I want to run through my current thoughts on all the functions so I can get some comments on my thoughts to refine them further. Any reactions or opinions or disagreements or support or confusions or questions or what have you are much appreciated. I'm going to start with the introverted internal functions, Fi and Ni. Note that throughout I personify the IEs themselves--you can substitute IE-valuer or IE-ego for the personified functions if that is easier to understand!
Ni: Whence and Whither
Lately my phrase for NI has been whence and whither: Ni wants to know where a thing has come from, tracing it all the way back to its origin if possible, and it wants to know where a thing is going, tracing it all the way out to its end. I like this description because it doesn't get totally caught up in the trap of thinking of Ni is a solely temporal thing. For instance, if you are following the thread of a logical argument, the "whence" is not a temporally prior thing, but rather a logically prior thing, a question of what must be true in order for the current proposition to be true. Ni is interested in whence and whither in basically every possible area except the literal question of movement in space over time, which we are confused by and bad at. However, I will use the metaphor of movement in space over time to illustrate how I think Ni operates:
Of course, in understanding the origin and end of a thing, one must understand the interactions that have propelled it thus far and will propel it going forward. This is how Ni gradually advances towards a global vision, because to understand the motion of one thing, you have to understand the motion of many things. Imagine the course of a football (/soccerball) from one goal to another. In order to trace the path of the ball, you have to also trace the path of every kick that moves the ball, which means you have to trace the path of every player on the field whose foot (or hand) comes into contact with the ball. And the ball may suffer several reversals, may even go back to the first goal (the origin, if you will) before it finally reaches the goal on the opposite end of the field (the end). This is how Ni often ends up in vague, universal visions: we see how in order to trace the path of the soccer ball, you have to more or less recreate the entire game. This also relates to Ni's aspectonics description as (internal) dynamics of fields---we want to understand how the relationship changes over time, which foot is kicking the ball when, how hard the ball is kicked, from what angle, etc., etc.
Fi: Scent of a Room
I like to think of Fi as a gestalt---Fi is like the mind-body's summary of all the interactions you've had with a given person or object. I imagine every Fi judgment as being like the smell of a room. Fi stands in the middle of the room, and in the room is every interaction the person has had with a given thing. Each of those interactions gives off a scent. It might be a strong scent or a subtle scent, but each one gives off some kind of a scent. Now, to begin with, there are certain levels of natural attraction or repulsion from certain scents, right? But then on top of that, each scent is colored by the person's whole experience of that scent, across their lives. So while, say, the smell of honey and the smell of basil might be equally nice inherently, Fi may have lived its whole life with the smell of basil immediately being followed by the smell of shit. Accordingly, honey will smell better to the Fi valuer than basil will, even if the shit smell stops following.
The thing about Fi (that drives Ti-valuers nuts) is that the overall feeling towards the thing can't be picked apart anymore than one specific chemical can be identified within an overall scent, or one specific scent can be identified in the overall smell of a room. Its a gestalt, it's not about each individual scent, it's about the smell as a whole, and of course, that smell-as-a-whole creates attraction or revulsion or nostalgia or relaxation or nervousness, etc., etc. And people with strong Fi have very sensitive noses, whereas people with weak Fi have very weak noses. So strong Fi people might notice subtle qualities of a scent where weak Fi people can only detect one broad smell with no gradation or subtlety. But at the same time, strong Fi people might be completely overwhelmed and immobilized by a strong scent (feeling) whereas weak Fi people might put their hand over their face, but won't really be affected strongly.
I just want to quickly mention that Fi is static in the sense that once you've added a lot of things to the room (once you've added a lot of interactions to the experience of a given thing), it's hard to change the overall scent of the room. To me, Fi isn't static so much as sticky. Well, it is also static insofar as the judgment Fi arrives at (the smell of the room) is sudden, particular thing, a snapshot, not a story about how something changes. But I want to make the point that it is not so much that Fi is invested in things never changing, but rather the Fi emotion simply becomes hard to change after a while. Also, the association between Fi and humanism or empathy simply arises from the human tendency to overgeneralize our own experience. Because Fi has a strong "sense of smell," it assumes everyone else does too. So Fi assumes that others feel as strongly about their experiences as Fi does, so it tries to aid others in managing their emotional reactions (the "scents" they have to smell---because when you're in a room, you have no choice but to smell the scent of the room). And depending on what Fi is blocked with, it will be particularly sensitive to shielding people from bad feelings caused by ideas (Ne-devaluer) or by experiences (Se-devaluer)
That's all I have time for now. Hopefully I'll be able to continue with this soon. I hope to get through all eight in more or less this fashion, with a general theme and two or three paragraphs of thoughts. Any and all comments are deeply appreciated, and I will try to respond to each one in a somewhat timely fashion.
EDIT: OH also I'm sure every one of these thoughts is stolen from someone else on the board who posted them first at one time or another. Let me know if I've stolen from you and I'll gladly give you credit in the original post.