Friday, January 25, 2013

In which I ask speculative questions about intelligence, light, and truth

 The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. (D&C 93:36)

Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be. (D&C 93:29)

Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; (Abraham 3:22)

I think that when “intelligence” is defined as “light and truth,” we are actually given a fair amount of information.  It is almost as if it has a dual nature.  Think about the dual nature of light.  Is it a wave?  Is it a particle?  It acts like both, depending on the situation.  Might intelligence act like light or like truth, depending on the situation?  I have no idea.

Light has energy.   What generates this light?  

And then the “truth” part of it.  Does that mean that there is some kind of encoding and storing of information going on intelligence?  And if so, does that mean there’s some kind of inherent sensory aspect?  Does that mean there is a discernment aspect too? If truth is knowledge of what is, was, and what will be, how does it know it is eternal and not temporary?  That's like saying truth is history and prophesy all rolled into one.

Is truth the message or is it the vessel holding truth?  Or is light the vessel that holds truth?  How do light and truth become connected?  Or are they inseparably connected already?

D&C 130 talks about how intelligence is increased through diligence and obedience.

And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. (D&C 130:19) 

 Whatever the exact connective nature of light and truth in intelligence, we are clearly told how to get more.  More is good.

Inevitably the question will be asked, “What good is this stuff Joseph Smith gave us about intelligence, light, and truth?  I think the basic principles of intelligence can keep us grounded in the midst of dialogues about philosophy, neuroscience, psychology, and other stuff that has to do with brains and being smart.  It helps us see beyond the mortal chemical imbalances, genetic defects, developmental delays, and other such problems into the divine potential within.


catania said...

I love it when you hurt my mind grapes with blog posts like these... :)

I can't say that I have an opinion on the matter, but that i also like asking myself all of these questions...questions that have no answers, but have me hungering for more light and truth now, and for the "classes" I like to imagine we'll take one day in the next world.

I do love how you talk about light and truth as distinctly different things, yet inseparably connected...

I also think about what light does - it gives life. It is everything really. And you said - is eternal in nature and liberates us.

Of course, not coincidentally, I'm sure, but both light and truth are characteristics and even, at times, titles of Christ...

I have no point, but I want to thank you for getting the wheels turning. :)

Michaela Stephens said...

I didn't intend to hurt your head, but it is always nice to read something that gets you thinking, isn't it?

I like what you said about how truth liberates us. I think it liberates in two senses. First, it presents us with choices, and you have to have choices to be free. Second, living the truth expands our capacity to learn more truth, so we are freed to continue learning.