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Two Kinds of Intelligence

We enjoyed a restful Christmas. We head out tomorrow night for a trip to British Columbia where my 88-year old mother lives. Over the past few days, I thought about what I hold true and came across this Rumi poem. I will be working more on the literature review for my dissertation and I need to assure myself that I distinguish between two types of intelligences: one that grounds me and one that is simply the currency of the day.

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 the conduits of plumbing-learning.

This second knowledge is a fountainhead

from within you, moving out.

About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

57 responses »

  1. My opinion is that the two intelligences I identify with in your poem is knowledge and wisdom.

    • That is the way I would understand it as well. I am hoping as I move down the dissertation path, the latter plays a large role in my writing.

      • Knowledge and wisdom have a close relationship, they need each other to work. Knowledge is the foundation, wisdom is the house built on the foundation. Good luck in your dissertation.

  2. I, likewise, have seen this distinction as between knowledge and wisdom. Perhaps, though, as the poem suggests, it is just as much a question of different kinds of intelligence. I know, try as I might, I seem incapable of acquiring some technical knowledge and putting it to use. Ask me to analyze a piece of literature, though, and I can usually hit the nail on the head.

    Thanks for the post and have a great trip.

  3. brilliant find .. I need to work to realise this in my own self.

  4. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Have a nice trip, Ivon!

  5. What a pity for those who have stopped desiring a fresh spring. :). I’m also picking up that you are not a proponent of the tabula rosa concept. (I’m assuredly a “my junk DNA is my best-kept treasure” kinda’ gal.) Best wishes moving forward; I’m currently working on conceptually mapping out my research.

  6. Thanks for sharing your poem. I agree with the rest that wisdom is the opposite of knowledge. Knowledge you get from books and teachers, etc; whereas, wisdom comes from a more intuitive understanding of how the world works. You don’t need to go to school to be wise but you do if you want to be smart/knowledgeable. I think wisdom is more important than book smarts…this despite my thirst for formal education! LOL

    • I like the word you used: intuitive. Even things we think we know, are usually the first thing that comes to mind. When we start to second guess and use our brain, we often find we are wrong with the second and third answer. A lot of what we end up knowing is from the gut, the heart, and the mind rather than the brain.

  7. Enjoyed your poem, Ivon. Happy New Year to you and yours, Bette

  8. Reblogged this on akkaoldfart and commented:
    Have read this Just before I was about to fall of my lemon tree….LOL
    LOVE IT…Don’t ask me why .
    Thanks ” ivonprefontaine “

  9. Thank you for being such an inspiration to me…I have nominated you for the Blog of the Year 2012 award. You can check out your link here and I would be honored if you would accept the award ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Lovely thoughts and words… is that a Coleman Barks translation?
    I find it fascinating that my grand-children refer to other people’s e-Q – emotional intelligence, which is another form of intelligence we are only now beginning to honour., but that they take for granted……

    • Valerie, it is nice to find you back on the blogging scene. This is a Rumi poem. He was a Sufi mystic in about the 12th Century.

      Another form of intelligence that is surfacing is spiritual intelligence. Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall are the contemporary authors most associated with it and, in education, the work of Linda Lantieri is the focus.

      • Ivon, how lovely hear from you. Thank you.
        Yes, isn’t it interesting about newly recognised forms of intelligence -… I read an article about it in an educational magazine some years ago, and one particular race ( which I will not name for fear of being racist) were rated as very high in other forms of intelligence, but very low on emotional and spiritual intelligence according to the figures in the article !!!.

        Even before this, the questions had been changed at the Med School here, as though they were getting graduates with the highest exam scores, when it came down to other factors like communication – their emotional intelligence didn’t match up, which meant doctors who couldn’t relate to their patients!
        Unfortunately, I don’t think the med school was interested in spiritual intelligence!
        Thank you for those names, which I’ll enjoy following up, and exploring

        Yes, Rumi is a favourite of mine – I wondered if the translation you used, which was so beautiful, was by Coleman Barks

  11. Yes, I appreciate the later form of intelligence much more — natural, evergreen and infinitely boundless in its being! Happy holidays once again! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Your insight is brilliant. Good journey. I would lean toward the second as more evolving. Facts are enjoyable and important sometimes to know. But insight and developing thoughts from deep inside of your mind are hopefully more enriching and keep developing throughout your life to sustain you.

