The Music of Life

What follows is the conclusion of my philosophy book, Homological Composition. I decided to share some of the book on this blog, in the hope that it may entice some readers to get curious. The book was written for two audiences: the philosopher who knows nothing about psychotype theory, but is open to a completely new perspective on philosophy, and the psychotype community, who may know very little about philosophy. My main argument is that we cannot engage in philosophy unless we understand how the human psyche works and how it creates our own limitations and those of philosophers in the past. Likewise, we need philosophy to provide psychology with a larger perspective.

We are individual travellers, keepers of our own inns, never in agreement with each other, in conflict within and about our societies, and psychologically unable to experience each other’s perspectives. Yet we do get along; we make connections, build technology, make progress and communicate with each other. There is a realm in which individual travellers meet; where they have something in common and where subjects can share: the realm we experience as our reality, and the only evidence we have for this reality are our shared experiences. Or to turn this statement around: Our reality is what we believe and build in the realm that is shared between subjects.

The collective conscious is the databank of all the information available to humanity as a whole and which includes all that which we have stored. Each of us has access to this databank and each of us has the possibility to add to it, but each within the limitations of our psychological make-up: the filters of our personality, without which we could not deal with information at all.

In the introduction I mentioned the difference between natural born scientists and natural born philosophers. The former will not accept a theory until they have evidence, because they are after knowledge. But too many philosophers also take that attitude; dismissing more than three thousand years of evidence for fundamentally different perspectives in name of a dogmatic belief in “objectivity”, for which there is zero evidence. In no other field would such a belief be considered acceptable.  

However, evolution theory explains Jungian theory and psychotype theory can explain why three thousand years of philosophy has never provided agreement and why the same ideas keep returning. It explains why some people are willing to give their life for their belief and why some take their life for having lost it. It explains why some people are so set in their ways, determined to preserve the traditions and others are equally determined to break them down, why some make better parents or leaders than others and why some appear to blindly accept what they are told while others argue everything.

We are different psychotypes and to believe that “we” can and should have similar views on reality, ethics, politics and truth, and thus should be able to come to agreement by rational argument, is an delusion. This expectation not only gives us an unrealistic picture of each other’s ability or willingness to adapt, but also influences how we investigate ‘reality’ and thus what we discover – just as the innkeeper got sick from the food, many of us experience what we already believe, even if this process is largely unconscious.

Giving up one’s core beliefs is impossible for even the most open-minded of people; we are bound to our archetypal perspective – the ethereal perception deep inside us, which we cannot conceptualize, but which moves our desire for ultimate beauty or good, expressed in a sense of aesthetics or ethics and our desire for an ultimate truth. This desire is what keeps us looking, learning, exploring and speculating, but as it underlies the need to believe, it also causes an eternal fear that something may overrule the view we currently hold; that we are proven wrong. Obviously, if belief is a survival mechanism, people make short work of that risk: they prejudge and dismiss, using justifications acceptable for their time – faith-believers in the Middle Ages eradicated all danger by rendering scepticism evil and today’s sceptics do so by ridiculing emotions and faith.

We will never have definitive knowledge about the nature of existence, but we need to have (justified) beliefs that help us cope with life. It is absolutely irrelevant what the contents of that belief are (though that is what people fight over), whether the justifications make sense to others (even if they are presented as objective), or whether that belief is true (which is what philosophers argue). The only thing vital to the individual is that they keep believing (and searching), which is why people change their story rather than give it up. 

Each person makes meaning from the context; from their position and relationship within the whole. If you look from above at a system, you observe those relationships differently than if you are part of it and to be able to understand humanity one needs to be in the above position, the position none of us can take individually. As keepers of our own ‘inns’, we are travellers in time, each bound to a personal perspective, and not one of us is better equipped to assess the needs of “the traveller”, who is but an abstract entity without particulars. However, we can gather all our perspectives together and create a holistic picture; we can broaden our horizons, get a better understanding, and thus greater wisdom… and is that not the goal of philosophy?

What I hope to have achieved with this book is to stop people judging and especially judging each other “wrong” if they don’t agree. I hope to have shown that the endless debates about which philosopher of the past was right, are simply restating the perspectives of different types and that this will never stop, unless we simply accept that these types exist. If philosophy is ‘a love of wisdom’ – and “wisdom” is understanding the dynamic processes that constitute our Social World (politics), our Humanity (ethics), and our Cosmic Existence (metaphysics) – then this understanding of it necessarily depends on our perspective (our perceptual limitations).

What I envision is a revolution in our thinking, akin to the way visual artists changed how they depicted ‘reality’ when perspective was added to paintings. From two dimensional or linear thinking – thinking in dichotomies – we need to get to a multi-dimensional approach, one that can accommodate all our inborn perspectives, and the first step towards this would be to stop using information as if it is something we can make a claim to: something objective. The perspective revolution is still to start, but only then will we be able to evolve beyond the boundary humanity is currently stuck at, since on a dimensional perspective you can understand that there are things you don’t know, even if you cannot know them. We create reality as we focus, perceive, justify and express, because that is how information becomes materialized – whether in semi-permanent (eventually decaying) matter or in temporary interaction.  

We all take a slightly different place in existence; like the members of an orchestra will have a slightly different perception of what is being played, so we cannot expect to perceive existence exactly alike. That is all relativism is saying: I am aware that we have each a slightly different perception. In the end, even objectivity is in the eyes of the beholder.

Whether the greater whole – the cosmos – has a purpose, a telos, is something I do not know and no person will ever know. We are part of its fabric and cannot step outside to have a look. But considering the magnificence of this fabric, I am quite satisfied to allow each and every one of us their philosophical viewpoint. Instead of universalizing, we need to personalize. Instead of justified true beliefs, we need justified personal beliefs. Mine is that this greater whole is made of a pure energy which acquires consciousness through the relationships between its parts, which are at different stages of becoming material or returning to energy, in an endless cycle of composition and decomposition at every level.  It is an ever-changing melody, a story in the process of being told and retold. Occasionally bits of it are written down, but only for a while.

I call it The Music of Life, but it covers more than life; it covers existence itself. In my fiction I called it a cosmic song. This fiction is a different portrayal of the same philosophy. But instead of discussing viewpoints, fiction shows how people survive, cooperate and make sense of what is happening around them. A work of fiction is a very long thought experiment (a theory-testing simulator which can account for emotions as well as data), and it can show that every type of person has merit in the make-up of a society. It can show how some adapt and others are reluctant. It can take the reader into their minds and show them different viewpoints, how each deals with new ideas, how new ideas are communicated and what each perceives as best. It can show how conflict arises without a ‘bad guy’. In short, it can show philosophy at work.

Whether a Cosmic Song or a Music of Life, we are composers and musicians, but we are part of the composition, evolved from a common source; not identical, but homological psychotypes that together make up humanity. Not one of us better, more in touch with reality or truth, not one of us wrong; only different and that is okay.

A whole that vibrates in congruence is harmonious. It is music, a composition; each of us a vibration, together a note; all of humanity maybe a song: The music of life.


Where are the INFPs?

2021 is the 100th anniversary of the publication of Psychologische Typen, the book in which Carl Jung first outlined his psychological types.

One hundred years of studying the natural differences with which each type deals with information; how we each experience and communicate on a slightly different bandwidth, so that we have as many as possible angles and can survive as a species. Diversity is not just a concept for physical evolution; psychological diversity is vital for our intellectual development and progress.

Each type has their own role to play in this continuous exchange of information and what we do with it. That is the beauty of it and times of chaos and crisis often exemplify this most clearly.

That is how Jung got to his theory; by studying dysfunctional families and trying to understand why one child managed and another did not in the same situation.

Jung wrote many other works and he wasn’t afraid to give his opinion on the state of the world or to explain the mass delusion that consumed the world population in the 1930s. I am afraid he would turn in his grave if he knew what was happening today.

How would Jung explain the lack of taking responsibility at the top level?

How would he explain that lawyers hide behind judges, judges behind politicians, who hide behind the few academics who are specialized in one topic (to the exclusion of all others) and say it is not their expertise what happens as a consequence of their conclusions, while they take their directions from the WHO, which hides behind the pharmaceutical companies, who hide their data for fifty years and use lawyers to justify that: cycle complete!

Hastily amended laws based on scientifically and analytically empty graphs and data, warnings without evidence or theories; empty threats, empty numbers swallowed as if truth by the vast majority of people; no diversity, no multidisciplinary input and no psychological considerations or the understanding, inherent to type psychology, that we need each other to solve problems.

