Monday, October 03, 2005

“Intelligence and soul are not two things; it is only a condition of the Intelligence which is the soul. The Intelligence in its original aspect is the essence of life, the Spirit, or God. But when this Intelligence is caught in an accommodation such as body and mind, its original nature of knowing then knows and that knowing Intelligence becomes consciousness. The difference between consciousness and the soul is that the soul is like a mirror, and the consciousness is a mirror which shows a reflection in it.”
Hazrat Inayat Khan
The other day I took one of those on line IQ tests. Around 50 questions, mostly problem solving. At the end I hit enter and waited for my results. Imagine my surprise to learn that my IQ had increased exactly one point in the 42 years that had passed since the last time I took an IQ test. No, I am not going to tell you what it is. That does not matter so much as what I have been thinking about intelligence.
As some of you know, we have two children living with us, an eight year old boy and a girl almost three. Now it has been a very long time since either Majida or myself has had young children to deal with on a regular basis so it has been an interesting time remembering old, hard won, skills. In fact we have both noticed that we are a lot better at it this time for having had some practice and a bit of time to assimilate. But that is not what I wanted to speak to. What I have been noticing is the difference between innate intelligence and acquired knowledge. I suppose this will be no surprise to any parent that pays attention that children have deep intelligence. What they lack is acquired habits and what we think of as civilized behavior patterns. And of course there are developmental things going on, motor skills, social skills, that sort of thing. I suppose a social scientist type person would be able to catalogue all of these things but the parent just observes and deals with them as they come up.
What does all of this have to do with a spiritual essay? Well go back and read Pir O Murshid’s quote above. The Intelligence, Aq’l in Sufism, exists and imparts its existence to the soul. The soul therefore is an aspect of Divine Intelligence, perhaps acting as a kind of agent. The Intelligence, in its role of soul, when manifesting creates for itself a means of expression as well as a means of accumulating knowledge, Alim, thereby becoming something greater than it was or at least different. And we get to participate. It fact we might see our consciousness as the interface between Divine Intent as manifested in Aq’l and physical reality. I am mentioning all of this in order to perhaps get a bit of perspective on our personal problems and to see what is really taking place as opposed to our individual ego driven point of view. So what I would like is some comments about the above. Do you ever feel this deep intelligence kind of lurking behind the scenes? Do you sometimes wonder how you know things? Let us see what we come up with.
Love & Blessings, Musawwir


Beatrix Kiddo said...

Good Evening Friend,
Without a map we get lost. Without a plan there is chaos and failure.
Ofcourse a higher intellect to gently and sometimes not so gently lead us down the lane of life is plausable. We must give ourselves more credit and respect for achievements and good works that we cultivate. Not everything is because of a higher something doing it for us. But what do I know, Iam just 104 and seen and done everything.

mystic said...

I am really enjoying your site and I appreciate the comment. You have some really thought provoking things to say. You truly have a gift and I will be visiting often. I will ponder the quote and your words for a while and get back.
Peace and blessings

Nurelhuda said...

You wrote about intelligence and somehow that makes me think I need to write something intelligent and of course wanting to write something intelligent actually sends whatever intelligent thoughts coming from the soul right out of my consciousness .
I'll come back and write something intelligent when I ve stopped wanting to write something intelligent :-)

Beatrix Kiddo said...

Friend Nurelhuda you Iam certain could not would not speak but words of comfort and wisdom.
Speak when the thought comes not so much when we have pondered an eternity. I await your thoughts on this subject.

Nurelhuda said...

I see our innate intelligence as something that we already know. I sense it in myself as understanding something more than the words convey which makes me think the words are reminders and revision rather than something new.Having said that , when I find myself dealing with the practical aspects of life of which I find myself sometimes still incompetent, I think of it as a difficulty of my soul trying to adapt to its human condition. Sometimes I think I know of being other than a human in this world. Some things that I feel as being inevitable truths are for example things about heaven and hell being what we create within ourselves. What I have found out though is that no amount of actually knowing all these within myself helps in anyway to improve my person except with a great effort ...

Anonymous said...

