Intelligence – is it embodied or embrained?

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Intelligence – is it embodied or embrained?

Have you ever considered where intelligence comes from?

Most people tend to think of intelligence as coming from the brain – we talk about someone ‘having the brains’ to do a difficult exam or academic job. And so there is a perception that intelligence is only located in the brain – or we could say that it is ‘embrained’. In other words, it comes solely from the brain and the rest of our body is just a piece of meat that responds to the messages from our intelligent brains.

But what if this is a big fat lie?

What if intelligence does not just come from our brains but our whole bodies? Would that alter how we treat and understand our bodies?

If we consider that our whole body is intelligent, that our mind is not located in our heads but is actually the intelligent wisdom of the whole body, then that potentially changes everything! For a start, it means we should not ignore the body and it also means the body is definitely worth caring for.

Our bodies are communicating with us all the time – they never stop communicating their intelligence to us – but are we listening? Have we become so deadened to the messages and language of the body that we ignore it all the time because we have been taught that intelligence is from our brains and so we think we only need to listen to our thoughts and not our bodies?

What if we have the high rates of illness and disease that we currently see because we have been focussing on our thoughts, our thinking, the intelligence that is limited to our brains and ignoring, denying, and over-riding the true intelligence of our body?

What if it is by listening to the body that we can begin to develop true health and harmony, by making choices that honour and respect the tenderness of the body?

For example, if we were to listen to the body:

  • We would only need one hangover to know that alcohol is bad for the body

  • When we felt tired and exhausted we would go to bed early, not use caffeine or other stimulants to keep ourselves awake

  • We would feel the toxicity that emotions like anger have on the body and do what is necessary to heal the underlying cause

  • If we felt sleepy, sluggish or heavy after a meal we would look at what we ate that could have caused that and choose not to eat it again

  • We would listen to the subtle feelings of the body and honour their messages

  • We would understand that when a part of the body is unwell there is a deeper reason why that is related to how we have been living, and a message for us to learn from

  • We would treat the body with care, love, gentleness and tenderness – realising it is a highly sensitive system that is worth caring for, deeply so.

These are just a few basic examples and principles that would come into effect if we were to listen to and recognise the intelligence of the body. The wisdom that we can access through our bodies is limitless and it starts with reconnecting to our own body and the essence within, which we can do through our breath.

Like exercising a muscle, the more we practise listening to the body, the stronger we become in recognising its messages, the more deeply we want to nurture and care for the body and not abuse it in any way. Indeed, things we might have considered normal before, we realise are actually deeply harming to our bodies – like staying up late, drinking alcohol, eating sugar, being angry and so forth.

We come to realise that true intelligence is embodied and not embrained: that the mind is not limited to our thoughts and what is in our heads, but is actually the WHOLE BODY … now that is a mind worth listening to!

Filed under

IntelligenceHuman bodyBody awarenessClairsentienceGentle breath

  • Thumb small dean whitling

    Photography: Dean Whitling, Brisbane based photographer and film maker of 13 years.

    Dean shoots photos and videos for corporate portraits, architecture, products, events, marketing material, advertising & website content. Dean's philosophy - create photos and videos that have magic about them.