Yet, the type community is silent on the topic. My posts are censored or removed, my survey questions ignored and discussion topics not answered.


I assume because most people fear being judged or ousted. And, of course, if you live in Austria or Australia, I don’t blame you for keeping quiet today.

But what about the rest?

For if there was ever a time to use type, to promote type and to show why it is so much more comprehensive than the clinical models that only focus on behaviour, it is today.

Now is the time to show that Jung was correct. Now is the evidence for the problems caused if we allow one type of person to have all the power.

And yes, I know, it isn’t very politically correct to suggest that some types might be less suitable for certain jobs and more inclined to follow the masses. But that is what type is about; about understanding how and why we deal with information differently. It is not a study of how to be nice to each other.

And type psychology can explain not only the mass fear, but the ease with which most people buy the deceptions, the conflicts it causes in families, and why so many people prefer to avoid the topic.

Now, I do understand that different types respond differently to today’s chaos. That some need to be there to help individuals on a personal level and do not wish to speak out in public. Others focus on data and analysis and do not mix in the discussions. Some help reduce stress with group projects or with yoga and so on, some organize practical things, like food and shops.  

There will be some very worried about things changing, while others embrace change. Some prefer to stay away from people, others take to the streets.

I even understand that there are types who will accept the “new normal” and feel obliged to coerce others to follow authority or the group. I understand that there are types who are more afraid of the virus than of the people, because despite the virus now being endemic, the fear is still epidemic – a survey in Europe revealed that most people think it is 500 times more likely that they’ll die from the virus than it in reality is. And there will be some who prefer to pretend that nothing is happening, because the political situation scares them more.

But where are the INFPs?

Where are those who most certainly see the patterns and connections between past and future in the world (Ne)? If there was ever a time when those with dominant Fi (ethical values) should be shaken to the core, it is today. If there was ever a time when the world needed our input, it is now!

We are not the practical types, the analysts, the teachers, but we are most definitely the philosophers and the ones to warn for dangers not yet obvious to others. We are also the ones to understand the dark side of humanity and not get swept away in ideologies but to play devil’s advocate, whether the situation asks for it or not.
Well, today it asks for it.

We cannot stand by and let this happen. Now is the time to speak out or it will be too late and I am not so sure anybody will survive another world war.

We need to stop those who are endangering the very core of our ethical and moral values.

Is it evil? Is it deliberate?

No, from type perspective it is not, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop them.

The road to hell… (as I said before).

If the world comes to its senses in time, we need a new code of organization. To me, this should be a call to the end of what is left of popularity democracy, academic specialization and capitalism, and of UN organizations with stakes in big companies.

The only people who deserve to be in any leadership position are those who stood up during this crisis, stood against the tide, justified their own opinion regardless of which political party they were members of, because being in opposition did not remove any responsibility of stepping in when things went wrong.

We don’t need government by in-groups, we need individuals who can think. We need government by diversity: diverse genders, ethnicities and cultures, yes, but more than anything, diverse psychological types. And we need it yesterday. Because if we had, we’d not have ended up in this mess.


Today’s Turmoil in Type Terms a Hundred Years after Jung

Yet, while everybody today is into “diversity”, not many people are willing to look at the only diversity that is truly capable of making a difference when understood: our psychological diversity, which transcends all others.

I have not written on this blog for a long time. The world’s problems took me in other directions and to my other blog, and I was researching and writing my books as well. AusAPT has invited presentations proposals for their upcoming conference, for which I thank them. However, my topic does not really lend itself for online conferences. I do not have slides to present a model. Mine is a philosophy, trying to brainstorm ideas for a more type-friendly world, in which all types can flourish best and the society, as a consequence, as well. Therefore, face to face is better. Besides, I am not comfortable with the technology of doing it online. Thus, I declined, in the hope that the next years bring some normality back to the world.

The situation in the world today has put some urgency to my topic, however, and pulled it from what most people, even in the type community, considered too far-fetched, into something that needs attention. I will avoid politics in this post, but simply summarize how I see the situation (from my INFP perspective) in light of how we came to the conflict that is driving not only members of communities apart, but family members as well.

One of the major reasons the world is not capable of dealing with today’s emergency, is that those in government are not there because they have leadership skills; they were elected because they followed the beliefs of the group, not initiated them. Our society is organized in a way that has many people in jobs where their type does not thrive, and, consequently, the quality of those jobs also deteriorates.  

My ideal, as I have said in my earlier presentations, is a typocracy. In other words, a government that is fully informed and aware of our type differences and represented by members of all types. I have outlined how I envision that in my book and will not do that here.

Currently, materialism and reductionism still rule academia (and, therefore, government advice) and although in some fields (like physical healthcare) holistic approaches are gaining some ground, academic psychology has been turned into a hard science that sees humans as no more than inanimate objects and which, consequently, only accepts one standard of normality, and which uses medications to ‘normalize’ those who are different. This is actually a deterioration from the time of Jung, when psychology was about the whole person and not just their neurology.

Despite all Jung’s efforts and a hundred years of evidence since, most people today still believe that we are no more than a collection of detachable organs and the mind a by-product of the grey matter.  

Looking at the typename letters, the main expression of any conflict plays out in that aspect of our type that directly interacts with the environment, because that is where people try to persuade, judge, direct and inform each other and where they communicate: J-P and T-F.

J-P is the moral battleground, because it determines our sense of community, our relationship with authority, our openness (or not) to ideas from the group and so on – hence Judicious and Persuasive. Each has a different sense of “freedom” and “rights” and this divides any population (nation, culture, family) between those with a natural need for conformity, trust in authority and the notion that individuals have to sacrifice for the group, and those who need autonomy and insist that the group is there to cater for all individuals, who do not trust authority and seldom conform. For the former, it is natural that the government forces people to take an injection, because we are fighting a common enemy, while the latter insist that they will deal with it themselves and the virus has more of a right than the government to threaten their life, because it is part of nature.

T-F adds to our words – and how we interpret abstract meaning – the underlying intonations that are often intended to hit the emotions, and how much we believe our facts to be objective. T reasons deductively towards a truth, so that Ts rely on numbers and statistics as facts, F reasons inductively and in terms of human motivations, so that Fs see the human influence on those statistics and listen to the stories people tell.

But T-F also influences how much trouble people have in expressing stress and fear and how they do that.

In general, when working in healthcare, Fs tend to prefer interaction with the patients (GPs, general ward nursing, community care etc.), while Ts are more drawn to the object (surgery and possibly emergency care), where interpersonal skills are less important.

S-N divides are much less likely to lead to strive. In general, Ss will concentrate on daily practical life and physical care, so that most GPs and many nurses and health care workers are Ss, since Ns gravitate towards mental health care and alternative approaches.

But Ns have more of a tendency to compare to events in the past and possibilities for the future, and see similarities with historical events, which they express. However, if Ss hear this, they might get depressed for lack of ability to paint different outcomes.

In addition, Ss get uncomfortable when there are too many options, while Ns get uncomfortable when there are no or limited options.

Extraverts are more open to influences from outside, so that many are worried about the virus attacking them without them having a defense, which is also, why they may feel more comfortable taking the jab, because that is something from outside that gives them protection. Introverts have a stronger sense of individuality and will insist on making their own rules about their own Self and are more inclined to believe they can defend themselves against outside invaders.

In short, where the functions deal with how we explain the situation and how we justify our responses (the contents and the reasoning), our attitudes (what we see of our behaviour in the world) create a big divide between Js and Ps in the first place, mostly because of whether we feel that the freedom and life of the individual should or should never be sacrificed for the well-being of the group. Extraversion and Introversion play a role in that, mostly with regard how vulnerable we feel to influences from outside and whether this isolation energizes or drains us.

But the letters do not stand alone, of course, and how they interact is important for how we assess the problems of today. The more letters of the objective accord group (E, S, T and J), the more people insist on their own perspective as a measure for everybody.

The vast majority of politicians and nearly all civil servants are Ss, because it is about detail work and focusing on the immediate concerns of today, and vast numbers of them are Js, because it is about regulation. Most Ns who start in politics run aground on the bureaucracy and the lack of progress, and Ps don’t do well with the routines and protocols. But we know that SJswill not stray from the trodden path.

