Emotion and Reason

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Essential phenomena in human growth, existence, and psychology are the objects of reason, thought, irrationality, and volatility. Great writers and philosophers have stipulated controversial statements about the elements herein that remain both meaningful and interesting. While the conviction that emotions are good for the human mind is a group of these academics, others have put forward opposing views that rationality is central and that emotions can contribute to a lack of refrain and thus incorrect movements in life, whose effects could attract drastic results. Therefore, emotions and reason compel humanity in making either rational or irrational decision, both of which are termed as morally upright or ethically wrong depending on the diversity among cultures. Therefore, it is not only imperative to analyze the philosophical work in Mahabharata (Including the Bhagavad Gita), Dhammapada, Gita Govinda, Analects of Confucius, Tao Te Ching, Euripides, The Bacchae, and Plato, Phaedo, Euthyphro, Apology” “Crito; but also vital to highlight how philosophers have confronted the contradiction, and what their beliefs about the beneficial and perilous properties of reason and emotion are. 

The ability to learn and renounce action and will are two critical elements discussed in Mahabharata, pertinent to the arguments of the Bhagavad Gita. Renunciation should be inseparable from the human persons, which is a process that enables people to develop reason, hence being able to denounce the material things of the world, abandon pleasure and treasure for the sake of nirvana, just as did the Buddha. On the other hand, Yoga is action in practice which enables people to engage positive emotions in gaining enlightenment in life, to avoid destructive illusions. The guna of Saatva can enhance humility, self-control, and irrationality to build humanity. On the contrary, the guna of Rajas makes people full of pride, passion for evil, anger, ego, emotion, and lust. The guna of tamas makes people delight in darkness and solitude to avoid yoga. Therefore, possession of reason and rationality helps people avoid making perilous and destructive choices in life. In Hindu, Karima means that all actions attract reactions and that individuals who practice holiness, faithfulness and purity eventually reap divine lives, as opposed to those who remain egoistic and proud, whereby they accumulate more karma to work for. On the other hand, people are born into problems, riches, evil families and religious backgrounds, hence their dharma. Nevertheless, every person has to work out their way to burn out as much karma as possible to finally achieve a better position in their samsaric cycle, hence the need of utmost rationalism, self-control to subject everything to reason, and balance emotions.

The Buddha himself postulated and argued out the primary details in the Dhammapada`s verses in different occasions. A critical analysis and a balanced, rational approach reveal that the assertions of Buddha remain universal, as the theories, models, rhetorical styles and the many arguments remain relevant in the contemporary world. Buddha postulated that the spiritual and social status of people in life is directly proportional to their thoughts and actions, and the evil spirits in individuals attract harm just as divine ideas do attract refined divineness. Furthermore, people who hurt others in pursuit of happiness and pleasure do so in vain. Therefore, he concludes that exercising emotional balance, rationality, and reason is critical, for anger and hate attract twice as much destructive force among the contending persons, thus the need for sobriety to avoid the undesirable consequences.

Following the landmark release of the Gita Govinda in India, the devotion of devotees, dancers, musicians, poets and artists changed for good in the south, west, north and the east of the country. The poem was practiced by and large across the country in different institutions. Because of the compelling message the author inculcated into the verses, the audience found the poem a necessarily indispensable genre to recite during the sessions of offerings in Guruvayoor and temples of Manipur as well as Puri temples. Furthermore, the worships conducted during the reveverence of and recognizing of Lord Jagannatha were characterized by Gita Govinda. Therefore the emotion that emanated from the poem attached people to religious doctrines even deeper, hence the significance of reason and rationale of relevance during its inception.

