When we analyze the word reason it opens before us a vast field of thought. In the first place every doer of good and every evil-doer has a reason to support his doing. When two persons quarrel, each says he is in the right, because each has a reason. To a third person perhaps the reason of the one may appear to be more reasonable than that of the other, or perhaps he will say that both have no reason and that he has reason on his side.
All disputes, arguments and discussions seem to be based upon reason, and yet reason, before one has analyzed it, is nothing but an illusion and keeps one continually in perplexity. The cause of all inharmony, all disagreement is the perplexity which is caused by not understanding one another’s reason.
Besides, reason is the servant of the mind. The mind feels like praising a person – reason at once brings a thousand things in praise of him, in his favor. The mind has a desire to hate a person – at once reason brings perhaps twenty arguments in favor of hating him. So we see that a loving friend can find a thousand things that are good and beautiful in his friend, and an adversary will find a thousand faults in the best person in the world – and he has reasons.
Reasoning is a ladder. By this ladder one can rise, and by this ladder one may fall. For if one does not go upward by reasoning, then it will help one to go downward too, because, if for every step one takes upward there is a reason, there is also a reason for every step downward.