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Practical and Intellectual Contributor Thought

The mind contains two main functional circuits, which I refer to as intellectual Contributor thought and practical Contributor thought. Practical Contributor thought combines Mercy, Exhorter, Perceiver, Contributor and Server as shown in the diagram. It is guided by a general map of value which combines Perceiver facts with emotional Mercy experiences. This mental map attaches a Mercy feeling to each item and uses Perceiver facts to indicate how these various items are connected.

Perceiver strategy also indicates the current position of 'me' within this map. The Perceiver facts about 'me' determine my self-image, which can describe everything from my current physical location to my position in society or my current abilities.

The bottom line provides the goal, which emerges as Exhorter strategy becomes attracted to some emotional experience in Mercy thought. This is usually a positive experience but could also be a negative emotion, for instance, when attempting to escape some danger. Exhorter strategy provides the drive, excitement, and imagination for practical Contributor thought.

Contributor strategy then channels this drive from Exhorter thought by adding Server actions to Perceiver facts. For example, the map of value may indicate that London is close to Oxford, and that Oxford is an interesting place to visit. Exhorter strategy will become excited by the Mercy memories of Oxford, which will provide a motivation to visit Oxford. Contributor strategy will then choose some Server action that can be used to reach Oxford, such as getting on a bus, driving a car, or taking the train.

Intellectual Contributor thought combines Teacher, Exhorter, Server, Contributor and Perceiver. In this case the 'map' comes from Teacher and Server thought and Perceiver thought is used to move through the 'map'. For practical Contributor thought, the external world provides a readymade map of physical reality. For intellectual Contributor thought, all the 'maps' are artificially constructed.

For intellectual Contributor thought, the 'bottom line' is Teacher structure and general understanding. The goal is to create some system, theory, or structure in which many items combine to form an integrated whole.

One possible 'map' is the verbal map of speech. Here, words and sentences provide the Server elements, and Perceiver meaning is used to 'navigate' from one sentence to another. With normal speech, the number of possible Server elements is very large, and the Perceiver meanings that are constructed tend to be rather loose. As a result, the Teacher structures that are assembled tend to be rather flimsy.

Mathematics and logic are also verbal maps, but they are capable of producing greater feelings of Teacher order because the elements are more solid. First, there is a limited technical vocabulary, in which exactly the right Server word, sentences, or equation must be chosen. Second, the Perceiver meanings of these technical terms are precisely defined, as are the Perceiver steps that may be taken to move from one Server element to another.

A computer program is also an intellectual 'map'. As with math and logic, only a limited set of Server words and sentences are permitted. Perceiver thought then interconnects these lines of codes using branches, subroutines, and interrupts.

Another possible intellectual 'map' is a map of bureaucracy, law or procedure. Here the Teacher/Server map is provided by a list of laws, regulations, or accepted steps. These various laws are connected by Perceiver transitions. For instance, if you get your driver's license, then you may drive a certain set of vehicles. That defines your current 'location'—the Server steps that you may carry out. If you want to drive a bus or a truck, then you must take an exam; this is the Perceiver transition—yes, no, right, wrong. If you pass this exam, then your Server location changes and you have permission to drive another set of vehicles. The goal of this entire system is to increase the overall Teacher order of the road system and minimize the chaos of vehicle accidents.

Technology provides another set of possible intellectual 'maps'. In this case the bottom line is to construct a functioning machine. Each part of the machine has a Server function, and Perceiver thought assembles these various items into the Perceiver object of a machine. The goal is for all the parts to work together as a physical expression of Teacher order.

Artistic action, such as dance, or synchronized movement, is also driven by Teacher emotion. The goal here is not to reach any Mercy goal, but rather to combine the various Server actions in a way that generates Teacher emotions of order and structure, which is felt as beauty, grace, and elegance.

Both of these circuits will only work if several elements are present simultaneously: First, there must be an emotional bottom line. If an incomplete version of the circuit does not contain feelings, then the emotion will have to be provided by something outside of the mental circuit. Second, the emotional elements must be tied together by solid connections to form the structure of a map. Third, there must be some way of moving through this map, and this method of movement must be sufficiently solid to be able to channel Exhorter drive, energy, and excitement.

For a more detailed description of these two circuits, see the technical summary on Christianity.

MBTI® Categories

MBTI® categories describe either/or distinctions. Therefore, I suggest that this either separates one aspect of a circuit from another aspect, or else alters the interaction between the two circuits. Let us look now at the four divisions. We will describe each one, look at the mental advantages of combining that division, and then looking at the source of these divisions.

1) Thinking versus Feeling. Perceiver facts can only be used with emotional Mercy experiences if Perceiver thought has sufficient confidence to handle the emotional pressure within that context. If the confidence is insufficient, then either Perceiver thought must avoid Mercy feelings, leading to Thinking, or else Mercy emotions will overwhelm Perceiver thought, leading to Feeling. In essence, Thinking is Perceiver avoiding Mercy, and Feeling is Mercy controlling Perceiver. Notice that Thinking versus Feeling is an accurate description of the incomplete mind. It is difficult to combine Perceiver facts with Mercy emotions. It is much easier to allow them to separate into Thinking versus Feeling.

Obviously, separating Thinking from Feeling will partially disable practical Contributor thought. On the one hand, Thinking will remove the Mercy bottom line from the cognitive map. This emotion will then have to be provided by some other source. On the other hand, Feeling will provide the bottom line, but will lack the solid connections that are needed to relate one emotional experience to another. This will lead to problems with mental stability.

So why would one want to combine Perceiver and Mercy? Because, each provides what the other needs but cannot generate. Mercy strategy wants love to last. It wants to find emotional experiences that do not crumble or disappear. That is what Perceiver thought provides, because Perceiver strategy looks for categories and connections which are solid and permanent. Going the other way, Mercy strategy provides meaning for Perceiver truth. What is the point of developing an accurate map if none of the locations on the map are worth visiting? Why learn solid facts if these facts describe situations that are meaningless? Perceiver strategy itself then becomes worthless. But, if Perceiver facts describe Mercy experiences that have deep emotions, then Perceiver thought has a reason to exist.

2) Perceiving versus Judging. This split appears to be a secondary division related to practical Contributor thought—a separation between Exhorter drive and Contributor control. Perceiving wants to keep its options open. It does not want to be boxed in. This appears to describe Exhorter thought that is not being channelled by Contributor choice. Judging, in contrast, is related to Contributor control. It wants to get somewhere; it wants to complete a plan; it wants to check the item off the list; it wants to be finished. In other words, Contributor strategy wants to be able to 'shut off the tap' of Exhorter drive and excitement.

When Perceiving and Judging are split, then activity will alternate between these two modes. While at work, the goal is on Judging—making progress, completing activities, getting somewhere. Work usually suffers from an absence of Exhorter excitement. What substitutes for the lack of Exhorter motivation is the pay check that is received at the end of the month. During the weekend, Exhorter energy is given freedom to express itself. Here the goal is not to make progress but rather to be free of restriction, able to follow Exhorter drive wherever it wishes.

Again, we can see that the circuit of practical Contributor thought functions best if Perceiver and Judging are combined. This means finding excitement within structure, having fun within the rules.

One can use the analogy of a boiler to show how this is a secondary split that depends upon Thinking and Feeling. If one wants to contain steam within a boiler, in order to channel the pressure to provide useful work, then one must first have metal that is solid enough to be able to handle pressure. Integrating Thinking and Feeling creates the solid building material, while combining Perceiving and Judging uses this solid material to construct the mental 'boiler'. When the mental 'steam' is constrained and directed, then practical Contributor thought begins to function.

Why would one want to combine Perceiving and Judging? In order to get somewhere. Why does one imprison steam within a boiler? In order to use the steam to produce useful work. Perceiving without Judging is like steam without a boiler. There is a lot of heat and noise but no progress. Similarly, the typical Exhorter person is always 'moving on' but never seems to get anywhere. The Exhorter person hates to be frustrated. That is why he moves on when he feels trapped. But, the typical Exhorter will then move on to another instance of the same situation. The people and the places may be different, but everything else is the same. However, if Exhorter strategy allows its energy to be channelled by Contributor thought, then the situation itself can change and improve.

Judging without Perceiving is like a boiler with no steam. It also gets nowhere because there is no 'gas in the tank'. Judging likes to shut off the valve and get rid of the steam. It loves to turn off the ignition and declare that the journey is finished. But, if all I did was get in the car and sit in the driver's seat, then there was no journey because I didn't drive anywhere. If I really want the satisfaction of finishing a trip, then I must go on a trip, and that means giving freedom to Exhorter drive, imagination, and energy.

3) Sensing versus iNtuition. This is the primary split that affects intellectual Contributor thought. Sensing is related to the physical body and physical movement; Server strategy is the mode that controls the physical body. INtuition, in contrast, is related to Teacher thought and Teacher words. By using words, iNtuition is able to construct general Teacher theories that produce Teacher feelings of order and structure. Sensing, in contrast, is forced to build step by step, making it much harder to construct Teacher order. Talking about a skyscraper, for instance, is much easier than building one. But, while building a skyscraper is much harder, the results are also far more long-lasting.

The division between Thinking and Feeling leads to a separation between emotion and stability. That is because the Perceiver and Mercy thought struggle with one another. The split between INtuition and Sensing, in contrast, leads to a distinction between potential and actual. That is because Sensing and iNtuition do not struggle with another but rather tend to follow their own separate paths. On the one hand, iNtuition focuses upon potential. It looks past surface appearance to underlying structure; it goes beyond what is to what could be. But, these concepts remain locked in words, unable to be turned into physical action. On the other hand, Sensing sticks with the actual. It describes what is; it focuses upon how things are currently done. But, it remains ignorant of what could be; it is limited to what is.

Why would Sensing and iNtuition want to get together? Because, Teacher emotion is produced by order within complexity. Sensing provides the complexity; iNtuition generates the order. The theoretician who lives within iNtuition can use words and equations to describe general theories, but talking about a theory is not the same as living in a theory. Living a theory adds depth to the theory, it provides illustrations and examples of the theory. As for the individual who spends his time in Sensing, he may feel that his actions have universal significance if he repeats them enough times, but does pounding in a nail several thousand times a day really have global impact? However, if a person understands what it means to build a house, if he has studied housing styles and building methods, then he can feel that he is part of a team, someone who plays a significant role in the entire process.

