Cognition: SeFi

By December 13, 2018Musings
~ If it’s not Worth Doing in Excess, it’s not Worth Doing at All ~
 
Over the past decade, I have engaged an obsessive study of typology, with focus on Enneagram and Jungian functions.  Both systems have been reinterpreted ad nauseum, but I took a holistic approach.  Recently, I discovered a more scientific angle on cognitivetype.com, whose basis for typing, known as vultology, rests on the premise that cognition reveals itself in observable expressions.  There, I was typed as SeFi  based on vultology signals, which matched the psychology I portrayed in a video I submitted and the archetypes I highlighted in my art.  Since then I’ve been in communication with the leading writer of this website, and my SeFi psychology has been confirmed on multiple levels.  
 
The four functions in my type are Se, Fi, Te and Ni.  My creative work is heavily focused on Fi and Ni, yet my vultology showed that my Se and Te functions were fully conscious in my typing video.  Naturally, this distinction intrigued me, and I’ve been reflecting on it since I was typed.  After some thought, and interaction on the website, we concluded that I am Fi conscious as well. Here, I will unpack the development and expression of my functions, as they manifested in different forms over the years.  
 
 
~ Music is Divine Symmetry ~
 
Morality, inner compass and ability to form crystallizations are all part of the Ji function.  I suspect this was more developed in my youth.  At age 11, I parsed out music theory on my own, and could sight-read chord charts while transposing at the same time.  At 15, I took a theory test at Berklee College of Music, and my scores placed me in top classes alongside the eldest professionals.  I mastered each modicum of my 4.5 octave range and scored 100% in state competitions which required singing opera in foreign languages.  Additionally, I scored 99th percentile on standardized math tests, won awards for Latin and French, and embodied strong personal values.  Singing was my life path, and at 13, my career began.
 
Everything changed at age 16, when Lyme Disease nearly killed me.  After that, my math scores dropped to 30th percentile and I was unable to remember or learn foreign languages.  Brain scans showed damage to my cognition which improved with Lyme treatment, but never fully recovered.  This brought on disintegration of Ji: I lost my ability to ‘delicately parse things out.’  Worse, I was left speaking in a whisper, with no hope of recovering my voice.  This left me bereft of the music career I had been pursuing for my whole life, stripping me of my hard-earned talents and dreams. 
 
 
~ So Carnal, it’s Spiritual ~
 
As my life path slipped from my grasp, moral clarity evaded me.  I involved myself with men that fell short of my ideals, did drugs even though it was against my previous convictions, and made other compromises to my once rigid standards.  This is how I devolved into my most base form, Anäeia – short for ‘Annihilate.’  She was a conquerer, heartbreaker, hooked on drugs, sex and appetite; an animal.  Anäeia is pictured here with an LSD tablet on her tongue, hungry and ready to feed, with men in the background. Most photographs of her are nude, scarred and bruised, jarring to the senses, yet magnetic. The sheer wildness of her encapsulates the idea that you’re only free when you have nothing to lose. She embodies the myth of the dark trickster which encapsulates my primary cognitive function: Se.
 
Anäeia was a vampire, undead yet not alive; stripped of her humanity.  She was an animal and a symbol of something primal, but not human.  Her trajectory had been ripped from her ruthlessly, leaving her bereft of direction and dignity.  She hunted to fulfill the desires of the flesh, but what she yearned for most deeply was the soulfelt sense of purpose she once possessed, and the innocent wonder that spawned from it.  Without Ji (conviction and purity) and Pi (long term development of an internal map), she was unleashed, hungry, and empty.
 
I longed to recover my innocence and to embody my deeper calling once again.  In a desperate attempt to reorient myself, I studied Jung, pored over my psyche and learned to explore and control my dreams.  I would often take LSD and restrict myself to specific artistic mediums to see what was residing in my unconscious.  When I was sober, I would compare the results to old diaries, photographs and music I’d written, mourning the loss of hope and seeking a coherent narrative. 
 
