The mind without a levee is a flood waiting to happen
How good is technology, we get to devour information at our fingertips and access to anything we want in an instant. So good, like podcasts, experts from around the globe ready to enlighten us at any moment.
Today’s enlightening moment came with this line:
“The mind is like a river and the intellect its banks.”
This instantly grabbed me, as someone who has and does spend a long time thinking about all things mind…I feel it gives us a clear understanding as to the role of the mind and intellect and how to actually harness this somewhat troublesome part of our nervous system.
So what does it actually mean?
Well, my friend here’s my understanding of it.
If a river has no banks or weak ones, the water will flow over onto the embankments or as Led Zeppelin said it so gracefully when the levee breaks… we get floods and with that potential damage to buildings, land, livestock and food supplies.
Now let’s play that out within the constraint of the mind.
We all know the term “Loose Cannon”, well that is a bit like a mind with no intellect. Someone who just shoots off with no thought, like the river has just exploded over the banks and then comes clean up mode.
And then there are different extremes of this, yet the banks or in this case our “intellect” guides the mind with the sharpness of all our sensory perception of what is going on around us. So the more we construct our banks, the better we can perform and connect with others in life.
Now we all have a mind, but intellect, not. The intellect for most is something cultivated.
INTELLECT IS NOT INTELLIGENCE
Intelligence is learned with knowledge (ie: school, university), and there are many humans with a profound knowledge base but very little intellect
And vice a versa, you can have someone with very little knowledge but a lot of intellect.
As intellect helps us discern and guide the mind to be aware, to cultivate awareness of the deeper levels of consciousness and life. To gain access to greater emotional intelligence, more compassion and empathy and the ability to love.
So how do we increase our intellect and construct our banks?
First like most things it starts with awareness, bringing that idea to the forefront of our mind and no longer letting our minds waters flow over the banks, or when it starts to just notice it and reign it back in or if it’s too late to do that be aware that the levee broke. That is a key thing.
Then we can start to slowly and surely bring more and more awareness into our lives and start moving more and more into the present.
As once the banks of the river are in place, they can guide us towards our life’s goals and help keep us focused on what is happening in the here and now. Our buffers back to the truth of the moment, not our anxieties or worries about the future and past (where most of our imaginary problems lie).