4) Extraverted versus Introverted. This is the secondary split affecting intellectual Contributor thought. What allows a person to build an internal world of imagination? It appears that words play a major role. The ability to verbalize concepts gives the mind the ability to construct and think about general concepts. And, what permits a person to live in the external world? Server action. Without a physical body and physical action, living in the real world would be impossible. Thus, we conclude that Extraverted and Introverted are secondary splits that depend upon the primary division between Sensing and iNtuition.

Going further, what makes it possible to separate Extraverted from Introverted? The fact that we have minds and bodies. Each person has his own private thoughts. No one can read another person's thoughts, though technology is starting to make this possible. While everyone has his own private internal world, we all share a common external world of physical experiences.

Why would Introverted and Extraverted want to get together? Because it is when these two get together that the world is transformed. The person who lives in the external world may be able to cope and get by, but he is limited to arranging and rearranging what is. Without an internal world, he cannot imagine other ways of doing things. As for the individual who lives purely in the internal, he may have grand visions and talk about them to everyone, but his internal visions will never alter reality. They will always remain unrealized dreams. However, when these two get together then magic happens. The Extraverted person gets to live in a new and improved external world and the Introverted person gets to realize his dreams. One helps the other, as changing reality provides a new starting point for imagination, which comes up with further ways of transforming reality.

What is the cause of these four major divisions? I suggest that they result from the effect which the human body has upon the mind:

1) Thinking versus Feeling: The human body fills Mercy thought with experiences that have predetermined emotional labels of physical and pleasure. This develops Feeling, as these Mercy emotions overwhelm undeveloped Perceiver thought. However, the physical body also lives in a world of solid objects. Interacting with these physical objects develops Thinking.

2) Perceiving versus Judging: The division results from the fact that Server strategy can do, while Perceiver thought can only observe. The Perceiving mindset is always moving on. Physical movement makes it possible to 'move on'. Whenever I want to escape my present situation, I can use Server thought to alter the situation or change my location. Judging, in contrast, wants to close its options. It wants to finish a task. But, if Perceiver thought had the ability to change objects or facts, then nothing would ever get finished. However, because Perceiver strategy can only observe objects and facts, then it can look at a situation, declare that it is finished, and know that it is finished. Compare this with quantum mechanics where the very act of observing an event to determine its state actually alters the event itself.

3) Sensing versus iNtuition: Both Teacher and Server thought have their own ways of expressing themselves through the physical body. Teacher thought can express itself through words, leading to iNtuition, while Server strategy controls the physical body, leading to Sensing. Both of these methods of expression develop in parallel, naturally isolated from one another.

4) Introverted versus Extraverted: The very fact that I have my own mind and cannot read the minds of other individuals means that I will separate between internal and external. The internal world is private; it is mine; no one else knows what I am thinking. The external world is public; others can view it and change it; it is something solid which I share with other humans.

Now that we have described the four MBTI® divisions and seen in general terms how they affect the two Contributor circuits, let us look at the 16 types in more detail. I should mention that I found the descriptions of Lane Friesen to be quite helpful and agree with his view that the auxiliary provides the assumption for thought while the dominant generates the activity. I also looked at for a more detailed description of each type, as well as And, of course, there is always wikipedia.

However, as far as I can tell, Lane views the MBTI® divisions as primary and equivalent to cognitive styles, whereas I suggest that they are secondary variations of them. Thus, he says that IT is the same as Perceiver thought, IN is equivalent to Teacher thought, IS describes Server strategy, and IF is Mercy thought. In contrast, my view is that Thinking is Perceiver thought in the absence of Mercy emotion, Feeling is Mercy thought when it is dominating Perceiver strategy, iNtuition is Teacher thought which avoids Server actions, and Sensing is Server strategy which ignores verbal Teacher theories. This may seem like a subtle difference, but the implications are extensive. My analysis of Christianity is based upon the thesis that the primary goal of personal growth is to achieve mental wholeness by integrating these four divisions.

We will begin with the four ST types. The primary problem for these four types is the absence of a bottom line and Exhorter drive. That is because Sensing and Thinking are both non-emotional, and the bottom line is emotional, and emotion is needed to provide energy for Exhorter thought.


The auxiliary is ES, leading to a dominant of IT. To a first approximation, Sensing is Server and Thinking is Perceiver. Contributor strategy combines Server and Perceiver, therefore, the ISTP is usually a Contributor person.

Thinking, by definition, is not emotional. Sensing involves the physical body. The physical body is also not emotional, but it is the source of physical pain and pleasure. Therefore, the ISTP will tend to get his emotional goals from his physical neighbors. He will notice what someone else is doing, and then copy this goal in a hypnotic fashion: If his brother plays basketball, then he will play basketball too. If her sister plays a musical instrument, then she will play one as well.

Because the auxiliary is Sensing, the emphasis will be on physical movement and physical skill, such as art, sports, martial arts, crafts, or some sort of artisan skill.

Boredom is a major problem for the ISTP, because Exhorter excitement has been excluded from the circuit. As a result, the ISTP often appears lazy, because he lacks the energy that is needed to drive practical Contributor thought. The easiest way for an ISTP to gain Exhorter drive and excitement is by placing his physical body in locations which are exciting or dangerous. Therefore, he thrives on action and can appear fearless to others.

Once a physical craft has been chosen by the ISTP, then the goal will be to create an internal self-image. It is internal because the Thinking is Introverted. It deals with self because physical movement is being used. It is a self-image because Thinking is using Perceiver facts to internally describe self.

This self-image will be emotionally hollow, because Thinking avoids Feeling. Thus, the ISTP will try to become his own person, with his own abilities, but will avoid contact with personal feelings: This is 'me', respect 'me', but don't emote on 'me'. He will view others in a similar way: You have your physical abilities, I have mine. I respect your abilities, you need to respect mine. His self-image will also reflect his bias away from intellectual Contributor thought as well as his focus upon danger: I am a doer; I am not a scholar. I can handle danger; I don't flinch or fail.

He is also skilled at working with machines, in a practical way. He will take a machine apart, using the auxiliary of external Sensing to learn about its various parts. Then, he will analyze each part logically using the dominant of introverted Thinking. The result is an internal 'self image' of the machine. And, that is how he views himself, as a physical machine that has various functions and capabilities. He is good at using machines and also good at using his physical body as a machine.

Conclusion: The ISTP uses practical Contributor thought with several elements missing. First, there is no bottom line. Therefore, it must be acquired by copying the behavior of someone else. Second, there is no inherent Exhorter excitement. Therefore, it must be provided by placing the physical body in exciting surroundings. Third, self image is emotionally hollow. Therefore, personal identity is viewed as a sort of machine without feelings. Fourth, there is no overall understanding to guide behavior. Therefore, the ISTP is good at taking the next step but lacks a general plan. 


The auxiliary is ET leading to a dominant of IS. The auxiliary of extraverted Thinking means that the ISTJ requires an external environment that is based in facts and rules. And, because this external law-abiding auxiliary leads to a dominant of Sensing, the physical actions of the ISTJ will be law-abiding. He follows the rules and carries through on his commitments. Because Sensing uses Server thought and Thinking uses Perceiver strategy, the ISTJ is usually either a Contributor person or possibly a Perceiver person.

Because he assumes that the external world is logical, he will learn many facts about the world. Because this logical foundation leads to physical action, he will learn facts that are practical. However, this focus upon external facts also means that he tends to ignore personal feelings, both his own and the personal feelings of others.

Home and family are very important to the ISTJ, in an objective sort of way. That is because he views home and family as a physical commitment, a long term promise to fulfill a set of physical obligations. Therefore, he expresses love through action, providing for his family, keeping the home clean and neat, and taking the role of parenting seriously. Speaking more generally, the ISTJ thinks that society is composed of external institutions that show people what to do. The house defines a set of roles, as does the police station, the police car, the government office, the church building, the shopping mall, and the bank.

As with all ST types, the ISTJ lives within practical Contributor thought but lacks a built-in source of motivation and excitement to drive this mental circuit. Because Thinking is a negation of Mercy emotions, Mercy feeling cannot provide the main motivation for the ISTJ. Instead, the primary emotional drive comes from Server skills, the Server analog to Perceiver self-image. This is a Teacher emotion that is generated whenever a person repeats a limited set of Server actions.

For instance, suppose that a person repeats the action of baking bread. Eventually, these Server actions will combine to form a general Teacher understanding about baking. This Teacher theory may only cover the actions of baking, but if a person spends most of his time baking, then this theory will feel general, because it explains a large part of that person's life. The skilled baker will feel good about baking bread efficiently, gracefully and smoothly. This is also the emotion that drives the artist and makes the painter feel that he is painting the universe and not just pulling a brush across a canvas.

This is what motivates the ISTJ. He has a strong internal Server sense of his personal skills and how he should act. His goal is to make everything run smoothly and artistically. And, his fear is that things will not run smoothly, or that he will act in a way that disrupts or destroys Teacher order. In religious terms, the ISTJ is driven by self-righteousness. Righteousness describes Server skills that are consistent with general Teacher understanding. Self-righteousness takes my personal Server skills and uses them to build a general Teacher understanding. 

Because a Server 'self-image' is based in action, it is easy for others to give the ISTJ chances to feel good about himself by continuing to pile jobs on his desk. Thus, the ISTJ finds it hard to say 'no' to a task.

Conclusion: The ISTJ uses a modified form of practical Contributor thought. He may live in the practical world of action, but the primary goal of his action is not to achieve some Mercy goal but rather to act in a manner that is proper, decent, ordered, efficient and elegant. Therefore, he depends upon external institutions for his goals. These external structures represent order and structure, and he diligently adheres to the instructions that they provide. Similarly, he carries out the role of parent carefully and efficiently, satisfying the physical needs of his family, but doing so in a way that lacks personal feeling.

In addition, he has no general Teacher understanding to guide him. Instead, he picks up his skills from his physical environment, and then pursues traditional action in a way that is thorough and efficient.


The auxiliary is IS leading to a dominant of ET. What the ISTJ builds, the ESTJ assumes—an internal world of structured actions. What matters for the ESTJ is tradition: this is what everyone should do; this is how things are done. Starting from this internal Server concept of tradition, the ESTJ then attempts to impose Perceiver rules upon his external environment.

As a result, the ESTJ is generally a model citizen and pillar of society. He is a model citizen because he pulled in his system of behavior from Sensing, observing how people act, and then internalizing this as tradition. He is a pillar of society because he uses Perceiver facts and rules to ensure that others around him also act in ways that are consistent with traditional ways.

