The intellect is the reflective screen that allows us to perceive and reason. Its formation also marked the beginning on its inner side – of the external, sensory universe: of time, the solar system, and the potential for intelligent life to develop there. As physical beings we are provided with the sense of existence by the stars, space and matter; while as mental beings the intellect allows us to evaluate that experience as information and to evolve rationally.

So we have our eyes closed, are observing in the mind the grainy black intellect in front of our awareness, and then we open them. We are immediately sensory. At the speed of an opening eye-lid we have moved from the inner to the outer position. A second ago we were observing the intellect – not knowing anything (unless we were thinking) – and now we are sensory intelligence in our own evolutionary earth-world.

We can see, dig into and feel the earth, the planet that is ours in the solar system, and we can look up and see the universe of stars. What is it we are using to know this – and which was not needed a second ago, when we were simulating the stillness of pure mind? Intelligence. We need intelligence to be able to know. We do not need intelligence to know nothing, to be the still mind. In fact, intelligence is what we are: various degrees of it, representing a gradient called life on earth. We are the intelligence that has evolved in time out of the space and matter of the solar system, and specifically the earth, on this, the universal side of the intellect.

Through the intellect – and I mean literally by passing through it – we have emerged to become intelligent life on earth; just as by closing our eyes and being still we can return back through the intellect to the pre-existent state. The only proviso is we must not want, or think about, sensory existence. To do that automatically transports us at the same incredible speed back through the intellect into sensory existence on earth – with all its dynamically needling evolutionary traumas and deliciously addictive experience.

Intelligence, for all its activity, is the spatial or sensory equivalent of the original still mind. To this state of stillness it must eventually return by evolving through experience of the universe.


Extract from the Barry Long book title:

‘The Origins of Man and the Universe’ (pp 190-191)



A free weekly statement selected from Barry Long’s inspirational writings will be sent by email to anyone who requests it.


Sign up here…