Reason and Passion

A long time ago when I read Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, I was very young and interested more in love, romance, relationships and marriage. Well, I’ll confess that although a lot older now, I’m still interested in those things, but since then my interests have expanded.

So many years later who would’ve guessed that the complex question of a human being’s ability to solve problems would have occupied so much of my time: Is it best to follow our hearts or unemotional, cold logic? This debate has been going on for centuries, although in the Star Trek television series the question was dramatized by the continued bickering between Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy.

Last year when I read Antonio Damaio’s Descartes’ Error, first published in 1994, I discovered that both reason and passion are necessary for the human mind to function at its peak; yet, in 1951, Kahlil Gibran had already written about this extraordinary relationship of two powerful human abilities.

Damasio wrote his book as a true scientist does with proof of the duality of the human mind presented in a clearly logical way, backed up by studies, observation and peer reviews of numerous case studies.

On the other hand, Kahlil Gibran, poet and prophet, worked intuitively; he just knew it to be true:

…For reason, ruling alone is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.

Therefore, let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing,

And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes…..


3 thoughts on “Reason and Passion

  1. Be passionate in all that you do, I mean everything work, play, reading, physical activity, meditation, etc- you get the point LIFE.
    However, let it be intelligent passion using common sense
    and then your heart/life won’t go wrong and if it was it will help get it right. If you have a religious faith this too will be your guide. Hasta pronto , lo que escribes es profundo sin ser oscuro. Continua el buen trabajo, yo seguire curando los males fisicos y las imperfecciones porque mi trabajo es mi pasion, frank

  2. Frank:
    ¿Qué tu trabajo es tu pasión? Pocas personas pueden decir eso con tanta seguridad. Reconozco en tus palabras que tu carrera te llena de satisfacción y de felicidad. Me alegro—pero una vida completa es mucho más. El encontrar y el mantener ese balance entre los dos—lo lógico y la pasión es tan difícil. Y a veces la conquista no se completa.

    Thank you for your kind words; I try to maintain balance in my life and in my writing, too. I remember advice from an old college friend—light must always accompany whatever profundities we explore; otherwise, all we have left is perennial darkness.

  3. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: A Home is… | Mirth and Motivation

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