Mistake Of The Intellect

Experts in the Ayurvedic medical system tell us that the source of all disease and suffering is "the mistake of the intellect" ("pragyaparadh" in Sanskrit). What is "the mistake of the intellect" and how does it relate to health, vision and intraocular pressure?

Dr. Ram Kant Mishra, an Ayurvedic physician, says the mistake of the intellect "occurs when individuals -- or even single cells -- 'forget' their connection with the wholeness of life and believe themselves to be isolated entities."

Other Ayurvedic physicians interpret the ancient Sanskrit texts in slightly different ways, but Dr. Mishra's quote is the best and most correct definition of "the mistake of the intellect" I have seen. And this precise definition is the key to gaining some very powerful insights that make the concept of "the mistake of the intellect" practical. A vague concept that there is something called pragyaparadh that is responisble in some strange way for all the diseases we encounter in life is of no practical value. In that same way, the more common translations such as, "identifying with the part and losing the whole, that is the mistake of the intellect" have little value because trying to create some mystical or imaginary feeling of "being connected to the whole" is usually a nebulous exercise that quickly becomes impractical in daily life for busy people. 

However, if we realize that there are certain definite patterns of thinking (and their accompanying emotions) that lead to disease, then we can go to work on changing those thinking patterns. That makes the concept of "the mistake of the intellect" practical. That is my purpose in writing this article.

Let's start by recognizing that we already know what it is that makes us forget our connection to the wholeness of life and believe that we are isolated entities. It is the ego. If you have been reading Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" or any other similar material, you know that the ego is our sense of individual, separate self. Our ego is what conceptually defines us as individual humans.

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