How is Your Spiritual Intelligence?

People are complex...

...which may be one reason why organisations prefer not to deal with them unless they’re forced to. While they can be dependable, conscientious, and loyal, they quite often can be unreliable, lazy, and unfaithful.  Some have attempted to describe these traits in terms of intelligences – ways of thinking about themselves, others, and the environments in which both interact.


Intelligence by itself refers to intellect - brain power. Seventy percent of the population has an intelligence quotient (IQ) of 100. Geniuses, who are found in the top 2% of people have IQs that begin at about 140-145. To be a member of Mensa requires a score of 148.
Our jaws drop substantially when we think about intelligence in these terms. There’s no doubt that there are some extremely clever people on the planet, and not all of them are physicists, doctors or university professors. Many of them are ordinary people; and if you didn’t know otherwise, then you probably wouldn’t suspect that they were any different from you.


It’s been known for some time that cleverness lent itself more towards being obnoxious than pleasant; and that may be one of the reasons why emotional intelligence (EQ) became so popular 15 years ago or so. In addition to measuring how smart you were, it took a step further and revealed other sides to your personality, such as your musical intelligence, how you responded to people, and your self-awareness. 
Howard Gardner, the first proponent of emotional intelligence demonstrated that it is not synonymous with IQ, nor is IQ a guarantor of EQ. That not only gave hope to those who had fewer “little grey cells”, but it also explained why they got on with others so much better than those who did.

Spiritual Intelligence?

More recently, another kind of intelligence has been identified. It’s referred to as spiritual intelligence (SI). Danah Zohar, its discoverer, uses SI to describe what she calls spiritual capital (SC). SI is the motivation behind SC. It gives us meaning to what we do. It explains why, rather than just what, as in EQ. 
Why, by itself, still isn’t enough. It’s possible to have one reason to behave in one way and an entirely different reason to behave in another. The difference between them is that one is situational, while the other is inherent. In other words, one is a reaction while the other is part of who we are. It’s consistent with our values, and if those values and beliefs can be identified, then what people do can be predicted.
To understand the true meaning of spiritual intelligence, it’s necessary to make a distinction between it and its opposite. A good way to do this is to think about a real life example. 

What is meant by spirituality and religion?

Religion is generally thought of as a list of rules: do this and not that. Keep this day special. It’s what some would say is legalism; and people who aren’t interested in spiritual matters often refer to those who are as “religious”, whether it’s an apt term or not.
To be spiritual, however, is to make a considered judgement on what to do in light of what you believe. It’s not based on situations, but on values. It asks, “In light of what you believe, how will you act?” For Zohar, SI means your ability to influence as a result of what is deep inside of you.
You could think about this in terms of a “calling.” What do you feel you are called to do? This is a very different question than what can you do? Whether you’re clever or not, you probably have the ability to do any one of a number of things, even though you’re probably really good at only one or two of them. In other words, you could have worked in any one of several different jobs. That you are where you ended up was simply because there was a vacancy, the organization that hired you thought you were a nice bloke, and so they decided to give you a try.
Those who are called, however, would find it almost impossible to live with themselves if they didn’t do what they’re doing right now. That’s important because it explains why they can’t wait to get up in the morning; why they can’t contain their enthusiasm for what they do. It must be said, however, that few people know specifically what their purpose is. That’s why they drift.  Without a calling, they find it difficult to have purpose; and without purpose, they can’t recognise their calling when it comes.
Service to others is one of the highest callings, and it lies at the heart of the matter. When our focus in on ourselves, then our purpose becomes self-serving. We become Pharisees, hoping that we’re doing the right thing, but missing completely why we’re doing it at all. Instead we need to think about our values and then look for ways to express them in others.
That’s where true influence lies. It’s in your ability to persuade others to follow a particular course.

What about you?

Do you have a high IQ? Is your EQ especially commendable? How’s your SI? Why do you do what you do? Make it your goal to stop looking inwards and start looking outside of yourself. If you do, then you’ll find your true purpose.
If you would like to discuss these ideas further - please get in touch

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