The primary emotional drive for the ESTJ is maintaining Teacher emotions of tradition. He has a Teacher feeling for how a society or organization should be run, and he is emotionally driven to keep the machine of human interaction functioning smoothly, without disruption. The ESTJ is also good at creating practical order: filing things, organizing closets, taking the physical world of Sensing and using Perceiver thought to separate everything into neat, external Perceiver categories.

And that is how the ESTJ treats people: as the parts of a machine. Notice that the auxiliary and dominant of the ESTJ correspond to the two structural aspects of intellectual Contributor thought. Server thought describes the function of each part of the machine and Perceiver thought assembles these parts together in order to generate Teacher feelings of order and structure.

However, these various Server functions are being pulled in through Sensing and do not come from Teacher understanding within iNtuition. Thus, if the ESTJ can Sensing to interact with machines, making his the mechanic, able to keep the machinery functioning smoothly. However, if he uses Sensing to interact with people, then he will attempt to keep the machinery of society functioning smoothly.

Because the ESTJ is using a concrete form of intellectual Contributor thought, he is a natural leader, and is very good at working out plans of action for people to follow. But, because Thinking ignores Mercy emotions, his plans will tend to ignore the feelings of people. Instead, each person will be seen as a part of a machine that is expected to carry out its assigned function without fail. And, because Teacher thought hates exceptions to the rule, the ESTJ is emotionally driven to focus upon eliminating actions which appears to violate the norms of traditional behavior. In addition, the leadership of the ESTJ tends to be inflexible, because it is based in how things are done, and not in any general Teacher understanding of the situation.  

But, the ESTJ himself is also a person who performs physical action. Therefore, it is possible for the actions of the ESTJ to become disconnected from his internal Teacher sense of tradition and accepted order. This affects the ESTJ deeply, because these Teacher feelings are the source of his Exhorter drive. When this happens, the ESTJ will feel isolated from others—because his Server actions have become disconnected from Teacher order,  and he will feel that his actions are not being appreciated—because Teacher order no longer adds feeling to his Server actions.

Sensing is related to physical sensation. Thus, Mercy feelings of physical pleasure can provide a secondary source of motivation for the ESTJ. As a result, the ESTJ enjoys having fun, especially if this Mercy fun occurs within the greater context of an established social event. Lacking Mercy sensitivity, the fun that the ESTJ has at a social event also tends to be somewhat lacking in Mercy sensitivity.

Conclusion: the ESTJ uses a practical form of intellectual Contributor thought. He is good at maintaining machines and telling people how to follow law and tradition. His leadership is effective, but he tends to be critical and picky and lacking in emotional sensitivity. He devotes a lot of energy towards maintaining societal order, but lacks the Teacher understanding that is required to move beyond the status quo.


The auxiliary is IT leading to a dominant of ES. The ESTP assumes an internal world of facts and then acts in Sensing based upon these facts. He is practical; a doer and not a thinker. The ESTP is typically a Facilitator person, objectively arranging his circumstances, looking at the viewpoint of everyone but not committing himself emotionally to any of them, improving specifics while ignoring generalities. One result of this focus upon specifics is that he does not work well with a schedule.

Like the ESTJ, the ESTP also suppresses Mercy emotions. Therefore, his emotional drive must come from the Teacher emotions that results from bringing order and structure to Sensing. The ESTJ assumes societal and organizational order; the ESTP builds this order.

The ESTJ begins by forming an objective self-image of people: this is 'me', this is you, this is our point of view, this is where he is coming from. The ESTJ then uses these as building blocks to create physical order and structure: you belong here; he belongs there. All of this is done objectively, apart from any personal Mercy feelings, as if each person is a building block with a specific shape which needs to be inserted into the right place in the overall structure.

The structure which the ESTP builds is a practical one, based upon actions and skills and not upon abstract Teacher theories. Therefore, the ESTP 'goes with the flow', bringing practical order to whatever organization he finds himself in, oblivious to the overall plan or purpose of this organization. In addition, the ESTP has limited access to Exhorter drive and excitement. Therefore, once he has brought practical Teacher order to some set of facts, then he gets bored and looks for some new practical cause to organize.

The ESTJ is also superb at social relations. When the ESTJ encounters a situation, he objectively works out the Perceiver facts, ignoring his own personal Mercy biases. Then, he acts in a way that is appropriate within Sensing, behaving how the situation demands, guided by practical Teacher feelings of grace and elegance, but untroubled by any grand Teacher agenda. This makes him the ideal social host: impersonal but gracious, appropriate yet adaptable, able to talk intelligently about many topics without saying anything that might offend peoples' personal Mercy feelings or disturb their Teacher theories.

The ESTP is good at reading other people. He is also disconnected from both his personal feeling and from the personal feelings of others. He lives in the present and finds his excitement in the new and the uncertain. Put these factors together and you come up with a person who is very good at selling new schemes to unsuspecting customers. But, because the ESTP lives in the present and cannot provide his own excitement, he does not stick with his schemes. Instead, he works with one scheme until he has emotionally 'sucked it dry'. Similarly, the ESTP appreciates the practical elegance of living the 'good life', but this too can become boring, and so the ESTP does not feel driven to hold on to the wealth that he has acquired.

This describes what happens when Teacher feelings come purely from Sensing and Server actions. Exhorter strategy finds excitement in building and modifying a Teacher theory. But, repeating an action makes it more solid and more stable. Thus, eventually there is nothing left to build or modify, because every action has become over-practiced. When Server skills stop changing, then the resulting Teacher theory also stop changing, and Exhorter strategy gets bored. At that point, the person can only find Exhorter excitement by dropping everything and moving on to something new. Emotionally speaking, the situation has been 'sucked dry'.

For instance, suppose that the ESTP is practicing a musical piece for a concert. In order to practice effectively, one must use Perceiver thought to evaluate the sound, and then adjust actions within Sensing to produce a result that reflects Teacher efficiency, order and structure. As a person is practicing, Teacher thought will provide the emotional drive by responding positively to structure while wincing at passages which lack order or at notes which violate order. But, once the piece is perfected, then there is nothing left to improve. There is no longer any motivation for improving or even playing the piece. For a person driven by the Teacher emotions that come from Sensing, the piece has been over-practiced.

 Conclusion: The ESTP lives within practical Contributor thought. He is very good at moving through the Perceiver map of value, but because his mental map lacks Mercy feelings, he does not stick with things, hold to things, value things or value people. Instead, he gains his Exhorter drive from societal novelty and organizational movement. Because he lacks Teacher understanding, he makes small changes but ignores the grand scheme. And, because he lacks Mercy sensitivity, his plans generally ignore personal need or desire. Instead, he follows the latest scheme for the sake of following the latest scheme.


We have looked at the four ST types. Let us turn our attention now to the SF categories. We will begin with the ISFP:

The auxiliary is ES leading to a dominant of IF. The ISFP assumes physical sensation and physical action. Based upon this foundation, the ESFP then pursues Mercy emotions. This combination defines the essence of personal physical movement, the core of practical Contributor thought: I sense, I want, I follow my desire. Animals such as dogs and cats also follow this mode of thought, for they have physical bodies and are driven by personal feeling. Thus, it makes sense that the ISFP would empathize with animals and tend to be an animal lover. In addition, just as animals are able to sense the emotional state of their masters, so the ISFP is very perceptive in his emotional analysis of other people. It is also the mindset of a loyal helper: Scan the physical environment; fulfil the emotional need.

But, a human is more than just an animal. The human mind is capable of abstract thought, and a human can build an internal world and live within this world. Therefore, when a person chooses to focus upon physical movement and be driven by personal feeling, then the rest of his mind will develop in line with this lifestyle. First, the Server actions that the ISFP perform will lay the foundation for Teacher understanding. Second, the personal Mercy emotions of the ISFP will be interpreted by Teacher strategy as feelings of generality.

Over time, Teacher strategy within the mind of the ISFP will develop a general understanding based upon his personal actions and feelings, leading to a non-verbal philosophy of life. This has several results: First, the ISFP becomes sensitive to natural beauty, noticing intuitively the Teacher order within which his doing and sensing immerses him. Second, the ISFP becomes very good at reading the feelings of other people, because he looks for the Teacher meaning that lies behind physical behavior and physical sensation. Third, the ISFP can become an artist, who will feel that his personal actions have universal Teacher meaning.

Fourth, the ISFP can become quite stubborn about pursuing his own personal agenda, because his personal Mercy feelings are now backed up by the Teacher emotions of a general theory. Once the ISFP has a general Teacher understanding, then he tends to become locked within his mindset, because in essence he has created a God in his own image, and it is very difficult to for a person to act in a way that contradicts his mental image of deity. In fact, the ISFP can actually reach the point where he feels guilty when he is not being 'true to himself'.

The ISFP is also affected by his choice of Feeling over Thinking. Obviously, he dislikes logic, because logic uses Perceiver thought. But, this means that he finds it difficult to relate with other people, because Perceiver thought is the part of the mind that builds connections between the Mercy experiences of one person and those of another. He may empathize with others, and spend much time helping his close friends, but he tends to do for others what he would like people to do for him and not necessarily what they need or want.

Similarly, even though the ISFP is strongly driven by personal feelings, he has a poor sense of self. That is because Perceiver strategy builds self-image. As a result, he tends to follow what he feels is right while at the same time appearing quite selfless. In addition, because he lacks independent Perceiver thought, he does not know how to step back from himself and evaluate his emotional commitments. Therefore when he feels deeply about some person or project, he can love it excessively or even obsessively.

The ISFP can be a Facilitator person, because Facilitator thought is very aware of physical sensation, as four of the major senses pass through the thalamus (the presumed location of Facilitator thought) where they are mixed and balanced on their way to the cortex. In addition, the mind of the Facilitator person develops automatically. Therefore, if the Facilitator person chooses a path of sensory involvement, then subconscious Teacher thought will eventually integrate this mental content into a non-verbal philosophy of life and a feeling for art and beauty.

The ISFP can also be a Mercy person, because Mercy thought is initially programmed by the experiences and feelings that come from the physical body. Therefore, if the Mercy person chooses to emphasize conscious thought, then Mercy Feeling will become the starting point from which the rest of the mind develops. Eventually, subconscious Teacher strategy within the Mercy person will develop a philosophy of life which reflects the selfless selfishness of raw Mercy thought.

