Wiccan Friend

Just your friendly neighborhood Witch. Thoughts on Wicca, Witchcraft, Tarot, and Paganism today.

Tag Archives: Musings

Knowledge, Wisdom, and Intelligence Part 3

When I started this series I was hoping for a very quick maybe even weekly posts going over the three subjects, but I learned something about myself and this time of year. For months I have been sapped and unfocused. When I started the blog that was really my prime. Fall through late Winter is where I really shine and feel the most “in control”. That aside, Lughnasadh is behind us and I feel that spiral becoming tighter. There is a returning to inner power and creativity that I see over the horizon and i wait… with open arms.

To catch Part One and Part Two of this series follow the links.

Intelligence

Is it simply just the ability to learn. That is the simplest definition I came across in my study. Interestingly it was a good starting point not because it summed up Intelligence well but because I raised a lot of questions that fueled my search for some understanding.

What are we learning? How do we do this? How is this Quantified? Is this a learn-able ability? Teachable even? Can Intelligence be made then or trained?

Carol Bainbridge on About.com defines Intelligence in this way:

  • Adaptability to a new environment or to changes in the current environment
  • Capacity for knowledge and the ability to acquire it
  • Capacity for reason and abstract thought
  • Ability to comprehend relationships
  • Ability to evaluate and judge
  • Capacity for original and productive thought

This is certainly a much more profound reach into intelligence. It is no easy subject to understand or to grasp as it is still beingstudied today. What I particularly like about the above definition is the parts about evaluation and original thought. Both of those put an interesting spin on what intelligence means. It really makes me think about how intelligence is tied to morality and polarity. To be able to sift through the information that is given certainly plays its part in intelligence. Being able to judge that information into appropriate categories is something that I had never thought about when it came to intelligence but gives some good food for thought. Capacity for Original thought almost seems to be like a contradiction. I first thought about this as comparing my thoughts to all thoughts ever thought throughout time. In this line of thinking Original thought hardly exists, because I can imagine that most everything that has popped into my mind has occurred in someone else as well at some point in history. I heard somewhere that over a person’s lifetime they will only ever have 3 original thoughts. When I was in High School I thought one of my originals was something I called Human Foosball. It was a scheme I had where giant hydrolic machine could be placed on a field as an amusement park ride. People would pay to be in the hydo-cages to spin around and hit the ball by other people who would pay to control the hydro-cages via remote. Now, till this day I am still not sure if this is a truly original thought but for me it was. Today this is where my focus on originality changes that maybe original thought is not about never before thought things but the ability to step outside your own collective thought processes to come up with something that is outside your own nature or normal thoughts. If that is the case then a person could have many original thoughts in their life, depending on their Intelligence or if they have the capacity for it.

I did find an interesting resource on intelligence and I urge anyone who wants to research it more tovisit www.aboutintelligence.co.uk/what-intelligence.html.

There psychologist Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences states that intelligence can be broken down into 8 distinct components: logical, spatial, linguistic, interpersonal, naturalist, kinesthetic, musical and intrapersonal. Thus he believes that standard IQ tests and psychometric tests focus on certain components, such as logical and linguistic, while completely ignoring other components which may be equally important. If IQ covers mathematical, spatial, verbal, logic and memory. What about emotional, which has a good deal to do when it comes to comprehending relationships?

One alternate type of intelligence often mentioned in popular media is ‘emotional intelligence’, developed by Daniel Goleman and several other researchers. This refers to an individual’s ability to understand and be aware of your own emotions, as well as those of people around you. This ability enables you to handle social interactions and relationships better.

The concept of emotional intelligence was first suggested by Charles Darwin who emphasised the importance of emotional expression in adaptation and survival.

So how can we apply this to our Magick.

Concisely put: Know your magick, apply what you know to benefit, and adapt that knowledge accordingly. Further more, always develop whatever set or level of intelligence you have. Adaptation, productive thought, relationships, how to use knowledge, are all things that can be trained as long as you have the capacity to do so.

When casting a circle, a spell, a hex, a wish, a hope, a dream, or a prayer… do so with intelligence. The kind of both the mind and heart. Blessed be.

