A Hijacked Intelligence

His eyes revealed a somber cry for help. Words were scarce from his feeble mouth which like his sunken frame was dry and without much movement. There was hardly any sound but it was hard to let the message from his eyes go unnoticed. After all, it is only with the eyes that we really speak, words from the mouth are rarely of any real significance unless one considers confusion and miscommunication as an effective way of transpiring information with one another. It seemed like he was dying. There were many people in that room, which was very bright unlike the person lying and struggling on the bed. The walls were white and there was plenty of sun light entering the room through the two mid-size windows of a typical apartment within the concrete jungle of this fast paced city. Life for the rest of the city seemed just about fine as people rushed from one place to another, short of breath and time. But for him, lying on his bed, encountering the final moments of truth, time seemed hopelessly standstill and he was literally short of breath and time. It wasn’t hard to see the men was going somewhere far away from the confines of his bed, but it was very hard to believe for the rest of the people in that room. What was obviously happening in front of the eyes seemed like a distant dream as we hid behind the veil of ignorance that maybe it was just a fleeting moment which will pass and we will not have to encounter the painful experience of his death. After all, the most significant and definitive event of living is rarely discussed by us in the hope that we may escape its grip on our being through indifference. In a sudden moment of flash, his face turned bright and his eyes popped up all the way and what seemed like a remorse event just a few moments ago became a moment of salvation. The body which was unable to move just a few minutes ago became agile and he was seen folding his hands and bowing down to people all around him. It was hard to tell if he was doing this out of a sense of gratitude or defeat, but regardless, the expressions in his eyes were so real that it seemed he was trying to communicate something important from the beyond. It seemed like in that final moment of living, a sudden wave of hidden wisdom took over his senses and he chose to say goodbye to everyone. The next moment, his body lay still again and he was gone. For the remaining, who chose to stay back, only memories of his presence remained and for the more fortunate ones a deep desire to find out what happened to the person who was so delicately hidden behind the solid frame of his body arose.

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The markets did not respond much to his absence that day; neither did the weather guy have to speculate anything drastic in terms of rains or snow. The trains ran on time, the masses commuted from one place to another without much fuss to finish their chores. The bank account which he had so meticulously managed over the years still gathered the interest and showed an upward movement. Everything seemed to be just about fine in spite of his absence. It seemed very strange. How could nothing have changed now that he was gone? All his thoughts and demeanor always suggested otherwise when he was still around. It always looked like if he had not taken care of any of his daily task with enough fervor, the stock or the bond markets, banks and people in his circle of contact would have ended up in deep trouble. But, reality revealed the moment of truth. Nothing really changed. Everything and everyone was just about doing their own thing after his sudden dramatic disappearance. If he was watching this from somewhere, I would think he was up for a rude awakening, figuratively speaking of course! Such seems to be the irony of our lives. We live life within a self-created realm of our own thoughts based on certain very creative imagination and give so much momentum to it that it seems to be the only cause for which we choose to exist. Then comes the moment of truth, in which we perhaps open our eyes for the first time, to realize the grandeur of the platform, in which we exist, and which was taking care of us to begin with, but only a tad bit late. All our thoughts and emotions seem like an over-sized version of the Wrigley’s bubble gum which is just about to burst, in an instance, when the curtains of our drama are about to fall. It doesn’t make sense! How can it be like this? After all, we are so used to asking the ROI (Return on Investment) for every thing that we do, that how could it be possible that we completely missed out on asking what is the ROI for any or maybe all the activities that we are choosing to do in our lives while the inhalation and exhalation is still happening? It really seems quite silly to be remaining deprived from such a fundamentally strong and existentially rooted question 🤔

