By Peter Shepherd
Since he has been on Earth, Man has had to face a dangerous environment. As population increased, the need arose to share knowledge and organize resources. Language and conceptual thinking developed in sophistication, with specialized brain centers becoming adapted for the task. Teaching of young people concentrated on this rational aspect of intellect, which is a left brain activity, and right brain functions (including intuitive and emotional processing) were no longer part of the masculine stereotype. But this limited form of intelligence has its problems.
The Middle East conflict and many other events preceding and inevitably to follow, show that something is missing. The Western world is full of IQ teaching oriented to the left brain - rational and irrational focused thought processes, but not a single school for EQ (Emotional Intelligence) which fully encompasses and integrates right brain activity - non-verbal thought processes including emotions based on perception of real experience and holistic understanding and the resulting intuitive feelings.
There is clearly a great need for an increased understanding and practice of Emotional Intelligence in our culture. In the world of business, factors that are really important to succeed in an ethical manner are dependent on EQ: the cooperation of employees, creativity and open-mindedness, understanding of another's point of view, ability to use empathy in negotiations, the quality of leadership and communication.
These factors are equally important in the running of schools, health services, local government and politics. They are an essential part of our personal and spiritual development and perhaps most importantly, they are principles that our children need to be taught.
Intelligence of the heart is lacking in our culture, so that all too often, instead of acting with integrated reason and feelings, we react with the emotional maturity of spoilt children...
- Instead of being recognized and understood consciously, emotions are suppressed or resisted, giving them subconscious power. They then drive our behavior, and we use our rational intelligence to justify such behavior.
- Instead of remaining mindful in the moment, we are drawn into perplexing about past failures or worrying about future outcomes.
- Instead of conscious persons who understand why they feel and consequently behave as they do, we have become subconsciously driven and susceptible to cultural conditioning - even hypnosis and brainwashing.
- Instead of being true to our natural open-minded and compassionate selves, we compromise to please others or manipulate others to gain advantage. Our unempathic and unethical behavior - and the corresponding lies and rationalizations that result - destroy our spiritual integrity. Because we don't live according to our values, we are unhappy.
In the whole of life, you have only two ways:
- The way of Love and its components: empathy, trust, certainty, acceptance, understanding, etc.
- The way of Fear and its components: lies, refusal to understand, harmful acts, withheld communication, etc.
This is the whole scene regarding those old archetypes: forces of the light and forces of the dark. At any moment, we can be part of either one side or the other depending on whether we act through love or through fear.
As we create every second, our creation is either towards light or darkness. And God, which is the sum of all consciousness, encompasses both our light and our darkness. Earth experience is mainly the opportunity to decide which way (towards light or dark) we want to create.
You can see that emotional intelligence is the doorway to Spiritual Intelligence (SQ).
"As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery... we have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness." ~ Danah Zohar
Underlying both intellectual intelligence (IQ) and emotion intelligence (EQ) is our spiritual intelligence (SQ) - our capacity for developing meaning, vision and value. It allows us to dream and to strive. It underlies the things we believe in and the role our beliefs and values play in the actions that we take. The higher our SQ, the more we are truly ourselves, mindful of our being and not hiding behind reactive emotions nor conditioned belief systems.
The standard IQ test measures rational intelligence: the skills we use to solve logical or strategic problems. For a long time, IQ results were considered the best measurement of a person's potential for success. But in the early 1990s Daniel Goleman pointed out that success is also dependent on emotional intelligence: the thinking that gives us empathy, compassion, and the ability to respond appropriately rather than simply react. In practice this tells us a lot about how a person will get on in social situations, including the workplace, and more closely correlates with success in life overall than IQ.
Spiritual Intelligence is even more fundamental, however. Spiritual intelligence represents our drive for meaning and connection with the infinite. Spiritual intelligence also helps us discern true principles that are part of our conscience.
"High SQ demands the most intense personal integrity. It demands that we stand open to experience, that we recapture our ability to see life and others afresh, as though through the eyes of a child, to learn how to tap into our intuition and visualization, as a powerful means of using our inner knowing to "make a difference." It demands that we cease to seek refuge in what we know and constantly explore and learn from what we do not know. It demands that we live the questions rather than the answers." ~ Danah Zohar
Computers have high IQ of a sort, animals show some degree of EQ, but only humans have SQ - the ability to access inner knowing and as a result to creatively change the rules, alter situations, and question why we are here. Our SQ makes the best use of our IQ and EQ. Spiritual intelligence is what makes us uniquely human (body, mind and spirit integrated as one). This is the spirit authentically having a human experience, rather than being dragged along half asleep. We are capable of mindfulness, and spiritual qualities such as the ability to show forgiveness, to express gratitude, to be humble, to display compassion. Fortunately, all kinds of intelligence can be developed.
Please click on the links below for more information...
'What Is Emotional Intelligence?'
'Understanding and Releasing Emotions'
'Discover a Child's Genius'
'Hearts Made Strong' by Shirley Napp
'The Shadow People: A woman's battle with multiple personality disorder'
A short story by Angel Shadow
'Are You Trying Too Hard to Be Happy?'