“In the beginning was Reason, and Reason was with God, and Reason was God.”–Gospel of John 1:1
What? How do you translate the Greek work “Logos”? The Word? So let me get this straight any other work of philosophy from that time period we would translate logos as Reason or Logic, but in this one work we should translate it as “The Word”…yeah that makes sense.
My point here is that reason, logic, the critical power of the mind to analyze and come to conclusions is actually something that has been praised in religion. Any correct interpretation of any sane religion places reason and faith on equal footing where they work together in harmony, not in opposition. Thus to truly lead a spiritual life we must lead a life of reason…
Yeah modern culture has tried to teach you that the two are opposed, but they’re not.
It wasn’t a giant leap of faith that allowed Siddhartha to reach Enlightenment, he tried that for years to no avail–it was hearing the rational wisdom of a lyre player saying that “If the string is to tight it will break, if too loose it will not play” to his student. The reason that we must seek a middle path, or at the father of Western reason Aristotle would put it, the Golden Mean.
Granted reason without faith won’t get you to Enlightenment, but neither will faith without reason.
And for most of us I think it is the powers of reason they we neglect too much. And if it is neglected too much than all the faith and crystals and holy books and yoga in the world won’t help you. You need both and you need to make sure both your ability to believe and your ability to reason are functioning properly.
So this week I want you to ask the most basic question that is the beginning or reason: Why?
Why do you believe that? Why should I believe that? Why do you say that? Why do you believe you’re right?
To every statement you hear, every fact provided to you, every thought you have, question it. Try and reason it out and deduce if it is true, if it makes sense, if there is justification for it. Everything, even the things you take for granted if only for the practice.
Now you may want to do this all internally, as doing it aloud is partly what got Socrates a death sentence. If you have someone who enjoys a long conversation that will reduce any position down to its most basic premises, great, but those kind of people are few and far between.
Take this to both spiritual and world knowledge. It will get tiring, because each answer will lead you to another “Why” and another and another…but the exercise will be worth it.