How knowledge can block instincts.
We have a lens of our past in front of our minds. This blocks us. When you’re not scared / uptight, your instincts are sharp. You are in a sense naked of the mind. Leading with a mind that is quick, agile, and unafraid, because it’s comfortable being exposed. It doesn’t strictly lead with memory. There’s a difference between relying on your memory and leading with your memory. Does this make sense? It shouldn’t because your memory might tell you otherwise. When people are doing what they love, their instincts are revealed. I think when people communicate they don’t understand the power of instincts, because they’re stuck in memory and knowledge, especially public speaking. Public speaking being humans #1 fear. If people generally had great instincts in communication then public speaking would not be so terrifying. But people have to know. Have to know they will look smart, sound good, have the answers, etc… .Some people mastered this through their knowledge, not their instincts. Politicians are a good example, they typically sound scripted and rehearsed. They seem phony and fake when they speak. Our knowledge tells us we can’t learn instincts. But we can unlearn.
People protect themselves from being scared, through their knowledge. Their knowledge makes them feel secure. Politicians are filled with knowledge, with their talking points, making them appear smart. True intelligence is in one’s instincts. But most people are fooled by a person’s knowledge. Instincts imply quick and subtle adaptation. Someone that is highly aware of the moment, therefore instincts can work naturally, not being blocked by all the knowledge in the head.
Here is the definition “Instincts are inborn impulses or motivations to act in response to specific external stimuli. They are natural, unlearned, and predictable responses to stimuli.”
Definition also says instinct is an innate behavior that is not learned. This is true in the conventional sense of the word “learn”. Which means to acquire knowledge. This is where Eastern Philosophy helped me understand the value of “unlearning”. Meditation is an exercise in unlearning. Which means to break the pattern of thought. Thought is essentially everything you learned. What you imagine or think up in your head came from somewhere. To be without that is the unlearning. How can you be without that? Try it right now. Can you listen to the noises in the room? When you hear a noise you will then have a thought about it. Can you let go of the thought and return to the listening? So to listening without having an answer. The more you practice the better you become with this. And what’s the point? You gain control of your mind, through exercising the ability to surrender to every thought. We become so attached and identified with our thoughts that they run the show, they affect our stimuli, and block truth. You lose freedom of the mind.
Your thinking mind goes away when you fall asleep. But so does your awareness. To meditate is to distinguish over and over again your awareness vs your knowledge. As soon as your knowledge identifies the awareness you’ve lost the awareness. Awareness is action oriented of the mind. Knowledge is thinking oriented to the mind. That is why they say instincts cannot be learned. But they can be accessed. And you can practice it, not just in meditation or yoga. But anywhere anytime. Few people understand this idea. This is essentially what I’m teaching and learning in my yoga and life training.