I gain intellectual understanding through study, reflection and listening, but my life goes on being hurt and manipulated by my emotions, and shocks arising from my unconscious labyrinths. I am helpless. So far I haven’t had access to these unconscious places. Could you give me some technique, some practice, a thread or direction to follow?
What is gained through study, reflection and pondering is not even intellectual understanding. It is merely a fallacy of understanding. It is like explaining to a blind man about light. He listens to it, then there is a mode for teaching the blind so he also studies through that means, and then whatsoever he has listened to and studied, he may ponder and reflect over it. But do you think this will be knowing light? Yes, he may gain a false notion that he knows light, but that fallacy is even more dangerous than blindness itself – because if a blind man understands that he does not know light, there is a possibility he may search for some treatment to cure his eyes, but if he thinks that he already knows what light is then even that door is closed.
There are two parts to your question. You are saying that study, listening and reflection bring intellectual understanding. Neither has intellect ever understood anything nor will it ever. But you are blessed that you have the realization that this understanding is not helping you at all. Within you are deep darkness and unconscious desires – and you are aware of this reality. Even amidst all the commotion of your intellect, you have not completely forgotten their presence and the terrible mess they have created within you.
So one statement that you make about gaining intellectual understanding is incorrect, but your other statement is precious. And you are blessed that even in believing it to be understanding, you have not become “wise”; you have not taken that understanding to be your wisdom. There are many unfortunate people who waste their lives in that very “wisdom.”
The reality is that you are much more than the intellect, you are far beyond the intellect. The function of the intellect is to know things which are alien to you; to know others who are not you. So the intellect is not your enemy. It is through the intellect that the whole of science has been born. But you can make the intellect your enemy if you start thinking that you can also come to know yourself through it.
Look at it like this. A person tries to hear music through his eyes, or someone else tries to see light through his ears. Neither the eyes nor the ears are at fault in this. The eyes are for seeing light, not for hearing music. The ears are for hearing music, not for seeing light.
The function of the intellect is to know things, to know that which is other than you. But the function of the intellect is not to know the knower. The knower sitting within you is not a thing, and that is why science is in great difficulty. Science knows so much about so many stars, knows so much about atoms and sub-atoms, but the scientist misses knowing himself. He knows everything but misses knowing the one who knows all this.