Love and Reason
Published on June 15th, 2023 | by Harmonist staff6
By Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
We do not mean to say that reason is a foolish principle. On the contrary, we do not find better admirers of reason than our humble selves. We hold that humanity’s superiority amongst all created beings consists in its possessing the noble gift of reason.
What we maintain is this: that independent of this noble principle there is another, higher gift in humanity, which goes by the name of love. Reason helps love to maintain its proper bounds in the spiritual world. Love often tends to degrade itself by exercising its function on objects other than God and converting itself into lust for women, wine, meat, and gold. Here, reason advises love to rise higher till she reaches her proper sphere above.
Thus we find that the object of reason is to help love and not to create it. Reason may be properly styled as the servant of love and must always be subject to her in all her hopes, aspirations, and holy works.
The rationalist, on the contrary, considers reason as all and all. This is a degradation of humanity. The progressive rationalist, on the other hand, believes in the principle of love but attempts to make her the maidservant of reason. This is another error! Such a person sometimes makes spiritual love a prisoner in the jails of reason! Love wants to soar on her spiritual wings to a realm where the jailer (reason) cannot go, and the latter is sure to tie up her wings for fear that she goes to an unworthy place.
Love utters sounds of a spiritual character peculiar to herself, but reason, having no previous experience of it, mistakes it for a disease and administers medicine for her cure. Thus it is that the natural strength of the queen of our soul is crippled by artificial administration of the dry principle of reason, and she rests in us as if a bird taken in a cage. Oh! What a havoc doth reason commit by abuse of its power. Oh! Shame to the rationalist. God help the man!
Theists take care of those amongst you who mix with you only by assuming the name of theist but are in fact rationalists of a very dry character. They are divisible into two classes: the designing and the dupes. The designing theist is he who is, in fact, a rationalist but by assuming the name of theist wants to degrade the sincere by his bad influence. He that calls himself a theist in order to get rid of the name of rationalist but still holds love in subjugation to reason is a dupe because he is unable to find out his own position. The sincere theist should, however, take care of both of them and preserve the sovereignty of love over reason and his comrades.