The Three Elements of Intelligence

Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

Curiosity, Memory and Creativity.

For years humanity has been trying to define intelligence. Perhaps that is a mark of intelligence….trying to define intelligence?

We have epistemology which is a branch of philosophy concerning the theory of knowledge. We have IQ tests and EQ tests (Emotional Intelligence). We have the theory of multiple intelligences which is very close to giving a better picture of what intelligence is where it splits intelligence into the following categories:

  • Musical and Rhythmic
  • Visual and spatial
  • Verbal and Linguistic
  • Logical and Mathematical
  • Bodily and Kinesthetic
  • Interpersonal
  • Intrapersonal
  • Naturalistic

While categorizing different forms of intelligence is wise to accommodate the diversity of human experience, it still doesn’t address the core elemental building blocks of intelligence.

Curiosity

In my experience with a variety of intelligent animals such as squirrels, crows and border collies, as well as with young children, I have found that the number one determiner of intelligence is the level of curiosity. Curiosity is usually manifested in playfulness. Or sometimes….how much trouble one gets into! How much do you engage with your environment? Do you listen for the faintest sounds? How about looking at things and really observing the details? Do you smell things? Do you touch things? When was the last time you tasted something that wasn’t food?

Who does these things every second of their wakeful consciousness? Babies and toddlers. It is also at this time that we grow the most in intelligence. We are most genius when we are young children.

Memory

But in thinking of all the manifestations of curiosity, it alone means nothing without memory. Indeed when we discover something about our world or ourselves through play and then forget what we learned, it doesn’t help our useful intelligence. The intelligence of border collies is obvious when they remember complex verbal commands. The intelligence of crows and ravens is evident when they remember to use tools. Having a powerful memory is an important tool for the next element of creativity. Of course remembering language and how to use tools doesn’t happen without first a curiosity to observe of experience it.

Creativity

The last leg of our stable three sided pyramid of intelligence is creativity. When seen in conjunction with curiosity and memory, creativity is expressed by relating divergent subjects in the mind. By creating theories and inferences. When reading someone’s body language (a Bodily and Kinesthetic category of intelligence) we can make a connection that when people cross their arms and have wandering eyes they are likely disinterested in what your talking about because of distraction, disagreeance, or disrespect. We make this connection by joining the visual cue with past experience. When learning about the physical structure of mushrooms and the symbiotic relationship between mycelium and roots through the subject of botany we can also creatively ponder the potential parallels with what we know about our own brain through the subject of psychology. From there we might infer the mycelium web in the soil, which looks strikingly like the neuronal connections in our brain, acts as a brain for the botanical world. Through further research (as outlined in the book “The Hidden Life of Trees”) science has discovered this to be true; trees warn other trees to build their defenses for threats such as pests and disease. Whereas our electrical impulses travel many inches per millisecond, the electrical impulses between trees via the mycelium web travels around a third of an inch per second.

Creativity cannot happen without memory and curiousity.

These three critical elements of intelligence can be seen in their relationship to the three parts of time: past, present and future.

Curiosity is only experienced through presence and now. We cannot play or gather new information in any other part of time except the infinitely small point called now.

Memory is obviously a mental construct of the past which does not actually exist in reality except for what we recall in our mind (and unconscious collective library [reference Carl Jung]). It is nonetheless an important element to use what we have experienced in previous present states to evolve.

Creativity is analogous to the future. It it is a powerful tool to transform multiple memories of what we have experienced into novel methods/ideas/actions.

The past is about what happened, the present is what exists in experience, and the future is infinite potential. Creativity lies in the realm of infinite potential.

Through the act of creativity we are existing in a state of presence and indeed being playfully curious and thereby creating new memories of which will spawn new creativity with till be experienced through presence which will create new memories and so on and so forth is the cycle of intelligence.

The next question is why does our intelligence, as defined by my three foundational elements, seem to fade as we transition out of young childhood? Many people would say it is because our brain becomes less plastic. But I contend that it is our societal paradigms that shut down curiosity…the first step of intelligence. Sometimes when children ask questions their questions are not honored and as this happens they begin to ask less questions. Children who explore are told that it is too dangerous to venture that far. Climb a tree then be told to get down. Draw on the wall then be told to stop that. Dig a hole in the yard then it’s filled in. Acting weird then told to be normal. Singing and told they can’t sing. Playing piano and told to play it quieter. Dancing and told they look foolish. The antidote to the erosion of curiosity is the encouragement of playfulness and exploration. To give them a non-judgemental sounding board to tell their story and cement in their memory the powerful experiences of curiosity into memory to serve as the stemcells of creativity.

