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Intrapersonal and Existential Intelligence: The Undiscovered Truth

The Symbolic representation of intrapersonal and existential intelligence.
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Intrapersonal and existential intelligence with a hidden purpose to humanity.

It is apparent that the relevance of nature, characteristics, and principles of the world helps us understand the mysteries behind the cosmos. Above all, they have also led us to perceptions and conclusions about various ideas and possibilities.

For instance, one of the famous American psychologists, Dr. Howard Earl Gardner, believed that humans have different ways of processing information that are independent of each other. In addition, it also opens us to many forms of possibilities in thought processes.

His theory for multiple ways through which a man filters information from his internal and external environment is what we call today as ‘Theory of Multiple Intelligence’.

According to his theory, there are eight types of intelligence that form the basis of human perception i.e. eight different ways of processing information. However, another type of intelligence fails to find a mention in his theory.

It is the ‘existential intelligence’ or ninth intelligence. After that, the theory of multiple intelligences was revised.

In addition, these ways of processing information are independent and, therefore, do not overlap with each other concerning human psychology.

However, intrapersonal and existential intelligence is related to a degree as one goes through an understanding of ‘the self’ and ‘the universe’.

This unique relation isn’t understood by the world consciously. But it is the sole reason we were able to evolve as the ‘apex’ beings on the planet.

Therefore, let us discuss the existential and intrapersonal effects of the universe upon the human mind.

Intrapersonal analysis of existential truth:

First, let us discuss the intrapersonal intelligence. According to Howard Gardner’s definition,

The capacity to be self-aware and in tune with inner feelings, values, beliefs, and thought processes is called intrapersonal intelligence.

In other words, it is the awareness of one’s feelings, values, temperaments, motivations, and desires. Therefore, it is also known as ‘self smartness’.

Talking about the existential counterpart, it is one of the rarest forms of intelligence, as proposed by Gardner’s theory.

By definition, it is

The ability of an individual to contemplate and ponder the epistemological and metaphysical reasoning behind one’s nature of existence.

In other words, it is the intelligence that helps an individual focus on issues such as humanity, religion, and mysticism with a strongly intuitive mind and insight from experiences. Therefore, it is also known as ‘life smartness’.

However, an inherent desire to understand ‘the self’ as one of the key motivations to acquire the epistemological and existential parts of human intelligence is necessary to refine our observations and reasoning. Above all, it helps us to grasp the holistic conclusions of life.

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Intrapersonal and Existential Intelligence

The secret behind the relation between ‘the self’ and ‘the universe’:

The relevance of ‘the self’ and its significance in contemplating the first principles of life has been preached for ages by many existentialists. Therefore, we see it as something which is completely inherent and limited to an individual.

In other words, our source of existence must be related to something mysterious and unfamiliar.

However, with a detailed study on ‘the self’ by psychologists and philosophers alike, its capability is claimed to be ‘boundless’. Moreover, the complexity of human nature has evolved as a natural source of insight and inspiration over facts and data.

True knowledge is not attained by thinking. It is what you are; it is what you become

– Sri Aurobindo

Therefore, the road to spiritual transcendence requires the ‘introspective self’ to come to terms with the ‘mystical universe’. Above all, every creation, no matter the process, is vital to establish balance and harmony concerning nature.

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The Cycle of ‘the self’ and ‘the universe’

In addition, many cultures have emphasized the significance of intrapersonal knowledge to deal with the larger truths of life. Hence, its relation to existential knowledge.

Western and Eastern Philosophies upon ‘the self’ and ‘the universe’:

Western philosophy, such as American and Greek philosophies, has preached the need for intrapersonal pursuits to gain a comprehensive meaning of existence. Moreover, ‘the self’ and its influence on the worldview also play a significant role.

Both Plato and Einstein possessed a high self-awareness which helped them contemplate theories beyond the likes of the proposed thinking limits of society. Hence, the abstract philosophies came into existence.

Moreover, Plato expressed his version of ‘the self’ as an inseparable entity inherent to the soul and purpose.

We lose everything because everything remains except us. Therefore, any form of posterity may be an affront, and perhaps any memory, as well.

– Javier Marias

Similarly, eastern philosophy, especially the Indian and Chinese philosophies, has mentioned the relevance of ‘the self’ to discovering the truth and meaning of life.

In addition, Hinduism terms ‘the self’ as the ‘eternal self or atman’ that is beyond ‘ego’ and manifests itself as his ‘internal universe’. Therefore, intrapersonal intelligence is essential to unlocking the potential of the philosophy of life.

Embracing ‘Existentialism’ through intrapersonal philosophy:

Individuals with high intrapersonal and existential intelligence are insightful, contemplative, and introspective. Moreover, they have myriad questions revolving around and actively try to seek their answers.

However, they are aware of the intricacy of these questions and, therefore, do not seek concrete answers. In addition, they like to consider multiple possibilities that are open to individual interpretation.

For instance, many philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Søren Kierkegaard, Albert Camus, and Friedrich Nietzsche believed in existentialist life.

In other words, their curiosity towards human nature inspired them to reveal one of the most debatable theories about the ‘supreme being’ or ‘god’. Therefore, they understood the significance of the existence of reality with ‘the self’.

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The relation between human intelligence and reality

These philosophers may have proposed different theories. However, their analysis preached the meaning of humanity’s existence. Moreover, Friedrich Nietzsche and Søren Kierkegaard have mentioned the nature of ‘the self’ and the individual perception compared to the ‘perceived reality’.

After all, they stressed the fact that whatever appears to an individual in his conscious mind becomes a reality to him. Hence, the universe resides in his mind itself.

Therefore, an individual who embraces himself and his observations, perceptions, and motivations can contemplate his version of reality, which would be similar to his outer world of possibilities. Moreover, this helps him understand many things through unique insights.

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced

– Søren Kierkegaard

The above analogy highlights the significance of the knowledge of ‘the self’ and ‘the existential universe’.

Effects of intrapersonal and existential intelligence upon society:

As discussed above, existential questions are debatable. Therefore, they are subject to individual interpretation, which means that an individual must be aware of his thoughts, perceptions, beliefs, and values to find his answer to these questions that relate him to his external environment.

For instance, our self-awareness helps us deal with unknown truths that become the foundation of life. Similarly, our thought processes guide us to refine our inner principles and beliefs.

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Photo by Rakicevic Nenad from Pexels

Some individuals at a certain age are curious about the dynamics of the world. In addition, they are often drawn to their outer environment of ideas and possibilities, which helps them create their inner world as a result of the manifestation of their perceived reality.

In other words, they form their notions, values, beliefs, and principles centered around an inner reality of inspiration and motivation to create an ‘identity’ in this process. Hence, a part of intrapersonal intelligence which makes them self-aware.

The outer world is a reflection of the inner world. Other people’s perception of you is a reflection of them; your response to them is an awareness of you.

– Roy T. Bennett

Final Words:

In conclusion, intrapersonal knowledge combined with existential truth leads to the path of ‘absolute existentialism’ that values self-analysis and thought processes.

In addition, the relation between ‘the self’ and ‘the universe’ becomes clear when a philosopher or psychologist refines his ‘existential metaphysics’ with his internal set of ‘values and principles’, thereby strengthening his morality and authenticity to lead a meaningful life.

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