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The Rational Mind and Spirituality

s-anthony
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3/18/2016 5:02:53 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
I believe an integral component of spirituality is missing in the rational mind, a belief in contradiction. Contradiction is the very meaning of that which is illogical; it flies in the face of the Aristotelian precept, the law of noncontradiction.

The belief in spirituality is both transcendent and personal, at once. A metaphysical reality binds a group, together; it transcends the individual, creating as it were a collective psyche. However, a spiritual experience, like art or beauty, may evoke very subjective feelings. The individual may not be able to communicate these emotions, adequately; it's as though one were speaking a foreign tongue. The contradiction of spirituality being a collective and an individual reality is essential to an understanding of that which spirituality is.

Of course, no one could ever completely define spirituality; for, in doing so, an essential component of that which it means to be spiritual would be entirely left out, namely subjectivity.

Sspirituality must transcend the individual because it's metaphysical, in nature; it must also be very subjective if it's to evoke a meaningful response. It is a dynamic between the collective and the individual. If it were, merely, a mechanism to hold the group together, it would transcend the individual and the individual could not relate. If it were, merely, a subjective experience, meaning it could not transcend the individual psyche, it would not be called metaphysical.

Even though I do not believe religion and spirituality are one and the same, I believe the symbols found in religion may evoke a spiritual attitude by their contradictory nature. To illustrate, miraculous births found as a motif in many different mythologies are in themselves contradictions. Yet, the contradiction may only evoke an attitude which is spiritual in as long as it's believed. The rational mind is the death knell of spirituality.
Harikrish
Posts: 11,010
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3/18/2016 5:06:46 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/18/2016 5:02:53 AM, s-anthony wrote:
I believe an integral component of spirituality is missing in the rational mind, a belief in contradiction. Contradiction is the very meaning of that which is illogical; it flies in the face of the Aristotelian precept, the law of noncontradiction.

The belief in spirituality is both transcendent and personal, at once. A metaphysical reality binds a group, together; it transcends the individual, creating as it were a collective psyche. However, a spiritual experience, like art or beauty, may evoke very subjective feelings. The individual may not be able to communicate these emotions, adequately; it's as though one were speaking a foreign tongue. The contradiction of spirituality being a collective and an individual reality is essential to an understanding of that which spirituality is.

Of course, no one could ever completely define spirituality; for, in doing so, an essential component of that which it means to be spiritual would be entirely left out, namely subjectivity.

Sspirituality must transcend the individual because it's metaphysical, in nature; it must also be very subjective if it's to evoke a meaningful response. It is a dynamic between the collective and the individual. If it were, merely, a mechanism to hold the group together, it would transcend the individual and the individual could not relate. If it were, merely, a subjective experience, meaning it could not transcend the individual psyche, it would not be called metaphysical.

Even though I do not believe religion and spirituality are one and the same, I believe the symbols found in religion may evoke a spiritual attitude by their contradictory nature. To illustrate, miraculous births found as a motif in many different mythologies are in themselves contradictions. Yet, the contradiction may only evoke an attitude which is spiritual in as long as it's believed. The rational mind is the death knell of spirituality.

Your conclusions don't stand up to reason.
The rational mind is what created the need for spirituality. After having exhausted all other avenues to lift man from his insatiable desires for the physical and material pleasures which only led to more disappointments and disillusionments. The rational mind conceded there had to be a better way to transcend these physical boundaries that presented him with illusions of reality resulting is self deception. The path to spirituality began with this realization and open the mind to the spiritual realm. It is spirituality that reduces tbe dependence on the rational mind by transcending knowledge from human experience to knowledge by spiritual experience.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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3/18/2016 5:42:45 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/18/2016 5:02:53 AM, s-anthony wrote:
I believe an integral component of spirituality is missing in the rational mind, a belief in contradiction.
Hi Anthony. I hadn't seen you posting for a while, and am glad you're still about.

Thank you also for an interesting post.

