The mind may be a drinker, but the intelligence doesn’t have to be a bartender

The mind may be a drinker, but the intelligence doesn’t have to be a bartender

Suppose a compulsive drinker enters a bar and orders drinks. The bartender may be obliged to obey, but if the drinker orders a well-wishing friend similarly, that friend has the right and even the responsibility to refuse.

Our inner world is often like a bar as it contains many intoxicating impressions coming from our past indulgences. In this inner bar, the mind is like the compulsive drinker. Having an insatiable craving for instant pleasures, it is addicted to recollecting those impressions and reliving those pleasures. Our intelligence, with its capacity for discernment, is meant to act like the mind’s counselor. The Bhagavad-gita (03.42) indicates that the intelligence is ontologically higher than the mind.

Functionally however, the mind often usurps the intelligence. The mind is a consummate conjuror whose spell can captivate and subordinate the intelligence. For example, nowadays much human intelligence is used to develop gadgets, apps and schemes that pander to the lower desires in people’s minds. And people themselves often use their intelligence to indulge in their mind’s desires stealthily, as in, say, surfing inappropriate sites incognito. When the intelligence is bewitched by the mind, it falls from its dignified position as the mind’s counselor to the ignominious position as its bartender. And when the intelligence falls, we too fall (02.63).

To prevent such a fall, we need to strengthen our intelligence by spiritual practices such as scriptural study and meditation. These practices freshen and sharpen the intelligence’s recollection of our spiritual identity and of the higher happiness awaiting us in devotion to Krishna. Being thus alerted, the intelligence learns to resist the mind’s spells. Gradually, devotional purification sobers the mind. Once it learns to savor illuminating spiritual joys instead of seeking inebriating sensual pleasures, we march swiftly towards eternal liberation.

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  1. Thanks to you for providing such a knowledgeable Quotes.

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  2. Visual things seduce the mind than the invisible things.thus human race slide to fall to inferior desires

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