As a person who writes regularly as a means of self-expression, I often travel in my mind to visit strange and wondrous places. Thus, I am comfortable in the world of ideas, of thoughts floating here and there, of visions and dreams waiting to come to be. Most of my ideas are focused on God — who Christ is, who I am, how I relate to God and others, and what God wants for me. Trekking through the world of ideas can be very stimulating and exciting.
Yet, sometimes the world of ideas can be frustrating, even depressing for me, because some of my ideas, visions, and dreams may never come to fruition. I also see and feel things in the world of ideas that are very disturbing and scary. And sometimes I feel guilty because roaming about too much in the world of ideas creates a dangerous potential for me to be aloof from the actual world of the challenges and problems that I and many others face.
Nevertheless, I often remind myself that the world of ideas is a real world too, and that nothing that is tangible or touchable can exist or could have come to be if not for an idea, a dream, a vision. In my world of ideas I travel to places no one else can go, and see things that physical eyes can never envision. Henry David Thoreau said at the end of his book Walden (1854: 345):
Direct your eye right inward, and you’ll find
A thousand regions in your mind
Yet undiscovered. Travel them, and be
Expert in home-cosmography.
As an INTJ on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), I realize that my personality type is oriented toward the world of ideas — that I may have been born this way. Ever since I was young, ideas were my constant companion. I was encouraged recently to read about my personality type in a book called SOULTYPES by Hirsh and Kise. The authors say of people who are oriented towards an INTJ on the MBTI, “INTJ’s tend to be strong individuals who seek novel, logical ways to look at the world. With their clear sense of direction, they are tireless and determined in developing hypotheses, ideas, and principles. Using their dominant function, Introverted Intuition, is the natural starting place for soulwork. However, their auxiliary or second function, Extraverted Thinking, calls them to find some sort of community, be it a small group or formal religious organization, for further exploration of spiritual truths” (2006:129-130). However, Hirsh and Kise also note that INTJ’s prefer “to work out their beliefs by themselves or with a trusted other. Many INTJ’s find it hard to accept a pre-established system or conventional model of spirituality” (2006:131).
I also feel the need to translate some of my ideas into words, and words into actions. Words then give new life to my ideas. The more I write, the more my ideas travel into the world of my reality. My hero growing up, Jim Morrison, said of his ideas translated into words:
Words be quick
Words resemble walking sticks
Plant them they will grow
Watch them waver so.
I’ll always be a word man.
Better than a bird man.
So, I live in the free world of ideas, and though, I also live in the sometimes constraining day to day mundane world, these two worlds are always interacting with each other to produce who I am and what I do.
Hirsh, Sandra Krebs & Kise, Jane A.G. (2006). SOULTYPES: Matching Your Personality and Spiritual Path (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Books).
© Paul Dordal, 2015