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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about to do something nerdy. If you're not into the literary tie-in, you can probably actually skip to the end.


For those of you who haven’t read or require a brush-up, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone) by J. K. Rowling, while sneaking around the castle one night, Harry encounters a magical object called the Mirror of Erised.

It was a magnificent mirror, as high as the ceiling, with an ornate gold frame, standing on two clawed feet. There was an inscription carved around the top: Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi (note from under skies: read it backwards).
When Harry, who is essentially an orphan, looks into the mirror, he sees himself surrounded by family. Delighted by what the mirror has shown him, he returns with his friend Ron to share the vision. What Ron, who is often out-shown by older brothers, sees instead is something very different: his own reflection slightly aged, handsome, captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team and head boy at Hogwarts. Ron is also enthused by what he sees at first sight but, unlike Harry, does not return to the mirror another night.

Upon returning, Harry has a run-in with Dumbledore, and the headmaster explains to him the function and perils of the mirror.

”Let me explain. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help?”

[...]

“It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. [...] However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible. [...]

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.”
All of that being said, metaphorically speaking, how much time do you spend in front of the Mirror of Erised? I won't ask you to divulge "the deepest, most desperate desire of [your] hearts," but when I say that, do you already have an idea of what you'd probably see in the mirror?

INFPs are often referred to as the Idealists. We’re thought of as dreamers, and I’ve observed around the forum many of us speaking of our own impracticality or being accused of impracticality. How impractical are your dreams or ideals, really? Do you think they ever get in the way of real life, or are they simply a part of who you are? What are your thoughts?

I've just been thinking a lot about my personal tendency to live in my own head quite a bit. There's introversion and there's fantasy, but where should you draw the line, you know?
 

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Some days I live there. The deepest most desperate desires of my heart change from time to time. Many people argue that to live in fantasy is not a real life and how sad and all that. But I find that if I allow my fantasies to play out, they resolve themselves. For three years, I have fought the deepest most desperate desire of my heart - or allowing myself to dwell on it - and it took three years for me to resolve an issue that I could have figured out and dealt with in just a few months. All because I was trying to break away from The Mirror of Erised.

Young children play out their fantasies to understand real life. In many ways, I am still a young child. If I fight my fantasies - others believe adults aren't supposed to have fantasy - then I'm not being true to myself. But fantasy is how I work through my issues.

I can only speak for myself, of course, and this is my reason WHY I spend so much time living in my own head.

How much time? A couple hours a day, scattered throughout the day. I am a very busy mother of four, though. It might be more, if I had the time.
 

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Dreams, they complicate my life...

What I would see in the mirror would most likely vary day by day. Some of my dreams do get in the way of my life, but they also drive me. Living requires doing and my dreams help fuel my doing. My biggest problems with dreaming is when I i mix up my dreams with reality, mostly in relationships, and I put too much time and energy into thinking about situations that will never happen and I assume others feel ways they might not really feel. I've had corresponded with people, and felt a closeness, so I'll open up. If the correspondence stops without explanation, I'm left gutted when reality sets in.

I've just started exploring these types of situations and my relationships with others. I start to pick it apart and try to look for what I really get from certain relationships, is it just fuel for fantasy or is it healthy. Unfortunately, most of the time I'm finding kindeling for dreams.
 

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I think i know what i'd see, A short white haired girl with azure eyes leaning onto a tall black haired, dark eyed boys side with his arm around her, the two in love, i'l let you think about that one but im sure you can figure it out =3

As for how much time i spend day dreaming\fantasizing..Alot, maybe 4-6 hours a day even sometimes, though thats often just me day dreaming and possibly not about my "deepest desires", i really dont think it gets in my way though, its part of me, it helps me get rid of stress, relax and a nice pass time, and its not even pointless or anything i'l often later talk about the events of my day dream and draw some sort of realization from it, it helps me grow as a person so to speak. Even if i know none of its going to come true (or at least come true in the way it is in my dreams) as long as you dont expect it to come true i think its fine, that said in the harry potter reference you made the mirror just shows a image of the persons greatest desires at the moment, and i think my daydreams are a bit more than that but nonetheless there just me fantasizing so i think it still fits in.

Not sure where you draw the line, i dont think it can be a problem as long as you understand 2 things 1) In all likely hood its not gonna come true thats just how it is =( (well if your dreams are as fantasy like as mine anyways, if you simply dream of true love and nothing more it might very well come true, but not exactly the same as your fantasy) and 2) Reality and dreams are different, and your stuck in the real world so you cant just ignore it.

PS: I don't have white hair nor azure eyes
 

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Reality and dreams are different, and your stuck in the real world so you cant just ignore it.
Well said, we can never escape from this reality, only hide in our dreams for a while. Why do we hide? Why do we dream? Why do we create a perfect life in our heads?

Is it because we're miserable and greedy? We can never be happy with what we have and can get in the reality, so we dream about better "things". Money, love, talents and so on...
 

