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Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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The Hermit Captain Contemplative

The crazy thing is, I'm hoping to get struck by lightning.

I know now why this Internal Family System psychological model is such a great tool for me. I mentioned, in a post as yet un-posted, that I had been running this system in debug mode. I had it running in the debugger, stepping through the code a few lines at a time, watching the variables change, watching where the execution path went.

The reason for this is that I am an INTP. Thinking is my first-developed and primary function, but it is introverted. It is turned inward. I was using logic on my family of internal people. When I read Gerlach and about this IFS stuff, it was like picking up a new tool. I knew that, and felt it, and couldn't quite get how it worked but I knew it was useful as heck! I knew soon after I started using it that I was in possession of a powerful tool. I was amazed that I picked it up so quickly and was able to get almost incredible immediate results out of it. Now I know what it does, at least, for me.

As an INTP, I have a powerful secondary function: iNtuition. The problem with my iNtuition function is that it is extroverted, turned outward. IFS caused me to realize that the "software program" of intuitions about different "parts" of my personality that I had been "playing with" all these years was not broken and that it was not just a charming conceit but that this model could be used by me to psychological benefit. I did not, and should not, be running this model in the debugger and watching the variables; I should be running the program, and playing it, like a game, and interacting with it! That's more of an iNtuitive activity, to identify and "get in touch" with all of these "people" inside of myself.

Meyers-Briggs Personality Type theory and Jungian Personality analysis posit that the human personality is possessed of four "functions." Two are for perceiving, two are for judging. They are iNtuition and Sensing, for perceiving, and Thinking and Feeling, which are used for judging. The functions develop over a lifetime, one at a time, and alternate: perceiving and judging. They also alternate as to whether they are introverted, turned inward, or extroverted, turned outward. A diagram representing this arrangement would show these functions stacked in descending order, from first, and most powerful, to last, and weakest, and pointing either in the inward or outward direction like a "street sign" post. For an INTP type, like myself, the functions arrange this way: Ti, Ne, Si, Fe, or introverted Thinking, extroverted iNtuition, introverted Sensing, and extroverted Feeling.

So, my thinking is turned inward. Below it on the wacky "street sign pole" for describing these functions, was my secondary function, iNtuition, and it has always been extroverted, pointing outward. Like a rusted weather vane, it is hard to turn an introverted function outward, or to turn an extroverted function, like my iNtuition, inward! Our personalities don't develop that way, by default; they have a natural course of development that says when they will typically develop, in what order, and the system describes a kind of inborn preference that says how a particular type person tends to use each function: introvert it or extrovert it. You can work to develop your functions, out of their "natural" developmental order, and even work to turn their orientation, and use functions in a direction you are not naturally inclined to use a particular function, by default. This work is difficult to do though; it takes a kind of "psychic energy expenditure" when you push yourself in ways that differ from your particular brain's "natural inclinations." This is similar to exercising a muscle: exercise a weaker, less used function, and it will get stronger. Try to use it against its natural orientation, extrovert one of your naturally introverted functions, or introvert a naturally extroverted one, and that function will become more flexible. We don't have to take the default developmental course for our personalities.

The Internal Family System model works in effect like a lever, to force that rusty weather vane to turn, to turn my extroverted iNtuition inward, to introvert it, and that allows me to bring an additional and very powerful tool to bear on my inner world. My iNtuition, when it is introverted, lights up that entire inner landscape with powerful flashes of insight, like those phosphorus night-flares, so that my logic can see better, and get a clearer picture of what is going on in there and analyze it and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! Fuck yes! I had such a powerful revelation in the car this morning on the way to work about one of my "internal people." I have to think about it and post it here, but basically, I got a handle on what/who Mr. Misanthrope IS, and what he's been doing inside me to cause all sorts of chaos and confusion over the years.

Oh, Great Hod, Crystal, I'm so sorry, I just didn't know this stuff, earlier. So much is becoming so clear to me now. It fills me with hope and elation.

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Nice to see you posting Mistah 'Cristo. I haven't read through the IFS page yet. I don't want to unblock my popups you see, but I may look at it later on a portable device. Personally, I don't care for for all of those jargon-laden systems that proliferate the how-to-deal-with-feelings landscape. Co-counseling, EMDR, Feldenkrais, Biodynamic agriculture, acupuncture, astrology, (all of which are used by various people in my life,) are all ways of thinking about things that rely too much on belief, and too little on logic and fact. That said, you ABSOLUTELY CAN change your word choices and attitudes to become more loving and supportive toward the people around you and towards yourself. I'm working on tolerance and empathy toward my extended family which includes recognition of people's flaws without rejecting the relationship unless it is truly necessary.

It's good to see you again, as well. Surprisingly enough, I had cause to refer to you to someone I was talking with who lives up there near you and has a birthday two days after yours.

Edited at 2014-06-16 06:37 pm (UTC)

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