Most people are mainly non-rational (emphasis on emotion, beauty, fun, comfort, music, art), while I am one of the very few that are mainly rational (emphasis on truth, logic, adequateness, technology, function). This leaves us with very few common ground to talk about and so is a main communication barrier.

However, I must admit that the non-rational approach to life is probably how it was meant (by God). Because nature and also human relationships are obviously beautiful, but not obviously logical. The forces that keep the creation moving on are also non-logical, like the desire and pleasure to have children.

My current view is just that the non-logical approach is no longer adequate in a fallen world like this. Because, for example, a non-logical approach to knowing God seems to be impossible: many people do so, but all of them end in different unjustified religions, simply because the truth about God is not obvious as the basic facts about a human relationship are.

So what needs to be solved in a logical way before joining in the non-rational approach is, in my view: establishing a justified perception about what is the truth about God, and establishing a view what is adequate to do and not to do in a world like this, i.e. what this world needs.

However, I seem to be unable to consequently live the “rational approach” out, as it grants me not enough motivation to do what it recommends to do. Therefore, I have a basic motivation problem of “not really being motivated to live”. Perhaps the solution would be to start some non-rational activity in my life, like painting, artistic photography, artistic video filming, enjoying nature, singing, playing an instrument, cooking, interieur design (for my expedition vehicle) or something like that.

From the Second Acts perspective, all relationships have a rational and non-rational aspect, but the rational aspect in human relationship is so obvious that it is always taken as granted and just implied. The rational aspect is the factual level: the existence and personhood of the entities in that relationship. Other rational aspects include knowing some details about the other person’s psychology, to be able to deal better with peculiarities. In my view, nobody yet cared about the rational aspect of the relationship to God as a precondition to “subjectively being in that relationship”.

2 thoughts on “Rational and non-rational approach to life

  1. I know exactly what you mean, I am a rational person, but also perceiving or abstract. I see possibilities but not their realizations. It all seems to be quite pointless and also suffer from a lack of motivation. I would love to learn to be more non-rational to see the value in art and beauty which to me would only be valuable if it had significance which so many times is not apparent. I’ve taken on photography because it is technical and have taken an interest in analog photography because it’s also mechanical. I’ve mostly done portraits but struggle with interacting with the model, and often cannot give a photograph or assign to it any significance or value. I think at some point one becomes so rational that it is irrational to continue on in that line of thinking because it inhibits joy.

  2. Rich – feeling with here. Also, good observation that the rational approach can be irrational itself … yes, I think that’s true. Probably, rational living is incompatible with the wiring of the human mind because it needs joy and motivation to proceed with life.

    What I’ve found since writing the post: Like you, I also need significance of art and beauty for these to provide joy to me – otherwise I’d just ignore them. But I found a good portion of this significance art that is used to support social change movements (like Occupy). Art has it’s own power to communicate to humans, and if used for the right cause, I’m happy it’s there …

    Another thing is social interaction. The rational person probably does not like socializing as a value on its own (so as to value it with just anybody) but will value it if it has significance. In my case for example, if the interaction is also about contributions to social change and making the world a better place. I happened to meet a very nice person for such contact, and her naturally joyful approach to life is infectious …

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