Chimera

Last night I dreamed of a woman I know being swallowed at the waist by a large serpent, possibly a Basilisk. She was dismembered and her legs and torso were separated. After gathering the legs which were ostensibly spat out by the creature, I then performed surgery to reconnect her legs to her upper body.

This was not the sort of dream I usually have. I’m unable to recall the rest of it. I’ve spent the morning pondering this and trying to understand it.

In Kundalini yoga, the raw, static energy that supports all life, is often depicted as a serpent. Why a serpent? Snakes has been revered (and feared) for millenia as a powerful representation of life force or universal energy.

As it flows up the spine, Kundalini boosts the remaining five chakras along the way before igniting the crown, or 7th, chakra. Physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms are common during the process of Kundalini awakening, like sweating, nausea, and increased energy…

When energy flows uninterrupted, like a snake winding up the the spine, the chakra circuit is complete. Only then is there potential for transcending the physical plane to reach Enlightenment.

The lower half of the body is the physical dimension. The chakras of Kundalini yoga actually tie fairly neatly with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs, which people in the West are more likely to be aware of.

Further to this, the separation of the legs from the torso seems to be representative of one half ‘standing still’ or being cast adrift from the rest of the self, while the upper half represents the spiritual and conscious elements. Thus, the notion of ‘putting someone back together’ can also be read as one of completion: bringing together the physical and spiritual, or alternatively, as the coming together of the outward and the inward: by which the legs represent that which carries us out into the World, while the upper part represents the heart, the soul, the brain, the psyche – or if you like, the inner World.

As mentioned at the start, the serpent was a Basilisk, which is a form of mythological chimera or a hybrid. There can be a sexual aspect to the serpent, however, a chimera (in the traditional sense) is the coming together of two often diametrically opposed creatures.

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Attraction by MBTI Type aka Picking up Scattered Lunatics

My little buddy asked me a reasonable question, which amounted to, ‘Why the FUCK would you narrow down who you date, to a specific personality type, based on a personality test?’

This is a reasonable question. The short is answer is, because I’m right.

The longer answer is still, I’m right and because I’ve seen what happens when I don’t. I actually could have had a date with someone tonight is who is very much within my determined ‘range of compatibility’ (lol) but true to type I have chosen to theorise about why this is, instead of you know, having a sex life, but still…

I’ve actually developed a theory on this, which I will post in due course, and which essentially amounts to: which types are compatible, who you should avoid, what type of person is most likely to be a transsexual, all that good stuff.

Here are some pointers:

On my ‘scale,’ if you date someone who has a personality type close to your own, this will in all likelihood blow up in your face and you will find yourself having explosive arguments due to being too similar.

If you date someone outside of the determined ‘range of compatibility’ (which I should really include before actually talking about this stuff) and the further you are outside of the range, you will find conversations become more strained, this is largely due to using entirely different cognitive functions to process information about the world around you. Or, in some cases, you might be people who just have a complete disregard for the outer world entirely and be happiest having abstract conversations about the inner realms of consciousness. Not that I’m speaking from experience.

The best relationships are the ones where you have somewhat similar cognitive functions, or different in a manner that will be complement each other. I.e someone whose primary function is introverted with secondary extroverted intuition (INTP) will be best suited to dating someone who leads with extroverted thinking and has secondary introverted intuition (ENTJ). In terms of feeling types, the same holds true, as is the case for types where their primary function is intuition, with secondary extroverted thinking will find themselves best suited to types whose primary means of interpreting the world is through dominant extroverted intuition. Some types balance each other out better than others. Incidentally, if you are a person who is quite well organised and in control, you’ll find yourself drawn to types who are quite scattered and spontaneous and vice versa. This isn’t something that’s entirely conscious. On another note, with regards to the type to whom I’m referring, I work in a place where something like 80/90% of the people there would fall into the bracket of their sensory cousins. Interestingly, there’s actually quite a massive divergence which is far more distinguishable at the most basic surface level, than the initial surface difference between INTJ/ISTJ to the untrained eye. ISTJ’s who fetishise and claim to be INTJ’s will never not amuse me. (How do you tell the difference? ISTJ’s usually talk about things that actually exist, they infer and speculate infrequently or certainly far less frequently, they have good memories, they’re more inclined towards talking about history rather than the future, they’re often quite conservative in their instincts, words like pragmatism will probably bring them to orgasm, they have a respect for, and often even like figures of authority (Whereas, personally, I’m that particular type of cunt who is borderline insubordinate, and is at odds with authority whilst simultaneously positioning myself as one. Without any hint of irony whatsoever – kind of like I’m doing here), and crucially, they live in the real world – whereas INTJs want to live in the unconscious. If you don’t know what I mean by that, you definitely aren’t an INTJ/INFJ. Here’s a clue though, watch the end of Inception.) The type I’m speaking of, are like the bastard love child of Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Osho from Netflix’s Wild, Wild Country, in some cases brought up by the fucking Manson family.

