The Intellect – The Closest Thing to the Divine


On Sundays, I spend some time listening to NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday with Liane Hansen.  A segment from the show caught me ear and attention.  This I Believe is a segment where people submit their beliefs in essays.  George Bowering, Canada’s first Poet Laureate with his essay called The Holy Life of the Intellect, and his belief of how intellect is the closest thing we have to the divine.  He points out a couple of examples of listening to Charlie Parker’s Ornithology, and John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and describes the piece as “There we are: A fine intellect, a tenor saxophone and a reach for perfect prayer”.

When I think of intellect, I believe creativity is a part intelligent, but yet there seems to be anti-intellect stance in the country.  Being intelligent isn’t considered a good thing and diametrically at odds with emotions and religion.  For me intelligence invokes curiosity and yes creativity.  I believe creativity can create a solution to a problem, a new invention, find an answer to a new mathematical equation.  What a person can do with his or her mind, the potential is unlimited, and is there anything wrong with believing that the intellect is the closest thing to the divine.

What the human mind imagines is amazing and sometimes incredible.  We see it through art, literature, and music or anything that mind can manifest into the physical.  We only have our senses of hearing, feeling, seeing, smelling, and touching, but aids in our intellect to become aware and curious of our surroundings.  I believe the divine exists and it surrounds us in our everyday lives, but there are times when we take things for granted such as playing attention to the world around us.  Making discoveries, creating and interrupting something that exists.  What do you think is closest to the divine?

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