The Many Faces of INFJ | INFJ Forum

The Many Faces of INFJ

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by Zen, Oct 28, 2016.

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  1. Zen

    Zen Community Member

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    Please share your insights, feelings and thoughts on the INFJ Guru and the idealism of reaching enlightenment.


    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Morgenstern36

    Morgenstern36 Regular Poster

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    I find this picture very interesting. The last few months I have actually given more thought and reading towards enlightenment than any other subject. My follow through Is not great, but I am very interested. So far I have basically added a "10 to zen" picture as my lock screen on my phone. It acts as a reminder during the day. Baby steps, right?
     
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  3. t5juyt

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    Where do you find these insightful infographs (sorry. I can't think of what else to call them at the moment)? I've enjoyed every single one throughout your threads!
     
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  4. OP
    Zen

    Zen Community Member

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    [​IMG]

    Lol!

    To answer your question I just love expressing myself with images, sayings and infographs as you call them. I find an image can speak a thousand words. I'm glad you enjoy them.
     
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  5. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    Thank you for another great thread, Zen.

    To be candid, one of the weirdest aspects of this forum is that being around all these other INFJs cancels out the mentor aspect that is present in most of my relationships. We all have the tendency to be "that person". My worth to others is helping them climb through the tough parts. (I've found that many people view me as their mentor, and they are not truly 'friends' to me.)

    I'm in a cynical stage of life. I would have given different insights in my 30's, and hilariously different ones in my 20's. Any 'meaning of life' insight I would offer now (mid 40's) is dark, which is part of the process. (Please note: I am happy, and I think life is hilarious because I've accepted this darkness.)
    It is interesting to step back and view the process, evaluate life stages, and accept that in a few months or years, it will shift to yet another stage that is presently a mystery to me.
    Because of the ability to pragmatically view my own life as an outsider – as if my life is a science experiment I have zero emotional or personal attachment to – I am able to calm my peers who are in the same life stage. And smile at, and sometimes warn, my 30-something friends that they don't actually have life "all figured out".
    Life is like sailing the ocean. You think the storm has passed, you are enjoying calm seas, and naively believe the worst of it is over and that you are now a skilled sailor. No, you have no idea how to sail.

    I've had moments where I felt enlightened, but enlightenment comes in stages with long stretches of lessons in between.



    Blah, blah, blah.... I hate listening to myself think.
     
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  6. t5juyt

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    ...but you're so profound when you do.
     
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  7. OP
    Zen

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    Thank you for being so honest in your answer. That is something I really like from you. Your honesty. It is refreshing. I have been in this place many times before. I'm sure you have a really good reason to be there at this very moment.

    If you meditate this should become your practice. If you do not meditate than contemplate.

    Why are you in a dark sate? How does this serve you? Why do you embrace it? What changes can and should you bring to your life to not feel this way?

    I believe that the guru is allowed to be happy too,
    Since you are a guru to others,
    Happiness also includes you.
     
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  8. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    @Zen

    Darkness
    By 'dark' I mean pragmatic, realist, and not necessarily the kind of glistening, hopeful advice a person would most like to hear. Not cruel, or mean, mind you.

    The stage of life I'm now emerging from was a very beautiful and often very painful peeling off of every truth I understood. Aspects of self, philosophies, relationships, all peeled away to remind me nothing is permanent and nothing is what it seems. I've said many times that it was the worst part of my life, but I'm well aware of the beauty of the lesson. It was like being a flower and enduring the seasons. What had always been is not what will be. It peels away... and there is no point of resisting.
     
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  9. Night Owl

    Night Owl This Bird Has Flown

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    I must admit, I've always been suspicious of 'the guru', or rather, any clearly non-divine mortal creature who asserts themselves as such, in any religious or secular context. I suppose my perspective on this comes from a different slant than some, and I respect others would view it differently. Yet to me, conceptually 'the guru' stands for someone whose 'got the answers', who has life figured out and whose role it is to reveal the meaning of life to others. They are an alleged 'a spiritual master' and/or 'source of enlightenment' - and they gladly wear this badge - even if they've convinced others and have deceived themselves they are humble and don't think that enlightenment is something that they can partly bestow. To be exact, I've nothing against the vague and general notion of 'being a guru' outside of any particular definition, but am opposed to one's self identification and proclamation as a guru.

    Victor Frankl, the pioneer of Logotherapy, in his work 'Man's Search for Meaning', speaks of the deguruification (de-guru-ification) of Logotherapy. A concept he implicitly extrapolates to apply to life and the search for meaning itself. To get at the core principle, I think what he means by this deguruification is the stripping away of all totalitaristic attitudes, approaches, mind sets and philosophies which seeks to reduce life and the quest for meaning and the processes towards such an end, to something which is the property of some guru who 'is-in-the-know', who at the end of the day is not some god or demi-god but a fellow fallible mortal being. Ironically, such 'stripping away of all these things' is professed as the means towards a kind of enlightenment by guru figures - but still, it's according to the guru's methodology which is hailed as 'the way', or through their all important mediation. From this slant, the guru is a self-proclaimed fount of meaning and enlightenment, and whether they verbally assert as such or not, in practice and disposition they do.

