We have to approach this as beginners, no matter how much spiritual teaching you’ve responded to or been involved in, how much reading you may have done. This requires a beginner’s mind because you’ve never really been on this mountain before.
Spiritual work is not an accrual of insights or grand ideas. It’s a journey back to what is essential and purposeful for you. It’s not anti-intellectual, but it does mean that the intellect has to serve a greater power within you to be really truly beneficial and to be the magnificent vehicle of communication that it really has meant to be.
So, first of all to bring clarity, let us think of knowledge as a deeper mind within you – not the mind that you think with, not the mind that you live in probably 99% of the time. There’s nobody in the world who’s not living in this mind at least part of the time, no matter how advanced they may become. You still have vestiges of personality and they still experience fear, pain, preference to some degree.
So there’s no escaping this surface mind. We actually need it. Knowledge could not communicate to the world without this being as a vehicle of communication. So there’s no deprecation of the mind here, the intellect. It’s only that its role and service has to really shift here to serve a greater power beyond its comprehension. Not a power far away or in some lofty distant State. But it actually works within us and through us all of us, if the opportunity for it to express itself can be made.
Two minds: we have an intellect, a worldly mind that the world has created and you have created since the moment you were born, and we live in this mind. This mind becomes our reality, our identity as we try to find meaning and purpose there as we try to navigate an uncertain and difficult world. Your development here in early childhood and adolescence is important. You need some functionality in this mind to be able to participate in the world and to find some security here and some meaning here, but this is an intermediate stage seen from a larger perspective.
The mind has to be a platform for something greater that lives within you and beyond you, and this is where true meaning and purpose is found in life. The mind itself, our personal mind being temporary being tied to the outer world cannot give us these greater things, try as we may to give our lives to pursuits spiritual, material, relational, whatever it may be. The real fulfillment is found at a deeper level and expressed at a deeper level.