Over the years, I rebuilt my values and redirected my trajectory toward a purpose.  My reawakening began when I rose from the ashes, singing through my whisper and leading a band to perform my music.  The albums were attached to stories and concepts which were expressed through three manifestations of myself: Erica Xenne (Fi), Prince Ruby Valentine (Ni), and Riki Jane Wild (Te).  I did not know cognitive functions at the time, but this happened organically, and the orientation of each alter-ego is clear.  
 
 
~ Art is the Blood of the Exile ~
 
The surname Xenne combines ‘foreigner’ or ‘stranger’ in the prefix Xen- with ‘not’ in the suffix -Ne. I was alone in an alien world, but no longer a stranger to myself.  I often wore white when I sang in my youth; likewise, Erica Xenne was depicted in white. She resurrected the ghost of my voice and, along with it, my innocence. 

White is essentially Ji: it reflects the colors of the world, but doesn’t absorb them. It mirrors them through music, art and empathy, while remaining separate and true to itself.  My original form was a singer whose music connected to the heart of life; in the Erosia Myth, Erica Xenne embodies this. The magical muse believes in her love for Prince Ruby and holds on to her principles at any cost.  She was born from two people playing music together, absent of any physical contact, and raised by animals in the outer islands of Erosia.  Thus, she was made of pure music and life-force, divorced from any particular species or culture; an entity unto herself.  Since the songs came from her, I wore white when I sang through my whisper.  She embodied the druidic myth of Fi, connecting to the heart of the world in a pure, primal manner, unhindered by social standards and earthly trauma, immune to the corruption in the world, retaining her integrity.  Yet ultimately, she left Erosia, sacrificing her magic power (singing) to follow Ruby into exile. Though she was warned that Dystopia would corrupt their souls and they could never return to Erosia, she was determined, at the very least, to keep Erosia alive in Ruby’s heart.

 

~ Without a Muse, Music is just Math ~

Prince Ruby Valentine was a mysterious man of royalty.  Unlike Erica, Ruby was tied to a wider context from the moment of conception, and he remained determined to untangle its implications throughout his life.  He was born to Queen Onyx Valentine, the best ruler Erosia ever knew, but she died in childbirth.  He rejected the duties and accolades he was afforded as a Prince, as they seemed inappropriate to him under these conditions, and instead took a vow of silence, determined to communicate only through music, poetry, prose and art, resisting the widespread effort to fill the air with meaningless words.  He retreated to a cabin in the woods and lured all manner of creatures with the call of his guitar.  The Erosia myth portrays the story of his exile from Erosia, resulting from his failure to believe in love, but his depth lies elsewhere.

From his earliest days, Prince Ruby contemplated the God of Erosia, known as Nokoma (“Animal” in his own language), who was credited for giving birth to Erosia.  Ruby wanted to unravel the story behind this and to understand Nokoma’s life as a mortal man, to unpack Erosia’s roots and cosmic significance.  It was the “Ruby” inside me who spawned the fantasy series about Nokoma’s evolution from man to God, which became my life’s work.  Together, Ruby and Erica elected to write the series from the perspective Nokoma’s soulmate; they both understood she was his “compass.”  Nokoma’s lover embodies “Ji” and is drawn to white and gold, but Nokoma himself mirrors me.  In contemplating Nokoma, Ruby is drawn to religions, symbols, typology, archetypes and more, to place both ‘self’ and ‘God’ in a wider context and tap into the rhythms of the world that connect all things, embodying Ni.  He views the world on a cosmic scale where everything is connected and remains detached from the present, as portrayed in the sardonic biography he posts on his profiles: “The line – between myth and religion, dream and reality, making love and fucking – is drawn wherever you start believing.  Believe what you will and have your way with me. Yours, Prince Ruby Valentine.”

 

~ Tell me the Odds; I’ll Beat them Senseless ~

The trinity is completed by Riki Jane Wild, the “manager,” of the band. She is excluded from the Erosia myth because she is from Earth, named after my father Richard and my mother, Jane.  She met Erica after she was exiled to Dystopia, heard her struggling to sing through her whisper, decided there was something fruitful and marketable in that fight, and designated herself Erica’s manager.  She was more reluctant to take Ruby under her wing, as he appeared lost and aimless, but she eventually came to appreciate his hidden genius and the way it inspired Erica.

