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The Pragmatist Attitude

+ Practicality
– Dogmatism
Assimilation Neutral
  • Positive Traits: Efficient, Functional, Organized, Practical, Rule-based, Simple, Structured, Utilitarian view of life
     
  • Negative Traits: Anal-retentive, Boring, Creates red-tape, Dogmatic, Inflexible, Narrow-minded, Pedantic, Rigid



The neutral attitude is that of the Pragmatist. This is the attitude that represents the combination of the other six attitudes. All the other attitudes give a person a view of the world which is somewhat skewed — they see some facets of it better than other facets. Pragmatists have a viewpoint which is relatively free of distorted perceptions, compared to the other Attitudes. This has the obvious advantage that Pragmatists are not misinterpreting parts of the whole picture: they see it all with little distortion. On the other hand, this has the disadvantage that Pragmatists are not as colorful as people with other attitudes, other things being equal. Each of the other Attitudes emphasizes a different "color" in the world, so to speak, but the Pragmatist sees things more in shades of gray. Consequently, they tend not to stop and smell the roses along the roadway of life, to use another metaphor.

Pragmatists see the world as a place for experience of all kinds: initiation and conclusion, optimism and pessimism, subjectivity and objectivity. Pragmatists regard the world as a smoothly functioning system — as organism and mechanism, as spiritual and physical, as living and dying. All of this gives Pragmatists a very "matter of fact" or "down to earth" view of life. Pragmatists deal with things expediently and functionally. They are not hindered by overmuch consideration of beauty or ugliness, happiness or suffering, respect or contempt — they see what works and they do it. Pragmatism is the ideal of scientific neutrality: no bias for any particular viewpoint or preconceived notions. Pragmatists live by their own experience rather than some ideology or morality or philosophy or fad.

The counterpart of the Pragmatist Attitude is the Instinctive Center. These are alike in that they are both aspects of the Assimilation Process — they are each the combination of the other six traits. They are different in that the Instinctive Center involves the internal function of the person responding to the outer world, whereas the Pragmatist Attitude concerns the person seeing the function of the outer world.

Positive Pole (Practicality)

The Positive Pole is +Practicality. People in this Pole see the world's six basic facets equally. All the things in the world are appliances for which they find suitable applications. They value things for their utility — things are only so good as they can be used to fulfill a need or function. Pragmatists dislike things that do not work well. Because of their dislike for impracticality, Pragmatists rarely seek experiences which are enjoyable for their own sake. If it is enjoyable AND functional then OK. Poetry is nice but prose gets the job done better in the "real" world, so Pragmatists prefer prose.

Negative Pole (Dogma)

The Negative Pole is -Dogma. People in this Pole show it by being opinionated — they have an opinion about everything, even when they do not have actual knowledge of it. They perceive the world behaving arbitrarily (since they do not understand its true functions, which are not arbitrary), and they are also arbitrary. When people get set in this Pole, their belief patterns are difficult to change. Their "mind is made up, so don't confuse me with the facts." They may accept some theory or fringe doctrine about the nature of reality which cannot be substantiated.

The fear that drives -Dogma is the fear of being wrong or ignorant. Dogmatic people want to believe that they have correctly understood the workings of the world. Without adequate knowledge, they will nevertheless declare that they have correctly perceived the situation. If they are to actually achieve clear perception, they should consider and apply the Positive Pole of the other six Attitudes. If they experiment with viewing life through the eyes of other people with these other viewpoints, they will gain a perspective of what is really going on. They will be able to give up their own pet opinions.

-- Phil Wittmeyer

 


Channeling About Pragmatists



The neutral attitude, which is on the assimilation axis, is called "pragmatist." Having a neutral way of framing things means that you tend to default to what seems most useful; it is a utilitarian view of life.

The pragmatist, has a positive pole of "practicality" and a negative pole of "dogmatism." Pragmatist is an overleaf that shows up pretty readily even though it is neutral. It is no-nonsense, like realist and cynic. Pragmatists feel unconcerned; they're not trying to live to a higher ideal; they're not trying to be visionary; they're not even concerned about what is and what isn't--they have a utilitarian feel about them. If you know a couple people who have been validated as being pragmatists, you can probably spot that quality.

Having this attitude does not mean that they are well organized or always spends money wisely; in other words, they are not necessarily practical in the way that you might define practical. It is simply that their way of framing things is not to frame them but just to try things and find what works.

In the negative pole, pragmatists find a few things that work and then stick with them ad nauseum; they don't try new things that might also work. They make rules about it: "This is practical; this is the way we have always done it, and this is the way we shall always do it, because it works." It might take an idealist to shake things up, introducing something that would work better.

Basically, pragmatists don't care. In the positive pole, they fluidly change gears, being open to what fits the situation; they are without bias. In the negative pole, they are stuck. This is the neutrality of the assimilation axis. Like the other neutral traits, pragmatists tend to get along with the other attitudes.

Pragmatists can slide to any of the other attitudes, and you often see them shapeshifting a bit. Let's say a pragmatist is in a relationship with a skeptic. He may slide to idealist to balance out the skeptic in some situations, maybe not often but once in a while, unless he is in the negative pole of dogmatism, which can look like the chief obstacle of stubbornness ("I'm not going to change!"), in which case he locks horns with the skeptic.

-- Shepherd Hoodwin
From Michael On Attitudes

 

This attitude emphasizes the practical, “real” side of nature, many times to the point of denying the existence of other external forces.

-- Michael Teachings Transcripts

 

[ See Photo Comparisons of the Seven Attitudes ]

 

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The Seven Attitudes: Stoic, Spiritualist, Skeptic, Idealist, Cynic, Realist, Pragmatist

 

 



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