Suddenly April of our new year looms. The first quarter of the year is almost behind us! Perhaps so too are those New Year promises and commitments we made in great earnest what seems a few weeks ago. All is not lost. We still have time for pause and reflection. The invitation as spring bursts forth with new life is to consider the significance of what it means to be a reasonable person. For reasonable people breathe life into all reasons.
When people quarrel, each says they are right because each has a reason. When a person helps another person in need, she gives a reason. When a person steals from a company, she has a reason. When a nation fights with another nation, the politicians provide their reasons. To outsiders to a quarrel, they have reasons for either agreeing with or disagreeing with certain parties’ reasons. As you can see, we can go around and around building our reality based on the reasons we prefer, that suit our needs, or seem most comfortable to us.
What we learn from this is that everyone has a reason. Naturally, we are inclined to believe that our reasons are the most sound or the most superior. Why? Well, we have reasons to support our reasons! We like to insist that our clear thinking and our rational approach trumps that of others. We forget that the real truth is that our wonderful, so called rational thinking, follows our emotions and not vice versa.
What does all this have to do with being reasonable and our rapidly passing new year? Let us review these ideas one step at a time. Most of us consider ourselves to be educated people, if not by holding formal degrees, but by being educated by life. Being a so called educated person, means knowing many facts; having assimilated many ideologies and theories; embracing many forms of logic, and having had many experiences. These provide the rationale we use to support, and direct our reasons.
Now an important question is whether our reasoning shows us to be reasonable people? Reasonable people do not depend solely on their reason for their assessments and judgments. Reasonable people are people one can reason with. They understand that reasons are subjective, and are grounded in feeling and intuitions. Reasonable people combine the heart with the head; they seek out a middle ground. Reasonable people understand that reason on its own can turn quickly to cold, hard, rationalizations. Reasonable people do not cling adamantly to immutable truths but seek to go beyond truth to wisdom.
Wisdom combines rational rigor and principled thinking with compassion, sensitivity, and a willingness to acknowledge that “what we see depends on where we stand.” Wisdom emerges from wrestling with difference, misunderstandings, and conflicting truths. Wisdom reflects an open heart and an open mind; the soul-prints of an educated person. Wisdom seeks to unite the deep knowledge that lies in the soul of the world with the deep knowledge and creative intuition that pulsates within every one of us. Only a desire for wisdom can place us on the path to find her – the Sophia – the personification of divine wisdom and insight. Divine wisdom has only one truth as its end and that is love. And love knows no confines.
Now to the matter of our continued intentions for the year: Maybe our resolutions could include the express intention to focus our efforts in 2016 on being wise and reasonable people. Surely the world could do with a return to the pursuit of reasonableness as a path to wisdom. Maybe, we could add to our resolutions a commitment to personal reflection regarding our own reasonableness and our own contribution to the wisdom of the soul of our world. Every contribution, no matter how small, counts. The akasha field holds it all.
I wish everyone a warm and life-filled spring.
Annabel Beerel, Ph.D.
March 24, 2016