"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.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
But one thing I can safely say I know
That of all the things that finally desert us
Pride is always the last thing to go.
-Mary Chapin Carpenter
I should have known what was coming when I had a reading in January. I must follow that statement with this one: I believe in the possibility of everything. I believe in prayer, readings, intuition, healing arts and evil. I mainly believe in all of these possibilities of reality because I am old enough to have been humbled by all other realities. I am a witness to the broad scope of the unknown. And yet I have faith. I do believe we each have a path we are meant to follow. A place we are meant to be.
Hubris. Pride. Caroline Myss writes poignantly/powerfully about this very basic human failing. We are each more afraid of humiliation than we are of anything else we experience in Life. Why shouldn’t this be true? It’s all about survival. Evolutionists and Biblical scholars alike must admit that past tense humans were better at surviving when they were capable of rebuking humiliation. As if we didn’t know where those phrases came from - Buck up. Get over it. Get some balls.
Whatever it takes don’t let anyone humiliate you.
I look out my window and there is a squirrel 50 feet up; jumping from branch to branch in the late afternoon light. The squirrel looks fearless. The branch springs and then there’s a bounce. My breathless gasp - followed by a touch down on the next branch, whether higher or lower.
I have witnessed the death of a squirrel when it leapt accidentally onto the electrical transformer that faces the alley. A blast of sparks. A flash of life exploding. It took down the power for four hours. It can happen.
Two weeks ago a friend of mine died. In retrospect he was one of the most alive human beings I’ve ever met. His death was crushing. His wife, with whom I am fortunate to have a long and deep friendship, told me that before he died he asked her why she’d never been willing to let him take care of her. “I’ve always had to do it myself.” she said to me. “That’s who I am.”
I could relate. Even in the depths of love and trust, something calls us to do for ourselves. I can’t judge whether it is right or wrong. It just is. Painfully just is.
So I continue along my path; often feeling that the best I can do is to rebuke scattershot BB’s in favor of one clear bullet, focussed on the task at hand. All I can do is get up early, take time to figure out how the day should go. Focus on what a class needs most in order to be self-propelled. Admit it when I am wrong. When the supply list asks for two yards of silk and I recognize way too late that this was an errant cut and paste. Apology needed. Humbled self. Keep on going.
Is your work calling to you? Family? Love or death?
Take your best shot.
Get up the next morning and do it again.