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The Definitive Guide
This is the ultimate guide to Spiritual Intelligence.
If you have been looking to expand your consciousness and tap into your unknown hidden inner strengths, then you have come to just the place!
So if you want to:
- Learn more about your Spiritual Intelligence and how you can access it
- Learn about the science behind it
- Learn practical ways to implement your Spiritual Intelligence to benefit your practice or organization
- Learn how Spiritual Intelligence can benefit you as a coach
Then you’ll love this guide.
Let’s get started!
Don’t have time to read the whole guide right now?
In this chapter, I will be discussing the definition of Spiritual Intelligence.
I will also be exploring the history and origins of spirituality in our societies.
Lastly, I’ll be delving into the King’s Model, as a part of which I will outline the four main components of Spiritual Intelligence.
What is the meaning of Spiritual Intelligence?
A spiritually intelligent person is someone who has tapped into the higher form of intelligence that resides in their soul — their authentic self.
This form of intelligence activates the qualities of love, joy, peace, wisdom and creativity.
Pursuing the path of Spiritual Intelligence results in attaining a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in one’s life.
A spiritually intelligent person can see a huge improvement in learning and applying important life skills and the skills necessary at work.
History and Origins of Spiritual Intelligence
He spoke about the emotional and spiritual dimensions of a person as a part of an organization. The constant battles that you and I fight, between what we feel (emotions), and what we know (rationality).
Donnel proposes a Spiritual Quotient (SQ), which is the only thing that can get us out of this constant state of dilemma and give us intellectual strength and, most importantly, tranquility.
Histories of societies provide evidence of many ways in which people have expressed their spirituality.
Some of these are:
- Spiritual languages that were spoken by devotees.
- For example: transcendence, nirvana, heaven, eternity — all these terms were, and still are, very widely used.
- Visualizations of God through graphic symbols.
- For example: the OM, the yin and yang symbol, menorah and more.
- Magic Numbers.
- The Holy Trinity.
- Special kinds of music like Gospel music, Qawwali music, mantras, etc.
Spirituality has always existed within everyone, no matter how different we may seem to each other.
Our ability to look at something spiritually, to dig deeper, is something we all have in common; some of us just haven’t realized it yet.
King’s Model of Spiritual Intelligence
David Brian King is a researcher and author at Trent University. He defines Spiritual Intelligence as a set of adaptive qualities based on non-material and transcendent aspects of reality .
In his recent study, he also goes on to suggest that these are the four main components of Spiritual Intelligence:
- Critical Existential Thinking
This is the practice of critically contemplating what your life really means to you, and what your true purpose in this world is.
To try and find answers to death and where we come from, and coming to original existential conclusions — all of this is a part of the journey towards Spiritual Intelligence.
- Personal Meaning Production
This is the ability to acquire personal meaning and purpose from all your physical and mental experiences.
This involves realizing and being aware of the fact that everything that you are a part of, or partake in, also becomes a part of you.
- Transcendental Awareness
Transcendence refers to an existence or experience which is beyond the normal or physical realm. These transcendental patterns exist within all of you and your surroundings.
Your ability to identify them in a state of consciousness, and to be able to connect the physical world with the personal one, is a defining factor in terms of your journey towards being spiritually intelligent.
- Expansion of the Conscious State
This refers to your ability to focus and enter higher states of consciousness whenever you want to, using mediums like meditation, prayer, deep reflection or making art.
Now that you know what Spiritual Intelligence means, and how it is an integral part of you, let’s understand what it really means when I call someone Spiritually Intelligent.
Principles Of Spiritual Intelligence
Dena Zohar is one of the pioneers of the term Spiritual Intelligence.
By now, you know about the four main components of Spiritual Intelligence. I will now go on to explain to you what the guiding features, or principles, of Spiritual Intelligence are.
These qualities are essential parts of our spiritual psychology that often go unnoticed, but if put into practice, can have a transformative impact on the way you live your life and make decisions.
