Feb 14th, 2017

Intellect is the judgment faculty of the soul. People think that since they have their own intellect to use then there is no need to be relying on other support. Those, considering themselves to be intellectual develop a sense of ego. They feel that the decision taken by them is the best. So much so, that no questions or criticism are entertained by them nor are they open to any suggestions. Ideas like spiritual awakening become all the more difficult for the intellectuals to understand and accept. This is not limited to the so-called intellectuals. Each one feels that their intellect is the best. A person feels that his intellect and other people’s wealth is always more.

If this is the case then all the decisions and judgments taken by the intellect should be accurate and should minimize suffering and maximize happiness. However, when we look around, we find that this is not happening practically. On the contrary grief and suffering are growing. Somewhere something has gone wrong. This calls for a check on the state of our intellect. We need to challenge our own decisions. We know that the intellect is the judging faculty of the soul, and therefore the state of the intellect would depend upon the state of the soul. In the original state when all souls are pure and perfect, their intellects are also pure and give 100% correct judgment. But slowly and steadily with the passage of time and while interacting with other souls as actors in the world drama, impurity inflatable water slide enters in the form of weaknesses like lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego. To the extent the soul becomes impure by the vices, its ‘thinking faculty the mind’ and ‘judging faculty the intellect’, also get influenced. Thereafter, intellect does not give neutral and right judgment. Instead it decides according to the likes and dislikes, inclinations and intentions of the soul. For instance, the intellect would not stop a thief from stealing but would guide him how to steal without getting caught.

Functioning of the intellect can be compared with functioning of an eye with cataract. Although the affected portion reduces its capacity to see normally yet the unaffected portion still enables it to see. This sometimes makes the person believe that he still has proper vision. He now would probably see by positioning the eye at a particular angle and slowly get habituated to the partial vision. Unless the cataract is in an advance stage, he might not consider it damaged at all. Reflection on the functioning of intellect will reveal that it stops giving correct judgment after the decisions are not complied with or violated several times. For example, when a person attempts to steal for the first time, his intellect will warn him that it is not the right thing to do. But if he still steals and wants to steal again then intellect would strongly warn him 3-4 times. After he has violated its decisions several times, the intellect would stop warning him and then would start guiding him how to steal. In essence intellect is a fair weather friend. Still if the thief is caught, but could escape if he kills the person who caught him, the intellect would strongly warn him not to kill. He may opt to get caught rather than kill. However, if he kills to escape and does so on several occasions, the intellect would stop warning him to kill as well. Extending the same example, if a person has become a robber and kills indiscriminately without his intellect stopping him, still his intellect will guide him not to kill his own relative who may happen to be in the crowd. However we do come across cases where individuals who have killed their own relatives without any remorse.
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