Life can be intellectually understood and although one may be alive, without insights allowing one to go deeper within, it doesn’t mean one will know how to live.
Having insight into something is very different than having an intellectual understanding of it. Growing up I didn’t have much understanding of what life was about nor was there awareness of the self centered view I developed. This created a delusional existence and although I was alive I didn’t understand how to live. Fast forward to my late twenties and because of dire circumstances I was forced to change the way I was living; for me this meant stop relying on alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism. Granted just by doing this my outer life changed and my intellectual understanding of it became different, but the self centered view that was developed did not, thus the only thing that really changed were my outer circumstances.
My understanding of things became somewhat better than when I was under the influence of substances, but because the self centered view was intact, no true insights were allowed. I made up stories in my head, but I didn’t have any “aha moments” that allowed a deeper look into myself. This is just the way life unfolded for me, it wasn’t right or wrong, but it was the way it was. This went on for forty nine years at which time something happen that allowed me to look deeper into myself and shifts started occurring that produced insights which changed the self centered view I had.
This is when intellectual understanding began changing to heartfelt insights and I truly started to change; from the inside. One of the insights allowed, was seeing how the self centered view was at the core of all my delusions. This insight was so powerful that to this day it’s the base of every insight that followed; when the self centered view is in place nothing new is allowed. I had a very basic intellectual understanding of the self centered view for many years prior to the shift that occurred when I was forty nine, but this knowledge produced very superficial and limited results. It wasn’t until my mind started settling through meditation that these insights began manifesting. They changed me when my intellectual understanding couldn’t, and although there’s nothing wrong with intellect, if not incorporated with some form of meditation, it will be superficial and limited at best.