In tonight’s second tutoring, we discussed Jung’s “Psychological Types” and contrasted it with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), discussing the nature of modern psychology’s statistical and mass re-producible nature versus Jung’s approach which involved deeper knowledge of self, understanding of a person’s unconscious world and knowledge of the guideposts provided by art, myth, literature, religion and more.

We talked about Jung’s writings as prototypical, and the exploratory nature of coming from experience to representation, rather than the statistical approach central to MBTI and modern psychology generally.

We briefly dove into “Man and His Symbols” and the trajectory of Jungian thought.

Inspired by the Tae Kwon Do that Ellison, James and I have recently started taking, we discussed the learning process in martial arts, and related it to the importance in mastering mathematics of going from the “intellectual puzzling out” of a given kind of problem and learning it by rote to getting to the intuitive, kinesthetic, spatiotemporal perception of that kind of problem. We talked about how different those two approaches are, and why it’s a pity that the latter mastery-related aspects aren’t more emphasized or even clearly communicated in a lot of math education.

These musings plus our reading of a brief description of the challenges INTPs face with flow led to a major breakthrough in our work on arithmetic and geometric sequences and series, and we started approaching both graphically. It was exhilarating, and a totally new approach for me to dealing with sequences and series. We both left excited about our next session.