The Fool of Heart & Brains

The Fool of Heart & Brains

“I am a fool with a heart but no brains, and you are a fool with brains but no heart; and we’re both unhappy, and we both suffer.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

Then what becomes of us when we possess both heart and brains? Is it any solution to our suffering? In possession of both heart and brains, aren’t they (and we) in constant struggle and conflict? Isn’t it consciousness within the age-old skirmish between the intellect and emotion? Is there any answer to any conflict – of the thousands and thousands of our conflicts – in which the heart or mind is exclusively and without question the better general for handling whatever internal or external conflict? Is there any skirmish not resolved, conquered or lost through the conflict between heart and mind when one possesses both?

Does having both heart and brains allow us to suffer any less than the idiot born with just one?

Perhaps the one whose sole possession is brains is mostly unaware of his lack of heart. And vice-versa concerning the idiot in sole possession of heart. Perhaps there’s an element of blissful unawareness to either of these idiots’ suffering. It is hard to say, but perhaps not; as surely, anyone born homely is still aware of the beauty in others. Yet, the ugly perceiving beauty identifies with the advantages afforded the beautiful far differently that the beauty who receives them. Just as the beautiful can imagine the aches of the homely; yet, he will never feel them – never understand them – in quite the same way as the ugly experiencing the aches firsthand – directly and emotionally- rather than secondhand via the intellect or empathy.

And what of those of all heart? All heart of either purity or blackness or something in-between. And mind – the intellect – either benevolent or weighted more toward gain and spite. How does the dark-hearted relate to the benevolent minded? Or the kind-hearted to the benevolently minded? Are they necessarily conflicting? Do they necessarily cause one another’s suffering from the inevitable misunderstand of the other’s means of interpreting the world?

Perhaps those of either heart or brains possess a simpler suffering. No less heavy, just simpler. Whereas the fool of both heart and mind is more fully conscious, fully aware, because he possesses both heart and brains and suffers with fewer illusions, knowing the escapable reason for his suffering. He knows that the heart isn’t the solution, since he is aware, through experience, of the heart’s failings. And likewise with the mind. Perhaps the idiot of pure heart suffers less under the illusion of an ease to his suffering through more brains. And the opposite for the man of all brains. At least he has hope of an ease to his suffering by the acquisition of that which he doesn’t possess. Perhaps the idiot of only heart or brains suffers no more or less than the fool of both. Perhaps it’s just the latter’s suffering that is a bit more robust. Perhaps the latter suffers more robustly since he does so with fewer illusions about heart or brains, both of which he possesses; hence, has experienced the limitations of both firsthand.

Could the dilemma of men with no hearts and the men of no brains be their eternal conflict with one another? Could the dilemma of the man with both heart and brains be a similar conflict between heart and brains, only his recurring eternally within himself?

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