Is Your Brain Optimized For Fluid Intelligence?
Image by Jason Lincoln Jeffe
Don't be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
~ Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, in 2005 commencement address at Stanford University
In exploring personal and global transformation, it is important to talk about the concept of fluid intelligence in relation to the ability to grow and expand our awareness. Fluid intelligence has little to do with IQ or "book" intelligence. It is rather the ability to step outside of our beliefs and consider information which does not fit into our previously accepted view of reality.
Our deepest beliefs and conceptions about life and the world are to some degree conditioned by our childhood experiences, our education, the mass media, and various other external influences. An individual's level of fluid intelligence can be determined based on the degree to which he or she is able to let go of previously held conceptions on encountering reliable information or experiences which show these conceptions to be mistaken or overly simplistic.
At the other end of the spectrum from fluid intelligence is static intelligence. If an individual is rarely willing to reconsider or challenge their established beliefs, they are said to have a high degree of static intelligence. They aren't much interested in thinking outside of the box.
Science and Fluid Intelligence
When scientists on the static intelligence end of the spectrum encounter evidence which seriously questions the established paradigm, they attempt to discredit the new information using laws and principles previously agreed upon under the old paradigm. If they fail at this, the new evidence is then deemed not worthy of study and discarded. At worst, the evidence is actively attacked as being irrational or unscientific, even though it may be easily tested and verified.
Scientists with a high degree of fluid intelligence who are attracted to study matters outside the current paradigm are often labeled kooks or wacky by those operating with static intelligence.
Yet history shows that it is often these "kooky" scientists who go on to make the most astonishing discoveries which pave the way for entire new areas of study which were once considered nonsense. Einstein, Galileo, and Pasteur were all ridiculed by many respected scientists of their day for their amazing discoveries which ushered in entire new branches of knowledge.
All of us are sometimes resistant to letting go of old beliefs, while at other times we are excited to explore new ways of thinking and being. Static intelligence and fluid intelligence are but two ends of a continuum, and each of us shifts to varying points on that continuum over time. To demonstrate this, visit the link below to take a short test on the sharpness of your perceptual abilities:
Things are not always as they appear. Now watch this impressive eight-minute clip which may expand your beliefs about animal intelligence:
In recent years, many key pioneers have been successful in operating within the modern scientific paradigm with a very high degree of fluid intelligence. These courageous individuals have used accepted scientific principles and careful research to challenge old paradigm beliefs. Below are a few shining examples of this pioneering group:
- Stanford University's neuropsychologist Karl Pribram and his in-depth studies of the holographic qualities of consciousness.
- University of Connecticut Psychologist Kenneth Ring who completed breakthrough studies of near-death experiences.
- Dr. Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ (see his excellent paper) of Stanford Research Institute in their copious studies of remote viewing and nonlocality.
- UCLA's Valerie Hunt in her systematic studies of human energy fields and measurable psychic phenomena.
- Dr. Bruce Lipton's pioneering cell biology research suggesting that contrary to popular belief, genes are not the primary regulators of life. Rather the way we perceive our life and world may be a key factor in determining gene activity.
- Princeton University's PEAR Laboratory (now closed) which established the ability of consciousness to interact with physical matter.
- Robert Monroe, founder of the Monroe Institute which teaches methods to achieve out of body experiences and remote viewing (see his landmark book Far Journeys).
- The many pioneers of quantum physics who are finding that for deeper understanding of our world, it may be impossible to separate the physical world from consciousness.
Two classics which challenge static scientific paradigms using reliable, verifiable research from hundreds of scientific studies are the books The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot and The Field by Lynne McTaggart. The paradigm-busting film What the Bleep!? covers similar territory in a less scientific, yet very fun way, as does the inspiring movie I Am.
These engaging books and films are highly recommended for those interested in exploring the work of scientists who are promoting greater awareness of ourselves and our universe, and helping people to develop more fluidity in consciousness.
Consciousness, the Brain, and Reality Formation
In the old paradigm, static intelligence generally does not acknowledge the existence of consciousness apart from a brain. In the new paradigm, quantum physics is increasingly recognizing that consciousness may be a critical factor in what determines reality. Static intelligence places high priority on stability and security. Fluid intelligence welcomes change and even occasional chaos as potential vehicles for personal and global spiritual growth.
