“Intelligent idiots” is how Donald Manning describes many people in universities. Although this might seem like a paradox, many of us know what he means. So what is intelligence?
Intelligence, or at least the Intelligence Quotient (IQ), is usually estimated by presenting a person with a battery of items representing problems or puzzles. Legion Theory would describe the solution to these IQ items to be arrived at by a self constructing a small mindscape corresponding to the problem at hand. Then the self undertakes an excursion to that mindscape and accesses the information from the mindscape. Once the solution to the problem is derived, the self shares that solution with the corporate self and then reaggregates with the corporate self. And so the process continues with the next item.
IQ, then, represents an index of the efficiency with which the system constructs small mindscapes and accesses them via excursion. But IQ provides no measure of the variation between people regarding their capacity to form a sophisticated realm primus.
The realm primus is our internal model of the ‘real world’ which comprises both the external physical world we live in and the social aspects of that world. Within the realm primus other people are modelled by characters, which provide the corporate self with information regarding the other person’s thoughts and social relations.
So an individual could, theoretically, have an advanced capacity to form mindscapes and access their information via excursion, but at the same time might have a relatively crude realm primus, and so may have only a poor understanding of the ‘real world’ within which they actually live.
And, of course, the opposite is true. An individual might have a relatively poor capacity to form mindscapes and access information from mindscapes via excursion, but at the same time may have a sophisticated realm primus which means that they can operate very skilfully within the ‘real world’.
The capacity someone has to form mindscapes and access them is their IQ. The capacity someone has to form a sophisticated realm primus is a completely different ability. This would correspond to what is sometimes called their “emotional intelligence”.
Because of the differentiation of these two sets of processes, a person can, indeed, be both “intelligent” and an “idiot” at the same time.