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Well said, we can never escape from this reality, only hide in our dreams for a while. Why do we hide? Why do we dream? Why do we create a perfect life in our heads?

Is it because we're miserable and greedy? We can never be happy with what we have and can get in the reality, so we dream about better "things". Money, love, talents and so on...
This got me thinking a bit, i dont just dream.. More like LIVE inside my head half the time, i dont just daydream about the good, but often the bad also, obviously i'd much prefer the life inside my head but the world and life inside is realistic within its own set of laws and rules (By laws and i rules i mean stuff like physics and gravity) i dunno i suppose i cant accept a "Perfect" life as weird as that sounds? Or maybe i just have the slightest hope it'll all come true....
 

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I am not an INFP but found this thread interesting and similiar to my own experience none the less. For one I would like to say that to me dreams and reality are one in the same, meaning your thoughts and your dreams are just as real in your world as the flesh on your bones. Those unique dreams of yours are a part of you and help make your soul your own so don't start wishing them away for a shot at "real life" as you'd be wishing away a part of yourself.

For myself a lot of my time spent in my head is spent on formulating ideas and theories but when I'm being much less academic I often experience and form myriads of different fantasies and daydream plotlines dancing about my head. I don't think they get in the way of anything though as often my desires or wishes will be future based and I'll try to work towards achieving them and my daydreams and other stories that I won't get into at the moment gennerally occur when I'm not doing anything of interest and so don't seem to interrupt anything important.

People do seem to not understand many of my more realistic ideas, desires and theories most of the time. And it saddens me as to me they seem perfectly plausible especially since I will often back these thoughts with logic and ethics alike yet either people refute them because they prefer what they are used to believing or accepting or are afraid to explore the possibilities even though change is a vital part of the cycle of nature. When this happens I'll tend to go into negative moods wherin I wield the mindset that people are stupid or that the majority of the populace around me are nothing more than ordinary dull pointless cattle never looking up or inquiring beyond their wretched fields awaiting the slaughter by an unseen sheppard's hand. I may even lose faith in humanity at large or go into a chaotic mindset where, instead of wanting to change the world for the better as I usually desire to, I picture myself gazing around an Earth which has become engulfed in the flames of its own funeral pyre and watch from above like an ethereal spirit and enjoy seeing the world die in embers.
 
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Awesome post.

I must say that I follow the Ron mirror scenario more than Harry's. Sure I have looked in the mirror I seen myself being able to support myself completely on my own. Doing everything I want to do so that I may happy. Strong enough so that I will not stay down to long when I stumble through life (I stumble often). I see myself as a mastered, learned version of my present self.

To quote one of my favorite artist "Create the world in which your trying to live in kid". Like Ron I try to take the proper steps in order to be where I think will make me most happy. I have looked in the mirror and seen what makes me happy, and it was as mentiond above. There is no reason to stand at amazement and marvel at what makes me happy when I am not. I see it, I know it, I want it, it's possiable, so all there is left to do now is get it. As time went on Ron work hard got to the image in the mirror. He looked in the mirror once and that was all he needed. He spent the rest of time living life, and getting closer to his ideal image of himself. To me depending on the person, they could use the mirror as motivation. It may be false knowledge or I may be looking at the mirror wrong, but to me it shows the path to go down. The image may be visually superficial, but the end result of going down that path is not how much your loved, or how handsome you are. In the end whats gained most of all is growth. Live Life, Follow Dreams, and Grow in between lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As for me, I find that I often escape into fantasies when reality just doesn’t quite live up to my expectations or desires. Throughout my life, I’ve been particularly prone to escapism through various fandoms, but I’ve also made up my own versions of reality. I’m quite aware that they aren’t real, but I’ve also been happy enough almost abiding more in my fantasy world than in the real world. When I say “fantasy world,” it sounds a bit extreme. For example, I mean things such as practicing conversations in my head that I think I might have in the future, that I feel I “messed up” in the past, or that may never even happen. (I suppose that largely ties into trying to be more social, but I do it, anyway, with just about anyone I interact with. In my head, I'm intellectual and articulate, but in reality, I generally remain my soft-spoken, awkward self.)

That one line always sticks out to me, though—“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live…” The thing is, I sometimes find it difficult to discern what kinds of dreams are tangible, so to speak, and which should be let alone.

My biggest problems with dreaming is when I i mix up my dreams with reality, mostly in relationships, and I put too much time and energy into thinking about situations that will never happen and I assume others feel ways they might not really feel. I've had corresponded with people, and felt a closeness, so I'll open up. If the correspondence stops without explanation, I'm left gutted when reality sets in.
I definitely relate to you in this sentiment—I think I must often see what I would like to see and get too close to people too quickly. You might be interested in a film called The Science of Sleep. It’s about the same sort of thing. It seems like somewhat of an INFP sort of film, anyway.

Awesome post.

I must say that I follow the Ron mirror scenario more than Harry's. Sure I have looked in the mirror I seen myself being able to support myself completely on my own. Doing everything I want to do so that I may happy. Strong enough so that I will not stay down to long when I stumble through life (I stumble often). I see myself as a mastered, learned version of my present self.

