Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation homepage > Notebooks of Paul Brunton > Perspectives > Chapter 7: The Intellect

The Intellect

1
Most of us move from one standpoint to another, whether it be a lower or a higher one, because our feelings have moved there. The intellect merely records and justifies such a movement and does not originate it.

2
The work done by original deeply penetrative thinking can go far, can uncover much not yet known; but it cannot solve the mystery of the thinker himself, unless it renounces its right to do so and lets the diviner Self take over in utter silence.

3
Intellect, reason, and intelligence are not convertible terms in this teaching. The first is the lowest faculty of the trio, the third is the highest, the second is the medial one. Intellect is logical thinking based on a partial and prejudiced collection of facts. Reason is logical thinking based on all available and impartially collected facts. Intelligence is the fruit of a union between reason and intuition.

4
A training in logic may guard us against transgressing the rules of right thinking but it cannot guard us against ignorance.

5
Logic is always beset by the serious charge that its so-called truths are fallacious ones. For instance, it insists on the law of contradiction, the law which says that a statement of facts cannot be true and false at the same time. But the careful study of illusions produces conclusions which falsify this law. We do not mean by this criticism to declare logic to be useless. We mean only what we have elsewhere written, that it is a good servant but a bad master.

6
Just as the path of return from body-ruled intellect to divine intuition is necessarily a slow one, so the descent into matter of man's originally pure mind was also a slow process. The "Fall" was no sudden event; it was a gradual entanglement that increased through the ages. Pure consciousness--the Overself--is required even for the intellect's materialistic operations. We may say, therefore, that the Overself has never been really lost, for it is feeding the intellect with necessary life. All this has been going on for untold ages. At first man possessed only a subtle body for a long period; but later, as his intellect continued more outward bent than before, the material body accreted to him. This curious position has arisen where intellect cannot indeed function in the absence of the Overself, yet deceptively arrogates to itself the supremacy of man's being. Pretending to guide and protect man, it is itself rebelliously and egotistically blind to the guidance of the Overself, yet enjoys the protection of the latter. The intellectual ego-self is thus propped up by the Overself and would collapse without it, but pretends to be self-sufficing.

7
Right thinking is not only an intellectual quality; it is almost a moral virtue.

8
Intelligence is inspired intellectuality. It yields well-reasoned and divinely prompted ideas.

9
But with stronger thinking power there comes also intellectual pride and egoistic conceit. He must offset them by humbling himself deliberately before the higher self. He must not hesitate to pray daily to it, on bended knees and with clasped hands, begging for its grace, offering the little ego as a willing sacrifice and asking for guidance in his darkness.

10
Shallow thought, superficial reasoning, is the means to bondage, but hard thinking, deep reasoning, is the means to freedom.

11
Reasoned thinking may contribute in two ways to the service of mystical intuition and mystical experience. First and commonest is a negative way. It can provide safeguards and checks against their errors, exaggerations, vagaries, and extravagances. Second and rarest is a positive and creative way. It can lead the aspirant to its highest pitch of abstract working and then invite its own displacement by a higher power.

12
"Thinking," said Hegel (when his landlady worried about his absence from church service), "is also Divine Service."

13
The intellect's finest function is to point the way to this actual living awareness of the Overself that is beyond itself. This it does on the upward path. But it has a further function to perform after that awareness has been successfully gained. That is to translate that experience into its own terms, and hence into ordinarily comprehensible ones, both for its own and other people's benefit.

14
The intellectual study of these truths is not without great value. It prepares him for their eventual realization, nourishes his soul, strengthens his higher will, and encourages his finer hopes. Moreover, holy reverence is born of itself as he meditates on the picture of universal intelligence which thus unfolds before his gaze.

