February 13th, 2012
This categorization of learning by Rumi seems particularly vital today; I have never seen the distinction quite this way before. I offer the poem called Two kinds of intelligences
“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
You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, always getting more
marks on your preserving tablets.
There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox
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.”
From The Essential Rumi, by Coleman Barks
Can one be enamored of both styles?
I specialize in the first, which moves from the outside to the inside, but find myself drawn to the fountainhead…the one from within, moving out.