Intellect Vs. Intelligence

by Mark Goudie on Mar 14, 2023

Intellect Vs. Intelligence - A Conscious State

There is a lot of confusion around the difference between intellect and intelligence. In countless articles practitioners write as if they are one and the same. Having a closer look though, you may find that although they do have a relationship, they are completely different. You can be an intellectual person with little intelligence and vice versa. The confusion is so extensive that the mental health sector have broken down intelligence into sub categories, making intelligence even more difficult to understand from their perspective. There is even a suggestion that there is a such thing as "emotional intelligence" - if you know what you are feeling and you can manage your emotions, then you must be "emotionally intelligent". This sub sectioning of intelligence suggests that you can be intelligent in some parts and not in others. The complexity of this sub sectioning alone actually suggests that it may not be the best definition.

Intellect and intelligence are so contradictory in definition because they are considered from a perspective in which the mind is responsible for both... But there is something that hasn't been taken into consideration here. What about the rest of you?

The Intellect

In western culture we are taught how to learn by using our memory from a very young age. During this ongoing process we are also judged or tested on how well we can retain knowledge by using our memory. This style of thinking is suited to convergent (literal thinkers), those who think top down and are able to prioritize information very efficiently. Read Article Literal Vs. Lateral minds: Understanding your thought constitution

As we cognitively gain more information, we could say that we are becoming more intellectual. In fact, we would describe academics who have gained extensive knowledge through education as intellectuals.

From this, we can see that we can pick up a book, listen to a lecturer or teacher and increase our intellect. When we use the word intellect we are usually describing a performance of the mind.

Money can't buy intelligence


Tapping into our intelligence is almost the opposite process to using our intellect. Where our intellect is nurtured from external learning, intelligence is the understanding from within us, it's a memory code (DNA) that has been compiled and handed down over many generations. The difference between the two is that intellect is a recall from the mind and intelligence is a whole body experience, using our senses (feeling), mind, heart and intuition.

As a society our intelligence, on average, is quite low. This may be due to the fact that we have never been taught to switch on our internal gift. If we understood how to switch on, then our society would operate vastly different, because our intelligence sees the world in a very different light, whereby the intellect only makes sense to a certain degree.


IQ Averages - Score ranges from around 70 - 160 (Note that scores can result outside of these values)

  • above 130 Very gifted 2.1%
  • 121-130 Gifted 6.4%
  • 111-120 Above average intelligence 15.7%
  • 90-110 Average intelligence 51.6%
  • 80-89 Below average intelligence 15.7%
  • 70-79 Cognitively impaired 6.4%


Switching on

Similar to increasing your intellect, having the ability to switch on your intelligence requires much practice, focus and understanding. To be able to use your whole body in situations to resolve complex issues, many factors need to align. Your whole body needs to fully participate.

So where do we start?

Firstly we need to get to know ourselves on a deeper level. We need to understand our thoughts, feelings, behaviours and communication. The more we push inwards and discover who we are, the more we can trust ourselves and this is a major factor to switching on. Also, by understanding ourselves we are able to separate or detach from others, which allows us to have clarity of self.

Once we have a knowing of who we are, we then need to let go of everything we think we know, any fixed ideas, beliefs, values and concepts as these are not beneficial for intelligence, they hinder us in seeing the truth in any given situation. As soon as we bring these into the equation the outcome becomes fixed and our creativity ceases.

In order to use our highest degree of creativity and intelligence we then need to approach each situation with no judgement, as when we start to label things we start to narrow its possibilities, relationships and potential. Another factor is that holding a non judgmental state and being open in our society for long periods of time is probably one of the most difficult things we can do. It can be extremely difficult to stay open because nothing is fixed; every idea, concept, thought and feeling is growing, leaving us in a state of uncertainty, which we have never been taught how to manage for long periods before. But if we can stay in this state and keep an open, non-judgmental, wondrous state, then we are using our total body in the moment (Read Article: Presence, the Ultimate Gift)


Igniting your internal wisdom

A continual state of truth. When we are in the moment with no judgement, meaning that we haven't brought our intellect into it, we then see the situation as it is, rather than what we are led to believe. When our beliefs, values, trauma, intellect and ego are involved, we try and fit a situation into what we know, preventing us seeing the truth.