Conclusion: The ISFP uses practical Contributor thought. Because he focuses upon Mercy emotions, he has no problem finding motivation for Exhorter strategy. But, he lacks the Perceiver content that is needed to create a mental map of value. Therefore, he spends most of his time and energy fixating upon a few emotional locations within this mental map. Teacher thought notices this fixation, senses a pattern, and constructs a general theory. The result is that intellectual Contributor thought becomes the servant of practical Contributor strategy, adding the illumination of understanding to personal experience, but also making it very difficult to change personal behavior.


The auxiliary is EF leading to a dominant of IS. The ISFJ is usually a Server person, because an emphasis upon Server action leads to introverted Sensing. The ISFJ starts with an awareness of people and their emotional needs. This awareness then leads to physical action. In other words, the ISFJ sees a need and fulfills it.

Notice that the ISFJ is more aware of other people than the ISFP. The ISFP starts with the physical sensations of his own body and then is driven by his personal feelings. The ISFJ, in contrast, senses the feelings of other individuals and then responds with action.

If we compare the dominant and auxiliary of the ISFJ with the elements of practical Contributor thought, we see that the ISFJ is missing the central elements. Remember that this circuit starts with emotional Mercy experiences and then uses Perceiver thought to tie these together to form a map of value. Contributor strategy then moves through this map by choosing to perform Server actions. The ISFJ has the starting point of Mercy Feeling, along with the final component of Server action. But, the Perceiver map is missing along with Contributor planning. When the first and last elements of practical Contributor thought are present, then you get a person who is very good at copying the actions of others—seeing what others do and then doing what was seen.

As a result, the ISFJ uses the physical map of external reality to substitute for his internal lack of Perceiver connections. Instead of mentally organizing Mercy items into the proper categories, the ISFJ has a physical place for every item—everything has a place where it 'lives'. In addition, the ISFJ places himself in a physical location. Thus, the ISFJ is a real homebody who loves to have a functional home, and who finds it very difficult to move from one home to another, because that would mean rethinking the location of every item. Similarly, the ISFJ is a very faithful friend who does not move on from one person to another.

The ISFJ also tends to get his Contributor plans from the environment. Others find it easy to tell him what to do, and he finds it hard to say 'no'. Similarly, he may get his steps of action from a written recipe, or write down what he will do that day on a piece of paper, and then follow these steps even when the situation changes. Likewise, when the ISFJ learns a certain Server skill, then he will tend to stick with that routine and not change it or optimize it.

In the same way that the actions and personal feelings of the ISFP lead to a Teacher 'theory' of his internal state, so the actions and personal feelings of the ISFJ create a Teacher understanding of his immediate external environment. Thus, the ISFJ finds it relaxing to talk about the events of the day or to read books that describe practical stories. And, the ISFJ really appreciates it when someone tells him how his Server actions fit into the overall Teacher understanding. Likewise, the ISFJ is sensitive to verbal criticism, because this attacks his Teacher 'theory' of his personal environment.

 As long as the physical surroundings of the ISFJ are ordered, then the ISFJ is content. This makes the ISFJ very sensitive to the immediate physical need. When someone has a problem, then he is quick to step in with a practical solution, in order to restore harmony to the immediate situation. As long as the physical environment of the ISFJ remains at peace, then the ISFJ is stable emotionally. But, if he faces a situation where nothing can be done to restore order, then the ISFJ becomes emotionally unstable.

I should mention that the previous few paragraphs apply especially to the average Server person, who typically is weak in the area of Perceiver facts and Contributor plans.

Memory is not just a static piece of information that is filed away. Instead it must be reconstructed out of bits and pieces when it is retrieved. This means that when a person does a lot of rethinking, then he tends to forget his memories. In contrast, someone like the ISFJ, who builds his mind around his immediate surroundings and then lives in these same surroundings for decades, has an exceptionally good memory for what was said or done. Added to this is the factor that most ISFJs are Server persons. The Perceiver person lives in facts, and has a naturally good memory for facts. The Server person—the opposite of the Perceiver, lives in sequences, and is naturally good at remembering what was said or done.

Conclusion: The ISFJ uses practical Contributor thought, but only develops the first and last elements of this circuit: Mercy feelings and Server actions. Lacking a mental Perceiver map, he lives in fixed physical surroundings. Lacking Contributor planning, he gets his plans from others or follows a fixed plan. He uses intellectual Contributor thought to give him an understanding of his immediate physical environment, which gives him emotional peace as long as he can live in the present and come up with physical solutions for his problems.


The auxiliary is IF leading to a dominant of ES. The ESFP starts with the assumption of introverted Feeling, which describes Mercy thought when Mercy emotions determine Perceiver facts. (Remember that Feeling is Mercy over Perceiver, and Thinking is Perceiver without Mercy. When Perceiver guides Mercy, then Mercy still has emotions, but they are now guided by solid factual connections.) Based upon this internal assumption of personal feelings, the ESFP then tries to change his external physical environment.

The ESFP is often what we call the undisciplined Exhorter person. Exhorter strategy ties together Teacher and Mercy thought. Mercy strategy is the first mode of the mind to develop, and it naturally uses Feeling to program the rest of the mind. The undisciplined Exhorter starts from this foundation of childish Mercy identity and uses it to 'wag the tongue' of verbal Teacher thought.

The ESFP does not suffer from a lack of mental energy, because his thinking is based in the strong emotions of personal Mercy identity. In addition, the Exhorter person lives in Exhorter thought and will always find something exciting to pursue. If the current Mercy situation is not sufficiently exciting, then the ESFP will make it exciting or move on to something that is exciting. Thus, he will make sure that he and those around him are having fun. This is what attracts other people to the ESFP. He is exciting to be around. He is the life of the party.

While the ESFP has lots of energy, he suffers from a lack of mental content. Living in Feeling, the ESFP rejects any Perceiver rules or facts that might restrict his personal freedom. But, these Perceiver facts are the ones that define the mental map and that capture Exhorter energy so that it can be channelled into useful work. Similarly, because the ESFP expresses his mental energy directly through Sensing into his immediate physical environment, his mental energy does not remain internalized long enough to propel him from here to there. Instead, as soon as the ESFP feels a problem, he tells his in-group, “Someone needs to do something about this” and expects an immediate solution. Similarly, when he encounters something new and exciting, he immediately jumps in with both feet before checking out the details or making any long term plans.

When the mind is integrated, then abstract Contributor thought 'supercharges' practical Contributor strategy by using Teacher understanding to come up with new solutions that go beyond the current plans and skills. The ESFP uses other people to 'supercharge' his limited personal abilities, in order to provide for his personal physical needs: He has a Mercy desire. He can't meet this desire. And so, he verbalizes his emotional need to those who are around him. They get their energy and excitement from being around the ESFP, and they use intellectual and/or practical Contributor thought to turn the ESFP's verbal wishes into physical reality.

The ESFP himself may not be much more than a physical body with an emotional vision and a quick mouth, but he is very good at provoking personal growth in others. From his foundation in Introverted Feeling, he really does grasp what makes people tick, and he is very talented at pushing the right emotional hot buttons in others. He is also naturally gifted as an 'animal trainer', both with real animals and with younger children and rebellious teenagers. He senses the emotional Mercy inadequacies of his 'trainees', and then uses his mouth to 'whip them into shape'. In a similar vein, the ESFP is the 'instant expert', who graduates very quickly from encountering a new Mercy situation, to internalizing the emotional fundamentals of this situation, to coming up with a sketchy Teacher theory about the situation, to being the expert who tells others what to do in that situation.

The ESFP does not have a strong sense of personal ownership, because ownership emerges when Perceiver thought categorizes Mercy experiences into 'mine' and 'yours'. But, because his basic goal is to provide good emotional experiences for Mercy thought, and because he knows how to motivate others to provide for his emotional needs, he both appreciates good food, good wine, good art, and fine furnishings, and he knows how to procure them. Compared to the ESTP, the tastes of the ESFP tend to be less refined and more down-to-earth. The ESTP appreciates an elegant dinner; the ESFP prefers a good tasting home-cooked meal.

Conclusion: The ESFP lives in practical Contributor thought, but he lacks the skills and knowledge that are needed to operate this circuit. And so, he uses speech to drive the circuit of practical Contributor thought—and at times intellectual Contributor thought—in those who are around him. He himself has some content in intellectual Contributor thought, but it generally contains a sketchy version of his latest and greatest Teacher theory, which is usually based upon a few emotional experiences within Mercy thought. 


The auxiliary is IS leading to a dominant of EF. Like the ESTJ, the ESFJ starts from an assumed foundation of tradition and culture: this is how things are done; this is we do things; this is how we have always done things. But, this mental assumption is expressed through Feeling and not Thinking.

This means that the ESFJ can be driven by either Mercy feelings or Teacher emotions. First, he can be motivated by Mercy feelings. He will see an emotional need in some person and do something to meet that need. That is an example of practical Contributor thought. But, like the ESTJ, the ESFJ can also be driven to maintain the standards of society. Here the misbehavior of the other person will be seen as an exception to the norms of society: This is how we do things and this is how you should live. That is a concrete expression of intellectual Contributor thought. Thus you have an interesting combination of kindness and control. The ESFJ wants to help your personal needs, but he also wants to control your behavior.

One sees this combination, for instance, in the service industry. On the one hand, 'the customer is always right'. Thus, the goal is to serve the customer and meet his personal needs. On the other hand, there are steps which must be followed and procedures which must be carried out. The customer might be right, but things must also be done 'by the book'. Thus, the customer is both helped and controlled. 

Let us look first at the Teacher driven controlling side. The ESFJ and ESTJ both assume that there is a proper way of doing things. These may be the procedures of a bureaucracy or the norms of a society. This expectation is expressed in terms of Teacher universality. The ESFJ and ESTJ feel that it is universally understood that people should act in a certain way. But, this universal expectation is actually based upon the way in which a specific group of people are behaving within a limited environment. For instance, when you step into a government office, the feeling is immediately conveyed to you that it should be obvious to everyone that you are supposed to carry out certain bureaucratic steps and that this is the universal, established norm. However, this supposedly 'universal' standard of behavior only applies within the confines of that government building. It is not universal. This sort of Teacher expectation occurs within any public context, but it is especially pervasive when backed up by the norms of an official government bureaucracy.

But what if the standard of behavior for the group, society, or bureaucracy is flawed? It still will be applied as a universal Teacher standard. As long as the ESFJ or ESTJ is following the norms of his society, then he will feel that he is acting in a righteous and morally upright manner.

