Two Kinds of Intelligence
There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired,
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.
With such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining
information. You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.
There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest. This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It’s fluid,
and it doesn’t move from outside to inside
through conduits of plumbing-learning.
This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.
This poem was written by Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic. It could have been written a week ago – it’s expression and wording are so relevant to us now. And so worth carrying into our hearts.
He speaks of heart-knowing and body-knowing. Of what moves us and what we know is true deep down; and then attending to what we know.
Attending to this special knowing isn’t as easy as we would like. Most of us have covered up our knowing with obligations, rules, fears and what we have come to think of as necessary imperatives. For instance, I have a big presentation tomorrow; I don’t have time to sit quietly over dinner, go for a walk, or do anything that isn’t directly related to preparing for this event. And yet, if I were to take that walk, I might discover something about myself that would bring that presentation alive and make it genuine.
Martha Beck says, in her article “Are you there Gut? It’s me, Martha”, that we spend our whole lives being taught to override our intuition. We’re taught to think things through, really think about it, give it some thought. Instincts, however, aren’t thoughts. They are the other kind of intelligence and can’t be accessed in the same way we access our thoughts.
The way we discover our inner knowing is to be still, meditate, go for a walk, simply be with ourselves and allow a space for that knowing to surface.
Maryanne Nicholls is a Toronto based, certified Psychotherapist offering a balanced approach to mental health. Please visit http://www.thejoyofliving.co for information on her services, or contact her directly to find out how she can help you reclaim the joy of living.