Website owner:  James Miller

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On intelligence

   Intelligence, discernment and understanding are closely 
   connected.  We call the person of knowledge, discernment and 
   understanding intelligent.  And knowledge, discernment and 
   understanding are closely connected to certain habits and 
   personality traits.  The action of certain personality traits, 
   ways and habits, over time, tend to produce the intelligent, 
   knowledgeable, discerning, understanding mind.  What are the 
   personality traits and personal habits that, over time, produce 
   the intelligent mind?  Let us name them:

     1. Interest in knowledge and understanding
     2. Curiosity   
     3. Habit of reading  
     4. Industriousness, willingness to expend effort, 
        conscientiously doing those things that one ought to do, 
        energetic application of one's self, hard work and effort 
        towards mental improvement 
     5. Perseverance
     6. Seriousness
     7. High personal standards

   Knowledge and mental improvement comes through effort, hard 
   work and perseverance.  It is something developed by the hard-
   working, motivated person.

   There is a personality trait that is closely connected with 
   ignorance and lack of intelligence.  It is laziness.  The lazy, 
   unmotivated person remains ignorant.  One gets out of life 
   about what one puts into it.  If one puts nothing in he gets 
   nothing out.  In life you have to invest in order to reap 

   Psychiatrists tend to equate intelligence with the rapidity and 
   ease with which a person learns.  What lies behind the trait of 
   being easily teachable, of learning easily?  The Funk & 
   Wagnalls Dictionary gives us a clue.  Under "teachable" we 

   Teachable.  Willing or able to learn, docile.

   Under the definition of "docile" we find:

   Docile.  1. Amenable to training; easy to manage; tractable.  
    2. Easily worked or handled. 
   Syn. Docile, tractable, pliant, compliant and amenable mean 
    submissive to the will of another.  The docile person is easy 
    to teach; the tractable person easy to lead. A pliant man can 
    easily be bent in any direction; the compliant stresses ease 
    of persuasion; and amenable describes the person who is 
    disposed to be obedient. 
   Ant. Intractable, obstinate, willful, fractious, inflexible.

   It is worth noting that the thoughtful, doubting, skeptical, 
   questioning, examining mind is not a docile, tractable, pliant 
   mind.  It is an independent thinking mind that closely 
   corresponds to the opposite of pliant and tractable, namely, 
   intractable and obstinate. 

   June 2005

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