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.
Utilizing an ‘outside’ means, “one acquired” as Rumi says, we have tools for viewing ours and others existence. These tools come with hefty burdens, but they are also quite useful. We use them to help us understand we’re troubled. We use them to help us understand the reasons behind why we’re troubled. And we use them to help us understand that we can move away from being troubled. We utilize an outside means to help us move inward to practice. Like using a mirror to see that we have eyes to see with. So from the outside, we move in.
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.
And yet, is it ever really enough? Can this intelligence guarantee an end to your troubles and give you an everlasting happiness or equanimity? As a culture it seems for while we have hoped this would be true, and it’s certainly easy to see why we would want to think so. Do well on a test or get a good grade… You get a little boost. Score a better paying or higher prestige job…There’s another little boost. From one little boost to the next we go, but it never really last. The rollercoaster goes up, but eventually, it must come down. This is knowledge.
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.
We use the outside method to bring the mind to a still state. Stilled, all extraneous activities drop away. Clarity and awareness are the natural functions of the mind. When the mind is still and clear, wisdom is it’s natural state. From inside it moves out. It has always been there. We were just too busy to notice, mostly.
“What is the best path to wisdom?” That may very well depend on where you’re standing. Since everyone’s conditions and capacities vary, what’s needed on the path cultivation also varies. But we could look at this another way. To quote the modern Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki, “It is wisdom that seeks for wisdom.” One looks for the path not realizing they are already standing on it. Like being in a forest where floor is so think with ferns you can no longer see the trail. The shade loving ferns shrink back and withdraw from the searing sun of your awareness. You can cultivate methods to better your practice. However, each moment itself, and the awareness thereof, is the best and only path.
Here is complementary article on Chan, this idea of our inner innate wisdom, and how it moves from out to in and from in to out.