Relearning rationality


PureInsight | July 2, 2001

Relearning rationality

When I first came to learn Falun Dafa, I had previously found that science and what I understood as 'rationality' was very limited, and couldn't explain or explore many subtle aspects of life and various phenomena. I understood that the 'spiritual' aspect of things was something completely mystical and thus somehow inexplicable.

I felt that Master Li used science to explain the principles of the Fa just for those who believed in science, to give them a way to understand the Fa at the beginning of their process of understanding. I understood that the Fa was very mysterious and profound - far from the realms of science and rationality. However, as I gradually improved my understanding, I began to wonder why Master Li had included these things of science in all his teachings, and why he would call Dafa 'the most mystical and extraordinary science.' In fact contained within these few words of his were all the answers to the hidden contradictions in my mind.

I had the notion that the 'spiritual' aspect of life was deeply mystical and subtle and that it thus separate from what could be grasped rationally and clearly. Now, I do not think that this is at all correct. What would be the point in studying and trying to understand something, if it one genuinely believed it were completely inexplicable and too mysterious and enigmatic to be understood clearly and rationally?

For me the word 'Mystical' in English had connotations of something, which cannot be understood. The word for 'mystical' in Chinese is sometimes translated as 'intricate.'

I realise now that one's own process of reasoning and understanding can be extraordinarily subtle and refined and hard to express in human language. However, this does not at all mean that it is somehow not rational and reasonable or is truly inexplicable. I think that however mysterious and subtle life and the universe may appear, they can be understood better and better, precisely as one's process of reasoning and mentality become more subtle, intricate and refined. To understand the laws of the universe, to understand life, science, spirit, morality, is not at all to abandon the process of reasoning - it is to embrace it and refine it.

I had begun to reject the process of reasoning and rationality, as I felt they were not in tune with the principles of the universe, because I saw that the it was too cold, crude and ugly to understand such subtle, beautiful and profound things as compassion, enlightened beings, laws of heaven, right and wrong, morality etc. I had not fully realised that as I improved my understanding of the Fa, I was not at all abandoning the process of reasoning, but embracing it and refining it. Through more study, I came to realise that in fact all of my understanding of the Fa was rational and reasonable, and that the previous concept I had of rationality, which had been produced through distorted modern concepts of reasoning and logic, was distorted and wrong - it was irrational.

I understand better now why Master Li uses the term 'mystical and extraordinary science' - for me, the Fa is the most rational, reasonable perception of life and the universe. For me now, rationality and science is not associated with a cold unfeeling logic, but a beautiful, subtle, intricate insight full of compassion and wisdom - albeit sometimes too subtle for this modern human language to express clearly.

Add new comment