I'm putting this in Beta because Seph is an INFp, after all. I want to know how real INFps compare -- or contrast -- themselves to this character.
I assume most all of you have heard of him. Particularly, I want to focus on his words in Advent Children. I think our understanding of + and - as a factor of accepting/producing (INFp creates +Fe to keep things moving along (-Ni)) can help us study Sephiroth as a character. He's quite compelling because he is undeniably evil, and I think that identifying the contrasts between his thinking and healthy INFp thought can help us understand the general principles of relation between healthy people and sociopaths. Obviously such understanding is worth having.
From FFVII: Advent Children.
Analysis:Sephiroth: Good to see you, Cloud.
[Sephiroth knocks Cloud away, back to the top of the buildings they
were on. Sephiroth jumps on a higher building and looks down at
Sephiroth: Your Geostigma's gone, Cloud. That's too bad.
Cloud: Sephiroth, what do you want?
Sephiroth: The last thoughts of Geostigma's dead. Those remnants
will join the Lifestream and girdle the planet -- choking it,
corroding it. What I want, Cloud, is to sail the darkness of the
cosmos with this Planet as my vessel -- just as my mother did
[Sephiroth lifts his hand into the sky and it turns pitch black.]
Sephiroth: Then one day we'll find a new planet, and on its soil we'll
create a shining future.
Cloud: What about this planet?
Sephiroth: Well, that's up to you, Cloud.
[Cloud and Sephiroth fly toward each other and begin an absolutely
[A "Black Lifestream" can be seen coming down to take over the city
of Midgar and Edge.]
[Scene switches to Marlene, where she hears a drop of water.]
Marlene: Is it her?!
[Scene switches back to Cloud and Sephiroth, who are in the middle
of the darkness battling fiercely.]
[Sephiroth disappears and then reappears to the side of Cloud and
knocks him into an old building. The two continue the fight and
eventually lock swords.]
Sephiroth: Where did you find this strength?
Cloud: I'm not about to tell you!
[Both of them come out of the building and onto another. They
continue their fight, with Sephiroth having the upper hand. Sephiroth
jumps into the air and continues flying up, mocking Cloud in the
Sephiroth: I thought of a wonderful present for you.
[Sephiroth slashes a large piece of falling debris in half with his
sword to try to hit Cloud. Cloud slashes right through it and
continues on after Sephiroth.]
Sephiroth: Shall I give you despair?
[Sephiroth knocks Cloud down, but Cloud manages to stab his sword
into the side the building to serve as a platform to stand on.
Sephiroth hovers above Cloud.]
Sephiroth: On your knees. I want you to beg for forgiveness.
[The entire top of the building suddenly begins to fall toward the
both of them. Sephiroth slices through it effortlessly. Cloud removes
one part of his sword and uses both to slice cleanly through the
[Sephiroth then comes out from behind some of it and knocks Cloud
down onto one of the falling pieces. The two begin to exchange blows
on the falling ground.]
[Cloud eventually jumps off and heads up to another piece of ruined
building. He gets to the top and then falls to one knee. Suddenly,
Sephiroth catches up and tries to slash at him, but the Cloud avoids]
[Sephiroth pushes Cloud back against a wall and stabs him in his
Sephiroth: Tell me what you cherish most. Give me the pleasure of
taking it away.
[All sorts of memories flash through Cloud's mind very quickly.
Angered, he grabs Sephiroth's sword out of his shoulder and stands
Cloud: I pity you. You just don't get it at all.
[Sephiroth run towards Cloud and tries to attack, but his attack his
blocked. He jumps off of a wall and hovers in the air. Cloud leaps
into the air as well.]
Cloud: There's not a thing I don't cherish!
[Cloud then pulls his sword back and flings it forward, allowing all
of his blades to come out and surround Sephiroth. Moving fast enough
to leave golden after glows, he performs his Limit Break "Omnislash
V5 on Sephiroth, defeating him.]
Cloud: Stay where you belong ... in my memories.
Sephiroth: I will ... never be a memory.
Seph's opening lines reflect heavy -Ni+Fe. But with a twist. The +Fe is actually going to have as its consequences the destruction of the entire lifestream; so although it is creating more activity inside the planet, the outcome of the activity will be non-activity: it is +Fe bent on the creation of -Fe.
This is Sephiroth's defining trait as a villain: he raises function content as a means of destroying it. I've heard it said before (in a plot analysis of the movie) that Sephiroth is like a kind of virus, and this is an accurate analogy. A virus creates more activity in its host by spreading, by means of which it eventually kills both the host and itself along with it. +Fe that creates -Fe.
The -Fe that arises from Seph's +Fe is not the same as say, Alpha -Fe, in the sense that Alpha sees an absence of Fe and then brings it into being (machintruc's observations), whereas Sephiroth's -Fe is trying to destroy Fe altogether. Alpha -Fe would, say, look at the ruin of a triumphant Sephiroth and return life to the ruin.
The following passage would seem to indicate that Sephiroth's other functions are also intended for destruction, as opposed to creation.
"Tell me what you cherish most" is Sephiroth asking for +Te from Cloud. Sephiroth intends to use this (reckless) communication to inflict harm to Cloud (-Si), thus destroying Cloud's -Si. He would accomplish this by destroying those close to Cloud, those who play a role in his life. This was a big mistake on Sephiroth's part, because to Cloud those relationships are the very core of who he is as an ISTp; of course he would never stand to lose the Si whose creation he identifies himself with. For Sephiroth, Si is a responsibility; for Cloud, it's a way of life. Superego relations at work, with the predictable response of the one threatening other's role in the world, only to be taken aback with a determined counterattack. Sephiroth also erred by using +Te to inquire into +Fi... which struck a nerve in Cloud's HA.Sephiroth: Tell me what you cherish most. Give me the pleasure of
taking it away.
"Give me the pleasure of taking it away" What does this mean? It's not clear what the functional attribution is. It's most likely Si because it's in the context of Te, which implies that Sephiroth is actually expects to obtain higher personal Si at the cost of Cloud's. This is an important aspect of the problem: Sephiroth receives reward from destruction.
What drives Sephiroth? As he makes clear, it's his id. "What I want, Cloud, is to sail the darkness of the cosmos with this planet as my vessel." Sephiroth doesn't give a damn about society or it's wants; it's a distraction. He only cares about fulfilling his program of seeking "godhood". This will be the foundation for the goals of his deepest, "darkest" desires: finding a new planet and using -Fe to create the life of his "shining" +Ni future.
So what's the difference between Seph and a healthy INFp? Well, their orders are the same, functions, polarities, and all... except Seph sees the leading element of each function as the problem, and its contrary as the solution. Enthusiastic -Ni+Fe? It's getting in the way of +Ne-Fi: reinforcing character brings out one's inner potential. It doesn't matter that this is thinking produces little social value, because that's not what he cares about. It's the very fact that it does not have social value, but is rather primordial and primal, that makes it appealing. It is creation of its own very sake, from the ruin of destruction.
Well now wait a sec... if Sephiroth wanted to enhance Cloud's character to bring out his potential... then wouldn't that mean that Sephiroth intended to help Cloud all along?