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Instinct Vs Rationality


Much like when the referee that blows the whistle and makes an instantaneous call on foul play, so does our instinct. This instils confidence in the crowd or our observing mind. If left to fester, the crowd reacts at the referee’s ability to make decisions and leads him to second guess himself, as do we when we ignore our instinct and allow the dissonance of rumination and self-inquiry to start a conversation. We invite rational thought to challenge our natural judgment. We are often unsure of how to weight importance of these two modes of reaction.


In being part of a community, we often consciously negate our instinct to our own detriment and thus to the benefit of the wider population. This is when the Freudian idea of the superego dominates the libidinal forces in a bid to appease the perceived morality of the external world, while quelling our instinctual desires. If our desire is for bloodlust or rape, then this challenges the structure of our society because it makes the rest of the community vulnerable, yet if we desire to express our vulnerability by approaching a stranger or dancing in public, we risk embarrassment and thus an experience which strengthens the superego. This is the macro-social equivalent of instinct and rationality — one indulges the libidinal desire and one calculates the long term effects of an action.


For those that pay close attention to the subtext of life, there is an ability to recognise patterns and synchronicities intuitively. This is a hint to a source of oneness, but perhaps not so widely valued by society as it is a pattern unique to each individual. Our rational methods of determination and interpretations of the material world are only metaphorical ways of educating us on how to recognise patterns. Just as the personal interpretations may not be as valuable to others as they are to you, the universal concept of patterns and cycles is something we can all acknowledge.


The scientific method slowly reveals preconceived theories which are available for all to experience. It is access to understanding through curiosity, rather than experience. It is the ‘I feel an emotion because of X, Y or Z’, in the hope to control such emotions in the future, rather than I just feel something.


What causes a person to come up with a theory? Why can they only explore their theory through a process of deduction? The rational mind is a sceptical one and must know how the sausage is made, rather than experiencing the flavours, it must know how hot the flame is, rather than using it to cook. It wants control through knowledge, rather than experiencing things at face value. Science says that meditation is good for your wellbeing, yet each individual will give you a different reason for what meditation is to them. We rely far too much on large sets of data produced by others and seek to plug ourselves into it, rather than observe our own instinct and emotion and let it guide us.


While our unconscious will continue to direct us to unknown outcomes, the more we make the unconscious conscious, the more understanding we will have behind our choices. We learn the ability to smell the sausage and know if it is good or bad for us. We learn to discern the flavours used in making the sausage rather than rely on a recipe book or a sell-by date written by someone else.

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