I returned to my place and felt the medicine come on powerfully. At the very beginning of my journey the maestro began his hypnotic chanting, his singing 'to the plant spirits to call them forth' into the ceremony room. As if to announce itself to me, the 'spirit' of the plant said something to me directly, as if some non sequitur that bore no apparent connection with any part of my journey nor any internal dialouge in my life that I was aware of. The medicine appeared in my head with a very strong pronouncement, and then became silent while I heard the maestro perform a very complex and extended list of icaros and rattling.
"Intelligence is Self Teaching" she said. As simple as it reads to you is as elegant as she revealed it to me. Bamf! It was an internally present proposition quite clear and articulate. The medicine revealed and then vanished. The rest of my journey was incomprehensible to put into any language, yet this incredibly simple phrase did was define intelligence in a very elegant and simple form.
It's not the usual KIR fare, but the quote above is from an article a friend of mine wrote recently dealing with a definition of intelligence. He has been working with a substance traditionally used for shamanic purposes in Amazonian cultures, and during this process he has developed what he believes to be a unique definition of intelligence. Here is the article:
My friend suggested to me that we discuss some of the issues raised in the article here, to get a variety of perspectives. In particular, he wants to focus on his definition of intelligence to see how it holds up under rational scrutiny. I've already offered some of my opinions to him privately, the gist of it being this:
It definitely does appeal to me on a personal basis as a completely self-taught thinker, although that could be ego and vanity speaking. It's flattering and somehwat self-serving (in my case and perhaps to some extent in yours), but as to how meaningful it is, I simply don't know. I haven't had the sort of experience that revealed it to you, or anything remotely close. I think that probably makes all the difference...
It's actually consistent with what I've always thought, really. I have always valued aitodidactic education over the "formal"indoctrinated sort. Certainly there are advantages to the formal route, but in terms of the kind of thinking that actually matters (original thinking for one's own sake), the self-teaching route is superior. No genius or innovator ever learned their unique craft in school. They may have gotten the basic foundation there, but they did what was important on their own...
I don't know that I believe there is anything to the idea of the Ayahuasca being some kind of a conscious "teacher," but something clearly was influencing your path here. Perhaps it makes no difference. Maybe the experience of the inner mind and the "spiritual" experience are one and the same, and maybe that's the way it should be.
How does the idea that "intelligence is self-teaching" strike you? While I'm rather skeptical of the source of my friend's revelation (I personally do not practice or recommend the use of mind-altering substances for philosophical purposes), I do think the insight is a potentially interesting one. He's looking for some discussion on the topic, and he wants people to feel free to tear it apart, call it bullshit, or whatever else may occur to them. Also, he is doing this anonymously, so if anyone figures out who he is (which isn't too hard), please do me a favor and don't mention it.