The Week For Spirituality

Last week, I think, is a ‘Spirituality Week’ for me (in the sense that I found myself talking about spiritual matters with a few different people individually, and then with a few people in a group at the end of the week).

I came across a colleague of mine reading a book during one of our free(er) moments in the day. And knowing me, I just had to stop and see the cover of the book and perhaps interest him into talking about it with me. (talking about books is the next best thing to actually reading it, lol). 

Turns out that it was a book on Christianity. And since I have always thought that he was a Buddhist, I was interested to know why he was reading that book. 

He told me that he was interested to know about other religions. So naturally, I told him that I had read on comparative religion when I was at the uni. I told him that I have come across Karen Armstrong’s History of God. That I have read Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusions. That I attended Christian Awareness Week being held every year at the uni for the purpose of learning about Christianity and how it compared to Islam. 

I listened to videos by Muslim preachers, Christian Preachers, Richard Dawkins. I read on Theory Of Evolution and I also read The Evolution Deceit. 

We agreed that we should never follow faith blindly

I never thought I could have such satisfying conversation like that with a fellow colleague. Colleagues are people we endure small talk and work-related jokes and discussion with; not so much discussion on personal faith and belief. I have my own set of friends for that sort of thing. 

This just shows that you can find a searching soul at the least expected places. A soul in search for the truth can be one of the most beautiful thing one can ever stumbled upon in one’s life. 

It inspires us to never take spirituality for granted. People are always searching for it, knowingly or unknowingly. Some never attain it. 

I wish him luck in his quest.

***

Last week I had a conference in KL (ASCAPAP/MCPM). On the way there, I dropped by my elder sister’s workplace in Tanjung Malim and we went for lunch. And my Kak Long suddenly brought up existential topic like nobody’s business. 

With my elder sister, it is not surprising. Talking about things like that pass as a light topic between the two of us. It is mind stimulating, deep, thoughtful and challenging. 

Why do you know what you know? She asked.

How do we know God exists?

Why can’t God be more than one? How do you answer that question if asked?

How do  you know that everything that was taught to you is indeed the truth?

Now, most traditional people would be horrified by such questions. My parents certainly never answered those questions to my satisfaction. Neither the ustazah or whatever naqibah  I ever had.  I find  those questions stimulating and very intelligent! Just the sort of thing I expected my brilliant sister to ask. She had been a best student all her life. She is BOTH scientific and artsy. A statistician with a scientific mind, and a novelist with a philosopher’s soul. 

When it comes to matters of existentialism, the only difference between me and my sister is that I asked those questions and found the answers earlier in life because of something I had to go through at 18. (An ex-classmate of mine passed away suddenly. At 18 when life seems like an embodiment of immortality, that was like being rudely woken up after being doused in iced cold water, leaving me shivering, confused and afraid).

Most people DO have those questions in their head, on and off, for the rest of their lives. Whether or not they ignore and suppress them or actually struggle to find the answers depends on the type of personality and the intellectual background the person has. 

I am the sort who has to find the answers to questions that are bugging me. And I want answers that satisfy me to the point that I can accept it as the most logical, natural self-evident truth. In other words, unshakeable confidence was what I was looking for.

I found the answers after researching the topic in my free time between the age of 18 to 22.

When you want answers, and you go through the intellectual journey of finding them, you will get the answers. But if you have questions and then you never bothered to answer them (because it’s time-consuming, it’s a busy life after all) then you will struggle with them, on and off, for the rest of your life.

When you follow the traditional course of “Just swallow, never questions,” no truth will ever truly ‘settle’ inside the sanctum sanctorum of your heart. Your faith will always be ‘not quite there’. Doubts will assail you at the slightest prod and provocation. For someone like me, I can never live without absolute certainty in something as important as whether or not God really exists. After all, that’s our purpose in life. Our life is about finding God, and after finding Him, being closer and closer to Him to the best of our ability, for the rest of our lives. That’s why those questions will keep on bugging you every now and then until you settle them once and for all. It’s our instinct prodding us to continue our search until we attain unshakeable belief. 

