Rationality – Tree of Life

Rationality is one of the seven positive roots of the Tree of Life. It’s the act of fueling our thoughts with positive energy. With it we make sound emotional decisions supported by reason.

That which conforms to principles of good reasoning, is sensible, shows good judgement, is consistent, logical, complete, and relevant. Rationality is a summary term like ‘virtue’ or ‘goodness’. It is manifested in an unlimited number of ways and depends on a host of principles. There is some ambiguity in it, depending on whether one considers only the logicalness and effectiveness by which one pursues one’s ends, or whether it includes the assessment of ends themselves. There is also ambiguity in whether one considers selfish ends to be rational, even when they conflict with what is just. Does a rational person have to be just or only skilled in pursuing his or her interests? Is it rational to be irrational in an irrational world? [1]

Throughout the years, I’ve watched the world become something other than what I thought it was. People doing things that don’t make sense. Their motivations are indiscernible. In a story, a character and their motivations must be believable, in life that is not the case. The only commonality I’ve seen is that people who hurt, hurt others. Some people hurt so much they become unbelievable villains. It makes you want to believe their only drive, the motive of their actions is to watch the world burn.

In my journey, I’ve blamed myself here and there. I’ve been convinced I was the villain, the destroyer of this relationship or that one.  That doesn’t make any sense, I am not solely responsible for the destruction of my past relationships. Just like you are not solely responsible for yours., but we are all partially responsible for anything that happens in all of our relationships.

If I were healthy…

When I was going through chemotherapy I was dating this lovely young woman. After we broke up I said that her and I wouldn’t have dated if I were healthy. I don’t know if that is true, because I was fond enough to fall in love with her. Truly in retrospect I think the statement was a coping mechanism.

The way it ended was terrible, perhaps more so than I anticipated. A lot of shitty things happened in the end. It made me feel like I was used. Used for all sorts of things and it made me feel like a tool, a weapon, a place holder and a stepping stone.

That’s life and its ok. I am grateful I had this beautiful young woman in my life when I was lonely and afraid. She was there for me in a way I needed someone to be in my life, she was my knight in shining armor. Spending time with me in that terrible hospital, holding my hand during chemotherapy and standing beside me as my lover. She eased the horror of staring down the barrel of death and I am eternally grateful to her for that.

So, what does all this lead into?

The positive root of rationality is more than accepting your role in relationships, it’s acknowledging and respecting their ebb and flow. We’re not always equally responsible at every moment. A wise man once told me this ebb and flow is akin to a seesaw. Sometimes you’re in the air and sometimes you’re not. There are times when we are more responsible and times when we are less.

[1] Paul, Richard, and A. J. A. Binker. Critical Thinking: What Every Person Needs to Survive in a Rapidly Changing World. Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2012.

Malfunction – Tree of Life





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