Presence as Intelligence, Intelligence as Beauty

At a time in evolution when what we know gives us no indication of how to make it through the challenges of our world, and what we can imagine fails to provide a bridge from the present to the future, perhaps it is useful to find a new way to relate to the notion of intelligence.

While Howard Gardner’s description of multiple intelligences has certainly broadened our appreciation of the skills involved in successful engagement with the world, what if one of the greatest forms of intelligence has to do with attuning to something that has nothing to do with us? What if our work is to find a way to get out of our own way? Perhaps we block an organic intelligence of the universe from moving through us.

Considered in this light, “intelligence is something that has to do with a kind of completeness that allows us to be fully present. Rather than focusing on that which we need to do, or learn or change in order to be whole, we learn how to settle into ourselves. We settle into what has been there all along. We encounter the place of presence that was always there.” (A.H. Almaas)

As A.H. Almaas says, when the superego stops attacking us for feeling incomplete, preventing us from getting closer to our own true nature which is complete, we find the place of a natural presence and intelligence that is whole.

“In this place, beauty is the experience of alignment, where the essence of any individual or idea or action is manifest. The blocks that prevent essence from form are removed and what is known at the energetic level is experienced at the felt level and brought into form.” (A.H. Almaas)

From this prespective, when something is beautiful, “there is no distinction between how it looks, how it feels, how it tastes and how it functions. …aesthetic sense and usefulness are inseparable – they are one and the same. Presence and functioning, quality and the effect of the quality, coincide …”

“Experiencing intelligence is knowing yourself as the most delicate, the most refined, the most exquisite presence, and at the same time as organically intelligent…There is also a luminescence – a radiance or brightness in that person’s functioning that you can actually perceive directly. It is this perceivable brilliance that imparts the qualities of beauty, grace and elegance.”

At a time when intelligence as we know it offers us no answers, and beauty has become something that we pay to have cut upon our features … it may be time to find the place of presence where the beauty of true intelligence dwells…