Intellect v/s Spirituality

Intellectuals accuse Spirituals of telling people not to use their own minds.

Nothing can be farther from the truth.

What is the logical mind? In our context, I would say that it consists of the conditioning received since childhood as to how to be, what is good, what is not, how to think, who to study, what to study, caste, religion … in short – all the practises observed in parents/family, and things taught in school and beyond, all experiences life threw and the lessons learnt and applied, and all the prejudices heard and followed.

The logical mind makes the decisions of life from this pot of learning and experiences, and thinks that these make the world, without realising that one human being is not even a speck of sand in the scheme of the Cosmos, and thus one’s learnings and experiences are so miniscule and so limited, that it cannot be depended on solely to take all the decisions in life as we are taught to do. That is why when things change – shocked, we fall apart!

Since childhood we are taught to bury what we feel, to do what we must do. Thus, we are conditioned to think with our logical mind, and forget about emotions. But emotions are the very parameter given to our bodies, to guide us as to which path to take and which to stay away from.

For example. I am an Actor. I go to a Producer (a position of power) for a film. I catch him staring at my breasts, or looking at me in an indecent way. My body’s reaction to what I have observed is unease. That’s an emotion. But I have been taught to depend on my logical mind to take decisions. So I decide to ignore what I have observed. Instead, I think about the work, how it will help me progress, and the money it will help me earn. I thus decide to ignore the signal my body is giving me through my emotions.

I start working on the project. Now each day as I go to shoot, the producer continues to look at me as he chooses to, making me feel anxious. How does the body show anxiousness? It does that through heightened heart-beat, pulse-rate, feeling of uneasiness, shortness of breath, sweating, etc. (these are also symptoms of heart conditions). Now I am putting my body through these symptoms on a daily basis, for say, a period of minimum 45 days to two months, required to complete a movie. It could be longer too.

At the end of the film, what do I feel? Exhausted and stressed. But my logical mind assures me that I will feel, elated and rich, when the money comes in and the film releases. Thus I choose to focus on money and worldly progress instead of what I put my body through.

This is ok in one film. Or a few. But say I keep on repeating this trend of putting myself in stressful situations, ignoring my body’s parameters—emotions and feelings, to serve my bank account, and prestige, what will happen? That thing which started as mere anxiety and shares it’s symptoms with heart conditions, will bring me all kinds of stress-related diseases such as diabetes, depression, heart attack, etc. And then I will pretend that I really do not know why it happened. I will go to a very expensive doctor who my money can now pay for, and be on expensive medications which my money can now buy.

But I will not pay attention to how I feel—to my emotions, to what causes me stress and anxiety, to what suits me vis-à-vis what I dream about. Why? Because it’s inconvenient.

Spirituality says get connected to your inner self. Listen to your body. Listen to your heart. But this can be a losing proposition in the world of money and prestige.

So offcourse we shall not listen. And then pretend that Spirituality is asking us not to think.

Shreya Narayan
Shreya Narayan is an actor.

She has acted in films and series like Saheb, biwi aur gangster, Rabindranath Tagore stories by Anurag Basu, etc.

Instagram - @shreyanarayanchronicles
YouTube Channel - Let'sTalk@shreyanarayanchronicles.

1 Comment on "Intellect v/s Spirituality"

  1. Very well written kudos to your open mind !!! Happy writing..

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