15
In this little head we must first conquer the larger world. From this obscure corner we may master life.

16
The philosophical aspirant turns these intellectual studies into acts of devotion.

17
Because philosophy aims to develop a fully rounded psyche, it does not share the fanatic and extreme points of view of some medieval Western mystics and modern Indian yogis who banish every intellectual pursuit from the aspirant's path and who regard study as not merely being useless but as even being harmful. It is true that if a student is forever reading and never digesting what he reads, or never acting on it, he will make little progress. Nevertheless he cannot be said to be entirely wasting his time, for he will be gaining information. And if his reading includes works by the great masters, he will also be gaining inspiration. If, moreover, he has learned to read properly, he will be gaining yet a third thing and that is stimulation in thinking and reflecting for himself. Yes! An inspired book and a good reader if brought together are not necessarily an unspiritual combination, but the qualifications which we earlier made should be remembered. What he reads should be digested. He should learn to think, to create his own ideas under the stimulus of what he reads. Otherwise the more he reads, the more bewildered he may become with contradictory ideas and doctrines. And again reading and thought must lead to action and not leave him uselessly suspended in the world of dreams and theories.

Philosophy does not adopt the anti-intellectual attitude of so many medieval ascetics and their modern inheritors. For it declares that metaphysical thinking can lead the thinker to the very threshold of mystical intuition. It asserts that by persevering in abstract reflection he may earn the grace of the higher self and be led nearer and nearer to the highest truth. But there is one qualifying condition for such a triumphant achievement. The thinker must first undergo a self-purificatory discipline. His thoughts, his feelings, and his actions must submit themselves to a prolonged training and a constant regulation which will eliminate or at least reduce those factors which falsify his thinking or prevent the arisal of true intuition. Therefore his character has to be improved, his egoistic instinct has to be struggled against, his passions have to be ruled, his prejudices have to be destroyed, his biases have to be corrected. It is because they have not undergone this discipline that so many people have been led astray by the thinking activity into a miserable materialism. For philosophy asserts that the ordinary man's thinking is corrupted by his lower nature, with which it is completely entangled. Therefore he must free that thinking to a large extent from the thraldom of the lower nature if it is to lead to true conclusions, if it is to lead to the recognition of its own limitations, and if it is to invite intuition to arise and replace it at the proper moment. Just as education of intellect and practice of courtesy lift a man from a lower class of society to a higher one, so purification of thought, feeling, and will lifts his mind into a realm of higher perception than before. So philosophy welcomes and includes metaphysical activity into its scheme of things.

18
It is fallacious to believe that clear and precise intellectual expression is inimical to, and hence unable to accompany, inspired and flashing mystical experience. It is true that many mystics have been intellectually hindered and limited and that this simplicity made their ascent easier. But it is not true that such a one-sided development will be the end of man's story. It is the whole of life which has to be experienced, and which the universal laws force everyone to experience in the end. The growth of intelligence--of which intellect is a limited but necessary part--can only be put aside or avoided for a time, not for all time.

19
We do not overcome our doubts by suppressing them, we do not meet our misgivings by denying them, and we do not refute falsehood by shirking questions which happen to be inconvenient.

20
If a man will constantly think about these metaphysical truths, he will develop in time the capacity to perceive them by direct intuition instead of by second-remove reflection. But to do this kind of thinking properly the mind must be made steady, poised, concentrated, and easily detached from the world.

21
When intelligence is applied so thoroughly as to yield a whole view and not merely a partial view of existence, when it is applied so persistently as to yield a steady insight into things rather than a sporadic one, when it is applied so detachedly as to be without regard to personal preconceptions, and when it is applied so calmly that feelings and passions cannot alter its direction, then and only then, does a man become truly reasonable and capable of intellectually ascertaining truth.

