This is the 5th installment of my “ego” series. The first four were:
Over-intellectualism is another dimension of ego. Over-intellectualism is seen in the sneering attitude. Many intellectuals sneer when the topic of conversation is devotional love. Intellectuals are disgusted by the outer signs of devotional love.
In my early days in Ananda Marga, when I first learned the Kiirtan dance, I felt very uncomfortable performing Kiirtan especially when we danced in public areas. I thought dancing was silly to begin with and devotional dancing and chanting in the form of Kiirtan was a bit too much for me. I overcame my self-consciousness quickly. Kiirtan music and my strong devotional sentiment shattered the defensive walls of my ego. The first shattering is important but ego thickens quickly if you don’t pay attention. You have to be vigilant.
Over-intellectualism results from excessive and prolonged mental focus on the mundane. This puts the mind in a rotten state. I interpret this as mental fatigue. People who suffer from mental fatigue cannot appreciate poetry, music or the devotional feelings.
I sometimes think the over-intellectualism is a form of escapism. Some people escape their emotional problems by focusing on pure reason. All scientists have this type of escapism without which they cannot function. We are human beings, we are not perfect; we all practice escapism in one form or another.
We can be very intelligent and well educated and we can have very discriminating tastes but we should watch out for the creeping over-intellectualism. What looks silly to us may not be silly at all. An expression of happiness is never silly.