As I have alluded to here, I’ve only ever actually dated (seriously) women who fall into one specific type (no prizes for guessing which). However, I have had a few run ins with their introverted cousins, a few ENTPs, a couple of INTPs and recently, on the back of a particularly bad break up, I tried my hand as dating an extroverted sensory type (the cognitive functions are the same as INFP but in reverse, incidentally). She was a really lovely person but in order to communicate and effectively relate with her, I found myself digging more and more into my inferior and shadow functions. Generally speaking, and in hindsight, I don’t find this a particularly constructive or healthy approach to dating, or as a means of living life and I’m never doing that again.

‘But how do you actually attract one of these people, when you don’t leave the house because you’re too busy watching Dr. House and Ancient Aliens, except for work where you hate everyone, coffee or to quickly pop in a shop and get what you want (no more/no less) and leave?????’

Good question, and I will share that wisdom later.  Back to House.

Purgatory

There is a city
Where
Everything must
Always stay
The same.
When the buildings
Decay
And collapse,
They rebuild them
In exactly the
Same fashion.
Nothing ever
Changes
And everything
Stays in
Stasis.
They must
Relive
The same day
Over and over
Again
For all of
Eternity.
They think
This is romantic,
I think this
Is ghastly.
I never want
To go to this
Place ever
Again.
Some would
Call it
Purgatory.
I would call
It
Hell.
I hope it burns
To the ground.
Then the
People who
Live in eternal
Torment
Will
Finally be
Free.

The Night of Crisis Part One

Of the themes I’m currently most interested in is the concept of the night of crisis or, the dark night of the soul. This is a motif that is extremely common across literature and mythology. This is an incident or event that subsequently leads a character on the path to greater realisation or the wholeness of being. When I was a child one of my favourite works was The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, and I also loved the film which incidentally Ende hated because he believed it deviated too far from his original novel and he attempted to sue the producers. Still, both the novel and the movie both address the night of crisis, and nonetheless, Ende said this:

“This is a story of a boy who loses his whole interior world, which basically is his mythical world, during the night of a crisis – a life crisis. It just disappears into nowhere and he has to face this nothing, this nowhere and that is what we Europeans, too, have to do. We have gotten rid of all the values we once had and now we have to face that, we have to bravely jump in order to be able to create something again, to create a new (…) set of values”

This is commonly occurring in literature, in everything from Dante Alighieri’s Inferno to James Joyce’s Ulysses, which subsequent entries will look at. Today however, is about what happens when the night of crisis doesn’t manifest itself in the atypically heroic way.

I regularly bring this up: one of my favourite movies is actually The Godfather III which I think for its faults which I don’t actually deny, is the most feasibly brilliant conclusion to The Godfather saga. I’ve mentioned this in at least one previous entry, and I believe have alluded to the fact on a number of other occasions. Michael’s journey in the series is the antithesis of most biblical, mythical and literary transformations, where a person will go through the dark night of the soul and reach a higher level of being. Michael’s journey does nonetheless however, lead him to the true nature of his becoming. In the first scene he is a soldier, a war hero in uniform. A chain of events will lead him to lose his uniform and assume his true face. The character of Kay, who he shares this first scene with is pivotal to understanding his becoming. Michael discusses his family, most notably his father and discusses the nature of power.

Michael Corleone: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.
Kay Adams: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don’t have men killed!
Michael Corleone: Oh. Who’s being naive, Kay?

We will learn it is Michael who is being naive.

Later, his father will tell him:

Vito Corleone: I never wanted this for you. I work my whole life – I don’t apologize – to take care of my family, and I refused to be a fool, dancing on the string held by all those bigshots. I don’t apologize – that’s my life – but I thought that, that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the string. Senator Corleone; Governor Corleone. Well, it wasn’t enough time, Michael. It wasn’t enough time.
Michael: We’ll get there, pop. We’ll get there.

Despite Michael’s remarks at the beginning of the movie – and this will be a theme throughout the three movies – this is what is at the heart of his downfall: Michael strives for what he considers legitimacy. However, his notion of legitimacy is indubitably flawed by his failure to recognise the true nature of himself and he is fundamentally unable to grasp the gaping flaw in his own value system. Unless he is able to recognise this: that legitimacy and murder in his World will always go hand and hand, that the two notions in his mind are inextricably linked. Thus, Vito is actually always fully aware of Michael’s true nature, Michael is unable to recognise it. Vito ultimately succeeds as a result of his own self-acceptance and is able to die happily in his garden with his grandchild and family close by.

The character of Kay actually underpins Michael’s legacy. From the introduction of the two characters in the wedding scene, where Michael is fairly unremarkable, even appearing amiable and genuine. He does seem to have a genuine level of affection for her. This carries on up until the double-murder in the restaurant which is Michael’s unwitting realisation of his true nature and identity. Again, where Michael seemingly lacks self-awareness, Vito is at all times acutely aware of Michael’s true nature. Vito doesn’t want Michael to be involved in the family business. He had hoped he would become a senator. This has nothing to do with Michael not possessing a disposition or character entirely conducive to the family business. On the contrary. Again, at the very start of the movie, Michael unwittingly scolds Kay without any sense of irony for her naivety when she tells him senators don’t have people killed. Not to mention the Corleone family’s dubious links with political figures which are mentioned on numerous occasions.