22
Like the two sides of the same coin, so it is that a thing thought of is thought of always by comparison with something not itself, that all our thinking is therefore always and necessarily dualistic, and that it cannot hope to grasp Oneness correctly. Hence the logical completion of these thoughts demands that it must give up the struggle, commit voluntary suicide, and let Oneness itself speak to it out of the Silence. But this must not be done prematurely or the voice which shall come will be the voice of our own personal feelings, not of That out of which feeling itself arises. Thinking must first fulfil, and fulfil to the utmost, its own special office of bringing man to reflective self-awareness, before it may rightly vacate its seat. And this means that it must first put itself on the widest possible stretch of abstract consideration about its own self. That is, it must attempt a metaphysical job and then be done with it. This is what the average mystic rarely comprehends. He is rightly eager to slay his refractory thoughts, but he is wrongly eager to slay them before they have served him effectively on his quest.

23
There is nothing new in this requirement of philosophy. It has been voiced since antiquity by some of those who gave out publicly what they could or would from their philosophic initiation. Socrates spoke of the "incoherent notions" which filled human minds and which had to be cleared away before diviner ones could replace them. So he called for adequate statement of the definitions of general and abstract terms. Confucius, who was always the practical man rather than the pedant, said nevertheless: "It is most necessary to rectify names of things. If names are not correct, language will not be in accordance with the truth of things; if language is not in accordance with the truth of things, administration will not be successful." The untiring search for clearer meanings and more articulate definitions should not be confused with mere academic purism. It makes use of verbal precision only as a means of achieving truthful valuation.

24
The philosopher must ask each word to yield thoroughly a definition which possesses an exactitude that may well terrify the ordinary man. He must become a hunter and wander through the forests of verbal meaning to track down real meaning. He will not rush prematurely into utterance. Words are cheap for the ordinary man but dear for him. His studied hesitation leads, however, closer to truth. This interpretational discipline must be vigorously applied until it leads to a thorough understanding of all concepts which are the essential counters in philosophical research. For when men go astray in their definitions of these highly important terms, they will surely go astray in their thinking, and thence be led astray altogether from truth.

25
The analytical study of certain metaphysical conceptions such as God, the soul, and the ego, is necessary.

26
Unless he brings into his metaphysical studies a passionate appreciation of ultimate values and a profound feeling of reverence, they will not bear either a sound or a full fruit. In short, his thinking must be given a rich emotional, ethical, and intuitional content.

27
The unsatisfactoriness of most Vedantic metaphysics is that it limits itself to ontology. The unsatisfactoriness of most Western metaphysics is that it limits itself to epistemology. Both are one-legged creatures. A satisfying full-limbed system must first begin with epistemology and then end with ontology.

28
The Insufficiency of Intellect and Reason (Essay)

Intellect can perceive what belongs to reality, not reality itself. The metaphysician deludes himself into thinking that he has seen the world in all its varied aspects, but what he has really seen is the world in all its intellectual aspects only. Moreover when he thinks that he has put together the results of one science with another, uniting them all into a harmonious whole, he omits to reckon that such are the limitations of human capacity and such is the rapidly growing vastness of scientific knowledge, that no man could ever combine all the multitudinous results. He could never acquire an intimate knowledge of them during a single lifetime. Therefore he could never develop a complete philosophy of the universe as a whole.

The intellect fulfils itself practically when it discovers that each idea it produces is incomplete and imperfect and therefore passes on to replace it by a further one, but it fulfils itself metaphysically when it discovers that every idea which it can possibly produce will always and necessarily be incomplete and imperfect.

Now so far as they are almost entirely metaphysical works, these two volumes [most likely, The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga and The Wisdom of the Overself are meant--Ed.] have no option but to make their appeal chiefly to reason alone. And expounding the special and unique system called the metaphysics of truth as they do, they have to start where possible from verifiable facts rather than mere speculations. But whatever other importance they ascribe to reasoning as an instrument of truth-attainment applies only to the particular stage for which it is prescribed, which is the stage of metaphysical discipline and certainly not beyond it. Although the status bestowed on reason in every metaphysical system beginning with science must necessarily be a primary one, its status within the larger framework of the integral hidden teaching can only be a secondary one. This teaching possesses a larger view and does not end with science or limit itself to the rational standpoint alone. How can it do so when metaphysics is merely its intermediate phase? We must rightly honour reason to its fullest extent, but we need not therefore accept the unreasonable doctrine that the limits of reason constitute the limits of truth.

