Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Two Kinds of Intelligence

Two Kinds of Intelligence.
By  Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

It's difficult to teach how to discriminate pure intelligence from intelligence which is enslaved to craving and defilement. Nevertheless, you need to observe this for yourselves and not just believe me. In other words, observe this difference in your own thoughts and feelings. You can also observe this in others who are skilful thinkers, observers, and investigators. As society nowadays blindly worships scientists, experts, and authorities, why don't we consider some scientists and the science they research.
For example, we've all read about Darwin, who studied biology and the evolution of life. He obviously needed to use time to contemplate these matters deeply, just as sages and hermits do. He would observe animals carefully. He would lean on his cane in order to focus deeply, like a statue, until squirrels and birds would land on him. Consider the depths of such thinking, and how profound and penetrating that would be. Is it possible that his contemplation was mixed up with any meaning of 'me' or 'mine'?

If you think about this for yourselves, you'll be able to understand. You'll realize that whenever there's a sense of me and mine mixed in, it's impossible to be aware, to think, to contemplate anything deeply. It's restless, this thinking about me and mine. If it exists, then it fails. It always confuses and messes things up, gets in the way of concentration needed to look deeply into the secrets of nature.

Darwin forgot everything. He forgot himself, his name, where he was. He forgot how he felt, what he would get out of all this, and what his other duties were. He forgot everything and his mind was completely buried in nature. It's as if he disappeared and there was just nature. All meaning of 'self,' of'me,' of 'mine,' was gone. His mind became completely natural. He was able to contemplate nature most profoundly, according to it's actual properties. Thus, he was able to penetrate to nature's secrets and see the aspect of natural truth he discovered. This is one example of working with mind empty of 'me' and 'mine.'
Einstein is another example. For the way he was able to think through things he's widely considered the leading genius of his time. Everyone knows what he discovered, which required a deep, penetrating mind able to investigate nature and be one with it. In such contemplation there's no room for the least sliver of 'I,' of 'me,' of 'self,' of self interest, of benefiting or losing, or any such thing. His famous theories have been so powerful that they led to the most powerful material weapons humanity has ever known. This is the talent of those who think with an empty mind of the sort we're speaking of.
No matter whether one is a thinker, a researcher, an experimental scientist, or whatever, they all must work with an empty mind. If the least hint of ego sneaks in, things fall apart immediately. One loses jhāna (absorption, deep concentration); one loses one's train of thought - for example, if one thinks of home or family, of success or failure. Our work falls apart whenever we let such extraneous things enter.

Thoughts of success and failure must never enter one's head. One just penetrates deeper and deeper, to the full extent of the brain's energy, that it can think in a single day. And with dawn, one continues. They never thought of who they were doing this for, who paid them, whose interest it was, or what need was forcing them.

If we act merely as hired labor, or out of obligation to somebody, responsible to somebody, these need to be completely tossed aside while we are working. We need to be able to let our thinking fall into place, to put our whole heart into it so that everything falls into place and we don't have to think it through again.

Imagine if Einstein thought of a theory to help America, which benefited Einstein so much - he had to throw it all aside - America, or the Jews, my own or theirs, what I owe them or not, these all have to be forgotten, leaving only a mind that is empty of us and them, of me and you, of getting and losing, of anything that's me or mine. A mind then transforms into pure nature and can realize the most profound nature. This is an example of working with an empty heart.

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