The materials presented on WantToKnow.info and in the free Insight Course are designed both to inspire fluidity and to challenge rigid beliefs of the old paradigm. In exploring these rich resources, you may find some of your beliefs about the world challenged. This can be a valuable opportunity for you to examine your viewpoint and use fluid intelligence to revise and expand your beliefs.
Please understand that those involved with presenting this material have no desire to make you believe anything. Yet we are interested in challenging all of us to open to more expanded levels of belief and experience in all aspects of our lives.
The entire WantToKnow.info website and Insight Course provide an abundance of rich material which challenges us to explore more expansive and integrated ways of living together through stretching beyond our old beliefs and conceptions. They invite us to explore reliable, verifiable information which suggests that the commonly held view of the way things work in the world may be overly simplistic and distorted. We are also encouraged to move toward less secrecy and greater transparency as we work together to support what's best for all who share our world.
Transparency and Levels of Consciousness
There are many levels of consciousness within each
one of us. It is not uncommon for us to have beliefs or knowledge at one level of consciousness which are in direct opposition to that of another level.
On one level we may know, as Galileo once contended, that the Earth is the third planet from the sun. We also know that our solar system is located in one arm of a spiral galaxy far from its center, which is far from the location of the Big Bang which allegedly formed the universe. Yet on another level, the Earth is for us in our daily lives the very center of our universe, as the church once argued against Galileo.
On an expanded level of consciousness, we may believe that humanity is meant to find ways to let go of anger and to live in peace and harmony with each other. Yet on a more contracted level, we may individually feel fully justified in being quite angry and upset
at someone in our family or at some politician or powerful group.
very much makes sense on one level may appear quite "illogical" on another.
Though our minds might like to convince us otherwise, most of us walk through life with
many contradictions within our consciousness.
By choosing to be transparent,
the inconsistencies within us and in the world become increasingly apparent, thus allowing us greater choice in
how we deal with them. We naturally become more open and better
able to understand and integrate conflicting beliefs on various levels. Through choosing to identify, understand, and transform the inconsistencies within ourselves, they can actually become potent teachers inviting us to expand our awareness, if we allow them to.
Beliefs and Reality
The more coherently we believe something on all
levels of consciousness, the more the universe tends to shape itself around those
beliefs. The more deeply we know something to be true, the more likely we will see and experience the world in terms of that truth.
Yet this does not necessarily mean that what is true for one person, no matter how deeply it is experienced, will be true for others.
Each person – through their interpretation of what happens to them throughout life – develops their own
version of reality, which has varying amounts of overlap with what others believe to be reality. We may live in the same physical world, yet our beliefs about what is true and real, and our emotional experience of this world can be quite different.
Some individuals have a greater ability to influence the
beliefs of those around them than others. Those who have a very
strong, coherent energy field that is directed outwards
generally appear dynamic and charismatic to others. They are thus more
easily able to convince those around them of what they believe or know to be
true. They are often considered to be great communicators and influential people. This does not necessarily mean, however, that they know "The Truth."
the other hand, a more "shy" person or one who keeps their energy more contained
or directed inward may have a level of knowingness just as strong as an
outgoing charismatic person, but because of their shyness or inwardness, they
are much less likely (or may not even want) to persuade others to believe as
There is no ultimate right or wrong here. Whether we choose to direct our energy more outward or inward, each of us is doing what we believe to be right in each moment.
The more transparent we are to ourselves and to the world around us, the more consciously we can make choices. And the more fluid we are in expanding our intelligence and beliefs, the more powerfully we can adapt to and make good use of the changes that occur in our lives and world. This is particularly useful in these wild and unpredictable times.
As we choose both fluidity of intelligence and transparency, we increasingly invite learning, growth, and expansion on many levels in our lives. This further enables us to better make choices which serve the greater good for ourselves and for all humanity.
Let us then choose to be open, transparent, and fluid both with ourselves and with each other, and to offer support for the limitless possibilities of growth and expansion which lie within each one of us. The WantToKnow.info website and Insight Course are designed to assist us in this worthy purpose.
It is our emotional attachment to certain beliefs
that limits us and keeps us from seeing greater realities.
Special Note: This essay is taken from the highly engaging Insight Course. If you are ready for a journey which is guaranteed to expand your horizons and inspire your greatness, consider exploring this free, powerful, and exciting online course. Take a look at http://www.insightcourse.net.