Unbound Intelligence: A Personal Guide to Self-Discovery by Rajeev Kurapati by Rajeev Kurapati - Read Online
Unbound Intelligence
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Summary

Unbound Intelligence takes readers on a journey exploring what makes us who we are alongside a brief history of all that we’ve become. Drawing from the worlds of science spirituality and true personal experiences, this road map to personal serenity empowers readers to understand the complex workings of our mind and the role this plays in our journey to happiness.

Five-time award winner:
- WINNER of Pinnacle Book Achievement Award
- Gold Medal in "Living Now Awards"​
- WINNER of National Indie Excellence Award
- FINALIST in USA BEST BOOK AWARDS
- FINALIST in International Book Awards
- HONORABLE mention in Paris Book Festival

Acclaim for Unbound Intelligence

“The book takes readers to another level where the possibility of bliss and peace seems tangible. Reading this is an enriching and liberating experience and the ideas and concepts are profound; the author’s knowledge and expertise shine through the entire book.”
— Mamta Madhavan, Readers’ Favorite

“Studiously researched, Unbound Intelligence covers much ground with apparent ease, culminating in a brief yet effective history of the nature of humankind. Kurapati’s objective is well achieved through his unique approach, consulting both the spiritual and scientific resources of the world as well as seeking inspiration from philosophers, writers, religious figures, and other great minds throughout time. While these chapters will lead most meditative readers into the deep reaches of thought and maybe even inspire moments of enlightenment, at their surface they also offer a unique opportunity to understand the basis of each religion in a simple, historical and intellectual context.”
— Casee Marie, Literary Inklings

“It is a humbling book, an empowering book, and a book we all need to read – slowly and repeatedly as we arrive at the realization of the beauty of who and what and where we are. Brilliant.”
— Grady Harp, HALL OF FAME, Top 50 Amazon Reviewer, VINE VOICE

“What can I say—this book is captivating and thought-provoking. It will make you smile, laugh, possibly cry, and definitely stretch your mind. Expect to be inspired and get closer to who you truly are. If you’re looking for a book to stimulate your mind and awaken your soul—this is it.”
—Tova Payne, Author of Eat Think & Live Rich: A Guide to Health and Happiness, www.tovapayne.com

“The writing itself is rich yet fluid, astounding in its complexity yet simple to grasp. It is almost immediately clear that this work is as much an emotional endeavor as it is an intellectual one and so we are constantly learning whilst relating to the experience. If you are searching for answers and are yet to find any that satisfy your need or curiosity, I highly recommend Unbound Intelligence.”
—Siobhan Harmer, Lifehack.org Contributor

Published: Rajeev Kurapati on
ISBN: 9780991171224
List price: $6.99
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Unbound Intelligence - Rajeev Kurapati

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Page 1 of 1

Enlightenment

You have been waiting–

waiting all of your life for that consummate moment. Waiting to become that someone, that person who is liberated from the ordinary, disenchanted by life’s many inconsistencies.

You don’t want to fear life,

but in the face of adversity, it is nearly impossible to stay content. For the most part, life appears to be more of a predicament than a fulfilling experience, a mix of fleeting contradictions—love and hate, hope and sorrow, anger and elation.

You constantly search, hoping that the next milestone will bring with it that sense of completion. But as the growing achievements leave you discontented, the state of happiness you seek seems more and more like a torturous mystery. People become dissatisfied—never finding an identifiable cause of such restlessness. Some blame genetics, others point toward social struggles, but the fact is that suffering remains. It’s hard not to wonder: Is the ladder to happiness one of infinite rungs?

On this path to bliss, most of us ponder the basic questions: What is my true purpose in life? Will I ever experience unconditional love? What is this place we call the universe, and why am I here? How do I ease the dissonance of death? Is the world merely what I perceive it to be?

We continue to seek the answers, hoping that someone, somewhere will enlighten us.

Chapter One

Why the Book?

Is the ladder to happiness one of infinite rungs?