But there is no trodden path in this case, because this is a new disease and a new global situation, with as a result that politicians have no idea what to do, start copying each other, making decisions without seeing the far-reaching consequences, then trying to patch up their mistakes with lies, or simply ignoring that other options exist. In healthcare, this shows with GPs clinging to protocols written by authority (the WHO) and to existing rules and regulations that are no longer effective.

However, SP GPs might trial and error and adapt their treatments until they find something that works, and many have. The problem is that they are bound by the protocols and get fired if they do. And because of that, we are now facing a situation where there are plenty safe and successful early intervention treatments, but where the bureaucracy takes so much time that the disease is left to fester in people until they have to be hospitalized. Those numbers are then used to say how dangerous the disease is, which in turn is used to curtail people’s freedom.

Together orientation (J-P) and reasoning (T-F) determine our sense of justice and if our sense of justice is violated, we feel personally attacked and that, in turn, activates our anger. And because justice is not something objective – yet everybody experiences it as if objective – that is where people fight or try to impose their own views, often to their loved ones and often out of a need to protect or care. “The road to hell…” after all.

This is especially true in our expression. Js direct their words towards the other, while Ps inform (the other) and refer to their Self. Ts stick with exact rules and can be direct and less tactful, while Fs use limits and can be indirect. So that we get four different ways of expressing the same wishes (command, demand, request and hint), yet each of those is taken as an insult by those of a different type.

Here is a neutral topic example. TJ: “Go clean up your room, now please!”, TP: “I want that room cleaned up now!”, FJ: “Could you clean up your room, now?” FP: “Gee, what a mess!”. Remember that this is about intonation only, so that FP and FJ get just as annoyed if there is no response.

But there is also the fifth dichotomy, which was Jung’s strong point, and which is the difference between perceivers and deciders; those with dominant perception versus those with dominant reasoning or justification. And it is mostly the latter who are involved in this escalating global fight, because they want a voice in the world; they want their ideas acknowledged, while the former simply want to live and share.

Let me explain where that comes from:

Depending on the order and focus of the functions, each type experiences a different relationship with the object (the reality) and with the norms, truths and values of the group. This translates into four distinct attitude groups, depending on whether someone experiences normative justifications and/or objective perceptions as binding.

Objective perceptions refer to the way we experience the perceived reality as the same for everybody, often backed up with empirical evidence. This is the objectivity extraverts experience. The opposite view is relative perceptions, in which a person is always aware of their own relation to what is observed and, therefore, that it is one experience of reality out of many possible perspectives.

Normative justifications refer to the truths and values of the group one lives in as being binding, and, therefore, the expectation that all members of a group accept and conform to these norms. This is the way the judicious perspective experiences the group as a vibrant entity. The opposite is relative justifications, in which truth and value depend on the circumstances, the people and the relations, and the group is just a name for a collective of autonomous members.

That may seem a contradiction, because Js are often said to get their truths and values from the group and their dominant T-F is extraverted, so it would make sense, but it is not the case that extraverts all have extraverted perception in their dominant pair. But we need to remember that it is not the contents of those truths and values that are considered binding in this case, but the idea of truths and values that apply to everybody; thus, the existence of the group as one. Introverted Js will often try and find better truths and values that can objectively be acceptable for everybody. But Ps do not expect objective values for everybody; they want autonomous values respected, regardless of whether they are the same for everybody. So, it is not about the contents but about the existence of the justifications as binding, which is why it is about attitude groups. The functions deal with the contents.

As a consequence, EJs experience both reality and group as objective, and, therefore, expect all other people to see it as they do, or they consider them wrong, obnoxious, crazy or ill. IPs experience both as relative, which means they object to any expectation of acceptance or behaviour.  But the other two (EPs and IJs) experience one as objective and the other as relative, which can cause them to get caught up in dilemmas between what they perceive and what they believe.

Consequently, perceivers (EPs and IJs) tend to suffer from anxiety, fear and other perceptual stress that is often turned inward and expresses in physical illness, while deciders (EJs and IPs) are turning to anger, yelling, and accusations, directed toward each other, because EJs want to protect the establishment and traditions, while IPs want change. And the more IPs push and accuse, the more protective and rigid EJs become and vice versa.

And since there are seldom many people of the same group in each family, this can cause a lot of stress and hurt, especially in times like these, when our existential beliefs are on the brink and our lives perceived to be in danger.

Now my philosophy concerns not just the mind and psychotype, but also the nature of information and where these differences come from, and that leads to energy. Energy spans all forms of EM radiation as well as immaterial psychic energy and all are convertible. Immaterial information creates a certain state of energy in our mind, which in turn translates into brain states and thus physical states, which is why immaterial worries can make your body sick. Our best defense against any invader, whether it is in the air we breathe or in a needle, is a good energy state: both physical and mental health. That is why it is so often people who have faith beliefs that are spared illness, which they then assign their religion, but what saved them was their peace of mind.

In addition, our psychotypes are inborn (not genetic or physical, but with us from birth nonetheless), so we do not have a choice in how we experience; it is just the way we do and, therefore, it makes absolutely no difference how much we argue, present facts or empirical data and how long we reason, because, as William James said, new ideas need to be “live options” or actual possibilities for people, before they will change their mind; they need to be open to the possibility.

In the end, most people will be okay if they trust the path they have chosen and feel protected and confident, no matter which it is. In that respect, it is actually healthier to only listen to the messages of your own stance, as long as those are not fear-induction but ‘evidence’ for your belief. and it makes absolutely no difference whether that evidence can be verified.

That means that those who fight and want to be right (and I am aware that I am part of that group) are causing more suffering than needed. But it is not easy telling people not to get angry, since their sense of justice lives inside them; it is part of their inner Self and it is directly related to their reason for living.

In the end, the biggest service we can do each other is refrain from advising, openly worrying, trying to convince, hope, judge, bring in ‘facts’, argue and so on. Tolerance is truly respecting the other to make their own decisions. 

But that, of course, is the hardest job for any person.

Interestingly, although once stance with regard this issue (like any other issue) is without any doubt type influenced, and should be seen as type diversity, it appears some type groups have decided that type diversity. because this post had me chucked out of their group, which was, on top of that, intended for discussions, which is what I would have welcomed. But it appears that discussions is limited to pre-agreed opinions. Jung was never afraid to speak out, because he understood how our psychology influences our beliefs. Sometime I wonder how much of his insights is actually left.

Thank you for reading.


So, you learned about type and what a relief: Finally, a defence against all those people who tried to force you into being what you are not; all who suggested you should simply change your natural tendencies. For most of us, learning about type is a revelation in that sense, because we finally feel allowed to be what we were meant to be.

For example, how many introverts were not told to go out and make friends, with the implicit message that not doing so meant you were broken? How many SPs were not told that “if other kids can sit still, then so can you”?

Psychotype allows all of us to claim our natural Self as okay, because it is inherent in the theory that we are all different. Suddenly, there is no more justification for medicating children if they are different than other kids in the class, or for judging their ability to sit still or play outside.

It also explains interpersonal problems, for if I have a communication problem with people, because I don’t naturally say things directly but hint when I need something done, which is a trait most FPs have, this can be misunderstood by those who give and expect direct answers. They don’t get what I want and I expect them to hint and misinterpret their directness. Knowing type helps both of us to be more tolerant.

However, if I know that I am one type and not another and I cannot change that, and if I know that they are one type and cannot change that either, then how do we continue?

I may have an explanation for my communication problems with certain types, and I may have a justification for saying that I do not need to go out and play, but if we want to live together, we need to adapt. So how do we adapt without losing ourselves? Does not that bring us back to having to change for others; the exact thing we thought learning about type relieved us of?

This relates to the current trend in the type community to dismiss the idea that we are a type, or have a function, but instead to say that we prefer some tendencies, and talk about these tendencies in relation to the stack of “function-attitudes”.

However, as Jung described, the personality or psyche is the moving of ‘psychic energy’ between unconscious and conscious, in which the functions are the filters for the different forms of information. The whole typing system is therefore a code, a symbolic description. It is an indicator of what goes on in this forever dynamic and fluid conscious-unconscious interface we call the mind.

Now, I agree that the general tendency in our world to refer to people by their disease, their orientation or ethnicity – he is a diabetic, he is white, he is gay – is not the best way to go about things. Likewise, I agree that to say we “have a function” implies something we acquired, something we chose to have or which we learned. However, “preference” also has different meanings and one implication of the word is that of choice.

Yes, we do prefer a function over another function in the sense that it comes natural to us. Like any physical energy flows more easily or more naturally in one direction, so psychic energy has a preferred direction and the psychological functions are that because they move psychic energy.