Until I can say more than “because that’s my faith’, I cannot rest easy. I believe, you should be able to explain your faith based on facts and logic. Just saying ‘that’s my belief’ just don’t cut it for me. And it shouldn’t be for anyone. 

Know why you believe what you believe. 

This was what I told my sister. 

“We are Muslims. We do all the ritual that makes us Muslims. We identify ourselves as Muslims. Your questions are good. It’s something every Muslim should ask. God himself asked us to not simply follow our ancestors in matter of faith, rather we should actively engage in finding the answers to convince ourselves truly and honestly that our belief is the correct one.”

I told her that Allah himself asks us to use our brain. “Afala tatafakkarun” (Tidakkah kamu berfikir?). He asks us to falsify the Quran if we are not convinced. (now, falsification/nullification is a mathematic and scientific process which appeals to a mathematician). Faith is not a passive process. It is our inherent fault in the society when we taught religion passively to our kids. They end up not really understanding what they claim they understand. And they feel unsafe to voice out their doubts because they can feel that it is discouraged (like it was an act of blasphemy) to ask sincerely for explanation. 

I told her that finding God has a process to it that I went through and I had benefitted greatly from it, Alhamdulillah.

First Step:

Ask yourself whether you think God exists? Why or why not? (This is when you have to read The Evolution Theory, Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusions. This is when you also have to listen to videos and debates between an atheist and a theist. This is when you come across the philosophical aspect of existentialism. This is also when you read the scientific aspect of why it is not feasible for the world to come about by chance). 

Unfortunately, there is a lot of reading and videos to go through. After all, IT IS an intellectual adventure, so you can’t expect easy answers! Nope, there is no short-cut. People can tell you their own personal experience of how they come to have belief. But you have to go through the journey yourself.

If, after all those readings, you decided there is no God. Then, your journey ends here. That’s it. No more finding out to do (but every now and then, you might wonder again. It is our instinct to find God. I believe, God put that instinct there.)

Second step:

Once you have decided that God does exist,you have to ask yourself, whether He will let us do whatever we like and just leave us to our own devices? Is he just amusing himself with the creations without any purpose? Does that fit your concept of God?

Or do you think he would have sent us rules and guidance to help us govern our lives in a way He wants us to?

If you believe our God is a frivolous God who is only amusing himself and simply let us do whatever we like, then your search ends here. Go ahead and do whatever you want, believing in a Creator that would not hold you accountable for anything you do in this life.  Your search will end here; where you believe there is a Creator, but the impact that belief has on your life is minuscule and immaterial to how you live your life.

But if you believe that God would not have created us for nothing, that there ARE rules and morals and ethics that have been set out, then the search begins all over again.

Third Step:

List every religion in the world and read on them one by one. Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Bahai’i, Paganism, Wicca etc etc.

Ideally, you can read on those religions one by one. And cross off your list systematically.

I had a short-cut here. I didn’t investigate man-made religion at all. I crossed off Wicca, Scientology, Paganism, Bahai’i and all modern man-made religion from the very beginning. Because if it’s man-made, then it would not be a true religion based on divine messages. 

I crossed off Hinduism because my background made me pretty convinced that God is not worshipped through idols made of stones of different shapes. Some people believe that, and I respect that. But I just find it difficult, personally, to have intercession (perantaraan) between me and God. I believe, you can call to God directly.

I also did not investigate Buddhism. Because Buddha was not God. Buddhism is just a nice way of living. But it is not about God from the outset. So, I crossed it off from the get-go.

That left me with Islam, Judaism and Christianity. 

My search on Judaism told me that they don’t preach or seek to convert others. I never attended Judaism Awareness Week at the Uni because the Jews never organised it. They don’t trouble themselves to get people to ‘find the right path’ in Judaism. Judaism is really just for the Jews. Almost exclusively so, I might add. In fact, based on my conversation with a Jew that I came across  in an interfaith dialogue organised by the Uni, they seemed to discourage conversion by saying, “It’s difficult for outsiders to convert to Judaism. There are so many rituals that they have to go through. We neither encourage nor discourage conversion.” (which is a direct opposition to what Muslims and Christians would say. We always strive to entice people into the religion because we believe we have the right one and we want people to be in heaven like us and so on and so forth).

