Featured Poem: Two Kinds of Intelligence by Rumi

This week’s Featured Poem comes from 13th century Persian Poet Rumi, but Two Kinds of Intelligence rings as true today as it did in the poet’s day. 

For many, September will always hold that ‘back to school’ feeling which reignites a previously dormant desire to learn a language or a musical instrument, or just to wander through Paperchase, looking longingly on all the new stationery.

Looking back, our school days may seem a blur of revision, coursework deadlines, exams and results, forever pitching us against class and national averages, ranking us for A* to something we’d rather forget. And while exam results and academic achievement are a worthy pursuit, and often the steps to a successful career, Rumi reminds us that there is more to life.

“There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.”

We cannot thrive on As and Bs alone, beyond our school career, we are always learning, regularly being tested in ways we might not even realise. Our personal development and emotional learning may not occur in a classroom but that makes it no less important.

Rumi suggests that the second knowing is already within us, ready to flow out, but at The Reader we know that self-knowledge isn’t always so forthcoming, sometimes you need to unlock it. That’s part of what makes our Shared Reading groups so rewarding – group members, and Reader Leaders, may sit down to read Charles Dickens or Emily Bronte, but often they leave the group with something to hold onto, some second knowing which has been unlocked during the reading and discussions that follow.

If you’d like to discover Shared Reading for yourself, why not join us at a group this week – you can find your nearest Shared Reading community here.

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.

Rumi

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