What is Intelligence?

…intelligence is to be completely sensitive, aware, in which there is no choice at all and hence no conflict
5th Public Talk, London - 30th September 1967

Krishnamurti’s definition of intelligence diverges radically from what we think of as the intelligence of scientists, mathematicians, philosophers, artists, and other extraordinary brains. K describes a brain that is silent, sensitive, choicelessly aware and without conflict; intelligence defined not by what it does, but by what it does not do. The intelligence Krishnamurti describes isn’t what an exceptional intellect does, but what a conscious mind with self-knowledge refrains from doing.

The quiet, sensitive, choicelessly aware, conflict-free mind does what comes naturally because it has no agenda, no quest, no problem to solve. There is only what-is and how clearly or distortedly it is perceived. Intelligence abides in the eternal present where past and future may pass in review.

To be intelligent, silent, sensitive, choicelessly aware, and without conflict, I must be something other than what I am. Can oneness, wholeness, cooperation and harmony be the brain’s operative mode, or are we doomed to die conflicted and unresolved?

Isn’t this how YOU understood the description of K. ?

Could you asked this question with all the características in place mentioned by K. and You ?

One idea that seems to keep coming up is that we could act more intelligently if our brains were not so preoccupied by horrible petty stuff like defending our ego - eg. wondering if the other guy thinks they’re superior of inferior to me. This kind of preoccupation with “self preservation” or “self aggrandisement” may be essentiel in hunter gatherer communities where our survival depended on our relative social position in the clan - so probably was “intelligent action” for most of our history as social mammals, but now is just a lazy habit.

I’m probably not answering the question - just commenting on us humans in general.

How do you understand it?

Our ancient instincts are not a lazy habit, but appropriate response to an environment that no longer exists. We need to awaken to the world we’ve created from the natural world that “created” us, and which we have been defiling and destroying ever since.

replying with a counter-question is mostly an indication of an escape attempt!

What’s to escape? Your question was stating the obvious. Of course it’s how I understand the description. Now, if you don’t mind answering, how do you understand it?

My understanding is that Krishnamurti uses the term intelligence to indicate a quality of brain/mind that does not conceal anything from itself. The conditioned thought process not only conceals but also conceals the concealing. K sometimes qualifies intelligence with the adjective “creative” to convey that the source of intelligence is outside conditioned time-thought. Intelligence may express itself thoughtfully but it does not originate from thought.

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That last sounds like the result of the ‘self-image’, the image of an individual self that has a continuous existance and ends with physical death (unless…) Was the self then ever an appropriate response in our past or was it as K and Bohm describe it: a"wrong turning"?

You could say that civilization was a wrong turn. It seems to me that when humans were small groups of hunter-gatherers, the self wouldn’t develop.

I recall reading something years ago that in a certain tribe (s?), to have a self-image was punishable by death! I guess it was that the tribe was itself threatened by the development of an ‘individualistic’ psyche.

I Don’t Know, but what is obvious is not always true, it is obvious that the sun is moving during the day but it appears that the eath is turning around the sun. !

According to what K. said is repeating the truth a lie, so the suggesting behind my question was: are you merely repeating his words or did you realy understand them deeply ?

this question I asked myself freuqently !

The way this is written, my best guess is that you meant to write, “according to what K said, repeating the truth is a lie.”

Krishnamurti: I think if one has gone into it very deeply one can discover such a mind for oneself. A mind that has broken down, destroyed all the barriers, all the lies which society, religion, dogma, belief have imposed upon it, and gone beyond to discover what is true, is the true religious mind.

Public Talk 9 Saanen, Switzerland - 13 August 1961

By “discover such a mind for oneself”, is he talking about a “Eureka” moment? A realization - as opposed to understanding - that is only valid in the present. Anything less crisis-producing and it seems to me we will have reduced what K is saying to just another philosophy to live by.

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A Eureka moment is the end of a long and arduous inquiry that yields comprehensive understanding. We know this happens to the brains of scientists and others, but only in limited areas of inquiry.

Can the brain that is inquiring into its own nature and structure discover a mind that completely understands itself, and is therefore incapable of deceiving itself or believing in itself?

But we all know this is called insight. Why do we repeat all this stuff?