I use the analogy of a camera, which can both zoom in (sensory perception) or zoom out (intuitive perception), but not both simultaneously, and each person has their camera set in their preferred position. Thus, by referring to somebody as an N, it is implicit that the S is the other setting that is not engaged, but nonetheless present. Our default functions have become so well-developed that we can totally rely on them, and that is how we recognize our type, by their preference of S or N, T or F over its opposite.

We use four letters to indicate our type, like we use one small e or i for each function’s attitude, which are simply symbols: shorthand for the entire psyche.

But where intuition and ‘sensation’ deal with completely different aspects of perception – they have a different ‘language’, are tuned to a different aspect of ‘reality’ and we cannot possibly do without either of them – this is not the case for the attitudes of the functions. To use their other ‘face’ simply takes more effort, like it takes an introverted person effort to behave extraverted.

Therefore, whether we talk about 4 or 8 functions (or function-attitudes) is semantic, since a dynamic system does not have clear boundaries, but S (whether Se or Si) gets its perceptions from the material realm of existence, so that to refer to a person as being a “sensor” simply means they naturally rely on their sense perceptions. Likewise, Ni and Ne perceive from different aspects of the immaterial realm, and referring to a person as being an N is simply using a word to indicate that this person relies on their intuitions more than on their senses.

Similarly, T and F process information, but each has a different approach to reasoning and we need both: T analyses and eliminates in order to get to exact knowledge about a particular; F generalizes and justifies in terms of the collective whole and its motivations. In that light, I will call somebody a T or an F – although I object to “feeling” and “thinking” as discussed elsewhere – to indicate which function they most likely rely on.

But even if, with regard to the functions, the idea of preference may hold some ground, with regard the attitudes it does not. I am an extravert or an introvert; it is not the case that I prefer those, since the other possibility is not in the background being idle, but is absent. We can force our behaviour to be extraverted or introverted for a while (put on a different persona), but that comes at the cost of our natural Self, and is exhausting. Likewise, for the attitudes of the functions, which I have compared to a door. You can push the door the other way to make the energy flow against its nature, but the moment you let go, it reverts back.

So, your attitude is an expression of your psyche, it is the Self you put in the world; I am an introvert and I am P, because that is my attitude, and my attitude is a result of what goes on inside me, like I am a person (and not a dog) because of how my inner organs are put together.

Psychotype is not a choice, it is not about something we have in addition to ourselves. It is not the case that I (as an entity) possess my functions. My functions are what make me who I am. Without those functions, there would be no I, no Self, no psyche, no personality. Our psychotype (the way our functions filter information within us), has been there from the moment we were born; it has affected every experience we had, everything we learned, everything we noticed, all our feelings, and all our responses and thoughts. We cannot be anything else than what we are because of our type; we’d be a bundle of cells, otherwise.

Sure, not all people of the same type believe, feel or respond exactly the same, because of individual circumstances and experiences, and type is about tendencies, after all, but nevertheless, our type is how we experience and therefore respond.

This is important, because “preference” implies choice and “have” implies possession in addition to, both of which could be used to suggest that the “I”, the “me”, the Self can choose to change, which is exactly what many people who do not know type are trying to force on us. We found type as a relief, because we found we were suddenly allowed to be ourselves; we don’t want to go back to accepting that we are not okay, because they don’t understand us.

And we do not want to fall into the trap of seeing the mind as a by-product of something material. The whole point is to get the mind accepted as equal, the psychotype as equivalent in value to the phenotype and the genotype.

So how do we adapt, accept and tolerate each other for who we really are, without losing ourselves on the way?

The only way I can see is that we accept that we are different people by nature, so that we do not negatively judge each other or try to change each other, but simultaneously use the understanding of our differences to reach out a little.

“Hey, look, I don’t like to play outside, because I’m an introvert, but you go and have fun.”

Or, “I’m sorry, did you get my hint? Maybe I should be clearer.”

A little effort from both sides can bring us closer together without losing our Self in the need to be politically correct.

Thank you for reading.

Why I think Jacinda is an ENFJ and why that is good for us.

In light of the recent events, I have gotten caught up in discussions about politics on social media, a topic I usually prefer to avoid. But as I do believe that Jacinda Ardern and her cabinet (in New Zealand) are doing a fantastic job, and because I have previously said and written that I do not believe that democracy is a good system (in light of our inborn type differences), I want to explain my thinking.

Keep in mind that, more often than not people see in positive role models their own type and in negative ones somebody else’s type, so that understanding type includes understanding that these differences of opinion are part of our humanity and are not, and never will be, objectively the same for all people.

It is in that light that I discuss the type of Jacinda Ardern – who is the only justified source of her own personality type – so that what follows is my INFP interpretation, but I expect people of different types to have different opinions about that, which I am interested in hearing.

When the lockdown was announced, one of the first things Jacinda addressed was people’s safety, but also that it must be devastating for people just about to get married, for example, who see their big day ruined; guests unable to come and so on. Likewise, she deals with people’s fears instead of ignoring them, and with the loss people must feel. In short, she focuses on the value for people (F).

She is clearly an extravert (E) as she communicates fluently with people (and tirelessly, it seems) and she can answer any questions without hesitation, without talking around it (as some politicians are clearly trained to do), without being rude and without misunderstanding; she anticipates questions, which is N. She tactfully and carefully reminds people that others are allowed to be outside, thus being aware of the increasing amount of negative judgments, but also acknowledges the notion that people have the right to call the police on each other if they do not feel the rules are obeyed (J). Although she acknowledges that people call in fear, and although many Ps will also believe that everybody has to stick to the isolation for this to work, the mention of reporting others is something that will rub most Ps up the wrong way.  So, I see an EJ attitude with NF functions, making her an Fe-dominant justifier (Jung’s rational) rather than a perceiver, which suits the idea of a cabinet leader with an opinion and who takes her values from the environment she lives in.

So far for my justification of Jacinda’s psychotype.

The reason I do not believe democracy to be the best system to deal with an emergency, which I have repeatedly expressed in light of the climate emergency we are all (still) facing, is that democracy cannot guarantee that a natural leader will be in charge, and, due to a system that hangs together of red tape, we have seen a decade (or more) of endless climate summits without real and immediate solutions.

In addition, because of the way representative democracy works, the politicians elected to represent the people are those who say what the public wants to hear; what the majority already believes. That means that politicians tend to follow, not lead, while they take their ‘expert’ advice from a select few, with as a result that they favour traditional and often outdated ideas, without hearing those of people with the same amount of expertise, but without the credentials. This guarantees slow change and although that is okay in times of peace, during an emergency it cannot work.

My last objection is that, besides the vast number of politicians elected into leadership positions being neither dangerous nor very suitable, the system has an equal chance of electing a Trump as it has of electing a Jacinda. But the former is more likely to be voted in during an emergency, because, as long as voters are not required to give a justification for their opinion, mass hysteria, panic and propaganda will sway the ignorant masses: Voting does NOT equal having a voice.

As detailed in Homological Composition, natural leaders need to have a number of combined talents that we do not find in all types. Even if, as many type writers stress, other types can also be in charge, the most naturally suited person does it effortlessly and without having to learn techniques, which is evident in their performance.

EJs have the natural tendency to lead groups, but leading a group and leading a country are quite different things. Where people with S in their dominant pair are excellent at logistical leadership and the organization of goods, the implementation of rules and keeping the day to day practicalities functioning, we need N to make the strategic decisions needed for a nation, since those affect not just the immediate situation or environment, but all related issues and connections. Where INs can also do this strategic planning, and are usually better at it than ENs, they do not have the natural ease in communication and the ability to tirelessly interact with people. Where Ps can also have the insight and the communication skills, they lack the natural tendency to put the needs of the group before their own; their best position in a government is that of adviser. After all, Ps tend to keep their options open, so they need to stop a government from becoming too dogmatic, which is a risk of having only Js in a government, especially if they then take their advice only from those in the traditional institutions, such as academia.

In my book, I suggested an ENTJ leader, supported by a team of advisers of all types, in which everybody is listened to. An ENTJ would be able to manage that position, deal with all those inputs and keep the decision making moving forward; they’d be resolute.

However, my book describes a possible social structure that does not exist at the moment. The way things are organized today, we seldom see ENTJs taking on politics, because they are results driven and politics is too bureaucratic for them. This is why businesses and science can adapt and change quickly, but government institutions seldom do. Of course, all those with N in their dominant pair have the same problem, but the NF combination ensures motives that are people-driven, not results-driven, and so ENFJs can compensate and flourish in politics, which is, after all, one of the humanities.

