It seems the head reigns supreme these days. The long march of reason, and its offspring science, from the days of Socrates and Plato through the Renaissance and Enlightenment to the present day has put forth rational argument and empiricism as the pinnacle of methods in the search for truth. Man’s left hemisphere or reason not only guides our approach to understanding ourselves and the natural world, but can also generate an ideological system of rules and idealistic version of perfection that condemns parts of humanity that could be accepted as part of our imperfect glory and natural instincts. Indeed, our human, all to human disposition is denied by these moral systems, and like a harsh light, produce the deepest, darkest shadows, that eventually emerge in the horror of the return of the repressed.
In contrast to such moral dogma, our conduct could instead be governed by the human heart, with its capabilities for love, compassion and empathy. The soft light of tolerance produces the smallest shadow, and counteracts the labyrinth of mind produced when people condemn themselves for being merely human, and deny some of the fundamentals of human nature. Our desires and reward centres need to be gratified somehow, whether with the regular vices, or if denied, can emerge later in much more destructive forms.
For me the human heart, or ethics, always reigns supreme and trumps the arguments of the human head, or morality. I find this leads to a kinder and more accepting attitude to both myself and the others in my life.