So, I crossed off Judaism because I believed God is not selective and He would be fair. He would not favour only one particular race. But having said that, the Jew that I talked to may only represent a minority of them in the religion. Maybe the real Rabbi would have tried harder to convert me. But again, I have never heard of any Jew actively doing dakwah and promoting their religion to others, have you? It seemed to be the general way of the religion. 

Now, all that was left were Christianity and Islam. I had an advantage in that I already knew a lot of things about Islam and I have practiced it all my life. All I was aiming for was the strengthening of my faith. So that I could tell for sure to myself that I have investigated on other religions. That I’ve made an educated choice. That my faith is not just a hereditary one. Does that make sense?

I compared Christianity and Islam using the book The Choice by Ahmed Deedat. And I also listened to videos by Yusha Evans ‘My Journey to Islam’ (it’s in You Tube)

The-Choice-Ahmed-Deedat

It basically convinced me, beyond reasonable doubt, that Islam is the one true religion, asking me to worship the one true God as my purpose of life. I learned things in Christianity that I never really knew before. I had trouble with the concept of the Trinity (the fact that there was no such a concept prior to the Council Of Nicea). I didn’t understand why Jesus had to die for our sins when God could just forgive us if He wants to without anyone having to die. And if Jesus was God, how could he die? And I also could not get over the injustice of the Original Sin. Things like that.

Then, I started listening to Nouman Ali Khan videos about the scientific and literary marvel of the Quran. I started devouring Harun Yahya’s books. Everything just clicked into place.

And that was how my intellectual and spiritual journey began and still ongoing. 

if you actually go through the journey yourself, you will notice that the hardest part is the first step. Once you are convinced that there MUST be a God, Islam becomes almost the natural choice after studied through every other religion. 

***

The problem with our society is that they are afraid that if their youngsters ask these questions, the youngsters will be led astray and end up murtad. My mom saw the bible I brought from Australia which I placed side by side with my other religious books on the top shelf, and the next day I noticed she placed it at the bottom shelf along with my fiction books. (Haha. I let her have her way. Didn’t want to exacerbate her anxiety).

They were so afraid of the slightest indication or symptoms of apostasy but they never tried to tackle the root cause of it.  

It’s like treating the abdominal pain without removing the gastric cancer. The cancer I meant here is intellectual thirst! You cannot simply brush off legit questions asked by your kids or your students because a)you are not sure yourself, b)you are afraid their quest for the truth will end up in apostasy. 

Usually, it is  the other way around. When you discourage them from asking legit questions, that’s when they will be led astray and apostasy happens. In fact, those who ask questions end up finding Islam or if they are already Muslims, having their faith strengthened.  

The least we can do is to say, “Let’s talk about it. Let’s find the answers together. Let’s make it an intellectual adventure involving a rendezvous with philosophy, science, history and culture,”

What we shouldn’t do is look horrified and exclaimed “You are having a spiritual CRISIS. You should repent to God and do the Solat Taubat.”

I ended the one hour and a half lunch with my sister by encouraging her to go on researching on the questions. After all, my nephew and niece, inheriting their mother’s intelligence gene insya-Allah, will surely ask her just exactly the same questions.   

***

I came back from ASCAPAP/MCPM and came across another colleague with whom we talked about instinct,spirituality and religion.

She was of the opinion that spirituality has nothing to do with religion. I only partially agreed with her. I told her that “Yes, sometimes religion only emphasise on the ritual and ignoring the spiritual aspect of it.” And what I meant by spiritual aspect is the intellectual aspect of it (the reason, the why, the wonder behind all these). 

“But for those whose spirituality is deeply connected to the religion, ignoring religious rules will cause them to experience spiritual void. For them, spirituality and religion is connected and they can’t say ‘I am spiritual even though I ignore the rules in my religion’ It doesn’t jibe. ” I continued.

