Website owner:  James Miller

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Two Kinds of Mind

  There are two kinds of mind:

 PRACTICAL MIND.  Information oriented, fact oriented, realistic, 
   objective, logical, practical, prosaic, rational, reasonable, 
   sensible, straight-thinking.  Mental processes: thinking, 
   reflecting, considering, pondering, exploring, observing, 
   learning, inquiring, investigating, studying, weighing, 
   debating, analyzing, figuring, calculating.

 IMPRACTICAL MIND.  Fantasy oriented, daydreaming oriented, 
   imagination oriented, impression oriented, feeling oriented, 
   image or scene oriented, visionary, impractical, airy, vapory, 
   etherial, idealistic, unrealistic, irrational, daydreamy, 
   romantic, dewy-eyed, in the clouds.  Mental processes:  
   daydreaming, fantasizing, wishful thinking, imagining. 

   The two types of mind represent two distinct ways the mind can 
   work. The practical mind works with facts and processes facts.  
   It thinks using known facts that it has learned through 
   observation, experience, reading, etc..  The impractical mind 
   is a dreamy mind.  It works with images and processes images.  
   The dreamer fantasizes romantic or idealized scenes of himself 
   and others doing things.  His mind doesn't work the same way as 
   a practical-minded person.  He has a thousand romantic, 
   idealized images and notions in his head and they affect his 
   logic.  He confuses these images or notions with reality.  Like 
   Don Quixote he confuses the ideas or images from a romantic 
   book or movie with reality.  They put him out of touch with 
   reality.  He thinks reality is what he saw in a movie or a book 
   he read.  He comes to expect from life what life can't or won't 

   The impractical mind is feeling oriented.  It deals in 
   feelings, vague notions.  It is attuned to things like 
   atmosphere, feel, aura, impression, taste, mood, color, 
   ambience, flavor, etc.  It loves feeling oriented things such 
   as music and art.  It loves beauty, dwells on it, gets lost in 
   it.  It is imaginative, idealistic, romantic, oriented toward 
   what gives pleasure.  The practical mind lacks in feeling.  It 
   is cold, objective, rational, impartial. 

   Young children often have impractical minds.  They often tend 
   towards a world of imagination, pretense, and fantasy.  They 
   dream and get lost in an imaginary world of their own making.  
   Adults, on the other hand, especially adults who carry the 
   responsibility of running a household, usually have a practical 
   mind.  The responsible adult has other people depending on him.  
   He must deal with life and facts, for the sake of his loved 
   ones as well as his.  You can't deal with life by dreams and 
   wishful thinking.  A practical mind is part of responsible 
   character and emotional maturity.  There are indeed 
   impractical-minded adults --- dreamers.  And they usually pay 
   well for their impracticality unless they have some practical 
   person to take care of them.

   Good mental health requires a practical mind.  A practical mind 
   is necessary to navigating life and the world.  An impractical 
   person is likely to be one who is fleeing reality, an escapist.  
   Fleeing reality doesn't work.  It is equivalent to fleeing 
   fact, fleeing truth.  It is vitally important to have the 
   courage to face fact, truth and reality in this life.  Only 
   then can you deal with it.  Dealing with life requires 
   knowledge, understanding, plus good use of the full reasoning 
   powers of the mind.  The pursuit of understanding and truth is 
   important to good mental health and a practical mind is 
   critical to the pursuit of understanding and truth. The mind of 
   the dreamer leads into mental problems.  

   Whether a person is a practical minded person or an impractical 
   minded one is a person's choice.  It is all a matter of 
   attitude.  It is the attitude you take towards reality.  You 
   either face it and deal with it or run from it.  Face it or put 
   your head in the sand like an ostrich.  And you have power over 
   your attitude.  But both ways of thinking, practical and 
   dreaming, are habits.  They are mental habits.  Habits can be 
   very hard to change and people may not realize that they do 
   have the power to change.  They may not think they can change.  
   And, as with many strongly ingrained habits, many people never 
   escape from them and never change.  People go through life a 
   slave and victim of a habit which derives from a wrong attitude 
   which they could change --- but they don't understand the 
   situation well enough to know that. 

   An impractical minded dreamer can change and become a realistic 
   practical-minded person.  But the change must come from within 
   himself.  First he must see his error.  It may come suddenly to 
   him like a stroke from the blue.  He may suddenly realize the 
   critical importance of being a realist in life, facing reality 
   and dealing with it.  Then his attitude can flip from dreamer 
   to realist in the space of a split second.  He can then start 
   pursuing reality with enthusiasm.  He is now a practical-minded 
   realist.  It is all a matter of attitude.  But first he must 
   appreciate the importance of doing it.  And, as with other 
   problems deriving from wrong attitudes,  others telling him 
   about his error probably won't make him see it.  The light must 
   come from within himself. 

   Feb 2002

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