The ESTJ and ESFJ differ in the way that they express this bureaucratic behavior. For the ESTJ what matters is the rule: These are the rules; you must follow the rules; we don't care about your personal feelings; there are no personal exceptions. This is fair, but it is also cold. The ESFJ is emotionally much warmer in the application of bureaucratic procedure. He goes out of his way to help you emotionally. But, when Mercy emotions determine Perceiver facts, then rules become arbitrary: For the important or needy person, there is one set of rules, for the unimportant or distasteful client, there is another.

Conclusion: With the ESFJ we actually see a combination of intellectual and practical Contributor thought. But, the intellectual Contributor thought is based upon a limited context and lacks Teacher understanding. And, the practical Contributor thought is arbitrary and unpredictable.


We have finished looking at the Sensing types. We will now examine iNtuitive thought. The four NF types are strongly associated with Exhorter thought, because iNtuition emphasizes Mercy theories, Feeling is driven by Mercy emotions, and Exhorter strategy combines Mercy and Teacher thought. Thus, for the NF types, Exhorter drive is not a problem. Instead, what they tend to lack is mental content. Their tend to come up with ideas using Exhorter strategy and then use speech to convey these ideas to other people who add the needed Perceiver, Server, and Contributor content.

For the INFP, the auxiliary is EN leading to a dominant of IF. This combination defines the mindset of revealed truth, the religious attitude triggered by a holy book. A book is an external set of words; it is extraverted iNtuition. This external verbal system is then applied to personal Mercy feelings. The INFP does not appreciate the holy book for its Perceiver truth or its moral code. Instead, what the INFP wants from a holy book is religious mysticism and personal meaning. Similarly, when the INFP reads a fairy tale or fantasy, he projects himself emotionally into the words. Thus, for the INFP, fantasy and religion are quite related.

Often the INFP is a Mercy person, for a dominant of introverted Feeling is compatible with Mercy strategy.

Religion plays a major role for the INFP. That is because an image of God emerges as general Teacher understanding touches personal identity in Mercy thought. The INFP starts with extraverted iNtuition—looking for Teacher order in the external world, and then moves on to introverted Feeling, the core of personal identity. Thus, the INFP often feels that 'God is speaking to him'. But, what does God say to the INFP? Very little of substance. Instead, the emotional essence of Teacher thought will be communicated to the emotional core of Mercy identity. What is the emotional essence of Teacher thought? Unity, universality, oneness, and order. What is the core of Mercy identity? Love, kindness, and personal care. Therefore, the INFP will overwhelming feel that God wants people to be one with each other, to love each other, and be at peace with one another.

Because the INFP approaches the external world with iNtuition, he will expect to find general Teacher understanding even when none is there. Therefore, he will read between the lines for hidden meaning in the words and gestures of others. And when the INFP does commit himself to some external project or system, he will see it as an entire structure of universal Teacher order that needs to be emotionally protected and nurtured.

Details are not important to the INFP. That is because Perceiver and Server thought add the details to Teacher understanding and Mercy love, and iNtuition avoids Server actions while Feeling suppresses Perceiver logic. Therefore, the INFP finds it difficult to translate his religious fervor into the details of everyday living; he talks about love and oneness, but doesn't know how to apply these vague general words. However, if the Teacher structure of his project or cause is attacked, or if there is interpersonal Mercy conflict, then he will be emotionally motivated to address this problem.

However, human existence itself is composed of details and trivialities. Therefore, when the INFP is emotionally driven to focus upon global issues this also causes him to ignore the details of his personal life. Thus, for instance, he may be so busy trying to tackle world hunger or global warming that he has no time or energy to clean his house. More than this, because the INFP views his emotional calling as a message from God, he feels that it is his moral duty to deny his petty personal concerns and give his life to the greater cause. As a result, the INFP can develop a martyr complex and try to sacrifice himself for the greater good.

When the INFP does enter the real world of hard facts, essential steps, and petty details, he will feel emotionally fragmented. In order to recover, he will have to escape from others, retreat to the silence, and use quiet music and meditation to heal his mind. The quiet music brings a feeling of love back to Mercy thought, while the meditation restores the Teacher sense of unity and universality.

It is not possible for a person to continue denying his personal needs. Thus, when the emotional pressure upon 'me' becomes too great for the INFP to handle, then he will suddenly erupt with a host of personal details that are bothering 'me': “You don't love me. I have to make dinner every evening. I have to take out the garbage. You always leave your jacket lying on the chair by the front door.”

The combination of extraverted iNtuition and introverted Feeling means that the INFP can be a good writer. When he writes, he is not trying to build a Teacher or convey a unified message. Instead, he views the impact that the external words are having upon his personal Mercy feelings. When he writes, he can adjust these words until they produce the desired personal emotional impact. Therefore, he prefers writing to speaking.

Conclusion: The INFP emphasizes the mental path by which intellectual Contributor thought affects practical Contributor strategy. But, he focuses upon the emotional part of this path, ignoring the content. Thus, he has an image of God and this God gives him great emotional joy and support, but this same God is unable to help him through life. Instead, his God calls him to deny personal existence and devote himself to the greater cause.


The auxiliary is EF leading to a dominant of IN. According to researchers, this is the most rare of all the sixteen types. The INFJ assumes that the external world is filled with people and emotional experiences. He then tries to form an internal understanding of that person or situation, jumping directly from Mercy specifics to Teacher theory, using the type of logic which I call 'proof by example'. This describes the function of Exhorter thought, and that is how the mind comes up with an initial hypothesis. Thus the INFJ builds a general internal theory upon a specific external situation.

Because the INFJ suppresses Perceiver facts and de-emphasizes Server actions, no solid structure exists within his head to attack the general Teacher theories that he constructs. Thus, when the INFJ comes up with a theory, he will feel strongly that he is right and will not suffer from internal doubt. The quality of his theories will depend upon his mental content. If his mind contains a solid grid of Perceiver facts and Server sequences, then this initial hypothesis can be fairly accurate. As a result, the INFJ can do well in a scientific field, because he can pick up a mental network of facts and sequences by osmosis from his education and from his environment, and this mental network will channel his iNtuitive theorizing. Therefore, even though he still follows pure iNtuition, his hypotheses will tend to be reasonably accurate.   

When each specific situation creates its own internal theory, then it is inevitable that inconsistencies will arise between these various explanations. This makes the INFJ rather complicated internally, and even he cannot fully understand himself. In addition, this juxtaposition of internal theories means that the INFP is seldom at peace with himself, because he is subject to a set of conflicting internal frames of reference. Saying this another way, the inner world of the INFJ is deeply woven and mysterious.

The INFJ is attracted to art, for when he sees a particular external object or image, he immediately jumps in his head to the global Teacher meaning that he feels the artist is attempting to portray. He also makes a good parent, because he senses the personal Mercy needs and desires of family members and then tries to understand the mindset that lies behind these specific feelings. But, he also expects a lot from his family, because he sees the potential in each person.

This same overgeneralization works also with Mercy discord. When the INFJ senses external Mercy conflict, then he also pulls this in to his mind and immediately generalizes. Thus, a personal molehill becomes magnified into a mental mountain which can affect his physical body, leading to stress and other health problems. This can motivate the INFJ to become an activist for some cause, seeing the Mercy suffering of some individual, and generalizing from this to a Teacher understanding of the system that lies behind this personal suffering, along with an understanding of how the system could be changed. Living in iNtuition, the INFP then expresses this using words.

The INFP tends to 'hear the voice of God speaking to me' in external situations, because he goes from external universal Teacher thought to 'me' in the core of Mercy strategy. The INFJ, in contrast, views the specific situation and suddenly has a psychic sense of what might happen, going from a specific incident to a whole postulated scenario.

The INFJ can also be quite religious, but he avoids organized religion. Instead, he senses God intuitively, striving to gain a direct internal feeling of divine unity and oneness. Because the mind of the INFJ is filled with conflicting general theories, the INFJ cannot use logic to tie his concepts together. Instead, he combines his conflicting concepts using the same method that he formed them in the first place—by jumping to a greater whole, emotionally leaping to the oneness that lies behind the apparent chaos.

The INFP is better at the written word, because he works with extraverted iNtuition, and writing externalizes intellectual thought. Because the INFJ lives within an internal world of words, he is naturally talented at both writing and speaking.

Conclusion: The INFJ lives in abstract Contributor thought, but instead of building an understanding, he jumps from specific Mercy example to universal Teacher understanding. Thus, he emphasizes Exhorter thought and Exhorter hypothesis. He does not use Contributor strategy to fine tune his theories, he does not use Perceiver strategy to check his theories or to compare one theory with another, and he does not bring Server stability to his theories by trying to apply them in real life. As a result, he ends up with a jumbled mind, full of vague, overlapping, inconsistent general Teacher theories.


The auxiliary is IN leading to a dominant of EF. The ENFJ uses intellectual Contributor thought and is often an Exhorter or possibly Contributor or Facilitator person. The ENFJ starts from an internal verbal theory and then applies this understanding to other people and external situations. This makes him a natural leader, because he has a plan and he needs an audience for this plan. In fact, without people, the ENFJ would find it difficult to function, because only people can turn verbal commands into personal feelings. Thus, he needs to be surrounded by followers who listen to his ideas and turn them into reality.

In today's world of consumer gadgetry, devices can also translate commands into emotional personal experiences, and so the ENFJ is attracted to gadgets, especially those that entertain him or that allow him to stay in contact with people. But, he often finds these gadgets frustrating, because they are too logical for his taste. He can yell at the dog, he can touch peoples' feelings, but shouting at his cell phone does not make it work any better.

What excites the ENFJ is not reality but rather possibility. He has an internal Teacher understanding and he wants to translate this into real external items. But, external reality obeys the inflexible rules of natural law. Therefore, once an idea is turned into practical reality, then it becomes solid, unchanging, and no longer full of possibility. Thus, it quickly becomes boring for Exhorter thought, which then moves its attention to the next plan or gadget.

These same skills make the ENFJ a great salesman. Using his foundation of internal Teacher understanding, he creates an external vision of 'what could be' for his potential customer. If the ENFJ really believes in his Teacher theory, then he becomes the promoter of a program or project. More generally, he is a great conversationalist, able to tailor his Teacher words to the Mercy feelings of his audience.

