The modern world likes the idea of logic. In fact, we are so in love with logic that we are always looking for reasons. And sometimes the reasons are there for us to discover – they may not be easy to understand, but there are rules and conditions that we can discover and know.
I like watching science programs, and it is interesting to see over the years how we have known for sure that such and such is the reason for something – only to see another reason being discovered some years later that make our earlier reason seem silly and wrong.
Because the truth is that reasons compound on each other, none more so than in the human condition. The reason we see in front of us is often the result of reasons that go back way into the past – it is almost like the annoying child who keeps asking why?
Why is the reason this person an addict? Because they are addicted to their drug of choice.
What is the reason they are addicted? Because they need the feeling that it gives them.
What is the reason they need the feeling? Because they feel insecure in other areas of their lives.
What is the reason they feel insecure? Because they have been hurt in the past, and are trying to protect themselves from future harm.
And so on and so on – any “solution” that only looks at the first of these reasons is bound to fail, simple because there are too many reasons and they are all intertwined.
So, do we need to go down the route of analyzing everything down to basic conditions – is there a fundamental reason that we need to discover before we can carry on?
I think not – sometimes knowing the reason for something doesn’t help. If we have a bad stance when playing golf, taking years to analyze all the ways our stance is different from the idea one could take me many years, and at the end of it we’d be able to tell why. But we’d still be missing the green.
Maybe the better way, rather than finding the reason why, would be to practice doing it better. Then, regardless of the reasons, our game would improve.
Reason is a wonderful thing, but we humans are complicated beings, and sometimes, reason alone is not enough. There may be a reason why we smile when we see the sunset over the ocean. But if you found out that reason, and explained it in all its technical detail, would it make the enjoyment more or less?
Sometimes we need to step beyond mere reason, and look for truth instead