Sunday, May 01, 2011

Transcending Intellect

As five hundred people sat in rapt attention before the guru of a popular cult, one hand shot up and the girl asked, “Guruji, How to transcend intellect?”

When an answer was given, it turned out that the question itself was more interesting than the answer. To me.
Of course, those among the gathering - which meant most of them, who had gotten used to spoonfeeding by now and had found it so convenient! and hence had lost the habit of and the taste for, thinking and analysis, swallowed the answer, without digesting it, for application in all future contexts indiscriminately.

I for one, dwelt upon the question and tried to see the reasoning underlying the too simplistic, yet obscure answer, which had been “When you say yes, when you accept, you transcend intellect”.

If what I realized after a while was the result of the same understanding of ‘transcending the intellect’ as the Guru’s, then I had a reason to smile at the calculated obscurity in the answer.

I realized that all of us transcend the intellect; each one of us. Everyday.

When we fall in love,…
A well cut nose and a well defined jaw line; taller than you, at least one day older than you; vegetarianism was non negotiable, poetic and romantic. That was your kind of a guy.
Yet, when you fell in love, it was a man who was an inch shorter than you, 2 years younger, loved chicken, scoffed at romanticism and mushy talk, and thought a piece of Java code poetic. What do you think you were doing?
Your intellect clearly told you this was not your kind of a guy. And yet you fell in love. How? By transcended intellect.

When we love our children,…
When those neighbour’s kids were howling, you were irritated. When they barged in and broke your precious chinaware, you were angry with the mother for not giving them a good spanking but jut a gentle slap on the shins.
Today, what about your own kids? Your intellect clearly tells you, they are not pretty, they are stubborn, they fight for the possession of the same piece of chocolate although there are two, they are well past childhood and yet they do what you forbid them, just to defy you.
Yet, you love them. How?
You transcend intellect. Your intellect tells you of their many flaws. But you transcend intellect and love them in spite of all their shortcomings.

When we love our parents,…
They embarrass you. In front of your friends, your classmates, the restaurant waiter. They could change, but they wont. Their ego is more important to them. ‘This is how we are’, they say. ‘Elders don’t need to adjust to children. Children should learn to adjust.’ They burp aloud. Eat clumsily. Talk loudly. Expect you to defer to them no matter how old they become. Give you needless advice.
Your intellect tells you they are so unbearable. Yet, you love them.
Because you transcend intellect.

All of us transcend intellect. Everyday. If we could not, we would all behave like programmed machines. Like computers. Because computers cannot transcend intellect. They can go only as far as intellect can take them.
How sophisticated and far fetched the concept sounds! ‘Transcending Intellect’! Indeed!
And how simple it seems when we realize ‘that’s what we do everyday‘!

Explanations make things incredibly simple.
Which is why scientists don’t have as many followers as Godmen have.
Unwise as they are, (though intellectual!), these scientists don’t know the art of keeping things shrouded in mystery, the beauty of obscurity.
The ‘art of leaving’ certain details to imagination!


Sirisha said...

I would pity the person who asked this question, she obviously did not use her intellect, else she would have known the answer. And how can one transcend one's intellect without even using it, knowing it? An obscure question deserves an obscure answer.

MotoRama said...

Maybe I am missing something...your explanation makes the Guruji's answer more precise...when we accept..when we say people whom we would otherwise reject because of our intellect..we transcend..aka..we love:)

Action & Inertia - This is the hyphenated thoughtspace in between said...

Your power of expression does take the concept ot its true stature, kudos Sowmya!

Sowmya said...


Yes. His answer was correct. But an explanation was in wanting. Followers of cults and Gurus take any and every thing from the Guru at its face value and apply it everywhere without thought.
Imagine people saying yes to things and people they should be saying 'No' to
That's why...

Thanks Sirisha for the comment.

And thank you 'the one with a long name' for the nice words :)

Anonymous said...

Soumya - yet another attempted explanation - to love anything beautiful comes from a set of rules that define beauty. what makes beauty win our love? anything or anybody that appear to mesh well with the elements of the universe..primitive, right? what makes mediocrity also win our love (sometimes, more than what beauty would have)..take the example of parents loving their children..y is it unconditional n beyond the norms of beauty? when a person embarks upon parenthood, he/she is chemically compelled (yet willfully and gladly) to be accommodative since that is how nature works..(trivia - human new borns are the most helpless and vulnerable among all mammals). The energy expended by parents towards their children urges them to be protective of them..its like securing an investment. I am sure no parent loves his baby from the moment it is born..its the time that is spent in nurturing the baby that transforms itself into a strong compelling force that is seen an unconditional love. So, it’s the chemically influenced behavior of a parent that nudges us to transcend intellect..this maybe right/wrong. Just a thought 

Anonymous said...

:-), witty and insightful. I found myself chuckling and smiling.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous: Not sure if your comment was for me or Sowmya - Sudarshan Mantri