CHAPTER V:  How Much Intelligence?

This ability, this flexible intelligence, is apparently possessed by each of us in such a very large amount as to be difficult for us in our present conditions to envisage.* Apparently if any of us could preserve in operating condition a very large portion of the flexible intelligence that each of us possesses inherently, the one who did so would be accurately described as an “all ’round genius” by the current standards of our culture.

This is not, of course, the impression that most of us have been conditioned to accept. We have heard, from our earliest age, that “Some have it and some don’t,” “Where were you when the brains were passed out?”, “Don’t feel bad, the world needs good dishwashers, too,” and similar gems. These impressions and this conditioning, however, seem to be profoundly wrong. Each of us who escaped physical damage to our forebrain began with far more capacity to function intelligently than the best operating adult in our culture is presently able to exhibit.

The adult who does function extraordinarily well compared to the rest of us, and whom we do call a “genius” in our admiration and respect, seems to be not someone who was endowed with extra ability to be intelligent when the rest of us were “hiding behind the door,” but rather someone whom circumstances allowed to keep a considerable portion of his/her flexible intelligence functioning while everyone around him or around her was having theirs inhibited and interfered with.


Last modified: 2016-08-22 02:11:22-07