The scene in Sicily where Michael is thunderstruck by the beautiful local girl is essential in order to understand the crux of his transformation. Apollonia is the shadow of his own Sicillian mother, who is quiet, clement and doesn’t involve herself in her husbands affairs. Similarly, Apollonia plays a quiet, unassuming and passive role in the background, such as when they are visited by the Sicillian don. She has no interest in involving herself in Michael’s affairs. Her virtue is in being a loving homely wife. After her death Michael returns to America.

Michael’s reaction to seeing Kay upon his return, couldn’t be more different. Kay represents Michael’s idealised image of the woman he thinks he should be with as an Italian-American immigrant living the American dream. As a person, this lack of realisation and acceptance towards his own his true-identity, and his relationship with Kay which can be read as actually using her to preserve his self-styled image as a family-man, and man of good-conscience is his ultimate pitfall. It’s also the thing which demonstrates his biggest contrast from own father. Vito, for all of his own failings within his business is loved, respected and actually admired as a human-being. Through his wife, Vito can acutely put distance between his family and his family. Although the waters may appear muddy at times, there is a clear distinction and his wife plays a pivotal role in this through her passive disinterest in the affairs of his business. For Michael, there’s no distinction, because Kay is not a woman of the same inclination, disposition or nature as his mother or Apollonia. When he has Carlo murdered, the lines between the interests of his two families are deeply and irrevocably blurred, leading towards Kay’s realisation in the closing moments.

On top of this in terms of relationships: his father quite obviously values and appreciates his wife. Michael can’t. After Apollonia and his return to America he is simply lying to himself, about who and what kind of man he is. As a result of his sense of self being completely corrupt through his own lack of self-awareness, as are his values.

This carries on into the third movie, and as an aside, in terms of contextually, Copolla’s ill fated decision to cast his own daughter as the naive Mary was beautifully meta. As Wilde said, ‘Life imitates art, far more than art imitates life.’

My favourite scene in Godfather III is Michael’s conversation with Cardinal Lamberto in the ornate garden:

Walking by stone pillars and fountains surrounded by pigeons, Michael explains his Vatican problem to Lamberto. Agreeing how this is scandalous, the priest reaches into the fountain and pulls out a stone. “Look at this stone,” he says. “It has been lying in the water for a very long time. But the water has not penetrated it.” He breaks the stone open, showing it to Michael. It’s dry. Michael motions into his pockets, then pulls them out, unsteady. Lamberto continues. “The same thing has happened with men in Europe. For centuries, they have been surrounded by Christianity. But Christ has not penetrated it. Christ does not live within them.”

Lamberto is describing more than Catholic Europe; he’s explaining Michael to himself. As Lamberto outlines Christendom, Michael collapses on a bench and loosens his tie. He whispers that he needs some candy or orange juice. Coppola begins this conversation in a full two-shot, then slowly moves in on Michael as he falls, not cutting away while he struggles to keep his breath, diminished to a child in oversized adult clothing. The candy and juice is quickly brought out, and Michael thirstily, with uncharacteristic desperation, quaffs the juice and shakily tears open the candy wrappers, eating ravenously, some residual pulp on his lip. He reaches to the Cardinal’s arm. “When I’m under stress sometimes this happens.” In the same way that John Cazale’s depiction of mental shame is achingly real, so is Pacino’s depiction of diabetic affliction. Lamberto points out that afflictions of the body and the soul are connected. “The mind suffers…and the body cries out.”

Coppola cuts to a close up of Michael, agreeing, then back to the sympathizing Lamberto. “Would you like to make your confession?” Michael is flabbergasted. “Your Eminence…I’m…I’m…it’s been so long…I wouldn’t know where to…it’s been thirty years…I’d take up too much of your time.” Lamberto keeps smiling. “I always have time to save souls.” By contrast, taking time to confess sins was something that Gilday joked about earlier in the film, when Harrison visited after Michael’s stroke. “Well, I’m beyond redemption,” Michael says. Lamberto waves his hand dismissively.

Michael’s diabetic affliction leads to his confession to Cardinal Lamberto.

Cutting to another space in the square, with an abundance of vines and pink flowers in the foreground, Lamberto enters the frame. “I hear the confessions of my own priests here. Sometimes the desire to confess is overwhelming. And we must seize the moment.” Cut to Michael, still walled away from anyone, the plants obscuring him. He voices his logic: “What is the point of confessing if I don’t repent?”

Lamberto humors Michael. “I hear you are a practical man. What have you got to lose?” An appeal to Michael’s rationality is the only way to break him open. Cut to Michael in close-up, the left side of the frame covered with dark plants, the plants in front of Michael in full color, texturing the angle on his face (and possibly suggesting Lear and the mad king’s crown of flowers). He forces a smile, looking at the ground. “Go on,” Lamberto says.

Both men are in full view on the outer edge of the pillars, buffered by sculpted vegetation. “I betrayed my wife.” “Go on, my son.” A distant church bell. “I betrayed myself.” A pause. “I killed men.” The church bell. Frontal shadowy close-up on Lamberto’s face from within the pillars. He nods. Michael continues, “And I ordered men to be killed.” “Go on, my son, go on.” A long pause. “It’s useless.” Back to Michael in a profile close-up, his eyes fluttering and his mouth agape. “I killed –” he stops a moment, refashioning his words. “I ordered the death of my brother.” Looking down, his face breaks up. “He injured me.” He looks up for air, beginning to weep. “I killed my mother’s son.” Cut to a two shot from within the pillars, the two men separated by a thick block of foliage. “I killed my father’s son.” Michael has lost his bearings. Lamberto slowly turns to him, not surprised.

