I have to admit. I have a weak point – I like intellectual people. And sometimes I have cognitive dissonance when I hear something that goes against my understanding of intelligent and profound person. Because sometimes I forget that intellect is not an equivalent of insight or depth of the mind. A person may have strong analytical abilities but keep them on the surface without digging the problem further down.
The results are astonishing! You can have a very successful writer, blogger and engineer all in one who would manage to state that nowadays wisdom depends on computer skills!!! Or writer, political analyst and religious scholar who would try to assure you that your instincts and minute desires are what making your real Self.
Though I think you don’t have to be a scholar to recognize that this is wrong. The intellect is definitely ruling over emotions but you have to understand that the intellect has power over minute urges and instincts only when the will is in work. And what makes the will to pop up in the picture to rescue the weak soul? The inner part of the will – the inner desire. This is how you check if your aspirations of the moment are true or not and you can work them out by either controlling or pursuing them. For example the difference between strong urge to eat cake right now and then have tons of guilt feelings, pessimistic attitude towards self image in the mirror, problems with health on one hand and real desire to be healthy, fit, energetic and as a result of it be happy and content on the other.
I think the ability to internalize and evaluate the situation shows the level of maturity. It is kid’s prerogative not to differentiate between temporary good and ultimate good. One of the most famous examples of this type of substitution is escaping to drinking: I am in distress now because I did not get the job I wanted ( argued with spouse, did not get certain amount of likes on Facebook, have to deliver the speech tomorrow or have a due date for the project too close etc) so instead of working it out I’ll go and drink and forget about everything for the hour or two or may be for the whole night. Sure sometimes you need it but when it turns into a habit of how you dealing with situations in general because when you drink you feel good and don’t have to fight with difficulties and challenges then it is wrong. You are just trying to escape from reality. For an hour or two or for the whole night and it might turn into the life program.
By doing just opposite and sticking to your true desires you don’t break your inner self. You try to change yourself by transforming and learning to be who you want to be ultimately. By doing that instead of following the animal instincts you can strive to bigger heights and have more self confidence and dignity. With maturity comes the understanding that even something seems to be annoying and difficult there is a deeper good. And the things we desire are not always good for us.
Then you would feel yourself that you are a human being who follows his/ her dreams and ambitions so that they will not remain merely illusions. You will be able to stay on the difficult path of accomplishing your real purpose in life instead of feeling as a looser just because you choose not to control your natural instincts and blew off the whole vision of your life for a minute desire.
It is not easy but well worth it. It is that simple.
I’ve never been like that, never been sentimental to keep the first love letter, the first lock of the child or her first silver spoon or something like that. Though I am the fan of history and like stories of past but mainly because of scientific interest, passion for exploration rather than nostalgia. Whatever happened – already happened. You better get lessons from it but you can’t change it.
I am a person of the future. I need something great ahead of me in order to strive and to reach. I need to be challenged. However sometimes life becomes so hectic, running at lightning speed because I feel the urge to do too many projects at once. Because I feel that this is imperative and crucial to do all these things in order to feel myself fulfilled and accomplished.
However we know from Chassidus (Jewish Philosophical teaching) that the greatest advantage has the person who is neither dwelling on the past nor on the future. The one who lives with the moment. He is called pnimi in hebrew – an inward person.
I am trying to teach myself to slow down, to take a deep breath and look around to see what’s going on while I am in such a rush to catch the escaping reality. To cherish and to enjoy the moment, to concentrate on what I am doing now rather what I’ll need to do sooner or later. The vision of where you are heading is still important as well as to be loyal to your past but the real life is now, in this particular moment. This is what is defining you, making you who you really are.