Dena Zohar, one of the leading educators on Spiritual Intelligence, suggests 12 main principles defining what it means to be Spiritually Intelligent:
As I discussed in Chapter 1 , in order to truly find out what you believe in, what your values are, and what really drives you, it is absolutely essential to be Spiritually Intelligent.
The ability to let go of fear and inhibitions, and ensuring you are living in the present moment, no matter how pleasant or unpleasant it may be.
Being Vision and Value-led
It simply means the ability to walk the talk, to be able to live according to the beliefs and values that you hold yourself accountable to.
Observing patterns and finding connections between seemingly unrelated things — a feeling of oneness with the world around you.
The ability to feel something ‘with’ someone rather than ‘for’ someone. Having a deep sense of empathy.
When you value someone precisely because they are different from you, not despite it.
Standing by your own convictions, even if it goes against the crowd.
Being aware of your true place in the world, knowing that you are never as important as you think you are.
Asking Fundamental ‘Why’ Questions
Having a strong need to question things, to know more about the world you live in, and a compelling need to understand the world around you.
Ability To Reframe
Having the ability to step back from a certain situation, and see the larger picture.
Positive Use Of Adversity
Actually learning and growing from mistakes and suffering, rather than being bitter about them.
Sense Of Vocation
When you feel called upon to serve, to give back to a world that you have only taken from.
Now – you might be wondering how to put these concepts to practice in your day-to-day life.
In the next chapter, I will show you 8 different ways in which you can become more spiritually aware and intelligent.
Methods To Become Spiritually Intelligent
There are innumerable practical ways to be more Spiritually Intelligent.
As you read in Chapter 2 , it all starts with being mindful and aware, and making conscious decisions and efforts to connect to the person living inside you.
Here are some very simple and practical ways to do that.
Keeping a Journal
The journey of getting to know yourself can be a lifelong one, but a good place to start is to create a journal.
Write everything down.
Putting your feelings, beliefs, motivations, and disappointments into words will enable you to reflect, understand, and take account of them.
Practicing Detached Observation
Essentially, detached observation is a way to preserve oneself. It is an ability to disengage from the world of action, within and outside of you.
Let’s look at an example to understand this better.
John felt deeply unhappy when his lover wasn’t paying enough attention to what he was saying. Naturally, John’s first instinct was to express his feelings and make his partner’s behavior about himself.
But if John hadn’t let his partner’s behavior affect him as much, and hadn’t immediately come to emotional conclusions, there was a sure chance of John uncovering the actual truth about his partner’s inability to pay attention.
Detached observation helps us get to the root of problems, offering us a new perspective that we often can’t see because of our level of emotional involvement.
The process of consciously and actively taking time out to focus on your mind and body processes can change your life.
I am not exaggerating. Meditation is the simplest and the most effective way to enhance your consciousness.
This is the key to tapping into your spiritual side, to take control of your thoughts and feelings.
Meditating can sharpen your ability to discern what is true and what isn’t, and thereby help you make more intelligent decisions.
Exercise is a means to channelize your breathing. It is also a means to work against gravity and get lighter.
Although the idea that our physical and mental health are interconnected has existed since the second century, modern medicine has continued to treat them as two separate entities.
In the last few decades however, a lot of research has gone into the connections between physical health and its interdependence on emotions, socio-economic situation and personality of the individual.
“According to the mind–body or biopsychosocial paradigm, which supersedes the older biomedical model, there is no real division between mind and body because of networks of communication that exist between the brain and neurological, endocrine and immune systems,” said Oakley Ray, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Psychiatry and Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University.
This Definitive Guide has plenty of evidence to prove that!
Let the light of the bigger picture and new perspectives in, take things into consideration, allow yourself to fully see.
Practicing, and being proactive, is one of the essential ways to sustain the momentum of spiritual growth.
An easy access to a lot of information is of no use to you unless you bring your new ideas, learnings, and realizations into action.
This takes time and repetition. Let it change your behavior and form better habits.
Find ways to project, to express your new self in new territories, and you will have a better ability to see ahead, to be intuitive.
