Over the years, I’ve met many geeks. Engineer geeks. Software geeks. Science geeks. Maths geeks. Artist geeks. Most of them are intuitive – whether they know it or not, whether they acknowledge it or not.
I’ve also met many intuitives. Most of them are geeky or nerdy, but not necessarily about typical ‘geek’ topics. They approach the world in a geeky way: geeking out over things or ideas, getting totally absorbed in something, geeking out in their art.
Underneath geekiness and a lively intuitive faculty lies the same thing: naturalistic intelligence.
Gardner originally put forward seven intelligences in his framework of multiple intelligences. Later on, he added an eighth: naturalistic.
This is the intelligence that categorises, systemises, connects. It’s naturalistic intelligence that understands organisms, ecosystems, and networks.
It’s the intelligence of the geek: the geek who can create software architecture, system dynamic models, and flowing infrastructure: roads, water distribution, urban drainage systems (being a geek doesn’t have to be sleek and high-tech – but imagine what a sleek and high tech urban drainage system could be!)
It’s also the intelligence of the naturalist: the Dian Fosseys, David Attenboroughs, and Rachel Carsons of our world. The intelligence that perceives and understands the interrelating between the elements and players in a habitat, in a tribe. The intelligence of environmental scientists. Of most scientists!
And it’s the intelligence of the shaman: understanding the interconnected systems of the human, and of human relationships, and of our relationships with our environment. The intelligence that perceives, understands and works with the energy flows in, through and around us. The intelligence of the herbalist who brings humans and animals into harmony through using plants. The intelligence of the feng shui practitioner who perceives the energy flows through a space and the effect on its inhabitants.
Consider the naturally inquisitive child: curious about their surroundings; getting absorbed in aspects of their environment – whether that’s toy cars, leaves, dinosaurs or horses; soaking up knowledge from books, TV, and other people; sorting and filing their experiences and knowledge; categorising; making connections.
The kind of child who notices things. Who is sensitive – who senses things, observes, really listens, feels, and sees.
The child who is naturally intuitive, as we all are. And this child has time, energy and quiet to focus and become absorbed. They have an interest, a longing desire to find out and observe.
Gradually the child becomes a geek, or an intuitive, or an artist, or all three.
The artist knows that they’re intuitive. It’s what creates their craft.
The intuitive knows. Some intuitives take years to realise that they’re intuitive because it’s so much who they are and hard to imagine what it’s like to be less intuitive.
The geek might know that they’re intuitive. Or they have a dogmatic belief system which says that intuition cannot exist. So they carry on life as if there’s no such thing as intuition while benefiting from a small part of their intuition and calling it ‘common sense’. If only they’d suspend their belief system and consciously get to know and develop their intuition – what amazingness could come out of that!!
Which are you: artist, geek, intuitive – or all three?