To quote one of my favorite artist "Create the world in which your trying to live in kid". Like Ron I try to take the proper steps in order to be where I think will make me most happy. I have looked in the mirror and seen what makes me happy, and it was as mentiond above. There is no reason to stand at amazement and marvel at what makes me happy when I am not. I see it, I know it, I want it, it's possiable, so all there is left to do now is get it. As time went on Ron work hard got to the image in the mirror. He looked in the mirror once and that was all he needed. He spent the rest of time living life, and getting closer to his ideal image of himself. To me depending on the person, they could use the mirror as motivation. It may be false knowledge or I may be looking at the mirror wrong, but to me it shows the path to go down. The image may be visually superficial, but the end result of going down that path is not how much your loved, or how handsome you are. In the end whats gained most of all is growth. Live Life, Follow Dreams, and Grow in between lol.
I like this post. As foolish as Ron can be when you look at his actions throughout the rest of the series, you have to admire him when he warns Harry not to go back to the mirror! It becomes clear that the mirror doesn’t simply show the future, as Harry’s entire extended family is dead. (That kind of makes me wonder, though, if Harry was all the more tempted because what he saw was more unattainable, if not because Ron was also a lot less naïve about magical objects…)

Recently (sort of, it’s been well over a year or so, I suppose—kind of complicated), I’ve been working on some stuff to try to make some of the things I want a little more attainable. At the same time, though, it’s sometimes difficult for me to stay motivated, and I feel myself slipping a little further into fantasy world, so to speak. It’s weird, because the closer I get to my goals, it’s almost like the further away I feel from actual achievement or any feelings of fulfillment.


/I feel like I'm being really confusing and elusive, ha. I appreciate all of the responses so far (even yours, @Fenrir317 :) ). All types are welcome, actually. I just figured that, perhaps, INFPs might be able to relate a little more easily to my approach, but I by no means think we have a monopoly on the "dreamer" stereotype, and I welcome any and all insight.
 

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I like this thread too.

Yes, I spend probably too much time there, but it feels very good to be in my head. When I'm not in my head, I'm often impatient to get back there, so it's a good job that there are necessary things to pull me into the real world. I also think I make excuses a lot not to do things irl so I can 'think'.

It can be a real struggle for me because my fantasy world of imagination, considerations and thoughts makes me ineffective in my real life a lot of the time. I also think that my imagined outcomes of real life situations sometimes make really doing things hard because deep down I know that real life will fall short of what I have already seen as the end results.

I am going to try really hard to motivate myself after the new year though.
 

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I do practically live in my head half of the time. It's like my other life because I venture into thought so often. The only problem is that it is better than the real world.
 

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i think there are three things that are fantasies but never get treated as such: memories, fear, and plans.

memories are fantasies of the past.
fears are fantasies we don't want to happen.
and plans are fantasies adjustable to a clock.

i think when we dwell in these things we are taking time to perceive/observe reality. They are not any less "unreal," but there aren't enough established norms that value them.
 

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Considering where I used to be at, I guess I'm doing a lot better -- because I used to spend more time in front of the mirror (living a fantasy inside my head) more than anything else in reality. Now, I'm kind of at the point were I remember that what I'm looking at is just my deepest desires being reflected back to me by a mirror and not real. The next step, is to cut myself off completely from those ties and focus on the here and now so I can move forward into making those dreams that had me so hung up, into a reality.
 

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other people or circumstances tend to come and smash the mirror into pieces eventually, if that had not been, I wouldn't mind living in the mirrorworld(s), and I don't think the boundaries between them are very clear, most in the real world is also mirrorstuff, only more stable such as most people agree on them.
 

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I live with my head in the clouds, daydreaming.
I don't think it is about my deepest desires all the time, but it varies, depending of how happy I am with my life at the moment!
I do think it gets on the way of living, sometimes. Because I'm so bussy dreaming about what could be that is really hard for me to accept and not be dissapointed with what it actually is.
But even so, I couldn't imagine my life without daydreaming! Is really usefull for when I NEED to drift away from reality. It is a part of me, and important one.
 

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I daydream/ponder a majority of the time. I've been paying closer attention to where my mind is focused. I reign it in for time with my son.

So does anyone else have a vivid enough imagination to get emotional about a daydream? I had one (who knows why) about my son passing and I ended up crying. Then I was laughing at myself for being a goober.
 

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I do this. It can be unhealthy. I have spent many years living in my head and rejecting the cold reality of waking life. I spend a lot of time imagining how happy I will be when I make my dreams come true, but I don't always spend as much time working on those dreams. It's escapism. It can cheer me up a bit, but I can get too lost in my dreams.

As for my deepest desires, I want to be intellectually successful and fine true love to cherish. That is all. Both of those desires require living in the real world. I try to take Dumbledore's advice. It has been running through my mind all year.
 
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