Long time back, I read a comment in an internet forum which struck me as odd. It was something like this, “You can fool the intellect but you cannot fool the emotions.” It confused me because like most people, I too heard things like “Emotional fools.” I thought it was supposed to be the opposite. Aren’t emotional people taken for a ride? Doesn’t intellect help us discriminate and make a choice? While this is certainly true but I feel that the person is right. I’m not arguing against the intellect though. Because saying that emotions are superior to the intellect is also the intellect speaking. Also, yes, dividing a human being’s experience into two kinds is not a smart thing to do but I guess everything we communicate is in a way, dual, so, there is nothing we can do about it.
Like most people, I too try to learn new strategies and acquire more knowledge. Intellect gives you a lot of tools which are essential. For example: I know that worrying is not good for my health…it is my intellect which tells me this. But what happens when it comes to emotions? If I am somebody who is an anxious person, then in the words of Alan Watts, I will worry that I am worried. Then I will worry that I am worrying about worrying. Pathetic, isn’t it? This may be the reason why despite such breakthrough in technology, we are still pretty much the same. We have made intellectual progress but not an emotional one.
The statement which I mentioned at the beginning kind of makes sense because we really cannot fool our emotions, can we? I mean, you can pretend in front of the whole world that you are a very nice person and you probably fool your intellect when you think that doing this will make you feel comfortable. But can you escape your emotions? Try convincing your emotional self that you are a good person and you will realize that it’s not really possible. If you had that much power, why would you fool others in the first place?
I haven’t explored this idea but maybe it fits perfectly well with what we ‘feel’ when we interact with others. Sometimes, two people say the same thing and yet, for no rational reason, you ‘feel’ that one person is being genuine while the other person is not. A person might be perfect on paper, but sometimes, even though everything is right rationally, there is something that is missing. But this is not to say that intellect is completely useless..but isn’t it better to let it follow emotions because at the end of the day, we do everything for how we ‘feel’…don’t we?