Our senses can perceive only what they have been formed to perceive. Our reason similarly cannot grasp what it was never formed to grasp. Within their legitimate spheres of operation, the deliverances of both sense and reason should be acceptable to us, but outside those spheres we must seek for something that transcends both.

But the basic cause why reason is insufficient exists in the fact that intellect--the instrument with which it works--is itself insufficient. Reason is the right arrangement of thinking. Each thought thus arranged depends for its existence on another thought and is unable to exist without such a relation, that is, it suffers from relativity. Hence a thought cannot be considered as an ultimate in itself and therefore reason cannot know the absolute. The intellect can take the forms of existence apart bit by bit and tell us what they consist of. But such surgical dissection cannot tell us what existence itself is. This is something which must be experienced, not merely thought. It can explain what has entered into the composition of a painting but, as may be realized if we reflect a little, it cannot explain why we feel the charm of the painting. The analytic intellect describes reality sufficiently to give some satisfaction to our emotions or our intelligence, but it does not touch this baffling elusive reality at all. What it has dissected is not the living throbbing body but the cold dead image of it.

When reason tells us that God is, it does not actually know God. The antennae of intellectual research cannot penetrate into the Overself because thinking can only establish relations between ideas and thus must forever remain in the realms of dualities, finitudes, and individualities. It cannot grasp the whole but only parts. Therefore reason which depends on thinking is incompetent to comprehend the mysterious Overself. Realization is to be experienced and felt; thought can only indicate what it is likely to be and what it is not likely to be. Hence Al Ghazzali, the Sufi, has said: "To define drunkenness, to know that it is caused by vapours that rise from the stomach and cloud the seat of intelligence, is a different thing from being drunk. So I found ultimate knowledge consists in experiences rather than definitions." The fact that metaphysics tries to explain all existence in intellectual terms alone and tries to force human nature into conceptual molds, causes it to suppress or distort the non-intellectual elements in both. The consequence is that metaphysics alone cannot achieve an adequate understanding. If it insists upon exalting its own results, then it achieves misunderstanding.

Metaphysics proves the existence of reality but is unable to enter into it. Indeed, metaphysics must in the end criticize the desert-sand dryness of its own medium of thinking and not make the mistake of regarding thought-activity as the ultimately real, when it is itself only a section cut from the whole of human experience and existence. The intellect offers a reality which can never be a felt reality but only a described one and then only in negative terms. Intellectual work can only paint the picture of reality; we have to verify this picture by realizing it within our own experience. The final office of reasoned thought is to reveal why reason is not competent to judge reality and why thinking is not competent to know reality.

The moment we attempt to understand what reality is, we get out of our depth because our own thinking must move in a serial sequence which itself prevents us from escaping the particular space-time form which confines us to a particular world of appearance. Just as, because it has entered our space-time experience, we can take hold of an artist's production but not the mind behind it, so and for the same reason we can take hold of the screen which cuts us off. This is because we can think of existence only in a particular shape or relative to a particular thing, not of existence that is formless, bodiless, and infinite. We have to localize it somewhere in space. Because space and time are forms taken by rational knowledge, because they are only conditions existing within personal consciousness, they do not enter into the knowledge of consciousness of that which is beyond both rational thinking and personal selfhood.