    There is an aspect in all of us which wants to play the guru. To be the one with the answers, the one who knows better, who is some kind of spiritual or psychological elite that has access to gnosis - secret knowledge beyond the clutch of 'the pleb'. I have tried to pretend this isn't the case, but I have to be honest, I recognise this within myself - perhaps especially as having an INFJ personality. I actually think 'the guru' is synonymous with the ego, and that dark part which is not really part of ourselves, but which is enmeshed within us. There's many ways of conceiving enlightenment, and I'm wary of a kind of enlightenment which claims to be self-enlightenment but which in practice alienates oneself from others, exalts oneself above others, and is a sugar coating of a kind of selfish introversion, and all in all - is self-darkening. But if we speak of a different kind of enlightenment, then my personal view is that it is ironically found not by seeking it, nor by trying to become a guru, but by means of our own deguruification. Not that I think this is akin to adopting a relativism and doing away with adhering, guiding others towards, or believing in certain objectivities and absolutes (moral, empirical, mathematical, spiritual etc.), but that it consists in dying to the fact that we are some kind of 'master' who have monopoly in our littler sphere of expertise, or of life and its meaning itself because of the little we 'know'. A monopoly we can easily claim we don't have, but is simply there until we're deguruified. Whatever that might mean or entail in the concrete. I like to think it starts with accepting the presence of our inner guru, and then plotting his/her demise, commencing with deguruified attitudes about ourselves, especially in relation to others.

    But as I said at the start, what people consider by 'guru' is varied, and I appreciate different takes. This is just mine, and is more of a philosophical abstraction based on the notion of the guru rather than an assault against 'the guru'. I appreciate your post, it's good to have open discussion on such deeper things, even and especially amidst varying point of views :)
     
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    #9 Night Owl, Nov 5, 2016
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  10. t5juyt

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    Very well written! Would that I could as well.
     
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  11. Asa

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    Oh, Definitely @Night Owl
    I've always raised an eyebrow when people say they have a guru.
    What I've found this to mean is 'mentor', or 'life coach'.

    When people come to me asking for help, I kindly explain that while I may be able to offer insight and support, I don't have a clue, either.
    :D :p

    While I'm aware that I play a mentor / life coach role, I'd never call myself either of those things, and I'd probably die of embarrassment if someone called me a 'guru', or even life coach or mentor. NO, no no! LOL LOL I don't even think of my sensei as a guru and he is definitely someone I look to for guidance.

    But for the sake of the exercise (ie thread) I am going with it. I understand what INFJ quality @Zen is talking about. (I'm sure you do, too. We all know it!)

    I'm wondering how many INFJs have mentors. ????
    I don't have a mentor and never have. My INTJ SO and I have talked about mentors quite a bit because neither of us has ever had one, but we - I especially - crave that kind of relationship. I think it would be pointless now, but invaluable when I was younger. I carved my own way because I had no choice.
     
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  12. Night Owl

    Night Owl This Bird Has Flown

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    @SkipINFJ thanks for the compliment. We're often our own worst critics, and so it's easy for each of us (myself too) to say the same in regards to someone else: "Would that I could as well." Maybe that's part of our degurification. Would that like yourself I had more humility :)

    And, O regrettably in hindsight I realised my post could sound other than it was meant in relation to your post above! As if I was confronting the slant you took - which is the slant that others tend to see or treat us INFJs as someone to whom they can come and ask advice etc. Whereas as I roughly mentioned, and you understand and make clear in your post^, we were coming at the guru concept from different slants. Your slant was how INFJ's are in some ways treated and perceived like a guru - addressing the underlying principle of being 'guru like'. Along with the notion of advice and counsel giving. Whereas I was addressing a mind set, that arguably partly plagues everyone, perhaps especially the INFJ, which makes one want to assert themselves as a guru. Not that I was against 'advice giving' (as it is essential!) but a certain egotistical disposition which can accompany advice giving. Two completely different, though related slants that are not in opposition, and which equally address the thread. I'm glad these semantics are clarified :)

    Swapping to the other slant: Yes, people have always sought me for advice, both those who are younger and older. It's a humbling position, and I regret the poor or preachy kind of advice I've given in the past, and can give if I'm not careful. But we all make mistakes, and it's no easy role to play, so mistakes are even more likely to occur. To really listen - that is an art I'd like to undertake.