The world’s major religions provide us with many explanations about why we remain dissatisfied. We accept any doctrine or tradition that promises answers, and we adhere to it with fierce conviction, allowing beliefs to register as matters of fact: That man is imperfect because he has sinned or that human suffering is the result of misdeeds from our past lives—what goes around comes around and so on. The centuries roll on and new doctrines are created, new religions in the name of God are born, but our problems remain more or less the same.

When faith fails to adequately offer people a sense of security and purpose, we look to science for guidance. Many have stuck to scientific explanations all along. But we can’t ignore that methodical study has definitive limitations. While science may teach us about the physical world—matter, processes, functions of the mind and body—it tells us little about why there is so much suffering.

As the world becomes a melting pot of various belief systems and scientific theories, all of which promise to provide comfort, we are left confused and divided. The questions remain: Where do I find the answers to the fundamental questions of human suffering? How do I put together the fragments of myself to create one complete whole?

This is where the book comes in.

This book will impart to you how to look at yourself and the world around you through a clear lens, devoid of outside influences. It will serve as a guide for navigating your true desires—what it is that you really want in life, how you should go about getting it, and, ultimately, what life’s greater purpose is for you. Throughout these pages, I will take you on a journey that explores what makes us who we are, alongside a brief history of all that we’ve become.

Each one of us is the product of an entire existence—the universe contributing to our survival. We are the legacy of past traditions carried on across generations—essentially making us the almanac that offers the answers we’ve been searching for. Along the way, you will realize that we—as individuals and collectively—are the key to the quintessential questions of mankind. The series of inquiries and reflections that follow intend to illuminate some of the misconceptions and misguided ways of thinking that cause people dissatisfaction and suffering.

Writing this book has been a meditative process for me, one that established discipline in my daily routine. I’d wake up every morning at 4 AM and submerge myself in inquiry—ideas flowing through me onto paper. At times, I felt as if a guiding hand was leading me to write. I felt like the book was meant to be written, and I was merely an instrument to communicate the message. The ideas already existed, they just needed a medium through which to be expressed.

This is how it all started…

Chapter Two

The Day My World Changed

Within the question lies the seed to its answer, for without questions, there are no answers.

Mom, I don’t want you to go. Please, don’t leave us.

My patient’s sobbing son is crying out to his dying mother. His mom, a 55-year-old woman, is plagued with a cancer that is defeating modern medicine’s attempt to combat the disease. Mom, you’re the strength in my life, he weeps. Please, please don’t go, he pleads with vigor, as if his passionate appeal will be answered if only he begs hard enough.

The cancer has stolen the mother’s womanly beauty and elegant dignity. Her bald scalp, which has no more than a few strands of thin hair left on it, drips with sweat as she occasionally opens her dry, chapped mouth to gasp for air. She inhales as hard as her tumor-laden lungs will allow, and with each exhale it is as if we can feel the life exiting her frail body. Her son ignores the smell of death and the seemingly filthy state of her body as he hugs her as tightly as he possibly can. His sister, unable to make it to the hospital, listens to the painful sounds of her mother’s final breaths over the phone.

With one last desperate petition, the son yells, Mom, please don’t go.

In a faint, diminishing voice, my patient breathes the last words her children will ever hear their mother say, Dears, I am going…

Imagine watching the worst day of a person’s life—

the most heartbreaking moment they will ever experience as it unfolds right before your eyes, and being utterly helpless.

That was me as my dying patient’s son begged, Please, do something.

But there was nothing that I or anyone else could do. His mother was gone. This experience left me thinking deeply about the life within us. Later that day, after the intense emotions and sorrow waned, a question sprung from deep within my consciousness. I wondered, What is it that dies?

Almost every part of our body periodically dies and is then regenerated as fast as it perished. Cells within our body die every day, but this death goes unrecognized, as the cells are simply renewed again. But when total death ultimately strikes, all ability to regenerate comes to a sudden halt. What is the exact factor that causes a vibrant human body to lose its ability to regenerate, leaving it to become a mere motionless corpse? What is this force keeping the delicate teeter between life and death in balance? These were the questions I needed to ask, but it took me until this experience to pinpoint what I needed to know.