“Your sins are terrible. And it is just that you suffer. Your life could be redeemed. But I know you do not believe that.” He issues the damning statement, “You will not change.” Cut back to the close-up of Lamberto from within the pillars. He blesses Michael. The redemption Michael seeks is right in front of him, but he, as a logical businessman, will remain dry as the stone in the fountain. Cut back to Michael’s head in close-up, the plants covering up his shame as he has buried his face.

This magnificent moment in Godfather III, so well played by Pacino and Vallone, and lushly shot by Gordon Willis, could be the focal scene in the whole trilogy. The parable of Lamberto transcends a Catholic priest’s lament. Closed off as Michael is, his pain is apposite. To fully absolve himself would mean to do something that he, as a “practical man,” could never do. Like the corrupt officials in the Vatican, he too will “play for time,” the “habit born of the long contemplation of eternity.” Stressing this despairing point, Coppola cuts from Michael’s face within the foliage-embraced pillars to St. Peter’s in Rome, where the Vatican is obscured by pillars from within. Bells signal the Pope’s death. The long contemplation of sin and redemption with the always-there abyss of eternity present can end too soon: as Vito discovered (and it’s a recurring idea in many other Coppola films), “there wasn’t enough time.” 

Later, Michael sits with Connie, his criminal enabler. He admits, “All my life I wanted to go up in society. Where everything higher was legal, straight. But the higher I go, the more crooked it becomes. Where the hell does it end?” While handling his insulin shot, Michael diagnoses the illness of Sicilian’s ancient culture, of murder for pride and family. As he injects, he tells Connie that he confessed his sins, something for which she chides him. She reminds him, perhaps full well knowing the truth of what happened in 1959, that “poor Fredo” drowned. “It was a terrible accident. But it’s finished,” she says. Michael’s illness must be confronted, not nursed with more duplicity.

The Christ that Lamberto refers to is of course a metaphorical one. It is recognition and acceptance of the self. Only after acceptance has taken place, can we change and rise anew. This is the metaphor of the crucifixion. It is only when Jesus recognises that God – the father – has forsaken him, at the point when he is at his most mortal and vulnerable can he transcend to the divine essence. This is the scene which seals Michael’s fate. After this scene, Michael has to die. He falls, in Sicily, quite literally thousands of miles from America and the American dream he sought, but in line with the archaic Sicilian values he would not recognise within himself, with no family in sight. Broken and withered. Without recognition of his true self, he won’t be missed.

I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.

Saoirse

We sit beside the fire side,
Purifying flames,
Surround us and fill our eyes.
Our ancestors survived famine
and oppression.
They strove for more.
Centuries of
rebellions and uprisings,
To escape the shackles of
Bondage, through sedition.
Some misled, died
In the mud strewn hell
Of Flanders.
Some walked through the
Mountains, the rain
And the storm,
To get to the roadside
To fight for the cause of
Liberty.
They died, but the cause
Will go on.
Some built the railways,
Some built New York,
Others, worked in shipyards
And the mines,
Descending and ascending
From the Gateway of Death,
Each day.
Ireland’s soul lives in her
Valiant daughters who
Through their sacrifice
And tears, supported
These
Small, but noble victories.
From the west coast of Ireland,
To the majestic north sea.
With each day that passes,
We get closer to the moment,
We can put our indelible
Mark on the world,
And turn away
From the fire side,
And witness
The rising of the moon.

Gordon of Eden

Part of a continuing series: stream of consciousness writing, part 3.

Aum, aum, aum. We stand before the mighty tree on the cosmic altar. Alternate cerebral reality of the divine insurmountable divinity. Blessed moon goddess of the eternal. We meditate before the altar. Tomorrow is the rising of the moon. Aum, aum, aum. Put your hands over your ears and you can hear the music of the universe.
– I once walked through a gallery and heard the music of the spheres, I said. I’m not joking.
Aum, aum, aum. We move through the chakras. We beckon to a higher level of conciousness. She stands and pauses for thought as she considers what next to say. Out of character for her. She smiles the biggest smile and says:
– We should take salvia.
Aum, aum, aum.
– We can reach higher conciousness without the psychotropics.
I tell her about my experience of kundalini yoga and my theory of the chakras. The lower chakras are the earthly ones, the sensory ones. The higher ones as the snake uncoils relate to an awakening of consciousness and I tell her about the snake in the Gordon of Eden. Aum, aum, aum.
– But if you want to do the salvia, we’ll do the salvia. I took the salvia once and had a great awakening. I reflect on it.
– We can’t chase the experience all of the time, we must have monastic discipline and kill our desires
– Just this once, she says.
– Okay, lotus take the salvia.
All of time and space transcends and unfolds. The temporal boundaries of reality uncoil like the mighty cobra. I see the rust above the window ledge. All is clear, all is bright. We wander along the great Silk Roads, we walk for 490 days and then enter the great chamber of the holy underworld. We walk through the labrynthine corridors down the swirly whirly staircase where we are greeted by a mighty sphinx.
– Good day, sphinx, I say, dia duit.
The big sphinx is silent and gives me a stony silence. Aum, aum, aum.
We walk past the big sphinx through a cacophony of music. It is the works of Rachmaninoff. The stony labyrinth has excellent acoustics. We continue walking down the steps until we reach a lift which will take us back to the upper tier. We take the lift and the music in the lift is now Chopin’s Nocturne. Up, up, up we go.
– Chopin is portentous, she says.
– I do quite like his Nocturnes, says I.
Up, up, up. We get to the well lit balcony on the great terrace. We are before the cosmic gates.
– This reminds me of The Neverending Story, she says. Will we meet the princess?
– I hope not, I’m a republican, I say.
The blonde haired woman stands before us surrounded by her shimmering nimbus of golden holy and divine light. She has many faces and many forms. She looks at us and then turns around and looks back out into the eternal. We are high above the world, and we can see all of its roundness and all of the clouds and it is very nice, I think to myself. All is holy, all is bright.
– We can see all of eternity from up here, she says.
– Isn’t it nice, I say.

