I used to ask myself this question whenever I saw someone under emotional stress doing something foolish or illogical. At times like these; I though, being logical was more important than being emotional. But little did I know, that this very thought of mine was illogical. With time I came to realise that human beings can never stop being emotional, no matter what. No matter how illogically they make us behave, emotions are a part of our nature, our DNA if you will. Human species can not exist without the presence of both, emotion and logic.
Just like a completely emotional person without logic or reasoning power in him is unworthy of being called human since he is operating on the baser nature alone; similarly a completely logical person, lacking in emotion, is more a machine, a robot, than human. What’s more important is maintaining an acceptable balance between the two and not letting one side dominate the other for too long.
A predominance of emotions makes a person selfish and moody and he works under the feeling of the moment. This hurts the people around him if they find it difficult to adapt to his varying moods and also because they, having moods of their own, might not want to accommodate the other’s mood swings for long or every time. An emotional person, thus becomes fiercely individualistic and isolated from others. His likes and dislikes also become very subjective.
Predominance of logic, on the other hand, makes a person immune to emotions if they stop a person from behaving rationally. For such a person, love, compassion, separation, death etc. stop mattering because he accepts these quite easily as part of life process. This tends to alienate him from those who care for him. And if the majority of people were dominated by logic the world would be an emotionless place where people would work or interact only for the sake of security and requirements.
Imagine a world where no one stopped to admire sunsets, make out shapes in the clouds, enjoyed a walk in the rain, feel the wind blowing the leaves of trees in the air and the branches waving and dancing under its force, all of it combining to give the feeling of an orchestra playing in perfect harmony. Imagine that no one stopped to enjoy all this because there was no logic to such an enjoyment and there was nothing to be gained by indulging in such pursuits.
Imagine a world where the slightest provocation, tension or disturbance of their peace of mind made people lash out. Slap someone, kick someone, rape someone, kill someone, or even, kill themselves. Just because they their feelings run amuck without stopping to question the logical consequence of their actions.
How do we achieve balance?
Written in March 1991
Dialogues with myself
The above thoughts, or 'Dialogues with Myself', were a big part of my adolescent years, where not content with the way society and religion spoke about God and many other things and expected us kids to accept everything without questioning, since they knew better, I tried to debate against their beliefs using my own beliefs reached at by my logical understanding on the subject.
I was unwilling to accept their answers at face value and thus many questions arose in my heart, my mind, my soul for which I sought for the answers within. This gave rise to further questions that seemingly were posed by my own conditioning, the value system given by my family, related and unrelated elders, my education and the society, and I tried to find answers to these as well.
There will be more such posts of 'Dialogues with Myself' where I am questioning the existing norms and wisdoms of the society. Some of my thoughts and answers I reached back then in my high school and early college days are still relevant to me, some I have outgrown and yet some others I have built upon later as my thoughts and understanding matured and life experiences taught me more about others and myself.