Q. After reading the nonfiction book, I walked away with a great dislike for Coleridge. In fact, my Coleridge-mind has held me back on more occasions than I care to remember. However, I don't think that being "all Keats" is practical, or realistic. Could you explain what you mean by "let Keats lead?"

A. Let's first consider our definition of Keats and Coleridge as ways of thinking.

Coleridge is the instinct of self-preservation. It is the goal-obsessed, reasoning mind. It's a scientist, an engineer, a director; the part of you that wants certainty, control and comfort over life. Its focus is on survival, identity enhancement and achieving success through the external world.

Keats, by contrast, is the instinct of self-creation, a longing to expand and flourish. It is the life-obsessed, joyful mind of possibility. It is pure energy and intelligence, unsullied by memory or identification. It's an artist, a wild-eyed child moved by curiosity, compassion and creativity. Its idea of success is bringing its unique essence to life internally and expressing it, uninhibited and omnipresently, in the external world.

Can someone be all Keats, with no survival instinct? Of course not. Cultural giants like Van Gogh, Franz Schubert, and William Blake all died penniless, but they certainly used their intellects to feed, clothe and shelter themselves while they expressed their inner selves.

"Let Keats lead" means to wake up and stop being pushed and pulled by your conditioning and your environment. It means to turn from the outside as your source of bliss, to your inner self. It means to subjugate your intellect—your analytical mind and its desire to understand, control and gain from the external world—to your inner life of awareness, compassion, and exuberance for discovery and creation.

And by the way, "practical" and "realistic" are purely subjective terms.

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