Naturally Born

I have a dubious relationship with contemporary art. By which I mean that I generally dislike all contemporary art, but as a general concept I love it. This is essentially due to the notion of alchemy – turning the ordinary into something extraordinary or using it as a means of representation for something greater than itself.

The best contemporary art exhibition I ever saw was at the Baltic in Newcastle around 2005.

I used to have a poster of this on my bedroom wall when I was 18.

It was an exhibition of the work of Edward and Nancy Kienholz. It was a collection of free-standing environmental tableauxs. Kienholz’ assemblages were of found objects – the detritus of modern existence, often consisting of figures cast from life. It was vulgar, brutal, and gruesome. The idea was to confront the viewer with questions about human existence and the inhumanity of twentieth-century society. This was largely achieved. While on one hand these were mostly a graphic and almost Ballardian commentary on the nature of the American dream, there was also The Hoerengracht. On the surface, this was Kienholz’ visual representation of Amsterdam.

As you walked through The Hoerengracht, full of garishly lit alleyways and tacky, seedy, run-down rooms, the joke was that by viewing the exhibition, you became part of the grungy, sordid, voyeuristic spectacle.

I was reminded of this tonight as I was watching Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. I honestly think it’s one of my favourite movies. It is so good on every level: amazing cinematography, editing and storytelling. It is all here. If, as a career path, Kienholz had opted for film-making rather than creating tableauxs, I suspect you’d end up with something fairly similar. A movie that starts by driving through a psychotropic collection of images of America, but is set up and presented in such a way, that the viewer is watching Mickey and Mallory watch a movie. So you in turn become part of the spectacle, because what you have here from the off the is a the story that is overtly built around cinema as a medium.

I suppose you could do a negative reading of this movie in which it is simply an extended bit of nasty sadism and torture porn, but that would lead to an interesting commentary in itself, as the year this movie was released, 1994, was the year the World Wide Web was born. In the movie itself, there is a very clear link between sex and television in terms of the depiction of Mallory’s abuse at the hands of her father. As the World Wide Web is still being born, we’re at the point in history where the link between television and pornography is still growing, and hasn’t yet been usurped by the internet. It’s ’94 and we have VCR, which means that television isn’t just simply a broadcast medium but a medium of storage and replaying. Which means, of course, that it’s possible to have pornography on it. In practice, though, most of the pornography that could still actually be easily obtained at the time was scarcely what you would consider pornography by 2018 standards – it was mostly soft-core titillations. More common throughout the rise of VCR was cheap, dirty, and violent movies, dubbed ‘video nasties.’ So in turn, the movie is at once transgressing against these kinds of ‘video nasties’ of the eighties, while alluding to the every increasing public fascination with celebrity, sex, violence and what is to come in the form of the internet. Interestingly, in terms of sex, celebrity and video, arguably the most famous example would arrive the following year in the form of the Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson sex tape, when the medium would reach its zenith (nadir?). Natural Born Killers is a fascinating insight into this time period, as it stands at the precipice of a new era. This isn’t actually a film about two mass murderers. It’s a film about us and how we consume media, and how in turn a veritable buffet of mindless sex, violence and celebrity becomes a consumer product. Like Kienholz’s tableaux, and this is evident from the very first shot of the movie, through viewing we become part of the spectacle.

Why Being an INTJ Sucks

The greatest thing about MBTI when it comes to the INTJ, is how favourable its description of us is. In reality, certainly, if you’ve also tested as an INTp through Socionics – which in terms of the cognitive functions amounts to the same thing – you’ll get a more honest, if not an entirely complete picture – as Socionics doesn’t describe the type based on what amounts to an idealised superpower interacting with the outer world.

Let’s be real, Carl Jung – the greatest psychiatrist in history and essentially the founding father of MBTI said it best, ‘The introverted intuitive is the most useless of (persons)’ and truth be told, he was completely right. So it’s amusing that anyone who isn’t one of us, would lay claim to being an INTJ/INFJ.