To me, yes, you can be spiritual but NOT YET religious. But being spiritual naturally will ease your way into being more religious and makes you want to perform the rituals because you know why you do what you do. So in that sense, spirituality and religiosity strengthen one another. Which is exactly what it is supposed to be doing in the first place. 

The next day, a group of us suddenly found ourselves talking about comparative religion as a group. At that time, it was just the three of us (2 master students and me) talking about our daily tasks. Suddenly the same colleague who I mentioned was reading on Christianity asked me about my study on comparative religion during my younger days at the uni. So, we got into discussing the theories again. 

And then a few other MOs joined in. One of them said “I don’t really believe in anything.” And I respect that. It doesn’t mean he never will. Our journey begins or ends or pauses at different stage and different pace, after all. 

One said, “I think faith is personal between you and God,” Yup, that might be true. I respect that it was true for him. But just because it is personal between you and God, does not mean a bunch of us shouldn’t discuss and talk about it whenever we feel like it. It’s not like there was any compulsion or forced conversion or disrespect going on with the discussion (even though it could turn into that, if you lack the quality of tolerance and respect). Some people talk about their personal belief because  they find it more stimulating than talking about the latest gossip or the latest gadget or just random small talk (that bores me silly). 

Don’t blame me for appearing uninterested for cutting a conversation short if I find anyone is too frivolous or too light-hearted for my taste. My boredom threshold is pretty low. When I am not interested, it shows. I just simply don’t respond and end the conversation quickly. I always prefer a conversation with substance. 

And what can be more substantial than talking about the existence of God, agree?  

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The Rants of A Furious INTP

This is going to be one of those self-absorbed, manic rant that I occasionally indulge in. This is the original reason why I have a blog. I sort out my feelings by writing about it. Writing, I believe, is the healthier form of catharsis. 

If I ever get depressed, I know I should never prescribe myself any type of anti-depressant. Taking it will cause me to swing into full blown mania. Or maybe it is not about mania, per se.

Maybe it’s just me being an INTP.

Screenshot 2015-08-17 05.37.59

According to the analysis of INTP personality type, we are prone to occasional burst of anger. This is something I don’t like to admit about myself. But it is the truth, nonetheless. 

I do get irritated often. When people are late! When people are slow (driving or walking). When people hesitate without a good reason just when I am in a rush! When people don’t get basic concepts that I then have to explain before I can get to the actual point of what I want to say. I got irritated, but I could calm that irritation by reminding myself that “sabar itu sebahagian daripada iman,”

But I don’t get angry and full blown furious that often. There is not much occasion to do so. Because most of the time, our day to day life only deals with trivial matters. I am not going to care where we go to eat…you get to decide because I am just hungry and where we eat does not matter. I will enjoy the food just as much. I don’t care where you want to go to hang out….because most of the time, I just want to be left alone with my books. But since you are my friend and I feel somewhat obligated to keep in touch, so I make myself available to you (for a limited time). But I could be happy just as well in my bed reading the next book, so where we end up going is more for your sake than for mine. I don’t get worked up if we get lost while we are travelling. Chances are good that we will get to the destination eventually (it’s just a matter of when). I won’t say “I told you we should have taken the left turn!” in an annoying manner. I won’t interfere with your driving by saying “bawa slow sikit….awat tak bagi signal. blah blah blah”. I leave you to your own slow driving and I prefer that you leave my driving to myself when you are in the passenger seat.  

So really, I don’t have that much occasion to be bursting in anger. I am very easy going. In everyday matters, I let you have your way (without even feeling like I am compromising).

 

But,when I do get angry, it is always because you have crossed my boundaries and have violated my principles. It is always the case. Do NOT ever ask me to do something I am not willing to do because it will most certainly trigger my manic episode…and I wouldn’t care whose butt (or feelings) I hurt. 

When it comes to sticking to my principles, I am very severe. You can be my boss, the law enforcers or the authorities…..I won’t curb my tongue when I am seriously provoked. I can stand losing my job for going against my employer, I can bear to not speak with my family members for days if I feel like they fail to appreciate my point of views and insist I do things their way. Sometimes I even convince myself that I can stand going into prison for violating a rule that I think is unjust (hopefully it will never come to that), but I am NOT going to back down when it is a matter of values and principles.

