Have you ever wondered what Spiritual intelligence is? It’s nothing like any other intelligence that many understand. Allow me to put this into context for you. You probably can recall the tests taken when you were a child, sorting objects into sequences, figuring out which one of two particular busses would make it to the destination first based on their speed and journey. Your performance within these test was then graded as an IQ score. Supposedly, this would then provide an indication of your probability for succeeding in life. In days gone by, intelligence was solely defined by metrics aligned to your cognitive function: were you able to use logic and reason to find solutions to problems?
In more recent times, psychologists have identified thar intelligence which is purely rational will not necessarily provide for a happy and successful life. You may be in possession of an IQ score which enables you to seek membership with Mensa, and still you may well find that you are living a life which is dysfunctional either emotionally, socially, or even vocationally.
With this being being the case, emotional intelligence is therefore acknowledged to be an additional quality required in an individuals makeup. It adds to the scope of ability to for someone to work within a team effectively, and to develop meaningful relationships with other people. We could reasonably take this further and look at spiritual intelligence a capacity that is worthy of developing.
Our capacity for compassion and love are included in our spiritual nature, as too is our awareness of being a part of the greater whole. If we did not have some sort of spiritual sensibility, we could have what appears to be a successful life from the outside looking in, but we would find that we feel an emptiness inside and a distinct lack of fulfillment and purpose.
You would be right if you thought that spirituality was perceived to be irrelevant in today’s fast paced corporate culture. Money has a significant place of power as the ultimate arbiter in corporate and political decision processes, the media often place significant emphasis on wealth, products and lifestyle. Spirituality is therefore largely invisible in this focus, but if you consider the caliber of individuals in the media, you’ll find that many openly speak about having a certain focus of a spiritual nature in their lives.
Incorporating the wisdom of numerous religions and cultures, this new spirituality has a clear emphasis on the development of an internal awareness and equanimity originating from Eastern religions. This brings with it an inherent acknowledgment of wisdom from indigenous cultures that understand that spirit exists in the land, and that as a species, we need to avoid ‘plundering’ the Earth and focus on working with it.
The Christian principle of ‘good works’ is also found in this new spirituality in the commitment behind the contribution to the external world. There is the understanding that individually we can directly experience the spiritual realm; we don’t require a priest to mediate for us. In this way it is very similar to the older gnostic religions. There is also the awareness that ritual has an important part to play in our day-to-day life as it assists with facilitating and honoring various stages or milestones of life.
The importance of intelligence at a spiritual level can be a challenge for some people to accept. This is largely due to their associating spirituality with religion. Let’s be honest with ourselves, religion has over the years sidelined a large percentage of the population. If you’re gay, believe in having female priests, have sex before you are married or out of wedlock, get divorced from your spouse, or are a single parent, religion can seem quite alienating.
One of my friends said it well when she said: “I’m over feeling guilty all the time. I’m tired of being around the judgemental, joyless attitudes of the people in the religion I was born in to. And still I find that I miss it, or really I find that I miss having something.”
Spirituality is different from religion. Religion places dogma, walls and other obstructions within a set of codes, which are built around what often is a central spiritual truth. On the other hand, spirituality is best described as the belief that there are other aspects to our existence beyond the material and physical sphere. Spirituality clearly affirms that its important to ensure consideration is given to this additional aspect of our reality.
In a sense, this spiritual realm is hidden by virtue of it not being able to be detected by intellect, or by any instruments of a scientific nature at this stage. As a human, there is a need to develop certain capacities so as to know spiritual reality. Without it spiritual realitg life would consistently seem to be missing something.
You end up with a constant and endless drive for a substitute for fulfillment, which is what we see going on in our present materialistic, hedonistic culture.