Intelligence vs. Intellect

As we never know what can happen, my fingers deleted the latest newsletter from my archives. By chance, I had sent myself a copy and that is why and how I am able to release and sent it out by forwarding it to you all.
xo, Sylvia

#Observing #FunctioningFeeling #AbidingNoWhere


Hi, friends,

No matter what age, what time, and what perception I’ve found myself in, this poem seems to knock on the door and take on many different meanings, each time visited. How about you?

The mysterious source of the bright is clear and unstained;
branches of light stream from that dark.

Trying to control things is only delusion,
but hanging onto the absolute isn’t enlightenment, either.

We and everything we perceive
are interwoven and not interwoven,
and this interweaving continues on and on,
while each thing stands in its own place.

—Shitou Xiqian

What is always unstained and remains that way is our intelligence; an intelligence that inhabits our lives in playful and harmonious ways rather than expected ones that arrive at our destinations and plans. This certainly doesn’t mean we don’t take our opportunities as possibilities but to derive conclusions about anything might neither be what completes the wider picture of who and what we are.

Can we ask ourselves what is this and not really have an answer to it, not put a label or a title to it? Doesn’t this not knowing where life will take us but knowing and feeling the intense power and energy of those moments most connected to the now, give us the goosebumps, the heartfelt encounters, and the drive to keep going in freeing ways?

Once we’re in the observing mode, we are also in the realm of infinitely using our feelings intelligently. Yes, one must have great feelings. The feelings for beauty, the feeling for a word; the silence between two words. The hearing of sounds, the touch, and smell also generate feelings. One must have strong feelings because it is only that that makes the mind highly sensitive.

Let’s be “a whole-body-seer” as the theologian John Hull had said about himself. He had become blind in his midlife and expressed his feelings about life by stating how he had chosen reality over nostalgia. This was perhaps a direct path of him observing his intelligent heart and mind as one; a wonder-filled recognition of the beauty of the manifold ways in which it’s possible to know the unknown perhaps.

I’ll keep going…

There is no feeling without thought, and behind the thought is pleasure or pain. So those things go together, they are not separated.

The one thing I’m constantly learning is that we need both sides of the coin in order to relate and reach out in the depths of one’s heart to others. And yet the paradox is to recognize “abiding nowhere, the heart-mind comes forth.”

Here’s a passage by Saint John of the Cross,
“Get in Where I Didn’t Know”:

This knowing not knowing, is so powerful that the wise men argue they can never beat him; that your knowledge does not come to not understand understanding, all science transcending. And it is of such high excellence this great knowledge, that there is no faculty or science that they can undertake it; who knows how to win with a not knowing knowing, will always transcend. And, if you want to hear it, this sum science consists in a high feeling of the divine essence; it is the work of your mercy to make remain not understanding, all science transcending.

What is heart-mind? Intelligence. What is intelligence? I am. What is I am? Now; now alone and collectively. And yet, freedom is not to be dependent on any person, anything, any idea. Basically, we are not to do or undo anything. Staying as we are, we recognize who we are. And doesn’t this comfort us with what “this” is?

Welcome to vast contrast and diversity, welcome to infinite possibilities and choices, and welcome to the enlivenment of you!

We are alive living in the times we were born to. If nothing else, this seems to be an adventure alright!


With love to all travelers,
xo, Sylvia.

As a follower of Live Your Life, I treasure your kindness and appreciate your support to this triweekly sharing of news, letters, and everything in between. Until next time!

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Sylvia Arkilanian

By Sylvia Arkilanian

Life as Art, Art as Life

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