The Ego and Intelligence

The Ego and Intelligence

There are different types of intelligence that human beings can be blessed with. Our human experience is mirrored by the subject matter of these different types. They represent the opposite and competing values that are built into our reality.

In his book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple intelligences, developmental psychologist Howard Gardner described nine types of intelligence:

  • Naturalist (nature smart)
  • Musical (sound smart)
  • Logical-mathematical (number/reasoning smart)
  • Existential (life smart)
  • Interpersonal (people smart)
  • Bodily-kinesthetic (body smart)
  • Linguistic (word smart)
  • Intrapersonal (self smart)
  • Spatial (picture smart)

Gardner helps us to see that we can have different strengths and talents that others may not even appreciate or recognise. Upon reviewing his list, it is easy to see how the world need all of these talents for it to function properly. Since his work was published, new research has opened our minds to new ways of thinking in this subject.

Emotional intelligence has been given much attention lately and has been singled out as an important aspect of becoming a happy healthy and effective person. Emotions are being scientifically proven to be the main motivators in all aspects of human behaviour and are being demonstrated to being genetically determined. Understanding ourselves and others requires understanding emotions. Intelligence in this department will help one succeed in many ways.

There is one aspect of emotional intelligence that I believe trumps all others. This intelligence seems to be so integral in our personal development but is very difficult for most of us to attain. In my humble opinion, the most important part of emotional intelligence is recognising how the emotions of our egos can rule us if we are not aware of their controlling nature. I believe that real intelligence can’t be achieved until one has their egos under a certain amount of control.

In my book, Master the Mystery of Human Nature: Resolving the conflict of Opposing Values, I expose the ego and how it’s core emotional values are ludicrous at best and insanity when taken to extremes. One of the central themes of the ego that has to be dispelled first and foremost is that it believes that it is the centre of the universe and everything else pales importance. This is the core foundation from which our ego-based identity is driven. Everything built upon this is all a house of cards from there which makes us so fragile and “un-centred”. When we have this insecure foundation we will try to build up false support by getting and accumulating things in order to bolster this preposterous notion that we are the centre of our universe. 

Getting what the ego wants becomes our utmost priority as it believes that getting it is its key to our happiness and survival. Our desires based upon our getting can actually become as emotionally charged as our survival needs. Our self-esteem can be based on the amount of money we make, our possessions, our fame, our status, our looks, the success of our family members, or a number of things that are tied into our ego desires. Getting whatever the ego wants can become the major focus that runs our lives. It can become the most important motivator from which our choices are made. The ego’s survival can be the centre of our life. 

Who in their right mind could possibly justify that their ego needs are more important than the entirety of humanity? No one in their right mind could be but everyone in their wrong mind could. We are not being intelligent when totally run by our egos no matter how high up the mainstream ladder of success we climb.

Then, to top it off, when it does get what it wants, it still isn’t happy and shifts focus to getting more or getting something else. There will never be enough to satisfy its never ending unrealistic needs. We continue to be run by these themes in spite of the fact that they don’t make any sense. Only when someone has a true understanding that we are all just a bit part in a great whole can real intelligence begin. When one understands that focusing on getting leads us down a dead end path and that our real purpose on Earth is to give of our natural talents for the rest of the world to benefit. Only when one can be of service to the whole can one be supported by the whole. 

Someone might be exceptionally cunning and competitive when it comes to getting what they want but that doesn’t mean that they are truly intelligent. They are working off a flawed model. Getting becomes a win/lose game in life and one’s focus on getting usually mean someone else will lose. You are not of support to the whole of humanity but are in competition with everyone else. Just because you win the game you are playing doesn’t mean you are the most intelligent. It could mean that you aren’t seeing the big picture and have chosen the wrong path. 

Oxford Dictionaries defines intelligence as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. If one can recognise and overcome the total control of its ego, then a deeper more meaningful life will begin. Real intelligence will be the result no matter what field of endeavour you are in. 


Scott Trettenero’s recent book, Master the Mystery of Human Nature: Resolving the Conflict of Opposing Values helps readers learn about themselves, others and how the world works because of our differences. Scott has maintained a solo dental practice in Southwest Florida since 1981. His research on quality service in dentistry and his interest in human temperaments formed the basis for his first book, Unlocking the T-Code. He is married and has two children. You can follow him on Twitter @ScottTrettenero


 

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