Intelligence means to understand how the mind makes us misunderstand
Suppose we are driving a car and our rear-view mirror gives us a distorted picture, making a proximate car appear distant. If we turn around and see the car almost touching our rear bumper, we will understand that our rearview mirror is misleading us.
Our mind is like a mirror that makes us misperceive. It may make us misunderstand others – when they circumstantially do something that hurts us, the mind makes us believe that they are intentionally hurting us. It may make us misunderstand ourselves – if we fail to give up a bad habit, it makes us believe that we are hopelessly addicted. And most damagingly, it may make us misunderstand God – if our prayers are not answered as per our expectations, it makes us believe that God is uncaring or even non-existent. Such mind-induced misperceptions prevent us from seeking or implementing constructive solutions.
To see things properly, we need to see not through our mind, but through our intelligence. Indeed, a key function of intelligence is to understand how our mind makes us misunderstand – and to thereafter rectify that misunderstanding and eventually rectify the misunderstanding-inducing mind. The Bhagavad-gita depicts how Arjuna’s mind distorted his perception, making him feel that everything was going wrong (01.30) and that he should abandon his life’s biggest battle (01.46). But hearing the Gita’s message equipped his intelligence to see how the battle was essential for promoting social and spiritual welfare, thereby restoring his determination to do Krishna’s will (18.73).
Just as the Bhagavad-gita equipped Arjuna’s intelligence, it can similarly equip us. Then, we can vigilantly detect and correct the mind’s misunderstandings and stay firmly connected with the source of all understanding: Krishna.
Being intellectually equipped with Gita wisdom, we can navigate purposefully and successfully throughout our life-journey towards eternal ecstatic absorption in Krishna.
Think it over:
- How does the mind make us misunderstand others?
- How does the mind make us misunderstand ourselves?
- How does the mind make us misunderstand God?
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