The Intellect and its Training


What is the place of intellect with regard to the inner being and the outer being?

Intellectual activities are not part of the inner being, the intellect is the outer mind.

When does the intellect become an obstacle to the higher realisation?

When it wants to judge things for itself instead of submitting to a higher light.

Can any of the various thoughts that pass through the mind be useful to sadhana?

Not the ordinary random thoughts. If it is an idea or perception with light in it, then it can be of use.

To have a developed intellect is always helpful if one can enlighten it from above and turn it to a divine use.

It is only one man out of thousands who has a trained intellect. In others it is either ill-developed or undeveloped.

I don’t find my thinking as before. Either something has gone into it or its activity does not seem as pleasant as before.

I do not see any evidence that your thinking is not just as before. If it is a fact, it may be due to the physical mind coming up — for that is always stupid — or it may be the mind is tired of the old kind of thinking and wants something better.

My physical work goes on smoothly by the Mother’s Force. But even an inner silence cannot be maintained during mental work.

It is only because it is more difficult to separate from the active mind than from the body consciousness.

During study I have to set aside my response to the spiritual pressure and externalise myself in order to comprehend what I read.

You have to do that until you can develop the power of doing mental work without externalising yourself.

After I wrote to you about study. I find I cannot keep reading properly because I am unable to put aside the pressure. The pressure goes on during the mental activity.

So much the better. The reading must learn to accommodate itself to the pressure — that is, be done by the outer mind while the inner being remains in concentration.

Do people learn philosophy to teach others?

Not always. Some learn in order that the mind may look in a complete and accurate way at things. But that is of course a mental, not a spiritual knowledge.

What subjects do you propose for my reading and what should be done by me as a student?

There is a great mass of necessary information about the world, one’s body, the evolution of the earth, the history of the human race that one ought to learn and get then[1] also the training of the intellect to deal rightly with facts. All that can be done afterwards, but not so easily or so well, unless one is exceptionally industrious and intelligent. To neglect one’s studies as R and S have done is therefore a mistake.

I wish to read some philosophical books. Will you please give me some names?

I am not sure what books would interest you and I am myself so far away from books that it is difficult to remember names. If you have not read Vivekananda’s things, you can read them or any books that would give you an idea of Vedanta schools and Sankhya. There is Mahendra Sircar’s “Eastern Lights”. It is Indian philosophy you want, I suppose!

What Vivekananda has said in his lectures — is it all truth, something directly inspired?

I cannot say that it is all truth — he had his own opinions about certain things (like everybody else) which can be questioned. But most of what he said was of great value.

I have been reading the philosophical writer Adhar Das. He writes of “unintelligent faith”. Is it not a queer specimen of faith?

Intelligent faith is, I suppose, “reasoned” faith; unintelligent faith is faith that believes without reasoning.

(1) If you say “X is equal to Y. Y is equal to Z. therefore X is equal to Z, — so I believe X is equal to Z,”, that is intelligent faith. If you simply see at once that X is equal to Z and believe, that is unintelligent faith.

(2) If you refuse to believe and doubt and challenge and argue till all your doubts and challenges and arguments are answered to your satisfaction, at least for the time being, then that is intelligent faith. Otherwise it is unintelligent faith.

E.g. You see Nirod and believe he is Nirod, — that is unintelligent faith. If you doubt and say he might be Narbheram or Khirod or Hitler and discuss all the possible arguments for or against his being Nirod, Narbheram, Khirod and Hitler till the whole subject is exhausted until you come to the conclusion either that he is Nirod or that he is Hitler and believe in your conclusion, then that is intelligent faith.

(3) If you believe what Adhar Das believes, that is intelligent faith. If you believe what he does not believe, that is unintelligent faith.

I hope you understand now Adhar Das’s statement.

There can be no clearing out of doubts. The mind doubts for the sake of doubting.

It is the stupidity of the mind to want a mental solution for everything.

Doubt and questioning are part of the physical obstruction.

My mind does not remain vigilant all the time. Perhaps it is because it has not the vital’s assistance.

It is the mind’s business to be on guard, not the vital’s. If you mean that the vital is interested in other things and the mind follows, that may be so. But the business of the mind is to recall the vital, not to follow it.

The mind observes and directs the vital, doesn’t it?

It ought to, but in most men the mind is the instrument of the vital.

Nowadays the vital often makes me read and talk about things as an aspiring seeker should not do.

One need not be so strict about it at this stage. All depends on the effect they have on the consciousness. Adverse things of course had better not be talked about.

Have I not to put a cut to all the vital joys?

All that come in the way of the sadhana, for the rest one has to remain unattached, i.e. not minding their absence, not insisting and claiming them till the right consciousness can be brought into them.

Do you not agree that at present what I feel as joy is all a vital joy?

What joy? There are vital joys that are innocent and need not be seriously put down — such as joy in art, poetry, literature. They have not to be put down but put aside only when they interfere with sadhana.

At times the mind is not in a clear condition and is unaware of the reason and effect of the working of the higher Force.

It has only to watch and observe and wait for the knowledge.

You once used the phrase, “the essential power of the higher consciousness”. What is the meaning of “essential” here?

Do you not know what “essential” means? There is a difference between the essence of a thing which is always the same and its formations and developments which vary. There is, for instance, the essence of gold and there are the many forms which gold can take.

I can understand the silence, peace etc. which the higher consciousness commands. But what makes a power “essential”?

Essence can never be defined — it simply is.

Could it be said that my intellect or inner mind has now detached itself from the lower Prakriti?

The thinking mind generally — except the physical part.


[1] Uncertain reading.

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