intelligence

intelligent life
elsewhere in the universe
intrigues us — we talk
of intelligent design —
and it all begs the question……

This is really quite a bad-tempered little poem. I don’t have any idea where it came from, as I settled down this morning to consider last night’s dreams. I love the way we invent a word ‘intelligence’ to describe whatever it is makes us able to think and reflect. Then we blandly assume — just through sheer desperation of not wanting to be alone — that either the aliens or the gods, assuming they exist at all, must share this same human quality — when we’ve never even properly interrogated the mystery of the fact that we possess it ourselves. My dreams last night were pretty horrible, consisting of a throwback to the time, back in the eighties and early nineties, when I saw myself as the leader of a cult of group sex and feminist revolution. I noticed myself, in the dream, giving a Nazi salute, completely alone in my room — and reflected (in the dream) that this was an eloquent and sad comment on the sinister nature of my own plans for political change. Awake, I think this must relate to the tabloid scandal earlier this year when footage emerged of the six-year-old Queen of England performing a Nazi salute. Talking of monarchs and dictators — I am reading Thomas Hardy’s The Dynasts at the moment which is about the Napoleonic Wars. Hardy’s mind was extraordinary. He had ‘intelligence’ in spades.

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