The need to obtaining knowledge and observing ritual is emphasized in the Analects of Confucius as founded on the theme of humaneness and goodness. The term good in this context refers to solemn virtue that means only a few people can be close to such an epitome of divineness. Therefore, according to the teachings of Confucius, one needs a reason, rationality, and scrutiny of understanding to spend years redefining themselves toward the very objective. Confucius calls the act of embodying features of the gentleman and superior scholar as a small man because it is very highly revered and seldom found among people. Such people to not recognize political ideologies and pleasure, rather, they value and embrace rationality, reason, and what is right in everything. Therefore, the philosophy of Confucius is the notion that moderation is key, as people of extremes are seldom gentlemen, and as such lack divineness. Finally, the elements of rites and ritual are emphasized in the text, alluding to the need for people to recognizing and embracing upright personality and moral ethics, which calls for the scrutiny of reason in one’s entire life.

The chines philosophy was contributed to majorly by one Lao-tzu, as is reflected in the Tao Te Ching. Tao means life and the overall habits in the lifestyle of a person, bordering external relations. According to the philosopher, Tao is present for both the holy and the dead and was in existence before God himself, and He is birthed by the same externally, without time ending. Furthermore, all things of nature, both the living and non-living originate from Tao. Nevertheless, Tao does not participate in the creation of anything. Tao holds life and the universe abide by it, all that exist honor it and none elopes from the center of Tao, as after death everything gets back to Tao. The climax of the analogy is that all people recognize and know Tao. However, when the wise hear of it, they tremble with fear and reverence, the average embodies doubt, and look-warm believe, whereas the fools simply laugh. The philosopher comes to a conclusion that all people gain knowledge in everyday living, and it calls for higher understanding, rational and emotional balance for one to reach desirable levels, and hence avoid the dangerous and destructive effects of actions in controversy.

The Bacchae serves as a stern warning to people who follow the law strictly and exclusively, as it leads to more harm than benefits in the long run. An example is given by the analogy of the story of King Pentheus, who when he fully relies on the law as a primary determinant of livelihood, the people suffer, the city, and the king as well lose stability following the irritation of the god Dionysus of rituals. Therefore, little chaos and controversies built strong bonds and understanding in life, unlike when statutes and regulations are the order of the human livelihood. In the play, the theme of madness comes out in the Bacchae. The God Dionysus is angered, and it spares nor child nor the elderly, as it sweeps across the land making everybody wild and wearied. The god is never at peace with the land when both the rational and the irrational are not allowed to thrive together as a whole human population. Furthermore, the theme of violence is disturbing elements in the play. The audience is forced to question the essence of hunting and murder, the controversy between rituals and offering, as well as the similarity between sacrifice and rituals. The animals are not at peace with humanity, whereas the human person has chosen a volatile path, a treacherous trajectory, and a precarious livelihood. Indeed, the author challenges the audience to realize the need for balancing emotions to understand sobriety and exercise rationality and understanding for a better, harmonious, and peaceful coexistence.

Following the trial and a controversial eventuality that leads to the death of Socrates, four fundamental questions arise. The four queries entail the Crito, the Euthyphro, the Phaedo, and the Apology. Pertinent to the question of Euthyphro, the concept of piety arises as Socrates is persecuted on the very grounds of impiety, as he was subject to trial, a crime no one well understood. The concept of apology sets in following the arguments by Socrates in his defense, against the allegations that his knowledge had caused the psychological corruption of the youths against following and embracing the beliefs, culture, and traditions of Athens. The Crito is a period characterized by an old man visiting Socrates in custody, telling him to escape or engage any means possible to avoid his impending death. Nevertheless, Socrates is convinced by reason that he is right ion his arguments, and he dares not fear death. Phaedo is the final phase of Socrates in life and prison. He meets one of his disciples, Phaedo, who together with other affiliates they discuss why Socrates did not fear death and why he believed that the soul of the human person is always immoral. In this argument, therefore, we are challenged to always subject every encounter of our lives, however intriguing, to the scrutiny of the test, balance our emotions and out of reason, reach out to our valid conclusions. Therefore, from Socrates and the case that leads to his death, we learn the effects of emotion and reason about the benefits and perilous effects that are termed eventual outcomes.


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August 09, 2021

Learning Emotions

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