The ENFJ focuses upon intellectual Contributor thought, which he expresses primarily through speech. But, because Feeling suppresses Perceiver facts and because iNtuition avoids Server skills, he is weak at either constructing or evaluating his general Teacher understanding, relying instead upon the gut emotion of iNtuition. The ENFJ is emotionally driven to turn his understanding into reality. But, he lacks the practical content that is needed to work out the details of applying his plan, or to continue enjoying the benefits of his plan. And, because his plan requires other people, it also involves other people. This reinforces his dominant of Extraverted Feeling, causing him to focus upon the Mercy needs, desires, and joys of other individuals, rather than focusing upon improving himself, so much so that he may at times ignore his personal needs.

In fact, the ENFJ often keeps his personal feelings hidden, and prefers not to share them with others. Instead, he tends to adopt the personal preferences of the people whom he is currently helping. Because his personal identity does not enter into the equation, he can feel lonely, even when surrounded by other people.

Mental symmetry suggests another reason why he keep his personal identity hidden. Whenever general Teacher understanding touches personal Mercy identity, it produces a mental image of God, along with a corresponding moral system of personal behavior. If the ENFJ were to shine the light of his iNtuitive theories upon his own personal Mercy identity, he probably would not measure up. Therefore, it is much safer simply to forget about 'me' and to focus upon other individuals.  

Finally, because the ENFJ lives focuses upon the Mercy emotions of his environment, he is liable to be driven by the emotional need of the moment, turning his attention to the latest Mercy problem or opportunity that shows up on his doorstep. 

We saw earlier that the INFJ can do well within a scientific field if he picks up Perceiver facts and Server skills from his environment by 'osmosis'. Similarly, the ENFJ is capable of following logic in developing and implementing his plan if he works in a setting in which rational thought is expected.

Saying this in more general terms, the limited mental circuits that are described by MBTI® work much better if a person moves beyond these four mental divisions and begins to function in a more integrated manner.

Conclusion: The ENFJ demonstrates the power of using intellectual Contributor thought to stimulate and revitalize practical Contributor strategy. But, unless he moves beyond the limitations of his specific type, his understanding will be inadequate, his implementation will limited, his attention will wander, and he himself will not benefit.


The auxiliary is IF leading to a dominant of EN. The description of the ENFP describes the classic Exhorter person. Earlier on, we saw that the ESFP corresponds to the undisciplined Exhorter. The ENFP, in contrast, describes the personality of the Exhorter person who has gained some mental stability.

Exhorter strategy combine Mercy and Teacher thought. Exhorter strategy starts from a foundation in one of these two modes and uses that as an anchor to move through the other. Since Mercy strategy is the first part of the mind to start functioning (because of experiences of pain and pleasure from the physical body), it is natural for the Exhorter to find an emotional foundation in Mercy strategy and use that as a base to generate speech in Teacher strategy. Hence, an auxiliary in Introverted Feeling leading to a dominant in Extraverted iNtuition. For the undisciplined Exhorter, the prime goal is to satisfy his physical needs. Therefore, IF leads to ES. For the average Exhorter person, the Teacher words occur within the context of general Teacher understanding.

Let us start with the dominant of Extraverted iNtuition. The ENFP has a golden tongue, and can talk his way out of anything. He is always learning lessons from life, and he loves to share these lessons with others. Similarly, he is attracted to history, biographies, and historical novels, for they also use descriptions of life to teach theoretical lessons. And, he is superb at motivating others, by adding Teacher understanding to the life experiences of others. And, because the ENFP moves directly from Mercy experience to general Teacher theory, he is also the instant expert, at times even giving instructions to the real experts.

Exhorter strategy is motivated by excitement. Excitement is a combination of emotional intensity and novelty. The ENFP always does what is most exciting, because if he finds something else that is more exciting, then he will drop what he is doing and move on to the new and better project. The ENFP hates being bored. As far as he is concerned, a 'rut is a grave with the ends kicked out'. This also applies to people and marriage partners. When a friend or partner becomes unnecessary or unwanted, then the ENFP will drop him for someone more exciting and more current. The ENFP can also become bored with his spouse, and will be tempted to move on and find someone that is more exciting.

For a similar reason, the ENFP is prone to exaggeration. Teacher pleasure is produced by generality, and Teacher pain comes from crisis and contradiction. Therefore, the ENFP will increase the emotional excitement of his speech by inflating everything so that it is a little grander than real life, with the crises more intense and the impending chaos more threatening. Similarly, the ENFP is not subtle, but rather tends to talk and act with large gestures. As a result, his behavior can be embarrassing to friends and family members, especially when he is younger and has not acquired mental content from the school of hard knocks. 

In general terms, the ENFP is excellent at starting a project, but he finds it hard to stick with something and finish it. Mentally speaking, the only way that the ENFP will stop moving on and stay with something is if Exhorter strategy becomes channelled by Perceiver and Server content. But, that will only happen if the ENFP breaks out of his MBTI® mould, because Feeling suppresses Perceiver facts and iNtuition avoids Server actions. Lacking this mental content, the ENFP can only realize his dreams by enlisting the services of an in-group. He provides the vision and the excitement. He is the center of attention. They add the facts and the details. They do all of the hard work.

The ENFP will do anything to escape the status quo, because whatever that does not change eventually becomes boring. The ENFP also hates to be frustrated, because frustration imprisons him within the status quo.

Conclusion: The ENFP describes the transition from practical Contributor thought to intellectual Contributor thought. This plays a very important role in human thought, but when it lacks mental content, it becomes reduced to a lot of wasted energy and hot air. It is exciting, but it leaves behind it a trail of abandoned projects and disillusioned people.


We will now turn our attention to the final four: the NT types. These four all use abstract Contributor thought, because they combine Teacher theories with Perceiver facts.

The INTJ is usually a Perceiver or Contributor person. The auxiliary is ET leading to a dominant of IN. The INTJ assumes that the external world is logical. Based upon that assumption, he constructs an internal Teacher understanding.

Notice that this combination contains both emotion and structure: Teacher iNtuition provides the feelings, while Perceiver facts provide the structure. Thus, intellectual Contributor thought works quite well, because there is excitement for Exhorter strategy along with content for Contributor mode. What can be missing is Server sequence. If the INTJ writes down his theories, then Server stability will come from the act of writing. But, history shows us that the INTJ will only be truly successful in his theory building if he includes Server sequence, looking at cause and effect, and not just classifying objects and events into categories.

The INTJ assumes that the external world is ruled by Perceiver logic. But, he follows logic by ignoring personal Mercy feelings. Therefore, he appears unfeeling to others. That is what happens when one protects Perceiver thought by avoiding Mercy emotions. The INTJ also stays away from any thought or behavior which uses Mercy status to determine Perceiver truth, because this is a direct attack on Perceiver strategy. Therefore, he rejects social  pretensions and will refuse to give respect to someone who demands it because of social status. As a result, he can appear socially inept, because he avoids dealing with the Mercy feelings of others, and he can also seem clueless when it comes to romantic love.

On a related note, the INTJ often has paradoxical feelings about being touched. On the one hand, touching triggers personal Mercy feelings, which the INTJ avoids, and touching involves physical sensation, which belongs to the realm of Sensing, which the INTJ also avoids. On the other hand, touching also triggers kinesthetic feedback, which provides the INTJ with a physical sense of Perceiver knowing, which the INTJ appreciates.

Perceiver strategy organizes Mercy experiences into solid categories. When applied to people and personal identity, this creates an objective sense of self-image based upon facts and knowledge. Therefore, the INTJ honors institutions and social conventions which are solid and have withstood the test of time, or which contain meaningful content. Similarly, he respects people who are true experts, who have a valid area of expertise. And, because Perceiver strategy looks for categories that do not change, his respect for people and institutions is not fickle.

Let us move on now to the dominant of Introverted iNtuition. The INTJ builds his thinking upon objective facts, which are by nature independent of personal feelings. He then uses these building blocks to construct an internal Teacher understanding. This makes him the most independent thinker of the sixteen types, and he spends much of his time living in the internal structure that he has created.

Perceiver thought in the INTJ observes this objective theory building and forms a self-image of the INTJ: “I am different than other people. Most people are not rational. They are driven by emotions; they don't care about understanding; they have a weak internal world. I am logical; I build understanding.” Others sense this and conclude that the INTJ is elitist and arrogant, looking down on other individuals. The INTJ can give this impression, especially when faced with behavior which blatantly lacks Teacher understanding or rejects Perceiver logic. But, the INTJ views himself as subject to a higher standard than others. His self-image demands that he follow logic and build understanding. Therefore, when he does make a factual mistake or come up with a false theory, then he can feel personally devastated, and will go to great lengths to correct the error.

Because the INTJ dislikes emotional pressure, he will not force his opinions on others. If someone else does not listen to the facts, then the INTJ will move on, assigning that individual to the class of lesser mortals who are incapable of rational thought. Going the other way, the self-image of the INTJ demands that he himself accept Perceiver facts, even when that means adjusting or rethinking his Teacher understanding.

In a related vein, the INTJ is an effective leader, because he looks at the facts of the situation and comes up with a rational plan. And, when the facts do change, then he will adjust the plan to suit the new situation, even when this involves major rethinking. When he leads, he gives freedom to those who are under him, as long as they live up to his standards of objectivity and rational understanding. When someone does meet these standards, then the INTJ will recognize his contribution. However, those who fall short of the INTJ's standards will find themselves limited, restricted, or set aside. While the INTJ can be a good leader, he will not step into leadership unless asked or needed. That is because he hates emotional pressure, and expects that the facts should speak for themselves.

The INTJ has a quirky sense of humor, based in Perceiver facts and Teacher emotion. He finds it amusing when Perceiver facts or meanings lead to strange or twisted Teacher theories. Thus, he appreciates irony, puns, logic contradictions, and twisted meanings.

INTJ thought forms the basis of intellectual Contributor strategy, which is needed to reprogram the mind and allow it to transcend childish identity. However, the INTJ suffers from several inherent weaknesses which usually ensure that the potential theoretical solution that the INTJ develops remains locked within his own mind, unable to save either himself or others.

First, the INTJ avoids Mercy emotions. When Perceiver facts organize Mercy experiences into categories, then what emerges in Mercy strategy is the Platonic 'form' of an object. Thus, within the mind of the INTJ, forms substitute for real experiences. As a result, the theories of the INTJ suffer from disconnected idealism, because they apply to a utopia which does not exist within the real world. They refer, for instance, to the concept of chair instead of focusing upon real chairs in which real people can sit. When Thinking and Feeling are united, then Perceiver forms will still be the basis for Teacher understanding, but these forms will now contain real Mercy experiences with real Mercy feelings.

