Saintly Thoughts

Reasoning From Fear

To paraphrase Francis Bacon, human reason is not a dry light; that is, human persons always employ their minds within the context of some preexisting emotional state.  For if we did not have some impetus to think, why would we deliberate?  I suppose that this preexisting state might be a great many things and on some level, even at its worst, I suppose that every act of thinking contains within itself some small kernel of hope, for without hope, I suppose that the reflexive human person (aware of himself) could do nothing.  But this hope, while it is premised in the very commencement of activity, might be so over-burdened by strong emotional considerations (and I do not herein posit that hope is an emotional state, though it is closely akin to emotion) that it might be difficult to discover.  Happiness is a sublime emotional state, but it is likely one only obtainable by the very wise, the very blessed, and the very stupid.  Much more common and much stronger is the emotional state of fear.  Fear may well be considered the primeval emotional state.  After all this time you would think that humanity would have learned to shake off its fear, but it has not.  And while happiness may skew our perception of the world in an undeserved rosy direction, fear colors all that we do with a dour blackness.  Both fear and happiness prevent us from perceiving the world clearly; hope may well do the same, but since it is impossible to act without hope we must be far more careful in casting off her necessary shackles, lest we become lost in despair.  I fear that fear, and I fear even more that despair.  The fear of despair is ultimately the final fear before one faces either destruction or madness.  I highly recommend that one doesn't delve too far into the depths of ones fear, for those depths are infinite.