Never miss a chance to experiment and to challenge your comfort zone.
Caring for someone other than yourself, even in a small way, very often is the shift in perspective you need.
It helps you appreciate what you have, and helps you make the transition from the material to the immaterial, by invoking a deep sense of joy in you.
Now let me take you through the scientific analysis of Spiritual Intelligence and explore different ways in which science has made sense of the inner workings of our soul.
Scientific Analysis Of Spiritual Intelligence
In this chapter, I am going to help you understand Spiritual Intelligence through a scientific lens.
Understanding the concept of Spiritual Intelligence objectively will give you more insight into what it really is.
Can Spiritual Intelligence be measured?
Can I quantify it?
Is this just a theory or do we have scientific proof?
If you have these questions in mind, then keep reading. But first, let me start with what the three forms of capital are, and which form of intelligence they each correspond with.
Types of Intelligence
First, let me start with explaining what the three forms of capital are, and which form of intelligence they each correspond with.
The three forms of capital are:
- Material Capital
This refers to financial wealth and assets.
Material capital corresponds to your I.Q or rational intelligence, the function of which is ‘what you think’.
- Social Capital
Social capital corresponds to your E.Q (Emotional Intelligence), the function of which is ‘what you feel’.
This can be measured by the amount people trust each other in a society, empathy that people feel, etc.
The rate of crime, divorce, literacy and litigation all measure the social capital.
- Spiritual Capital
Spiritual Capital corresponds to your S.Q or Spiritual Intelligence, the function of which is ‘what you are’.
This reflects what an organization or an individual stands for, believes in, aspires to and takes responsibility for.
These three forms of capital are related to each other through an equation that takes us one step closer to understanding the importance of Presence in Spiritual Intelligence.
SQ = P(I.Q + E.Q) where P = Presence
The above equation means the measure of Spiritual Intelligence equals the sum of the I.Q (Intelligence Quotient) and E.Q (Emotional Quotient) magnified by the power of presence.
But what really is the present?
Although we all have a sense of the present moment, it is often misunderstood.
Let us try and understand the state of presence scientifically.
The State Of Presence
The state of presence means more than simply being aware of yourself and your surroundings.
That is just one of the effects of being present, and doesn’t explain the whole experience of being in the state of presence.
Being in the present requires a shift from object pole attention to subject pole attention.
Now what do I mean by this?
Object pole of attention is essentially the ego, which comprises everything that you are aware of.
From your perception of your surroundings, to your personal history, beliefs, priorities, feelings, social image, memories etc.
They are products of your I.Q and E.Q.
The subject pole of attention is concerned with the soul, the experience of feeling aware by itself, or consciousness itself.
The subject pole of attention is free from any modifications, in contrast to how the object pole of attention works. It is unbiased.
The qualities of the soul represent an unmodified source of energy, as experienced in the present moment in the form of joy, wisdom, compassion, peacefulness and creativity.
What is essential to be truly in the state of presence is a shift from the ego to the soul, to gain a greater clarity of your mind and the realities of the present moment.
Living As Your Soul
The equation S.Q=P(I.Q + E.Q) stands true when your Spiritual Intelligence is governed by your soul.
To activate your soul, you have to remove your ego from command. Your ego is constantly seeking satisfaction.
Because your ego depends on the changing circumstances of the object pole of attention, it uses the present moment as a means to the next, never allowing you to fully enjoy the present moment.
Your ego is discontented, and reacts to moments from a sense of lack, rather than responding from a state of fulfillment.
Your soul, on the other hand, is not seeking satisfaction and, unlike your ego, it is already happy.
Your soul experiences the qualities of wisdom, compassion, integrity, and love.
It doesn’t use one moment as a means to the next, but responds to it rather than reacting.
Let your soul take control. Do not let your ego and all the baggage of your personal history, self image, memories, beliefs and fears guide you.
The S.Q Portal
The S.Q portal is the essence of meditation.
