Monday, September 14, 2009

Daily Quote, Monday September 14, 2009.

Good morning everyone,

I took a day off from the blog yesterday. Hope you enjoyed the nice weather and got outside for a while.

Here is today's quote:

Intellect is not the way.

Most of us are so unconcerned with this extraordinary universe about us; we never even see the waving of the leaf in the wind; we never watch a blade of grass, touch it with our hand and know the quality of its being. This is not just being poetic, so please do not go off into a speculative emotional state. I say it is essential to have that deep feeling for life and not be caught in intellectual ramifications, discussions, passing examinations, quoting, and brushing something new aside by saying it has already been said. Intellect is not the way. Intellect will not solve our problems; the intellect will not give us that nourishment which is imperishable.

The intellect can reason, discuss, analyse, come to a conclusion from inferences and so on, but intellect is limited, for intellect is the result of our conditioning. But sensitivity is not. Sensitivity has no conditioning; it takes you right out of the field of fears and anxieties. The mind that is not sensitive to everything about it—to the mountain, the telegraph pole, the lamp, the voice, the smile, everything—is incapable of finding what is true.

The Collected Works vol XI, p 42.

Here is my reflection.

The question of the intellect came up in the study group last night. We looked at Alan Anderson's comment that the word 'theory' comes from the word 'theoria', which means spectacle, and we explored some of the roles the that spectacles play. I talked a little about Disneyland and how it's role is to allow us to discern the difference bwtween what is real and what is not real; so that we can know the real America becuase Disneyland is a fake, a fantasy. The problem is that everyone lives their lives as it they lived in Disneyland. Celebrity makeovers and celebrity big brother, for example. We talked about the feelings of isolation that accompany such identifications and looked at the way that constant text messaging and facebook updating work in the same way - distracting people from their loneliness.

We then linked this back into theory in the intellectual sense of creating theories to explain this and that in academia. Theory relies for its fecundity on the idea that it illuminates and explains the real and is therefore separate from it. But this very separation is an abstraction; it is the past which is then projected onto the real, the facts, experience, etc. Experience is chosen to prove the theory or the theory is so abstract that any thing will fit into it. Moreover, the whole point of resrach soon becomes the attempt to prove the theory. In both cases, Disneyland and academia, it seems that the unreal no longer illuminates the real, but has taken it's place.

As Krishnamurti says, intellect can't give you that deep feeling for life, it can't be simulated by juxtaposing the real with the unreal. That is just more intellectual activity. To feel this great senstivity for a tree, or the breeze, or a person's smile, there must be no fear of being isolated.

Best wishes