As an adolescent, I was unable to articulate what I was looking for. I would spend the bulk of my youth searching aimlessly for that intangible something. After years and years of reading the texts of great prophets and listening to the gospels that I believed were supposed to provide me with the answers to life’s fundamental questions, I realized that I had been searching in all the wrong places, asking myself all of the wrong questions.

For once, I didn’t reach for the books of scripture, famous philosophies, or medical literature. That day, I allowed my mind to dwell deep within itself to search for answers. This became a practice of inquiry that I would rely on from that moment forward.

It all began more than 30 years ago.

While growing up in India, I routinely accompanied my parents and grandparents to temples. Over time, I developed a profound fascination with the many epics and myths I heard there—tales that had been passed on from generation to generation. As a young boy, I was enthralled by the consummate orators, known for their enthusiastic delivery and the dramatics of their recitations of Indian scriptures. At the time, the whole ordeal of attending religious shrines was more intellectually entertaining and emotionally appealing than anything else. But it didn’t take long for me to develop an unwavering passion for interpreting the deeper meaning behind the seemingly matter-of-fact scriptural messages.

I was uneasy about blindly accepting those gospels as facts—even as a child.

Although, I’ll admit, I never protested or rejected them. Like many children of parents who are active participants in religious traditions, I simply did what I was told to do. I sincerely memorized the gospels and recited the hymns.

But all the while I was questioning who it was that I was really praying to.

Over time, this discomfort with mere memorization and the practice of accepting prevailing philosophies without question became unendurable. I realized that the great books were filled with actual experiences and revelations of prophets—Gautama Buddha’s claim to have discovered the end of suffering, Jesus inviting us to the kingdom of Heaven, and Indian prophets describing their experience of liberation. Rather than just reading about the experiences of those prophets or unquestionably believing in those ideals,

I needed to know what they knew.

As I became an adult and a doctor-in-the-making, I submerged myself in the aspects of the human body—amassing as much knowledge as I could about how the body operates. All along, while attempting to establish myself in medicine and focusing on only the worldly facets of existence, another side of me needed to go beyond the facts of biology. I was ready to find answers to the more transcendent nature of life.

The two sides of my identity, the rational and the spiritual, were parallel characters and, at times, were in complete opposition with one another. Unlike my study of the human body, which required endless memorization of seemingly indisputable facts, I couldn’t satisfy my spiritual pursuit by mechanically reciting hymns.

Performing rituals seemed more like a distraction than an enlightening experience.

While trying to maintain balance between my work at the hospital as a full-time doctor and my personal life, I spent every ounce of available time looking for answers. After intense study by way of drowning myself in any scriptural text I could get my hands on, I realized that I was essentially reading the same thing over and over—similar ideals draped in different flavors and languages.

Then, in one day, my life changed forever.

It wasn’t until the fall of 2007, at the age of 31, that I experienced a profound epiphany that can only be characterized as illuminating—as if a switch was turned on and the darkness suddenly disappeared.

Every day that the weather permitted, I made time to enjoy a relaxing, long walk. On this particular day, I decided to rest under a tree, perfectly adjacent to a small lake near our home, deep within the woods. I had passed by this lake hundreds of times before, but on this day, it was far more magnificent than anything in nature I had ever seen. When I took the time to gaze at the water, it dawned on me that so much life existed here that I had failed to notice until now. The fish, plants, ducks, birds, bees, and insects performed a coordinated routine, and I watched as the tight-knit ecosystem danced before my eyes. This marvelous cooperative enterprise was only a minute piece of an even greater puzzle, a puzzle only complete with the help of every facet of nature. From the sun and rain to the wind and soil, each component is as vital as the next.

In this silence, I felt that I was in deep conversation with every aspect of nature.

I was able to feel myself in communion with the gentle tides, the fluttering leaves, the chirping birds, the golden sun—all were a part of me, and I a part of them. I was completely free from the bounds of the person I was. For the first time, I was liberated from the authority of time. This was a pinnacle moment. No verbal expression could ever adequately describe this magnanimity.