It shows you how to make the shift from ego to soul in three steps, and how these steps are necessary to access Spiritual Intelligence.
The three steps are:
STEP 1: Notice
Notice the subject of attention and the two poles of attention, the ego and the soul.
STEP 2: Feel
Be aware of the still points of the breathing cycle.
Identify the two points right before breathing in and right after breathing out, and be aware of them.
Let go of your current feelings and emotions, and fill yourself with the qualities of your soul at every point of stillness.
STEP 3: Be Aware
Breathe in at the subject pole of attention.
We usually breathe in at the object pole of attention while identifying the state of body and mind, which results in consolidating the ego, and amplifying ego reactions.
When you are breathing from the subject pole of attention instead, you establish yourself as the soul and you amplify soul qualities.
These are the qualities of spiritual intelligence that you need to focus on more.
Problem Solving Capacities of Spiritual Intelligence
Being spiritually intelligent gives you the tools to effectively problem solve, regardless of the magnitude of the problem.
Here, I will also be discussing some problems of Spiritual Intelligence that I feel would give you a more holistic perspective.
You and I will then go on to understand how Spiritual Intelligence is being scientifically used to solve problems in Artificial Intelligence.
Problems of Spiritual Intelligence
Our brains are designed in such a way that it uses SQ, IQ, and EQ at the same time to solve problems.
But Spiritual Intelligence, alone, could leave us with more questions than answers.
The existential questions like, “Who am I?” or “Where did we come from?” usually leave us with more questions than answers for an A.I.
It is, hence, not proved that Spiritual Intelligence can be effectively applied to problem-solving in all kinds of situations.
Spiritual Methods used for A.I By Applying The Problem-Solving-Process (PSP)
Although there are many ways for a human to solve problems, A.I. uses a sequence of sections depending on the nature of the problem.
This method of problem solving is called Problem-Solving-Process (PSP).
The sections in the PSP include –
- Defining the problem and analyzing it,
- Generating the possible solutions and analyzing them,
- Selecting the best possible solutions, and then,
- Planning the next course of action.
In the PSP framework, answers are created using all the possible strategies.
A problem P in the PSP framework has a structure (r,c,s,m), where –
r stands for the requirements,
c stands for the conditions, and
s and m are the strategies and models for the problem-solving process.
A new definition of PSP called PSPs1 has been incorporated in the A.I. framework to solve problems.
It applies new kinds of strategies to solve problems within the requirements and conditions.
Unlike rational intelligence, Spiritual Intelligence cannot be quantified.
Hence, A.I is becoming highly Spiritually Intelligent by the day, even more than humans, some say.
Spiritual Intelligence in A.I. identifies the fact that sometimes the right choices are difficult, since they are hidden.
It demands you to keep questioning what you already know, and look at things from a new perspective, leaving the brain with more questions than answers.
Next up, I’ll be showing you how you can effectively use Spiritual Intelligence in the workplace.
Spiritual Intelligence at the Workplace
I have spent most of my life working, as I assume most of you have, or are going to do.
My work is a form of meditation to me, it is a huge part of my identity. Where I work, my work process, and who I work with means the most to me.
Running a company or even staying motivated at work is not always easy. Let’s have a look at how Spiritual Intelligence can help with this.
3 Key Elements to Measure Performance at the Workplace
The following three questions will help you in measuring your performance, as well as your client’s, as a member of the workforce:
- When you join an organization, how long do you stay with it?
- In your role at the workplace, are you meeting or exceeding your standard of performance? How well do you think you are performing?
- How innovatively and spontaneously are you going beyond the prescribed role? Are you cooperating with colleagues and/or suggesting new ideas?
I’ll be delving into the advantages those with Spiritual Intelligence enjoy at the workplace next.
Advantages of Applying the Spiritual Mindset at Work
Applying the spiritual mindset at work leads to a conscientious employee and much more satisfied clients.
As an employee you honestly want to work hard and work together as a team.
A strong sense of sportsmanship and just general awareness leads to positive and unexpected outcomes at work.
