Can we talk about two things?
One is David Bowie.
The other is how “easy” it is to be (mis)typed as a Ni-dom online.
I watch people automatically type characters and celebrities as Ni-dom all the time, when they show absolutely zero emphasis on actual Ni. Basically, it comes down to a method like this:
+ Oh, you’re not sentimental or traditional – you must be Ni.
+ You’re intelligent and can talk about abstract stuff sometimes – Ni.
+ You question authority and do your own thing – Ni.
+ You’re not like other people and can’t relate to your SJ parents – Ni.
But that … is not Ni. None of that is Ni. NONE OF IT.
David Bowie was Ni.
This interview is a classic example of Ni-dom. About 6 minutes in, the interviewer brings up the internet and Bowie lights up like a fire engine and starts high-abstracting. You get the feeling that this is really all he wanted to talk about, and he would go on talking about it, endlessly, if he could. None of it is tangible. All of it is impressionistic and subjective and the interviewer is totally lost. He looks on, confused, trying to pull Bowie back to specific examples and tangible things and Bowie keeps going. The internet is a powerful force of rebellion. It is an alien invading our lives. Its vast potential is untapped. Art is not complete until the gray space inside it is filled in, until people project their interpretation onto it and become part of the art itself.
Look at the art Bowie creates. Read his lyrics. Intangible. Personal symbolism. Nothing pertaining to reality that has not been highly subverted and recreated into abstract symbols and hidden meanings. He says that it’s hard for him to create art because it never feels it is entirely complete – he is trying to express an internal Ni impressionism into reality and it doesn’t always work. That is how introverted functions all are to some degree – almost insanely difficult to get out of your head into lyrics or writing or art – but Ni is so impressionistic that the result is “weird” to a level that you rarely see in other types.
Better yet, watch his music videos. What do they mean? What does HE mean? It’s hard to tell, isn’t it, specifically? What is he saying with “I’m Afraid of Americans”? It is a judgment on America’s reputation for violence and at the end he concludes “God is an American.” What does that mean? That Bowie fears God? That God is violent and thus an immoral force? It’s impressionistic. It’s unclear. More lies under it than is readily apparent to interpretation. And, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Look at his 70′s and 80′s appearances on SNL. The weird outfits, the weird background aesthetics, which … were surreal and untouched by reality in any way, an attempt to manifest an inner abstract concept in visible form – which often turns grotesque in some way (this is still true of his later music videos). That is Ni. All Ni. So much damn Ni.
Remember that, when you’re looking for Ni celebrities or even assessing your own personality. It isn’t enough to abstract once in awhile or for fun (and there is a difference between generalized Ne-abstracting and Ni high abstracting). It isn’t enough to make a weird comment now and again. It isn’t enough to talk in metaphors. It isn’t enough to be creative or intelligent or take an interest in the realm of abstraction. It isn’t enough to find small talk boring or daydream or have a single goal for your life.
Those things are not Ni.
Unless Carey Mulligan, or Benedict Cumberbatch, or God forbid, Taylor Swift, can do this Bowie-level Ni consistently throughout their conversational history and choices in life, unless their entire worldview and artistic history is saturated in Ni, they are not in any way, shape, or form Ni-doms.
On a minor note, given Bowie’s delight in introducing new concepts to people and inspiring them to create their own subjective impressionistic art, and his clear preference for intense analyzing, he was likely INFJ… one of the few actually legitimate ones in the industry.
Cross posted to my tumblr.