On a recent retreat, Lorne Hoff spoke of the role of the intellect in awakening. I thought the point valuable to share.
When we first wake up, there is often an unknowing. We step into a place we’ve never been in many lifetimes. It is Self that wakes up to itself, well beyond the mind and any concepts we may have about it. We shift from experiencing ourselves as an egoic me to infinite and eternal being. It is like nothing changes and everything changes, both. It feels perfectly ordinary and normal. We can be surprised how simple the shift is.
But because it is beyond the mind, there can be no words. We may feel that any attempt to give it words is a contamination of the experience. But mind may also doubt the experience as it is so beyond it. How can it relate to abstract is-ness?
With time a new clarity dawns. The light of awake consciousness spills forward until it wakes up the intellect. Then words can come. We may even feel a desire to speak about it, perhaps even teach. But usually this is premature. There is often more clearing and integration needed before it’s fully established.
In time, the intellect becomes rooted in Being. Then it is said to be resolute. An internal clarity dawns and language comes to describe the highly abstract – at least to satisfy our mind.
Old stories of ourselves and the world arise through life experiences. They are seen as false and fall away.
On the flip side, some people are more heart-based and lean less to language and the intellect. Their intuition will become more reliable instead.
If perception is also refining, an ability known as “ritam” arises. We can maintain attention on a deep level and know the nature of whatever arises in experience. We perceive the surface values along with what is causing the expression. This leads to a direct and profound understanding of the world.
In time, an “inner guru” or knowing develops as we approach Unity. Unity itself is a recognition by the intellect. It sees that the Self underlying the appearance of the world is the same Self as mySelf. Where before it discriminated by recognizing distinctions and dividing, now it recognizes sameness – that is Self and that is Self.
In that way the Unity stage is a progressive series of smaller and larger recognitions that lead to a grand oneness and wholeness that permeates all experience.
Through refinement, this moves into all the layers of expression. Everything is recognized as myself.