What the Tarot says about Intelligence: A single card pull from the Tarot.

For this pull I used the Tarot Pro app on the IPhone. Check it out here.

The Chariot (Inv) – What good is done if intelligence is not shared? Intelligence, to be of benefit, must be used in conjunction with wisdom. It is also a reminder never to disregard, disrespect, or ignore the intelligence of another.

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Knowledge, Wisdom, and Intelligence Part 2

So for a short recap on this series.  I started this to take a closer look at the special qualities of these subjects.  I wanted to celebrate their differences and apply what I learn to a magickal life.  You can check out the first post on Knowledge here.  Now, we move on to Wisdom.

Wisdom

This is really one of my favorite subjects.  I feel it is most often mistaken for our other subjects knowledge and intelligence, but when you look closely at it you get a true sense of how important a trait it is.

Defined Wisdom is knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action.

I like this definition because of how eloquently it is summed up.  Wisdom is knowledge of what is true or right.  So we can gather that if we do not seek the truth behind what we know then we are not seeking wisdom.  This is interesting to me because it is implying that wisdom is bigger than just what the individual believes is true.  Who decides what is true?  In my mind there are individual truths that I may believe in but for something to be universally true it must be seen as true by the collective.  Two things dictate truth to me.  Our Gods and society decides what is true and right and what is not.

There are certain things we know that are wrong and right, true and untrue.  Many of these truths we come equipped with at birth.  Maybe it is because it is the ways things have been done for so long that they are a very part of humanity now enshrined in our DNA or through reincarnation and truths we have learned over many life times.  Even if that is true I think it is possible that the Lord and Lady have had their hand in it over the years slyly nudging humanity towards acting true and right.  As far as the truths which we do not retain through birth they are taught through the communities of which we all find ourselves a part of.  Those townships, organizations, groups, clubs, neo-tribes, associations, colonies and societies teach us the collective truths.

Now the definition further unfolds and adds coupled with just judgement as to action.  So not only do we have true knowledge but to be wise we must understand how to rightly use that knowledge in action.  To me it is a charge.  A charge that to be wise I must take that which I know and act justly and rightly.  It is a good affirmation that we should strive to use our knowledge towards a goal which is most beneficial.

So how do we learn wisdom?  I think Confucius said it well.

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. – Confucius

We can reflect on others actions and gather what we can from our contact with deity.  We can imitate the Wise, which although it seems like a juvenile form of wisdom, it would make people look wise.  Finally there is experience.  I agree with the wise sage that it can be bitter but at the same time there is so much to be gained by gathering wisdom through experience.

Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another. – Juvenal

So now that we have working understanding of Wisdom, how can we use it in our magickal lives?

The wise are able to discern their true interests from those of the ego mind. They are usually regarded as kind, content in themselves. They tend not to aspire to greater material wealth or fame. They have learnt what is important. – Peter Russell

We must strive to take the knowledge that we have and use it to better ourselves and those around us.  We must also work to be wiser and use knowledge within our code of ethics.  During spellwork take a moment to stop and think about how your spell will effect all the things that are connected to it.  Really explore how it fits into your own code of ethics.  Always challenge yourself to apply wisdom when trying to affect change.

I think it is important that we view wisdom as non polar.  Is wisdom only about making a decision based on your knowledge for the good of all, or is it more about recognizing the difference and knowing what is good and bad about your knowledge set.  If someone only concerns themselves with what is good and does not explore what is  bad about what they know, then do they truly understand their knowledge in whole?  When exploring knowledge take note of both the good and the bad.  Only then do I think we can make the best choices as to how to act on our knowledge base.

How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. For its profit is better than the profit of silver, and its gain than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast. NAS, Proverbs 3:13-18

What the Tarot says about Wisdom:  A Single card pull from the Tarot

The Queen of Swords – She reminds me that the path to wisdom is often hard.  My experiences will require me to be tough in my will.  She also reminds me that in order to experience life and gain its wisdom I must act.  I cannot remain comfortable in my current state too long, but must push forward to understand more.  All things precious come at a price just as the most beautiful of roses can have equally as sharp thorns.