29
No idea is ever really outside another, nor is any idea ever outside the mind, and all ideas, all that which is seen, can only theoretically be separated from the thinking seeing mind. As psychologists we have had in thought to separate seer from seen, so that we might learn at length what the nature of pure mind really is; but as philosophers we must now merge them together. It is because thinking must always have an object with which to occupy itself that it can never penetrate the Overself, for here there is only the One. We must renounce thoughts and things if we would enter into the Absolute. Because in this ultimate state there is no more awareness of an individual observer and an observed world, the distinction between individual mind and individual body also ceases. Everything, including our separate selfhood, is voided out, as it were. The resultant nothingness however is really the essence of everything. It is not the nothingness of death but of latent life. Human thought can proceed no farther. For when "not-two-ness" is established as the Real, the logical movement from one thought to a second can only prolong the sway of "two-ness" over the mind. In this pure being there can be no "other," no two, hence it is called non-dual. The integrity of its being cannot really be split. If the Overself is to be actually experienced, then it must be as a realization of the Infinite One. To divide itself into knower and known is to dwell in duality. The antithesis of known and knower cannot enter into it just as the opposition of reality and illusion is meaningless for it. The oneness of its being is absolute. The return to this awareness, which regards the world only under its monistic aspect, is the realization of truth possessed by a sage. When rational thinking can perceive that it cannot transcend itself, cannot yield more than another thought, it has travelled as far as it can go and performed its proper function. Metaphysical truth is the intellectual appearance of reality, the rational knowledge of it; but it is not reality itself, not realization. For knowing needs a second thing to be known; hence metaphysical knowledge, being dual, can never yield realization which is non-dual.

Reality must stand grandly alone, without dependence on anything and without relation to anyone; it ever was, is, and ever will be. It is this inability of human reason to grasp the super-rational, the divine ineffable, that Omar Khayyam tried to express in his beautiful quatrains which have been so widely misunderstood by Western readers. If the Rubaiyat of Omar is only a drunken refrain from a wine-shop, then the New Testament is a mere scribble from an out-of-the-way corner of the Roman Empire. The cup of language is too small to hold the wine of the Absolute. A thought of Mind as the Void is still a "something" no less than a thought of great mountains and therefore prevents us from realizing the Void.

Now when we grasp the basic nature of human thinking, that it is possible only by forming two opposing ideas at the same time as the concept of black is formed by the contrast against white, we can then grasp the fundamental reason why such thinking can never rise to awareness of the Absolute unity. We cannot think of eternity without thinking of time too. For our conception of it either prolongs time until imagination falters and ceases or negates time altogether into timelessness. In neither case do we really comprehend eternity. Why? Because intellect cannot lay hold of what lies beyond itself. We humans know a thing by distinguishing it from other things, by limiting its nature and by relating it to its opposite. But the infinite has nothing else from which it can be distinguished or to which it can be related, whilst it certainly cannot be limited in any way.

Our earlier division into a dualism of observer and observed must now come to an end. But let us not make the error of mistaking it for the final stage. There still lies a path beyond, a path which leads to the ultimate where both observer and the observed become one.

The Real can never be stated because it can never be thought. Therefore it is quite clear that ordinary means of knowledge are unable to grasp it. But such knowledge is not useless. For if religion can give us a symbolic idea and mysticism an intuitive idea of the Infinite, metaphysical knowledge can give us a rational idea of it. And to possess such an idea keeps us at least from falling into errors about the reality behind it. If metaphysics can never perform the task it sets itself--to know reality--it can perform the task of knowing what is not reality. And such a service is inestimable. The function of reason is ultimately a negative one; it cannot provide a positive apprehension of the Overself, but it can provide a clear declaration of what It is not. Reason can demonstrate that the Overself can possess no shape and can in no way be imagined.

Nevertheless we may have both the assurance and the satisfaction that our thinking is correct but we have neither the assurance nor the satisfaction of consciously embracing that with which this thinking deals. We may have formed a right mental image of God but we are still not in God's sacred presence. We must not mistake the image for the reality which it represents. Whatever discoveries we have hitherto made have been made only within the limited frontiers of reasoned thinking. Exalted and expanded though our outlook may now be, we can still do no more than think the existence of this reality without actually experiencing it. The mere intellectual recognition of this Oneness of Mind is no more sufficient to make it real to us than the mere intellectual recognition of Australia's existence will suffice to make Australia real to us. In the end all our words about the Overself remain but words. For just as no amount of telling a man who has never touched or drunk any liquid will ever make properly clear to him what wetness is unless and until he puts his finger in a liquid or drinks some of it, so every verbal explanation really fails to explain the Overself unless and until we know it for ourself within ourself and as ourself.

