Tuesday, June 9, 2015

An Intellectual Mind

Intellectuals are intelligent, knowledgeable, articulate, and curious. An intellectual today is defined by learning agility and growth mindset.

Intellectual as an ADJECTIVE is about “possessing or showing intellect or mental capacity, especially to a high degree: or characterized by or suggesting a predominance of intellect.” Intellectual as a NOUN describes “a person who places a high value on or pursues things of interest to the intellect or the more complex forms and fields of knowledge, as aesthetic or philosophical matters, especially on an abstract and general level.” (dictionary.com). But is it the concept of intellectualism so subjective that it depends solely on the individual placing the label? Is there some universal set of rules that makes someone an intellectual?  What does it mean to be an intellectual? Is it the knowledge you possess? Is it the vocabulary that a person uses to hold a discussion? Is it the level of education the person has attained? Is it the ability to create ideas that surpass one’s consciousness?  What is an intellectual? Are you an intellectual or are you equipped with an intellectual mind?

Intellectuals are intelligent, knowledgeable, articulate, and curious. It's how you think, and how others view your thoughts! Then, you need the intellectual integrity to use that knowledge wisely rather than for your own ends. That would be a true intellectual, of which there are very few in the world. An intellectual can always see another side to anything and consider alternatives, even when there are none. People have varying cognitive abilities. When someone is described as "an intellectual," he or she is usually thought of as articulate, educated, and well read across a range of serious subjects. Emotionalism does not enter into it. Intellectual does not mean automatically creative or articulate either. Creativity means to bring into being, creating, playing and designing, and this is a capacity done in connection with one's Higher Self (or subconscious and superconscious mind), based on insights and inspiration from higher or enlightened realms and not just rational formulation.

Intellect is simply the willingness to discuss and expand on ideas. It would be the ability to keep up and express your thoughts and perception, to explain your point of view based not only on knowledge but on applied experience not just theoretical unless stated otherwise, and then it's a free for all of taking it in new directions and it's the willingness to say there is no box is the telltale sign of someone you can explore any topic with, and have a good intellectual discussion. Generally speaking, everybody has certain “raw intelligence,” independent of their formal education – an inherent intelligence and an area they're good at or even excel. Whether they are aware of it and can express it, or not, is a different question. To be intellectual, one needs to understand their self-worth and be able to challenge perspectives and assumptions based on their cognitive understanding and worldly or experiential knowledge. Intellectually refers to rational thought, that's intellectual as an adjective, not a noun, it’s the ability to question the established order, the capability of critical thinking and creative thinking. Intellectuals among other things are perceptive thinkers. They do not accept the status quo and continually challenge what most people understand as normal.

What makes a person intellectual is the use of his/her intellect, which is the rational, analytical mind. When things are perceived intellectually, then they are looked at from the conscious mind and ordinary awareness, which means a quantifiable, logical, external perspective involving a lot of mental "doing" = thinking, comparing, concluding, reasoning and planning. The sole use of the intellectual mind is rather limited though as it lacks the input of holistic perception. It does not consider our multidimensional reality and connection to higher intelligence and dimensions, allowing intuition, inspiration, insights, and wisdom via one's sensing and feeling. But at a higher level, a multidimensional intellectual mind is the “thinking pot” which blends different flavor of thinking such as strategic thinking, systems thinking, creative thinking, critical thinking, holistic thinking, analytics & synthesis, etc to solve complex problems or to make effective decisions.

An intellectual today is defined by learning agility and growth mindset. Being an intellectual means having been exposed to, and continuing to want to be exposed to, information. Then distilling this information to formulate conclusions not learning facts. Intellectual is the ability to then make all this useful and apply in real life is where intelligence comes in. Intellectualism is based on having educated, original opinions. One need not be intellectual to regurgitate facts or news. An intellectual today is defined by learning agility and growth mindset. Knowledge is a commodity, but deep thinking, problem-solving, grit and perseverance define all of us innovating in the 21st century. Learning agility is a very quality of having an intellectual mind.

An intellectual is a person who has all the qualities mentioned in the explanation of being “thoughtful,” the mental discipline and the ability to break down problems, knowledgeable, possessing good vocabulary, achieved a certain level of education, innovative in nature, being a critical and independent thinker to challenge status quo, etc. The one element connecting all intellectuals, definitions aside, is the love of and hunger for getting-right-down-to-it thinking, unpuzzling the puzzles and coming up with new ones, the fearless considering of even the most discomfiting issues and ideas. Philosophically, an intellectual is a person of true wisdom who has attained control over his or her ego and desires of the mind. The more you know, the more you feel humbled because what you know, compared to what you don’t know is just a tip of the iceberg. Humility is a vital virtue for him or her which is as important as our breath or life itself.


Dear Pearl,

I came across this article about five minutes ago and I must say not only am I impressed, but I am greatly appreciative of this piece as well. Definitions of an intellectual in our own words may vary however I think you’ve managed to hit it spot on. This article I believe is very accurate as I have applied your definition(s) to my life and well it describes me down to the last detail.

However, only recently have I decided to challenge and pursue my intellect. My father had a high IQ and I am top of my class at the moment with a few right beside me. Together we exchange, discuss, question, and create new ideas, challenges, and methods to solve various problems. Might I add, we do this almost daily either in school or in our free time. Because of this, I believe I am on the right path in life. I also believe I was meant to be a scholar of some sort.

In conclusion, I’d like to know more about you and the work that you do and if possible, maybe one day pick your brain. Thank you for writing this. I needed it.

From one intellectual to another, I sincerely thank you for sharing.

-Damian Garza

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