***

Being an INTP is tough, you see. We are sometimes misunderstood by the general population because we made up of only 3% of the world population. And the majority of INTPs are men rather than women. 

So, as a woman INTP, that makes me very rare (I am quite pleased about that, actually. Haha).

INTPs need a lot of space and time by themselves. Any intrusion into their routine should be accompanied by a few days notice (at least). When I was in Australia, I created a specific time frame for my sister in the UK regarding when she could call me (mostly because the time difference made it so difficult). I didn’t like being called when I was not ready (mentally and emotionally) to take the call. Of course I enjoy talking to my sister. But I wanted to create a specific slot for her to call me, so that I could talk to her without rushing and we could both enjoy the conversation stress-free. If I was not ready to take a call, I could get really moody. When I was in Australia, I called my parents every two weeks on the same day at around the same time each time. I was quite predictable in my socializing habits.

You see, I love my routine. Routine is efficient. It saves you the time of having to think because you already know what you are going to do. So, you have more time to do and think about the other interesting routine that you actually enjoy (reading, writing, blogging and reading and reading, and reading, yup….you got the idea)

When I am not travelling, routine is a source of immense relief and comfort that I cannot do without. I am in love with it!

Of course, if an emergency crops up, I adapt accordingly as we all do. But the point is, please don’t try to surprise me. I don’t like it! 

INTPs love efficiency (hence the well-established routine). We are passionate about it. And this is one of the reason we don’t work well with slow group members. Whatever I say I want, I want it yesterday! 

And if you are my subordinate and you are slow, you are bound to slightly irritate me (but at this point, I am not yet bursting with fury). But if you are my fellow colleagues or superiors and you are slow and give me last minute notice, you are bound to annoy me even more than the slow subordinates….because with my superiors and senior colleagues, it was hard for me to show my irritation as freely as I can with a subordinate (even though I have been told that it shows in my face). And this makes me angry with myself. It makes me feel like I have compromised my ideal principle of being equal and fair in my treatment towards everybody based on their conduct, regardless of their position. I believe that I have just as much reasons to be irritated with a slow and inefficient superiors just like I get irritated with a slow and inefficient subordinates. So when I had to treat them differently (to preserve the harmony) just because they have different position in an organization, I become very angry with my own injustice. With any cognitive dissonance that present itself in my daily life, I want to resolve it straightaway. Either I become equally irritated with both superiors and subordinates, or equally kind and patient with both of them. And knowing me, I am not very patient. (But maybe this is Allah’s way of teaching me patience. Since I find it hard to be equally irritable towards both my subordinates and my seniors, I might as well decide to be more patient with both, instead. That way, I can still stick to my ideal principle of being fair).

The problem is, I know myself. I know, I am more likely to show irritation with slow inefficient subordinates and I deal with them by simply being strict and pushy (without bursting in fury, unless they challenge my clear instruction without a good reason). But with my superiors, how pushy can I be? So because I have had to suppress my irritation towards my superiors (in respect to their position), I have an unfortunate tendency to one day burst in fury all of a sudden, when I feel like I have been patient enough. That’s my catharsis! Isn’t it ironic? Most people displace their anger towards a less threatening object. INTPs don’t do that. We displace our anger at the one most deserving of it, even when they hold a much higher position than us. 

(I guess, it is better for my subordinates, isn’t it? They usually only experience my irritation which I am usually still careful to rein in. But my colleagues and my seniors, with whom I am not as free to be irritated stat, have sometimes experienced my sudden outburst and they would be shock to silence. And I am left feeling embarrassed for having those uncontrolled emotion.)

I hate that situation! Some people deal with trouble by wanting to get away from work (AWOL / MIA / holiday). But not me. This is when I need my routine the most. And that means, I need to go on working as usual, being extra careful to keep my emotion in check (but end up looking blunted instead, hahah). It’s not a good idea to ask me to talk about it at this acute stage (unless you are my very close confidante) I just want to hide behind my routine. Thank God for routine! It keeps me sane.

