Jung, Symbol, Overlay, Olderlay, Newerlay, Grumperlay
Friday October 2, 2020
One of the cool things about science is that it can help us understand why primitive mental models were so great, or addictive, or apparently true, or whatever. It’s the “hey, you thought the sun was the center of the universe because of the way your perceptions work…” and on top of that, the scientific method also brings us these cool new models from which to work.
So part of the deal is, those old models still have some OK or even good leverage points. They can still be useful! Even in simple ways—and that’s really nice. It does unfortunately allow people to cling to those models and insist that they still work, which they do. But in many cases they also don’t work more and more, on a wider set of problems, with every passing day.
Some of those models use really comically archaic terms. Jung brought a lot of those to the surface, connecting current experiences with ancient archetypes.
(He also liked ancient archetypes…this was his language, insofar as it was the earth from which he emerged into adulthood…)
But also, science is doing this work by giving us new mental models. We humans are developing new model-types and model-archetypes.
So if you’re practicing a sort of personal science, you should find that new pattern-symbol-model overlays and possibilities emerge. New stuff should be available to you, and the combinations should be fascinating, addictive, large.
Sometimes as an INTJ or an introvert it’s all too easy to point at history and say, “history has all the answers about this.”
However that’s the big-picture view, the pattern view. Just make a broad pattern ever more broad, and the solutions of history will eventually fit the current problem set.
So it’s important to get into details—the historian who is projecting things forward can make big mistakes if they hold too closely to the past. Sometimes the future’s just different.
And if our brand-new models don’t conform to ancient archetype very well, or history, I think that’s 100% OK. Could be wrong, but in the case of archetype, the memetic nature of human society kind of gets at the way humans process and mold archetype in order to build new mental model reservoirs.
Drawing from the traditional reservoirs, we may emerge thinking, “OK today I’m going to be like Batman,” but we may also think, “nah, more like Gotham Girl or Batwing…” or something similar, but different.
This has been really enlightening to me. Some of this is also a benefit of paying attention to current societal trends and messaging. Especially insofar as they’re just the group—our group—talking to itself about things.
(Do Black Lives Matter, to you? I wonder. They matter to me. I would guess that there are a lot of INTJs to whom this question is absolutely qwetu2385u9zbpoiyuqpoiuy?.1!!! I mean, are there enough words in the universe for the Fi-driven take on this issue? So you have to be careful with that. Could cause massive problems, or could help you figure out a way through the problems. Hopefully the latter. But if you use Fi like a conspiracy theorist uses Ti, you can lock yourself out of the discussion entirely, with only yourself to blame.)
What it looks like to not do this
Without practice at this phase or frame of reference for mental-modeling, I would expect a person confronted with problems to either remain at their current level of grump, or get more grumpy over time.
Grump really plays into this, because a river of grump tends to run right up to the very threshold of the amazing world of new and unique and interesting stuff. It’s weird like that.
Which, grump is “OK” as a state of being in that Fi-sense of “do your thing and let me do mine, see, we’re all OK (not really)” but kind of much less OK insofar as a grumpy person never really comes off as a helper, in times of crisis…there are a lot of issues that require us to open up our perceptive arms and welcome any and all brand new solutions that never existed before.
This is much different from, and often much more powerful than, the grumpy take. Or the historic take. Or the my-models-are-grounded-in-my-own-past take.
It also draws heavily on the intuition, and I think highlights a unique leverage point for a lot of INTJs out there.
(Not only am I the president of New Outlooks on Grumpy Lifestyles, I’m also a client…)
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