Therefore, I will now revise that opinion – the book was published in 2017 and we keep learning, after all – and state that I think that an ENFJ is better suited to lead a country, because of their patience, natural tact and people handling skills, which is evident in Jacinda’s excellent leadership. An ENTJ is not comfortable or well-equipped to deal with an emotionally volatile situation such as the one we are facing now, and I have recently witnessed that an ENFJ can certainly keep a cool head.

Of course, in an ideal situation, we have a government made of all sixteen types, and therefore the best of all worlds.

One last note, for those who take this as a political preference: I do not vote, because that would be unethical if I believe the system itself to be flawed; while, even if I see a possibility for a better democracy, that will never include party politics. My assessment is purely from a psychological type perspective and with that, the recognition of natural born leadership skills in our prime minister.

I would do the same (and have done), if I see the occasional monarch or self-appointed dictator with natural leadership skills. The problem is that none of those systems guarantees that people get the leadership needed, which is why I favour  a “typocracy” – my term for a meritocracy based on psychotype.



Take Care of Your Extraverts

Just a quick post about, of course, COVID-19, since that is foremost on people’s minds, and rightfully so.

I should start by saying that seeing the original scaremongering slowly making place for countless goodwill messages and people offering each other all kinds of help, is heart-warming. As we all know, there is no bigger danger to our health than fear and a healthy body and mind is always our best defence. Even those who are immuno-compromised can still help themselves a lot by being in a positive mindset.

Visualizations can help increase our defences: imagine your body being surrounded by a protective layer; it does not matter how you imagine that, or even if you do that by picturing images or by thinking about it. For those who are already ill, imagine your body’s defences destroying the virus; imagine the virus leaving your body. Even if you don’t believe in the mind as more powerful than your body, what harm is there in trying, after all?

And that brings me to the topic of this post. Because we have by now all heard introverts responding to the “self-isolation” message with sighs of relief, accompanied by phrases, such as “Introverts heaven!”, “Finally, peace”, “Working from home, yeah!”.

And that is one aspect of the type differences that is important in this context; the need to get our energy from outside or from inside. For this reason, we see extraverts inviting each other to meet online just for the sake of being able to communicate.

But there is another aspect to the difference between extraverts and introverts that is really important in this situation and much less obvious to a lot of people. That is, as Jung explained, that they relate differently to the object.

The object is that which exists outside of our Self, outside of our mind; thus, the environment, nature, but also other people.

Where introverts begin and end their mental journey in every situation and encounter with their own Self, relate to the outside and return to their Self, so extraverts begin with the object, come through their own perspective and turn back to the object. In short, extraverts put more power with the object and introverts put more power with the subject.

What that means in practical terms, is that extraverts allow the object to influence them. They will have more trouble resisting a temptation from outside; they are less likely to believe that they can resist illness or heal themselves from the inside out. Remember that type is about tendencies and that there may be exceptions to this, but in general, extraverts are more likely to fear something coming from outside at them, such as this virus, because they feel powerless against it. Introverts feel they have the choice not to let it in.

That is not to say that introverts are not also worried and that there are no extraverts who accept the power of the mind and meditation, but it is a subtle difference that exists despite what people may put in words.

So consider that with regard the messages you sent to others. If a person near you expresses extreme fear, don’t dismiss it or advise them to just tell themselves to be strong, because all that does is send the message that they are even more helpless, since they might not know how to do that. Acknowledge our natural differences and help extraverts by bringing in external evidence or messages that show a cure is imminent or that things are getting better, that people are working on it.

Likewise, although to a lesser degree for those who have other letters of the objective accord group in their typename. Ts are much more likely to accept hard data or scientific evidence; Js want to hear from an authority and Ss will need practical things to do or tackle, not hypothetical or theoretical possibilities.

So consider your friends and loved-ones, but also those you respond to on social media; remember their type may incline them to deal with this situation differently than you do. Let’s take care of each other in mental health as well.

What is The Philosophy of Type Harmonics?

What does it even mean: a philosopher of psychotype?

Most people retreat when your start talking about psychological type, because “psychological” implies something vague and academic to most people, something they don’t want to deal with. Something similar happens when you say “philosophy”, which conjures up images of old men with beards and argument for argument’s sake.
So, if I say that I am a philosopher of psychological type (or psychotype), I get a lot of questioning looks and vague smiles, which usually imply they are too polite to say they think me silly or unrealistic.

Well, it is a lot less scary than it seems, and, no, I have no beard and am not an old man.

“Psychological type” was Jung’s word for our innate natural tendencies for how we all think, feel, sense and relate differently. Psychology, after all, is the study of the psyche, which is our mental functioning (as opposed to our physical functioning).

As a brief reminder: a “person” is an individual (human being); you and I are each a person. A “persona” is the outer identity, the jackets we wear in our environment. A “personality” is the inner Self with its functions that underlie our behaviour, but are not identical to it, because a person is more than only what they do or say; personality includes their inner world and what motivates them.
After all, if you decide to stand on your head every day, you behave like that, but you are not an upside-down person.
Sadly, however, most people use “personality” for this outward behaviour only, and “psychology” for the study of “human behaviour”. In addition, with the late twentieth century introduction of “neuroscience”, academic ‘psychology’ is now almost entirely devoted to the study of the brain (the physical body).
Although twentieth century reductionist and materialist thinking is slowly being replaced with a more holistic view in most fields, most clinics and academic psychology departments still rely on what they can observe only.
This is why I have suggested that we dispense with the words “psychological type” and “personality type” and replace them with the shorter and more accurate “psychotype”, because it is the type of one’s psyche, not of once’s behaviour or body, that makes us who we are. “Psychotype” is a biological term, though seldom used that way, with a similar meaning as phenotype (our physical body) and genotype (our genetic makeup). Let the academics have their behavioural observations, their neurology and their resulting personality disorders, and let us deal with the real inner person; the sixteen healthy personalities.

The environment cannot create our psychotype, but it can make us feel unhappy or stressed if it does not acknowledge us. Although, the mind and the body interact and shape each other, the brain is not responsible for our psychotype, because the brain rewires according to our habitual behaviour. Likewise, our hormones respond to the environment. And so far, there is absolutely no evidence that our genotype is responsible for our psychotype, at least not in the sense where our genes are passed down from parent to child. It is possible that epigenetics will come up with an overriding environmental factor that influences how many of each type of people develop in each location – because the percentages are stable – but that is still far in the future.
Anyway, all of those are discussed in the posts in this blog.

Now, why a philosopher of psychotype and why “type harmonics”?

As a philosopher my job is to put things in context of a bigger picture and to question assumptions.
As a philosopher of psychological type, therefore, I see it is as my task to look at the theory that underlies the psychological types, as well as the psychological theories that ignore the inner person and put them all in context.
For just as a theory needs empirical evidence, so you cannot have evidence without something for it to be evidence for.
Jung-based psychological type is rich in evidence, which comes from the millions of people around the globe who have recognized it, talk about it, use it as a practitioner both in therapy and work environments, in business, in job choice, in understanding themselves and their family and friends, in resolving problems and counselling, as well as articles and statistics.
Jung himself, of course, had a psychological theory, a theory of psychic energy, which consists of our psychic functions (thinking, feeling, sensing and intuition) that create our innate different tendencies.
My supporting philosophical theory is both one of epistemology (the study of knowledge and how we know things) and metaphysics, the study of reality, which includes the immaterial mind and information, the information for which our type functions are the filters.

Yes, critics are right, philosophers have been debating the same issues for at least three millennia and they still have no answer to the question of knowledge. But that is because they assumed it to be something objective that people can access without their psyche or with all identical psyches. Jung showed us that that is not possible; we are all different and therefore cannot “know” things the same way, because “functions of consciousness” means functions that give us knowledge. We can know things by acquaintance: instant knowledge, but such knowledge depends on relations and experiences and can never be the same for all people. In other words, the philosophers made an assumption (that everybody’s mind must work the same) on which their entire existence was built, and when this assumptions crumble, their theories don’t hold.
That does not make philosophy wrong, mind you. Because people assume; that is what we do, and that is also a function of our psyche. Psychotype theory, therefore, can help philosophy get a better understanding of knowledge and how it is different for different types. This, in turn, explains how knowledge changes over time and why we have disagreements.
The metaphysical part supports the actual theory of the existence of our psyche, of consciousness, of our psychological diversity in sixteen (no more and no less) types. This metaphysical aspect is lacking in all personality systems that rely on observation only. This is the theory that makes the evidence mean something. The support for this theory can be found in evolution theory, information theory and complexity theory, all of which are studied in the biological and hard sciences, and which is the focus of my philosophy.

