Intellect as a hindrance to enlightenment

A professor commuted from Tokyo to Nanin’s temple in Kamakura many Sunday mornings to learn Zen. One morning Nanin served him tea. He poured the professor’s cup full—and kept on pouring.

The professor watched until he could restrain himself no longer.

“Sensei!” he protested, “it is overflowing!”

Then Master Nanin said, “Like this cup, you are so full of opinions and speculations that there is no room for anything further.”

When the cup overflows

Oftentimes many get stuck in their paths to higher inner experiences and flowering because their own intellects function as the key barrier to That. One must empty himself – unschooling of sorts – before they can learn Zen enlightenment.

This is the dilemma of everybody existing in this Information Age we are currently in where there is so much information and knowledge for everyone, at least according to their intellectual levels. Literacy levels in the world have never been as high as there are in the modern world. We are certainly the luckiest generation that knows the entire taste of liberty.

There are no reasons as to why the modern man shouldn’t live in total Bliss and Inner-Peace because all else is perfect in the outer environment – freedom, peace and liberty, a wealthier world than that of our forefathers, diversity, efficient systems of governance (rule of law reigns supreme), science, technology, and so on and so forth. But true and formidable Peace and awareness has not been easy to bump into for many a people because the dynamics of these mechanism – enlightenment – doesn’t necessarily follow the preconceptions and presumptions of the human mind. The Laws of this peculiar dimension are immutably non-definitive and nonconceptual. This means the ordinary intellectual tricks we learn in the universities and professions would be of minimal use in unlocking this subtle potential.

21 thoughts on “Intellect as a hindrance to enlightenment

  1. Yes… to become enlightened about what it is that makes you emotionally suffer you have to enter the realm of what it is that causes that suffering and study it and catch it redhanded to gain the intrinsic sort of understanding awareness that signals being enlightened about what it is and how it brings on your suffering. This means knowing where to go to get the appropriate knowledge to derive the appropriate wisdom…that’s self-knowledge from sensually witnessing life itself manifest…(there’s one type of meditation that secures this knowledge) Tree of Life sort of knowledge … Intellectually metered knowledge is from a different realm…Lau Tze says it can teach you to rule the world… and that one who gathers self-knowledge learns to rule the self ego… Intellectual knowledge is borrowed knowledge like from the Tree of Knowledge … leaving you spiritually dead to the emotional suffering it instills… Adam and Eve suffering the emotional shame when God confronted them…. Check out my 1st blog about God rolling the dice… any of my 10 posts touches on this subject….thanks Philip Ruskins!

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  2. Wow! This comment is replete in perfect understanding of human suffering, its causes and remedies of the same. Your wisdom flows in a peculiarly shiny fashion. I will look for that post you have mentioned.

    You are right about intellectual knowledge is borrowed and leaves a man more hollow than before because he simply crams so much skeletons of his ancestors (borrowed knowledge) in his tiny brain, so much so that he has no space or insight enough to have a slight glimpse of pure enlightenment.

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  3. “However deep your knowledge of abstruse philosophy, it is like a piece of hair in the vastness of space; however important your experience in things of the worldly, it is like a drop of water thrown into the unfathomable abyss.” Te-shan Hsuan-chien [Tokusan Senkan]

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  4. The existence of the internet should make this clear: one can spend so much time “gathering” information, that the rest of self is atrophied, and nothing is decided or acted upon…But time is all used up, and the day long gone.

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  5. To abide in the self is to abide, mind-into-body, in the theater of life-manifest itself, where the self-knowledge to assimilate the appropriate strain of life wisdom to undo the ignorance of the uncontrollable life principles that people don’t understand that generate their emotional suffering…shadowing out their emotional bliss. ……yeah…blissful info…or info to bliss…

    Liked by 2 people

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