The Awakening of Intelligence.


 I was sixteen when three songs in a row on FM Radio totally captivated me.  These were the first three songs on the flip side of the Moody Blue’s album, To Our Children’s Children’s Children.

 I was on fire in response - my deepest longings ignited.

 It was in some sense a religious experience, more real and vital to me than almost anything.

 Nothing has changed. Years later, if I listen to Gypsy, Eternity Road and Candle of Life, by the Moody Blues, I am transported into a transcendent realm of beauty and meaning. 

 A taste for the infinite was awakened then. A deep desire for eternity. It was a taste and feel for a level of spiritual experience that went far beyond anything I’d been exposed to at my local church, or anywhere, for that matter. 

 Years later at the Master Yoga Academy in La Jolla, California, a teacher described human beings as possessing an innate yearning for transcendence

 Which had the effect of reinforcing my deepening sense that we were made for transcendence - built for something more than the here and now.

 My conviction was then being confirmed that this world is not all there is. Another world forever calls to us. 

 I would like now to describe that experience at sixteen as a kind of awakening to intelligence, in particular to a higher region of intelligence sometimes referred to as higher mind

 When this level of mind is awakened within you, according to the Irish poet/ philosopher, John O’Donohue, “the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment.” (Anam Cara: A book of Celtic Wisdom)

 I would like also to suggest here that another way of describing this opening to intelligence is to say that it is an awakening to faith

 I am proposing that in a certain sense, intelligence and faith are the same thing. To be intelligent is to be in a state of faith.

 According then to this understanding, faith - the awakening of intelligence, is an upsurge of spiritual desire - a flashing forth of shakti, or spiritual energy.

 Now it is just this kind of understanding of intelligence/faith that Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) in his Fragments, was at pains to articulate and inspire.

 He asks, “How does the learner come to realize an understanding?

 For Kierkegaard, understanding is enabled through what he called a leap into faith - “a leap into experience in quest of truth.” 

 To describe the awakening of intelligence/faith in this way has less to do with 'the faith' (i.e. the content of a particular faith,) as with faith itself, which I am describing here as an almost irresistable energy that wells up from deep within. 

 How easy it appears to be to bypass this dynamic dimension of faith/intelligence and instead to fall into merely saying, I have faith, which can be so empty and hollow.

 It was against this depthless level of faith that Kierkegaard in Denmark launched his protests.  

 Kierkegaard went to war against all cosmetic expressions of faith. 

 His insight was like Carl Jung’s who described some believers as having 'God on the outside and nothing within.’ 

 Faith then in Kierkegaard’s understanding is a dynamic and powerful force. It is a leap and a risk.

 A real faith in the language of Kierkegaard is the radical opening of oneself to the conversion experience

 Real faith involves an awakening from complacency into "a new poignant consciousness.” (Professor Thomas Bertonneau)

 Now, there are many educators today whose conviction is that faith should have nothing to do with education: "The one thing," says Professor Thomas Bertonneau,"that modern educators, including modern college and university educators, know best is that faith has no place in education.” 

 But what happens then in a school where faith has no place? Do sages of faith and wisdom, like Krishnamurti, who sounds just like Kierkegaard, have no relevance or value?

 Says Krishnamurti: “An intelligent mind is a mind which is not satisfied with explanations, with conclusions; but is "an inquiring mind, a mind that is watching, learning, studying.” 

 Such an inspired mind, he said, is "willing to rebel, to go against the whole social structure in order to find out what God is, or to discover the truth of anything.”

 Is there no place in education for men of faith like these whose conviction is that we have a spark of heavenly nature within us that needs to be set on fire? 

 Is there no place in education for men of faith like these who think that human beings are destined for union with God? 

 Now, it was George Orwell who envisioned in his book, 1984, what a society would look like that had dispensed with faith.

 Orwell foresaw a society of smoothed out human beings, now robotic members of a collectivistic herd.

 All are politically and social correct, and are without intelligence and without faith

 Orwell’s vision has now been almost fully realized and it wasn’t even forced upon us!

 A Sufi Master, Martin Lings, recalls that time of inspiration when he first heard C.S. Lewis describe the Medieval understanding of the human soul and its faculties: 

 “I can see him now, and hear him now," says Lings. Lewis described the faculties of the soul as arranged in a hierarchy.

 The highest faculty of the soul is called in Latin, intellectus, which can be translated as intellectual intuition.

 The intellectus, the highest level of the soul, is that region of intelligence that has been the emphasis of this article. 

 In his lecture, C.S. Lewis stressed that "the intellect is not for things of this world." 

 Prior to its awakening, this capacity for spiritual realization lies dormant in the soul, covered over by worldly preoccupations and concerns. 

 This capacity, which resides at the center of the human being is therefore darkened, but can be awakened through purification practices.

 When that capacity is aroused one begins to see what Dante and Beatrice beheld. (in the painting above!)

 Faith has then been awakened. Intelligence has been awakened.  

 Upon hearing this, Martin Lings exclaimed: “This was for me like a flash of lightning, “for I had never heard of the intellect in its true meaning."

 "It was something wonderful and in a sense I never recovered." (Martin Lings, quoted by Eastern Orthodox Professor, James Cutsinger)

 In response to this awakening of intelligence, to quote John O’Donohue again: "The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.” (John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom 

 You are never the same again.


 Burning Embers, Dimensions Divide Us, by Flares