Trans4mind Home Page
~ A Journey of Self-Discovery ~

The Rational Person

By Peter Bloch

A common definition of rational thought is “the mind’s power of drawing conclusions and determining right and truth”, this being accomplished through “the process of forming conclusions, judgments, or inferences from facts or premises”. In the case of the sciences at least, it has been suggested that the process of rational thought “must be independent of emotions, personal feelings or any kind of instincts” (A.C. Grayling). However, whilst this last definition may work well for certain types of scientific enquiry (although some of the greatest scientists and philosophers of science have disputed this), it is clear that for much of human experience, and certainly for human relating, such a perspective is far too limiting, even if it were possible to achieve.

In this era of remarkable scientific achievement, there has naturally been a tendency for the ways of thinking that have been so successful in science to be extrapolated into other areas of life, in which they are less effective. People who are able to think well in this narrow definition of ‘rational’ are well respected and rewarded. However, the search for objectivity in science, part of its fundamental methodology, may make people lose sight of other aspects of rational thought that are vital for human functioning.

This is because invisible and intangible things, essential to all that it is to be a full human being, but not easily quantified and measured, may be diminished or excluded by a narrow definition of the word ‘rational’. These include ideas, values and meanings. To deny the importance of these to being human is to make of ourselves and others as lifeless machines, useful for certain functions, but little more. This ‘impersonal’ thinking all but nullifies (“to make futile or of no consequence”) what it is to be a full person.

One consequence of the modern tendency towards materialistic, quantitative, mechanistic and deterministic thinking, so successful in understanding much of the universe but so inadequate for the complete understanding of the person, may be a weakening of our sense of ourselves as living persons to be Met. Instead we may come to perceive ourselves and others as objects to be used, and to be repaired when broken. When considering the health of a person, this can lead to an emphasis on studying a person by ‘objective’ means, as one might an inanimate but complex machine, rather than as a person best understood through a process of relating, requiring the full personal involvement of another human being. This may cause us to become less well, because we are not experiencing and using ourselves, nor being experienced and used by others, as we really are, as full persons. It may deny to us the most important sources of good Health, in both the narrow and in the broader senses.

To live a healthy life, we are dependent upon many types of rational thought. When deciding what to eat or who to take as a friend, and even in order to solve a mathematical puzzle, we may benefit from a range of ways of thinking including logic, instinct, imagination and intuition. In addition to purely cognitive skills, these require of us other human skills, including the ability to know what it is that we think and want, free from the interference of others, and the ability to relate deeply and genuinely with other people. This is why so many of the greatest philosophers throughout history have concluded that self-knowledge, the ability to be true to oneself, and an openness to meeting other people as they are; that these are the foundations of the “rational life”. In order to function at our very best as persons, our complete rational intelligence is needed for all that we think and do.

All of the values and meanings that a person holds are founded upon their conception of themselves, and of how they stand in relation to everyone and everything else. Therefore, in order to be Rational in this broader sense, it is necessary (in addition to the common meaning of the word) to have both a clear sense of one’s own values and meanings, distinct from the values and meanings of others, and a perception of the underlying connection that exists between all people and things. It is only then that we are free to enter into a full relationship with ourselves and between ourselves and others, upon which Health in the fullest sense depends.

Most of us have moments of clarity when we find that, if only briefly, we are able to perceive ourselves and others as we really are, so that we know what is of importance to us and what is not; and we may become aware that most of our lives are not lived in accord with these priorities. Yet, it is in these moments that we are truly free to move in the direction of living our lives as a ‘Rational Person’ in this ideal, fullest and broadest sense: able to experience a relationship with ourselves and with others founded upon honesty, intimacy and real meaning, and to pursue our work in life with interest, enthusiasm and joy.

Although it is more than possible for a person to suffer for a lack of ability to think rationally in the common meaning, it is a central goal of our educational system, and a requirement for most of the modern professions, that we are able to function adequately in this way. On the other hand, many of us suffer greatly for our difficulties in experiencing ourselves as full human beings, alive to ourselves, and open to deep and fulfilling relationships with others, a vital aspect of our intelligence. It is for this reason that it is the primary task of the modern Healer to reassure another through an experience of being Met as a full person (the definition of the Healing relationship) that the practical philosophy of Healing can, and will, Heal a person.

The principles and practice of Bloch Healing are rational in the common meaning: the fundamental principles underpinning BH have been expounded by some of the greatest philosophical minds throughout human history, and in modern times most especially in the work of the major humanistic philosophers and psychologists. The practice of these principles, both in terms of process and outcomes, has been subjected to considerable modern scientific research through the work of some of the most noted academic psychologists of the last seventy years, and more recently in other fields, including Education, Medicine and the Social Sciences.

In Bloch Healing these principles are applied through ‘hands-on’ contact in a manner drawn directly from experience in the teaching of the Alexander Technique. This method allows for a sensitive and subtle therapeutic contact with another person, without the need to do something to them physically, for the purpose of communicating thoughts and intentions with effectiveness and efficiency through the medium of touch.


Copyright 2010 © Peter Bloch, Bloch Healing (BH) Peter Bloch is a highly experienced teacher and healer based near Manchester, England. Bloch Healing is a unique, person-centered, evidence-based form of hands-on healing. For more information, visit his website at Bloch Healing Cheshire or, for a fuller introduction to the principles of Bloch Healing, visit Bloch Healing: Principles and Practice where you can find many original articles on health and healing.

Out of the box

Want to renew your life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development...
Start off with a Free Life Assessment and a Free Consultation...
 

Have a question about Trans4mind Training?

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Our Fees?
Email Peter Shepherd
More personal development articles at the Counterpoint Article Library

Good info on many topics:

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
 

View all the Hypnosis Downloads here

Get a free Hypnosis Download at Facebook

Hypnosis is the key to unlocking your creativity, focusing your energy and understanding yourself

Hypnosis has a long history of helping human beings be the very best they can be. It can be used to control anything controlled by the unconscious mind - pain, blood pressure, fear, confidence levels, mood, sex drive... the list goes on:

  1. You'll become highly productive without getting stressed
  2. Tap into your creative energies instantly
  3. Really understand yourself and others
  4. You'll learn how to stay calm in high pressure or uncomfortable situations
  5. Develop laser-like levels of focus and concentration

Lean more... Uncommon Hypnosis Course

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2017 Trans4mind Ltd