The Five Forms of Intelligence

Human beings are born with five forms of intelligence, says Gilles Marin, founder and director of the Chi Nei Tsang Institute in Berkeley, CA. Thinking is only one of the forms.

Marin looks at intelligence through the lens of the traditional Chinese five elements.

1. Wood intelligence. This is the one we're all familiar with. Rational thinking.

2. Earth intelligence. "Centered" intelligence. The capacity to be fully in the moment, which leads to right thought, right time, right action.

3. Fire intelligence. The intelligence of the heart: discernment and intuition, attraction and discovery.

4. Metal intelligence. The capacity to connect: emotional maturity.

5. Water intelligence. Our "hard-wiring": instinctual intelligence and ancestral DNA.

"And what about the intelligence of imagination?" I asked him, thinking of stories and storytelling. "Where does this fit in?"

"Ah!" he responded, his eyes twinkling. "That is alchemy!"

Nancy Binzen
Nancy Binzen