In this conversation with Sadhguru, Shekhar Kapur wonders how to cross the distance between intellectual understanding and experience. Sadhguru explains that the nature of the intellect is like a trap that one builds for himself, and then longs to escape.

Full Transcript:

Shekhar: But that dimension, Sadhguru, you said ‘beyond the physical’, you said you can perceive you and the universe and you did that (Referring to Sadhguru’s clap) almost as ‘me and the universe’ was one, and the perception of that. So most of us can intellectualize the idea of the universe, we can’t… and we can’t experience it and between the intellectualization of it and the experience of it you were telling me that all of Bhairavi and… and…and… and the windows that are opened, I am getting closer to the… to the… my relationship with the universe. Can you describe that between the intellectualizing and the experiencing of it and where my relationship exists?
Sadhguru: See, if you go with a foot-scale to measure the depth of the ocean, you will invariably come back and tell me that it’s bottomless, because it’s impossible for you to measure the depth of the ocean with a foot-scale. You’re approaching the universe with a completely wrong instrument – the intellect. your intellect itself is an instrument which can only dissect and know things. There is no way your intellect can know anything, perceive anything without dissecting. Without prior… prior information about it, you cannot know. If you see anything new, there is no way for you to know. Now, you really want to know your daughter – would you like to dissect her?

Shekhar: No… no.

Sadhguru: (Laughter) That’s definitely not the way. But with intellect you can only dissect her. You can… You will call it analysing, but it’s dissection. So by dissecting, you can know all kinds of details but you will not know the real thing. So whether you take a flower or a human being or a tree or an animal, by dissection you’re not going to know anything. You will only know the physical parts of it. The sum of these physical parts still does not make the whole. So with a foot-scale you’re trying to measure the depth of the ocean – you will come with wrong conclusions.
Shekhar: So… I mean, the fundamental question…

Sadhguru: So I’m saying keep that aside and let’s talk without your intellect, let’s be… let’s see. Try and make an effort.
Sadhguru: (Laughs) No. There are… there are questions in the universe without intellect.

Shekhar: All right, let me try, let me try without my intellect. Nothingness is not a question but it is also a question.

Sadhguru: (Laughs) Don’t go into abstract thinking.
Shekhar: So I don’t know what to do. If I… Because the moment…

Sadhguru: The very human existence right now is a question. There is a longing to know – that itself is a question.
Shekhar: Yes.

Sadhguru: But the longing to know is being right now unfortunately channelized through an instrument which is incapable of knowing. So I am saying you have a longing to know, which is a big question mark by itself – try to direct this question mark without the use of your intellect. Don’t sit there and try to dissect me, you will not get anything. If you cut me you will only get what you will find in a frog or a goat – the same heart, liver, kidney. You will not find enlightenment in my kidneys. (Laughs) If you want to know this, you must keep that aside and still pursue the question. That’s what she is. (Referring to Bhairavi)

Shekhar Kapur: She is a question without the intellect?

Sadhguru: No, no. I’m saying when you go to her, you have to go with your heart; you can’t go with your intellect. If you go with your intellect, what is there? One black form like this. What is this? It’s nothing. But you ask people who’ve just walked in, it just hits them. It’s an explosion of energy. But if you go there with your intellect, what is there? Simply madness.

Shekhar Kapur: So is madness wrong?

Sadhguru: (Laughs) I thought everybody is trying to be sane! (Laughs)

Shekhar Kapur: Okay, so let’s not be sane for a while. Let’s be mad.

Sadhguru: The thing is human beings are always trying to do mildly insane things, because their sanity is so restrictive. Their sanity is just crushing them within themselves, so they want to do something crazy. They’re not trying to do something crazy – they’re trying to break the trap of their own intellect. Intellect thinks logically. Within the frame of the logic, they feel trapped, but they don’t understand it is they who are building the trap. Even a spider has the intelligence to build a trap for somebody else, not for himself. (Laughter)

Shekhar: Right.

Sadhguru: Human beings using their fine instrument of an intellect and building a trap for themselves and they feel trapped in that logic, now they want to do something crazy. Every time they do something crazy… Essentially crazy means something illogical, something that does not synchronize with the intellectual process. Every time they do that, either through drug, a drink or some other mad act that they do, they’re crossing the line of their logic and they think it’s great. I’m saying let’s do it, consciously. You don’t have to do any insane risky thing; you can sit here and live that. I am saying someone who builds a trap for himself of his own logic, he is truly insane but he thinks he is sane. Your very concept of sanity has to change.