Tuesday, December 14, 2010

[Sunlight] There are two kinds of intelligence


Sunlight offers the Mathnawi* verses, from Book IV, lines
1960 - 1968, in a version by Coleman Barks, a version by
Camille and Kabir Helminski, a translation by William Chittick,
and in Persian transcription:


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 knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.

-- Version by Coleman Barks
"The Essential Rumi"
HarperSanFrancisco, 1995


There are two kinds of intelligence.
One is that acquired by a child at school
from books and teachers, new ideas and memorization.
Your intelligence may become superior to others,
but retaining all that knowledge is a burden.
You who are so busy searching for knowledge
must be a preserving tablet, but the preserved tablet
is the one who has gone beyond all this.
For the other kind of intelligence is the gift of God:
its fountain is deep within the soul.
When the water of God-given knowledge surges from the breast,
it never stagnates or becomes impure.
And if its way to the outside is blocked, what harm is there?
For it flows continually from the house of the heart.
The acquired intelligence is like the conduits
which run into the house from the streets:
if those pipes become blocked, the house is bereft of water.
Seek the fountain within yourself.

-- Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996


The intellect is of two kinds: The first is
acquired. You learn it like a boy at school.
From books, teachers, reflection and rote, from
concepts and from excellent and new sciences.
Your intellect becomes greater than that of
others, but you are heavily burdened because of your
The other intellect is a gift of God. Its
fountainhead lies in the midst of the spirit.
When the water of knowledge bubbles up from
the breast, it will never become stagnant, old, or discolored.
If the way to the outside source should become
blocked, there is no reason to worry since the water keeps on
bubbling up from within the house.
The acquired intellect is like a stream led into a
house from outside.
If its way should be blocked, it is helpless. Seek
the fountain from within yourself!

-- Translation by William C. Chittick
"The Sufi Path of Love"
SUNY Press, Albany 1983


`Aql do `aqlast avval maksabi
keh dar âmuzi cho dar maktab sabi
Az ketâb o ustâd o fekr o zekr
az ma`âni vaz `olum-e khub o bekr
`Aql-e to afzun shavad bar digarân
lik to bâshi ze hefz-e ân gerân
Lawh-e hâfez bâshi andar dur o gasht
lawh-e mahfuz ust ku zin dar gozasht
`Aql-e digar bakhshesh-e Yazdân bovad
cheshmeh-ye ân dar miyân-e jân bovad
Chon ze sineh âb-e dânesh jush kard
nah shavad gandeh nah dirineh nah zard
Var rah-e nab`esh bovad basteh cheh ghamm
ku hami jushad ze khâneh dam be-dam
`Aql-e tahsili mesâl-e jui-hâ
kân ravad dar khâneh az kui-hâ
Râh-e âbesh basteh shod shod bi navâ
az darun-e khvishetan ju cheshmeh-râ

-- Mathnawi IV:1960-1968
transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra


* "The Mathnawi" (also spelled "Masnavi") : the six volume
masterpiece written in Rumi's mature years, consisting of over
25,000 lines of stories and teachings. The term "mathnawi" means
rhymed couplets. -- Sunlight Ed.



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