Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Intellect as Prime Mover

"A man must elevate himself by his own mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well." ............Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 6 verse 5

"A person is said to be established in self-realization and is called a yogi when he is fully satisfied by virtue of acquired knowledge and realization. Such a person is situated in transcendence and is self-controlled. He sees everything–whether it be pebbles, stones or gold–as the same." .....Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 6 verse 8

"Above the senses is the mind, Above the mind is the intellect, above that Is the ego, and above the ego Is the unmanifested Cause. And beyond is Brahman, omnipresent, Attributeless"
.........Katha Upanishad, Part II, Chapter 3, Verses 7-8

These are three fine sayings that stress the need for the development of the intellect through the instrument of human mind. Let us delve a little more deeper into what is the meaning and what methodologies are implied in the above statements.

Man acquires knowledge through his sense perceptions. The five senses are the greatest gift that is endowed on the physical body. The route to the inner realm of the human being is through the sense organs, the mind and then the spirit or soul or inner consciousness. The perceptions of our sense organs are translated into concepts and then imagery which are then accessed by the mind and stored in the consciousness field. the combined matrix of consciousness and the human brain produces the epiphenomenon of mind. From the mind thoughts emanate as a derivative of the environment, our objective perception, the stored concepts and the relationships we develop from prenatal to the very instance of origination of our thoughts. Based on these thoughts our emotional outputs  kick in so as to enable appropriate response in terms of speech, physical movement or action.

The more one moves away from conditioned responses from the free ranging mind which has the default response inculcated into our brain of evolutionary survival at all cost, one can explore the alternate domain which lies deeper in the spirit. Acquiring knowledge through the senses and a realization that these objective manifestations are provided to us not only for physical and emotional survival but to gain knowledge of the deeper source of all dualities as mere illusion of our own limited perception. This is the reason why Bhagavad Gita says ".............. Such a person is situated in transcendence and is self-controlled. He sees everything–whether it be pebbles, stones or gold–as the same."

Then we have the understanding of Katha Upanishad. It clearly states the hierarchy of the intellect. All collated sensory data and information is the knowledge repository which are hierarchies in the processing that constantly takes place in the human brain and result as the state of ego. The highest level of the mental hierarchy is the intellect or wisdom. But beyond this lies the unmanifested cause. This understanding is essential. If our inquiry stops at the ego level then we use our intellect purely for the service of the ego which is subject to dissolution at the end of our life. But is we move beyond the level of the ego and understand the nature of the primal cause as the source of all manifestation then we initiate a process of transcendence. This process cannot be initiated until the intellect is able to overpower the ego.

This is the reason Meister Eckhart, the great German Catholic Mystic said in one of his sermons:
"Above thought is the intellect, which still seeks:   it goes about looking, spies out here and there, picks up and drops. But above the intellect that seeks is another intellect which does not seek but stays in its pure, simple being, which is embraced in that light."

It is through this higher intellect that we should seek the unitive nature of all manifestations and merge in the source which "stays in its pure, simple being, which is embraced in that light."

Love to you all

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