Our intellect and our ability to reason, properly cultivated, are enough for us to get along in this world. They are in some ways the same as the instincts in animals or their urges to survive. We can get by on these. We can even settle on the illusion that that’s all we’ve got. However, to do that is to close off the gifts of Your spirit which are meant to go beyond this.
The human tools of intellect and reason match up well with human life, which they were meant to serve, but they are lacking if we wish to go beyond the life of the mind, the body, or the world. Other gifts are needed to enhance and enrich our ability to navigate spiritual waters - and these are truly gifts! When we seek beyond reason toward life in the spirit we are given these “extra” gifts to match the steps of our other-worldly journey.
We spend a lifetime filling our intellect with new information that quickly grows old and must be replaced. We constantly hone our reasoning skills and ply them competitively with others. In the process we unfailingly find someone more intelligent and logical. But with spiritual gifts we don’t fill ourselves with anything. In fact, we can only receive them when we empty ourselves. It’s not what we do but what we allow to be done to us. It goes outside of our conditioning, beyond what Anthony DeMello calls our “programming” to suspend the intellect and its reasoning abilities for periods of time that open entirely different channels apart from their operations.
Mostly I’m speaking here of passive contemplative prayer, but in the active life there is a very real part of this that has to do with our own instrumentality for You. This is the notion of opening ourselves and becoming vulnerable to use by You that goes beyond the normal bounds of intellect and reason – the bounds set by the body, or others, or the world. We are set apart then as extensions of You.