt, who the electrical measurement was named for.

    Most are taught that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, but he didn't really invent it. He just keeps getting credit for it.

    Or on the possibility you were not serious, ignore this and I will go back to apparently not having a sense of humor... >_>
     
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  11. magister343

    magister343 Permanent Fixture

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    Yeah, Edison sucks. Tesla FTW!

    Edison refused to do research. He just kept trying things he should have known would not work, and sometimes stole ideas from others. Tesla understood the importance of theoretical knowledge and used to to be a much more prolific inventor than Edison. Edison was in it to get rich. Tesla was offered a contract that would make him the wealthiest man in the world, but tore it up because he'd rather give his knowledge to humanity for free (and eventually die in poverty). Edison believed that everyone should have to pay him for their electric power. Tesla really wanted electric power to be completely free. Tesla was an animal lover, and was especially fond of pigeons. Edison enjoyed publicly torturing and killing animals with AC current, and invented the electric chair as a means of capital punishment using AC current to convince the world that using the kind of electricity for which he did not own all the patents was dangerous. Edison pretty much hated Tesla, while Tesla somewhat disliked but mostly pitied the far more rich and famous Edison. Both Edison and Tesla are typically typed as ENTP, but I can't see Tesla as an extrovert. This recluse was either an INTP or an INFJ. (The (formerly) vampiric Tesla from Sanctuary is way off.) Edison might have been ENTP, but I wouldn't completely rule out ESTP either.
     
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    #11 magister343, Jan 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  12. Lea

    Lea Community Member

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    I agree that he is not using Ti!!

    He keeps telling us, almost demanding us, to stop taking holy scripture at face value and ask ourselves what the deeper meaning is. For me that is Ni and because he is demanding this of us that's Fe to me, Fi is no way that forceful. He is really pushing his point.

    The question as to what is relevant to our value system, "value" being the operative word, is a Ni + Fe question. I don't think NTJs have a deep and overiding concern for that question but Allan Watts clearly does.

    I read a couple of his books an age ago, I just picked them up in a library. His work had a deep influence on my understanding of organised religion.

    INFJs can be very cold and sometimes brutal in their analysis of the world so it feels/reads like Te but it's not. I'm convinced that he is an INFJ.
     
    #12 Lea, Jun 7, 2011
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  13. DrShephard

    DrShephard Community Member

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    Alan Watts is amazing...

    I was going to demand that he was an INTJ as a joke until I saw that some people were pondering on whether he was! Well, I'm not sure then. Whatever he is, he seems to be rather well adjusted in his self-development.

    For now, I'll just be content to listen to him speak now and again.
     
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  14. Jungian Trip

    Jungian Trip Community Hermit
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    I concur. Alan is one of my favorites.

    When I read his bio and his autobiography it was like seeing parts of my life and ways of thinking on paper. I think Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts is an excellent introduction to understanding a basic overview of his life.

    My vote: INTJ
     
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  15. aeon

    aeon Ooh, a bunny!
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    I own a few of his books, and have read them a few times over. I’ve seen film of his public speakings. I’ve listened to those as audio.

    My best sense is that he is ENFJ. INFJ is certainly possible.

    Then again, he knew the game and so would often play the part needed at a given place and time, yet, he was always his own person, no more, no less.


    cheers,
    Ian
     
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  16. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    I agree Watts is likely INFJ. And Sagan is INTJ (very typical), not INTP. Watts uses a lot of anthropomorphizing and anecdotes, which is often an INFJ attribute.
     
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  17. detectivepope

    detectivepope Community Member

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    I would love if he was, such a cool English Guy through and through.
     
  18. Untitled

    Untitled Guest

    err... I digress. My values are definitely not based on social expectations, respectfully. My behaviour is conciliatory, because to prove a point is easier when people aren't angry.
     
  19. Lexika

    Lexika Community Member

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    I think he is ENTJ ... ENTJs can be similar to INFJs in how they present themselves, but he puts me to sleep with all that dry Te

    he is some Ni type for sure - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLrMVous0Ac
     
  20. Rferraris

    Rferraris Community Member

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    I've heard, watched is programs on most religion and eastern thought. I forget but there's a radio station in nj that used to broadcast his lectures. I think Seton Hall. But I hardly picked up anything about his personality. So, sorry. I know of him, but not enough to say he is INFJ or not.
     
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