"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, May 2, 2011
Settling a Score
Tao te Ching
Stephen Mitchell translation
Weapons are the tools of violence;
All decent men detest them.
Weapons are tools of fear;
A decent man will avoid them
except in the direst necessity
and, if compelled, will use them
only with the utmost restraint.
Wholeness is his highest value.
If the wholeness has been shattered,
How can he be content?
His enemies are not demons,
But human beings like himself.
He doesn’t wish them personal harm.
Nor does he rejoice in victory.
How could he rejoice in victory
And delight in the slaughter of men?
He enters a battle gravely,
With sorrow and with great compassion,
As if he were attending a funeral.
Osama bin Laden perpetrated despicable, heinous acts. His evil, hateful influence ended not only American lives, but lives around the world. If death at the hands of another is ever justified, his death fits that description.
But I am troubled by gleeful celebrations of his death. If we sink to the level of Al Queda, whose members reveled in the Trade Towers’ collapse and deaths from bombings around the globe, hasn’t some basic human decency been compromised? Are we any better than they are, in our revelry over bin Laden’s final demise?
The end of a hateful life is the end of a hateful life. But death taken into human hands is a grave matter, and even when it feels justified, it isn’t a time for a party. Rather we should mourn the depths to which human beings are capable of sinking, and pray without ceasing, for global redemption.