30
Metaphysics is ordinarily concerned with the criticism of superficial views about the experienced world and the correction of erroneous ones, whilst it seeks to construct an accurate systematic and rational interpretation of existence as a whole. This is good in its own place because we shall be all the better and not worse for finding a metaphysical base for our beliefs. It is quite clear however that metaphysical systems cannot alone suffice for our higher purpose, for being based on personal assumptions, reasoning, or imaginations, if they partially enlighten mankind they also partially bewilder by their mutual contradictions. Hence philosophy steps in here and offers what it calls "the metaphysics of truth." This is an interpretation in intellectual terms of the results obtained from a direct mystical insight concerned with what is itself incapable of intellectual seizure. Through this superior insight it provides in orderly shape the reasons, laws, and conditions of the supersensuous experience of the Overself, unifies and explains the experiences which lead up to this consummation, and finally brings the whole into relation with the practical everyday life of mankind. It is the sole system that the antique sages intellectually built up after they had actually realized the Overself within their own experience. Such a point needs the utmost emphasis for it separates the system from all others which carry the name of metaphysics or philosophy. Whereas these others are but intelligent guesses or fragmentary anticipations of what ultimate truth or ultimate reality may be and hence hesitant between numerous "ifs" and "buts," this alone is a presentation from firsthand knowledge of what they really are. It bars out all speculation.

Just as science is a rational intellectualization of ordinary physical experience, so the metaphysics of truth is a rational intellectualization of the far sublimer transcendental experience. It is indeed an effort to translate into conventional thought what is essentially beyond such thought. As expressed in intellectual language, it is scientific in spirit, rational in attitude, cautious in statement, and factual throughout. It is devoted to the relentless exposure of error, the fearless removal of illusion, and the persevering pursuit of truth to the very end--irrespective of personal considerations. It seeks to understand the whole of life and not merely some particular aspects of it.

31
Metaphysics points to a higher consciousness but cannot itself touch it. It provides the truest concepts of that consciousness, but being concepts only, they merely symbolize it. We must not confuse two entirely different things: the feeling of fundamental unity which the realized sage possesses and the concept of fundamental unity which the metaphysical thinker possesses. The sage will make use of the metaphysician's concept when he seeks to make the content of this felt unity articulate and intelligible in communication to others. The metaphysician cannot get beyond his concept, do what he may, unless he rises beyond metaphysics altogether. For when he tries to determine the indeterminable he merely fumbles through a series of empty words and finally fails in his attempt, his last words being purely negative ones. The metaphysician is utterly helpless when confronted by the problem of realizing his own ultimate concept of reality, for he can only express it in negative terms, which is tantamount to a failure in expressing it at all. The moment he endeavours to determine it in affirmative thoughts is the moment when he destroys its reality altogether, for it then becomes a mere thought among the numerous others considered by his mind. Just as cold scientific analysis deprives the warmest artistic emotion of its content and thus destroys the emotion itself, so the process of thinking deprives the profoundest mystical experience of its actuality and effaces its transcendental character. For reality is beyond the demonstration and inaccessible to the grasp of reason. Metaphysical reasoning is a self-destructive process for it can only reveal its utter inadequacy to grasp the Real other than as a thought. Consequently the Vedantic metaphysicians who claim that their path of discriminative reasoning is alone sufficient to gain God-realization without any kind of yoga practice at all always fail in their attempt. They can offer nothing more than mere sounding words, empty talk which leaves its victims as much in the realm of illusion as they were when they first sat at the feet of these babbling gurus.

