- Steve Sphar, JD, ACC
[Video] Is Spirituality Really an “Intelligence”?
Spiritual growth, by definition, is the ability to live ever more fully from our Higher Self. In the language of the SQ21, we call this growth increasing one’s spiritual intelligence. What do we mean by this term? Can you say that spiritual development is really an intelligence?
Historically, the field of intelligence research measured how smart you were at a few specific things, like math or logic. These early studies gave us the original IQ tests, which measured one’s intelligence quotient. Modern research, however, has shown that there are multiple intelligences, each covering a distinct domain of human potential. The most famous modern researcher of multiple intelligences is Howard Gardner of Harvard University, who has found evidence for musical, kinesthetic, spatial, visual, interpersonal, moral, and other intelligences.
Spiritual intelligence is also a distinct domain of human potential. It inhabits the domain that allows us to live more often and more fully from our basic human goodness.
Think of it this way – who are the people who have been able to demonstrate the ability to consistently act from their Higher Self? Research conducted by Deep Change, Inc., has posed this question to thousands of people and a common set of exemplars are consistently named: Gandhi, Jesus, Mother Teresa, Muhammed, Mandela, the Buddha, Martin King Jr., a wise grandparent, and others. When asked what qualities these people demonstrate, we also get a consistent list: compassionate, wise, loving, courageous, inspirational, calm, peaceful, strong, etc.
Spiritual intelligence, like any intelligence, can be strengthened and refined through committed practice. There are time-honored practices and disciplines that can support one’s spiritual growth, and each of us follows a path informed by our own reflection, intuitions and guidance from sources we consider significant. The benefit to framing spiritual growth as an intelligence is that it gives us an accessible way to approach our spiritual practice. For those of us inspired to increase our spiritual intelligence, the SQ21 can bring focus and clarity to the spiritual path.
To learn more about how the SQ21 approaches spirituality as an intelligence, view the short video below.