I recently got acquainted with what is for me a new (and fascinating) concept called spiritual intelligence (SQ) as an additional (and more important) type of human intelligence after(/than) cognitive intelligence (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ). This concept is said to be proposed by Danah Zohar. She elaborates on it academically in a book entitled SQ - Spiritual Intelligence, which she co-authored with Ian Marshall.
In her, more practical, book entitled SQ21 Cindy Wigglesworth defines SQ as "[t]he ability to behave with wisdom and compassion, while maintaining inner and outer peace, regardless of the situation" and writes the following as what the essence of SQ allows us to do:
We can mature the ego, gently shift it out of the driver's seat and over into the passenger's seat, and allow our Higher Self to drive the car of our life. That's when the destination suddenly becomes clear, the process speeds up, and we "self" or develop at maximum speed. All the while we are also at peace in the moment, knowing and trusting that the best part of ourselves is in charge, and therefore we are in the best place we could possibly be, right now.
Having read this, I told myself that this is exactly what I want to develop further in the school for the soul called life! In this practical guidebook she enumerates and elaborate on 21 skills we are supposed to acquire as we become more spiritually intelligent:
- Awareness of own worldview
- Awareness of life purpose
- Awareness of values hierarchy
- Complexity of inner thought
- Awareness of ego self/Higher Self
- Awareness of interconnectedness of life
- Awareness of worldviews of others
- Breadth of time perception
- Awareness of limitations/power of human perception
- Awareness of spiritual laws skill
- Experience of transcendent oneness
- Commitment to spiritual growth
- Keeping Higher Self in charge
- Living your purpose and values
- Sustaining faith
- Seeking guidance from Higher Self
- Being a wise and effective teacher/mentor of spiritual principles
- Being a wise and effective leader/change agent
- Making compassionate and wise decisions
- Being a calming, healing presence
- Being aligned with the ebb and flow of life
Skills 5, 13 and 16 especially resonate with me as I've sent the task of taming my ego as the most important way to attain my life (= soul) purpose. It must be a chutzpah to say this, but I feel I've become very much aware that two sets of opposing forces that derive from my ego and soul, which is synonymous to higher self to the best of my understanding, are struggling with each other inside me like Esau and Jacob inside the womb of Rebecca. I also recall that I and my life, or to be more precise, my thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, were totally hijacked and controlled by my ego until I completely stopped drinking alcohol a little more than half a year ago after almost 37 years of continued drinking, which deteriorated into addiction and cognitive-behavioral disorder in all the major areas of my daily life, especially my (bygone) married life.
So I can say that I've already acquired Skill 5, but learning to keep my soul in charge and seek guidance from it still remains very relevant to me. I can use the following five attainment levels the author lists in this book to measure my progress in my task of taming my ego (I still seem to be on the third level in this spiritual journey of mine):
- I can occasionally identify when I am acting from ego and I understand that acting on ego will not get me long-term satisfaction.
- I am unhappy with how ego handles things. I want my Higher Self to be in charge.
- I understand and can occasionally remember to use the skills to activate Higher Self and have it take over from the ego self.
- I am consistently able to activate Higher Self and interrupt "ego moments." I am successful in keeping Higher Self "in the driver's seat" most of the time.
- My Higher Self "muscle" has been developed by consistent daily practice for a long time - it is now a habit. Higher Self is in charge, even in profoundly trying times or under pressure from "group think".
What the author gives as the advice to acquire Skill 16 is to develop our openness to intuition and our sensitivity to its messages. I've started to pay more conscious attention to my intuition and even experience more and more cases of synchronicity in my daily life. Actually, it's this newly discovered voice of my intuition that has made me decide several months ago to gather the courage to get out of my comfort zone in one important domain of my life and finally set out on my "hero's journey".