“If an egg is broken by outside force, life ends. If broken by inside force, life begins. Great things always begin from inside.”
— Jim Kwik
As I get older and life’s dramas unfold, it becomes more apparent that others may have left behind some wisdom worth paying attention to. We are all individually special, yet every aspect of our experience is ordinary in some way, since the basic patterns of being human never change. I’d like to share a few of the wiser words that I have recently collected.
As context, I spent 30+ years being rewarded for developing “intellectual intelligence”. The human mind models the outside world, and the focus of our attention then becomes located in the head. In computer science terms, we have a “model, view, controller” paradigm, and “mind models” give us the power of control over the outer world that we view through our senses.
There are some problems with this approach to life. From a personal perspective, it leaves us as “hominid crabs” with one vastly over-developed “head limb”, and one pathetic trailing stump of a of “heart limb”. We can easily be manipulated via emotions and sensory stimuli, yet wrongly believe our intellect protects us from propaganda. From a societal outlook, “control” is the mindset of the psychopath, tempting us away from a loving heart-centred paradigm. This seduces us into consenting to “pathocracy”, becoming a cog in a political and economic machine that strip mines our humanity.
In the past few years I have worked hard to rebalance myself to be less “crabby”. A series of unplanned events led me to reconnect with my “intuitive intelligence”, notably through photographic art. You may have noticed that I include one of my efforts at the end of every newsletter, so that the clever wordsmith gets paired with the caring pixel painter. It is meant to also encourage others to give art a try, since all humans are born artists.
I have also had to do plenty of “inner work” of the past decade, which is reflected in what I create here. I summarised my learning from this experience recently in a tweet:
Intellectual intelligence seeks the feeling of knowing. Intuitive intelligence seeks the knowing of feeling.
In other words, the two kinds of intelligence feed into each other, as a kind of “figure of eight”. What matters is their integration, not their separation. This brought the following insightful response:
Intellect is a way of knowing that sources from thinking. Intuition is a way of knowing that sources from feeling. Both intellect and intuition are core forms of human intelligence. Balance is the key.
This sense of mind vs body knowledge is embedded into folklore as “know thyself” or “you are only as sick as your secrets”. An awareness that is only located in the head, and ignores the heart, is unhealthy. Albert Einstein said it thus:
The intuitive mind is the sacred gift, and the rational mind is the faithful servant. We’ve created a world that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.
My dear Christian friends constantly remind me the Bible is chock full of wise words, and this subject is no exception. Take 1 Cor 11:31:
For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
My take on this is that the essence of wise action is to combine these two forms of intelligence. We are judged for unwise acts in the world because we have failed to integrate our intuitive and intellectual skills. Likewise 2 Cor 4:18:
We [are to] look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
This opposes the dogma of scientific materialism, which renders the scientist into a temporary collection of particles, indistinguishable from the outer world — beyond having a skin to separate us. It instead suggests our divine inner conscious essence — the heart observer when all is quiet in the mind — is eternal and beyond the material. I remain an ignostic on all matters of metaphysics, at least in public!
Carl Jung said that “The hardest thing a man can do is to accept himself fully”. That applies here: to deny one’s feelings is a common defence against the occasional harshness and cruelty of life. These ideas are not unique to Judeo-Christian societies either, as this meme from my Twitter feed suggests.