Intelligence is that which nature has and humans seek. This may be the only article about intelligence from that viewpoint. But until humans can create a Universe, spin galaxies into the building blocks of life, evolve with what may be infinite time to create worlds, evolve life upon at least one, and regulate it with gravity, thermodynamics, laws of motion, energy, and matter exchange, we are stuck with quite limited intelligence.
Many people find semantic arguments about whether this intelligence should be called God, Nature, or just creation, but only human beings are arrogant enough to assume intelligence is a human trait alone. Perhaps we need a new word to designate human intelligence and distinguish it from higher intelligence. But as soon as human intelligence is mentioned, all manner of metrics, and talk of metrics, is introduced to try to quantify human intelligence.
Perhaps it is intelligent to ask why we are so insecure we seek to scramble wildly among ourselves to sort out the innately “intelligent” from the socially and environmentally enriched.
Or why do we seek to distinguish at all? Maybe we are insecure and have to repeatedly prove to ourselves we are “smarter” than the average bear. Irresistible side note: bears do not collect human bile, hunt people for fun, melt polar ice caps, nor destroy the eco system which sustains them.
It would do a greater service to all of humankind to just note our determination to define, and our even greater tendency, to make very inefficient binary conclusions.
We seek to sort the intelligent from the unintelligent just as we try to categorize everything into good versus evil, black versus white, nature or nurture, moral from immoral, female from male, and so on. Perhaps we are just too new a species, and we have far to go to realize our ability to hold abstract constructs may be as damaging as it is of value.
All other organisms, although seen to make distinctions, do not define themselves in doing so. They do not separate themselves into narrow niches, and behave as though one species has more than one race, or class within it.
Human beings rationalize. We invented the intelligence test, to narrowly define something we call now call IQ. No two people on earth seem in 100% agreement as to what is even being measured, much less agreeing upon what human intelligence really is.
We learned to greatly impact our environment, and to manipulate tools and resources. In doing so, the brightest among us, Newton, Shakespeare, Einstein, tell us repeatedly to learn from Nature’s laws, and still we seek to learn from our own “laws” or rules about IQ, and the study of study itself.
Einstein, most notably, told us that imagination is more important than knowledge. This suggests that rather than trying to define IQ, or to measure our capabilities, we should welcome knowledge, and let imagination run free to explore all of nature and all of nature’s laws.
Intelligence is something of our natural instinct lining up with cues from what we sense all around us. We disregard natural intelligence, which provides the common sense to tell us to pay attention to REALITY as much as we do to the abstract. Other animals access their natural intelligence to flee from pollution or danger. They do not foul their own nest, or create insanity and war. They do not take more than they need. They do not therefore, suffer severe budget deficits, or shortages, or toxic concentrations.
Human beings see human behaviors as these (garbage, war, addiction, and toxins) and run for the textbooks. Perhaps we need to tune into our natural senses, and our common sense, to really begin to access intelligence.
Ecopsychology is as ancient as animism, yet as new as the 21st century. It asks us to drop the dusty textbooks and wander outside the library for real intelligence. Through Natural Systems Thinking Process, and through allowing us to open our senses to how nature works, we sense a new, and provocatively refreshing view of our human psyche. We are animals, and yet, we closed off our outer senses, fooling ourselves into believing abstract thinking was somehow superior. We saw gains in competition and conquest of other cultures, and other organisms, and we deny the costs. Until now.
Now that we see the (disappearing) forest through the smog, we realize our attractions to nature are a major part of our humanity and belonging. We can see the true value of cooperation and diversity. We begin to realize that natural affinities exist everywhere in nature, and black and white definitions are quite immature in the complex inter-dependent systems of self replicating, regulating, and regenerating life. We may find that this is the intelligence that matters for us to protect and preserve. It is that which made us, sustains us, heals us, and informs us.
Ecopsychology links our human intelligence to Intelligence.