Mystic Frodo

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 8 Comments A+ a-



Good morning, my fellow INFJs! The sun is shining, and it looks to be another hot, humid day in the American midwest. I had the opportunity to get out and drive in the country yesterday with my husband, and I was surprised the corn here looks as good as it does. Given the little rain we've had, I expected it to be more shriveled.

We made a little road trip into Amish country. That's where we purchase all our meat and poultry.  There are some great stores and restaurants in the area, and the people are so friendly. Prices are decent, although I've noticed them creeping up a bit over the past several months. If the corn crops don't make it, I'm afraid the prices will skyrocket even in their isolated community. Already the beef has gone up, and my dad told me the other day that he's actually haying his cattle. In summer! When there's not enough pasture for grazing in the summertime, you know something is wrong.

(sigh)

Enough about economy woes. I wanted to post about something that got my attention on Monday. I had an appointment with the pastor of the church I've been attending. This church offers a class that I've tried to take before...but they cover so much material in such a short time period that it frustrates me. As I told the pastor (Mark), while the instructors and students are rooting around on the surface of the issues, I'm coming at them from way, way, deep underneath. Trying to get to the source of things in typical INFJ fashion, you know. I can't really address my concerns because the instructors either don't know the answer or are reluctant to take the extra time to deviate from their agenda.

So I was giving Mark some examples of my perspective and asking for help in how to get through this class without losing my mind. This class is a precursor to other, deeper studies - so I have to take it, regardless. In talking with him, he used a word that I haven't given much thought to in the past.

Mystic.

Now, when I hear that word, my brain immediately pictures a hooded lady hovering over a crystal ball. Don't know why, that's just the image I get. So the word lodged itself in my brain. Before I left his office, Mark offered me an autobiography of Madame Guyon to read in my spare time (wait - what's spare time???). He said he suspected I'd find her to be someone I could relate to. I did some research on this lady and found that she was considered by many to be...a mystic.

That word again.

Did I have the wrong idea? What is a mystic? Or mysticism?

According to Wikipedia, mysticism is "the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, or levels of being, or aspects of reality, beyond normal human perception, including experience of and even communion with a supreme being."

Hmm. Does this ring a bell with any of you?

To make things even more interesting, I woke from a dream this morning where I'd been role-playing with a group of people in a "Lord of the Rings" type setting. Seriously. In the dream, I donned breeches, boots and a strange sort of woven top, picked up my Frodo sword and was off to engage in battles and mysterious plots with like-minded others. As I clashed swords with another player, laughing and feeling every breath, I was filled with a sense of freedom. Inside this dream, I was having soooo much fun (wait - what's fun???). This fantasy concept, along with the idea of mysticism, prompted me to do a little digging this morning.

Here's a very cool paragraph I found on a website that labels itself as Victor's Domain:


What is known as ESP is likely found in an INFJ more than in any other types, although other types are capable of such phenomena. INFJs have vivid imaginations exercised both as memory and intuition, and this can amount to genius, resulting at times in an INFJ's being seen as mystical. This unfettered imagination often will enable this person to compose complex and often aesthetic works of art such as music, mathematical systems, poems, plays and novels. In a sense, the INFJ is the most poetic of all the types. Just as an ENTJ cannot not lead, so must an INFJ intuit; this capability extends to people, things, and often events, taking the form of visions, episodes of foreknowledge, premonitions, auditory and visual images of things to come. INFJs can have uncanny communications with certain individuals at a distance.

There it is yet again, bolded by yours truly. Mystical.

Merriam-Webster.com defines the word mystical as a) having a spiritual meaning or reality that is neither apparent to the senses or obvious to the intelligent, and b) involving or having the nature of an individual's direct subjective communion with God or ultimate reality. Synonyms are mysterious and unintelligible.

Anybody relating?

I started reading the book on Madame Guyon. She was raised in the Catholic church and ended up being imprisoned as a heretic for her ideas that a person could be, through prayer, in a constant state of communion with God. While others around her were viewing God from a distance through legalistic religious practices, she was falling in love with Him and desired close relationship.

Well, Mark was right. This woman's life is definitely resonating with me.

So what does all this mean? Well, it has helped validate my approach to God. Which, as the pastor told me, is unique and cavernous and filled with blessing...and also quite rare. My response to him was that this was just one more thing to make me feel isolated from people, especially those who are supposed to be helping me learn more about God. Grrr...welcome to my world, Pastor Mark.

My dilemma here: What is the better method to know a person? To read about him and ask other people questions about him? Or spend time with him in a relationship that requires face-to-face and heart-to-heart communication?

