Q: Excuse my ignorance but this sounds an awful lot like intellectual suicide.
MM: Better than actual suicide - as so often the case with philosophers and genius intellectuals, no?
But, to address your concern more directly. Slowing, calming, and transcending the mind is not supposed to be an intellectual, or intelligence suicide. It is getting yourself completely out of the way and into a space of infinite possibility and uncertainty which means facing life and yourself as it truly is, rather than the way we construct it with our minds.
No matter the level of sophistication by the most intelligent philosopher or intellectual...it can never be defined. As it says in the Tao...the Tao that can be named is not the Tao. A wide open mind - to all possibilities in utter uncertainty - is a completely free, still mind. At that point of no thought - it is like a Ferrari in neutral - or a VW in neutral - your intelligence level does not matter. That is why Alexander the Great can learn from a beggar in the street. This kind of mind is simply awake. Awake has nothing to do with logic or intellect. That is why athletes soldiers, and criminals are such great candidates for meditation. Their life already depends on being awake.
Faith, though, is a sort of intellectual suicide, where the mind is still involved, but disregards logic. Faith realizes the truth can't be figured out, so it just makes up something that works. But even faith is still a mind "in gear".
The intellect tries to figure out the truth, which is impossible. It can easily drive the thinker to insanity and suicide unless a master is around. Or, the intellectual will settle for a "conclusion" and stay there proclaiming it truth, at which point it is nothing but faith in disguise and a new "ism". Atheism is a perfect example.
Meditation is a way to come across the truth by happenstance if you're lucky and if you can handle it. Not everyone is ready to face infinite uncertainty, infinite possibility, and eternal not-knowing, and the surrender this entails, even though it means liberation. That is why meditation is so difficult to begin with; and faith or philosophy so much more popular, but then fails us.
Jesus said: "You shall know the truth and it shall set you free." He didn't say: "Don't worry, kids - you'll figure it out". It is not a question of figuring it out, it is a question of being able to face it - this already existing truth within all of us. Love and trust are essential. Most people need Jesus, God, Buddha, Mohammad, Saints, Santa Clause, pink Unicorns, or a puppy in order to relate this love and trust to someone or something - once again a handicap we have because of our logical minds. Even atheists worship Richard Dawkins, for example, and Buddhists the Dalai Lama. But - love and trust can also be cultivated - without any reference point, which is the point of meditation. When this love and trust reaches infinite patience, we're home, and set free.
So - 40 days in the desert - regularly - for everyone ;)