The final work of metaphysics, after it has finished its corrective and disciplinary work upon the personal emotions and mystical experience, is to abolish itself! For it must then show that all intellectual questioning and all intellectual responses are dealing with a level of reference which is mere appearance. When metaphysics realizes that it cannot touch the Real, it silences its own agitations and disdains its own edifice. A genuine metaphysics will thus always be self-destructive. Metaphysical thinking strenuously manufactures isolated and fragmentary patterns of the Real and then puts them together to make a harmonious whole. But both in the method which it uses to attack the problem of the Overself and in the result which it reaches it never gets beyond mere representations, that is, it never gets to the Real itself. It runs away within the range of a circumference which limits it in the end. Every effort is like the effort of a man seeking to lift himself up by his shoestrings--it cannot be done. The Overself of an unvivified metaphysics will always remain a mere mental construction.

32
Most systems of metaphysics being really systems of speculation, often involving much logical hair-splitting, it must be reiterated that the system of "metaphysics of truth" alone seeks to direct the movement of thinking along the lines which it must take if it is to attain truth and not, like most other systems, along the lines which it wishes to take. The truth of a metaphysical system must be guaranteed by the mystic experience out of which it is born. No other assurance can offer the same certitude and the same satisfaction in the end. Whereas every man may hold whatever metaphysical opinion pleases him, this alone holds him to face up to the inescapable necessities imposed by the severe facts brought to light by the highest mystic experience. This alone is impersonally constructed in conformity with the hidden pattern of life, whereas speculative metaphysics is constructed in conformity with the limited experience and personal bias of its builders. It may tersely be said that metaphysics is based on logic whereas the "metaphysics of truth" is based on life.

33
The metaphysics of truth is set out in such a way that the student believes he is proceeding step by step purely by logical deduction from ascertainable facts, that his reasoned thinking upholds the findings of transcendental experience, whereas not only is he doing this but at the same time is proceeding upon a path which conforms to his own latent insight. It kindles a higher intelligence in its students. Consequently the sense either of sudden or of growing revelation may often accompany his studies, if he be sufficiently intuitive. The authentic metaphysics of truth can bring him close to the mystical experience of reality. Then the trigger-pull which will start the experience moving need only be something slight, perhaps a printed inspired sentence, perhaps just a single meeting with one who has learnt to live in the Overself, or perhaps a climb in the mountains. For then the mind becomes like a heap of dry wood, needing only a spark to flare up into a blazing pile. The close attention to its course of thought then becomes a yoga-path in itself.

34
Because the metaphysics of truth deals with root ideas, and because in a mentalist universe such ideas are naturally more potentially powerful and more important than materialist ones, the metaphysics of truth becomes the most worthwhile study in which man's intellect can engage. For these ideas provide him with the right patterns for shaping physical existence.

35
The metaphysics of truth must not only be rightly grasped but also reverently grasped.

36
The conclusions to which reason comes can only have obligatory force upon the reason itself, not necessarily upon the whole integral being of man. We are finally to decide the problems of life by the integration of all our human nature and not merely by the judgement of a particular part of it. To make life a matter only of rational concepts about it is to reduce it, is to make a cold abstraction from it, and thus to fall into the fallacy of taking the part for the whole. Metaphysical concepts may fully satisfy the demands of reason but this does not mean that they will therefore satisfy the demands of the totality of our being. They satisfy reason because they are the products of reason itself. But man is more than a reasoning being. His integral structure demands the feeling and the fact as well as the thought. Hence it demands the experience of nonduality as well as the concept of it, the feeling as well as the idea of it. So long as he knows it only with a limited part of his being, only as empty of emotional content and divorced from physical experience, so long will it remain incompletely known, half-seized as it were. It is at this crucial point that the seeker must realize the limitations of metaphysics and be ready to put aside as having fulfilled its particular purpose that which he has hitherto valued as a truth-path.

37
Our advice is: study metaphysics to its bottom and then make good your escape from it before you become a mere metaphysician! Once you start using metaphysical jargon you are lost.



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