Jeffrey Carduner, Aesthetic Realism consultant, writes: Our thoughts to ourselves—do they make us kinder or meaner, just or unjust, stronger or weaker, proud or ashamed? Read “Intelligence; or, Do We Like Our Thoughts?“—the great new issue of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known. The commentary by editor Ellen Reiss begins:
Dear Unknown Friends:
It was fifty years ago this month that Eli Siegel gave the lecture we are serializing, Intelligence Is You and More. The knowledge in it is fresh, great, and tremendously needed—because there is, including among the supposed “experts,” so much fakery, ignorance, and cruelty about what it means to be intelligent. Mr. Siegel defined intelligence as “the ability of a self to become at one with the new.” And in the lecture he shows that intelligence is always a oneness of opposites—such as precision and scope, fact and imagination, oneself and the outside world in its width and particularity. Intelligence is described centrally in this Aesthetic Realism principle: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.”
The present section is about the fact that intelligence and foolishness have been so intertwined in history—and in individual lives. What Mr. Siegel shows is about all of us, because every bright person has also felt, with much pain, “How could I have been so stupid!” And people have been disgusted by the brutal unintelligence of various persons who govern nations. Mr. Siegel quotes an instance of powerful prose about ancient Rome. And through it and how he speaks about it, we feel that this matter of intelligence and foolishness in nations and people can, in all its confusion, be seen with grandeur and beauty.
What Kind of Thought?
A recent New York Times article (July 27) was about a fundamental aspect of intelligence—though the writer and those she quotes don’t present the subject as having to do with intelligence at all. Under the headline “No Time to Think,” Kate Murphy says that a big reason people keep so busy, especially with electronic devices, is: they don’t want to think, because they don’t like what happens when they do. The article, then, is about something Aesthetic Realism has taken with great seriousness and has explained: people do not like their thoughts.
There is, really, nothing more important in intelligence than that we think in a way that makes us proud—that we be proud of our thoughts. You can score high on an IQ test, speak 12 languages, be a mathematics whiz, but if you hate your thoughts when you’re alone, there is a huge intellectual amissness. This amissness of mind is with millions of people, including the seemingly best educated. >> Read more