But the other side of philosophy is putting things in context and looking at the big picture, which is the ethical and political aspect, because if we are going to accept that psychological types are innate and real, then that must mean something for the way we live together; what we consider right or wrong and how we organize our society. It means that we have to question whether it is right to favour people with certain innate abilities. Like we question whether it is right to discriminate against people based on their gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation, so our psychotypes are inborn, yet some types are medicated for who they are.
Then, when we decide it is not right to discriminate, we must change our organizational structure to prevent this from happening; we must change our governmental, our judicial and our educational system to create a society in which all types of people have rights.
That is where we come to “Type Harmonics”, because only if a person feels respected for who they are inside (their true person) will they thrive, and thriving individuals will create a harmonious society together. Of course, the opposite is also true, as long as the society does not respect people’s inner needs, they are going to be unhappy and unhappy people cause problems.

I use music as an analogy in my books to explain psychotype theory, so that “harmonics” was a nice play on words.

Questioning assumptions, therefore, simply means not taking things for granted, even if those things are ingrained in the society, so much that nobody questions them anymore, just like most people assume without giving it a second thought that if you say “innate” you mean genetic or if you say “thinking” you mean the brain.
The thing is that groups of people tend to dogma. Traditional views are not easily discarded, no matter how much evidence is brought in, and new ideas take a long time to be accepted – except, apparently when those ideas are based on fear. At the moment, we are struggling to get the idea of innate psychological types accepted among those who run the societies, which means that, at this point, my task is to help provide the bigger picture and get this acceptance. However, there will come a time when these types are going to be taken for granted, at which time we need to prevent them from being used dogmatically.
For example, when governments and schools integrate them, they are most likely to start classing people accordingly, having kids do tests and assign them a social position or job accordingly. My fictional book Of a Note in a Cosmic Song begins with such a society and follows a population of colonists who try to get away from that and start a new society without prejudice.

Since philosophy is not so easily understood by most people, including many practitioners and the type community at large, and most academic philosophers (as well as biologists and theoretical physicists) don’t really know anything about Jungian psychotypes, I feel rather lonely in my (self-appointed) task and I would love it if others join me in this endeavour of creating a type friendly world together. So, if any of this speaks to you, please let me know.
This blog contains a variety of articles on both type psychology and philosophy and a more comprehensive philosophy of psychotype can be read in my book.

Defensive Reading and the Fifth (Jungian) Dichotomy

Everybody who knows Myers-Briggs or the Jungian psychological type model, knows that there are four dichotomies: four letter pairs that describe the functions and attitudes that make up our psychotype:

Two attitude dichotomies belonging to the person:

E-I (extraversion or introversion)

J-P (judicious or persuasive)

Two function dichotomies belonging to the mental filters that we use to deal with information and which underlie the attitudes:

S-N (sensory or intuitive perception)

T-F (truth-based or value-based reasoning)

Although Jung did not specify the J-P distinction, which was Myers-Briggs’ contribution, it was implicit in his theory.

But for Jung there was a fifth dichotomy, which is not always recognized today. Many explanations and descriptions, especially on social media, ignore the differences that result from looking at the dominant function (as Jung did) instead of on the dominant pair (as is usual in Myers-Briggs).

Now, I have discussed these difference in detail before – as well as my changed terminology – and that the one does not exclude the other; both give us different information and explanations about our differences. But in light of the, sometimes heated, debates about what makes a psychotype – not just with academics, but also within the type community – I wanted to have a quick look back at the difference between those types who have a dominant perception function and those with dominant justification (or reasoning), using the example of defensive or open-minded reading.

The question: When you read an article or watch a documentary about a topic you have a belief about, is your first response to go into a defensive mode or do you open up? In other words, do you start (and continue) with the expectation that they will be wrong, or do you allow the information in without fearing they might make your own theory obsolete? Do you welcome new ideas?

Apart from the notion that we all tend to believe that we are open-minded, when looking a bit closer, we start to see that some are a bit more so than others. In discussions among people who are familiar with type, almost without exception, this difference is attributed to the other dichotomies (even by those people who focus on cognitive processes or the eight functions). Usually it is considered an S-N difference, sometimes T-F and commonly J-P.

Now, apart from that being too simplistic to begin with, since a type is a combination of functions and those influence each other, so that one dichotomy is never solely responsible for any action or attitude, it is much more likely that whether we trust our perceptions first or our justifications first influences our response to new information.

Our dominant function, and whether it is introverted or extraverted, determines our attitude (EJ, EP, IJ, IP) toward information.

IJ and EP types have dominant perception, which means that no justification, reasoning or belief can overrule the all-important perception. However, more often than not this perception wants a reason, usually for the perceiver themselves.

Now, EPs tend to collect information continuously, so that when an answer to something is required, they can pull it out of their mind almost instantaneously. They don’t invent it, but take what they have previously stored, while IJs take their perception and go looking for answers in the already existing databank of knowledge; they do research.

EJs and IPs, however, have dominant justification, so that the reasoning overrules the perception – they notice what they already believe – and their justification can thus be an existential belief. Consequently, they will feel attacked by anything that threatens to destroy that justification and so, they are more inclined to watch or read defensively.

I understand that this is not exclusively so in all cases; it depends on the topic. I also understand that most people will deny this reaction – possibly due to the same process that explains it – yet many recognize that constantly niggling feeling when reading something that comes too close to our own beliefs and the relief when “they turn out to be wrong, after all”.

They were bound to turn out wrong, because we cannot simply change our beliefs, nor can we have exactly identical beliefs, so it is relatively easy to find something to dismiss it, just as it is easy to find evidence for your belief in already existing writing.

In addition, there is the influence on our social status. Especially EJs may be worried about their position in academia or the regard for their knowledge, while IPs need their work acknowledged as standing out from the crowd.

In short, what we rely on for our existence, because it is dominant, will make us more or less defensive to incoming information from others.

Thank you for reading and let me know what you think.

Judgment and Manipulation are two sides of the same coin

Those who know me, know I have changed some of the type terminology for two reasons:

  1. Language evolves and the words we use are in some cases no longer accurate or have gained a negative connotation.
  2. It is easier to explain the differences to people who are new to type if the words don’t confuse matters.

To begin with, I use “psychotype” to replace “psychological type”, because it puts our innate psychological differences at equal value with our physical diversity (phenotype), which it what it deserves. – Currently our psychology is considered a by-product of our body.

I also try not to use “personality type”, because most people use that for outward behaviour (the persona), although personality type is correct where it concerns the attitudes (the person) as opposed to their functions.

I have also changed “thinking” and “feeling”, which do not accurately represent the functions they stand for.  We all think; T-F is about our direction of thinking or rather our reasoning; it is about how we arrive at a decision or justification: from a general to a particular, deduction (T) or from particulars to a general, induction (F). Those are opposite actions, which are both equally vital for our reasoning process.

Likewise, we all feel; we all have emotions and motivations, but the difference in the function is about how much of that we allow to influence our decision making. Ts put their project outside themselves; it is an object, while Fs make a project personal. Particulars are objects about which we can gain knowledge – because knowledge is limited to particulars – but generals are relations; they require an understanding.

I will do another post on T-F specifically, and it is also discussed in Homological Composition, pp 135-143.

In this post, I want to come back to the J-P distinction. This was the dichotomy added to Jung’s theory by Myers and Briggs to help people find which of their functions is dominant, and even today, it is still often the dichotomy that is treated as less important, especially now all the attention is on the function-attitudes. However, J-P is NOT just about finding dominance; it is an attitude in its own right. It is the orientation to the group (the society) and it is vital for our moral and social perspective and in being so, responsible for almost all clashes between people.

Myers talked about “judging types” and “perceiving types”, but not only does that give the J a negative connotation, it is simply not correct. Like we all think and we all feel, so we all perceive and we all judge. All of those are action words; they are verbs and verbs are what we use for the functions, because those DO something; they function; they filter information.

Like E-I, so J-P refers to the person, the whole being; the attitudes refer to a state of being, a tendency or perspective.