Second, the INTJ avoids Sensing. This has two results. The first one is obvious. It is very difficult to apply a theory that is purely verbal and has nothing to do with physical action or physical sensation. What can you do with a theory that avoids doing? The solution is for a person to apply his understanding with physical action. Because the theory includes doing, it can now guide doing. The second result is less obvious. The primary goal of the INTJ is to build a Teacher understanding. Once he has a theory, then he is content. Thus, he enjoys technology, and he is good at keeping technology functioning, but once he understands how a device works, then he is no longer emotionally driven to use that device.

But, explaining a theory to others means translating it into the language of others, as well as comparing it with the theories of others. When the INTJ develops a Teacher theory, he is literally constructing his own personal language, with its own Perceiver meanings and its own Teacher concepts. If the INTJ is to communicate this with others, then he must build bridges of commonality with others. And what does one human have in common with another? The physical world of sensation. Thus, living in Sensing gives the INTJ the ability to translate his theories into words and concepts that others can comprehend.

Conclusion: The INTJ is naturally talented at developing intellectual Contributor thought, especially if he studies Server sequences and not just isolated Perceiver facts. But, these theories will not be helpful for  either the INTJ nor those around him unless he includes Mercy emotions, and the INTJ will only be able to communicate his theories or to others or apply them in real life if he includes Sensing and physical action.

One can conclude by my approach and by this lengthy description that I am primarily an INTJ. I am extremely aware of the shortcomings of the INTJ, and over the years I have done my best to develop the Perceiver confidence that is needed to add Mercy feelings to my Perceiver facts. I have also attempted to ensure that my Teacher theories are not limited to the realm of words, but have tried desperately to apply them with my Server actions. In addition, I attempt to communicate my understanding using language and concepts that match my audience, and I have gone to great lengths to relate my theory to other theories and to extend my theory to other fields of thought. I hope that this is sufficient and that I will not end up with a wonderful theory locked up in my head.


The auxiliary is EN leading to a dominant of IT. The INTP is usually a Contributor person and the description of the INTP describes fairly well the operation of intellectual Contributor thought. While the INTJ concerns himself primarily with building a general Teacher theory, the INTP focuses upon testing, evaluating, learning, and improving existing Teacher theories. The INTP begins with Extraverted iNtuition. Thus, the INTP assumes that the external world is composed of systems and general Teacher theories. Starting from that foundation, the INTP lives within Introverted Thinking, using Perceiver facts to evaluate Teacher theories. In the same way that Server thought is used to move from one Mercy experience to another, so Perceiver strategy is the mode that 'moves' within a Teacher theory.

Let us begin with the auxiliary. Because the INTP approaches the external world from the viewpoint of intellectual Contributor thought and because thinking for him means using intellectual Contributor thought, he can become the absent minded professor who is so immersed in theories that he appears oblivious to the minor details of everyday life. For a similar reason, it takes the INTP time to warm up to a new friendship. That is because the human body is designed to express practical Contributor thought. When we first meet a person, all we see is the physical body. It takes time to learn about the intellectual side of an individual. It is when the INTP learns about the intellectual side of a person that he opens up to him in conversation and friendship. Machines are physical expressions of intellectual Contributor thought, and so the INTP likes to understand how a machine works.

When the INTP encounters a system or theory, he then uses his dominant of Introverted Thinking to explore this general Teacher structure. The machine provides a practical illustration of this process. As I mentioned earlier, a machine is composed of many parts, each with a Server function. These various parts are assembled to form the Perceiver object of a machine: The gear attaches to the axle, which rotates within the bearing, which is attached to the housing, and so on. When the INTP encounters such a machine, he likes to take it apart into its various pieces: Here is the gear, there is the axle, and so on. The INTP then uses Perceiver thought to test the integrity of each part: The gear is fairly solid, but the axle might bend. The INTP then thinks of how the machine could be improved: It will work much better if the axle is thicker and stiffer; if you move the location of the gears then you could remove several parts.

That describes how the INTP approaches a theory. He takes it apart: He learns all the Perceiver facts that he can about the theory. He tests every fact to see if it is solid or shoddy. He rearranges the facts to make the theory more elegant. That is also how he approaches people. When talking with the INTP, it may seem as if he is not listening because he has that far away look in his eyes. But, if you are telling him a theory, then within his mind he is taking it apart and testing all of the pieces for Perceiver integrity.

The INTP has no problem with Exhorter motivation. He is driven by Teacher emotion, and his thinking is guided by Perceiver logic. He enjoys learning and appreciates the challenge of an intellectual puzzle. But, once he has worked out all of the Perceiver facts of a theory, then he may drop this theory for a new intellectual challenge. That is because he does not feel driven to turn a theory into reality. He lives in intellectual Contributor thought and remains within intellectual Contributor thought.

If the INTP finds a piece of the puzzle that does not fit or a piece that is poorly made, then he will let you know. If you use Mercy emotion to defend that Perceiver fact, then the INTP becomes very irritated, for he regards shoddy logic as indefensible. There is a reason for this. Perceiver strategy is responsible for building self-image. When Perceiver thought is internalized, then self-image also becomes internalized. Because Introverted Thinking is the dominant strategy for the INTP, he lives within self-image; it plays a major role in his thinking. It distinguishes him from the normal person: I am capable of logical thought; others are not. It drives his learning: I must learn everything about a theory; I must not be caught off guard. It motivates his theorizing: I must check every aspect of this theory to make sure that nothing is flawed. It provokes his reaction to flimsy logic: You are forcing me to endure emotional reasoning. I have nothing to do with such a flawed response. And, it determines his response to faulty logic: You are being imprecise. You need to think more clearly. 

When such a strong self-image, the INTP has a great respect for colleagues—people with areas of expertise who are also capable of logical thought. And he believes that colleagues such be given freedom to think for themselves. Thus, he prefers working within a loose organization, in which major freedom is given to individuals. He himself also prefers not to be a leader, for that would mean leaving his interesting research and getting too close to people who practice unclear thinking.

The INTP's drive for clear thinking can make him an excellent teacher and educator, as he works out the best way of using Perceiver facts to build Teacher understanding in his audience. But, it can also cause him to inundate his audience with facts as he attempts to be complete and intellectually cover all of his bases.

For this reason, the INTP hates badges, titles and social customs, because they are external systems of Teacher order which cannot handle the scrutiny of Perceiver logic. They are false pretensions of intellectual grandeur.

The INTP does his best to keep Mercy emotions at bay. If the Mercy pressure becomes excessive, he may use Perceiver thought to try to defuse the tension with dry humor. If the INTP feels that his self-image is being demeaned, then a mental switch may flip and the INTP will respond with biting criticism, using Perceiver facts to destroy the self-image of the other individual: You are worthless; you are incapable of rational thought. This sort of response will horrify both the INTP and his target.

The INTP is often regarded by others as eccentric. That is because he is driven by internally generated Teacher emotions and not by the social norms of his personal surroundings. He can also be temperamental, because not only is he driven by Teacher feelings, but he is subject to a very strict but inhuman self-image. He must meet personal standards of intellectual rigor, and he dislikes encountering personal Mercy feelings.

Conclusion: The INTP uses intellectual Contributor thought and is driven by his self-image to learn information and to think clearly. When the mind is integrated, then this type of clear, rational thinking becomes the foundation for rebuilding childish identity. Unfortunately, the self-image of the INTP causes him to turn intellectual Contributor thought into an exclusive club in which professors battle for intellectual supremacy, while making sure that those who cannot think clearly are kept far away.

If one compared the INTP to the doctor in a hospital, then the doctors would shut the doors to their hospital in order to keep out all of the sick people. They would then spend their time studying illnesses, working out potential cures, and debating which doctor had the best theoretical cure for illness. Once a doctor understood a sickness and had worked out a possible cure, then he would move on to the next illness, never treating a patient and doing his best never to encounter a patient.


The auxiliary is IN leading to a dominant of ET. The ENTJ is usually a Contributor person, or possibly the subtype which we call disciplined Exhorter. Remember that the Exhorter person combines Mercy and Teacher thought. The disciplined Exhorter works with theories in Teacher thought, hence an auxiliary of Introverted iNtuition. What characterizes the disciplined Exhorter is his tendency to come up with a plan and then stick with that plan no matter what happens. In contrast, the Contributor ENTJ tends to be more flexible in his approach.

Like the INTP, the ENTJ starts with a general Teacher theory or plan. However, this intellectual structure does not come from the outside world. Instead, it resides within the mind of the ENTJ. He has a plan; he is the source of general understanding. But, because the ENTJ uses abstract Contributor thought based in words, this Teacher theory must be implemented by people, because only people can understand and obey words. However, the ENTJ does not treat his followers as people. Instead, he has a dominant of Thinking, which suppresses personal Mercy emotions. Therefore, as far as the ENTJ is concerned, his followers are pawns, and he is their god, because when a general Teacher theory affects personal Mercy identity, it results in an image of God. This description may sound somewhat severe, but it accurately portrays the impression which one gets from the typical description of the ENTJ.

Let us explore this concept of god further. God is a universal Being; an image of God is based in a general Teacher theory. The auxiliary of the ENTJ is Introverted iNtuition; he too starts with a general Teacher understanding. A real God would be the personal source of general Teacher understanding, created from his own mind. Similarly, the Teacher theory of the ENTJ comes from his own mind and his own person. An image of God exists outside of space and time. Likewise, the ENTJ comes up with long term plans which transcend local problems and local events.

A universal Teacher theory of God hates it when people violate universal law. Similarly, the ENTJ is seldom willing to accept any criticism of his grand plan from other people. An image of God expects all people and all experiences to submit to his universal Teacher theory. Likewise, the ENTJ gives orders and expects them to be obeyed; he makes a great army general. An image of God expects perfection from humans. In the same way, the ENTJ demands efficiency and perfection from his followers. An image of God cares only about universal Teacher thought and has no regard for Mercy specifics. Similarly, the ENTJ god does not care if people have to die in order to implement his plan. That is simply the price of success. An image of God imposes moral rules upon mankind. Likewise the ENTJ takes his universal plan and uses Perceiver thought to impose his plan on fellow humans. An image of God has awesome power; it can use Perceiver truth to change complete systems of thought. Similarly, what matters to the ENTJ is personal power, overturning kingdoms and changing complete systems of thought. And, just as an image of God can provoke fear in the true believer, so the INTJ is more feared and respected by his followers than loved.

