Two Minds

It was raining that day I met my friend at the pub.

“I have just lost my girlfriend over a heated argument because she was seeing someone else, behind my back, and wanted to break it off between us.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“I hate her and I never want to see her again. I’m better off without her. I feel free now,” my friend shouted.

But as he was saying this, tears welled up in his eyes.

“It’s funny though, I still feel sad when I talk about her. Why is that?”

My friend was looking for answers.

“Bartender, two beers here, please.”

The beers came and we both took long gulps.

“Well, my friend, we all have TWO minds.”

“Two minds? I thought I only had one,” my friend said quizzically.

“No, you have TWO. One that THINKS, the rational mind, this one is very aware, thoughtful and able to ponder, reflect and analyze. And one that FEELS, the emotional mind, which is impulsive, powerful and sometimes illogical.”

“So, how am I to know which one to use?”

“It’s difficult because we can be so reasonable at one moment and so irrational the next.”

“This is getting confusing.”

“Sometimes you don’t have time to decide which mind to use because the emotional mind is quicker than the rational mind, it springs into action without considering what it is doing.”

“Yea, that’s right, sometimes I jump into action and then later think, “What did I do that for?”

“That’s your rational mind kicking in.”

“How can I control these impulses?”

“Well, our feelings come to us as a fait accompli. A thing that has been done and decided and can’t be altered. But the rational mind can CONTROL the course of your reactions. So don’t be overly emotional and react, wait until your thinking can control those reactions.”

“Easier said than done.”

“That’s right, but it can be done if you get into the right habit of thinking before acting.”

“Not all our reactions are shaped by rational judgments, a lot are shaped by our distant past.”

“How’s that? Said my friend, looking perplexed.

“We have lots of automatic reactions left over from our evolutionary history. These reactions were the difference between survival and death.”

“Now it’s getting scary!”

“Relax, I will explain. In the Stone Age we were wired with these emotions(fight or flight) to guide us. It worked well for thousands of generations, but certainly NOT the last ten. The forces of evolution have shaped the way we react and it worked well for a million years, but with the rise of civilization, this emotional evolution sometimes hinders us. So, we confront modern dilemmas with the emotional reactions tailored to life in the Stone Age.”

“WOW!” My friend was gobsmacked!

“Another problem I have is that when someone scowls at me I react with fear.”

“Well, you told me once that you were beaten by your father when you were a child. Your father probably scowled at you before the beatings. Now, you react with fear when someone scowls at you, even though the scowl carries no threat to you.”

Everything you’re telling me is scary. Now you are telling me the PAST imposes itself on the PRESENT.”

“That’s right. But the good news is the two minds, the emotional and the rational operate in harmony for the most part and they guide us. There is a balance between feeling and thinking minds, with emotion informing the thinking mind, and the thinking mind refining and maybe vetoing the emotional inputs.”

We both finished our beers and walked out into the SUNSHINE.

6 thoughts on “Two Minds

  1. I have those two minds, as does everyone. I call them the unconscious and the conscious minds. The first is the voice in the head that never stops talking. The talking is based of your emotional past. Your story, your history, your fears. The second is the mind that is aware of everything, including the voice in your head. Take a breath and be aware of what is physically happening in your body. The talking in your head will stop. Your conscious mind has taken over. Also known as meditation. Master this and you are in charge.

  2. I couldn’t agree with Maria more. It is such a terrible affliction to be in two minds, but experience teaches us eventually. Through my NLP training I have come to learn that when faced with two minds, the emotional response is the truthful one and the thought, the lie.

  3. I am sure glad we figured this one out.
    I just wish I could explain truth from
    fiction to my youngest grand children.

  4. Mary Wildman said:
    We will start with the positives: You can spell. That always impresses me, and I’ve noticed only one grammatical error-“like” instead of “as if”, though this is permissible if part of the characterisation of the speaker. I laud your industry and use of your brain, and your courage in putting your work out there. It’s interesting to work out how much the “I” is you and how much a persona-but I’m not into that kind of analysis of an author; leastways not a living one! clearly, you have lots of thoughts and opinions in your brain about your writing motives, methods and so on-much in evidence in “Two Minds” especially-but to a varying extent, that’s where they stay: in your mind. I can see that a lack of differentiation between the “two” speakers may be deliberate if you are trying to put across two sides of your one mind, but I think there ought to be a little more characterisation, indication of tone or whatever, distinguishing between them. Otherwise the reader gets lost and can’t work out which speaker is which. The paragraphing isn’t quite right on occasion, which is a little confusing. I acknowledge that removing adverbial”he said’s” can make the dialogue flow but it can also have the reverse effect if the reader has to stop and count back, as it were. Your punctuation is generally spot on but don’t get sloppy. Finally, I think you mean crime sites, not sights.
    Keep at it! Go on exploring and stretching yourself! And do not be put off by born pedants like me!!

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