For the INTJ – introverted intuition is a high powered perceiving function. When interacting with extroverted thinking, it throws up an endless array of possibilities, images and ideas that the extroverted thinking function aims to apply some degree of order to, and thus make them applicable and useful in terms of the real world. The reality is somewhat different. For the INTJ, they relentlessly consume information, and the mind is a veritable never-ending cycle of images of ideas and future possibilities, 99.99% of which never get acted acted upon, because the INTJ is essentially passive in terms of that they are all about thinking and not about doing. The INTJ is mostly engaged in the inner world and actually couldn’t care less about whether any of their ideas actually come to fruition in the outer world. They are almost entirely consumed by the inner function. INTJ’s are ideas generating machines, but their practical application is almost zero. On paper this still sounds great but the reality is: for an INTJ they simply couldn’t care less about practical application. ‘But, but, introverted intuition is useful in the work place, because you can like totally predict the future’… In reality, this ability has pissed off far more of my superiors than it has won any kind of favour. You don’t actually have to have read Machiavelli’s The Prince or Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power to know that absolutely no-one likes a smart arse, and why that is.

The alarming thing about all of this is, that for an INTJ we know exactly what we should be doing, but there’s a total indifference towards actually doing it. For someone of my age, I know instead of spending in the vicinity of – my Kindle tells me -the next 390 hours reading the full works of Balzac, I should be applying myself to reading books about business, entrepreneurs and endeavours that have a practical and financial real world value.  That said, we also know the correct macro-nutrient ratios and workouts to look like 1978 Arnold Schwarzenegger, because we read The Encyclopaedia of Modern Bodybuilding cover to cover, as have we consumed the works of others such as say Mike Mahler. Further to this, we also know all of the specific steps to seduce the woman of our dreams – we actually also know specifically who the woman of our dreams is in acute detail despite not necessarily having met her yet, we know exactly what kind of value we should be bringing, but we’re not as remotely interested in the practical application of any of these things as we are about speculating about them. We’re great strategists and planners, but for other people who can actually stick to and follow our ideas, not ourselves.

This is the crux of the introverted intuitive. We have great ideas, but we have absolutely no practicality whatsoever. We live solely in the realm of ideas. We love the idea of things much more than the actual reality. For example, I love the idea of playing guitar, but when it comes to the practicality of learning things such as scales – then I drift off. I understand the fundamental concept of how music works but when it comes to the practical application? Then I just move on to something else. I wrote what amounted to a Celtic rock opera for one of the few women I’ve dated who wasn’t actually an N type (read: an ENFP or an ENTP), one of those rare sensory ones who actually persevered in getting to know me – was it complete in the sense that I, or anyone else could perform said Celtic rock opera? Fuck no. What I gave her was an essentially – for all practical and useful purposes, an incomplete complete Celtic rock opera. I mean, let’s be honest, this fucking sums it all up. The idea is there, but the practical application? Generally, the only thing of any remote value we might be able to offer is our ideas, but when in terms of actually being able to translate them into something of say, a physical value, we’re completely out of our depth. We’re so deeply entrenched in our thoughts and ideas we haven’t actually bothered our arses to actually learn any of the practical skills to go with applying them to reality.

My younger brother who is an ISFJ god bless him, writes a blog about Bruce Springsteen. Despite me expressing my disinterest in his blog to him (which actually in practical terms makes me a dickhead) for what amount to INTJ reasons (I.e. basically, it doesn’t offer any insight into the human condition, it doesn’t speculate as to any deeper meaning towards the big picture, it doesn’t seek to interpret the broader symbolism of the body of work, whatever, etc) it is far more successful in its own right than anything I’ve ever written in my life. I mean, I can move the goalposts of success and argue that I might still be a better writer from a technical standpoint than my younger brother, whatever, but I mean, that would be ridiculous, his blog is more successful than this and will always be more successful than this – you know why? Because, while us INTJ’s may scorn sensory types, his blog deals in facts, absolutes, things that are concretely verifiable, not what amounts to speculation over what something might mean. The truth is, introverted intuitives don’t have any interest in history, people, the past or basically anything the wider population of the world is interested in, unless it is somehow useful toward fuelling our own speculations about the future. Further to this, we are completely unable to self-promote in any kind of meaningful capacity. While my writing has always been done for myself, it would probably still be somewhat astonishing if the amount of people who read this post in full is in double figures.

Further to this, in MBTI terms, there is at a push only two types who we are actually compatible with. As we have established that we are basically fucking useless people with zero social or practical engagement, there is two types who – I mean assuming we are vaguely within the remit of what they might physically attractive – who might actually like us. These are types who make up a very small proportion of the overall population, and who unless we actively seek – which ironically might work against us on this one – just might find us somewhat endearing: the ENFP and the ENTP. My personal experience with ENTPs is that they are effectively the shadow of the INTJ. Which is to say, they are basically what I look like when I go all out to be social. I click with them, I like them, but they don’t exactly set the proverbial heart ablaze, because in an odd, round about kind of way, I find them to be too similar to myself. But, the ENFP… as I said, unless we’re ridiculously proactive in seeking them out, in terms of our day to day lives, we might actually only meet an ENFP every couple of years (contrast this with ESFPs for an ISTJ, who seem to be absolutely fucking everywhere), but when you do meet the ENFPs, you know instantaneously because your extroverted thinking met by their introverted feeling, followed by introverted intuition met with extroverted intuition hits you like a sledgehammer. Then:

