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The link between intelligence and spirituality Options
 
Northerner
#1 Posted : 7/19/2017 6:15:12 AM

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I've been pondering over some patterns that I have noticed over the years. It would appear to me that there is a high coincidence between intelligence and spirituality. Intelligence being in it's raw form as "the ability to understand" that is, not in a textbook Mensa type way. Spirituality being in a personal spiritual understanding type way, not in a "the good book says" type religious way.

It appears to me that people who have a better understanding about life and it's intricacies, with a higher intellectual grasp on relationships and often other complex issues, are more inclined to have a better understanding of their spiritual identity also.

When I look at countries with higher general intellect rates I can also see that these tend to be more diverse and advanced spiritually. Cultures and people who have a strong knowledge of their lands and the world around them also seem very inclined to have spiritual understanding, whilst other cultures that are highly destructive and on average in the lowest range in human intelligence have little to no spiritual understanding, rely heavily on superstition and are generally tribalist in nature.

Of course these things are all averages and there are exceptions to every rule when we talk about people, but still...

Does anyone else see these links too? Would this show that with intelligence comes enlightenment, do you think?

What else does it imply for other species do you think? Or even the theory of evolution?
It is not sufficient that we live our lives in a moral and just fashion, it is put upon us that we live to our potential.
 

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Jees
#2 Posted : 7/19/2017 6:48:43 AM

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What did religions do with the first people who discovered stuff? Mad
The movie Agora is very well covering this subject, worth a watch.

I've also noticed very intelligent people going spiritually "mad".
And spiritual people with a fine sense for reality nonetheless.
A lot of variations under the sun, but I guess you seek for a denominator?

Edit: I'm a bit confused about what 'intelligence' and 'spiritual' means. Drifting in the bulk of different possible meanings makes taking a stance about it difficult.


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dragonrider
#3 Posted : 7/19/2017 5:28:02 PM

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Human intelligence is only an evolutionary by-product of our social structures. All of the animals that are generally considered to be very smart, are very social creatures as well.

I don't think there is a final and universal definition of 'intelligence' or 'spirituality', but spirituality is often defined as knowing that you're part of something that's far greater and more important than yourself, being able to put yourself and your personal interests in a greater perspective.

It seems to me, that such feelings or experiences do in some way have a social dimension. It's not hard to see how such feelings make it easier to connect to others, to resolve differences, and to contribute to long-term goals that are important to the community.
 
Northerner
#4 Posted : 7/19/2017 11:31:04 PM

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I pondered on the definitions of the words I use to try and capture this pattern I'm seeing also Jees, whether or not there was a better set. When we look at these terms they initially seem completely at odds with each other in this material dimension that we live in. Intellect is much easier to understand than spirituality, being a simple process of acquiring and applying knowledge and skill. Spirituality on the other hand isn't so easily defined for most, but I think if we use the textbook as being pertaining to the spirit or soul rather than physical or material, it becomes clearer.

When I was looking at intelligence averages by region across the world I could also see that areas like Asia with higher intelligence averages also have greater propensity for more developed spiritual practices, where areas like Africa where intelligence averages are low have a higher propensity for superstition and "Godless" society. Countries who fell into the middle of these groups were more inclined to have higher percentages of population participating or "believing" in organised religious groups, as opposed to self defining spiritual practices. Because of the disparity between the societies it doesn't just all come down to economics.

So as we look down through the castes of the animal kingdom we see less and less of traits like empathy and compassion and primal instincts become more prevalent. With the gentler traits come the social structures you were talking about DR.

Could this indicate to us that creatures like elephants and dolphins with known high intelligence, (and even apes and dogs to some extent, being that there are higher examples in these species) have a spiritual existence known to themselves?

With this in mind, and theoretically that all species are improving/becoming smarter via evolution, it might indicate a biological path to enlightenment. The possibility that the whole subset of our physical universe is geared to moving consciousness to a higher/ deeper understanding of existence is incredible.
It is not sufficient that we live our lives in a moral and just fashion, it is put upon us that we live to our potential.
 
JustATourist
#5 Posted : 7/20/2017 1:32:48 AM

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The data available on the subject of intelligence and religiosity seems to show that there is a negative correlation between the two (the more intelligent the person, the less likely it is to be religious).

Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations (Lynn, Harvey, Nyborg, 2009).
http://www.sciencedirect...e/pii/S0160289608000238

IQ predicts atheism rates, monogamy rates, and liberal values (Kanazawa, 2009).
https://www.cambridge.or...82668151084DF2E9DC5C0AF

IQ is positively associated with breastfeeding rates, immunization rates, rates of mammography screening, and negatively associated with teen fertility rates and infant mortality rates (Reeve, Basalik, 2011).
http://www.sciencedirect...le/pii/S0160289610001157
 
Northerner
#6 Posted : 7/20/2017 2:13:35 AM

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I think these correlations are based upon people believing in organised religious groups JustATourist, not based on actual spirituality. It's plainly obvious for many people including myself, that generally, written versions of what "God" is fall into the fairy tale category and the majority of religious people are not actually spiritual at all. Just members of the "God Club". (please excuse me religious Nexians, I'm talking generalities and personal opinion here)

When I compare myself, childhood religious brainwashing stage, to now, I am far more spiritual. Despite this I wouldn't qualify in statistical criteria and I fear I would be called atheist rather than agnostic (which I'm not either). There isn't even a statistical category or term for people who have self defined spiritual understanding. Who can coin a term for this?

If animals are able to define their own spiritual existence through their understanding would there be a term for that? Spirit creatures? Would that make those among us who don't go in the defined, man made, boxes also spirit creatures? Pleased
It is not sufficient that we live our lives in a moral and just fashion, it is put upon us that we live to our potential.
 
dragonrider
#7 Posted : 7/20/2017 1:05:20 PM

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Northerner wrote:
So as we look down through the castes of the animal kingdom we see less and less of traits like empathy and compassion and primal instincts become more prevalent. With the gentler traits come the social structures you were talking about DR.

I think that in the evolution of the human species, this must have been a Mutual, two-way stream proces: the more advanced our social intelligence became, the more advanced our society's must have become as well, and the more complex our social environment became, on the other hand, the more important our social intelligence became as well..

An interesting detail here may be, that as far as i know, the only animals that have passed the mirror/self-awarenes test (a test to see whether an animal can recognise itself in the mirror), are social animals.

The proces of evolution is Always based on quality's that are already present, so some of the core-quality's on wich human intelligence is based must be present in solitary animals as well. But i think the social dimension has realy pushed the human evolution into a more intellectual as well as spiritual direction.
 
Jees
#8 Posted : 7/20/2017 2:01:40 PM

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Why is it that intellectualism and spirituality are so often put into opposites?

I've been at some theosophical meetings and I was surprised how eagerly they embrace any scientific item while they are a religion still, they were discussing the double slit experiment and its implications for that matter. After that they tried to fit that into their guidelines, not to serve their guidelines but to complement the two sides into each other, as if it cannot and should not be opposite things, as if they principally put that they must be talking about the very same thing in the end. I'm not suggesting they succeeded in the co-ax but there was an intellectual opening within spirituality as a fundament. It's possible.

Vise verse:


Wise Guy Thinks He Can Prove God
Well that was a funny spin Big grin
But what I wanted to aim at is, in the end spirituality and intellectualism can and should meet at some point if they both are flexible and willing enough.

If "The Old Book said" is the only and ultimate definition of spirituality, then the problem lies exactly there by framing the term into that. This might be the consensus alright Sad

If a shaman sings an Icaro and I feel better I need nobody to say it's BS and I have no problem accepting that once later it might be explained by quantum physic relationships and I would love to see that happening. Wouldn't that be something!
Love


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Mindlusion
#9 Posted : 7/20/2017 3:38:20 PM

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Jees wrote:
Why is it that intellectualism and spirituality are so often put into opposites?



Maybe this way because intellectuals have a tendency to become self-obsessed with the products of their mind. Mental masturbation. Perhaps present in the divide in particle physics, the strong pet theories of quantum gravity and string theory with little attempt to connect to the two. Of course, not every intellectual minded person fits into this extreme.

It is a matter of balance, you may find the arrogant intellectual has a vastly overdeveloped intellect and a skilled debater but with an underdeveloped character or sense of self.

