Thursday, November 20, 2008
"Not all tears are an evil." -Gandalf the White
When the hobbits are assembled at the Grey Havens and Frodo is about to depart Middle-earth, Gandalf tells them, “I do not say, ‘Do not weep,’ not all tears are an evil.” Here he is encouraging the cultivation and expression of emotion. Is that wise advice from one of the Wise? Are not emotions evil since they can get us into trouble? The resounding answer is yes to the first and no to the second.
Emotions are not intrinsically evil. In fact, they are part of our nature or essence, since we are bodily creatures. Without emotions, you would not be a human being. (I don’t know what you would be, maybe an angel, maybe a robot, maybe a rock.) Emotions are a problem and can lead us to sin if they are not under the control of reason. When they are under the control of reason, emotions are actually perfective of our being. They make us better beings, better persons. May right reason always be the captain of your ship as it sails in the stormy sea of earthly existence!