My unfortunate encounter (work-mandatory) with a personality profile tool and its pseudo-science trappings (no it wasn’t Myers-Briggs), led me back, for my own sanity, to tracing out the origins of the split between affect and intellect (which readers of Berneval will see is a deeply disturbing construction for me). I came across “The Split between Affect and Intellect” in The Essential Fromm: Life Between Having and Being edited by Rainer Funk who chose under this rubric to reproduce an excerpt from The Moral Responsibility of Modern Man and this selection provides the following comfort to the poor assaulted soul called upon to sunder heart and brain.
There is not space to discuss this, but it has a great deal to do with our mode of production, with our increasing emphasis on technique, with our necessity to develop intellect for purposes of science and science for the purposes of technique. We cannot quite separate the society, in which production becomes the paramount purpose, from human development in which intellect becomes the paramount value. But if we are to overcome our moral problem today, we must make a very serious effort to overcome the split between affect and intellect. We must restore the person to his totality or, as I would rather say, to his reality. I am not a mind and a body. I am I, and you are you, and my heart and my feelings can be just as rational as my thought, and my thought can be just as irrational as my heart. But, I cannot even speak of my heart and my thought because they are one, they are only two aspects of the same phenomenon. There is one logic, one rationality, and one irrationality that pervades them both. Whether we study psychosomatic illness or whether we study the phenomena of mass hysteria, it is all the same. Thought is made stupid by feeling and thought can be enlightened by feeling and vice versa.
I’m grateful that resistance to dichotomous constructions arising from instrumentalist notions is not new and there is such eloquence to draw on. I am saddened that at this late remove we still must search out great companions because of the persistence of ignorance. I would wish for better motives. Still it’s a relief for heart and head to find statements of the vice versa.
And so for day 1630