The Unification Of The Three Elements of Intelligence

Meditation serves as a reset to our intellectual system. What often happen is we get bogged down with cyclic unnecessary thought patterns and paradigms. It is thought patterns and paradigms which cripple curiosity since you have no time for such things as you are in your mind or doing some task. It cripples creativity because we tell ourselves that we are not creative or good enough. And it doesn’t make room for new memoies. Through meditation we can observe and deal with these harmful thoughts and paradigms by focusing on being the observer and consciously shedding light on the parts of our mind which are normally obscured.

An exercise to get in touch with your inner genius is to envision yourself as a child, perhaps expressing what some call their inner child. What do you as a child do? Look up and look down. Look near and look far. Observe the functions of your body starting with your breath and heart rhythms. Touch … everything. Listen as if a dog waiting for it’s beloved human to come back home. Taste the leaves on trees, the grass, your hair, the air. Smell the scents and aromas seeing if you can directionally locate the source. Approach life with full sensuality as if reality itself is your lover.

Then tell your story to a compassionate loved one like a good friend or mate. If you don’t have someone you trust enough to expound on your sensualization of life then write it down at length describing all the details leaving no stone unturned. Telling your story helps commit experience to memory.

Then enter a state of no-mind. Go for a walk, sit in silence, pick up a musical instrument, hold a pen on paper, dip a brush in paint … without expectation observantly exist. Creative insight will organically spring forth as does the emergence of migratory birds acting as one or as ripples on the beach. The key to creative success is to not force, doubt, or expect anything. Intention is good though. Intention to prioritize time for creativity. Intention to solve a problem. Intention to make music. But no expectation.

What Is Wisdom?

Wisdom comes from intuition. It comes from a deeper part of consciousness. Something so deep that is drops out of the bottom of our consciousness and joins all other consciousnesses. It is what Carl Jung refers to as the collective unconscious, what I call the collective library of experience, and what some people call the Akaishic record or some other variant of the term. Wisdom is instinct. It is not learned but rather accessed. The level of access is dependent on how clear the channel or connection is. When we get out of our mind and understand that our essence of existence is as the observer (something that exists even without thought or action), then we can more easily access wisdom.

Creativity is a beautiful third element or equinox between intelligence and wisdom. Creativity pulls from both our personal intelligence (curiosity, memory, creativity) and as well as the deep wisdom that transcends our separateness. When doing improvisational music, it is true that I am using a certain amount of memory and curiosity, but I feel there is also an element of pulling from something that is beyond me.

If intelligence is a pyramid, wisdom is the space around the pyramid. Or perhaps the triangular base of of the three sided pyramid.

Wisdom transcends all elements of intelligence. For example, divining with a dousing rod for water in the ground is something does not entail memory, creativity or curiosity. Having a gut feeling about someone transcends intelligence. The way animals intuitively know what plants heal is wisdom. Having a synchronistic feeling or thought as a distant friend across the world transcends intelligence.

Practicality

What do we do with this understanding of intelligence and wisdom?

Once we begin observing and understanding these things we can grow our intelligence and expand our channel to wisdom leading to a more effective and harmonious life. We can remove the blocks to curiosity, utilize tools to increase memory, and allow ourselves to be creative. We can learn to identify the states the are more conducive to wisdom flow and prioritize those states more often.

Everything In Life Is A Teacher

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

We are here in this physical form of existence to learn and evolve.

How do we learn? Through experience and interaction with everything in our life.

Everything supposedly good or bad are teachers. There are two valid ways to approach the world as our teacher / mirror / lesson. The spiritual and the agnostic perspective. The first way is that something divine put these teachers on our path. Perhaps God, a spirit helper, our deeper self, or a pre-determined life-path put these lessons in our experience so that we learn what we need this lifetime.

Or perhaps we could approach it from a purely agnostic perspective, using the seemingly random experiences in our life as a catalyst for self-evolution, introspection and change in our lives. We can all agree that there is something to learn from everything but we often forget to give the teachers in our life our full attention. When we forget to pay attention, we loose the lesson. This is seen in people who are perpetually in unhealthy relationships or dead-end jobs; or who are continually doing the same things expecting different results (the definition of insanity).

Here are four categories where we find our teachers in life.

People

Every person who enters our life, whether the relationship is fleeting or lasts a lifetime, a positive or negative experience, is a valuable teacher. Even the negative interactions teach us what we want and don’t want. We begin to see patterns of things to avoid. We learn about ourselves and how we react.

Animals

Every animal that crosses our path is a carrier of symbolism which the inquisitive ponder. What does the bird flying in the sky symbolize to you? Perhaps freedom and a higher perspective. How does this relate to your life right now? The snake slithering across your path… how does groundedness, going with the flow and sixth sense relate to your questions?

Our Body

Listening to what our body says is sometimes the most truest and obvious source of wisdom. Does our breath quicken and heart beat in haste after meeting someone? What does that mean? Do you ever feel butterflies in your stomach? What does that mean given the context where it happened?

