Reason and Passion are renewable resources. If you plug them into anything, most of the time they will return to you upon completion of the work. However, while they are working, they will be tied up.
Warning: If you make a painting, don’t put anything into the Inspiration slot that you do not want to lose. This includes Health, Reason and Passion. They will be destroyed. Don’t put irreplacable cards in the inspiration slot either. You’re probably best leaving the Inspiration slot blank if you’re just looking to make money, as putting an inspiration there will just result in a non-monetary reward. This might unlock new cards later, but for now, just ignore it. And definitely don’t plug Health, Reason or Passion into it. Not until you can spare them.
You can think of Health, Reason and Passion as stats. You can gain more Reason by using an Erudition card on the Study Verb and spending one Funds. You can gain an Erudition card by using a Reason card on the Study Verb, or it can show up randomly. The same is true for Passion and the Glimmering card, and for Health and the Vitality card. Thus you can train any of your faculties to be greater by studying them, studying the resulting card and spending Funds on their study. No funds, no stat upgrade.
It is not guaranteed though that you will gain Reason from Erudition, Passion from Glimmering, or Health from Vitality. You can also gain Dread from Erudition, Fascination from Glimmering, and An Injury from Vitality. This is not ideal, but you can still rank up your stats with these cards.
Dread can be turned into reason by using it on the Sleep Verb. While it’s ticking, add a Contentment card (Contentment can show up randomly or by using a Passion card on the Sleep Verb). When the timer is finished, you will have more Reason.
Fascination can be turned into Passion by using it on the Sleep Verb. While it’s ticking, add Dread. When the timer is finished, you will gain Passion.
An Injury can be turned into Health by using it on the Sleep Verb. While it’s ticking, add Funds for food and medicine. When the timer is finished, you will gain Health (extra health can keep death at bay, even if you’re unlucky enough to get two illnesses in a row from the Time Verb).
If you run any of the above without its corresponding card, you will just waste 90 seconds of time on the Sleep Verb. It won’t cost you anything, but you will also have gained nothing.