A great living preacher, in speaking of the common mistake of separating the intellectual from the emotional or love part of man's nature, very finely says that to do so is to leave the mental machine no better work than to "grind chaff into dust." In the same beautiful sermon he uses the word "reason" in the sense of its belonging exclusively to this intellectual part. It is a vital error, yet one frequently made by the highest of metaphysicians. Unlike many of our best words the word reason still retains for common humanity its true meaning.
Who would not allow that to so employ our life-forces as to make a failure and misery of our life were the very acme of unreason? And who has not observed that in the degree that a man makes this separation this effect follows?
Our heart—all hearts' center is the same center the "Spirit whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere" —is the source of our being; unless the mental machine gets grist from it, it can do naught else than "grind chaff into dust." The sublime genius of Shakespeare grew out of his keeping his mental machinery employed on corn—the harvest of a noble heart. Does any dare say that he was second to any in reason? What mere logician's reason can compare with his? Reason is simple good sense. Of the many departures from reason, with their consequent loss of happiness, none is more insidious yet disastrous than that of the sacrifice of love and ideality in the acquisition of poor barren external knowledge. Having ground the chaff into dust, edifices of theories are built with it, which have to be shielded with fierce opinionativeness, lest a breath of the wind of Living Truth should blow them away. Inner wisdom, the exact opposite of this, perceiving the omnipotence of good, thinks ever less and less of itself and its opinions, and yields itself more and more to diffused love, until it may feel itself at one with the impersonal Soul of Beneficence which men call God.
If this is truth, or at least a side of it, who shall say that it lacks reason?"