All types of intelligence are sensuous

Trying to change my default mode network and healing my emotional blockages, I undertook a strongly-dosed acid trip[1]. Among the benefits, was a heightened sense of my inner world. Ego dissolution is a fantastic tool for analyzing your intimate Self.

One of the conversations I had during the trip was about my supposed “intellectual attraction” to someone. Attraction is fickle, and I endorse The School of Life’s view on crushes[2]:

To crush well is to [realize] that the lovely person we sketch in our heads is our creation: a creation that says more about us, than about them.

They’ve converted the full insight into a video[3] as well, which is recommended viewing.

I can’t precisely say whether I crushed on intellectual stimulation, as memories are volatile. By the end, my feelings towards this individual were unfavorable, to put it mildly.

However, the insight brought me into an analysis of what attracts me to someone. Unsurprisingly, all types of intelligence are attractive. A human being at their best, in whichever form, can be is beautiful. Historically I was so focused on my own logical-mathematical intelligence that I eschewed the other types. And yet, I was always far more moved by kinesthetic and rhythmic intelligence in others.

Howard Gardner proposes a revised 9 types of intelligence[4], which I will take at face value for the purpose of this introspection. It’s not particularly relevant if the criticism is accurate. I’m writing about attraction, after all. The complete list is:

  • musical-rhythmic
  • visual-spatial
  • verbal-linguistic
  • logical-mathematical
  • bodily-kinesthetic
  • interpersonal
  • intrapersonal
  • naturalistic
  • existential

We collectively place a great deal of focus on the “harder” types of intelligence. However, if you think about the dimensions above as the axes on a radar or spider chart, it’s legitimate to claim one should try to augment all forms of intelligence.

Humans manifesting intelligence are attractive, though perhaps not to everyone in the same way. Conceivably, my lower values of kinesthetic and interpersonal intelligence make me especially attracted to people that exhibit those.

Attraction spans the entirety of that list above. The allure/magnetism in each of these types might differ slightly, but it is there nonetheless. And so, via an acid trip, I came to realize my former partner could form complex intelligence combinations that were fascinating. I was fortunate to have witnessed that. Their ability to connect with kinesthetics and rhythm and space and other humans, while at the same time maintaining a firm grasp of the other types of intelligence, was manifest aesthetics.

I delight in having been a spectator to a human capable of such exquisite performance along the axes of intelligence. Sadly, it does say something about me that I refrained from becoming more intelligent in some of these types — I was dissociated from those parts of myself. Here’s hoping for a broader expression of intelligence.

(Note: sensuous is here being used purposefully, non-sexually, for its sensory meaning.)


  1. Fantastic Mental Health and Where To Find It ↩︎

  2. On the Madness and Charm of Crushes ↩︎

  3. How to Handle Crushes ↩︎

  4. Theory of multiple intelligences ↩︎