Intuition is the function that tries to ascertain the possible. It is the precognitive
function, more at home with will be than with
is or was.
person of this type, the present is a pale shadow, the past is a mist.
Warmth and sunshine, bright lights and excitement are to be found beyond
the bend in the road, on the other side of the mountain. But rounding a
bend only leads temporarily to a straight path. There is always another
curve. The intuitive spends his life racing toward the horizon.
Intuitives frequently appear to be flighty, impractical and unrealistic.
Because what will happen is more real than
what is happening, intuitives frequently
suffer: they must wait for events to catch up with what is, to them,
already evident. Time flows backward. The intuitive feels that if others
would only accelerate their paces, they would arrive more rapidly at the
tomorrow of his vision.
intuitive can work up inspiration about the future as quickly as a
sensation type can initiate a project, as quickly as a thinking type can
evolve a new theory, and as quickly as a feeling type can produce an
emotional response. But intuitives tend to skip about rapidly from one
activity to another. As soon as a new inspiration presents itself, their
curiosity is piqued and they want to see how it will turn out. While
others plod on, trying to catch up with the vision the intuitive has
shared with them, the intuitive himself has most likely abandoned it to
follow a new inspiration. For this reason, many intuitives do not
benefit from their inspirations. Other individuals develop the visions
that the intuitive initiated and reap the fruit of the seeds that he
Because the thinking type gets to the future by
proceeding along the time line, it is not at all difficult for him to
chart the route to the intuitive's vision, providing he agrees it is
Since time in the future seems to obey different
rules from time in the present, past or time line, intuitives generally
find it hard to learn time. They are likely not to know what day, date
or season it is; frequently they are prone to rather large error when
they are asked say without looking at a watch what time it is. In those
who are highly introverted, this trait is especially pronounced. From
our investigations with introverted intuitives, we have developed a
working hypothesis that timelessness - the
sphere of nonlinear temporal existence that mystic and Taoist
masters concentrated on (emphasis added) - is the normal
experiential world of introverted intuitives, or to a lesser degree,
those with secondary introverted intuition.
To be aware
of time, to be constrained to be punctual, to have to keep to a schedule
- these are demands that intuitives find painful and bothersome.
Charisma. Intuitives inspire others with a
vision of the future. Herein lies their greatest talent and the source
of their personal happiness. Extraverts of this type invariably have
charisma that draws others to them to scale cliffs that the intuitive
already has explored. Because the future is their natural home, they are
more likely -- when they are intelligent, psychologically stable and
truly ethical -- to be right about the future than are equally gifted
other types. But they can also be unbelievably wrong, and can lead an
entire movement into a future of horror, despair and death.
An intuitive's vision of the future is very real for him. He is not
terribly appreciative of others whose vision differs from his. Once he
is committed to his vision of the future, he will stop at nothing to
change the world so that it agrees with the picture he has of it. Three
very different examples of the intuitive are Hitler, with his vision of
the thousand-year-Reich; Joan of Arc, charismatic leader of the armies
of France, and Timothy Leary, prophet of consciousness expansion.
They epitomize intuitives who have attempted to change society so that
it evolves in the direction of their visions. Intuitives often do not
master the skills they need to accomplish their visions of the future.
Shame. In B. D. Wolfe's
Three Who Made A Revolution, there is a revealing anecdote
about young Leon Trotsky, who was a typical extroverted intuitive:
"He possessed the gift of employing, combining, displaying his
smallish acquisitions in the show window so that people would get the
idea that behind it was a well-stocked store. But he was capable of
feelings of shame afterwards and of fierce self-deprecation when he
found that there were often others who had really mastered the books he
pretended to know."
Trotsky was about 19 at the time of this observation.
Another typical trait of the intuitive is illustrated in the following
statement about Trotsky from the same book:
"He tackled Mill's Logic.... In like fashion
he dipped into Lippert's Evolution of Culture
and Mignet's French Revolution, only to
abandon each of them unfinished. For several weeks on end he was a
follower of Jeremy Bentham, assuring all who would listen... (it) was
the last word in human wisdom and the formula for all man's problems.
Before he could make a single convert, he himself had abandoned Behtham
for an equally brief discipleship of Chernishevski."
dash through ideas and theories, impatient with those that are
insufficiently exciting, yet intensely devoted to something that may be
completely discarded within a few weeks. Ordinarily, life proceeds at a
steady pace; the intuitive finds it lethargic. Anything that accelerates
this pace is welcome, sought, and latched onto. Trotsky's theory of
permanent revolution can be seen as a future-oriented type's concept of
Summary - Different Worlds of Time