Nature's Place

Intelligence …

What is it? People talk about what they think is intelligence, and what is not, don’t they? But what is it really, as far as being free of unhappiness is concerned? Because surely that is the first intelligence that matters in a world beset with human violence and misery? Perhaps it’s the only intelligence that really matters.

Let’s start with nature. There is obviously intelligence in and behind nature, obvious to me. Just look at it. Nature is the seed that becomes the mighty tree that houses a myriad creatures and lives in a forest that is watered by passing clouds that appear in the all encompassing sky of a planet that exists in a complex system of planets and orbiting moons governed by the sun that is one star in a galaxy of star systems, as can be seen in the night sky. And everything happens in concert. Nobody can tell me there isn’t intelligence in this amazing nature.

But let’s stay here and now. The unique characteristic of natural intelligence is there is no problem in it, no unhappiness. This can be observed in the nature around you – except where domestic or ‘industrial’ animals are mistreated, the plants and animals are free of unhappiness. Because theirs is a purely instinctive intelligence, they don’t think or get emotional, naturally.

Not so with people. Like all of nature we too are instinctively intelligent first, but then we also have the capacity for self reflection. We can think and be emotional about our nature, which we do, and it’s entertaining for a while. But by indulging in it we become attached and add to ourselves a past, a reservoir of psychic pressure that builds up as the sub-conscious. And there’s the rub, we can’t stop it any more, if we ever could.

By our continued indulgence we keep building on the living past inside, the pressure in the psyche is getting worse and we are not in control of our own minds. In other words we are not responsible. And that’s the only problem on earth.

Check it out for yourself though. When you are down or depressed or ‘insert your own problem here’ isn’t it emotion and thinking that brings it on first and then sustains it, without your volition? Against your will …

So, the problem is identified. Thinking and emotion is in control and making a mess of life on earth, your life. So it seems.

Or am I mad? Everybody thinks and gets emotional, nothing could be more normal. But is it intelligent? When you see thinking and emotion are causing your problems is it intelligent to continue with it?

Not in my experience. So I did something about it … and I am not special. I live an ordinary life, work at the computer, pay my bills, do the gardening, de-flea the house, feed the cat, do the shopping and so on – the ordinary stuff.

But I also did something unusual – not normal, but still ordinary – meaning anybody can do it. After many years doing what caused me pain I had enough and met a spiritual teacher, Barry Long – dead now, who showed me how to negate my self made pain, through meditation first. And that was the beginning of the end to my own unhappiness, the beginning of me being responsible for my life.

So I have to say … looking around me now, I don’t see intelligent people. I see normal thinking emotional people who don’t seem to know what to do about their recurring unhappiness, even if they see it as a problem to be solved.

There is a way though, to become intelligent enough to negate the cause of unhappiness. And it begins with meditation. I have done it as much as need be for now, and go on … by grace.

I have gotten down to my original instinctive intelligence and it tells me not to do what hurts any more, naturally. That is being intelligent, being responsible for the quality of my life, being free of unhappiness.

I don’t ask myself any more ‘what’s it all about?’, ‘why am I here?’, ‘where’s it all going?’. I know what I am doing with my life, I know what’s happening with life on earth.

And I know because I love life, god, love or truth enough to put it first in my life. Is there really any other way to be?

I don’t think so. And it is realised, by right action.

*As always, your comments and questions are welcome and I will respond.

And where would we be without a little entertainment from our instinctive cousins …

Step into the light. An expressive little creature wanders the tree without a sign of fear, instinctively.

*Click on the pictures for a proper look …

The genius … in a jumping spiders big eyes to see, her spiky legs to catch, clawed feet to grip with …

She dances in front of the lens, staccato gait, and jumps onto the glass for a quick look around.

Elegant and sure-footed on her pad of silk she calls home, for now. From where she patrols to feed.

She looks like she might have babies on the way. But not a thought for the future or past, just being here now.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look


11 Responses

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  1. BB said, on 14/01/2018 at 2:31 pm

    this reminds me of a topic on “What the bleep, down the rabbit hole” where they discussed the “observer”…..

    • Mark said, on 14/01/2018 at 6:03 pm

      Better to be present and see what is to be seen now, me thinks.

  2. David said, on 12/01/2018 at 11:58 am

    A great man once said that he noticed that his dog has no concern for what kind of a Being it is. It is damn concerned about food, but has no concern for what kind of a Being it is. People are only concerned with what kind of Beings they are. This struck a cord with me. He also said “take a look at every part of your life where you are unhappy and I’ll be that right there you are trying to prove that you are right or that someone else is wrong. People would rather be right than loved.” I think we need to understand these ideas so that we can move to a place where we find calm, “instinctive intelligence” and ultimately a state of happiness in the world. Terrific post and some trulls wonderful photos of nature as it appears to us, in miniature.

    • Mark said, on 12/01/2018 at 1:08 pm

      Dogs are sweet creatures, when treated right.

      I’d say where I am unhappy is where something needs attention. If practical action can be taken, well and good. If not, surrender to the situation.

      There are many wise men and women down the ages who have said things now forgotten, because we have to find our own wisdom, in our own times. In our own experience.