I have three questions for you:

1) What is a 'rational' mind, and what does it mean to 'believe' in contradiction?
2) What makes a contradiction legitimate, as opposed to (for example) being the product of ignorance, laziness, or dishonesty?
3) How can one independently discern spirituality from superstition, dishonesty and conceit?
MadCornishBiker
Posts: 23,302
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3/18/2016 8:42:27 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/18/2016 5:02:53 AM, s-anthony wrote:
I believe an integral component of spirituality is missing in the rational mind, a belief in contradiction. Contradiction is the very meaning of that which is illogical; it flies in the face of the Aristotelian precept, the law of noncontradiction.

The belief in spirituality is both transcendent and personal, at once. A metaphysical reality binds a group, together; it transcends the individual, creating as it were a collective psyche. However, a spiritual experience, like art or beauty, may evoke very subjective feelings. The individual may not be able to communicate these emotions, adequately; it's as though one were speaking a foreign tongue. The contradiction of spirituality being a collective and an individual reality is essential to an understanding of that which spirituality is.

Of course, no one could ever completely define spirituality; for, in doing so, an essential component of that which it means to be spiritual would be entirely left out, namely subjectivity.

Sspirituality must transcend the individual because it's metaphysical, in nature; it must also be very subjective if it's to evoke a meaningful response. It is a dynamic between the collective and the individual. If it were, merely, a mechanism to hold the group together, it would transcend the individual and the individual could not relate. If it were, merely, a subjective experience, meaning it could not transcend the individual psyche, it would not be called metaphysical.

Even though I do not believe religion and spirituality are one and the same, I believe the symbols found in religion may evoke a spiritual attitude by their contradictory nature. To illustrate, miraculous births found as a motif in many different mythologies are in themselves contradictions. Yet, the contradiction may only evoke an attitude which is spiritual in as long as it's believed. The rational mind is the death knell of spirituality.

The rational mind and true spirituality are inseparable. You cannot understand the one without having the other.

The fact that Atheists cannot see the abundant evidence of God's existence simply demonstrates their irrationality.
Harikrish
Posts: 11,010
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3/18/2016 9:25:42 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/18/2016 5:42:45 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/18/2016 5:02:53 AM, s-anthony wrote:
I believe an integral component of spirituality is missing in the rational mind, a belief in contradiction.
Hi Anthony. I hadn't seen you posting for a while, and am glad you're still about.

Thank you also for an interesting post.

I have three questions for you:

1) What is a 'rational' mind, and what does it mean to 'believe' in contradiction?
2) What makes a contradiction legitimate, as opposed to (for example) being the product of ignorance, laziness, or dishonesty?
3) How can one independently discern spirituality from superstition, dishonesty and conceit?
How can we help you to transition from asking questions to answering them, RuvDraba?
Even MCB responded with an answer. I cannot believe the Holy Spirit got to him before you even started your research. It the trend continues...you might want to do it the old fashion way and get back in touch with your sprititual source.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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3/18/2016 10:08:46 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
Your conclusions don't stand up to reason.

Precisely.

The rational mind is what created the need for spirituality. After having exhausted all other avenues to lift man from his insatiable desires for the physical and material pleasures which only led to more disappointments and disillusionments. The rational mind conceded there had to be a better way to transcend these physical boundaries that presented him with illusions of reality resulting is self deception. The path to spirituality began with this realization and open the mind to the spiritual realm.

The rational mind did not create spirituality; in fact, without a dichotomy between that which is physical and that which is metaphysical, there is no distinction, no contradiction, no conflict between one's natural instincts and morality. That which pleased one instinctually pleased one absolutely. The human species was no different than any other species; it was in its infancy, and like an infant, it was blinded by intuition, no sense of rationality or conscious thought. Reason did not predate spirituality; reason does not even exist apart from that which is unreasonable.

It is spirituality that reduces tbe dependence on the rational mind by transcending knowledge from human experience to knowledge by spiritual experience.

