Is intelligence reincarnated?
Yes, it is reincarnated until you become Liberated. You do not lose it, only it works through various tendencies like art, music, poetry, business, preaching, building, architecture, agriculture, and so on. Intelligence is a percolation of intuition through purified intellect. By purified intellect I mean when intellect is not thinking on its own but open and receptive to the Divine. Intuition is the voice of God. Even in intuition ego remains, though more purified. Then you go higher to Enlightenment, when ego totally merges and you are face to face with Truth. You know.
Do we choose our path, such as devotion or knowledge, or are we led to our path by our temperament? Can we switch paths?
It is your temperament that chooses your path, but you have freedom to switch if you think you chose wrongly. But you should choose according to your temperament; then only will you exhaust your karmas. If you chose outside your temperament, then your temperament remains pending, and that will catch up with you later on. You may think that someone has done very well on another path and it is better than yours, but you have to follow your path. There is a well-known example: someone used to sing with the autoharp and everyone liked it, so more people began to practice singing with the autoharp. That person on autoharp switched to guitar, which eventually came out better; then people began to switch to guitar. It is not that the guitar is better than the autoharp, it is how you play best. There is a famous line in the Gita: if you do perfectly what is not your temperament it will not give you fulfillment, but even if you do imperfectly what is your temperament it will give you fulfillment.
Is there a balance or fine line between surrender and effort? What do we surrender to?
Let’s try to understand surrender and effort. If we know the terms, probably we will not find a contradiction. To whom do we surrender? God, the highest Purpose, the Ultimate Truth, your True Self, the Light. Who is putting the effort? You, the ego, your free will. What do we surrender? Our will to Divine will, in short: ego. You ask where to draw a fine line between surrender and effort. Now this is tricky language, an unconscious or subconscious trick of the ego to maintain itself. If you are wishing to draw a line you will never achieve a balance between the two. The secret is that there is no line in between. Normally our human tendency is to try to keep two bowls: nectar and poison. There cannot be a fine line between poison and nectar because these are two different things. I’m calling free will or ego poison for the time being just to magnify it, and surrender to God nectar. Now we want to bring a balance between the two.
Why does this dilemma arise in our lives? The answer is because of our dualistic way of seeing things. Because you are accustomed to seeing things in pairs of opposites, dilemmas remain. Then you try to find a balance within duality, within the relativity, which does not work. On one side you want to use efforts and free will, and on the other you want to surrender to God. How can you do both? This is a contradiction. I maintain respect for intellect just as I respect the nose, ears and eyes. Ego, which creates intellect, wants to surrender to God and wants to retain itself. This creates a dilemma always and in everything, without exception.
Supposing you want peace; at the same time you want to retain whatever is disturbing your peace. Take another example: you want to eat a certain dish that you like but that dish is causing your indigestion. Likewise, you want to keep ego busy with many things and at the same time you want to surrender to God. If you surrender to God as a means to Realization or seeing God, why are you bothering about your free will? Aren’t you drawing the line in between to keep God and ego separate? Do you see the trick of mind? This is ego’s habit of self-preservation.
What is meant by “the word”? Like first there was the will and then there was the word.
Supreme will created the word, meaning vibratory phenomena. We call it astral or subtle. The word becomes a source of further gross creation. Let me say it differently: that Supreme Will is your potential Being, your Spirit, your omnipotence, the first progeny of all creation. It is called vak in the Vedas. In the Bible it is written: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The word is the potential nucleus of further creation in grosser and grosser forms. Will is static in itself, stable. When Supreme Will is projected, the wave or vibration is created. If the word was not created, the Will would remain static and unmanifest, like Lord Shiva lost in samadhi (super-consciousness) on Mount Kailash. Supreme will in static condition is samadhi. As soon as you rise from samadhi you can will anything and it happens.
© 2016 by Truth Consciousness. Excerpted from the Satsangs: Love, Freedom and God (A-30), In Tune with The Divine (C-13), Efforts and Surrender (C-14), and Will, Our Greatest Energy (P-41). For further information on the audio Satsangs of Swami Amar Jyoti visit truthconsciousness.org.