Spiritual Intelligence: The Quest for a Goal Through Internal Calm

Spiritual Intelligence: The Quest for a Goal Through Internal Calm

Spiritual Intelligence aims to give us a sense of transcendence,a vital goal that goes beyond mere materialism. It's a type of philosophy that Viktor Frankl defended in his day. A philosophy that would allow us to feel satisfied by finding our meaning in this complex reality, a goal that can only be achieved through internal calm, personal balance.

Since Daniel Goleman popularized, in the 90s, the concept of emotional intelligence,this movement of conceiving in a wider way all the cognitive, abstract and intellectual processes that orchestrate our mind has only grown.The subject itself is not exempt from some controversy, especially since Howard Gardner, a North American psychologist at Harvard University, defended another concept of intelligence.

Spiritual intelligence includes the rational and emotional intelligence to transcend them, to enhance our development and our connection with ourselves and others.
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We are talking, of course, about the idea of ​​multiple intelligences.Gardner told us about a series of areas, potentialities through which we can all illustrate.Thus, after these eight types of intelligence, he thought of adding a ninth. And he gave it the name of spiritual intelligence.

He was well aware at that time that he lacked scientific evidence to demonstrate this skill. That's why he preferred not to include it. However, many philosophers and psychologists like Robert Emmons or Danah Zohar seek to add it to the list in order toshow that the recognition of this competence is an additional step in human realization.

What is spiritual intelligence?

You may have heard of Abraham Maslow and his needs pyramid.Know that Maslow made several corrections in his proposal. One of them referred to this need that crowned the pyramid.He finally realized one thing: it was essential that people aspire to "self-realization", understood as a spiritual state from which creativity, tolerance and wisdom emanate.

It was a state through which the personis approaching the discovery of a vital purpose, one that would give it meaning. Its potential would also be connected to that of others to generate a good among them.

On the other hand, in our society many people end up practicing what is called "spiritual materialism". They seek, through philosophies such as Buddhism, mindfulness or yoga, a way of self-realization, as someone who would follow a cooking recipe literally to self-feed, drifting well. towards an authentic tyranny of the ego.

Spiritual intelligence does not seek to feed the ego. She aspires tofind a vital goal. We must be in harmony with ourselves to better connect with others.And we must also connect from empathy. A person who is good with himself will be able to give the best of himself to those around him.

The 12 principles of spiritual intelligence

Danah Zohar is a physicist, philosopher and psychologist at Harvard University.She is often considered one of the greatest minds of today and is, in turn, one of the pioneers in promoting the acceptance of spiritual intelligence as an additional skill to work.

In 2000, she published the book "Connecting With Our Spiritual Intelligence "for a very concrete purpose: to delimit and concretize the principles that orchestrate this type of intelligence.

Here they are :

  • Develop a sense of selfKnow what our values ​​are, what we believe in, what defines us
  • To learn to be receptive to what surrounds us through an adequate internal calm, a balance without fear, without obsessive thoughts, without worries …
  • Act from our principles and assume the consequences
  • Having a sense of belonging, knowing how to connect to what surrounds us
  • Cultivate compassion and empathy
  • Valuing people for who they are, accepting what makes us different
  • Dare to defend our convictions and our values
  • To be humble
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions, look for the why of things
  • Be open-minded and have a critical sense
  • Develop adequate resilience
  • Have a vocation for something

What is the "real" utility of spiritual intelligence?

Authors like Howard Gardner, Danah Zohar herself, and Robert Emmons say that spiritual intelligence allows them to perceive more meaningful connections between everyday life and concerns.It is, they say, a way to solve problems by knowing our objectives well.Spiritual intelligence prevents us from focusing on things that are not worth it and helps us focus on what makes sense. It allows us to invest in more real happiness.

However, we miss this more critical vision that warns us of what we can consider or not.Thinking spiritually removes all objectivity from cognitive processes.Spiritual intelligence would make us see reality from a subjective point of view and, in a certain sense, prevent us from solving problems in a more objective way. Because we move in extremely complex environments.

Anyway, the theme of spiritual intelligence (as the theory of multiple intelligences) is accompanied by this controversy that will always bring more against than for. Nevertheless, we can not dismiss the interest it arouses in the field of personal growth. Ultimately,nothing can be as important to the human being as to find a vital goal and to be faithful to that goal.

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