The other night I had to give a presentation and I was thinking about the characteristics of real genius. It’s a much overrated and overused term. Often it is applied to outstanding and amazing human beings but ones who are pretty flawed in some respects, remarkable in others. Some of the cleverest people are actually crazy! In other words, not so clever.
One of the greatest minds of all time, Sir Isaac Newton, was cranky and irascible, paranoid, and obsessed with the idea that Liebnitz had stolen his calculus (Newton invented it first but waited 20 years and Liebnitz published first).
In heat of the moment, a kind of flash, I came up with a better term than genius for my talk: “extended intelligence”. Since I made it up, I get to define it. Ha! Here goes…
A person of outstanding mind and thinking capabilities would show the following traits:
1. Rational, linear and logical.
I keep saying, it isn’t woo or pretty pink thoughts that got us down from the trees, able to watch TV, drive cars and use our computers and cell phones. It was HARD, unforgiving logic.
2. Creative, easily makes mental leaps, parallel thinking, holism and tolerating ambiguity.
That’s your r-brain stuff; the feminine side. Nothing wrong with it. Magical thinking is fine by me but does NOT supplant logic and common sense. It seems to me that imagination and creativity are two outstanding characteristics of clever people. They boldly go where other human minds have never been before! [see #12 for another Star Trek catch phrase!]
3. Thinking backwards in time, even beyond the present life.
Our lives are in a context and this person would be aware of that context, both in terms of racial survival and an individual timeline. History is its own kind of philosophy, pregnant with meaning and information.
This has to be balanced against the negative effect of history: “That’s the way we have always done it”, as the barrier to progress.
I would include past lives here. Anyone who doesn’t know that consciousness cannot be extinguished is no kind of genius to me.
4. Thinking forwards in time, into the future, way beyond the present life.
I have said elsewhere in my writings, that a bold, bright future is almost the definition of sanity. What you see ahead of you partly defines what you are. If you cannot create, as a thinking process, a worthwhile future, you may as well be dead, because you are already halfway there. Extended intelligence is especially extended in terms of a creative future. The genius will see things nobody else is seeing, as a matter of course.
5. R and L-brain integrated.
There is a lot more understanding of the way our brain integrate thinking. Mind is not the brain but there is no question the brain is the access to the mind. That gateway needs working on and improving, by the use of our personal accelerated learning device, for example.
6. Sees the parts in great detail.
Extended thinking is not vague or woolly. It is precise and contains all the parts. Otherwise it would be like having a ton of wires, transistors, capacitors, etc but no radio!
7. Sees the whole, above and beyond any detail.
In the same metaphor, the extended thinker would know that a radio is far more than a bunch of wires etc. You can’t learn what a radio is and does, by merely stripping it down to its parts. You need the bigger picture of radio waves and on-air channels.
8. Extended intelligence easily spots hoaxes, arbitraries, authoritarianism and memes and eliminates them from thinking.
This one is a whole lecture I give! Suffice it to throw in a few quick definitions here:
Hoax is the term I use for those accepted “truths”, which are in fact false. You know, like the-Earth-is-flat things. There are plenty of hoaxes around. Religion seems built on them. The medical profession is loaded with them, as supposed science (fever must be suppressed, for example, whereas the truth is that a fever is the best natural healing you can get).
Arbitraries are facts, which get passed around, with no real structure or support. They just exist. Once you start to examine them, they fall apart as nonsense.
Authoritarianism is another kind of dead knowledge. Professor Blodwit of Bunga Bunga University said it, so it must be true. Kids are forced to learn this garbage to get their grades and certificates. But the true genius has no interest in such phoney knowledge.
Memes, you probably know, are “thought viruses”, a good metaphor for what is happening: one mind infects another with a thought, which then gets passed along to yet another and so on. “Destroy America” is one that’s gaining momentum; “The Bible is the word of God” is another that’s been around a long time and has got a LOT of good people killed.
9. Intensely practical in applications.
The extended thinker/genius is no wishy-washy theorist. He or she knows about carrying knowledge to the real world and using it; Thomas Edison comes to mind, even if he was a genius plagiarist. Math geniuses have this trait: for example Albert Einstein. They connect theory with reality.
