Inteleksi, to put simply, means learning with all your being.
It is a choice to view life as a learning process, and that it is experienced most fully — and most beautifully — when you engage it with all the physical, mental and spiritual faculties of your being.
The Origin of the Word
- Malay derivation of the English word intellection. Originates from
On the surface, like its English counterpart, inteleksi refers to the using of one’s intellect. Yet, its definition, at least in the Malay form, covers something more.
Modern understanding of the word intellect typically emphasises logical reasoning. So, if you are analysing experimental data or playing chess, most would agree that you are indeed using your intellect.
But if you are meditating, composing a song, giving charity, or training in martial arts, many would hesitate to call them intellectual activities.
In Malaysia, the understanding of intellect (intelek or akal in Malay) is heavily influenced by the linguistic understanding of its Arabic equivalent, ‘aql.
In it, ‘aql is not limited to ratiocination; it refers to all faculties of intelligence (emotional acuity, spiritual illumination, kinesthetic ability, artistic creativities, and even one’s personal characters). It’s integrative. If I’m a genius at maths, but I don’t have humbleness in my heart, I won’t be considered an intellectual person.
This comprehensive view of the intellect which extends beyond computational reasoning is fascinatingly shared to a degree in classical western tradition too, for example in Aristotle’s distinction between nous (intellect) and logos (reason).
So, the next time you’re meditating or learning to play the violin or playing football, remember that you are indeed using your intellect; you are engaged in inteleksi.
I admit it is a rarely used word, even in the Malay language. Yet that is the point: the rarity of its usage reflects the rarity of our awareness of it in most of our lives.
I hope the name of this website will remind myself and others to appreciate all of our intellectual faculties, and to engage them fully to live an inspiring life.