So far so good, you say, but what’s the relevance? More importantly, perhaps, how does this impact the world we live in, our politics, our faltering economy, our everyday lives? And what has it got to do, if anything, with revolutionary thought?
By way of connecting the dots, let me open another Pandora's box, the all-too-oft ignored and unspoken of relationship between emotion and reason. We live in the age of science and technology, a world in which we’re virtually assaulted by scientific breakthroughs, technological innovation, all manner of gadgets. Barely a day passes by when we’re not introduced to something new and different, something that’s supposed to alter our lives, make things easier and better; a promise of a better tomorrow. Indeed, it’s difficult under the circumstances to resist the power of reason, scientific reason, the kind of reason we can readily import to any area whatever because if it works in science, it's surely bound to work anywhere at all, or so we think. We do live in the Age of Reason, and we’re mesmerized by it.
What of our emotions, though? How do they fit in?
It would be imprudent of me to suggest I’m the first or the last to point to the conflict, but conflict it definitely is and conflict it shall remain, Not insofar as science is concerned or the work you do in the number theory. What conflict could there be between reason and emotion when you’re so preoccupied, when you’re Robert Oppenheimer, let's say, or Doctor Atomic? These aren’t exactly the areas of our concern. Politics is, and how we view ourselves and our fellow humans.
I needn’t reiterate the plain truth that whenever emotion and reason are in conflict, emotion always wins. And the usual aftereffect of that conflict, unresolved, has got to be a personality disorder, no two ways about it. Which leaves us with only one resolution: since you can’t subjugate your emotions to reason, you must make your reason serve your emotions. There‘s no other way of escaping the conflict, no other way to freedom.
Let's face it, emotions rule, and reason is only a rationalization at worst, a justification at best. Which doesn’t make reason superfluous, far from it. Even the finest of our emotions cry for articulation whether by a written or spoken word. In the absence of such, they’d be dumb for not having been expressed, of no particular account, nothing other than a cry of the beast. It’s the uniqueness of humankind, it’s special attribute, that we can and do pay homage to our emotions.