Fluid Intelligence

There are two types of “intelligence” used in the human brain: fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence.

Crystallized intelligence is what we use based on pre-existing knowledge. So for example, ‘I can speak five languages; I have a PhD in neuroscience; and I grew up in London, so I can show you the best restaurants, attractions, etc.’ Ultimately, crystallized intelligence is what we call in the spiritual vernacular, our ego. Crystallized intelligence has been measured to get stronger as we age because we pick up more and more facts along the course of our lives.

Fluid intelligence, on the other hand, is what we use when we have to solve problems with no pre-existing knowledge, when we’re creative, or when we focus on a specific point that does not rely on emotions. Fluid intelligence, in the spiritual vernacular could be said to coincide with intuition. Fluid intelligence has been measured to peak in adolescence unless worked on.


Let’s say you’re taking a test that you studied adequately for. Because you studied, you have the pre-existing knowledge of what the information is about, and you’ve learned what you can. This is easily utilizing your crystallized intelligence.

But uh oh, you don’t know the answer to question #37. In fact, you’re pretty sure you have never even seen the subject matter before, nor do the answers look familiar to you. You “guess,” based on a feeling in your body that “B” is the correct answer. That is utilizing fluid intelligence.

But that’s not all you’re using fluid intelligence for. You glance at the clock when you’ve completed your test and realize an hour and a half went by although it felt like it was only ten minutes. You look around and see that there are only three people left in the room but you didn’t even notice them getting up. Your phone has fifteen messages on it and you didn’t think about it once during the hour and a half. These are all forms of fluid intelligence as you were so focused on one thing, that your acknowledgement of the outside world faded, and you were in a neutral emotional state.

However, now that the test is over, you’re realizing all of these things and beginning to panic about question #37; whether you did well; whether you answered the essay part well enough; what happens if you fail; and on and on and on. Your brain is starting to wander, jumping from thought-to-thought, creating negative neuropathways, and that, my friends, is the goblin of crystallized intelligence.


I used to lie in Savasana in my evening Yoga classes and my brain would come up with the most incredible dinner recipes. I wasn’t thinking about food, I wasn’t wondering what I should eat after class. But my body felt hunger and my brain solved the problem without me having to do a thing or even noticing. I was so focused on my breath, the music that was playing, linking my movements with my breathing, and taking time for me, that my fluid intelligence took over and solved whatever “problems” I was going to encounter completely by itself.

Once you get into the groove of fluid intelligence, the ego drops away. We no longer identify with what we know; how we look; why we feel this and that; what happened during our day, or yesterday, or last year, or in our childhood. We no longer use these surface ideas as the basis for how we currently feel, or will feel, or did feel. Fluid intelligence allows us to be present in the moment and utilize our brains as a tool rather than relying on it for literally every single thing.

Imagine how wonderful it would be if you went through your day present, peaceful, unaffected, and nonreactive! Imagine how good you would feel physically, emotionally, mentally, and energetically if your mind didn’t wander from all the crap going on around you or within your ego space, but instead your mind was working for you to balance, harmonize, and heal. It can do that with more practice of fluid intelligence.

If you’re interested in watching a great, short video on fluid intelligence and how it physically affects the brain, you can go HERE.

All my best and highest vibrations,


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