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"The heart has its reasons that reason cannot know."

graphic_healthyheart.jpgBlaise Pascal

As rational as I like to pretend I am, I know that I am not ruled by reason. Looking back I recognize that many of my choices were choices of passion, neither governed by logic nor common sense. Many of these were good choices, though not all of them were. But taking stock of my life so far, I do not wish I had been more logical. I do sometimes wish I had been more passionate.

40 for 40, #6


Hey there, Lawrence! Wanna tell you we really like your blog--for one thing, it's nice to see what you and the kids are up to (I really love "hearing" Simon's breathless exclamations on whatever WOW game he's playing). Plus, for me, home with two preschoolers and a toddler, it's like a little bit of adult conversation everyday, whether or not I agree with it--and esp. if I don't. I love to know how other people think.

I have to tell you, my 4 decades have led me to almost the opposite conclusion as far as the "heart" goes--in fact, I would put "follow your heart" right up there with the all-time worst advice I could give anyone. Having followed my heart throughout my 20's, to my (and others') detriment, and having watched others do the same, with similar poor results, I have come to agree with Jeemiah, that, many times, at least, "the heart is deceitful in all things...." And we just don't seem to learn.... The other day, I was talking to a female relative (Brett's side) who is flirting with something she knows is wrong--and foolish--and, despite the fact that she is far older than me, she told me "I'm just ruled by my emotions." I thought my head would explode. (Because I still hold onto the illusion that age = wisdom) At any rate, I'm thinking that the heart is more like a not-so-guiless preschooler....it wants what it wants, but most of the time, I have to say no.

Have a good one, guy!


Oh, I agree with not following your heart. But I also agree with Blaise here. We must listen to the stirrings of hearts. I often make a gut check. I think there has to be a healthy balance between head and heart.

I think one of the best parts of Star Trek is the on-going dialogue of Bones and Spock - passion/compassion and cold hard logic. They are not necessarily exclussive voices.

While an excess of passion that is not tethered by reason is a horrible and destructive thing, so is the reverse.

I knew Star Trek would rear its geeky head in this conversation--in fact, when I was thinking about the emotion/reason debate, I could hear Spock talking about the good of the many vs the good of the few....and I'm not that big of a fan!
I think one could make the argument that compassion is logical--more logical than cold self-serving actions, as long as one doesn't see self-preservation as the highest good, which I would expect very few people do.
As far as the gut goes...if your gut is well-trained, it is a valuable tool. I've made several important decisions and "gut-tested" them...."I'll take this job/go out with this guy/move to this apartment"--and if the queasiness set in, I knew my intuition was onto something I didn't quite see. The heart--quite stupid; the gut, rarely wrong(if slightly paranoid).
At this point in my life, the heart issue I wrestle with is the "generous impulse." I like to provide for people, and I want to "save" them in whatever way I can--even when I know, logically, that most of the time, people need to do alot of that work themselves if they are to truly benefit. Well, gotta get the kids out the door--Katie has a violin lesson. Tell Emma "happy birthday" for us!

Well, yes of course. Passion is not always self-serving. Often the most passionate people I know are the most generous and self-giving people I know. When I am passionate about a cause or a project I will give myself over to that whole-heartedly. It is a transcendent thing.

Thanks for the birthday wishes. Emma is enjoying it thus far.

I don't think of passion and emotion as the same thing. I agree with the blog whole heartedly (that's a passion word!): the best significant decisions of my life have been lead by the heart and guided by the head, not the reverse.

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