Curls, clouds and code

A blog by Corstian BoermanCorstian Boerman (self portrait)

The paradox of the rational mind

Corstian Boerman
Corstian Boerman
Reading time: 2 minutes

Those believing the emotional systems of the brain can be overridden in favour of the rational system engage in a serious fallacy. It would be wishful thinking to believe (sub)conscious processes magically turn off when you deny their existence. Quite the contrary would happen instead. As the existence of emotions is denied, one cannot just simply keep them in line by checking upon them, and acting on those. Instead the emotional process will run wild, and any strong feeling produced by it will be perceived as being a rational thing, rather than the emotional thing it essentially is.

This leads to a paradox, wherein those believing they are rational for the simple reason they deny the existence of emotions might in fact be the most emotional beings around. It's as if the emotional aspect of their brain has free reign, and the ratio stumbles behind trying to find a reason to justify whatever the emotional part comes up with.

In defence of those neglecting their emotional side it is important to note they probably have a good reason to do so. Almost all of those whom I interacted with have grown up in abusive environments. Whether it was emotional neglect, physical abuse or other traumatic events, if they were to experience the full range of their emotion it would wreck them. In situations like these the only reasonable thing one can do is to ignore their emotion, and soldier on. It's a self preservation mechanism to cope with their environment at times.

The sad reality is that these trauma responses linger on far longer than they need to, still impacting the reality of those carrying this around each and every single day. I wish I would have had a way to provide help to all those impacted. Instead I worry that the sheer scale of this problem is far bigger than I can ever fathom. I'm hopeful we might be able to come up with solutions which can tackle this issue on a fundamental level, rather than the small scale fire-fighting currently going on.


Hey there, I hope you enjoyed this post of mine. If you did, consider sharing this with that one friend who'd also appreciate this. Comments are gone for the time being, but if you feel like discussing something more in-depth, send me a message on Twitter, or just email me.

- Corstian