I'm beginning to think it's both. When I was dating my husband, I was spending time with him in an effort to get to know him. My intuition gave me a pretty good idea of who he was. When I talked to people at work who knew him, they would tell me things about him that backed up my intuition.

But here's the thing...I walk around in a sensitive state of perception to a supernatural world. I imagine most of you reading this are the same way, if you're an INFJ. Premonitions, dreams, images or phrases that result in 'coincidental circumstances' are second nature to me. This sort of perception is, in my opinion, more dangerous than operating in the real world. The people commenting about my husband weren't out to deceive or threaten me (that I know of, anyway). But the evil that's out there...that's a different story. I suspect there's a reason the other realm is mostly hidden from us. If we could see what's really going on, we might collapse beneath the weight of its existence.

I remember a time when my kids were asking me what the apostle Paul meant when he said we don't struggle against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities, powers of the dark world and spiritual forces of evil. My opinion was that even though we can't see angels and demons, they are present around us, constantly battling for our souls. I told them, "It's like Lord of the Rings around us all the time. We just can't see it."

A mystical approach to God. Communion with a supreme being. Picking up a sword and engaging in battle. Angels dueling on the behalf of humans.  Spiritual warfare.  Hmm...it all sounds eerily familiar. Probably because it's spilling out of my heart and onto the pages I write every single day.

My prayer for you today, my INFJ comrade, is that your heart will be blessed with the understanding that you are special. You carry with you the secrets of more than one world. You are both mysterious and influential, and I pray that you will use those gifts to make the world around you a brighter place.

Have a great day, folks - and have fun!!



8 comments

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jonathanrenck
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January 2, 2013 at 8:50 PM delete

My dilemma here: What is the better method to know a person? To read about him and ask other people questions about him? Or spend time with him in a relationship that requires face-to-face and heart-to-heart communication?
This brought to mind a portion of C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity where he discusses a talk he had once with an RAF pilot about God. The pilot wondered why he needed the church when he had seen the face of God in a clear intimate way that the church never supported. Lewis responded that the validity of the pilot's claim is much like experiencing the Atlantic ocean. Seeing a map (aka Christianity) of the Atlantic is not nearly as moving experiencing the force of it's waves crashing in on a rocky beach (the pilot's experience). The point is that both are valid, the map helps you to perceive more about God than your experience, but the intimate moments where heaven comes perilously close to us are the cherished moments of faith. Seeking out those moments while keeping your bearings with the bible and the fellowship of other believers is what Christianity is about.

It is interesting just how much "prescience" is ascribed to normal INFJ function. I've wrestled some with my moments of knowing the future, it's so hard to describe just how I know that things are going to happen. I also find myself knowing who's coming in at work when I hear the back door open. Not just because I've looked at the schedule, but who is actually walking in and it's not too often I'm wrong. Even stranger for me was this past Christmas my sister told me that they had another chance to buy a compound bow in a radio auction and if I wanted it it was mine. The figure $65 flashed in my head, and I knew that was what I could afford as well as what the bow would be. I didn't tell my sister what I had thought, but she let me know they had gotten the bow for $65. (Oh dear, now I rambling as my brain makes random thoughts collide after reading this article.:))

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Meridian
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January 3, 2013 at 1:10 PM delete

Jonathan - thanks for your explanation. I still feel like attending a church is a frustrating experience, though. For one, I get tired of the structure. I pick up patterns easily, and when a format begins to become predictable, I squirm. I also tend to get emotional when the Holy Spirit speaks to me, and I prefer to be alone when that happens. Not saying that church isn't a good thing. I do think we need to gather with other believers and learn from their wisdom and experience. But--like Wolverine--I hate sticking in any one place too long. I get restless :-(

Your example about the money made me smile. I recall being at a prophetic conference in Chicago a few years back. When the speaker asked for donations, I immediately saw the figure $40 inside my head. But I'd been spending money all day and didn't have a clue how much I had left. So I told God...I don't think that's right. The number flashed up again. Checked my wallet. Exactly $40. No more, no less. Crazy how that works. So I put all $40 in the plate, because I wasn't about to argue with the Big Guy :-)

The INFJ ability to perceive the extrasensory is amazing, in my opinion. I don't think too much about it, just have learned to live with it. But I often have people tell me that they feel like I'm much smarter than they are. This baffles me, because I don't feel smart most of the time. I think our extreme sensitivity to the supernatural gives us the appearance of knowing more than we do, and it can be a little intimidating. I'd like to explore this topic in greater depth this year. I'm curious how other INFJs handle this mysterious, wonderful part of our make-up!!