For women especially, paying attention to the cycles of their body is critical to understanding where they are and what that means.

But perhaps the most stern teacher is dis-ease or other physical afflictions. What emotional state or thought patterns could give rise to the ailment? Do you have too much non-transmuted anger? Are you suppressing emotions? Do you love and accept yourself? Is your career eating you alive? Are the people in your life creating harmony…or disharmony?

If you injured yourself, it is a lesson to be more aware of your surroundings and slow down.

If you find a dis-ease forcing you to be sedentary, it is time to reflect, introspect, visualize and meditate.

If you have inflammation, it is a sign to have more compassion as well as to eat a diet with more anti-inflammatory vegetables.

Our body is the strongest teacher of all.

Circumstance

Sometimes life circumstances are not what you wanted. I have a friend who got into an accident and was forced to stay immobile at a friend’s house in the middle of nowhere while her car was being fixed for weeks. This unintended circumstance forced her into a state of introspection. It removed her from her normal day-to-day environment and allowed her to pursue new avenues of potential she may not have otherwise done. Adversity always contains a lesson; the question is will you learn the lesson or not? Sometimes circumstances come about to prevent something worse from happening. Like getting in a dangerous or worse situation. Sometimes the only thing that can stop a person from getting into a bad situation is something less bad but still troublesome.

Of course happy and comfortable circumstances also contain lessons, but those are the easy lessons that we have no problem accepting into our life. It is the supposed negative circumstances which are more difficult to accept. But once we begin asking the people, animals, circumstances and our bodies “What are you trying to tell me? What is the lesson here? What is the symbolism here? What are you pointing me to?” … the negative people, situations and dis-ease begin to fade away while being replaced with a more harmonious experience.

External Entities Are Actually Projections Of Our Deeper Selves

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

For the spiritually inclined, there are many terms we use to describe external etheric entities. They include:

-Spirit guides
-Angels
-Masters
-Ghosts
-Helpers
-Demons

Sometimes these “entities” express themselves through words, visuals or feelings. But also through things like talking boards or pendulums.

I am not going to deny the existence of any of these things, but I believe that most of the time what many perceive to be some “externalized entity” is actually a projection of their own deeper and wiser selves (or in the case of demons…a projection of a troubled self).

Speaking of supposed “demons” that some people have, these externalized projections of that which is within ourselves is a helpful opening to observe what might normally be hidden and to finally deal with it. It is often easier for us to deal with something externalized than when it is all internalized. This is why I recommend writing to so many people as a way to take what is bouncing around in their minds and externalize it on paper so they can have a broader and non-attached perspective of the situations in their life.

I have heard stories of children being taught to use visualization techniques where they visualize an intelligent spirit guide like an etheric version of Albert Einstein helping them on tests. And sure enough the students who used these “spirit guides” to help them on the test did significantly better than the students who didn’t use such visualization techniques. When asked why they did so well on the test, some responded “It wasn’t me, it was the smart person in my head”. This reveals a problem that many of us have…. we don’t trust ourselves but we trust others. Indeed many of us are our worse critic where we psychologically whip and belittle ourselves for not being perfect. When coming from this egoic mindset, how we could we trust that our deeper consciousness contains the deeper wisdom of knowing?

This is why we project a mental hologram of an externalized being who is supposedly wiser than ourselves.

There is nothing wrong with using externalized projections to gain wisdom; such visualization techniques are useful to bypass the normal paradigms of the logical brain in order to access our deeper potential and understanding. But when doing such visualization techniques, let us realize that this ultimately comes from the deepest part of our sub-conscious. This is not a minimization of people’s experience with spirit guides, but rather a suggestion to realize the empowerment of our core self and the revelation of our own deep wisdom.

Likewise, when it comes to healing. Many seek healers to get better. Once again, I believe there are healers who are truly effective beyond ways that science has yet to explain. But I also believe most of the time the healing is actually a result of the placebo effect. This does not negate the power of the placebo effect, rather it is a realization that our beliefs can miraculously heal even some of the most atrocious dis-ease. Just like how externalized projections of guides trick us into accessing our deeper wisdom, externalized projections of healing tricks into accessing our own ability to self-heal.

The next question is… how do we access our deeper wisdom?

Visualization techniques are incredibly valuable here. Visualizing spirit guides in your mind’s eye is a helpful way to access your own deeper wisdom. Using a pendulum can be an effective way to force you into making decisions using your own deep knowing. Stream of consciousness writing is yet another powerful method. Entering altered states through meditation, physical exercise, dancing, fasting and hypna-gogia all facilitate access to our deepest selves.

Sometimes visualizing talking with a counselor or understanding friend can be extremely helpful. You will find that this counselor or friend (which is actually you) asks you questions that your normal surface level consciousness doesn’t normally ask. It is the process of answering these questions where you often will reveal what you were looking for.