I completely agree.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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3/18/2016 11:40:02 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
Hi Anthony. I hadn't seen you posting for a while, and am glad you're still about.

Thank you. It feels good to be appreciated.

Thank you also for an interesting post.

You're welcome. If something doesn't stir up passion in me, I don't waste my time writing about it.

I have three questions for you:

1) What is a 'rational' mind, and what does it mean to 'believe' in contradiction?

A rational mind, as I see it, is one that sees structure and order; it creates patterns out of chaos. It professes objectivity but only within the confines of that which is subjective. In other words, the world of objects is not known apart from observation; and, observation is based on relativity.

The belief in contradiction, as it relates to the OP, is a belief in noncausal phenomena, in other words two conflicting events that exist side by side, so close in proximity they actually define and give meaning to each other, yet one does not cause the other and could hardly exist without it.

2) What makes a contradiction legitimate, as opposed to (for example) being the product of ignorance, laziness, or dishonesty?

The mind.

3) How can one independently discern spirituality from superstition, dishonesty and conceit?

As far as discerning spirituality from superstition, I have no idea; both are products of intuition; both evoke emotional responses.

However, dishonesty and conceit are quite different matters, easily discerned by the use of a dictionary.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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3/19/2016 1:41:41 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/18/2016 11:40:02 PM, s-anthony wrote:
1) What is a 'rational' mind, and what does it mean to 'believe' in contradiction?
A rational mind, as I see it, is one that sees structure and order; it creates patterns out of chaos.
Okay. Are all such patterns rational? Are there not also irrational patterns? What is the difference?

It professes objectivity but only within the confines of that which is subjective.
Is it possible to be rational without being objective? If so, what differentiates objectivity from rational subjectivity?

In other words, the world of objects is not known apart from observation; and, observation is based on relativity.
Is there a difference between objectivity and absolute? For example, can we objectively confirm whether a mass is heavier than another without knowing just how much mass there is?

If objectivity is not the same as absolute, can objectivity work effectively with relativity?

The belief in contradiction, as it relates to the OP, is a belief in noncausal phenomena
Why is it contradictory to admit correlation without causation? What is being contradicted? And why is that incompatible with either objective study or reasoning?

2) What makes a contradiction legitimate, as opposed to (for example) being the product of ignorance, laziness, or dishonesty?
The mind.
Given the mind's frequent ignorance, and its capacity for self-dishonesty and delusion, how can the mind alone distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate ideas?

3) How can one independently discern spirituality from superstition, dishonesty and conceit?
As far as discerning spirituality from superstition, I have no idea; both are products of intuition; both evoke emotional responses.
What are the costs and risks of superstition with respect to agency and justice?

Is spirituality also subject to those risks? If not, why not?

However, dishonesty and conceit are quite different matters, easily discerned by the use of a dictionary.
Since the mind can be ignorant, vain and dishonest with itself, how can a mind distinguish ignorant, conceited delusion from whatever there may be in spirituality that is neither ignorant, deluded nor dishonest?
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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3/19/2016 1:42:37 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/18/2016 9:25:42 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/18/2016 5:42:45 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/18/2016 5:02:53 AM, s-anthony wrote:
I believe an integral component of spirituality is missing in the rational mind, a belief in contradiction.
Hi Anthony. I hadn't seen you posting for a while, and am glad you're still about.

Thank you also for an interesting post.

I have three questions for you:

1) What is a 'rational' mind, and what does it mean to 'believe' in contradiction?
2) What makes a contradiction legitimate, as opposed to (for example) being the product of ignorance, laziness, or dishonesty?
3) How can one independently discern spirituality from superstition, dishonesty and conceit?
How can we help you to transition from asking questions to answering them, RuvDraba?
Ask interesting, relevant, constructive, meaningful questions.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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3/19/2016 3:38:04 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
The rational mind and true spirituality are inseparable. You cannot understand the one without having the other.

