What is bigger? Society or Existence? Intelligence or the Intellect? Existence or our own psychological structure? I think many in Western culture do not know the difference between ‘Intelligence’ and the ‘Intellect’. #HealingTrauma
All of life is intelligence. An ant, a butterfly, a tree, a rainbow, a child and even Existence itself. Intelligence is primary. The intellect is secondary. The intellect is a tool. It is a cutting instrument. That is why when someone is smart we say they are ‘sharp’.
It is like a sharp knife with a pointed tip. That why we say ‘he was right on point’. However, what happens when we use this sharp knife to love someone? A scientist knows a Frog through means of dissection. He pulls it apart. Knows all its pieces. Then the Frog is dead.
To experience the same Frog requires a different intelligence. To embrace the Frog just the way it is with awareness (i.e. It is what it is). Unfortunately, we have a tendency to intellectualise everything. We want to “know things.” We want to “fix things.” We even do this to our loved ones all the time:
We analyse, judge and dissect them. We pull them apart. Then we wonder why they feel dead. We do this to ourselves. Then we wonder why we feel dead. Because it is like a sharp knife we have dissected the world and everyone – including ourselves – into a trillion pieces of good/bad, right/wrong, more/less, sin/virtue, and so on.
Remember the intellect is a tool. To know things. To fix things. To keep us safe and alive. However, it is used far too often, often incorrectly (i.e. excessively at ourselves, others and the natural world) and it can only take us so far. There are some things we can never know. Never fix.
Some things cannot be measured entirely. They can only be experienced: Life. Truth. Love. Young science will only ever take us so far due to the nature of the intellect. The limitation of this tool. At some point we need to stop. Put down the knife. Take a leap of faith (i.e. trust in the unknown): Look. Listen. Feel.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy is that we think the intellect is greater than intelligence. This could not be further from the truth. Intelligence is far greater than intellect. Existence is far greater than society. Intelligence is far greater than our own psychological structure.
Knowing this is primary. It is a humble freedom. Returning to a large scale vision: borderless and boundless. The highest realisation: I am that which is not. It must be nameless. For as soon as you label it, it becomes a ‘thing’ separate from the rest. A division created by the sharp knife: the intellect.
We will always need the intellect. However, we use it far too much. So much so that we have already carved up the planet. One of the greatest things we can do is absolutely nothing. Huh? If we did absolutely nothing for three to six months planet Earth would be thriving!
Not trying to ‘know it’. Not try to ‘fix it’. Holding Your Frog: Look. Listen. Feel. The psychological mind rejects this. It thinks it is bigger than intelligence because of its inflated sense of self importance (See Thread: #4 Why I Switched from Self-Esteem To Self-Compassion). It wants to know. It wants to do. It wants purpose.
It cannot accept the Universe is absolutely perfect just the way it is. How can we convince the intellect this? Where is trauma predominantly? In society or Existence? What generally creates most trauma? The intellect or intelligence? What will bring the most clarity? The intellect or awareness?
Trauma is a disconnection within us and our relationship towards ourselves, others and the planet. In this sense, an ant, a butterfly, a tree, a rainbow, a child and even Existence itself are our greatest teachers. Remember trauma is disconnection: not feeling a sense of safety, acceptance, connection, love and belonging.
Perhaps it is because we are viewing life with a cutting instrument. Dissecting rather than holding the Frog: Look. Listen. Feel. Essentially, we are also doing self-esteem (i.e. a ‘Survival of the Fittest’ mindset) rather than self-compassion (i.e. an ‘Enlightenment’ mindset: kindness, common humanity, mindfulness #YouBelong).
I understand Mindfulness is a buzz word and you might be sick of hearing it. However, what if it is the greatest tool given by Wisdom Traditions to young science? Mindfulness is ‘non-judgmental acceptance of the present with a sense of openness and curiosity’.
