Intelligence and intellect are different; yet they are connected in a subtle way. In the material life it is difficult to survive with anyone of these. They both are absolutely needed and they go hand in hand. Let me point out some of the basic differences between the intelligence and intellect according to my view.
1. Intelligence is the base or source of this Universe. Intelligence is the Universal consciousness or the complete awareness. When I say awareness it is not the awareness state of the mind or brain. It is beyond mind and brain; whereas, intellect is the information we gather using the intelligence.
2. Intelligence is infinite. Intellect is always limited. Whatever field it may be, one cannot gather information beyond a particular limit. Human intellect functions only from the limited data it has gathered.
3. One can understand life as a whole only from intelligence. If you understand life using intellect, then you will understand life partially.
4. The experiences of the intelligence are permanent; whereas, the experiences of the intellect are temporary. It changes with time. When we gather a lot of information, it sometimes confuses us and makes us indecisive. It gives us a false feeling that ‘I know everything’. They live life with stagnated knowledge. Today’s children have high intellectual knowledge; they are confused, ignorant and lack wisdom. In this internet age it is very easy to gather information, but they do not have time to touch the intelligence by spiritual methods.
5. Intellect is absolutely needed for the material life. It gives us the knowledge to discriminate, and it helps us to excel in the choice of our field. It is the objective knowledge; whereas, intelligence is the subjective knowledge. Intelligence and intellect are deeply interconnected. Only by using intelligence one can gather information in the intellect; at the same time, without the intellect one cannot use or exhibit intelligence. Only human beings have the capacity to use the intelligence. The problem is some people take intellect as intelligence.
6. When people live their life only with intellectual knowledge, then they live a limited life. The scripture says gather intellectual knowledge and work using intelligence, because only intelligence can give peace of mind.
7. Intellectual knowledge will have value only when you compare your knowledge with others. If you do not have the same knowledge as others then your knowledge will either be appreciated or degraded; it depends on the knowledge of the other person. This reflects in our personality and leads to either superiority or inferiority complex. In material life a person is judged by wealth and intellect; whereas, intelligence makes one realize that every life is important in its own way. Each life is a dot of energy in this infinite Universe and without which this Universe is not complete.
8. Intelligence makes you to think deeply and intellect is a great obstacle for that. Intellect brings one to immediate conclusion by referring to past experiences and so intelligence is always hidden by the intellect.
9. Intellect and ego are closely related. For example, if the intellect decides that ‘I am an Indian’, then the intellect and ego revolve around it. It immediately compares with other people and brings an idea of favoritism or disrespect for others. Intellect and ego are used mainly for the physical existence. It identifies with the physical body. Basically we use intellect for survival that is for our physical health, to appease our hunger, and for our protection, for this we disturb the entire atmosphere using the intellect; whereas, intelligence is our true nature. We are sat-chit-ananda Brahman. However, this nature is covered by intellect.
10. It is not possible to know about all the objects or situations in the Universe. If we have practiced touching the intelligence by meditation or by chanting mantras, then when the situation arises, intelligence will reveal the necessary knowledge to the intellect. One can call it as a perfect guess or intuition. Thus intelligence helps us to survive in any situation.
Without realizing the nature of the intelligence, we identify with the physical body, intellect, ego, and life in a limited circle of do’s and don’ts. Only spirituality can help us realize our true nature which is pure intelligence.