They are both separable and inseparable. They are a contradiction.

The fact that Atheists cannot see the abundant evidence of God's existence simply demonstrates their irrationality.

The belief in God needs no proof, only irrational minds.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,623
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3/19/2016 3:26:19 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/18/2016 5:02:53 AM, s-anthony wrote:
I believe an integral component of spirituality is missing in the rational mind, a belief in contradiction.

That's a very interesting posit, but since it relates to spirituality as an integral component, we would first have to understand all the components of spirituality since such a concept has never been shown to exist. Perhaps, it's so much simpler and relevant to simply say, "I believe an integral component is missing in the rational mind, a belief in contradiction."

Contradiction is the very meaning of that which is illogical; it flies in the face of the Aristotelian precept, the law of noncontradiction.

A contradiction is a combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another. And,while a rational mind may not accept a contradiction, it is certainly something as a concept that is not misunderstood by it and in fact is in a never ending cycle of applying the concept of contradiction to everyday ideas and thoughts, one of the integral components of a rational mind, in fact.

What we observe is that believers do not apply the concept of contradiction to their beliefs even though they may be fully aware of the concept.

The belief in spirituality is both transcendent and personal, at once. A metaphysical reality binds a group, together; it transcends the individual, creating as it were a collective psyche. However, a spiritual experience, like art or beauty, may evoke very subjective feelings. The individual may not be able to communicate these emotions, adequately; it's as though one were speaking a foreign tongue. The contradiction of spirituality being a collective and an individual reality is essential to an understanding of that which spirituality is.

Yes, that has been the problem all along, the "understanding of that which spirituality is." This has never been acknowledged and defined in any way, it is simply a term bandied around as if it had meaning, yet it remains meaningless.

Although, many believers claim to have had spiritual experiences, and that you are correct in that most of them use the excuse of not being able to put into words those experiences. What we find is that when they do put into words, the experiences appear indistinguishable from common physical properties and traits of the brain and nervous system.

Of course, no one could ever completely define spirituality; for, in doing so, an essential component of that which it means to be spiritual would be entirely left out, namely subjectivity.

Sspirituality must transcend the individual because it's metaphysical, in nature; it must also be very subjective if it's to evoke a meaningful response. It is a dynamic between the collective and the individual. If it were, merely, a mechanism to hold the group together, it would transcend the individual and the individual could not relate. If it were, merely, a subjective experience, meaning it could not transcend the individual psyche, it would not be called metaphysical.

The problem with the metaphysical is that it has no nature, it has no components, definitions, properties or traits that can be acknowledged, defined or understood. It therefore cannot be a mechanism, dynamic or something that can transcend, it is merely a meaningless term, like spirituality, that tells us what something isn't as opposed to what it is.

An analogy would be if one had never seen a duck before and asked for a description with the answer being, "A duck is not a dog."

Even though I do not believe religion and spirituality are one and the same, I believe the symbols found in religion may evoke a spiritual attitude by their contradictory nature. To illustrate, miraculous births found as a motif in many different mythologies are in themselves contradictions. Yet, the contradiction may only evoke an attitude which is spiritual in as long as it's believed. The rational mind is the death knell of spirituality.

You're basically describing suspension of disbelief and how the rational mind is quite able to entertain, imagine and understand the contradiction, and can even go to great lengths pretending, but in the end will simply not accept the contradiction as true. That is in a nut shell what you're trying to say, is that spirituality is an acceptance of contradiction as being true, even if the contradiction violates physical laws.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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3/19/2016 5:04:53 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
Okay. Are all such patterns rational? Are there not also irrational patterns? What is the difference?

One's perspective.

Is it possible to be rational without being objective?

No. However, rationality and objectivity are a matter of perspective.

Is there a difference between objectivity and absolute?

No.

Why is it contradictory to admit correlation without causation? What is being contradicted?

