Impulse may run over intelligence, but don’t let it take over intelligence
Suppose some invaders attack a fort suddenly. The defenders, being caught unawares, are stunned, and the invaders start plundering the fort. Nonetheless, the defenders soon recover and start resisting, forcing the attackers to retreat. But suppose the invaders tempt and corrupt a prominent defender, who defects over to them. Then, they can take over the fort permanently.
Our consciousness is like the fort, and sensual impulses are like the invaders. A prominent defender is our intelligence, which exposes impulsive indulgence to be deceptive: the short-lived pleasure is followed by lots of trouble (Bhagavad-gita 05.22).
However, impulse sometimes attacks so suddenly that our intelligence is stunned. Before we understand what’s happening, we succumb to indulgence. After we indulge, the chemical surge within our consciousness soon subsides. As we realize that the actual pleasure was far lesser than the hype, our intelligence recovers. We start resisting the impulse, which then retreats from our consciousness. And we resume our efforts to purify ourselves of unhealthy impulses.
But sometimes, impulse can seduce our intelligence (03.40). If that happens, we start using our intelligence not to recover from indulgence, but to cover up the indulgence – to hide it from others and persuade ourselves that it was no big deal. Worse is if we rationalize our indulgence to others, claiming that indulging is our “right” and self-regulation is repressive. When our intelligence starts defending indulgence instead of defending us from indulgence, we are in big trouble indeed.
How can we prevent such a disastrous take-over of our intelligence? By the devotional discipline of regular Gita study. Being guided by Gita wisdom, we learn to use our intelligence to situate ourselves on the spiritual platform (03.43). When we gradually become absorbed in spiritual reality and relish spiritual satisfaction thereof, we gain the best protection from impulse.
Think it over:
- How does intelligence defend our consciousness from impulse?
- How can impulse run over or take over our intelligence?
- How can we protect ourselves from impulse?
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