The indifference can be a somewhat attractive quality and it isn’t that we are necessarily short of people hitting us, however, in practical terms, you aren’t going to get someone into bed by constantly indifferent – you actually have to drop the indifference at some point and show a warm, healthy interest to seal the proverbial deal. Except in our case, the indifference isn’t an act, except for perhaps a small handful of people, we generally just can’t summon the emotional energy to actually you know, go through the entire process of picking someone up. It’s not the case we’re lacking in social awareness or empathic abilities – in fact, I imagine you’d be hard pushed to ever find an INTJ who has been accused of being say, autistic, we’re totally indifferent to small details for a start – we’re just overall not that interested in people. For a while, I actually made it my goal to improve my social abilities to a high level following a bad break up – as I found that this required a reliance on my less developed and shadow functions, and the irony is, that I can never meet someone who I actually connect with in any deep and meaningful way, by you know, actually pushing myself to be social. Essentially this is because by using the shadow functions, on a fundamental level I am not being true to myself. Plus, eventually, as there isn’t an endless supply of emotional energy and investment beyond the goal, you’re always going to revert back to type, anyway. We’re always going to be most attractive to a certain type when we’re not trying and we’re just quietly getting on with doing our own thing. This might seem quaint and even somewhat romantic, but there is a reason why we might actually only meet these types every few years, or rather they meet us: we don’t generally run in the same circles, the same workplaces or environments. Although, in terms of my own career, occasionally I will meet something of an outlier.

The point is, anyone who would want to be an INTJ or an INFJ when they aren’t is insane. Whether that be because of our terrible memories, our general disinterest in people, our complete disregard for practicalities, authority, hierarchy, history, empirical evidence, small talk, the present moment, the past, emotions, being functional in any conventional sense, developing useful practical skills, whatever,  if you want to persist with the notion of being an introvert – rather than hitching your horse up to the nearest extroverted function – as well as being an intuitive, at least aspire to be INFP, at least they’re cool and largely fucking likeable.

In terms of other types, it’s quite interesting and illuminating that in terms of actual everyday success, you will likely find more ESTPs and ESFJs in positions of success. It’s interesting that these types possess the four main cognitive functions of the INTJ and INFJ but in reverse. The focus for these types as a result is thus the exact opposite of Ni (introverted intuition) dominant types: they’re almost entirely focussed on relationships with the outer world, whether that be indulging in business, fashion, taking parts in sports and all the world has to offer. Thus, although they have Ni in the inferior position, unlike an INTJ or INFJ they will have no interest in trying to understand that aspect of themselves beyond the aesthetic, certainly not beyond the sensory and outer forms that take precedence.

I was recently having a conversation with an ESFP who was talking about her paintings, she mentioned she often drew circles (she was referring specifically to mandalas) and about an abstract painting she had done that didn’t have a face. An INTJ or an INFJ wouldn’t have mentioned that: They would have been aware that the painting represented this persons struggle with her identity. However, for her, this was a minor inconsequence and was mentioned just as a means of building rapport with a person and making conversation to build up a better working relationship with someone (in this case me), as mentioned, the Ni dominant time would be too consumed with the symbolism and its significance to even bring it to the surface, they certainly wouldn’t use it a manner which was constructive in such a way.

I’m quite interested in people’s tattoos and what they may reveal about a person. In terms of the ESTP, and this is the personality of the likes of Donald Trump, Conor McGregor and many other types who you will find tend to be often brash and successful despite what you might think of them, and happen to be INFJs in reverse, I was on Instagram earlier and I stumbled upon a former Geordie Shore character who has taken up MMA fighting, I’m not sure why this person popped up as it isn’t the kind of content I would generally look at on there, suffice to say he is very much in the ESTP mould and I was interested to see this tattoo:

Located on exactly the part of the throat where that sound is made. I would imagine that this probably wasn’t an intentional detail and was added as an aesthetic. You know, unlike the INTJ/INFJ type, the ESTP person in question is probably too busy being successful and doing things that bring relative value in the real world, going to the gym, working on a TV and MMA career and hanging out with people to give these details much thought.

Varanasi

Following on from yesterday’s theme:

Around the head of the bed are shining illuminous colourful orbs of light, the shakuhachi music fills my ears. The ghosts are singing at the door and the angels are at my head. Uncomfortable vicissitude of feeling. Unfamiliar sense of the illuminous. Negligible neon Tokyo nights. Wrestling with the indivisible. All is temporal and we are in orbit around one another ready to crash towards the visceral surface of ones other. It cannot be stopped now. Temporal vicissitude of the illuminous. Diamond mountain with gold embers above the still lake. Shining gold beacons upon the lotus leaves. Solitude surpassed into temporal becoming of the virtuous vicissitude. The indivisible illuminous. Anam Cara of the atom carry through into the unfounded nature of visible betwixt being. The voidious vacuum is filled with the nature of the surpassing of the temporal separation. The collision of atoms. Boom boom boom. Large Hadron Collider of the infinitesimal feeling. We are down the Ganges side and take the boat to the old abandoned cinema with the art and the paintings. We are here now and suddenly it has been repaired since my last visit. Temporarily temporary fixes but we can look at the paintings of the abstract artists. We have made it to the far shore surpassing all obstacles between us. There is no us, just the oneness of being. All that is temporal and divisible is now eternal and fulfilled. We are in the orbit high high above the clouds of separation through the atmosphere of tumultuous inconvenience we will quickly bypass and crash into one another. All that is temporary all that is eternal and we discuss the nature of our being, our becoming. All the gravity is surpassable but only in due time in due course now is not the time to insurmount the gravity of our situation. The images flow freely into my mind. Colourful squares of bright red and black light. I hold onto this image longer than I am used to. It is like a Mondrian. A red and black Mondrian.

