Friday, October 15, 2004

Limits of the Intellect

An excerpt from Susan Howatch's novel, The Heartbreaker:

"Golden Girl tries to outline her problem. She's always relied on her intelligence, she says. It's been the only thing that's never let her down. People you trust let you down, she says.... People behave like absolute shits, she says.... People try to stab you in the back, she says.... But so long as you've got brains, she says, you can work out how to survive.

...."Then she found out that a load of the most important things in life such as truth, beauty and goodness -- and of course love -- the whole spiritual package -- aren't always accessible through intellectual reasoning and streetwise brainpower. In fact although Christianity can be very intellectually high-powered indeed, spiritual stuff can never be fully sorted out by the human intellect.... She's always equated survival with intellectual success, and she can't imagine surviving in a dimension where there are no exams to pass and you're required to function as the whole you and not just as a brain on legs.

...."'But love's the most spiritual thing there is!'"

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