***

INTPs take some time to arrive to a conclusion when coming across a new concept. We ponder and ruminate on a matter from every angle and then we derive a simple way for us to understand the gist of it for future application. We may have read hundreds of sentences about a matter but then condense the whole thing to one or two general sentence that will describe the matter in the future (for the sake of efficiency and to be adapted into our general principle). 

Some rules and some principles are carved in stones and should never be violated. When an INTP has decided that this is her principle, she can cut relationship and ties at a snap of her finger if she feels her principle is violated. 

This is so true for me. I can cut relationship without looking back and with very minimal regrets (Fortunately, it is a rare occasion, but when it happens it can be quite dramatic. It is rare because in the first place, we do not have that many friends to cut relationship with. Haha. We are very careful who we allow to get close to us….those who make it into our circle of friends are already extraordinarily trustworthy in the first place and usually would not deliberately betray us. For those who are not that close to us, what they do would  not even matter, and so we do not even notice them. Hahah. Unless they are being extra annoying, in which case we will simply perform a ‘cut direct’. Again, it is a rare occasion. But I admit, it has happened once or twice in my life). I can never be the sort who gives her cheating husband multiple second chances. Because my loyalty is tied to my trust. And my trust is tied to my principle. You violate one, you violate ALL of them. (In this matter, I can be quite dichotomous and black and white. Because we are efficient, we cut unworthy relationship from our lives to save our resources from being wasted. It might sound cold-blooded but I truly believe that this is the most intelligent thing a person could do.)

This is why freedom is so important to an INTP. We need financial freedom. So that we can feel secure at fighting back the unjust authority. “I am not going to do what you ask me to do because it is against my values. You can sack me now. But I am not going to do what you ask.” An INTP wish to say those words without worrying about her financial status, should she need to resign. And therefore, we are careful to make sure that our lifestyle is affordable and sustainable to us. We are generally not materialistic. If we are materialistic, we usually can afford it without depending on anyone else. 

Being dependent on someone is one of the worst thing that can ever happen to an INTP. What if the person we are dependent to (either physically or emotionally) is the one who violates our principles and cross our boundaries? Being in a state of dependency to an unjust entity is like being in the earth version of hell, to INTPs. It is degrading, humiliating and painful.

Not only do INTPs abhor being dependent on anyone, we also feel deuced uncomfortable when we know someone is dependent on us. (does that sound selfish?) INTPs need freedom from having too much commitment, because we couldn’t do what is right when we have (too many) people who are dependent on us. How can INTPs stick to our principles (even at the threat of losing our job) if we have children for whom we need be a breadwinner to? So that’s why we prefer a successful partner who do not depend on us so much, financial wise. Just as we don’t depend on them so much, too. So that if one of us lost our livelihood for the sake of a principle, we know that the family unit can still survive financially from the income of the other partner. And this is also why we need a partner who shares the same values as us (the same ‘fikrah’), so that they can understand why we do what we do. It will be tough for an INTP to resign from work as a matter of principle, and then only to find out that her partner blames her for it and cannot understand why she HAS to do it. When it comes to fighting for our rights, INTPs expect their partners’ understanding and support. Because if the shoe is on the other foot, INTPs will give the same amount of understanding and support too. 

Another thing about having too much commitments is there will be times when you have to hurt one feeling to spare the feeling of another. And because you have to juggle all these commitments, your every day life becomes complicated and you can no longer focus on the most important aspect of your life (We know that INTPs do not care about mundane every day life. But if their mundane every day life consists of a lot of responsibilities, they have no choice but to start caring. Suddenly, easy routine becomes complicated. So, that leaves very little time for other exciting things they care about such as books, learning, writing, fighting for the truth, advocating for what is right etc etc)

Besides, INTPs take responsibilities rather seriously. (so we are not that selfish, you see? Once we are committed to something, you can depend on us to do it.) It hurt our own principles if we couldn’t do our responsibilities properly. And as I have mentioned before, hurting our own principles is the worst thing anyone can do. It will be very difficult for us to forgive ourselves if we have to violate our own principles. So, for our own protection, INTPs limit commitments and responsibilities until we can feel reasonably sure that we can handle it. (Not because we have commitment issues, okay! That’s what people always misunderstand about us.)

