In this essay, a high-IQ lady speaks of her struggles to find meaning and joy in life. She speaks of her vast store of information, and the sense that she is surrounded by dullards. Criticizing her perspective would be easy, as would empathizing and saying “intelligence can be a curse.”
Well…maybe. But if the First Law is to “Love and Know thyself” then some possibly applicable ideas emerge.
- “Love and know thyself” implies that if you know yourself, you will love yourself, as well as the notion that loving yourself gives you the courage to look within and know yourself better. The two notions connect and feed each other.
- Early life programming, especially the programming gained prior to puberty, can corrupt this. Abused or neglected children can be so damaged they feel that their essence is corrupt rather than divine. This makes introspection painful: you are diving into a cesspool of apparently infinite depth. This is an illusion, but it is hard to tell that to someone swallowing shit.
- The parable about the man searching for his keys “where the light is, rather than where he dropped them” comes to mind, and is a common problem among very smart people. They use their intelligence for things it finds easy, like manipulating external data, or recall of trivial facts. Its proper use would be to answer the question: “how shall I live to find joy?”, which question, pursued over a lifetime, will lead to the greatest depths of wisdom, service, love, and connection. The most powerful computer in the world is of no use if you ask the wrong questions.
- Happiness and satisfaction do not lie in the intellectual arena. They are in the heart, not the head. You are using the wrong tool for the job. Sri Chinmoy’s admonition comes to mind: you can awaken from the heart out, or from the body “up”, but never ever from the head “down.”
- This means to start with love: loving yourself. Removing any obstacles and flowing around any damage that speaks to any reality other than Thou Art Love.
- It also means that we must act, and find the actions that are in alignment with joy and contribution. Physical motion connects us to reality. “The Secret” makes a primary error: it thinks you can create your reality with powerful thought, without asking a central question, namely “how do you know when your thoughts are powerful enough?” The answer is simple: when you get your ass up and start moving in the direction of your dreams. If your thoughts and feelings aren’t strong enough to motivate you to get off the couch, what in the world makes you think the universe will care more than you do?
- As a child, things are brought to us, by people who love and protect us…at least, that’s the way it is supposed to work. But as an adult, WE are now in the position of adulthood, and if we still expect our needs to be brought to us we are thieves, refusing to pass on the wealth we were given. The children are not safe unless adults are adults. Don’t be a thief. Whether we speak of external “real world” children or our own tender hearts and dreams, our “inner children”, only being adult works in a world of adults. Weakness attracts only broken people and predators.
Start with loving yourself, seeking to know yourself, deeply. That daily work is the beginning of everything, the starting point of all worthy accomplishment: actions taken (adult) in alignment with our fondest dreams (child) and deepest values (elder). Begin with your heart, or with daily action. If you start with your heart, you will run into the garbage others threw in your direction. IF you begin with action, you can get daily feed-back on your progress, and so long as you love yourself enough to keep going, you will take one step after another, fall down, get up, and pass horizon after horizon until you reach apparent wizardry. But it’s just the path. Just your heart.
Start walking, or start loving. Motion and love are your ways out of the box.