I have this love affair with E.O. Wilson and Carl Sagan, Joseph Campbell, Rick Straussman and Neil deGrasse; people who live authentically and engage I a world larger than the ego self in a way that my brain has never been able to comprehend. When letters and numbers mix together I go full retard. These men seem not to have this issue. They are cerebral, walking knowledge banks who after plumbing the depths of their subset of intelligence, turn back and share it with the rest of the world.
Like This: Neal DeGrasse Tyson
Witnessing this kind of open giving of knowledge makes me consider who I am and how I embrace knowledge. As time goes on, I find that there is this balance of intelligence within me, some of it is synaptic firing – logical left sided work. The other and perhaps slightly larger part of my intelligence is rooted deep in my flesh and muscle.
When I practice asana and dig into the connective tissue and the spaces between my joints, my heart widens and I operate from a different place. Embracing the world seems like an assumable task, as does releasing my hold on the literal/rational world and diving into experiential living with both feet. When I stay in a deep hip opener (I swear the pigeon is my optimal thinking pose) or run hard and long down an empty mountain path, I find my body dictating my thoughts in this wonderful mantra of knowingness and awe.
Awe at the fact that my biology is working exactly as it should. On any given day I awaken and breathe deep, flex my fingers and toes…take a shower eat and work and live…and my body moves with me fluidly, doing all I ask of it.
It is inspiring to work from this kind of understanding. At the body level – when we peel back skin color, sexuality, creed and culture. When we remove the lenses of our specific society – we are amazing and so very beautiful in their ability to function and we are lucky enough to be woven from the same thread the same space dust if we follow an astrophysicists system.
Not that I don’t continue to find comfort in my intellectual self.
My bookcases are lined with works crafted by those who think deeply and when I feel lost I pick one up and flip through the pages, find a spot and read until I cannot keep my eyes open anymore. I have this game that I play where I flip the book upside down and the breaks in the binding where I landed the longest…usually I read from this place. These words cobble together a path of thought and if I walk it long enough it branches out, activating me and asking that I work in a different way- a cerebral way. I wonder, when I dig into books like Consilience or The Soul Code, why there is this dissonance between body and brain knowledge…what lies at the core of that sacrifice. Bringing myself to the mat helps me unite with the knowledge of the body, the breath and the energy that works in me.
There are times when I am really deep in it that I wonder how well a grass roots movement to pair body and mind smarts would work…what do you think? How would something like that look? A sustainable movement towards intelligence at from all parts of the self. A holistic way of being and knowing….I leave this on the mat and I’ll leave you with it to consider – perhaps while you are in down dog or a deep hip opener…how best can we foster and live the authentically during out time on this earth.
- Neil deGrasse Dyson on Space, Politics, and the Most Important Thing to Know About the Universe (brainpickings.org)
- E.O. Wilson on Why Humans Hate (thedailybeast.com)
- Spiritualism and Intelligence (bhavanajagat.com)