Devotion Leads to Reason


For Self Realization we hav to reach a stage where our brain is perfect.Does it mean that we have to achieve a level where our intellect becomes strong&does all kinds of reasoning.I sort of hav a lazy attitude toward reasoning.I'm more devotionally inclined.But I realize that some of my friends have better reasoning ability&do math questions quickly.I'm not stupid but I'm not that intelligent either.So in order to perfect my brain should I start using those brain cells which I had been avoiding?

—mk, India


Dear mk,

Reason is only one of many abilities our brains are capable of providing us. Though important, reason is perhaps the least important of the mental abilities we can develop. The most important abilities our minds can provide us are higher awareness and discrimination.

Reason can never be perfect. Reasoning is, in its essence, the process of analyzing bits and pieces of information and weighing and comparing them to each other. Therefore reason, though useful on our journey back to our higher selves, works primarily in the very realm of maya we wish to overcome.Reason requires that we see the world in discreet, separate, non-continuous parts – the illusion of separateness we want to eventually overcome.

Higher awareness and discrimination, on the other hand, see Unity where reason sees disunity, sees the One where reason sees the many. Clarity of mind, expanded awareness, and the wisdom that is discrimination, are the intuitive faculties of the soul flowing through the brain. Reason is more purely of the brain and not so much of the soul.

Moreover, clear reasoning is an inevitable by-product of higher awareness and discrimination. Your devotion will, in the end, prove more effective at acheiving clarity of mind and honing your reasoning abilities than study or school. When the heart is stilled in divine love, the mind becomes still also. When your devotional awareness expands your heart, the mind becomes expanded also. As Sri Yukteswar said, “Divine perception is not incapacitating, it leads to the keenest intelligence.”

It is good to be able to reason well. Reasoning abilities are useful as long as we must live in the world. But higher awareness and discrimination are far more useful on our path to God.

Warm regards,
Joseph (Puru) Selbie