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Intelligence is something we take for granted. We always think that the other person is the problem, especially when I feel I have the solutions. Unfortunately, the other is feeling the same way about us. This essentially creates a frustrating circle of confusion for both. Within this circle, we choose to exist, creating different dramas of various sizes with the multitude. The multitude ain’t stupid, they react back with the same dramas with different intensities based on their ideas of wisdom. This play seems to be eternal until one actor disappears into oblivion. But, as mentioned earlier, intelligence is something we take for granted. If one actor disappears, it stimulates a sense of victory in our mind rather than wonder, because we praise our self that the opponent was stupid to begin with before he chose to play with us. The whole irony is that even if the opponent was indeed stupid, the fact still remains that he just vanished into thin air all of a sudden without any pushing from our side and the same is going to be our fate in due course. Now, if this reality, even if supported by a strong logic and pie-charts was discussed at the drawing board of any top-level management team at Microsoft, or for that matter, the mom-and-pop store down the road with regards to their business, it would be a definite show-stopper for any business plan, no matter if Bill proposed it or Doug opposed it. Because, it makes simple sense, to question something whose “end is certain” for what it is worth and why are we investing so heavily in it? After all, playing games is a good way of passing time, but if the player himself is going to be the fatality in the end, it requires a certain amount of functional and coherent intelligence to say how much I am going to stay invested in such a nail-biting game where the finish is always dramatic and the loser not the winner is always predetermined! Life definitely seems to be such a game. It is so vast and so exciting. We can weave an enormously complicated web of things which we want to accomplish in it and still fall short of achieving it. It gives such a fantastic rush in our system as we go about checking the list of things we have noted for ourselves that we wish to attain. Life in itself is the best adrenaline booster available. There is money, fame, power, love, lust, knowledge, friendships, cultures and nations to be explored. There is shopping to be done and matching the pants with the tops is never a certainty. There is a need to fly to the moon and back, go down to the bottom of the ocean to swim with the sharks and scare the hell out of them, neatly bundled in an iron-cage. There is no boundary to everything that can be and should be done. After all, the scriptures say, and it looks like science agrees with it now, that life as we know it for now seems to be endless and ever-growing. Now this gives us an immense possibility to keep on exploring only until the explorer ceases to exist.

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Intelligence is something we take for granted. Even the dictionary defines it as “The ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience“. Now, if we break the meaning of the word intelligence and choose to explore how we can “profit from experience” we are bound to open up a can of worms here. But, at this juncture in life, this is my full time job and I can say I derive enough exhilaration doing the job without much pain or suffering. It’s my opinion, that, fundamentally, one should systematically go deeper into one’s own life, to expose every wounded experiences, that we may have patched up with repressed band-aid’s, because, an exposed wound could lead to many answers, which we may be running away from. Coming back to the question of “profit from experience” in relation to the definition of “intelligence”, what exactly are we profiting from our experience when we say that? This definition is certainly not pointing out to the profits which we make in terms of monetary benefits derived from certain financial dealings. Nor does it indicate the assiduous approach which we take in remaining profitable when we indulge in creating relationships, be it personal or impurely business. This “profit from experience” is an obvious attempt, to expose the nature of things in life, and that intelligence is in “learning” from life experiences itself, be it bad or good, and remembering to use it every moment so as to thus profit from it. In other words, a person can be said to be allowing his intelligence to function within him only if he has learnt something from the various experiences of his life. Now, this can only happen if he is “gently alert” at every moment and is learning as he is experiencing. Because what he is experiencing is the only thing that he is capable of learning in that given moment. Any other knowledge or observation which is learnt later on and not during the experiencing can be just a heap of philosophy which is useful in discussions but cannot have any juice in it, because that moment is over. This definition may seem vague and even confusing, but if looked properly without the bias of prejudice, can reveal a lot about us. If this definition seems reasonable, then we can very abruptly say that one of the most important experience of life, besides the usual dating, shopping, working, gambling, marriage, delivering babies, creating empires, waging wars, conquering nations, etc. is death.

“An intelligent person will naturally wonder about death, because, no matter what he chooses to indulge with in life, he is bound to be aware of this final encounter, as an impending predicament in everything he is currently busy with.”

Even the markets have a “bottom-line” when they speak about the rise and fall of trading in different equities. A bottom-line cuts through the crap and puts everything in the perspective of realism, without much delay. It is a good approach and there is plenty to learn from it. An intelligent person will definitely want to know the bottom-line of living, and if he sincerely chooses to cut through his crap, he has to come to the conclusion very soon that death is actually a living reality for him too as he indulges with the various plays of life. It is not an occurrence, which keeps on happening to others. As he inhales he is living and as he exhales he is dying. It is a real & simultaneous occurrence.

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Intelligence is something we take for granted. No matter what we do in life, if we have not put the value of death in the right perspective, our lives remain incomplete, disconnected with reality as it becomes easier for us to hallucinate and most importantly, we miss out on the “bottom-line”. That is a big deal! This seems like an easy thing to remember but when we carefully inspect our ways of living, it becomes very apparent that we consistently miss out on this single-most reality at every stage of our life, particularly the interests in which we are heavily invested. Neither does our genetic make-up, education nor parenting have any significant influence on us when it comes to remembering this reality. It perhaps is an impediment. So, when carefully looked at, it seems like it is neither nature nor nurture which defines us, it is simply a matter of our moment to moment choice. Personally, I have found myself baffled at how important using intelligence is, at every moment of my life, and when graphed against its usage on the Y-axis, how feeble the graph actually looks. This led me to look at other people’s life with the hope that I don’t feel singled out with this disability. The results of my looking at other people’s life were very gratifying to my utter dismay. Most people were replicating the ways of my living or to be humble, I was replicating the ways of their living with minuscule difference in our approaches, as far as living intelligently is concerned. This confirmed within me that most of us were like a sheep in a herd, and we follow each other protected within the umbrella of our knowledge, traditions, culture and religious philosophies. Not that anything is wrong with this umbrella. But the problem seems to be that we do not use the benefit of the umbrella consciously, instead we follow it unconsciously, as if hypnotized in an automated state. This seems to create all kind of problems in our life.

