Emotions & Rationality

Some perspectives on emotions and rationality

“Absence of emotions neither causes nor promotes rationality. […] In order to respond reasonably one must first of all be ‘moved,’ and the opposite of emotional is not ‘rational,’ whatever that may mean…”

— Arendt, ‘On Violence’, in Crises of the Republic

“In the words of neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, ‘New neurological evidence suggests that … emotion may well be the support system without which the edifice of reason cannot function properly and may even collapse’. Emotion, far from being antithetical to rational thought, is a prerequisite for it.”

— David W. Orr (The Nature of Design - Ecology, culture and Human intention)

“Native scholar Greg Cajete has written that in indigenous ways of knowing, we understand a thing only when we understand it with all four aspects of our being: mind, body, emotion, and spirit. I came to understand quite sharply when I began training as a scientist that science privileges only one, possibly two, of those ways of knowing: mind and body.”

— Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass)

“This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor…Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honourably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be greatful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”

— Rumi

“Move through the hard feelings. Slowly. With care. Pickup pieces of them. Study them. Learn from them. There are lessons in the pieces of yourself you are ashamed of. There is healing in keeping joy close. Mourn the memories as they resurface. Ease into the discomfort of grief. And who said you had to push through this alone? Or in silence? Or on anyones timeline but your own?”

— Lora Mathis, No Mist (2017)