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This page has been superseded by

Six Basic Manifestations of Co-Intelligence.

However, we are keeping this page on the site since so many links connect to it.

You may wish to go directly to

Six Basic Manifestations of Co-Intelligence.



Five Dimensions of Co-Intelligence

The five dimensions of co-intelligence so far identified are multi-modal intelligence, collaborative intelligence, wisdom, collective intelligence and universal intelligence.

If we are to know life at a deeper, more engaged level, we'll need to develop a deeper, more engaged intelligence that includes all these dimensions. This site offers a vision of such intelligence -- a co-intelligent worldview based on five revolutionary premises:

1) There is more to intelligence than brains and logic. Many varieties of intelligence are available to us.

Multi-modal intelligence means there are many ways to learn, know and engage with the world. Our bodies, minds, hearts and spirits contain a full palette of intelligences -- emotional, analytic, intuitive, kinesthetic, narrative, moral... We can use more of these and integrate them better -- especially in synergy with other people, since we're all capable in such different ways.

"It is of the utmost importance that we recognize and nurture all of the varied human intelligences.... If we can mobilize the spectrum of human abiliities, not only will people feel better about themselves and more competent; it is even possible that they will also feel more engaged and better able to join the rest of the world community in working for the broader good."

Harvard professor Howard Gardner
Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice (HarperCollins, 1993)

2) There is more to intelligence than successfully predicting and controlling things. We can creatively respond to life. We can collaborate with the world around us.

Collaborative intelligence means finding and working with all the available allies and cooperative forces around us - and there are many. There are always energies we can fruitfully align with, both existing and potential - even within the heart of adversaries and problems. Working with each other, with nature, and with the natural tendencies in us and the world, we can accomplish more with less, and enjoy it more.

"Rather than asking, 'What can I get from this land, or person?' we can ask, 'What does this person, or land, have to give if I cooperate with them?'.... Everything is a positive resource; it is up to us to work out how we may use it as such."

Bill Mollison
Permaculture: A Practical Guide for a Sustainable Future (Island Press, 1990)

3) There's more to intelligence than solving the problems in front of our faces. There's wisdom - the big picture, the long term.

Wisdom means seeing beyond immediate appearances and acting with greater understanding to affirm the life and development of all involved. It involves balance, mystery and tolerance of ambiguity and change. The expanded perspective that accompanies wisdom fosters wonder, humility, compassion and humor.

"The creative edge of truth begins to shift from knowledge to wisdom...[thus moving] on to the challenges of balance, perspective, sustainability and integration."

Charles M. Johnston
Necessary Wisdom (ICD Press, 1991)

4) There is more to intelligence than individual intelligence. There is collective intelligence, the intelligence we generate together.

Collective intelligence means that families, groups, organizations, communities and entire societies can act intelligently as whole, living systems. What we believe, what we do, and how we organize our collective affairs can make or break our collective intelligence. We could improve our collective intelligence to a point where humanity not only survives and flourishes into the foreseeable future, but consciously evolves.

"We need a collective intelligence of a kind that may not have characterized the human species in the past."

Paul Hawken, James Ogilvy, Peter Schwartz
Seven Tomorrows (Bantam, 1982), a report on the work of the futures research group at Stanford Research Institute.

5) There is more to intelligence than human intelligence. Intelligence is a property of the universe and of all that's in it.

Universal intelligence is the intrinsic tendency for things to self-organize and co-evolve into ever more complex, intricately interwoven and mutually compatible forms. Our human intelligence is but one manifestation of that universal dynamic. The more we are conscious of universal intelligence and connect ourselves to it, the more intelligence (and wisdom) we'll have to work with.

"The mind, I believe, exists in some very real sense in the universe.... Mind was a primary part of nature from the beginning and we are simply manifestations of it.... mind is inherent in the way the universe is built."

Astrophysicist Freeman Dyson,
US News and World Report (4/28/88)

The five-dimensional world of co-intelligence consists of these very special phenomena - multi-modal intelligence, collaborative intelligence, wisdom, collective intelligence and universal intelligence - all mixing and matching in a thousand ways.