Having really looked at the MBTI set of personality measurements again (you know, the INTP, ENFJ, etc. labels), I’m going to try again to explain them using my own developmental health theory of the human brain. Here is my latest suggestion for what the different types are trying to describe:
Introverted/Extraverted is first person health: governed by the primitive/physical functions part of the “lizard” brain, which focuses on internal body health. When you’re really healthy, you’re extraverted, as you have the extra physical energy to explore the world. When you’re physically lacking, you’re introverted, and protective of yourself.
iNtuition/Sensing is second person health: governed by the emotional amygdala, which focuses on the health of one’s close family/friends. When your loved ones are healthy, you can relax and enjoy the experience of being with them (sensually/sensorily), but if they are lacking in something they need, to be healthy, you will need to distance yourself from them a bit, and spend your time inside yourself, problem solving for them and protecting yourself from the symptoms of their illness.
Thinking/Feeling is third person health: this is the more intellectual function that is governed by the primary part of the cortex, which focuses on the health of one’s community/society (all the individuals that one isn’t directly in contact with at the time, but is aware of in some way). Thinkers are aware that their society/community isn’t as healthy as it could be and spend much time trying working on solving larger community problems, while feelers are generally content with the way things are and are open to participating in their community/society.
Judging/Perceiving is fourth person health: governed probably by the prefrontal cortex (the most highly developed part of the cortex), and is focused on the health of life itself (evolution). This is where spirituality and the general morality/ethics of why we are here on Earth, and what we are “supposed to” be doing here, comes in. Those who see that life/evolution is lacking in something will be focused on making plans and sweeping revolutions for the planet in their Judging ways, while those who see the larger picture of life/evolution as being perfectly fine as it is will be open to anything that happens, as the Perceiving types are.
All of the extremes in each type are important and valuable and “right” depending on the situation that people happen to be in at the time. And types will change as the health of oneself and one’s environment change.
Of course, these elements are also related to the age of the individual, since each stage of brain growth involves a particular level of awareness. For example, young kids really aren’t going to be Judging types, as they just aren’t going to be aware of the health of the planet/life/evolution on a systems theory level, and so they aren’t going to be making plans to lead any major revolutions, or criticize the morals and ethics of society. Whereas middle age and older folks are more likely to have grown into a Perceiving type, having seen so much of the diversity of life that they are more confident in it to continue to move forward reasonably successfully regardless of what happens, and so they are spiritually more peaceful even when crazy things happen in life.
Another way to look at the MBTI is:
The first letter is physically how we interact with the world – are we physically novelty seeking (E) or conservative (I)?
The second letter is how we relate to those closest to us – are we emotionally open to others (S) or emotionally walled off (I)?
The third is how we intellectually interact with the world – are we open to new cultures/ideas (F), or are we attached to a limited set of ideas (T)?
The fourth is how we spiritually (secularly or non) interact with the world – are we open to the full spectrum of how life is evolving (P), or are we worried about what’s going to happen to humanity and life itself in the far off future and try to restrict/control it (J)?
All this is just food for thought. And again, I beginnging to see how each of the types in each area are valuable and good, given the state of the individual’s environment, and their perspective of it. Both contraction (the closed/limited approach) and expansion (open/outward approach) are a necessary part of the rhythm of the universe.