“What we do not choose consciously cannot be a meaningful experience in our life and this seems to be how we miss on tasting the living juice of life, instead compromising it with some pseudo cocktail which is usually stale and borrowed.”

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A device works very smoothly when applied consistently with some trust in the beginning. The trust is not implicit but is very useful in the beginning stage. For example, when we start our education process in a school or college, we enter the institution with a certain amount of trust, which in reality is unfounded, because we really do not know what we are entering into or going to get, until we finish the course. But, we anyways, enter the institute because we have a desire to acquire knowledge, based on which we can actively fulfill our wishes and ambitions. In this example, the whole system of education, is nothing but a device, because it helps as a stepping stone for us to reach somewhere we wish to go. The first thing which one realizes when they make a choice of joining an education institute, is that, they do not have the education they require to achieve their desires. The next step manifests into actually getting in an institute and being educated. Without the first step, which is very much intrinsic to a person, the actual act of taking the second step of actualizing the desire cannot have much depth. And this seems to be in many ways, the foundation of the human psyche, where realizing the lack of something results in the actualization of it. This seems to be the key to any progressive development. And this remains the absolute forte of an intelligent person where his realization that he is not adequately using his intelligence in certain or all areas of his life leads him to higher and higher possibilities. Logically, this seems such an easy observation, but when we carefully look at the way we live, it becomes a shocking realization that we really keep on missing the first step to most of the things in life.

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The understanding of death can be effectively made use of as an “ultimate device” for activating the hidden reservoirs of our intelligence. If one honestly looks at himself and the ways of his being in various life situations, one has to come to the conclusion that there are forces beyond our grasp which really defines each and every moment that we live on this planet. But, to come to this kind of conclusion requires an acute self-observatory skill, which most of severely lack or at least pretend that we do not possess. If through introspection or being mauled by the processes of living one comes to the conclusion that he is actually not using his innate intelligence actively; then and only then, the device of traversing deeper into the realms of what death is becomes very significant. If everything that I do is going to be abruptly halted in a single moment when the breath stops, it is better I begin to live and actualize my life with a deeper understanding of this significant event called death. Keeping an awareness of its reality every moment can definitely bring one closer to living sensibly and showing respect towards the life force which governs everything around. This is another way of saying that I am allowing my intelligence to function. With the release of this intelligence comes lot of nice things. Our attitude could change from rushing off to being here in this moment. And this fundamental paradigm shift can rejuvenate every area of our lives. Our relationships, personal or professional can be beautified. Our need to be chasing each and every desire can be sincerely curtailed through this new understanding of our fleeting existence over this lifetime. Most of our anxieties and worries are purely psychological and this understanding of death can axe it in one shot, because, it can allow us to remain rooted in the now. Talking and discussing about being in the moment is one thing, but the ability to actualize it and remain rooted in the present, which is the intelligent way of being, can only be realized if we have a certain tool or device which we can use. This awareness of death can help as the tool.

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Intelligence is something we can choose in a moment and only in a moment. And it cannot happen later. It seems like it is the need of our time for every individual to realize the need to activate his intelligence, and rely on methods or devices, so as to get out of the grip of day dreaming and settle into the abyss of the present realities. If we look around us and within us, this seems to be the only trouble that all of us individually experience and that is the compulsive need to be somewhere else, away from the current realities of the now. Although, there is a rush which one can get with a compulsive approach, it comes at a tremendous cost and for most of us the cost is dying without experiencing the ecstasies of being thoroughly absorbed in the current moment. Realistically, if any real significant moment of joy an individual has to experience, it can only happen if he learns the knack of squeezing the juice out of life in this moment. Otherwise, the only moments of joy are psychological, in a dream-like state, with open eyes, because we will always be rooted somewhere else. Adopting and experimenting with the “device of death” is a worthy cause by itself. If individually we want to bring joy and ecstasy back into our life and collectively make any changes in the way we live our life, applying this device and obtaining a deeper and realistic understanding of life is perhaps a good thing. Contrary to popular belief, there is no need to alter one’s fundamental way of living; just a realistic addition of a deeper inquiry into life and death has to be made as we go along doing various activities which sustain our life. This inquiry in no way has to be burdensome, but just a constant gentle background observance from the eyes of our being, which will guide us into living sensibly with higher and higher possibilities. It might be a good way to resurrect our hijacked intelligence and surprisingly there is nothing to lose but our own decorated kingdom of insanity.

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