Beyond Intellect

Before I get into this I am going to cue up “the closet”, so to speak. In the recent issue of Physics World, a gentleman talks about the LGBT+ community and how it experiences well, the Physics World. He says that having to be in the closet is so very draining and speculates that Ettore Majorana may have had at least leanings towards homosexuality, and that the conflict that this caused in him might have contributed to his disappearance. He mentions the coerced chemical castration of Alan Turing. The LGBT+ community has fought long and hard to work at the removal of prejudice and reduce the perceived need to be in the closet at work. There is another closet, the religious or spiritual closet and within science many are in it. To talk about faith in the “exact” sciences is not easy and can provoke evangelical arguments against. {Showing off and holding court are not uncommon} We may have the closet Christian, the closet Buddhist etc. and woe betide anyone who has a non-mainstream belief system, they are whacko city Arizona. Religion, faith and the like are largely taboo in the world of physical sciences, which causes closeted behaviour. As such the renaissance man or woman or transgender being is probably quite rare and if they exist you would only find them so far at the back of the wardrobe as to be in Narnia.

Having said the above I am going to move into topic, beyond intellect. For in many cases it is beyond intellect where religious or mystical experience can be found; such things are not tractable to intellect, intellectual classification or exact definition. People can seek definition so as to argue about it on home turf, in intellect and with rational mind. Rational has the root ratio, which is a comparison. Rational mind is comparative, and it can only go with any applicability where there are things to compare to. Where the concrete runs out, it is stymied. Where the unknown begins, it is lost.

I think it reasonable to assert that my intellect is pretty good, though many will have better. I can say with honesty that I have encountered many things which my intellect cannot grasp and to which I can put no words. These “things” are to be found in what might be called the “realm” of intuition. I somehow know. So, in this blog we have the face value which may or may not be grasped by intellect and behind the words there is much in intuitive space, the space of patterns and connections, of qualities and nuance. Believe it or not the flow of this blog is connected in my intuitive space, nothing is here just to be random.

It has been my experience in teaching science A levels that a fair proportion of my students have intuitive mind. For them it is a great relief to speak with someone who shares this, what we have to do next is to get them marks. Having had some acknowledgement for their abilities and the fact that they are not stupid, they can go about the business of translating so as to pass exams. They have been largely discouraged and have become closeted about their intuitions, these are not so easily marked and the level of over prescription in expected answers can ruin their chances, in life.  It is a game called pass your exams and it has little or nothing to do with innate conceptual ability. This carries on into university, whilst many can do the maths of the Schrödinger equation, that is about as far as it goes. People can pass exams without understanding. This latter example is tractable to intellect, but the deeper nuances are in intuition, it is there where understanding and conceptualization takes place. Here the ability to form images, the imagination, is important. I can still imagine wave packets bouncing off potential energy walls in three dimensions, even now, I can imagine the temporal evolution in my mind’s eye.

This intuition is where human mind needs to go to as we as a species evolve. We cannot be obsessed with data and facts to the extent that we forget to picture and imagine.

The realms of nuances, images, symbols, hints, connections and interconnectivity are rich beyond words. That is, they cannot always be verbalized. But when one intuitive minded person shares with another there can be at least a partial meeting of minds, the pictures somehow transfer and are shared. When someone is on the same wavelength as you, there is a mind to mind thing going on.

I am not saying get rid of intellect, I am suggesting extending into intuition. There is a danger of making intellectual comprehension and reason into a kind of omniscience. These are yardsticks and can only go so far and no further. If one is to be a unified being, heading towards freedom, then one needs to incorporate intuition.