Directed and Attentive Thought

Wisdom: Really Seeing
Wisdom, Direction and Freedom

When you use “Directed Intelligence” you may become more  efficient.  When you use “Attentive Intelligence” you may gain Wisdom.

Though we value wisdom, we get paid for efficiency. Therefore we use “Directed Intelligence” a lot. We are more likely to maintain a healthy balance if we are aware that “Attentive Intelligence” opens our hearts to people’s unspoken agendas. Seeing others as they are and watching them relate leads to a practical understanding of how relationships work. For most people wisdom means knowing how the world actually works. Why walk in the woods when all we see are the signs. Achievements pay, but people give joy. Exercising the freedom to pay attention to our relationships, including our relationship to God is amazing.

Here is what I mean. You may be making a list of steps you need to go through in order to  cut down a tree or buy groceries. I might have some work project in mind. Either way, our minds store up hundreds, even thousands of processes we can use. Almost without realizing it, we chose to use one or more of these processes to accomplish our goals. Occasionally someone will discover that reading the directions is important. Using processes focuses our thought on a goal and suggests steps we have used in the past.  I call the use of step to accomplish goals “Directed Intelligence.”

Because “Directed intelligence” is goal directed, it is mostly active. We involve other people in so far as the goal requires them. As we reflect on our “Directed Experience” we become more efficient.

We typically use “Attentive Intelligence” in our personal relationships. Imagine we are considering what we need to do in order to cut down some trees. A friend or family member comes in and says, “Hi, got a sec?”

“Sure,” we say. We shift gears and begin to “attend to” what they say. We focus on hearing their heart. Typically we are silent so they can express themselves freely. We pay attention to their tone of voice. We also watch their body language. Focused on the whole person, we may ask questions in order to clarify what they mean. Mostly, though, they lead and we follow.

“Attentive Intelligence” is other directed.  We are mostly passive. We make our involvement with the other person central. As we then reflect on the time together, we gain new insights into who they are and what our relationship is. We become wise.

When we follow the pattern laid out in Jesus’ life we gain in wisdom. In his letter James counsels us,

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

Though Solomon asked specifically for a God listening heart, (1 King 3:1-15) the promise of wisdom is for us all, and not just for some.  People who become wise in life attended, then meditate.

If you have the idea but are not sure of the difference in feel between the two, go here. If you are not familiar with the difference between how Christians and others used Meditation, you might want to go here.

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