How smart are you? How much of your mind’s potential are you using? What you perceive your intellectual limits to be is subjective; nobody truly knows his or her own potential. You have the power to transcend your natural boundaries. Here are two ways to stretch your mind and intellectual horizons, not just quantitatively but qualitatively.
Exert Your Mind
Exertion is the difficult process of straining and pushing the mind beyond its natural limits. By exercising your muscles you not only loosen them up, you develop and expand their possibilities. The same holds true with exercising the mind: Through deep concentration and mental strain, you force open and widen the channels that allow more of the unconscious to flow into your consciousness.
Think of the unconscious (or supra-conscious) as an enormous amount of potent energy stored inside an impenetrable, rock-like container. The only way to release that energy in is to apply strong pressure, to break open the “box” and allow what is within to flow outward into your consciousness. Like striking a flint stone to extract its spark, or pressing an olive or a grape to release its power, exertion is necessary to force out the juices locked within.
Einstein famously said: “Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work…” Edison put it this way: “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
The best mind will not reach its ultimate potential without exertion. By pushing your mind, in the vigorous effort of struggling with a concept beyond you, studying it from different angles, challenging the idea with questions and counter questions, weighing all the arguments and counter-arguments – by experiencing the deep frustration and chaos in the process of researching a complex problem – all this hard effort stretches the boundaries and expands the channels, opening the valve wider to access the unconscious source of wisdom, allowing in new depths of understanding into your consciousness.
A second method to access and release the unconscious is through humility. Humility is the process of getting your ego-consciousness out of the way, thus allowing in the higher state of unconsciousness and reaching the ultimate truth.
The true definition of wisdom is something far greater than the mind alone; it is the search for truth. And in the search for truth we need more than a good brain. How does one find truth? Truth can only be found through objectivity. The greatest mind, biased and subjective, will not find truth. On the contrary: the better the mind, the more biased it can become, and the better it hides its tracks, creatively finding every argument to justify its prejudices.
Humility is the key ingredient to reach an objective result. True knowledge is not about you, it’s not about being smart, it’s about the truth of the knowledge and your humble recognition that you are a transparent channel for this knowledge.
Without humility this level of wisdom – channeling a seamless truth – is impossible to reach. Because the mind, the best mind, is still only a mind, which does not encompass all of existence. Once you get your own ego out of the way through humility, the higher truth will emerge through your being.
Exercise: Next time you feel intellectually limited, apply the two methods described above to open up new channels. Record your progress in your MyMLC journal.