Intellect: A tool for the soul.
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2008-11-21
Intellect and technology can be tools but also can obscure the soul. Kaif, naam ariyom: The concepts are not the experiences. Detach from knowledge. Shum: A map, not the destination. Ideally the intellect is the opposite of the "know it all" feeling. The intellect needs to be subservient to the soul, it's deepest use: To strive for insight, for intuition, rather than reason.
Merging with Siva lessons are on the intellect.
In our donor appreciation reception in Palo Alto we had a chance to talk to Rolf. He's the gentleman who works at Goggle and originally he went to Goggle for analytics. He was the, they bought out his company in San Diego and he moved up and he rewrote his analytic software in Goggle style, shall we say. They have their own style of how software should be written. So, he had to rewrite the whole thing to do the same thing but so that it was compatible their way of doing software. So he finished that and he got to transfer to the goggle.org which is the nonprofit so he's very involved now in alternate energy. So we were talking about alternate energy for a few minutes. And he said: Goggle already has a couple of people on the team that's discussing energy policies with Obama. So I thought that was interesting. But the point, the reason I brought it up is he made an interesting statement. He was very impressed the whole presentation, everything we're doing here at the monastery. He's very impressed with our use of technology in terms of spirituality. He finds it somewhat unique. I'm not quite sure how it looks unique to him; we're so used to doing it, you know. It's just a way of life to us but to him there's something unique about our combination of spirituality and technology.
So, I was thinking of Gurudeva's statement which is here in today's lesson, I quoted it, let me find it here. He's talking about: "You can also see when the intellect becomes a tool for the intuitive mind." Or said another way, you can say: The intellect is a tool for the soul, the intuitive mind. So, I was saying: Just like the intellect can be a tool for the soul, technology can be a tool of the soul. Same idea. Likewise, they can both cover up the soul. They can obscure it. We can get so involved in the ramifications of technology that we find it more fascinating than the soul. It's just so fascinating. You know, we can't stop thinking about technology even in our dreams. Likewise, the intellect, we can get so caught up in concepts that the concepts themselves become a barrier to the deeper experiences.
We were questioning about that on the Innersearch, India. The Innersearch India we were teaching meditation, teaching the twelve mamsani and some introductory material to go along with it. Well Gurudeva points it out in the example of kaif, he says: Now be very careful when you're meditating on kaif not to just repeat the concept -- awareness aware of itself -- and think that the concept is the experience of kaif because it's not. It's just a description of what the experience is like but it's not the experience. So likewise, in the teachings there's one, one one we usually quote is "naam ariyom" Chellapa's famous statement that, we know not. So, the way I usually reference that is the study of a subject like computers; the more you study the more you know. That's the usual process, right? We study, we study, we study and study for two years you can learn so much, you study for four years, you learn even more. Then in most studies, the longer you study the more knowledge you accumulate. But, in this particular approach -- "naam ariyom" -- the deeper experience which we read about are different from the experience. So we don't acquire knowledge; we detach ourselves from the knowledge we've acquired. So Shum is very helpful in that regard it, when it's understood as a map. That's what it is, it's a map to get somewhere but it's not the destination.
We were on the trip, generally when I'm traveling I'm driven around in Mercedes or BMW's, you know one or the other and then I come home to my humble Honda. I think this Mercedes had a GPS; it was talking to us cause we didn't know where we were going. You know, turn left, go straight, do this, do that, do that. So it was useful information but it wasn't the destination. In other words it helped us get somewhere. In this case it helped us get to Carlsbad Caverns which were fascinating caves underground. But it wasn't the destination it just helped us get there.
So likewise, when it comes to knowledge of the soul, the knowledge helps us get somewhere but it's not describing the destination itself. So that's the important point in what Gurudeva's talking about.
So, let me just read one thing; I thought this was nice. This is talking about how we should use the intellect.
"Since the intellect is made fundamentally of thoughts which are ever creating, preserving and destroying themselves, the control of thoughts builds the seventh aspect of man the intuitive mind or actinodic causal sheath, known in Sanskrit as vijnanamaya kosha. Intuition, knowing, awareness and understanding--these are products not of the intellect, but of the intuitive mind. The dedicated student who has applied himself seriously leaves college not with a 'know it all' feeling but with an awareness of the limits of the intellect, and profound respect for the vast amount of knowledge that he has yet to discover or unfold. Conceit is a sure sign of insecurity; humility denotes awareness."
So that's the way, ideally, the intellect is. It's the opposite of the "know it all" feeling. So, unfortunately, sometimes those who go to university for 4 years or 8 years or 12 years, whatever, leave with a know it all feeling. They feel that they really have acquired a great deal of knowledge and kind of show it off. But that's when the intellect becomes a barrier. But it's natural because there's nothing spiritual being taught in university so it's natural to end up in that state of mind. But, if we have Gurudeva's teachings then we can balance it out. Gurudeva always encouraged education particularly for a specific profession. Just more knowledge for the sake of knowledge puts more opinions in the intellect. And therefore, we have to deal with more opinionated knowledge and sort it out. But, knowledge acquired to perform in a profession is different. It's very practical in that sense. It doesn't clutter up the intellect if we're actually going to use it in our life after we graduate.
"Opinionated knowledge is a faculty of memory. We study, we listen, we hear and we quote the opinions of others. Opinionated knowledge is stored up in the memory grid work of the subconscious mind. This provides security or a platform for the intellect making it strong, developing an ego. Therefore, intellect is our ego. The ego separates people from people, nations from nations and the soul from realization of the Self. Perhaps you have been thinking that this statement is anti-intellectual, against education. Let's examine the real meaning, function and purpose of education. Education is not worn, it does not stick to you, it is not your collection of someone else's opinions. Through education you stimulate your intellect. Education is that which you bring out from within yourself as a result of your personal interest in the fulfillment of your birth karmas. Education means exposure to new ideas and old opinions giving you the tools to explore your own opinions freely, make decisions, research and review them and advance your understanding of God, soul and world. This is education, it is not static, it is as fluid as a river or it should be. You have the choice, the ability, to remold your intellect any way you want. The great Truths of life are part of your being, they are within you. The only real permanent education is your unfoldment into the building of the intuitive mind through the control of the intellect."
So Gurudeva's idea is that intellect is very important, it helps control our emotions. I didn't go into that part to save time but he first points out that the intellect, when it comes into strength, helps us control the emotional nature. So we get angry, fearful, jealous, less often then we would without a developed intellect. But then, the intellect itself can become a new problem as we've talked about, if we don't realize that it needs to be subservient to the soul and to strive for insight, to strive for intuition. The deepest use of the intellect involves finding answers from within our self which means intuition rather than reason.
Thank you very much. Have a wonderful phase.
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