Emotional Intelligence

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When people think of intelligence they usually think first and foremost of knowledge, with the implication being that someone who possesses knowledge is deemed intelligent and someone who lacks it is deemed to lack intelligence. These judgements are misguided and misconstrue what intelligence actually is defined as. Intelligence is the means or the methods that someone uses to solve problems. A person's intelligence isn't measured by what they know but rather by their ability to deal with the things they know nothing about when they are confronted with them. To that end, many people are a lot more intelligent than they give themselves credit for, and perceive many others of being a lot more intelligent than they actually are, simply because they appear knowledgeable.

To know that a carburettor supplies an ignition to an engine, or that a compiler takes human readable code and transforms it into machine readable binary, or that the vagus nerve is the primary component of the nervous system that triggers immune responses, or to be able to name every member of the Kardashian family is not an indicator or intelligence or lack thereof. These all represent subsets of knowledge that a person may or may not acquire and in most cases whether a person possesses these sets of knowledge depends on whether they have use for them in their everyday lives.

It's also important here to divorce the concept of wisdom from intelligence as these two are also conflated. Wisdom is a compound variable formed by combining knowledge and experience - in other words knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, experience is knowing what it tastes like, and wisdom is knowing that it doesn't belong in a fruit salad - unless you happen to have quite peculiar tastes.

The concept of emotional intelligence takes the problem solving processes we use to determine someone's intelligence and applies them to the emotional realm, which in the Tarot falls under the suit of Cups representing emotions and feelings - derived quite literally from the ideographic interpretation of the uterus as a cup.

When we define emotional intelligence we do it through the ability to understand what others are feeling and the ability to process our own emotions. Hopefully if you master both then you should consequently be able to combine this understanding with your communication skills and be able to form healthy relationships both in terms of how you treat others and how you treat yourself.

Every cause has an effect as the Merovingian was so fond of emphasising in the Matrix, this when interpreted in an emotional context translates to the concept that every action has a consequence, and that emotional maturity is the point where we come to accept that we are responsible for the consequences of our actions, regardless of whether those consequences were intended or not. Immaturity in the context of emotional intelligence refutes this and holds on to the idea that you should be able to do whatever you want and other people should have to deal with the consequences, that you are only responsible for intended outcomes not for those that are unintended.

This position is immature and childlike in its approach to consequence, it ignores the reality of the situation in favour of the interpretation of a situation. If two people decide to go hunting in the woods and one shoots the other in the foot, whether or not that action was intentional is irrelevant, what is relevant is that someone has a bullet in their foot and that needs immediate medical attention.

A selfish mind asserts that the shooter is not guilty if they did not intend to shoot the other person in the foot.

A selfless mind cares only about the consequence and focuses entirely on the victim and taking care of their injury.

An objective mind however is one that is capable of accepting one fundamental principle that serves as the hallmark of human intelligence as opposed to other forms - that two things can be true at the same time.

The shooter is responsible for the injury they caused, regardless of whether it was intended. The victim is also responsible for putting themselves in a position where that was possible. Both people are responsible for the failure to communicate their presence, to coordinate their actions, and to consider each other in their decision making processes rather than acting impulsively.

Emotional Intelligence requires that your thought processes consider other people as well as yourself; knowing and understanding that your actions have consequences will ultimately help you avoid the unintended consequences. You don't have to second-guess everything you do, and you don't have to over-think everything to the point of paralysis you simply need to accept that other people exist, they have lives, their own emotional states, and that you have an impact on them as much as they have an impact on you.

Even those who lack emotional intelligence understand the latter, that other people impact our lives yet they are quick to criticise others for the consequences of their actions but refuse to reflect on their own actions with the same gravitas.

In order to develop your own emotional intelligence you need to change the way you think about emotions, the way you go about analysing and understanding emotions. The best place to start in this endeavour is by developing your communication skills, the number one reason people can't process an emotion is because they don't know what word to give it, language helps us to understand. The language of emotion begins with "I am" whilst the language of conflict begins with "You are" and "You made me feel" because the latter is designed to assign blame and judge others rather than communicate our internal state, even if we're only trying to articulate it to ourselves to develop our own understanding through introspection, we have to begin with stating how we feel without trying to find the cause, that part comes later - you need to understand what you are feeling before you can find out why.

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