    I've personally never been one to have a mentor as such. It's just never worked out that way. Yet then again, I've had much older mentor-like individuals whove been in my life for seasonal periods, and whose views I largely differ from, but from whom I have learnt immensely from. Each one an expert in their field (as an expert may but need not be 'a guru'). Maybe I have had actual mentors then. The kind that are totally opposite to 'the guru'. As freedom of thought and individuality is respected. Greater understanding, enlightenment if you will, has thus always developed for me by gleaning from others. Especially those who are not so much gurus with the answers, but teachers whom share understandings in a mutual relationship of learning.
     
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  13. t5juyt

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    You're very welcome.

    Interesting. I perceived your post to be infused with humility as well as stressing the importance of it. It reminds me of paying with a five and getting change for a twenty.
     
    #13 t5juyt, Nov 6, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
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  14. Milktoast Bandit

    Milktoast Bandit Clueless Wallob

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    I love this post! ^not this part, but the whole thing.
     
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  15. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    @Night Owl – I agree w/ Skip.
    I agree w your post, and point, wholeheartedly, as well.

    - Yes! Exactly this. <3

    My path to identifying as an INFJ is one of resistance. When I was first typed that way I disliked being paired with a Gandhi-like personality and thought I should have typed ISFP because I am an artist. I decided the test was bogus. Meanwhile, a large percentage of my time was spent communicating with others about their lives and problems, and caring for others. While I liked helping others, it also annoyed me that it distracted me from my work and responsibilities, and freaked me out that so many people came to me for advice when I felt under-qualified, so I went through a period of avoiding it. When I avoided it the other pieces of my life suffered.

    Ultimately, I learned the most important knowledge I've learned about life so far:
    You are what people need you for.

    You may have many talents and skills, but your role in the world is the one others choose - the reason they need you.

    I'm not saying you, as an individual, can't be both what you are to yourself and what you are to others, but in society you are what others need.
    When you die someday people will say, "___ was there for me. ____ helped me. _____ gave me insight."

    So, after testing as an INFJ many times and laughing and calling MBTI bogus, I took the test again, and this time I read the full description, and I cried because all of it was true.
     
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  16. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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    I really loved the sailing analogy @Asa I have often thought of life this way. Sometimes like with astonomy, it's only in the near darkness, we observe things we would never otherwise see. I read about some plants (sometimes referred to as werewolf plants) that actually use lunar light for survival (a lot of plants and animals actively avoid lunar light). https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27277-werewolf-plant-waits-for-the-light-of-the-full-moon/

    I couldn't help but think of this reading your post. INFJs are a little different, but for me, nature likes to experiment and we are perhaps just one way of providing something different, that benefits others, just as they do us.
     
  17. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    Oh wow! I love plants. I'd never heard of this species.


    -- This is a particularly beautiful analogy / comparison.

    -------------------------------

    My INTJ and I shared a discussion recently that may ruffle a few feathers (because it is based on evolution), so I apologize in advance. My only feedback on this idea is from someone who agrees with me most of the time. (Always dangerous!)

    We were discussing a certain personality and I explained my POV that this very common personality was invaluable in warrior cultures where large numbers of strong, brave and fierce people were needed in battle. This is not a philosophical personality, nor is it a particularly compassionate or charitable one. They're team players, they're obeyers, and they're usually religious. It is a fact that warrior cultures had the most elaborate myths about the afterlife and its rewards. This is not an accident. People willing to go into battle, try their hardest to destroy the enemy, and eventually die for their own culture and people, were valuable. In the modern age this personality is still plentiful, because in our distant past that personality was valuable to warrior societies, so it thrived.
    So, via this discussion, I began wondering what the roles of all the MBTI personalities (based on cognitive functions) were. Some were strategists, some good with details, some good at big picture ideas, some were technically skilled, some were mediators, some charismatic leaders, and others were caregivers. Of course, I wondered what the INFJ was good at, and did take note that we're less common than some other types. Fewer of us were needed for the survival of our people. Were we the sages?


    To be a bit fun I'll ask: So, is the Seer on Vikings an INFJ?
    Seerseason3.jpg
     
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  18. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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    I have never seen Vikings, but I think INFJ throughout history seem to have been the Shamen/medicine man type. I think nature finds its way with all this type of thing, constantly shifting, changing and experimenting. For me that's the whole basis of evolution, but I can't help but wonder why, and whether the fragment of it we see, is merely some kind of illusion. I think it's one of those things, that the more you investigate, the more of a mystery the whole thing becomes.
     
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    Zen

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    I like this twist. In the good old days we would have been deeply needed for the evolution of civilisation. We could have been the shaman, the village healer, the priests, the mid wife just to name few and to the surprise of many the warriors. Being an INFJ is not defined by a role but by the attitude we bring to the role.

    The INFJ warrior would have been a very philosophical warrior. Guided by his moral compass. Answering only to God or his internal guidance.

    [​IMG]

    I could have just as easily chosen the samurai warrior. The Eastern INFJ warrior.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Asa

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