Those who underestimate their mind undermine their intelligence

Suppose a country has a hostile neighbor. If they underestimate their neighbor, they will not pay attention to their own intelligence agencies which may warn them about the neighbor’s power. Worse still, they may not even adequately fund their intelligence agencies. By thus undermining their intelligence, they will court imminent destruction. 

Gita wisdom explains that we are souls who have a hostile neighbor: our own mind. The mind often misdirects our attention away from things of enduring importance to things that promise fleeting pleasure. If we get misled, we end up deprived of spiritual joys and entangled in material troubles. 

Unfortunately, we often underestimate our mind’s capacity to mislead. Because it resides inside us, it slips below our radar while we assess our enemies. When we do something self-destructive, we sometimes sense our mind’s dangerousness. That sense is our intelligence cautioning us. Unfortunately, we often shrug off that self-destructive behavior as a one-off occurrence. We neglect the inteligence’s warning that such behavior results from the mind’s insidious strategy to sabotage us. 

Worse still, because we imagine that we are safe, we deem as unnecessary the inner defense provided by our intelligence. And we neglect to adequately nourish our intelligence by studying wisdom-texts like Bhagavad-gita. 

When we thus underestimate the mind, we let ourselves nonchalantly contemplate the many sense objects that the mind brings to our recollection. Such contemplation gives those recollections a momentum by which they grow to attraction, infatuation and infuriation (02.62). Then, come delusion, oblivion and stupefaction, which is essentially the destruction of intelligence. Stripped of our intelligence, we succumb to increasingly injurious indiscretions (02.63).

If we consider how seemingly minor lapses, repeated regularly over months and years, consume enormous time and energy, we can get the impetus to stop underestimating our mind and to start fortifying our intelligence. 

Think it over:

  • How does our mind mislead us?
  • How do undermine our intelligence?
  • How can we get the impetus to stop underestimating our mind? 

***

02.63 From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool.

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