Intellect, reason, and intelligence are not convertible terms

     The following are a few thoughts on the intellect taken from The Notebooks
of Paul Brunton, Volume 1…
     Most of us move from one standpoint to another, whether it be a lower or a
higher one, because our feelings have moved there. The intellect merely records
and justifies such a movement and does not originate it.
     Intellect, reason, and intelligence are not convertible terms in this
teaching. The first is the lowest faculty of the trio, the third is the
highest, the second is the medial one. Intellect is logical thinking based on a
partial and prejudiced collection of facts. Reason is logical thinking based on
all available and impartially collected facts. Intelligence is the fruit of a
union between reason and intuition.
     Logic is always beset by the serious charge that its so-called truths are
fallacious ones. For instance, it insists on the law of contradiction, the law
which says that a statement of facts cannot be true and false at the same time.
But the careful study of illusions produces conclusions which falsify this law.
We do not mean by this criticism to declare logic to be useless. We mean only
what we have elsewhere written, that it is a good servant but a bad master.
     Right thinking is not only an intellectual quality; it is almost a moral
     Shallow thought, superficial reasoning, is the means to bondage, but hard
thinking, deep reasoning, is the means to freedom.
     Reasoned thinking may contribute in two ways to the service of mystical
intuition and mystical experience. First and commonest is a negative way. It
can provide safeguards and checks against their errors, exaggerations,
vageries, and extravagancies. Second and rarest is a positive and creative way.
It can lead the aspirant to its highest pitch of abstract working and then
invite its own displacement by a higher power.
     It is fallacious to believe that clear and precise intellectual expression
is inimical to, and hence unable to accompany, inspired and flashing mystical
experience. It is true that many mystics have been intellectually hindered and
limited and that this simplicity made their ascent easier. But it is not true
that such a one-sided development will be the end of man’s story. It is the
whole of life which has to be experienced, and which the universal laws force
everyone to experience in the end. The growth of intelligence — of which
intellect is a limited but necessary part — can only be put aside or avoided
for a time, not for all time.
     We do not overcome our doubts by supressing them, we do not meet our
misgivings by denying them, and we do not refute falsehood by shirking
questions which happen to be inconvenient.
     When intelligence is applied so thoroughly as to yield a whole view and
not merely a partial view of existence, when it is applied so persistently as
to yield a steady insight into things rather than a sporadic one, when it is
applied so detachedly as to be without regard to personal preconceptions, and
when it is applied so calmly that feelings and passions cannot alter its
direction, then and only then does a man become truly reasonable and capable of
intellectually ascertaining truth.

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148/162 05 Sep 89 18:32:22
From:   Mike Carrillo
To:     Everyone
Subj:   The Intellect II
     The following are a few thoughts taken from The Notebooks of Paul Brunton,
Volume 1…
     Intellect can perceive what belongs to reality, not reality itself. The
metaphysician deludes himself into thinking that he has seen the world in all
its varied aspects, but what he has really seen is the world in all its
intellectual aspects only. Moreover when he thinkings that he has put together
the results of one science with another, uniting them all into a harmonious
whole, he omits to reckon that such are the limitation of human capacity and
scientific knowledge, that no man could ever combine all the multitudinous
results. He could never acquire an intimate knowledge of them during a single
lifetime. Therefore he could never develop a complete philosophy of the
universe as a whole.
     The intellect fulfils itself practically when it discovers that each idea
it produces is incomplete and imperfect and therefore passes on to replace it
by a further one, but it fulfils itself metaphysically when it discovers that
ever idea which it can possibly produce will always and necessarily be
incomplete and imperfect.
     Now so far as they are almost entirely metaphysical works, these two
volumes have no option but to make their appeal chiefly to reason alone. And
expounding the special and unique system called the metaphysics of truth as
they do, they have to start where possible from verifiable facts rather than
mere speculations. But whatever other importance they ascribe to reasoning as
an instrument of truth-attainment applies only to the particular stage for
which it is prescribed, which is the stage of metaphysical discipline and
certainly not beyond it. Although the status bestowed on reason in every
metaphysical system beginning with science must necessarily be a primary one,
its status within the larger framework of the integral hidden teaching can only
be a secondary one. This teaching possesses a larger view and does not end with
science or limit itself to the rational standpoint alone. How can it do so when
metaphysics is merely its intermediate phase? We must rightly honour reason to
its fullest extent, but we need not therefore accept the unreasonable doctrine
that the limits of reason constitutes the limits of truth.
     Our senses can perceive only what they have been formed to perceive. Our
reason similarly cannot grasp what it was never formed to grasp. Within their
legitimate spheres of operation, the deliverances of both sense and reason
should be acceptable to us, but outside those spheres we must seek for
something that transcends both.
     But the basic cause why reason is insufficient exists in the fact that
intellect — the instrument with which it works — is itself insufficient.
Reason is the right arrangement of thinking. Each thought thus arranged depends
for its existence on another thought and is unable to exist without such a
relation, that is, it suffers from relativity. Hence a thought cannot be
considered as an ultimate in itself and therefore reason cannot know the
absolute. The intellect can take the forms of existence apart bit by bit and
tell us what they consist of. But such surgical dissection cannot tell us what
existence itself is. This is something which must be experienced, not merely
thought. It can explain what has entered into the composition of a painting
but, as may be realized if we reflect a little, it cannot explain why we feel
the charm of the painting. The analytic intellect describes reality
sufficiently to give some satisfaction to our emotions of our intelligence, but
it does not touch this bafflinf elusive reality at all. What it has dissected
is not the living throbbing body but the cold dead image of it.

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149/162 05 Sep 89 18:51:44
From:   Mike Carrillo
To:     Everyone
Subj:   The Intellect III
     When reason tells us that God is, it does not actually know God. The
antennae of intellectual research cannot penetrate into the Overself because
thinking can only establish relations between ideas and thus must forever
remain int he realms of dualities, finitudes, and individualities. It canot
grasp the whole but only parts. Therefore reason which depends on thinking is
incompetent to comprehend the mysterious Overself. Realization is to be
experienced and felt; thought can only indicate what it is likely to be and
what it is not likely to be. Hence Al Ghazzali, the Sufi, has said: “To define
drunkenness, to know that it is caused by vapours that rise from the stomach
and cloud the seat of intelligence, is a different thing from being drunk. So I
found ultimate knowledge consists in experiences rather than definitions.” The
fact that metaphysics tries to exlain all existence in intellectual terms along
tries to force human nature into conceptual molds, causes it to suppress or
distort the non-intellectual elements in both. The consequence it that
metaphysics along cannot achieve an adequate understanding. If it insists upon
exhalting it own results, then it achieves misunderstanding.

     … There is more, but I’m out of time and I’m sure many of you are
getting bored, so I’ll end this post on The Intellect…

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