10.10: Emotional liquidity that is above, not below, intellectual solidity
Some of us may sometimes wonder how to harmonize the two aspects of our human personality: the head and the heart. A preponderance of the head makes us so intellectually solid that we become impervious to essential human emotions. At the other extreme, a preponderance of the heart makes us so emotionally liquid that we lose the solid ground of essential human rationality.
Gita wisdom puts first things first: understanding self-identity comes before achieving inner harmony. When we, despite being immortal souls, mistakenly identify ourselves with our mortal bodies, our worldview and pleasure-quest gets restricted to the material realm. Within this shrunk vision, excessive emotional liquidity makes us sentimentally crave for material pleasures, denying the reality that temporary pleasures can never satisfy our longing for permanent happiness. This is called in Vedic parlance the path of karma. Excessive intellectual solidity makes us want to give up the craving for pleasure, denying the reality that we can’t live without pleasure. According to Vedic parlance, this is the path of jnana.
Gita wisdom integrates both these paths in a higher-level synthesis that eliminates their futile denials. That synthesis is the path of bhakti, which expands our vision to perceive our spiritual identity. This in turn helps us regain a viable intellectual solidity that launches us into a whole new universe of spiritual emotional activity and reciprocity. This universe is permeated with flowing and flooding emotions, but that emotional liquidity is above, not below, intellectual solidity. This emotional flow doesn’t drag us down into material illusion, but pushes us up towards the highest spiritual reality, Krishna, as indicated in the Bhagavad-gita (10.10).
It is in this bhakti universe that our head and heart attain the perfect balance and we relish the ultimate fulfillment.
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