In Swedish we have a great word, 'lokalsinne', which translates into 'sense of direction'. Not sure if it's the correct English term, but what I'm after is 'the ability to orientate oneself physically in one's immediate surroundings'. For instance how well you can find your way around town and remember how to walk back the same path as you came.
For me, this ability is like a mysterious sixth sense that I was born without. I can walk into a shop and not know which direction I came from when walking out. Before smartphones I used to draw little maps and mark important street names whenever I was going to a new place and had to go back on my own (even when going to known places that was necessary sometimes). I often have an incorrect memory of how the streets in my hometown are connected even if I have walked them a thousand times.
It seems as Ne just disregard that visual information (benefiting some other super-power, I hope) whereas Se automatically stores it.
What are your experiences of this? And could it be that a stronger Si could compensate for the absence of Se?
I wonder if I have my highest skill and talent in what you call 'lokalsinne'. I can orient myself directionwise and maintain that type of orientation and visio-spatial memory in a way that builds up a network of intricate directional relationships between the various vantage points that orient me towards the larger whole. I also can orient myself using a map quite well, and have used that to build a liking towards 3-D modeling and other such directonal-based activities. People often consider me as a human GPS, and I believe that CT is highly related to it.
As a Se ---> Ni user, I believe that I am building a network of directional relationships (Ni) from each new vantage point and angle that I use to orient myself via Se. I love when Ni (and perhaps Si albeit in a different way) is referred to as a map.....and I believe that this is precisely what I am doing as I collect discrete pieces of real-time information (Se) and then process and reintegrate the info within a larger network/context so that I can attain mastery (at least on a navigational scale) of how everything connects and integrates.
Nadia, I wonder if in your case, you are applying Si/Ne to accomplish this task but in a totally distinct way. I find it very cool to learn the way that you apply these cognitive functions in a manner that allows you to navigate in the way that you describe. It sounds like you worked really hard to understand that 'mysterious sixth sense' in a way that seems to translate somewhat effectively for you (at least from the way that you describe it). It would be interesting to compare/contrast our styles in a way that generates greater understanding of how both perception oscillations (Ne/Si and Se/Ni) work in tandem to describe our navigational experiences.
One thing I’d like to add is that I’m pretty sure logical judgment plays a significant, albeit subordinate, role in lokalsinne. (I'd call this idea ‘spatial cognition’, although it’s not nearly as cool of a phrase—maybe in English it should be ‘local-sense’?) For instance, looking toward a river and thinking, “oh, that’s about half a mile away” I think would involve using logical judgment to consolidate the sensory input into a quantitative estimate. Or, more subtly, saying, “oh, this canyon looks completely different from this angle, but it must be the same one we spotted from that far ridge,” might involve collapsing environmental variables into a deduction. I'm sure perception would initially form the association between this vantage point and that canyon, but I'd imagine the T must come in there at some point to decide "this is that very same canyon."
And could it be that a stronger Si could compensate for the absence of Se?
I would definitely imagine that it could. I would suspect that for an Ne-Si type, the lokalsinne must come through the dynamic interaction of both Ne and Si. Without the static details of Si, every landmark would be new and arbitrary. But without the association provided by Ne, the Si would be unable to connect its archive of map-trivia to actual objects in the environment (again, maybe with the help of a T-process?). Anyway, my guess would be that with Ne and Si, it draws heavily from both. I would say I also have quite good lokalsinne, and I'm pretty sure both my Si and Ne are pretty strong/conscious (not totally sure which one is in charge). I also think some of it is because I’ve always found geography to be a really engaging subject and have spent lots of time looking at maps.
I’ve noticed that when I’m exploring somewhere unfamiliar, I automatically start drawing a map in my head. For me (maybe for everyone?), the usefulness of the map depends quite a bit on landmarks, which I guess for me are archived as Si trivia. For instance, navigating in mountainous areas is usually very easy because everything looks so different and contrasted. Occasionally I’ve had it happen where my mind will archive a landmark backwards from how it really is--like if I'm in a big city riding a subway and get off at an unfamiliar spot. When that happens it’s really quite difficult to supplant the mistaken impression. Another thing I’m pretty good at is being able to estimate distances like I described above, and this seems to help quite a bit with being able to make reliable maps in my head. Whenever I don’t have an explicit mental map, I have to rely on a more instinctual or impressionistic sense to navigate: this place seems familiar, so I’ll turn here. This is much less reliable, but sometimes it works.
I’m amazed at how extremely minute details can be used for navigation. For instance, I know a Yup'ik elder from the Bering Sea coast who used to be hired to guide supply barges in to his village. In that region shallow mudflats extend miles & miles out into the ocean, and you have to be able to follow the winding paths of underwater river channels that cut deeper channels through these mudflats. He’s able to navigate these, even in the thick fog, based on very slight differences in things like the ripples on the surface of the water. Of course, his knowledge is based on thousands of years of accumulated experience with that environment, and sadly, very few younger people are learning these sorts of skills anymore.
I have to, actively, be considering my surroundings to keep track of things. Similar to how you visualize a map, I'm required to make mental notes of things. If I have to leave and I haven't been actively tracking my surroundings, I end up spending a gratuitous amount of time problem-solving my location. However, My mother has a gps built in her head and my brother always knows where he parked the car.
On another hand it's enjoyable to get swept up in an adventure in a large environment even if I get a little lost.
Interesting. I also suck at this sense of direction and it was partially the reason I preferred not to go outside just by myself. I was typed as SeNi user, though, with little possibility of NeSi. I'd be interested to hear more opinion if this holds some truth in it.
I have this conversation with a Se person (I'm certain of their use of Se) a few years ago because I wanted to probe this. I suck with left and right but feel like I always know where I am on the globe. I am bad with details - like really, really bad - and if I'm not driving, I don't pay attention to how we got somewhere. But I will still know north, south, east, west. I can always find my way back. I was asking the Se person (possibly SeFI-Te) how he finds his way back, if he has a sense of cardinal direction. He seemed to pay more attention to details along the path. It seems to line up very well with Auburn's video sketch of Ne-Si and Se-Ni... The one where Se-Ni is the brush stroke that goes along thouroughly and slowly and Ne-Si has dots it fills in over time. I specifically asked the man these questions to test if Erifrail's model was true on a more real level, and it seems to be, from the other Se types I've spoken with.
I get really annoyed in parking lots because my mom and husband just start going a certain way, assuming there will be an exit to the main road, but they have no sense of prediction. I have a really intuitive sense of how things will be laid out.
Range animals have a sense of North and South, so it wouldn't be surprising if the sense were even older than those animals and humans inherited it. Or it evolved separately.
I'm NeTi and I have a great sense of direction. I always know where I'm going. In fact, ever since I was a small child, I've never been lost. My friend who I think is TeNi ironically is always lost. He has a terrible sense of direction.