When I first met someone whom I could say definitively had 'wisdom' , they were far from what you might call 'intellectual'. And the most wise people I have ever met have not at all been intellectual. At the same time, I've met intellectuals who had a great deal of wisdom. But there is not a straight-line between intelligent and wise. There is a great difference between knowing something, and understanding something. It can really be opposite of that of intellect, a process of unlearning rather than learning.
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RAM
#10 Posted : 7/21/2017 10:41:33 PM

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Spirituality, as a form of knowledge-seeking, must be pursuing truth, otherwise it would be pursuing falseness. Intellectualism also pursues truth. So there appears to be an equivalency here of intellectualism and spirituality based on the pursuit of truth about the world.

Even though spirituality is often normative in nature - "you should do this or that to be happy and fulfilled" - it still seems to make definitive claims about human origins, qualities, and actions. Personally, I think intellectualism and spirituality largely overlap as spirituality is more or less making inferences about spiritual and possibly immaterial aspects of our universe based on what we currently know about the world and ourselves.

There is definitely more to the story of existence than what science can currently explain, so I think spirituality plays a very important role about theorizing about future discoveries. We are so often taught intellectual pursuits as if we have mastered them all, which is far from the truth. Greek spirituality had Poseidon controlling the tides, but now we know the moon is largely responsible for this.

Ancient spirituality helped humans of the time explain something they did not understand, which is an important quality of spirituality and religion. Now the question is where we use spirituality today to explain what we don't understand and how we will come to get closer to the truth.

Maybe some Nexians have spiritual ideas about the entities we encounter on DMT trips; I sure do. I think these theories, while spiritual, are part of the intellectual process of hypothesizing and framing possible explanations. For these reasons, I would not be surprised at a strong correlation (if not causation) between the concepts.
"Think for yourself and question authority." - Leary

"To step out of ideology - it hurts. It's a painful experience. You must force yourself to do it." - Žižek
 
dragonrider
#11 Posted : 7/23/2017 4:37:07 PM

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Mindlusion wrote:
Jees wrote:
Why is it that intellectualism and spirituality are so often put into opposites?



Maybe this way because intellectuals have a tendency to become self-obsessed with the products of their mind. Mental masturbation. Perhaps present in the divide in particle physics, the strong pet theories of quantum gravity and string theory with little attempt to connect to the two. Of course, not every intellectual minded person fits into this extreme.

It is a matter of balance, you may find the arrogant intellectual has a vastly overdeveloped intellect and a skilled debater but with an underdeveloped character or sense of self.

When I first met someone whom I could say definitively had 'wisdom' , they were far from what you might call 'intellectual'. And the most wise people I have ever met have not at all been intellectual. At the same time, I've met intellectuals who had a great deal of wisdom. But there is not a straight-line between intelligent and wise. There is a great difference between knowing something, and understanding something. It can really be opposite of that of intellect, a process of unlearning rather than learning.

Sometimes i get the impression that there is a very powerfull anti-intellectual undercurrent present in todays world. Especially in the united states.

I realy think that this anti-intellectualism is a dead-end street. It keeps people from emancipating themselves.

It is a way for people to keep themselves down. To wallow in the misery and nothinges of their own lives. It's no different in that way, from the use of opiates or crystal meth.

It's like people live by the principle: "Don't think, don't feel, don't care, don't, in any way, be mentally active. Don't in any way, be awake. Just numb yourself with opiates, crystal meth or whatever. Just give up on live. Give up on yourself, give up on your childeren, even. And then your grandchilderen. Why finish school, or learn anything? Why try to understand anything about the world, or your own life? Why trying to live like a human being, if that would mean that you'll have to care about stuff, and that you'll have to see what's not right about the world you live in, if you could also, without a care in the world, live like a caged animal?"

I don't see how ANYTHING positive could come from this mindset.

True, it has brought america a hilariously incompetent president-troll who makes jokes at the expense of the disabled and who calls POW's losers, wich is ofcourse funny if you like that sort of stuff.
At the same time though, you don't realy undo things like climate change, leaded tapwater, or overpopulated prisons, by denying their existence.
 
 
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