Saving it for a Brainy Day…

Are you a thinker?

Everyone is, we all think therefore we are all thinkers. So that question is easy to answer.

Where things gets complicated is when we try to determine what type of thinker we are, as there are many options and sometimes we fall between the cracks of different options and then we can’t determine what type we are.


An excellent post about this quandary –  Life of an INTP: 5 Things I Learned From Myers Briggs.

“I recommend the second test because I think that it is the most accurate, in that it is the most difficult to “cheat,” though I think the descriptions of the various types are better on the other sites. It sounds funny to think that you might “cheat” on a personality test, but I think that part of the problem with the test is that it is really difficult to parse out your actual preferences from the roles you’ve been expected to assume in society.”

I agree that we can ‘cheat’ on these types of tests as we often answer the questions based on who we’d like to be rather than who we are. A very human trippy trap.


That’s when we start comparing (or maybe we were already doing that surreptitiously, using others and our opinions of them to form an opinion about ourselves).

Comparing ourselves with others is fraught with hidden traps, some of which are deep holes with spikes at the bottom, and we’re not all Lara Croft so we can’t load a previously saved game and start again, this time armed with the knowledge that the seemingly innocent pile of leaves up ahead on the path we are traveling hides a deadly obstacle to our advancement.


carl Jung


Once we’ve fallen in a trap, we’re kind of stuck there for a while, especially if we’re impaled on a spike with no one else around to help us un-impale ourselves, or we’re dead (mind you, if we’re dead… that is a rather extreme way to get out of a trap).

However if you believe in past lives and that we return to life to revisit old problems and perhaps solve them this time around, then death is a beginning of a new life which may start where the old life finished. So you’re still stuck in a trap, only now you don’t know how you got there because of that veil of forgetfulness which happens when you switch lives, and none of this is your fault because you’re new here, why is life being so unfair to you by starting out this way.

One of the most horrible feelings that we can have in our experience of being human is a feeling of powerlessness. A lot of bad things have come out of humans trying to not feel that way. Abuse of power often comes from a fear of being powerless. This fear fuels the footsteps of a victim who becomes a victimiser, and abused person who becomes an abuser, a bullied person who becomes a bully, an oppressed person who becomes an oppressor.

There is a positive side to becoming the opposite of what you once were, and that is the wisdom of experience, of what you learn by being on the other side of the relating fence. You get to learn hands on what it is like to be the other person, what goes on behind the scenes and facade, and that informs your empathy, so that the next time you ask – How could anyone do that, be that way? – you’ll know the answer as you have been there and done that and learned from it.


Marcus Aurelius


Being a bad guy isn’t such a bad thing if it is used as a method of learning. To see the other side of the dynamic and understand it. To know what motivates it.

If you never make mistakes, how can you understand the purpose of making mistakes. If you’re perfect, you’ll never discover the benefits of flaws. If you’re always right, you’ll be righteous where wrongs are concerned, and you’ll be impossible to live with because you won’t have any compassion for those whom you deem to be in the wrong.

The other day I came across someone who justified their view of a person in the wrong (according to their version of right) by saying – others agree with me. Oh, what a lovely trap that is! Bet those who thought the Earth was flat used that one a lot to justify why whose who thought the Earth was spherical were insane. If someone were to say that the Earth was flat these days…

I’m not saying this person and those who backed up their perspective aren’t right about their view of someone else. They could be. What interests me isn’t the right or wrong of those views, but what happens to our views when we’re convinced we’re right and someone else is wrong. We’re sort of stuck in a trap impaled upon a spike of righteousness. Or we’re looking out at the world from the top of an ivory tower built out of bricks of our right and the wrong of someone else, and that tower is looking a lot like a prison because once we’re up high… Where do we go from there? And the air is rare up there… which may make us prone to hallucinating. Once we begin to hallucinate that everything we are is made of right, we may even think we can fly and if we think it then it must be right.


tower card tarot

Another attractive trap is the concept of change, especially at this time of year when we tick-tock our way to New Year’s resolutions – This year will be different!

But how attractive is change when someone else tries to impose it upon you – tries to change you to suit their vision of you, whether they are doing it for your own good (which often means for their own good because they don’t like you the way you are, you could be better – as in suit them better). And how attractive are you when you try to impose it upon someone else.

What exactly is change? And why are we so addicted to it? What do we mean by it? What do we want to do with it?




There are many articles popping up online right now about – How to change… yadda yadda – and those articles will probably get masses of hits, views and supportive stats because we’re all being pressured to change (from within and without) this and that about ourselves and who we are into who we want to become.

Some of these articles, when I read them, sound to me like – A How-to for becoming a Narcissist – as they tap into the narcissist within all of us. The person inside of us who wants success, applause, acknowledgement and recognition, to be loved, to have adulation, to be perfect, and right all the time, never make mistakes or be any less than super-special.

This inner narcissist is not necessarily a villain. It may be a hero. Depends on how far we go to follow its dreams. We all hear the siren’s song sometimes, echoing our ideals, promising to give us our heart’s desires, luring us in by offering us gold, treasures, and everything we want. It inspires… but what inspires can also drown us. Mermaids are beautiful but also deadly to mortals (they love mortals a little bit too much but don’t really understand what it is to be human – we can’t breathe underwater, for instance, not without apparatus and even that runs out of air- and can lead to fatal hallucinations), and need to be handled with care.