When things go badly wrong, then the typical response is for a person to call on God. Similarly, the ENTJ is often brought in to recover from national, corporate or organizational disaster and he will do whatever it takes to restore universal Teacher order.

So how good is the ENTJ at playing the role of god? Successful enough that the typical soldier is inspired most by the ENTJ general. And he has the strong will that is needed to make far reaching decisions which have wide impact. But, the ENTJ is not an Infinite Being. First, his Teacher understanding can be inadequate. His plan may usually succeed, but history is also littered with the failed plans of ENTJs. However, because the ENTJ applies his rules externally he can still give the appearance of omniscience. Thus, if the ENTJ does experience failure, then the subject is dropped and the ENTJ moves on to his next grand plan. As the ENTJ says, c'est la vie.  As others respond, c'est la mort. Second, the ENTJ has personal Mercy feelings. The ENTJ tries to suppress his personal feelings, and views personal emotions as a sign of weakness. But, what happens when Mercy emotions are suppressed? They still exist, under the surface, and these Mercy feelings twist a person's ability to evaluate universal theories in Teacher thought, because Teacher strategy also functions emotionally, and there is no easy way of distinguishing Mercy feelings from Teacher feelings. Therefore, the ENTJ who is emotionally wounded may think that he is still constructing plans with great Teacher elegance when he is in fact being motivated by Mercy feelings of personal revenge.

I have compared the ENTJ to a god. But, to what type of God am I referring? The current popular Western God who loves everyone and grants unconditional acceptance to all? That does not describe the ENTJ god. Instead, I am describing the Old Testament God of holy wrath and righteous indignation, one that speaks through the Thinking of conscience and not through the Feeling of mysticism. So, which one is the real God—if there really is a real God? In my analysis of Christianity, I suggest that an image of God is based in intellectual Contributor thought, and that if one wants to build a universal Teacher understanding, then one must build an understanding using solid Perceiver truth. Thus, the ENTJ is using both the mental structure and the mental content that is needed to construct an adequate internal image of Deity, and the natural tendency for rational, universal image of God is to treat humanity the way that the ENTJ does. Using the language of Kant, a rational image of God is based in the categorical imperative, and mankind suffers from radical evil.

But, if that describes the whole story, then the cure of calling on God for salvation may be worse than the sickness of being without God. However, my analysis of Christianity—in keeping with the doctrines of historical Christianity—suggests that it is possible to reconcile Teacher emotions of universal law and order with Mercy feelings of personal pleasure if one can use the concept of Contributor incarnation to bridge intellectual Contributor thought and practical Contributor thought. If you want to know more, then check out my look at Christianity—or read the Bible.

Conclusion: The ENTJ uses abstract Contributor thought to impose universal Teacher structure upon people. Mentally speaking, this describes how an image of God interacts with personal identity. If we examine the behavior of the ENTJ, it is quite godlike. However, the ENTJ god suffers from limited Teacher understanding, a lack of Mercy compassion, and a mind that can be emotionally warped by personal feelings.

One final word on the ENTJ. Does this severe description apply to all ENTJs? If one assumes that the MBTI® categories are fundamental, then according to what I read on the Internet, this describes the typical ENTJ. However, if one assumes that it is possible to move beyond the 16 types, then a totally different picture emerges. Religiously speaking, one can then go beyond the Old Testament image of a God of Unapproachable Holiness and Implacable Wrath to a God of personal salvation.


The auxiliary is IT leading to a dominant of EN. The ENTP starts with an internal world of Perceiver facts and laws. He then uses these facts to build external Teacher structure. This is often called the 'lawyer type' because the lawyer learns the laws of the land and then uses these laws to build his case—an external verbal structure based upon logic. The ENTP can also be the engineer or inventor. In this case, the external Teacher structure that the ENTP builds resides within a machine.

The goal of the INTJ is to use intellectual Contributor thought to build internal Teacher structure. Similarly, the purpose of the ENTP is to use intellectual Contributor thought to build external Teacher order. Teacher emotions drive the INTJ to develop a Teacher understanding, but once he has this understanding, he is not strongly motivated to apply this theory or work out all of the details. The same principle applies to the physical projects of the ENTP. He loves inventing and developing a product, because that produces the Teacher joy of constructing a system of order.

Perceiver strategy is the element of intellectual Contributor thought which provides the movement. It is the strategy that builds the case. Teacher understanding is the motivation. This provides the drive for Exhorter strategy. The ENTP has an auxiliary full of intellectual 'movement' and a dominant driven by intellectual 'motivation'. As a result, the ENTP is able to understand an external system quickly and easily. He enjoys an intellectual challenge, and is continually looking for new projects. And, he is able to come up with effective solutions to intellectual problems.

As with the other NT types, self image also enters into the picture. The ENTP views himself as someone who can solve problems and come up with solutions. Maintaining this self-image is important to the ENTP. Therefore, he enjoys debating with other people, proving to himself and others that he can use words put together a coherent argument. He may even switch sides or play devil's advocate in order to buff his self-image. In fact, this self-image is so strong that he can even alienate others with his desire for combative verbal sparring. And if someone tells the ENTP inventor that 'it cannot be done', then he may regard this as a personal challenge.

When the ENTP is under stress, he is still driven by Teacher emotions, but now Teacher strategy will fixate upon removing exceptions to the general rule. Therefore, the ENTP will spend his time trying to address details which he considers to be significant but which might actually be rather trivial.

The ENTP suffers from the same shortcomings as the INTJ. First, both avoid Mercy emotions. For the ENTJ and the INTP we saw that this was a major problem, because those two both avoid Mercy feelings and live with Perceiver self-image. When iNtuitive thought is added to this combination, the result is both potent and fearsome. The ENTP and INTJ, in contrast, focus upon the Teacher pleasure of constructing a system, which usually causes them to forget about their personal self-image.

However, the Thinking of the ENTP does disconnect his theories from personal feelings. As the lawyer, he can care more about winning the case than bringing justice to the individual. And, as the inventor, he may produce impressive new gadgets, but the personal results of his inventions may not be considered.

Conclusion: The ENTP is driven by Teacher emotion to use intellectual Contributor thought to construct external systems of order. Because he builds external structure, he does not suffer from the INTJ's dilemma of struggling to convey his understanding to others. Even if the consumer does not understand a new gadget, he can still use it and appreciate it. But, because the ENTP avoids Mercy feelings, the ends becomes disconnected from the means. The ENTP finds excitement in arguments and inventions; he does not care whether his argument sends the criminal to jail or whether it frees the murderer on a technicality. Similarly, he finds equal intellectual thrill in building a better bomb as he does in coming up with a better mousetrap.

And that describes the ultimate problem with intellectual Contributor thought. By itself, it is inhuman. It cares only about means and does not concern itself with ends. It wants to understand, but it does not care about what it is trying to understand or what the results will be of that understanding.

My hypothesis is that angels, aliens, demons, and UFOs reside within such an alien 'universe'. Just as the human body and the material universe appear to be compatible with practical Contributor thought, so it appears that there is also an alien realm that is equally compatible with abstract Contributor thought. And if you want to know how these two realms interact, then simply look at how abstract Contributor thought and practical Contributor thought treat each other.

Final Conclusion

So what is our final conclusion? I suggest that we are faced with two possibilities:

1) The MBTI® categories are fundamental and unchangeable. If this is the case, then the state of mankind is rather incomplete and quite inadequate.

2) The 16 types describe incomplete mental circuits. Thus, it is possible to make personal progress by integrating the four splits in order to complete these mental circuits. But, the problem is that there are two forms of incompleteness to these mental circuits. Achieving mental wholeness is not just a case of taking these 16 pieces and assembling them together in the right way. That describes the incompleteness of the unassembled jigsaw puzzle, where all of the pieces are well-formed and they only need to be placed in the right positions to complete the picture.

However, in the case of these 16 thinking styles, not only are the pieces unassembled, but most of the pieces themselves are mangled and bent out of shape. These misshapen pieces have then been jammed together to produce caricatures of the fully functioning mind.

But, the four basic MBTI® splits appear to be accurate. They do describe the way that the physical body and the natural universe cause the human mind to develop. Therefore, if one wants to achieve mental wholeness and have the mental circuits functioning properly, one must first take these individual puzzle pieces, rip them apart, and then reform each piece into its proper shape. Only then can these pieces be assembled together.

In other words, mental development is not just a matter of incremental growth. Instead, it means tearing apart existing mental elements and reforming these elements into proper shapes. And what does it feel like when a mental element that defines your mental existence is ripped apart and put back together? It feels like you are experiencing personal death and rebirth.

Where should this mental rebuilding process begin? If we look at the 16 types, it appears that the SF types are stuck in practical Contributor thought. They function, but at a rather low level. The ST types have problems finding motivation, either enforcing the status quo or else flirting with self-destruction. As for the NF types, they talk about solutions and they push for personal change, but they lack content and follow through. That leaves us with the NT types. Here we do find clear thinking combined with understanding and stability. This could provide the basis for untwisting the various modes of thought, but instead of helping mankind, the NT types either ignore humanity, treat people like pawns, or develop new toys for childish minds.

And that conclusion also summarizes my analysis of Christianity: The goal is to achieve mental wholeness. This requires integrating the four basic mental divisions, and that means going through personal death and rebirth. This process begins with intellectual Contributor thought and then reaches down to rebuild practical Contributor strategy.

Those who use and teach the theory of MBTI® do seem to realize that the 16 types describe incomplete mental circuits, and they encourage each type to 'develop the other side of his personality'. But, the system itself is still based in mental splits. If a person goes too far in 'developing the other side of his personality', then the splits themselves would start to become integrated and the system would fall apart. When you use walls to hold up a house, then you can only knock so many holes in these walls before the entire house comes crashing down.  Why not use a system of cognitive styles that is based in mental wholeness and functional mental circuits. Then, mental development is no longer a case of tearing down load-bearing walls, but rather a matter of fixing pipes, connecting subsystems, and clearing out blockages. Mental growth then becomes a way of realizing the theory more completely, instead of an attempt to stretch beyond the theory.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Myers-Briggs, and MBTI are trademarks or registered trademarks of the MBTI Trust, Inc., in the United States and other countries.