      In my experience the problem is identification with thinking and being emotional. Every problem I ever had came down to that. It’s an addiction. And as with any addiction there are phases to it.

      First is the pleasure, in the beginning it’s fun to think and be emotional. And that lasts a while … At first it seems we can turn it on and off at will. But eventually, by indulging it enough, we become so inextricably attached to thinking and emotion we believe it is who we are and it largely determines what we are, or appear to be. The power of belief and acknowledgement is phenomenal, though not as great as the will.

      We soon become used to the excitement and need more to get to the same high, even though we already know sub-consciously there is an equivalent pain to be endured eventually for the now fleeting pleasure. We are not deterred, there is nobody to tell us the danger or show us the way, and even so we can’t give it up until the pain is enough anyway. You may have noticed this in your experience.

      The process can be observed in the baby, born innocent it soon displays signs of emotional possession. And albeit passing at first, as the baby grows and gains experience so does the incidence of invasion by thought and emotion until at puberty it appears complete. What grows with the baby’s experience is emotional pain, and thinking feeds and renews it until eventually the now grown baby may ask ‘god, what’s it all about?’.

      This thinking and emotion is of the mind and I, in any body, am not that. I, in any body, am demonstrably the attention (or intelligence) that sees that. And there is a way to separate from what I have attached to but am not. If my attachment to thinking and emotion is causing my unhappiness how do I break it, what is the way out?

      And the key is in your attention. You can still focus your attention on something else that is more real and doesn’t cause pain. But what is that? In my experience, in the first instance, it is focus of attention on the sensation in the body. The original meditation that, when done enough and properly, leads to stillness of mind and the original instinctive intelligence, made conscious.

      It helps me to use these comments to articulate my own self knowledge. And if you see any truth in it that is your self knowledge. Unlike particular or personal information, self knowledge is universal.

      Thanks for your comment David.

  3. BearlyAware said, on 12/01/2018 at 5:43 am

    Humans are not rational animals, their instincts are for tribal behavior. They rationalize what they see and hear to make it fit into what their tribe accepts.. Intelligence is very hard to define. A collection of amoebas working together as a slime mold acts with more intelligence than the US congress. I do not think that humans will ever be happy around oligarchs, armies and big cities. Humans are wired for a tribal situation. There is a lot of satisfaction from working with neighborhood groups on neighborhood issues.

    The spider is very beautiful.

    • Mark said, on 12/01/2018 at 7:04 am

      Things you say are true, there is satisfaction to be had in doing things, no doubt. But we do rationalise where it has no place, and that is a problem.

      Somewhere along the way we learned to think or rationalise and now we can’t stop, even when we have no need to think. That’s a problem, when thinking stirs emotion – as it does – and uses up energy that can be better used to be at peace, in the simple sense of things or the space things have their place in.

      When I am thinking, without purpose, I am not present. And if I am not present I am not very real, how could I be. It’s something you have to do to know, you can’t think about it.

      For instance … If you focus your attention, your intelligence, on the sensation inside, a tingling or pressure in your hands let’s say, you will see the momentum of mind at work. It won’t stop thinking.

      If you persist in focussing your attention on sensation you will notice there are moments without thinking. And with practise the thinking lessens in force, once you get the idea. It can also be more difficult for a while.

      But by doing so you can see there is the possibility of the mind stopping thinking, because you have begun to take responsibility for what you acknowledge. And what you acknowledge grows, like watering and feeding a rare plant, it grows.

      You can’t believe me though, that’s not intelligent. You can only know the truth of this in your own experience, by doing it.

      Where there is the need, for peace of mind, and the possibility of filling that need, can you not do it?

      Yes, the spider is a little beauty. :-)

  4. Graham said, on 12/01/2018 at 5:16 am

    Intelligence certainly isn’t reality TV (or those who appear in it or watch it) I’d suggest…😄

    • Mark said, on 12/01/2018 at 6:15 am

      It’s a form of intelligence, isn’t it. Though probably not very important in the negation of the self made burden. Depends on the ‘reality’ though, of the people involved. :-)

      • Graham said, on 12/01/2018 at 6:23 am

        I guess so…there are many forms of intelligence…some of which are less valuable…mind you though, even those which we might consider great can be proven otherwise. Just think about the intelligence that led to the creation of plastics…and the ongoing issues it is now causing. I am coming round to the idea that as a species, the greatest intelligence would be to ask ourselves “should we?” rather than “can we?”.

        • Mark said, on 12/01/2018 at 7:15 am

          Intelligence takes all forms, it’s what keeps things going. But ‘should we’ go on giving form to unnecessary thought that generates emotion that is the basis for violence and misery. Obviously we can, but ‘should we’? Perhaps, if we haven’t suffered enough from it yet. Because it seems only pain is the catalyst for change.

          Do we need to decimate the planet, the reciprocal of the body mind, to wake up to what we are doing? Maybe … Are we instinctively intelligent enough not to? I don’t think we’re there yet.

  5. dharmalauri said, on 12/01/2018 at 5:12 am

    Goodonyou, mate!

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