I felt a humbling privilege to be an observer of this incredible display. So many individual entities within this lake’s ecosystem, each seemingly concerned with nothing more than its own welfare, was systematically working to maintain the whole. There was no authority governing this network, yet it seemed to function in perfect harmony.

I realized then that it abided to the same cycle of life as all nature: It was created and operating, but it was also doomed by nature’s curse of mortality. Just like you and I, the life at the lake was bound to the greater forces of nature and would one day disappear.

I couldn’t help but realize the similarities between the lake’s ecosystem and my own body, and this was perhaps my most profound revelation. I saw my body for what it was: An ever changing ecosystem with thousands of elements working in unison. Each one endures an explicit origin, a period of maintenance, and then an imminent disintegration. I realized that this life cycle is a universal phenomenon—whether the simplest cell or a gigantic star in a far off galaxy—everything is bound to the same cycle of nature.

I felt as if another dimension in my consciousness, one that had been dormant until this point, opened itself up, allowing me to observe the life both within and around me.

I found myself asking:

What is the track on which each life form rides through these cycles? Could it be possible that the life force within me that’s responsible for governing these cycles is the same force powering all existence?

For me, this was the consummate moment in my search for that ingredient upon which my existence depended. With this epiphany, I realized that just as I was able to watch the lake’s ecosystem in action, I had the ability to watch my own mind and body work together as a magnificent team. This wasn’t an out of body experience, as I was in complete control of my being. This wasn’t an illusion of a wandering mind, either. This was, instead, an introduction to the source within. But despite how powerful this experience was, it was short-lived.

I tried to recapture the bliss I had experienced.

As quickly as the pure joy stormed in, it passed. Within a day, I was back to my busy life, balancing the trials and tribulations of work and home. My mind occupied itself once again with my monotonous routine. I came to understand that this experience at the lake was not an object of knowledge to be remembered, but an experience to be lived. With this in mind, I began to visit the lake again and sit in contemplation. I would sit in complete absorption of the stillness of being in the bosom of nature—only then would I feel totally at ease.

While I was experiencing a new level of inner serenity, there was still something that I needed to know.

What is the role of my intellect in this distinct experience?

With its prolific abilities, in the seventh grade my mind could memorize and reproduce the entire Periodic Table to perfection—the atomic numbers, weight, and element name included—all arranged in their proper place on the colorful grid. My mind could remember and impeccably recite a 75-digit number front to back, and then again back to front when challenged by a friend in college. Yet despite my mind’s bountiful abilities, its content—my professional triumphs and challenges, my wonderful house and family, the plans I’d make for the weekend—none of it had a place in my blissful state, not even the spiritual concepts I had accumulated over the years.

All of the knowledge I had prided myself on knowing for so long had absolutely no role in this profound period of contented joy. In this state, I was free from all thoughts. In this period of ultimate bliss, I wasn’t distracted by doctrines I had been conditioned by all of my life. This experience transcended all means of symbolic expression. I wondered:

Is it possible that the content of my mind is actually hindering me from experiencing such an epiphany?

Not long after my time at the lake, I came to realize that a human’s intellect, reason, and logic were only a few tools (albeit important ones) in the expansive toolbox of our mind. These qualities of mind are important, but only to a point. Once our survival needs are met, it is our unique gifts of insight and intuition regarding the sublime qualities of our existence that offer meaning to life. If pursued earnestly, this awareness takes us into an entirely new dimension, beyond the framework of our conditioning.

From that point on, I embarked on a journey to learn the nature of the human mind. I started examining all aspects of my identity that cluttered my thoughts and acted as barriers to knowing my core self. For the next three years, I spent countless nights internalizing various sacred scriptures, modern philosophies, and scientific theories. As I started actively taking notes and recording my own brief revelations, this book, Unbound Intelligence, was born.

To write Unbound Intelligence, I picked the most significant facets of