Work is definitely more enjoyable and the clients are happy.
Applying the spiritual mindset at work can lead to a conscientious client, who actually wants to work hard and perform well at the workplace.
Being spiritually aware creates an innate desire to do well, be punctual, use the work time productively and adhere to the rules of the organization.
This leads to a more efficient and happy workforce without needing to apply pressure from the higher ranks of power.
Being spiritually aware also leads to a strong sense of altruism. This is when you show compassion and help others who are behind in their work.
This simple quality has the power to change the intensely competitive nature of the corporate workforce, by making sure no one is left behind, and that no task is left unfinished.
Everyone can grow and achieve their career goals collectively, which increases the output of your organization and your clients alike.
Sportsmanship is when you put up with minor inconveniences and don’t let them come in the way of your work or your compassion to help others.
This is an important aspect to keep in mind. Being a sport and taking responsibility for something that wasn’t entirely your fault enables your colleagues and clients to count on you.
This builds the problem-solving mindset which focuses on the solution, rather than the problem.
Consulting clients and colleagues who may be affected by a decision, putting yourself in their shoes, and understanding their situation can go a long way in building trust.
This creates an environment of mutual respect and understanding.
Being heard and understood increases self-worth, and motivates the client or your colleague to work harder and better.
- Civic Virtue
Civic virtue in this context means keeping up with developments happening in the firm, actually being interested even if it doesn’t directly affect your job in the organization.
This is the quality that measures how interested you are in your job and how long you will stay.
This is a way of channeling your creativity and seeing things from a different perspective, giving yourself a chance to learn.
Disadvantages of Spiritual Intelligence in Organizations
Spiritual Intelligence, if not practiced by everyone at the workplace, can lead to friction.
If spiritual values are not followed by the leaders of an organization, it is unfair to expect the rest of the employees to follow.
Let me show you the possible disadvantages, so you can keep them in mind and avoid such situations.
- Managing Expectations and Resistance from Staff
A manager at a firm can go through a tough time managing expectations and resistance from their staff.
There can be problems at work where doing the best for an individual can be unfair for the rest of the staff, and vice versa.
If the initiatives are not in place, some staff members may feel undervalued.
- Workplace Values May Vary
Often, the workplace values are different for the team and for its leaders.
This makes it hard for the staff to stand by these values that the leaders themselves don’t embody.
Disproportionate accountability can, therefore, affect commitment, motivation, and behavior negatively, and have the opposite effect than what was intended.
After learning the many advantages and disadvantages of imbibing the spiritual mindset to your practice, are you ready to re-evaluate yourself as a coach, and ask yourself the necessary questions?
Let’s move on to Chapter 6, then, and I will tell you how you can lead/coach better using your Spiritual Intelligence.
How can leaders & life coaches use Spiritual Intelligence?
We are a way for the universe to know itself.
Why I mention this is because one of the most important roles of a coach is to help you know yourself better, but what about us coaches? We, too, are far from perfect.
Some concepts of Spiritual Intelligence can make all the difference between a coach that actually helps you follow your dreams, and one who is only following their own.
Let’s have a look.
How does Spiritual Intelligence benefit coaches?
Spiritual Intelligence helps me distinguish between the self that is driven by my ego, and the higher self, and allows me to keep the higher self in charge.
As I develop my awareness of the interconnectedness of all life, I strengthen myself to be a wise and effective change agent.
Let me show you how!
Being comfortable with yourself as a coach, and grounding yourself in values that you believe in, is very important.
You could also question yourself and reflect after each coaching session. You can try to answer questions like —
How did that go?
Was it in line with what I was aiming for?
How can I do better?
As a coach, nothing should be taken for granted; your capacity to be self-aware and conscientious is what makes people want to trust you.
- Transpersonal Relationships
Coaching is essentially about using everything — your body, mind, intellect, and/or spiritual values to really understand your client.
You practice skills that enable your clients to make the decisions they need to make for themselves. It doesn’t matter how tough or easy those decisions may seem.
