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Opinions of Sunday, 14 July 2013

Columnist: Akwah, Nana

I Have A PhD

– Is There A Line Between Intelligence, Arrogance And Wisdom?

Learning is the line between intelligence and arrogance, therefore as long as you know there is more to learn and you are therefore willing to learn, there is little likelihood of any arrogance. Once arrogance is embraced, the learning slows down and ultimately even stops.

Joseph Chilton Pearce in "The Biology of Transcendence" fairly explains. First, the heart's love is an electromagnetic field about 1,000 times greater than the head's mentation. Second, the heart's electromagnetic field is very much more flexible and able to meet life's changing patterns. Third, those who permit their heart to guide their head are more whole, even healthier.

The tendency to polarize between animal house and single-minded enthusiast is a common phenomenon in humanity. The way forward is to feel affection for, preferably divine affection. This flexibly unifies both body and mind, as the childlike inner sense, innocence, and love of the beautiful, the good, and the true.

Intelligence is this, in-telling, in-tuition (paying attention), which is the love of wisdom, wise dominion-philosophia that is able to recognize God, which was Plato's highest goal of philosophy.

The only valid type of criticism is Constructive criticism; being truthful in feeling, as this builds gently for those able or willing to receive right steps.

Most social friction and pain is built through misuse of the spoken word. Hence, a brief pause before even thinking to condemn or criticize anyone is very worthwhile.

Arrogance does not have a whole lot to do with intelligence. It just means you think you know everything and you are better than other people, not that you are inherently intelligent or are gaining any wisdom from your reaping of knowledge. No wise person would be arrogant. The wise person is humble because he knows that knowledge is limitless.

This article is not intended to be insulting. It is a question of semantics, partly. I have a PhD; you do seem to be taking a certain pride in your arrogance, the mark of a truly arrogant person. I just want to advise that, one will be taken more seriously in life and will go further in life if you tone it down.

You do not have to suffer fools gladly but for those who are ignorant through no fault of their own, you should show patience and impart your knowledge. What we all have to realize is that what goes around comes around.

There are others who believe really that, there is not a line between intelligence and arrogance but rather a line between confidence and arrogance. The more knowledge we gain the more confident we become. And as usually stated we also become less tolerant of other people's ignorance.

I am however more irritated by lack of common sense than by stupidity or lack of knowledge. There are a lot of very intelligent people in this world that are so lacking in common sense that they could said to be functional idiots.

My young brothers and son are quite intelligent, so I have some practical experience with this subject.

When my son was a teen, I found it necessary to tell my son that his being smart does not make me stupid. Just because he knew a lot of things I never learned, did not exclude the possibility that I might understand things he did not yet know. The line between intelligence and arrogance is crossed when you forget that just because you have a lot of information and are usually right does not mean that others have no information or are automatically wrong.

Intelligence is the ability to gather information, understand, and apply it. One can be intelligent without being wise.

One can also be wise without being overly intelligent, but intelligence helps. The fortunate thing is that one crosses into wisdom when one can evaluate and apply information without becoming arrogant.

Actual intelligence is the understanding that, one is in actuality beyond this material body and mind. Ignorance is thinking we are this material body i.e. Race, Color, nationality, Religion, Job, mind, intellect etc. Intelligence is the understanding that this material world is not our real home and is temporary and full of misery. Conversely, ignorance is thinking that this place is all in all.

Ignorance is denying the supremacy of God. Everything else can be realized by realizing who we are in relationship to God. That is real intelligence and the rest is Illusion which is ignorance.

Arrogance is where you think you are right and a thinking that gives you some sort of superiority over others. Intelligence is, knowing you are right, without having to remind others of it incessantly. That knowledge means you have less to feel insecure about so you don't need to necessarily make others feel lesser for not knowing.

Yes, many say arrogant people can be intelligent, but more often than not they have an inherent insecurity which detracts from that intelligence.

Intelligence and Arrogance don’t really belong in the same spectrum, so there can’t really be a “line” between them. Some incredibly stupid people can be as arrogant as they come.

Arrogance involves thinking of your own desires ahead of anyone else’s, and it can involve intellect, money, genealogy, or beer-drinking ability.

As a former Command Sergeant-Major (see how that arrogance can sound), I know something about intellect. Academia is something different, and many people can’t tell the difference. Academicians frequently “put on” arrogance to protect a fragile self-esteem.

True intellectuals (Albert Einstein, Isaac Asimov, Robert Jarvik) are rarely arrogant, although being certain of a fact can often be misinterpreted as arrogance.

Amy Vanderbilt once said that etiquette is nothing more than making the other person feel at ease. I like that definition, and would say that arrogance is the opposite of that, and requires absolutely no intelligence at all.

If you are feeling arrogant and cynical then you are not gaining in wisdom.

Intelligence, without wisdom, makes one arrogant and cynical because it makes one feel superior.

Wisdom, on the other hand, doesn't need. The line, as you put it, is your mind.

One shares the benefits of one's intelligence; one inflicts arrogance upon others. If people don't want to talk to you anymore, and you are intelligent, know that you have probably crossed that line.

Try to remember that you did not always know so much. Every person learns at a different rate and often at different times in their lives. Intelligence and wisdom are two very different things. Intelligence is knowledge. Wisdom is common sense.

What many fail to grasp is our inability to see through issues. Arrogance comes in when you care more about the fact that you know something that others may not. You cannot assume that people know nor do not know. Common sense is not so common.

Even in the past, people understood that there is a disparity between those that educate themselves and those who are happy to just exist. It is just the natural order of things. Find ways to humble yourself and learn to help bring others up to your level, don't dumb yourself down or lower the bar. Society does better with the majority population being more educated than less.

The pain that most silent citizens feel weighed down, concerns these self-glorified people. An arrogant person tries to prove others wrong. An intelligent person proves oneself right, only when asked to. An intelligent person forever considers oneself a student. An arrogant person prematurely considers oneself a teacher. That is the absurdity of self-gratification.

Arrogance is thinking you know all the answers, whiles intelligence is being open to new views, and knowing that there is more than one way to solve a problem or answer a question.

Arrogance is thinking you are intelligent and making sure everybody knows it, whiles intelligence is accepting you are not "that" intelligent and making sure everybody respects that.

In all that I have written I can pick only one that I have not written about. In the future one may have more choices. Hopefully! And perhaps including the word “humble”, than a PhD. How can you be wise (a PhD holder) without being humble?

Finally, understand that intelligence teaches. Arrogance is selfish and don't be agitated by ignorance you were once ignorant about. Wisdom comes from living again and again, that’s through experience. On the other hand intelligence can be taught.

Humility, self-knowledge, and awareness of the limits of all human knowledge must be acknowledged. Three things remain to the educated: Knowledge, Intelligence, and Wisdom, which is the greatest.

When people come to you for answers, then you will be wise enough to shrug off ignorance. That is wisdom.