10. Very clear sensory perceptions (above average visual acuity, hearing etc.)
We make our estimations of the environment from what we see, hear and feel. Perceptions are notoriously fickle but the extended thinker works within this sensory paradigm, not assuming that everything is as it first seems to be. He or she could probably pick out detail that others were overlooking, precisely because of this trait.
You cannot make accurate estimations of the future, and therefore choose the wisest path, if you cannot estimate your current environment accurately.
11. Very in touch with the environment and aware of current trends and changes.
True extended intelligence is part of the everyday world, not some ivory tower thing. There is a notorious stereotype, the mad genius boffin who can’t boil an egg or find his way home, because he is so “clever” his brain is busy on other things. Nah! I don’t buy it. The guy is nuts. Maybe he has a super IQ but such a person would be dangerous to society. The kind of guy who would develop the H-bomb anyway and not worry about what politicians would do with it. Extended intelligence means the person can work in the context of society, Humankind and the biosphere.
12. Does not use justifications and excuses.
Extended thinking does not allow the luxury of excuses. If you look on foodforthemindandfireforthesoul.com I’m sure I posted a piece entitled “The Supreme Test of History”. Did it happen or didn’t it? Is the acid test. None of this people-oriented stuff. Just did you or didn’t you?
Make it so, is the catch phrase from Star Trek. Just do it! As Nike says.
Excuses and justifications are for wimps; they take you out of the equation. But who wants that? It’s like trying to un-exist, as a way of hiding from responsibility. It gives away all your power.
13. Can solve problems quickly.
Extended intelligence, as you would expect, is fast and smart. Problem solving comes easily. But the smartest of the smart would know that, in many instances, the supposed problem is actually someone’s solution. You have to solve the real problem behind that, to be super-intelligent.
Thing is, we all need some problems. That’s what makes life spicy. It would be very boring if we didn’t have problems to solve. But most people can’t solve their problems, because they don’t even know what a problem is. I’ve written a lot about this for my mind-development courses. But in a nutshell: a problem is something stuck. There are two parts to it, effort and counter-effort, which exactly balance and so no movement or resolution can happen. For example: I want to go to Joe’s wedding/I have no time.
One of the two halves of the problem contains a falsehood and until the falsehood is located and corrected, the problem hangs up.
No question, extended intelligence implies courage. It’s a necessity for meaningful living. It’s no good being smart and not having the guts to act. Indeed, you are in no wise smart, if you can’t bring yourself to do what you know needs doing.
Thing is though, a lot of gurus make mileage out of fear as the reason people don’t act. I disagree. I think most people don’t act because they don’t really know what to do. However bad things are in your life, you would not hesitate to fix them, if you only knew how!
It’s connected with #13. You can’t solve the issues, if you don’t know enough to dismantle them.
You might like to start with the New Thought Horizons, where you can enroll here for a short time (the program is changing immeasurably in the next few weeks and will not be available in such easy terms any longer).
15. Able to master destructive emotions and keep them in check.
It stands to reason that true extended intelligence will keep stupid and destructive emotions of out of the way. It’s the single biggest human curse, to react badly to situations, without understanding why we feel and act as we do.
Wilhelm Reich called it the “emotional plague” and it’s easy to argue that it is far more deadly and killed far more people than any known microbe.
Why is it that the Christians, professing love for all, want to kill people who don’t take the Bible seriously and Muslims, once known (rightly) as the religion of peace, are so sensitive to criticism today, they want to kill anyone who casts doubt on their way of thinking?
The answer is irrational emotions. Rage, anger, hate, murder, torture and wars are all the product of emotional aberration (aberration: straying from true, like error but really bad).
16. Would understand the nature and meaning of ethics, responsibility and compassion.
A real genius and extended thinker would see the larger context in which we all live. This is Spaceship Earth and we are all in it together. The greedy and destructive fools who abound and cause immense damage to our world are the exact opposite of what is meant by rational thinkers. Extended intelligence by definition incorporates my 12 R-zones (zones of responsibility, beginning with self and spreading outwards to encompass all of Creation).
Seeing the Web of the Universe as it really is demands and then creates, intelligence, responsible behavior and true compassion.
I’m not saying there are only 16 traits. That’s just the ones I could think of in a half hour. Comment with some more suggestions, if you think you can contribute!