The Ninth Intelligence

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In Howard Gardner’s catalog of Multiple Intelligences, the Ninth Intelligence is the rarest of them all.

Monument to Plato, Academy at Athens

Gardner calls it Existential Intelligence. Other candidate names are Spiritual Intelligence, Theological Intelligence, Religious Intelligence, Priestly Intelligence, Prophetic Intelligence, Mystical Intelligence, Kabbalistic Intelligence, Transcendent Intelligence, Metaphysical Intelligence, Ethical Intelligence, MetaCognition, Sustainability Intelligence, Cybernetic Intelligence, Pattern Thinking, and (my favorite) Systems Intelligence.

Other related terms include Intuition, Visionary Insight, Mindfulness, Wisdom, and Enlightenment.

Of all these flavors of the Ninth Intelligence, I prefer Systems Intelligence because it expressly exhibits the System Models and the calculus of their solution for Ethical Best Practices under an express Value System.

In the video below, Nora Bateson tells the compelling story of her father, Gregory Bateson, a venerated pioneer of Systems Thinking.

An Ecology Of MindGregory Bateson

3 Comments

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  1. Geoffrey Dodd

    Barry Kort, I think I’ve had this working – especially since, at the age of 18 years, I read Dr Abraham Maslow’s books – and it has been a “differentiator” that has made social adaptations tricky, to say the least…..when most people are NOT thinking in an INTEGRAL way…. e.g. I, like you, don’t imagine all those divisive boundaries between the disciplines….!! I see analogies everywhere and a Oneness… as e.g. spiritual psychology…

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