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How do we know anything? There is no relationship between the rational application of intelligence and the potential of intelligence. That which is possible to rationally cultivate, train and delegate is rational. The landscape of rational thought is flat. How does this landscape become differentiated and develop contours? Rational thought operates within a human mind. A human mind can rationally observe phenomenon and think about the observations in order to deduce and extract information. But how to move forward from there is not entirely a rational process. Working with a data feed and making a narrative from it involves choices. These choices are not purely logical. These choices involve thought which emerges from the personal perspective of the narrator.
Intelligence resides at the edge of the rational. Making sense of the streams of data that our senses feed us is a lot of work. This work cannot be performed in the absence of the corpus of civilisational learnings that we carry around. But being able to perceive sensory data is not enough. Weaving narratives from these sensory environments which render the landscapes of our perception is what we need to do. At the edge of the rational, we are able to access the informations that resides in our rational database as well as rely on our irrational faculties like intuition, poetry and dreaming. The edge is also a bridge. The edge is the mouth of the opening. The location of the edge keeps changing. It is not possible for anyone to declare that they are at the edge. It is a word that links to a format of experience that allows an access to the rational and irrational both and blurs the border between them. If you want to know anything at all, you must give the desire to know what is what.
Like a blind bird flying through a dark cave within which you find waterfalls and patches of grasslands as well as circles of flames, we need to court disaster and love both with an open embrace that does not betray any emotion.
Intelligence is not a feature, it is a quality. Qualities do not have fixed criteria or definitions. Qualities are established after basking in the experience. They are articulated only after the factual experience is known.
Knowing what intelligence is will not help us to behave more intelligently. Knowing what intelligence is will help us map our endeavour to learn more about ourselves.