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A little later on, as lore has it, an extremely remote relative of mine, René Descartes, made a philosophical capitulation, and raised his sword and brought it down with enough force to cut the baby clean in half. The church would get the lower passionate half. Science got the head with all of its thoughts. Other extremely remote relatives of mine came to call this severing in two the Cartesian Split.
What is thought without passion? Dispassionate, cerebral, dull, heartless masturbation.
What is passion without thought? My Great-great¹⁰⁰ grandpa and grandma who were highly motivated by survival, food and sex and prone to violent outrages, threatening gestures, and superstitions in defense of those needs.
Passion without thought is insanity. Thought without passion is weak. Both, alone, are dangerous and vulnerable.
My hunch is that evolutionarily speaking we are on the cusp of ushering passion and thought to the altar to be wedded in Holy matrimony.
Together, thought and passion are the perfect soul mates, matched to make good decisions upon which to act, with the winds of science, art and wonder at their backs, pressing forward into the unknown.
The union of the two will require the birth of a new sort of human. One who is not merely passion or thought, but another who governs over them. If I am not only my passions, and do not exclusively reside in my thoughts, but am an ever attentive, benevolent overseer of the two, always laboring to mediate a balance between them, then, in the best interest of me, mine and humanity, who am I?
A human who can think about and be with one’s thoughts and passions without being ruled by the two.
Originally published on August 11, 2011.