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Knowing God with our Will and not Intellect

Updated on January 26, 2012
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This article explores the theme of will and intellect based on scholastic approach.

Interaction between Will and Intellect

Will tends towards goodness; Intellect on the other hand, tends towards truth. However, the paradox exists in the fact that we can never know the truth with certitude. This forms the basis for the limitation of intellect.

There is a lot of interaction between Will and Intellect; at times, not quite smooth one; Intellect tends to guide or direct the Will; Will tends to control the Intellect. Not all that Intellect deems True is Good. This marks the foundation of conflict between the two!

An ignorant intellect, misguided intellect/ mis-enlightened intellect is dangerous. It may mislead the Will to interpret or justify that which is Evil as Good. This is the reason why education of intellect remains noble.

Dominance of Will in Knowledge of God

In this world, Will dominates over Intellect in the knowledge of God. Will tends towards the Supreme Goodness - God without any limitation. The only limitation there can be is only oneself! As human beings, we are a limit to the LOVE we can have for GOD. We have the potential of tending towards GOD with our ‘WILLS’ without limitation. With our intellect, we are limited. We can never know GOD as He Truly is. Thus, Will dominates over Intellect as far as tending towards GOD is concerned.

Dominance of Intellect

Intellect however takes over through Beatific Vision- seeing God face to face (for those who believe in life after death). There is no limitation to the knowledge of GOD in the life after. Will does not need to tend towards Him since He is already there.

Exhortation

Let us tend towards GOD with our Wills in this earthly life. This is through LOVE. It is love that transforms the world, love that recognizes and answers to the needs of one and all.

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