Tag Archives: suppression

Chuck’s Place: Passion vs Reason

Reason lacks passion, passion lacks reason. Reason issues from the light of consciousness. Passion hails from the many moods of the moon.

Reason at the center, like the brain, surrounded by passion…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The coolness of reason separates itself from the chaos and passion of nature. Reason seeks to create and impose order. Passion issues from the instincts of the body, from which it emotionally imposes its will.

Reason cuts off passion at the throat where rising emotions seek to overpower the brain, the home base of reason. We call this a tight or sore throat, psychologically it is dissociation.

Passion cuts off reason in the belly and the bowels, refusing to digest the will of reason. We experience this physically as indigestion and IBS, psychologically as anxiety.

Reason is associated with the brain, the engine of abstraction, the organ of our body least associated with nature and feeling. Reason is responsible for the creation of our technological world, as well as the order we create in civilization. Reason is considered our highest evolutionary achievement.

Passion, associated with instincts, imbues emotion with cascades of numinous energy. The delight of eating, the ecstasy of sex, the blood thirst of war, the agony and ecstasy of parenthood are all endowed with the passion of instinct.

For centuries reason has grown in power; frankly, to the point of god status. Reason is antithetical to belief and the irrational, to the unprovable, so that though modern humans might still affiliate with religious traditions outwardly, the individual and collective compass for life is still reason.

Within the individual the conflict between reason and passion results either in depression, where passion is lost, or compulsion, where passion overtakes reason’s restraints.

The conflict between passion and reason in our collective world is currently being expressed through the breakthrough of a passionate leader who creates fire and fury wherever he turns.

For many, this powerful emergence provides the relief and release of long suppressed passionate emotions. What has amazed the rest of the world is how unreasonable this passionate leader can be and yet be so dearly cherished by so many.

The real lesson here is how disastrous it is to neglect passionate instinct. Eventually it will break through, with a vengeance. And reason is no match for its wrathful coming to power, which can go so far as to bring us to the brink of destruction. Take note reason: Suppress passion and risk an orgy of destruction.

This is not a Trump diatribe. Trump embodies a pagan energy that invites and incites passionate expression. C. G. Jung identified a similar breakthrough into the collective German psyche in the 1930s as the restless wandering pagan god of storm and wind, Wotan, who unleashed the passion and frenzy responsible for the atrocities committed during World War II.

Though leaders must be held accountable for their actions, it is equally true that the latent readiness in the populace to respond to passionate incitement reflects a burgeoning readiness to erupt.

What is constellated in America is a resurgence of a suppressed passionate energy at war with reason. And reason still believes that logic trumps passion. Time and time again Trump teaches us how easy it is to dismiss reason, simply by calling it bad, so bad.

Without entering into the argument for the need for regime change, I cut to the real crux of the problem: the reconciliation of reason and passion.

The technology of Christianity that sought to control the passion of sexuality was compensated for by the overarching shadow of its disowned sexual instinct emerging in sexual abuse, which haunts many religious institutions. What is suppressed will find its way out somehow, often in a most exaggerated, destructive way.

The technology of reason that once governed our political process and national identity is succumbing to hair-trigger instinctual rule. Clearly we need a new technology of balance.

To contine to project badness outside of ourselves is an archaic technology certain to end in destruction. To impose the technology of reason over passion results in, and will continue to result in, a stalemate and an escalation of tensions. To simply bury statues is like burying the pagan gods—beware the revenge of Wotan.

As is my proclivity, I turn to the individual, as the hologram of the world, to truly solve the issue. Passions must be lived, somehow. If reason is to remain in charge of life, it must honor and live alongside its passionate partner, consciously allowing the irrational to renew its connection to nature. This is a task for every individual to solve within themselves, and within their relationships, if we are to achieve a new  balance in the world.

Passion hates limitation, but so does reason. Perhaps if reason can agree to limits, passion will comfortably acquiesce to limits too. Imagine these two opposites in harmony. Wouldn’t that be something?

If our country can come together and collectively enjoy reason and passion facing off in a solar eclipse, surely we can bear the tension of this standoff within ourselves and find our way to higher consciousness.

The old technology to go to war within and without to relieve the tension of reason vs. passion needn’t be our fallback solution. We are ready for new evolutionary possibilities. Explore them within the self, advance the world.

Reasonably passionate,

Chuck