Mindfulness is the opposite of the intellect. A break from needing to know things and fix things to actually ‘experience’ them as they are: Life. Truth. Love. The opposite of division, disconnection and trauma: connection. What might that be like if we practiced it for long enough? A sense of safety, acceptance, connection, love and belonging.
Beyond words. Beyond ideas. Beyond belief. Beyond fact. Beyond philosophy. Beyond psychology. Beyond science. Beyond spirituality. Beyond politics. What is beyond this? Existence. Intelligence: A humble freedom. A sense of love and belonging that we are inseparable from Existence itself.
Existence created us. It exists within and all around us. An intelligence far greater than the intellect. Now we are talking clarity: to see things just the way they are. Now we have some perspective: A gentle freedom. A large scale vision: borderless and boundless. The highest realisation:
I am that which is not.
Beyond science and spirituality however either will get you here. But you must go the whole way. Breaking the glass wall. Jumping over the edge, metaphorically. Everybody will say no! But it is too late. You already fell! The bad news is that there is no parachute. The good news is that there is no ground.
Enlightenment: You are a life beyond words. The byproduct of clarity – to see things just the way they are – is a sense of peacefulness. Joy is simply peace dancing (i.e. a higher intensity of arousal). Clarity opens the doors to peace, joy, love, compassion, blissfulness and ecstasy. So do not seek happiness. Seek clarity.
Clarity helps us to operate at our optimal state of arousal (See Thread: #3 Window of Tolerance: Safe Enough and Okay Enough vs Too Much or Not Enough). Not lost in our memories and/or imagination “stuck” in trauma (fight, flight, freeze, collapse). Clarity invites us to become grounded in the present moment: this increases our awareness, health and wellbeing, performance and when we are our most compassionate self.
Purposeful action is the natural consequence of clarity (See Thread: #2 What Is Intimacy And Play?). You will not hurt anyone. Because you will see that everything is connected (See Thread: #5 Three Phase Approach To Healing Trauma). You will still have an intellect. However, you now understand that intelligence is primary; intellect secondary. With awareness you are now holding the sharp knife in the palm of your hand.
Ready to use this sharp knife only if and only when you must (See Thread: #1 Threat System vs Peace System). Not obsessively. Do knives kill or save more lives? Knives have saved more lives. They are used every morning, lunch and dinner. They are used to perform surgery on others. They can been used to kill another. To take our own life.
However, a knife is not dangerous by itself. The danger depends on the hand that holds it. The intellect is not a problem in itself. However, without clarity it is an incredibly dangerous cutting instrument. It is an exceptional tool when used correctly; unfortunately, incorrectly and too often.
It is also ‘considered’ the greatest weapon. This is not true. They say ‘when the power of love overcomes the love of power; the world will know peace’. I say when we experience intelligence just the way it is; we will know peace. This is marriage of science and mysticism.
So what’s bigger? Society or Existence? Intelligence or the intellect? Existence or your own psychological structure? It will hurt Psychology that I asked this. However, it must be asked. Whatever the answer trust it. That’s how you hold the Frog.
Enough is enough.
Let us be equally critical (Intellect) and open minded (Mindfulness) = Intelligence.
Awareness. Compassion. Purposeful Action.
Dedicated to Sadhguru. 🕊
Now you know the power of Trauma Informed Care. Let’s turn this framework into a mindset for personal, social and political change. If you are unable to, you might need help first, to get safe or become ‘unstuck’ from trauma. Reach out for trauma informed care. #YouBelong
Dr Louise Hansen
PhD in Psychology
Human Rights Activist
#HealingTrauma #Justice4Australia #YouBelong
Trauma Informed World was inspired by Kopika and Tharnicaa; two faces that remind us everyday of Australia’s cruel refugee system. One of many systems in Australia that remind us of the negative operation of power. #HomeToBilo
You can listen my talk with Dr Cathy Kezelman AM, President of Blue Knot Foundation on my own healing journey, training and study and how it has informed my work and advocacy for a trauma informed world here:
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