Something that is the cause of something else does not contradict that which it causes; it supports or produces it. For instance, your productivity does not contradict your monetary value, it causes it.

However, noncausal phenomena, such as reciprocal, parallel, or complementary relationships between comparable objects, are contrary, or opposite, to each other. The irrational or intuitive mind, such as that found in primitive societies, does not see a reason for sunshine and the life of one's crops but a mere correlation. Sunshine and one's crops have a reciprocal, parallel, or complementary relationship with each other; they are not linked by causation but are merely contrary, or opposite, to each other.

Given the mind's frequent ignorance, and its capacity for self-dishonesty and delusion, how can the mind alone distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate ideas?

Legitimate ideas are established ideas, ideas that have taken root in the conscious mind. To uproot these ideas is to create disorder and confusion; it's not, only, to do away with the legitimacy of these ideas but to call into question the legitimacy of related ideas.

What are the costs and risks of superstition with respect to agency and justice?

Superstitions are based on assumptions, assumptions that may be right or may be wrong.

Superstitions are not a product of volition; they are not intentional.

Is spirituality also subject to those risks? If not, why not?

Yes.
Harikrish
Posts: 11,010
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3/20/2016 12:08:09 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/18/2016 10:08:46 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Your conclusions don't stand up to reason.

Precisely.

The rational mind is what created the need for spirituality. After having exhausted all other avenues to lift man from his insatiable desires for the physical and material pleasures which only led to more disappointments and disillusionments. The rational mind conceded there had to be a better way to transcend these physical boundaries that presented him with illusions of reality resulting is self deception. The path to spirituality began with this realization and open the mind to the spiritual realm.

The rational mind did not create spirituality; in fact, without a dichotomy between that which is physical and that which is metaphysical, there is no distinction, no contradiction, no conflict between one's natural instincts and morality. That which pleased one instinctually pleased one absolutely. The human species was no different than any other species; it was in its infancy, and like an infant, it was blinded by intuition, no sense of rationality or conscious thought. Reason did not predate spirituality; reason does not even exist apart from that which is unreasonable.

The rational mind has redefined the outer limits we have reached, what science, reason and mathematics cannot tell us and why we have to look beyond the borders of reason to see what, if anything, is out there. Is it consciousness, spirituality or parallel realities?

"The Outer Limit of Reason
What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us.
https://mitpress.mit.edu...

It is spirituality that reduces tbe dependence on the rational mind by transcending knowledge from human experience to knowledge by spiritual experience.

I completely agree.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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3/20/2016 6:55:31 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
That's a very interesting posit, but since it relates to spirituality as an integral component, we would first have to understand all the components of spirituality since such a concept has never been shown to exist. Perhaps, it's so much simpler and relevant to simply say, "I believe an integral component is missing in the rational mind, a belief in contradiction."

If the concept of spirituality were not to exist, how are we even talking about it?

A contradiction is a combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another. And,while a rational mind may not accept a contradiction, it is certainly something as a concept that is not misunderstood by it and in fact is in a never ending cycle of applying the concept of contradiction to everyday ideas and thoughts, one of the integral components of a rational mind, in fact.

The rational mind sees contradiction as a misconception. In other words, it does not believe contradictions actually exist but only exist in one's imagination. Being all things, in reality, are objective or absolute, there is no conflict in the real world or the world of objects.

Conflict is a product of relativity; it is a conception of the subjective mind. Since all sentient beings differ, all sentience is at variance, all sentient beings are objective and subjective, real and imaginative, agreeable and disagreeable, at peace and in conflict, one yet in contradiction, rational and irrational, physical yet metaphysical.

What we observe is that believers do not apply the concept of contradiction to their beliefs even though they may be fully aware of the concept.

The believer sees contradiction as existing in reality, not, merely, in one's imagination. To the believer, the idea of a physical and metaphysical world is not, merely, a product of one's imagination. To the believer, there is a duality about the world; the world is conflicted; it is at variance. The believer because of contradiction lives in a moral universe, a world of good and evil, right and wrong, truth and falsehood. We are all believers and nonbelievers; we all have to a degree a sense of morality, knowing both good and evil, both truth and falsehood.