It is currently fashionable to say that someone “has a preference for” instead of saying “is”. Thus, I am not supposed to say that I am an F, but that I prefer the F function.

Okay, that is fine where it concerns the functions, because I have all four of those, and therefore to say which I prefer (even if it is not a conscious preference) is correct, but not for the attitudes. I am an introvert. I cannot take the other perspective (extraversion) and never will. Likewise, I am a P.

So, first of all, I changed the names of those attitudes to “persuasive” for P and “judicious” for J, because that refers to them as people. This also takes away the confusion with the functions (perceiving or judging), and it sounds better, because “judicious” means measuring to a standard, which is what Js do, even if Ps experience that as judgmental, and “persuasive” means using tactics to convince others or handle a situation, which is manipulation and which Js consider negative.

Judicious people pose their wishes directly: “Could you watch the dog over the weekend?” and consider that honest, since it gives the other person the chance to say “no”. They cannot understand that Ps consider this an imposition, while Ps use persuasion to get their needs met: “We are going out this weekend, but we have the dog…” This gives the other person the chance to ignore the hint, and they cannot understand why Js consider this an imposition.

But it is not just about the words, because it is simply not the case that Js are more judgmental than Ps and that Ps are more manipulative, because both of those are flipsides of the same coin. It depends on how you look at it.

Both cause harm when used to achieve compliance; both cause guilt and both are either for the group or the individual, and that is where the difference lies.

The difference comes from whether we consider the needs of the group prior to those of the individual or the other way around. Remember, this perspective is a result of our inborn functions and not a choice; it is how we feel it; it is about our timbral experience – the experience of something as real and alive, something we notice deep inside our Self.

Ps judge the society (the collective) rather than individuals, because this is experienced as an artificial imposition upon what nature gave every person: the right to life and freedom. Ps don’t assume the right to judge individual people because they don’t experience objective norms. That does not mean that they don’t need other people or won’t accept a person having authority over them, but they want to make the choice of who has such authority and an anonymous third party (such as the state) does not count as a person.

Neither is it the case that Js don’t manipulate; they do, but they manipulate the individual in name of the “greater good” (the majority) because the need to civilize comes with the right to coerce for conformity. Js don’t assume the right to manipulate individually, because they make themselves subject to the collective and experience its norms as self-evident. Consequently, they accept the idea that the right to authority belongs to the collective as a whole or to a person chosen by it.

The same applies to “coercion”, which is a soap-bubble word, since Js consider coercion what an individual does to another individual, while Ps consider coercion what public morality does. Consequently, Ps are more inclined to listen to another person and Js are more inclined to listen to the law.

 In other words, Js judge the individual to the standards of the group – the social rules, the moral expectations, the customs, the manners, the scientific standards. They do that because the needs of the group (even if this group is an abstract) are prior to those of the individual. The group is a timbral, vibrant and ‘living being’ that ensures the survival of the individuals, and therefore it needs to be protected; so, they expect everybody to give for “the greater good”.

But Ps also judge; they judge the group to their individual standards. That is because social standards (norms, truths, values and beliefs) come from the justification functions; F and T, and for Ps those are introverted; they are created in their Self.

The reason this only goes for T-F and not for S-N, is because perceptions don’t measure or reason or compare or justify; they simply are. If Si has an internal “form” to which it holds the world, it merely does so inside itself; it does not affect the implementation, because at this point information is incoming; only implementation and expression affect “the other”.

If J, the measure stands in the shared world and the instance is compared to their acceptability. In Ps, the instance is checked with the internal measure first and then expressed, so that it tells the world, it is okay with this, even if the world says differently.

Thus, Ps run by personal standards, because Fi and Ti are introverted, so that information reaches the Self first. Ps use “they”, by which they mean the group or its members, but they are aware that does not mean each individual; they use the word to make those judgments in exactly the same way, Js use “ought” or “should”. It is about group behaviour; only those aspects that apply to that behaviour or those members who do this; the rest are automatically excluded from this “they”. Yet, Js, who identify with the group, feel personally attacked from the use of that word.

As an INFP, I have learned that I can sound very judgmental to those who identify with the group – and this applies not just to Js, but to Es as well, where it concerns a slightly different but external group. I attack, however, not the individuals, but the system; that bigger entity, that level up (see my last post). If I target a group, those who identify will feel attacked, but I feel attacked from their targeting me in name of their group. Js abhor manipulation, but I experience their trying to push me to fit in as manipulation.

And this difference is expressed in the grammatical person we naturally use. Ps focus on themselves (me), and use the first person when expressing themselves with regard to their social role – “I need that mess cleaned up” –  while Js focus on others (you) and speak in the second person when doing so – “Can you clean up that mess?”

In short,  Js naturally put the social group above their own needs, Ps naturally do not. Js naturally make moral codes, Ps naturally reject them. Js judge the behaviour of Ps and Ps manipulate the rules of Js. The more Ps manipulate the more judgmental Js become; the more Js berate, the more Ps will become obnoxious and this tends to spiral out of control until people are hurt – in a family, at work or school, or between individuals and society.

Therefore, both Js and Ps judge and both manipulate, but each focuses on a different target. Js judge the individual who does not conform to the norms of the group, but Ps judge the people who favour the group, which is expressed in global terms (“they”); they judge the collective. As a consequence, Ps manipulate the rules or members of the group and Js manipulate the individual in name of the greater good (the group). Neither judgment nor manipulation are by definition healthy or unhealthy, but our society sanctions one and dismisses the other.

Thank you for reading.

A brief introduction to psychotypes

What follows is the introduction to psychotype, which I include in the character discussion of my novel as well as a discussion about war and conflict, so as to explain why each behaved and felt the way they did. I decided to split the discussion and the introduction between blogs so as to limit the word count.

Human nature is diverse. It is diverse, not only in our physical bodies, our social, cultural, ethnic, gender, religious or orientation preferences, but most of all in how we deal with information (our psychology). Each person is one of sixteen “psychotypes” (personality types), which is the way they process immaterial information, which is their mind, which is their immaterial Self, which means it is not caused by ethnic or cultural influences and not by gender, hormones, brains or genes, but it is nevertheless with them from birth and is responsible for all clashes and misunderstandings between individuals. Environments cannot change a type, but they can influence how a person feels about their inborn Self, and any attempt to ‘correct’ people (as opposed to correcting behaviour) leads to problems – the greatest danger to mental health today is the loss of distinction between person and behaviour – and, consequently, nobody can step outside of their own mind and assess others objectively.


The functions are the mental filters that process information and not always immediately obvious, but their order and focus is responsible for people’s natural talents, learning style, topic of interest, non-verbal language, perceptions, empathy and manner of reasoning, and they express in the attitudes we see in people.

Each person has all four functions, since we need all four to understand, communicate and interact with the world around us in order to get what we need to survive: One function is dominant, and with one well-developed auxiliary it forms an ‘inseparable pair’ – one perception and one justification function – on which we can rely without needing conscious deliberation. The other two functions tend to be weaker and prone to making mistakes. Functions can be mostly closed (i) or mostly open (e) to the environment, which influences the energy flow in both directions between Self (the subject) and Other (the object or world outside).

Since those functions develop with us, even if our weaker functions get stronger over time, our dominant functions will always be better developed and so our type remains the same throughout our life:

S = sensory perception of the tangible, physical (material) object in the shared world, using body language and detail observation in the practical here and now. If introverted (Si) starts with an internal form or standard of quality and beauty to hold the world to. If extraverted (Se) collects impressions from the shared world (movement, excitement, sensations); exchanging vibes in the current moment.

N = intuitive perception of the immaterial relations in a holistic image, using symbolism, possibilities, connections and patterns. If introverted (Ni) starts with an internal prototype, vision or premonition, of what comprises reality beyond the observable. If extraverted (Ne) collects the non-material relations, universals and connections of the world, creating a ‘cosmic’ model.

T = truth-directed, data-based or objective reasoning according to pre-agreed rules from a general understanding to knowledge about the particular: a truth, using formulae, categories, definitions and deduction; it analyses and focuses on the components of a set. If introverted (Ti) starts with an inner set of essential truths and principles to use as criteria. If extraverted (Te) communicates with resolve and logical problem solving towards a certain goal, eliminating all that does not contribute.

F = value-directed or holistic reasoning from similarities between particulars to a general understanding of the whole; it seeks harmony in idea as well as people, using empathy, human values, relations and induction. If introverted (Fi) starts with an internal essence of goodness and justice, seeking motive, intensity and passion. If extraverted (Fe) picks up emotive vibes and shares interpersonal values and sympathy, seeking personal growth in connections with other people.

