"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark. In effect, the people who change our lives the most begin to sing to us while we are still in darkness. If we listen to their song, we will see the dawning of a new part of ourselves."
Existential Intelligence is the sensitivity and capacity to engage questions about human existence – how we got here, whether we have a purpose, and whether there is meaning in Life. Existential intelligence embraces the exploration of aesthetics, philosophy, religion and values like beauty, truth, and goodness. A strong existential intelligence allows human beings to see their place in the big picture, be it in the classroom, community, world, or universe.
First proposed by Howard Gardner, existential intelligence is one of nine theorized intelligences and is considered to be amoral – that is, it and the other eight categories of human intelligence can be used either constructively or destructively.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Welcome to the Neighborhood
I enrolled in a creativity course in February. My teaching was spinning along. New book in the works. A year of Daily Visuals satisfyingly behind me. But I felt the need for a challenge. Something inside was transitioning. A friend’s email described a program she’d begun and it resonated. I wanted something like that. Fresh ideas. In the words of the blues legend John Mayall - room to move – psychically and experientially.
And so, through the class, I was introduced to the concept of existential intelligence. The inexplicable part of a human mind that wants a better angle on the BIG questions – Life, death, creativity and meaning. Wow. Humbling and incredibly energizing all rolled into one thought package. A fortune cookie with a fortune I actually wanted to manifest in real time.
And if the concept of existential intelligence grabbed me, wasn’t it likely that there were lots of others out there who would love to explore the wealth of ideas bouncing around inside this Pandora’s box?
...probably a whole neighborhood of artists, writers, musicians, car mechanics, short order cooks and other people who like to think.
So here it is. The grown up version of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. The Existential Neighborhood, where we can gather to share ideas about art and making, kindness and authenticity, meaning and the creative Life with a really big L. Welcome to my neighborhood.