My goodness. ThirtyTwo-years of spiritual exercises of one sort or another. There have definitely been some remarkable moments; none of them answers, however. What was the question?

I still go into an analytical space when I try to decipher Murshid’s statement on Intelligence. A very strong part of my training, I guess, though it does have an emotional/spiritual flavor to it when exercised properly. I can see the soul being a condition of the Intelligence. The concept of consciousness being the result of the accommodation of our incarnation to Intelligence I can also grasp. It’s that last sentence that throws me. Are there two mirrors here? “The soul is like a mirror…” and “consciousness is a mirror which shows a reflection in it.” What is being reflected by the soul? What is being reflected in the mirror of consciousness? Am I being too literal or analytical here?

For me ,I see some of the acquired knowledge as conscious, but much is unconscious. Some of it is immediately utilitarian or useful in some way, under the right circumstances. I don’t think it’s entirely possible (or even consistently necessary) to distinguish between the innate and the acquired forms of knowledge. I do believe that, when the “world is too much with us” we tend to get caught in the flow of using mostly knowledge of the acquired variety. I would venture to opine that one of the benefits of aging (given at least some rudimentary connection with the concept of a Creator, Sustainer) is that we are aware of the two types of knowledge. Not a day goes by where I don’t find myself saying, “ I knew I was going to screw that up. But I didn’t listen (to myself)”. Midway in some activity, an inner voice makes some observation or suggestion, but the force of my unconscious habit (acquired knowledge, if you will) prefers to ignore or over-ride the “suggestion”. I have had this experience so many times that it is not even a surprise anymore. Of course, this is a pretty mundane example of the war of the (I)intelligences.

I find it gets more interesting in the arena of human relationships. Can you say more about the mirrors here? I really need to get to work now.


mhall said...

What I truly believe is that the soul is our innerself, as people have always said, that to look into ones eyes is like looking into ones soul. I believe that the soul is what guides us, warns us and takes care of us. And innerfeeling that God above has given us to use, whenever we face trials and temptations, Our soul is also our point of knowledge that tries very hard to lead us to do what is right. I myself have had times when I had a certain feeling, or had a certain dream, just to awake and find it happen sooner or later. I believe that god gives us these dreams as a warning, to be prepared for what is to come.

molly said...

Is it divine intelligence, our own, or the query of intelligent design that applies here? To me, there are mirrors that appear in everyone and everything...including my own thoughts. The internal mirror and an external mirror. but i question if i really gain intelligence or just become more aware and conscious? i'm just beginning to recognize that we can participate, but to what extent and to what end i have yet to observe and experience.

Qalbi said...

I'm interested in the idea the line: "But when this Intelligence is caught in an accommodation such as body and mind, its original nature of knowing then knows and that knowing Intelligence becomes consciousness." Could we then say; as Rumi talked about 'the touch of spirit on the body', that our intelligence is confined by the touch of body on the soul,' or something like that?

I rather like that idea and am going to think about it more. If we were not caused to "accomodate" when we arrive to humanity, we might be much more equally divine - but then perhaps we would not have the experience of Free Will that humanity has access to. Wow, here I am again, I don't know if it's a twist of my mind, or what; but I keep coming to this.

Qalbi said...

From "The Soul Whence & Wither" in the chapter called "The Soul", Murshid

"Rumi has said in the 'Mathnavi' that life on earth is a captivity of the soul. When one looks at the bubble in which the air has been caught by the water, one sees the meaning of Rumi's words: that something which is free to move about, becomes captive by the atoms of water for a time, and loses its freedom for that moment.

Man in all conditions of life, whatever his rank, position or possessions, has troubles, pains and difficulties. Where do these come from? From his limitations. But if limitation was natural, why should he not be contented with his troubles? He is not contented, because limitation is not natural to the soul."

In looking for something about Gatha III:4 "The Opening of the Breast of the Prophet", I found this and it related so well for me that I got excited and had to post it. The Prophet spoke of himself as a mirror, that all humankind could see themselves in this polished mirror, to me it means that his consciousness was sublime. What do you think?