All our power comes from renunciation. Only when we have given up our life do we begin to live. At present we are like prisoners. We may get a glimpse of freedom now and then but the world falls upon us when we are off our guard and drags us once more into our prison cells. As soon as a man finds out, however, that these little pleasures of the flesh are nothing compared with the infinite pleasures of the spirit, he wants to renounce, not for the sake of renunciation but because he has found something better. He realizes the hollowness of the worldly enjoyments and can be satisfied with the higher enjoyments only. Renunciation means giving up a lesser thing for a greater one.
Intellectuality and spirituality are diametrically opposed to each other. Intellectuality is based on ego, and spirituality is based on annihilation of ego. A man who is very shrewd and clever and asserts his opinions will never realize God, for that means he is full of egotism, and until egotism is destroyed he cannot begin to be spiritual.
Swami Ramakrishnananda, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna