I see many clients from all walks of life. From the CEO’s of major companies who want to sleep better and deal with stress, to the unmarried mother with 3 children who wants to stop smoking and lose weight. They vary greatly in their degree of understanding. However I find that I really don’t pay much credence to the idea of intelligence. Much more important, in my view, is the ability to have self observation.
It could be said that if you don’t learn from your mistakes you die as stupid as when you were born, but in this day and age we see learning as intellectual learning. That is, learning facts and information. There is a much more important type of learning which is to see how we respond to situations and make changes to improve ourselves.
I’ve known people who suffer from a really bad temper and they will get aggressive when confronted with something they don’t like. In many cases these people will deny that they are losing their temper or getting aggressive even though it’s obvious to everyone around them. They will not be able to remedy their temper problem until they can see it in themselves. As the US TV host Dr Phil puts it: “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge”.
It’s strange that we place so much emphasis on university education and getting degrees when really all we are doing is to learn to emulate the ideas and practices of other people who have gone before, but we ignore the real learning which is the learning about ourselves.
In Ancient Greece inscribed at Temple of Apollo at Delphi was the inscription:
The journey of life was not to be able to recite facts but to understand our deeper nature. To know thyself was to know your Lord.