To be free from the fear of death, which is really the fear of losing our identity, we need to be aware that we are something more than this body and mind. We need intelligence to understand this. We then come to these questions:

What exactly is intelligence?

Are some of us more intelligent than others?

Can we increase the level of our intelligence?

Natural intelligence Intelligence is not something to attain; every single being is endowed with intelligence. Every one of us has intelligence. It is an inherent, inborn quality of life just as fire is hot and ice is cold.

I am reminded of a joke on ‘intelligent’ people:

Once there were four men traveling in a private airplane. Suddenly, there was an emergency as the tail of the aircraft caught fire. Unfortunately for the four passengers, there were only three parachutes available.

The first person in a panic took a parachute saying, ‘I just got married. My wife is waiting for me.’ And he jumped.

The second person declared, ‘I am the most intelligent person on earth. Planet earth needs my intelligence.’ He jumped as well.

One of the passengers was an old man; he told the other remaining person, ‘I am old already but you have your whole life ahead of you. You take this parachute and jump.’

The young man quipped, ‘You can also come, Sir. We can both go. The most intelligent person on planet earth just jumped off with my back-pack!’

Most of us have lost touch with our natural intelligence; that is why we are not able to live life to its fullest potential. We mistake our acquired knowledge for intelligence; we are like the man who jumped with the backpack as a parachute!

Every single being in nature has been endowed with inherent intelligence. Birds have a natural intelligence that enables them to fly. It is amazing to see the migratory birds travel thousands of miles in the sky - with no map or guide and retrace their paths back when the season changes!

Patanjali, an enlightened master from India and father of the ancient science of yoga, says that man has in him the intelligence of all the lower forms of consciousness such as the trees, birds and animals. Man has the capacity to produce food just like trees. He has the capacity to live by himself right from the time he is born - just like animals and birds. By nature we have all the intelligence in our human body. The difficulty is we strongly believe we are limited. We have been conditioned to think that we have only limited capabilities, that ‘we cannot…’ so we have forgotten how to use these capabilities. And because of this, we are not tuned to the technique to tap into all the dimensions of our being.

Children are born intelligent

A small story:

One boy came back from school and told his mother, ‘You said the school dentist would be painless but he was not!’ His mother became worried and asked him, ‘Did he hurt you?’ The boy replied,

‘No, but he screamed when I bit his finger!’

Children are born intelligent. They are so spontaneous and enthusiastic. But the family, society and conventional school destroy the natural intelligence within the child with the undue importance they pay to logic, memory and competition. The price the child pays for education is too heavy as he sacrifices his priceless creativity and uniqueness and he is not even aware of it.

The other day, I read a statement on a teenager’s T-shirt, ‘I was intelligent until education ruined me.’

Allow your complete being to simply express itself - and you will see your natural intelligence flowering beautifully. This is what I call being integrated and fulfilled.