“Delusion” originally referred to powers of a god or demon to change form so as to appear under deceiving masks.
In ancient times, delusions and illusions carried the same sense in “Magic” whereby people were deceived by a façade (a false front hiding the “nothing” behind it). Today, Delusions mean believing what is not real and not believing what is real as a result of self-deception or deception by others. A major realm of Delusions concerns Intelligence. After finding no meaningful definitions, I resorted to Wikipedia defining it as one who engages in critical study, thought, and reflection about the reality of society and proposes solutions for the normative problems of society and by such discourse in the public sphere gains authority from public opinion.
It is amazing to me someone would put this in print, for: (1) it does not say what it is. What does come close is Maya Angelou’s statement: “I’m grateful to intelligent people. That doesn’t mean educated. That doesn’t mean intellectual. I mean really intelligent. What Black old people use to call ‘mother wit’ means intelligence that you had in your mother’s womb. That’s what you rely on. You know what’s right to do.” (2) By the definition referring to what intelligence does (e.g. engaging in critical anything) means nothing because a little child does that. (3) It fails to define ‘reality’ since European males are proud to say they live in a Supernatural realm without defining what that is. One can speculate that it has no ceiling and no bottom. Thus, anything said out of this realm can be delusionally ‘self-declared’ to be Intelligent. (4) Despite the public imparting authority, that has nothing to do with intelligence. Since the definition ignores anything about truth, the betterment of people (e.g. moral responsibility), altruism, and solidarity, I looked up some people of history who Europeans consider their most intelligent minds. In over 200, (and only 3 had dark skins—none Ancient Africans, the most brilliant people who ever lived), Hume said: “The Negro is naturally inferior to the whites. There scarcely ever was a civilized nation of that complexion, nor even any individual, either in action or speculation. No ingenious manufacturers among them, no arts, no science.” Hegal saw Africa as: “the unhistorical, undeveloped spirit still involved in conditions of mere nature, and the African [as] the natural man in his completely wild and untamed state.”
Conrad viewed Africa as “a metaphysical battlefield devoid of all recognizable humanity”. Gorky (1987): “Africans had no brains but base appetites and sexual perversions” (Chivaura JBlack Studies,1998). All of this in the face that much of what Europeans are proud of they stole from Africans. Delusional is too mild a word for these “Intelligentsia”. In another delusional vain, many present as seemingly good people and yet do not practice what they preach because material greed replaces their morals. Captain John Newton piloted a C18 slave ship while carrying the European Bible. He struggled with these Contrary Opposites because his mother had exposed him to some basic spiritual principles about life. Thus, he believed he would eventually pay for this crime against humanity (Yenika-Agbaw JBlack Studies, 2006). Despite realizing as a faithful Christian that slavery is wrong, he continued to paternalistically pray to have a safe, successful, and profitable delivery of his cargo of 207African men, women, and children to be sold in the marketplaces of the West Indies.
He partly justified this because British and American laws sanctioned trading the Enslaved. Yet, he soothed his conscience by displaying some kindness towards the Enslaved but overriding was economic necessity which demanded callous, and, at times, inhumane deeds. Later on, when forced out of the trade by ill health, he claimed his actions were based on ignorance–a claim clearly dishonest, given the troubled conscience he suffered throughout his engagement in the transportation and trading of human beings. It is during the latter part of his life as a preacher that Newton is able to gather material comfort derived from such an exploitative past and thereby write the lyrics of “Amazing Grace”. This famous and powerful hymn for European church-goers is now hailed by all as an all-time classic. European “intellectuals”, hypocritical “Do-Gooders,” demeaning others, and condescension are samples of ignoring the Spiritual Elements and acting like an arid desert by only greed and destruction of innocent people’s futures, and giving nothing.