I am ready to return to the fulness of being. I am pulling through the transcendental cosmic moment. My experiences of these last few days have been profound. It is when we see the divine and the godhead in all things that although we can never understand, we can have full acceptance of the essence of being. We are in timeless virtue of the divine. In full providence of the total essence. The totem reaches to us and we both grab it and hold onto it in full rejection of the external outliers. A painted white and red mask upon the shores of Varanasi.

Through space and time,
We go at Whitsun tide
To see the Earthly sublime
On the Ganges side

The fires and the butter lamps light up the river. Conciousness is acquiescing to the sublime essence. Ineluctable modality of the visibility, said Joyce. I hear your modulations through space and time, an infinite rhythm only I can hear, calling to me in totality. I am ready to take your hand I say. I am ready to take yours, she says. I tell her about the musical I am writing. I am writing it for her, for her only. It is a music only I can hear. There are no instruments yet invented that can play your song, but I will invent them so that I can listen to your music for all of eternity. The music of the spheres says I love you. It cannot be rationalised or reasons, there is no scale or tone, it comes to me in a music that can only be heard on a subatomic level. No musician or scientist yet has the tools to impart this profound music of being that only I can here. I know you can here it too I say. Yes I can, she says. I know there is a place that only we shall go. I can’t wait, she says. The day, the moment is fast coming, fast approaching. There is no going back now. There is a course of events in motion that will set us on the path to one another fully and in totality.

Irremutable

Some stream of consciousness writing. This is something I do, these days.

Derikuyu Derikuyu. I walked into the underground chasms of my mind made from the soft volcanic rock, through the many chambers and down to the lower levels. I had made a painting of her in the style of Dante Gabrielle Rosetti. The painting was all I had at this moment. I was alone in the chamber beneath the burgeoning metropolis. It was designed so that the winter solstice could shine through the many levels and light up the floor. Burgeoning gold paradise of the soul. From the thermo-nuclear furnace came beauty and divinity. I knew I would see her soon. That we would overcome the usurpers. I looked at the other paintings in the chamber. Ones created and not yet created. Visceral radiance of the divine.Transmutation of the visible viable connection. Transmutavisible transcending light shines around me. I continued to transverse through the many chambers of the cave. Man made upon nature. I looked at the sculptures, the marble and bronze statues. Metaphors for creation. Sculptures of others are sculpted in our own essence. The concentric circles upon circles shone upon me from an unknown light source. Here was safe from the infidels. Secret safe space beneath the metropolis. The cold air hit me and brought me back into the moment. I saw the lotus floating upon the water. I walked over to the beach, and looked at the calm waters. Crystals reached high up to the voluminous ceiling of the cave. High mighty crystals both peaceful and imposing. A delicate balance for sure for sure. When I had met her we had in an instant moment drifted far from the shore. The world collapsed and faded out of view and there was only me and her, her and I. A thermo-nuclear reaction of the soul. The heavens shone and lit up within me. We were in space, in perfect temporal balance and alignment. The world did not exist anymore and there was only me and her, her and I. Alchemical virtue of the irremutable. Irremutable: adjective. That change is required so that everything should stay the same and in perfect alignment. A natural law that was irrefutable.

Blessed angel of the caves
Divine moon goddess of the night,
The light ember eternally paves
a path, that we should find the light.

Inconstancy of the way, fuelled by opium dreams. Pretentious transliterations of the eternal order of the viable. Irremutable. Irremutable. High and mighty ceiling beckoning to me that I should resurface to the metropolis to engage with the intangible accelerations of the world earth. I entered another room. I looked across the paintings. The curation was all important in telling a story and in how easy it was to decipher the symbolism. There were many bad curators. The aesthetics taking precedence over the Vitruvian. Firmitas, utilitas and venustas. The music bled in. Beyond the water, I walked for a while longer and reached the diamond mountain. It reached into eternity. It was here I took my rest and thought about leaving the shore. Despite my injuries from the journey, I was happy and content that I would see her later and we could discuss the irremutable and irrefutable and make sense with one another of the gravitational waves. I knew that she would be coming down the diamond mountain very shortly so that we could ascend it again together to reach the headiest heights of eternity amongst the great majestic heavens. I could already see us together walking amongst the pillars of creation, to plant our flag amidst the mightiest foundations of the cosmic cosmos. I was excited by my excitement and filled with a heady intoxicating joy far beyond the pallet of anything I had ever experienced before. We would reach Babel by noon and then be back home in time for tea. In physical cosmology there is the theory of the multiverse. I was looking forward to her exploring my universe, and myself exploring hers. Then reconciling them into the theological, cosmological vision of the divine. Imperative vision of the transcendent beauty, bequeathed by my impassibile peripheral, deep within the caves there is the majestic ferocity of the soul, already vastly alit by your tangential being. Excited excitement is awake within me.