Erica resisted the idea of organizing an album, as the songs were written for Ruby, who was against ‘trapping a song in a cage,’ but Riki convinced her that in spite of his ravings, he would appreciate her compiling memories of Erosia.  If not him, others might remember their own personal utopia and overcome setbacks to achieve their dreams.  Erica was moved by this idea, and agreed to buckle down in the studio.

Riki helped Erica to organize her project and battle her many symptoms, to sing despite tremendous odds. She managed Erica’s band, booked shows, auditioned musicians, promoted events, made fliers, took pictures, photoshopped, edited video, and reminded Erica to stop poring over each note so she could finish larger projects.  Erica was determined to capture a perfect reflection of Erosia in the album, to feed Ruby some life and remind him of his heart; but Riki enforced deadlines and made sure the album was released. She understood that ideals were meaningless without concrete results.  As stated in the myth of Te, she served to remind Erica, “your goals don’t care about your feelings.” Due to Riki’s iron hand, the musicians who played shows with the band ‘Erosian Exile’ lovingly referred to her as “Hitler.”

The mythology of Erica Xenne and Prince Ruby Valentine worked together in tandem, incomplete without the presence of the other, and neither one was capable of manifesting on Earth without Riki, who worked to capture their musings in concrete form.  Riki was dedicated to this pair, but also embarked on her own journey: she wrote about politics and other topics extraneous to the band, found jobs, fulfilled responsibilities, and engaged Earthly activities for their own sake. Indeed, the Te development was independent.  

 

~ A Vessel through which Passion Emerges ~

Anäeia was so hungry and expansive, she left no room for additional alter-egos.  To create the beast, she destroyed the human I had been before.  She is the shadow of my current incarnation, which is more holistic, as it combines destruction and creation, passion and purpose, love and war, now and eternity. 
 
I have come to sense that, at any given moment, I am animal, human and symbol at once.  Animal is my visceral survival instincts (desire, hunger, carnality); human is my conceptualization of my experience (ideas, endeavors, beliefs); and symbol is my legacy (image, archetype, energy).  I cannot control my symbolism, as it is determined by how others view me; however, if my animal and human are balanced, then my symbolism comes to match my sense of self.  
 
Recently, I was informed that my work was reminiscent of the Goddess Kali.  I researched her and discovered that her mythos reflected mine, from my aesthetic to my mission.  Like me, her ‘nudity’ – artistic, physical or psychological – strips others of their illusions, laying their truth bare. Cycles of resurgence encapsulate my life in the manner of a phoenix; likewise, Kali represents the dissemination of the boundary between life and death, illuminating the timeless and infinite.  Kali incorporates my deepest purpose, which is why I channeled her unbeknownst to myself, and she is often associated with the Se-Ni axis in the Gamma quadra.  Taking each function separately, as well as Gamma as a whole, it is clear that the manifestations of myself – which are well documented through photos, writing and music – match with these function delineations and their mythology.
 
 
Anaeia 
The wild pink/red beast, hungry, vampiric and bold (Se)
 
 
Erica Xenne
The pure moral compass wearing white, at one with nature, druid reflecting the heart of life in her song (Fi)

 
 
Riki Jane Wild
The Earthly “get-to-it” manager, sassy bitch and speaker of political truths (Te)
 
 
Prince Ruby Valentine 
The ‘allusion’ or ‘hint’ of something you cant quite see, the shadow, figure in the distance, magnetizing animals and women, raving unintelligibly, weaving a tapestry of archetypes, tapping into the rhythm of the world (Ni)
 
 
Nokoma – Animal – Volcana
The vessel through which passion emerges; the phoenix rising from the ashes.  Timeless symbol of resurrection and fight, holding a mirror to the world to show them the bold, naked truth until their illusions explode; deathless, naked and eternal (Gamma)
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