The functions are therefore responsible for people’s natural strengths and weaknesses and those are not age or general intelligence related; each type has its own intelligence. Of each function pair (perception and justification functions), one is objective (S and T), as in measurable in our shared (interpersonal world) and expected to be the same for all people, and one is holistic  (N and F), taking the relations and personal perspectives into account.

These functions alternate in being extraverted or introverted, so as to give the subject and object the best possible energy flow – the type is introverted or extraverted along with their dominant function.


Unlike the functions, attitudes are not something we have (not filters), but the resulting tendencies and point of view (experience of Self). Each person tends to either of each pair and cannot take the other perspective; we can know that other people see the world differently, but we cannot experience what they do.

Extraverted (E) types (objectivists) participate in the world; they relate directly to the object, which is the perceptible and measurable reality (objective perceptions); they experience this object as more powerful and independent of the subject; they get their ideas from the world and their energy from people and things, and consequently socialize easier and like to work with others.

Introverted (I) types (subjectivists) observe the world; they relate indirectly to the object, which makes reality abstract; they experience the subject as more powerful, but connected to the whole; they get their ideas from reflection and their energy from being alone, and consequently get tired from being among people and prefer to work alongside others.

Judicious (J) types experience the group (the greater good) as an objective entity, its needs prior to that of the individual, and the existence of normative justifications (the expectation of conformity according to accepted norms, truths and values) as binding; they measure to a common standard, direct others, and can be judgmental. They accept group-responsibility, meaning that belonging to a group (even if non-voluntarily, such as having been born in a certain country) results in the duty to contribute to the needs of that group. They believe rights are given by authority and measure by moral values (the values of the group).

Persuasive (P) types experience the group as a collective; the group is as great as the achievements of its autonomous members, and, therefore, individual needs as prior to those of the group, and its justifications or beliefs (its norms, truths and values) as optional or arbitrary (they do not value conformity); they measure to a private standard, inform others, and can be manipulative. They accept self-accountability, meaning that they will do what needs doing in those groups or jobs they have voluntarily agreed to participate in, but they feel no obligation to authority or any imposed group. They believe rights to come from nature, measure by personal values, and can be amoral (as in, they do not subscribe to the values of the group).

The different combinations of these focus attitudes (E or I) and expression attitudes (J or P) make for four different attitude groups – perspectives – according to whether objective perceptions and/or normative justifications are experienced as optional or binding, which, in turn, affects how and when people experience conflict. Note that this is about the idea of norms that must necessarily be the same for all people, but the exact content of those norms is often debated, especially between those who experience the need for them. Likewise, it is objectivists who will argue about reality, since for subjectivists, reality is obviously different for different people, so there is no use arguing.

Attitudes concern the individual we see as opposed to the filters inside them:

 EJ people have a dominant extraverted justification function (Te or Fe), and auxiliary introverted perception (Si or Ni) serves this justification, which means their inner form or vision adapts to the existing beliefs. Both objective perceptions (reality) and normative justifications (beliefs) are binding (obviously and necessarily identical for all people), and no individual or personal perspectives of others can overrule that. That is how they experience it and that is what they expect of others, and (being extraverts) that is what they express. They connect and fight over ideas, scare from and trust ideas, and they voice them; they want a say in the world, and they measure to an established standard, so that their own new ideas come from an authority (scientific or social) or from the collective beliefs of the group. They are obedient, chatty, conscientious and naturally lead, teach and organize people.

EP people have a dominant extraverted perception function (Se or Ne), and auxiliary introverted justification (Ti or Fi) serves this perception, which means they will find new answers from all their previously collected facts inside themselves to explain the all-important reality and vibes of the outside world, or they will make it up on the spot if needed regardless of existing beliefs. They experience reality as obviously and necessarily identical for all observers (objective perceptions), but norms, truths and values as arbitrary (optional justifications). They connect and fight over events, scare from and trust events, and they may have internal dilemmas when their personal truth or values have to give way to the perceived reality, which takes priority. They consider rules a challenge, may make fun of life, may be somewhat impulsive and often can’t sit still. Some communicate mostly in body language, while others are linguistically verbal and can outtalk anybody. They can be exhausting to be around, but they are also non-judgmental and many have an underlying insecurity that does not surface, but is very real.

IJ people have a dominant introverted perception function (Si or Ni), and auxiliary extraverted justification (Te or Fe) serves this perception, which means they will seek reasons in the accepted beliefs of their society – they investigate and study – but will not compromise their inner form or vision, even if no answer can be found. They experience norms, truths and values as self-evidently necessary and identical for all people (normative justifications) – without which there would be chaos – but reality as relative to the observer (subjective perceptions). They connect and fight over events, scare from and trust events, and they may have internal dilemmas when the objective justifications clash with their personal perceptions, which take priority. They tend to be quiet and compliant, but they are also highly sensitive, often to noise and electronics, as well as to negative vibes, and their natural need for perfectionism can cause them all kinds of stress, which may express physically, or as insecurity, awkwardness or arrogance. They won’t open up until they feel safe.

IP people have a dominant introverted justification function (Ti or Fi), and auxiliary extraverted perception (Se or Ne) serves this justification, which means they will see only that which they already believe, and find evidence for their truth or value in the outside world, collecting from every discipline and instance. They experience as self-evidently relative to all people both reality (subjective perceptions) and beliefs (optional justifications), so that they demand that their personal view is accepted. They connect and fight over ideas, scare from and trust ideas, and they voice them; they want a say in the world, but dismiss the existing standards. They are easy-going as long as they are not pushed, at which point they become insubordinate, obstinate and dig in their heels. They are either good with their body, technology and non-verbal communication or mostly intellectual and theoretical.

None of these perspectives is either right or wrong, because even if we experience a relative reality, as in, we feel that our perspective is influenced by the position we take in relation to the object, the Self presents this reality, justice, truth, or beauty as the only possible way it can be seen. Just like you can experience pain objectively, even if others cannot feel it, it is very real to your own Self, so all other “pure constants” are presented as objective to our Self. Thus, each type has a different ‘objective’ sense of real, of just, of true. Either perceptions or ideas create this ‘sense’, and the other function adjusts without us realizing it does so, so that our own view is self-evident to us, and people will defend their Self, because their existence depends on it: our Self is our existence.

 J-P, contrary to popular belief, is therefore not simply about finding the dominance of your functions; it is important as an attitude in its own right. Everybody today focuses on the functions or function attitudes, but we are people too, we are not just a collection of functions. These are two different dimensions: the whole and the part, and I have previously discussed how important it is to keep that distinction in mind. (Homological Composition: 199)

We can also describe other groups of four, notably: function groups (ST, NT, SF, NF), expression groups (TJ, TP, FJ, FP) and instinct groups (SJ, NJ, SP, NP), which can be found in Concerto for Mankind. But exactly because we cannot equate different dimensions (functions with attitudes) – and I am sorry for all the wonderful works that are out there based on this Keirsey system – we cannot group SP, SJ, NT,NF, and compare them.

Note that psychotype is about how we process information, and not a description or prediction of specific behaviour or beliefs, so that not all people of the same type will behave in the same way. Behaviour is subject to our will, but experience (person) is not. Also note that these are sixteen different but healthy personalities – all are equally valuable to a society. We signify each type with a four-letter typename, which comprises the above-mentioned attitude group with the letters of their dominant function pair in between.

Everything people do is about energy; they perceive energy and they express it, whether physically (metabolism) or in words, thoughts or emotions (mental energy) and this energy can be converted from one form to another (just as EM energy) and so it flows continuously into and out of consciousness and through all four filters. – I maintain that there are four, not eight, filters and that the difference between introverted and extraverted functions is like a swinging door that sits open in a position to the outside or the inside, which is the way information more naturally flows, but (with effort) we can push them the other way.

Now, what happens in stress or hurt is that one of those filters gets stuck in the wrong position or shut too far and the naturally flowing energy stagnates in some places, but energy is energy it has to get out somewhere, just like a kettle will blow if the steam gets too much.  – We even use metaphors like when we “need to vent”. When stressed, therefore, which happens in conflict, the energy of the functions changes and we might see a different attitude than is natural for a personality. This does not mean the personality changes, because the personality comes from the filters (functions), not the energy (information).

Thank you for reading,

Nōnen  Títi (INFP)

 For more information or to find you own type or that of a loved one