Your Spiritual Intelligence, as a coach, deeply helps your capacity for transpersonal coaching.
Not everything can be rationalized, and your ability to make your client accept their feelings is what makes the difference.
- Catalysts of Change
Coaching is a great process to systematically integrate Spiritual Intelligence with.
Imagine having someone in an organization who asked you questions like –
Do these values work for you?
Do you agree with them, and the goals of this organization?
How do you suggest we incorporate some of them?
Being asked these things is what makes all the difference.
A coach is one of the biggest catalysts of Spiritual Intelligence, and has all the power to bring about the changes we need.
A coach’s job is not to impose a solution, but to lead their client to the answers that already exist within themselves.
Manifestations of Spiritual Intelligence at the Workplace
Being Spiritually Intelligent establishes a strong sense of personal security and personal effectiveness at work.
It helps in building relationships and interpersonal understanding between members of the workforce.
It gives you the necessary tools to manage change and remove roadblocks on the way. Here are some manifestations of Spiritual Intelligence at the workplace:
Everyone in an organization has different values or different beliefs.
An organization which displays spiritual values embraces those differences and makes room for peaceful co-existence.
- Experiential Learning
Spiritually intelligent and aware members of organizations don’t just focus on what their members accomplish, but also on how they went about doing it.
Ask your employees what their experience was, keeping the company’s values in mind. This helps in understanding how your company really functions and keeps the door open for any necessary changes.
- Confident and Value-driven
A lot of the staff feel a strong sense of inner power, as their opinions, safety, and comfort are given value.
The process of humanizing can go a long way.
Employees have reported feeling extremely peaceful, and their capacity to deal with ambiguity and paradoxes has definitely increased.
- Improved Relationships
When one sees a smile on their colleagues’ faces, and people come to work enthusiastic about their work, it helps form very productive communities.
- Flexibility Towards Change
Organizations that help their employees embrace their spirituality, and live with ambiguity, have proved to be much more resilient organizations.
They are flexible and more accepting of change, without much resistance and, therefore, affect quicker change.
Even employees tend to stay in such organizations for longer.
Spiritual Intelligence is an integral part of the personality of a person and can hugely transform their mindset.
If practiced, it can make work much more fulfilling as it helps in understanding the importance of care, asking questions, and focusing on the well-being of the people working in the organization.
Now that you have understood the value of Spiritual Intelligence and gained the necessary tools to practice it, let’s go one step further.
In this chapter, I’m going to be listing out resources across formats which will help you explore Spiritual Intelligence more thoroughly.
Online Courses and Lectures
I have extremely useful and practical courses for you. This should help you understand Spiritual Intelligence thoroughly and integrate it within your system and your day to day life.
Here is a fun and easy exam you can take anytime you feel like testing your knowledge.
Finally – a lecture to make sense of it all. Personally, it gave me a lot of new insights into my Spiritual Intelligence. Check it out!
I have some useful apps to help you start working on your Spiritual Intelligence today!
The first is Keep Yoga; exercise and movement are always good places to start.
Check out GetSomeHeadspace, Ascent ,Affirmations and Spiritual Stories Daily. These apps are very useful to keep the momentum of your spirituality going and help you put your ideas and knowledge into practice.
My Phone Time will keep you in check! It helped me a lot in keeping me aware and conscious of how much time I am spending on my phone. Get on it and get active!
Congratulations on finishing the definitive guide on Spiritual Intelligence!
Now you have all the tools you require to better manage yourself, your relationships, and your business.
But don’t just stop here; start implementing all that you have learned right away. The time to start making the necessary changes in your life is now!
Remember: consistency is key to the journey of becoming a spiritually intelligent person. Nothing happens in a day.
What did you find most useful about this Definitive Guide?
What steps are you going to take now towards your spiritual journey?
Have you found what you were looking for? Is there something that I have missed?
If there’s something you need more clarity on, feel free to ask me in the comments section below and I’ll be sure to answer them!