When Making Sense Isn’t Enough

I am spectacularly lacking in common sense. If I fix something, it’ll probably break. If I give you directions, there’s probably a better way to get there. I am inefficient and easily swept up and distracted by things that appeal to my senses when I should be focused on other things. I am the consummate daydreamer. I love art, music and wine (the 2013 Meiomi Pinot Noir is very nice).

We are told that the mind processes everything and some even say that we can truly control our minds or become so adept at using them that, through thinking, we can shape reality. And perhaps that’s true. But it tends to give the feelers anxious headaches from the pressure.

We have a soul. I believe that. I don’t know what the soul is or what it looks like. I cannot promise you that the soul persists after our bodies die. But, damn it, there must be something more within us than just cognitive gears and machinery, right? When I am reduced to tears at the sight of a piece of art or the strains of a piece of music, what do we call that? Is that just synapses firing in some peculiar pattern? Do we even want that to be the only explanation?? Is it just a complex system of chords and transitions in the music that causes me to cry or feel? Is it just that paired with subconscious pain that gives rise to this emotion? I don’t need a psychoanalyst to tell me why I am moved. I am moved because I feel. I am moved because I am innately aware of my life and of the soul within me. I am moved because, on some level, I have opened my senses to what it will encounter and left the thinking mind at the coat check.

Likewise, do certain brush strokes or color usage make me cry? Or is it because happening across a piece of art that is so real and so evocative causes my heart to soar? It’s automatic. It’s beautiful. 

Life is, in many ways, without sense. There will be things we can never make sense of, even if we try. And so there are schools of philosophy filled with thinkers who spend their lives reasoning why while others just dance through the mystery of it all. 

I use my mind enough. I probably use it more than enough, to be honest. And rarely does my mind produce happiness or satisfaction. Rene Descartes said “I think, therefore I am.” I’ll leave that to critical philosophers with furrowed brows sitting in their tenured positions. I propose to live by a new maxim: 

I feel, therefore I am. I am, therefore I feel. I sense, therefore I am open. I receive, therefore I am blessed. 


One thought on “When Making Sense Isn’t Enough

  1. With you 100% about feeling, though not so sure about the metaphysical idea of ‘soul’ … why can’t a purely physical creature have complex thoughts? Isn’t our survival as an evolved species in tune with the world proof enough of sufficient sensitivity?


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