Leighton-The_Fisherman_and_the_Syren-c._1856-1858The Fisherman and the Syren by Frederic Leighton


A riddle for you, one which completely stumped me (like everything does at some point, which makes the challenge more delicious)…


Consider the following problem, taken from the work of Hector Levesque, a computer scientist at the University of Toronto. Try to answer it yourself before reading the solution:

1. Jack is looking at Anne, but Anne is looking at George. Jack is married, but George is not. Is a married person looking at an unmarried person?

    A) Yes
    B) No
    C) Cannot be determined


More than 80 percent of people choose C. But the correct answer is A. Here is how to think it through logically: Anne is the only person whose marital status is unknown. You need to consider both possibilities, either married or unmarried, to determine whether you have enough information to draw a conclusion. If Anne is married, the answer is A: she would be the married person who is looking at an unmarried person (George). If Anne is not married, the answer is still A: in this case, Jack is the married person, and he is looking at Anne, the unmarried person. This thought process is called fully disjunctive reasoning—reasoning that considers all possibilities. The fact that the problem does not reveal whether Anne is or is not married suggests to people that they do not have enough information, and they make the easiest inference (C) without thinking through all the possibilities.


Rational and Irrational Thought: The Thinking that IQ Tests Miss – Why smart people sometimes do dumb things by  Keith E. Stanovich


…it was the supposed ‘correct’ answer which confounded me. I still don’t get it. If Jack was looking at George, then I’d get it. But Jack is looking at Anne, and we know nothing about her except that she is looking at George. We don’t know why anyone is looking at anyone, maybe they’re just staring into space and someone was in their line of vision.

Better save this and the rest of the article for a brainy day, because today I’m just more stupid than usual. Or just being stupid as usual. Potato/potahtoh.

I stopped reading at this point… I’ll go back to it later (if I remember to do so). I only got this far because I agree that IQ tests really only measure your ability to take an IQ test, rather than measuring your intelligence which is far more complex than a test can sum up and then measure. And much of the results depend upon who created the test, marked it, and why?

I got a very good score on one online IQ test… but the website was selling something to those who got high scores on it, ergo high scores were going to be given to all of us taking the test so that we would buy what was being sold. That’s business IQ for you!

Advert-manipulationAdvert-manipulationAnd that kind of scenario works in other areas of life too, especially where people offer you support for your view of another person. They’re not giving that support for free, they expect your allegiance to them in return. When they need you to support their cause against someone you don’t know but they do, someone they think is wrong against their version of right, and they’ll tell you what opinion you should have even if you don’t have it yourself. They supported you in your Earth is flat quest, now you’re a member of the Spanish Inquisition and they need you to help them kill and torture someone who thinks that they have the privilege to be who they are and believe what they want to believe. That’s how this kind of relationship works… are you on their side or are you not, if not, then you will find yourself on the side of the villain.

Ah.. ouch!

Sometimes I think everything is nonsense. It’s just some sort of sales pitch for something that someone is selling, be it for money or for some other kind of profit they will get for it, an ego boost or a sense of rightness about their own righteousness, which makes me want it for whatever reason. Whatever it is, whatever I am being told that I don’t have but must have. And it all feels so stressful… a taught tension tearing me apart.

In those moments when the whole world is encrypted with nonsense… sometimes I just relax into stupid. Stop thinking. Leave that kind of thing for a rainy brainy day…. It’s very relaxing. How weird.


chinese proverb



What do you think?



*soundtrack for this post:

Same As The Old Me – Daniel Mustard


  1. This was really thought- provoking. I think it was an excellent time to write this, as so many look to “transform” in the New Year. You do a great job with showing the nuance of ideas, rather than the black/white approach. I especially liked the brain teaser in the middle.


    • Thank you 🙂

      I prefer the landscape of nuances in between black and white, it’s more familiar territory and is more giving and easier to receive.

      That brain teaser did my head in, especially once I started on all the variables which could be a part of the situation presented. I had to turn my brain off.

      The pressure to transform… usually makes me not want to do any transforming at all, and instead tends to make me look at what is as it is and appreciate it more because there’s not so much pressure there, it just is and tends to evolve at its own pace (which is usually too slow for those who promote instant changes). I’ve tried some of those instant changes… the promoters of those often omit the consequences of doing such things or they gloss over them as if they are nothing but an afterthought of no consequence. Such is human life and dreams, ideals, and such.

      Hope you’re having a lovely xmas 🙂


  2. I answered “yes” to that question, but only because I assumed that Anne is unmarried; then when I thought about it, I wanted to change my answer to “c.” I don’t really get it either, and I’m supposed to be an INTP. 🙂


    • I’m an INTP too… we keep our perspective open and that can make us a bit here, there and everywhere. Apparently we’re good at intelligent empathy (or whatever it’s called these days), we can see things from the perspective of others without our personal perspective getting in the way (that bit often gets lost as we lose ourselves int he perspective of others).

      I really wanted to call BS on the answer to that question (on there being a definitive ‘right’ answer – or at least the one according to the writer), but I couldn’t be bothered to read on so… I suspended decisions pending further investigation. Then I forgot about this whole thing (typical of very distracted me).

      I’m guessing the writer of that post and question, and concluder of what the ‘right’ answer is supposed to be… is not an INTP. 😉


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