Seldom in my inquiries I have received a consistent definition of Intellect, most people erroneously pair it with the act of reading books; but I have met many people who read plentiful, whilst conforming to the doctrinaire of the herd. That is a fallacy that I wish to abolish. Did reading, universally, symbolize acquiring knowledge?
In light of this, I wish to rearticulate Intellect as the manner of perceiving intricate foreign ideas, liberated from dogmas. Dogmas are the archenemy of intellect, for intellect stems out of unprejudiced contemplation; a man who passively reads books that were written to his joy and his complicacy, would be underprepared or unprepared to the views of rest of the world, and thus he follows either of two paths: he plunges deeper to his dogmatic ways, where he replicates the immoderate unfitting conducts of his forefathers. Or he contemplates the revelations of what he read, thus he shall attain the universality of thought, and onward he shall meet people of foreign tongues and lands, but reincarnations of thoughts and experiences, regardless of the minor variations; each mind, fundamentally, has their agenda and aspirations. And thus, there exists no absolute intellect, only glimpses of men who strived, and those we tend to idolize.
I once met a man who read Moby Dick, and deemed it as the endeavors of Captain Ahab hunting the White Whale and failed because the Whale is a monstrosity. Whilst another man, benefiting from a religious context, deemed it as Satan hunting God, and he failed because God is might. Another, benefiting from a secular context, deemed it as Man’s attempt to control Nature, and he failed, because Nature is untamable.
Men of intellect seldom speak in absoluteness; they’re privy to their fallibility, to what’s beyond their comprehension and to the vastness and assortments of human genius. This I can say this in absoluteness.
Another archenemy of intellect is pride, the great sin of Lucifer and Hubris. A verse from the Proverbs 18 says: Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor. Malcolm X had a humbling experience that liberated him. True men of intellect are often the progenies of certain morbidness; Life humbles men that way.
Aristotle described the prideful as a person who’s a victim of his own gratifications. Pride cripples a man from reading the other’s mind. And therefore he possesses no intellect. Mind you, intellect is not to agree, but to appreciate; they are not mutually exclusive, but also, in brilliant marriages, they can align.
Lest of the perils of pride, Marcus Aurelius appointed a servant to follow him when he entered the gates of Rome whispering to his ear: you are just a man, to fortify himself against the praise of mob. He was wise.
Another crippler of intellect is willful obedience to the teachings of fellowmen. It disallows our faculties from inspecting their façade.
Thomas Jefferson wistfully championed that it is the right of Man to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; alas, he was profiteering from his plantation slave farms.
When Voltaire learnt of Isaac Newton’s fondness of magic, he made great efforts to conceal this fact in his publications of Newton. Hadn’t been for Economist Kinsey it might have remained unearthed. Does Voltaire’s behavior suit a man of intellect? Should this dismiss his formidable contribution to philosophy? I can’t supply an answer, but I ask of you this: would you rather be a Voltaire? Or a Kinsey? Yet who is privy to Kinsey’s intellectual mischiefs himself? The prospects are windingly endless. But we mustn’t forget Rumi’s filed beyond the fields of right-doing and wrong-doing. There lays grayness between whiteness and blackness of life.
Thus I say true intellect is the perusal of greater good, which demands contemplation liberated from ignorance, arrogance, pride and dogmatism.
I shall conclude with this: motives of the intellectual must be driven from within, thus he himself sets the standards of what ought to be and how it ought to be. If the motives were external ones, then his intellect will be his damnation, for he shall frantically measure it against alternating variables. And he is likely to deem himself a deceptionist and thus inherent a sense of inferiority, and his genius would be a squander.