Three Views of Life

There are three views of life.

The rationalist thinks human nature can be understood by thought. Who I am, who we are, how we ought to live, how we can best organize ourselves politically – the rationalist has a two step process for addressing these and any other issues. First step is to come to a conceptual understanding of what is the right thing to think. The second step is to then will ourselves to act in accord with that right understanding. The rationalist aims to cultivate rational awareness, grasping the world in thought.

The anti-rationalist thinks human nature cannot be grasped in thought, and that thought and reason are false Gods which only the naïve and the weak believe in. The true energy and reality of human life are our brute powers, more basic and more subterranean than thought: the will, passions, identities, instincts. The anti-rationalist sees reason as a prison to be freed from so that the power and majesty of brute instincts can be unleashed. And life is a battle of those powers. The anti-rationalist aims to cultivate an awareness of power.

The supra-rationalist agrees with the anti-rationalist that life cannot be grasped in thought. But he agrees with the rationalist that thought is needed to guide our basic instincts and passions. The supra-rationalist thinks just as thought is needed to guide instincts, so too an awareness beyond and above thought is needed to guide thought. Thought is not the end of human consciousness, but only a step. Further beyond thought lies greater realms of consciousness and deeper modes of being. This is a cosmic awareness beyond the strain and effort of thought.

Our current time is no different from past times: it is the struggle of thought to grow beyond instinct, and of awareness to grow beyond thought.