Between Friends - Reason

By Doreen Barber


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“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” -Albert Einstein.  

Questioning the perception of our mind’s ability to discern extraordinary happenings will be debated long after those of us now living have departed this life. 

To allow the intuitive side or a gut reaction to navigate this life for some would be insanity. The intellectual side of our brain is like an invisible entity wanting to orchestrate our every thought because it is rational, lucid, and balanced or so it would seem on first impression.

The two different approaches to decision making do not seem to be connected.  They battle for control of our thoughts and emotions, somewhat like handling a bomb that is armed and ready to explode. 

Some of us have highly developed right brain hemispheres, while others are left-brain dominant. The right brain uses imagination, feelings, philosophy and religion, and presents possibilities, etc. The left brain uses logic, is detail-oriented, has ordered facts, rules, and is practical and safe. 

Where does reason fit in these spheres? Reason is mainly a left brain function.   

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are all so remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.” -Douglas Adams.
 
Common sense is not that common. If we were to ask an adult driver if it is reasonable to drink and drive, the response would likely vary depending on the individual’s behavioural habits and background. 
Is it reasonable to say a Canada goose is Canadian? Yes, according to a comment I heard recently made on a U.S. television station.

As children, we learned a set of values based on age appropriate rationale. As adults, a new set of principles must have evolved or rationale would not mature.

“An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.” -C.S. Lewis
 
Reason is gained from trial and error or experience. It is an activity that could be listed as a skill. Sound judgment and the ironing out of life’s wrinkles are sometimes gained personally and, at other times, because of input from others. 

For some people, reason comes as a gift, for others, it takes considerable effort. 

AUGUST 2009 SENIOR LIVING  VANCOUVER

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