Monday, May 23, 2005

Intelligence and Intuition

Intelligence and Intuition

All of us take pride in being intelligent. We see it as a big insult if anyone calls us stupid. But at the same time, we do not hesitate to label people whom we don't like, "stupid".

But why the big fuss about intelligence? It is but only one aspect of the mind. People who take too much pride in their intelligence often develops an inflated ego. They look down on people who worship idols or other forms of personal gods; they latch on to certain pseudo-philosophical theories about spirituality and religion and then refuse to investigate further. That is the greatest pitfall to spiritual progress for "smart" people like this. They trust their logical brains so much that they have forgotten how to use the intuitive aspect of their minds.

A person with a keen intelligence, if he knows how to harness this talent correctly, possess a great tool towards developing spiritual wisdom. Intelligence alone however is not enough to give a person insight into the greatest mysteries of life. To penetrate the ultimate secrets of the universe requires a mind that fuses instinct, intelligence and intuition.

The mind is vast, like the ocean. A lifetime is not sufficient for us to master this powerful instrument. The more we sit down quietly and observe our thoughts, the more we realize how little our everyday intelligence amounts to. It is superficial and trivial. And yet, we take so much pride in it; we allow it to reign supreme, filling our minds with ego-driven opinions and assumptions--as illustrated so well by the Zen parable of the overflowing cup.

Intelligence is but a tool and no doubt a necessary one. It dispels darkness, cuts through muddle and helps one to forge a logical path forward. At some point, intuition has to be awaken for one to move on to the next level of spiritual development. Initially intuition is unreliable, and often contaminated by emotional influences. But once one has mastered the clarity of mind needed for intuition to surface, we begin to feel its power.

Although the power of insight comes in momentary bursts, it is these flashes of intuition that elevate us to the next level of spiritual evolution. Intelligence brings us to the launching pad. But it is intuition that ultimately propels us into wondrous new realms which we did not even know existed.

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