    I stopped by to leave a message for you. Seeing that you will be journeying and hope the weather will be in your favour, I will just leave my message and when you are able you can check it out. One more thing before I do that I would like to add that I hope you have great success with your dissertation. It will be a good challenge I hope and bring out your inspiration to help in your studies and discoveries.

    Now for the message:

    Have a very HAPPY NEW YEAR in 2013. Hopefully, we will all find our dreams and wishes listened to and become a reality in the GOOD sense of the word. Love Peace Joy and Bliss I wish to you.

    Oh! & also, I Nominate You for the โ€œShine On Award.โ€ All You Have to Do is To Enjoy the Award and if you choose you can Post it on Your Own Blog.

    Come to my blog at โ€œthe secret keeper (dot) netโ€ and go down the right column to under the Beautiful Pantherโ€™s Image and Save the Award to photos. And if you would like, read what I wrote on the post Shine On Award and anything else you would like to do. Just enjoy yourself. Peace, Jennifer ps. And definitely good luck in your travels and your future challenges that look like they will be many.

  13. Great Poem. As knowledge fascinates Wisdom prevails.

    Lets welcome the year which is Fresh and New,
    Lets Cherish each moment it beholds,
    Lets celebrate Blissful Year 2013โ€ฆ..
    Wishing you a
    Happy New Year
    And a Great Year ahead !!

  14. It was by no mistake that your were blessed to have this fall into your being…since it always shares true treasured beauties for many to consume and blossom more. I hope your mother is well my friend…and thanks for a minds taste of bliss! God bless!

  15. Pingback: Wonderful Team Member Readership Award! « Tranquil Dreams

  16. Beautiful and encouraging!

  17. If all we ever read was Rumi, it would be enough.

  18. Ah, I love Rumi. I read this poem quite some time ago, and it is always great to read it again. Thank you for sharing, Ivon. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ivon, I know this is the 9th of January, but I hope it is not too late to wish you a wonderful New Year. May 2013 bring you more happiness, love, and success. I would like to thank you because you continue following my blog. I hope my blog posts do not disappoint and that your visits in there have been a joyful ride.

    I have been having trouble with my subscription, so now I am resubscribing, looking forward to reading more of your posts. Thank you again, many blessings and much love to you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Subhan Zein

    • Subhan, it is never too late. I was reminded the other day that everyday could be a New Year if it were approached with openness. I find your blog inspiring and look forward to the posts.

      Thank you for the kind words and take care in this New Year.


      • Thank you for showing your interest in my work, Ivon. If you like, you may want to consider subscribing through email so you do not miss the posts. I only post 1-2 per week, so this won’t inundate your inbox, I hope. Current WP subscription only allows new posts displayed in the Reader section, which means only those doing email subscription are regularly updated. If you are interested, I would be more than happy to send you a brief instruction for email subscription. Just let me know. Thank you, many blessings and much love to you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I will check it out further. It shows that I am following and I think it does come into my email, but I will check later today to confirm. Thank you.

  19. jalal michael sabbagh.

    Incredible post.But l think the third source of child’s progress is the home he lives in .Its as important as the rest.Thank you for liking my post (S O L T A N A) .Best regards.jalal

  20. Wow Ivon, what a powerful piece! It will stay with me all day and the weeks to come. Thanks, Terri

  21. Insightful piece! The power that all of us have within should be the most highly regarded, not the “book by it’s cover” view that the world seems to have.

  22. Thank you for this poem Ivon. I know exactly who in my life I will share this with….

  23. Good cold morning. Thanks for dropping by.

  24. I admired your endeavor to pursue a Ph.D. after you retired. I got mine Ed.D. while I was working as school district administrator. I did my dissertation during my final (3rd) year of classes, so it was pretty crazy. Only 2% of the doctoral students would do that. Fortunately I had great company. Three classmates also wanted to do the same. We had regular monthly meetings to push each other through and we all made it!! This post was posted in 2012. I think by now you have completed your Ph.D. I have to come back to read some more.


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