Yes, that has been the problem all along, the "understanding of that which spirituality is." This has never been acknowledged and defined in any way, it is simply a term bandied around as if it had meaning, yet it remains meaningless.

It has been acknowledged and defined in the only way possible, subjectively.

Although, many believers claim to have had spiritual experiences, and that you are correct in that most of them use the excuse of not being able to put into words those experiences. What we find is that when they do put into words, the experiences appear indistinguishable from common physical properties and traits of the brain and nervous system.

If that which were metaphysical were indistinguishable from that which were physical, how could we know that which were physical? In other words, why is there material if nothing were immaterial?

The problem with the metaphysical is that it has no nature, it has no components, definitions, properties or traits that can be acknowledged, defined or understood. It therefore cannot be a mechanism, dynamic or something that can transcend, it is merely a meaningless term, like spirituality, that tells us what something isn't as opposed to what it is.

An analogy would be if one had never seen a duck before and asked for a description with the answer being, "A duck is not a dog."

That which is metaphysical clearly has meaning; it is defined by that which it isn't. Being it has meaning, it also has significance; it has value that transcends that which is physical. To say that which is metaphysical has no meaning is to say that which is physical also has no meaning. To say there is nothing that is not physical is a meaningless statement. It's like saying all numbers have the value of one. There must be not only an affirmation of substance for it to exist but also its negation. Being that which is metaphysical is not physical, it is the absence of physicality. It has no material properties; it does not exist in space or time, but without it, neither space nor time exists. This in itself clearly gives it meaning, significance, and value. It makes substantial that which is insubstantial. It provides existence to that which is nonexistent. Physicality is no more real or substantial without that which is metaphysical than that which is metaphysical is without physicality.

You're basically describing suspension of disbelief and how the rational mind is quite able to entertain, imagine and understand the contradiction, and can even go to great lengths pretending, but in the end will simply not accept the contradiction as true. That is in a nut shell what you're trying to say, is that spirituality is an acceptance of contradiction as being true, even if the contradiction violates physical laws.

I don't think one can understand that which one cannot accept. If you mean by understanding, making a causal connection in which none exists, then, no I don't think you understand. For instance, most (if not all) adults do not believe in Santa Clause.

Why?

I believe the reason is obvious: They have failed to make a connection between gifts under a Christmas tree and his existence (and, the reason I use the term existence is because if his existence is not real, then, it's imaginary.) In other words, by use of reason, they see no cause and effect.

To a child, the belief in Santa is not based on that which is reasonable; the child is not looking for a causal relationship between Santa Clause and gifts under the Christmas tree. The child believes in the magic of Christmas. Belief is not based on logic; it's not based on causality. It's based, merely, on correlation. In other words, there is a correlation between Santa Clause and gifts under a Christmas tree. Once the child tries to make sense of the phenomenon, by looking for cause and effect and finds none, the belief in Santa Clause begins to fade.

Reason has destroyed faith; logic has displaced intuition, and experience with the real world has brought to naught one's assumptions.

So, in saying this, do I believe reason, or rationality, is a bad thing?

Of course not; it's reality. However, one's imagination is real, also. It's just as real as reality, itself. There is a danger in assuming causal phenomena are anymore real than noncausal events. To the child, Santa Clause is just as real as the virgin birth is to the Christian Fundamentalist.

The rational mind has not replaced religion, superstition, or spirituality. As long as logic exists, there will be that which is illogical; as long as order exists, there will be that which is disordered, and as long as we have a cosmos, there will be chaos.

These things do not cause each other; there is no cause and effect between that which is rational and that which is irrational. One does not precede the other neither does one follow the other. They are reciprocal, parallel, or complementary events, contrary and opposite each other. They are contradictions.