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jonathanrenck
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January 3, 2013 at 7:08 PM delete

I can sympathize with the frustration with church attendance. I've been lucky enough that since college returning to the church that I grew up in there is a group of like-minded young adults that have allowed me to get more out of the experience in the Sunday school class. Even here though I'm often finding myself unable to chase down some of the more abstract sides of the topics, usually a combination of time restrictions and the audience not wanting to expand so far. I think the key that has helped me is that I usually don't attend church very regularly. Working at the restaurant on a Sunday is usually the busiest part of the week and my boss prefers to use me for that. I choose it because I want to be working while I'm at work. This seems to limit the frustration I experience because of the limitations of what church is.
Most of the really intense connections I've had with God have come at times of solitude. I think a good portion of that is that our Creator knows what we need and meets us there. I've experienced the Holy Spirit in corporate worship but rarely and usually it pulled me away from rest of those around me. (The alone in a crowd moments) But I don't tend to hear Him clearly in with the groups. But as Lewis puts it all the things that corporate Christianity provides are the things that make sure that we're keeping our bearings correct and that is vital. Pulling from the verse "Where two are gathered in my name, there I surely am", I think that church as it exists in America has forgotten it's purpose to help us to see who God is. This is also why I don't get overly concerned at my very imperfect record of Church attendance. The key as you said to learn from other believers

Oh, goodness I'm just going to keep going. I'm often amazed when friends of mine consider me smarter than them. One of my dearest friends just finished her PhD in history and while we were at college she told me she thought I could out think her about just about anything. I burst out laughing because this young woman is one of the sharpest people I know and I'm certain that she has a higher IQ than I do, by at least a level. What she perceived I think was my ability to intuit knowledge that she had to study to gain. Of course it was also in her presence that I received a vision from God. We were in Nashville to see each other for the first time since college and at one point we were outside. It was a blustery day and she made a comment along the lines of "I could almost fly", her arms were thrown back like wings and a smile that could have launched and sunk more than a few ships on her face. In that moment I realized two things, one I was seeing her beauty as God does and it was a physical blow. The other was that I had no idea how to help her fly though I sorely wanted to. I've tried several times now to come up with some visual way of creating that uplifting idea in a way that does it justice and thus far it's eluded me.

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Meridian
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January 4, 2013 at 10:15 AM delete

Dude, I love your metaphors. "Smile that could have launched and sunk more than a few ships" brought the greatest visual. Between you and Clint, I find my heart and imagination stirred constantly. Am a little intimidated, lol! I have a feeling the two of you are going to help me grow :-)

My best moments with God have been in solitude as well. I don't hold back when I'm alone. I did have a moment in a church several months ago where I felt very touched by God...almost passed out, the feeling was so strong. But that's very rare, and very uncomfortable for me. I think what I desire most is one of those face-to-face moments where I "know that I know" He is real and working within me...that He's overriding science and rational explanation to speak solely to my heart. Haven't had one of those in a long time. Feeling a bit dry at the moment, truth be told.

I quit attending church to write, since I have so little time outside of my schedule for writing. Want to get back, it just doesn't feel like the right time. Kind of floating on my own. But the INFJ in me rather prefers it that way.

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January 4, 2013 at 2:01 PM delete

Do u know who drew that mystic image the author of that p
icture..of the woman???

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Meridian
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January 5, 2013 at 8:36 PM delete

Hi, Christina - that is a really great (and frustrating) question!?!

When I grabbed the image off a Google search, it appeared to be from Free 4 U Wallpapers. But that website has thousands of images, and it would take forever to find it again. So I went into my downloads file, found the name of the JPG and did a Google search on that. Several websites boast this picture, although I couldn't seem to find the actual creator.

Here's the name of the file: 1251881764-1251827050-mystic.jpg

If you do a search, you'll see that several sites have used this pic. Maybe one will reveal the original author :-)

Hope this helps!! If you find it, let me know and I'll add a photo credit!

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Anonymous
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October 7, 2015 at 4:01 AM delete

Thank you for this article Meridian. I have some similar experiences as you as regards Church and Church attendance; I also get emotional when the Holy Spirit speaks to me. I do go to Church as I think its important, but not as regularly as some, for similar reasons. Thank you for putting your ideas so clearly and openly. I just wondered why you said "This sort of perception is, in my opinion, more dangerous than operating in the real world" as regards INFJ sensitivity?

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Meridian
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October 7, 2015 at 12:42 PM delete

Hello there! You know, I posted this over three years ago, so I had to go back and read it again to refresh my memory. I think what I was trying to say is that because INFJs are sensitive to the supernatural, we're more open to the dangers that realm might bring (demonic influence, evil spirits, etc). Like having a target on our backs, so to speak. I believe that's what I was getting at when I wrote the post. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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