If we want financial freedom, it is because we want to be able to say ‘f**k off’ to anyone who tries to threaten us in any way, oppress us in any form, until our hands are tied and we cannot say or do what we feel is right. We want financial freedom because we want to be able to afford our principle. Principle can cost a lot! To some, it is just a luxury that they can forego and ignore if they are forced to. To INTPs, it is what our life is about! We don’t have a choice of ignoring it without seriously damaging our psyche. 

In relationship, INTPs do not want to be a follower or a slave. But we also do not want to be a leader or a master (because that is unnecessary responsibility and commitment, and therefore it is a burden). We want a friend. A companion. A soul mate. A partner. An equal. If we feel the slightest threat to our autonomy, we will again cut the relationship before it gets to the point of no return. If we feel forced, we will resist. Sometimes, we will resist even when it is for our own benefit (because we resent the way you approach us). Because again, our principle of autonomy is violated. We believe you should convince us with facts. Not force (sometimes disguised as love). We would rather argue with you from dawn till dusk but we want to be able to tell you that we follow your decisions because you win our minds. Not because you force us, manipulate us (with emotional blackmails, tears and guilt) and threaten us. It is a matter of pride to us that we just CANNOT bend to such devious acts. We rather lose the relationship than the autonomy.  

INTPs don’t love blindly. Being an INTP, we would have already researched everything there is to know about love in a matter-of-fact manner: what is it (an emotional attachment and dependency), what is its natural progression (the euphoria will fade with time; loyalty and appreciation hopefully will remain if you have a good kind partner), what is the possible outcomes (everlasting married life hopefully, but possible risks of divorce, possible dissatisfaction with partner for the rest of your life), what is the prognosis (nowadays, poor). So, loving blindly doesn’t make sense to us. When we decide on marriage, it was done with a careful risk-benefit assessment. We are more likely to understand loyalty than love. Falling in love does not seem like how it is shown on TV. We fall in trust. If we trust you, I think that is love. Our love (read: trust) is tied to our loyalty and our principles. You violate any of them, you violate all of them. And we will walk away. We will have nothing to do with you anymore beyond the basic politeness and human decency.

 

So, if INTPs burst out in anger and you listen and retract from continuing to force us, the relationship can be saved. But once INTPs don’t get angry but simply shrug our shoulders and stop talking, it means we are done with you (sometimes only for that moment, but sometimes it can be forever).  

So INTPs bursting out in anger is a good thing. It is equivalent to a warning bell that signals you to wait and think for a minute. It gives you a clear indication that you are violating something precious that we want to protect.

We won’t force you to agree to our decision. But we also don’t want to be forced to abandon our principles. But as long as you keep on arguing, then we will keep on defending what we believe as right (No offense; nothing personal. We do it with everyone). When you shut up, then we will shut up too.

When push comes to shove, just let us do what we believe to be true. And your relationship with us will be restored. To you, we will be friendly and nice again….until the next time you try to violate our principles again. Because at the end of the day, our ultimate loyalty is to our principle. Our principle is our ultimate romance. Our life revolve around it, like an overvalued idea that colours our every action and thought. Beyond that is just further elaboration. 

***

“The Prophet (pbuh) mentioned anger, saying: ‘Some are swift to anger and swift to cool down, the one characteristic making up for the other; some are slow to anger and slow to cool down, the one characteristic making up for the other; but the best of you are those who are slow to anger and swift to cool down, and the worst of you are those who are swift to anger and slow to cool down.’”

When it comes to anger, I am not the best and thank God, I am also not the worst. What I am is swift to anger and swift to cool down. At least, our beloved prophet did say that one characteristic makes up for the other. I am content, for now.

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Just discovered this video.

It is so true that it’s scary. Enjoy!