The concept of Spiritual Intelligence

In an age of industrial and technical progress, spiritual issues, moral paths, inner peace and the meaning of life are on the lips of many. Spirituality was never talked about again, it became a kind of trend, and in fact it was never less. We live in a time of spiritual hunger!

What bothers people the most today is meaning. Never before have so many people achieved such wealth and a level of material well-being in general, and yet they still have a sense of dissatisfaction. People complain about the feeling of emptiness and it seems that the generally accepted religion is not able to fill it.

The fundamental issues or problems that Spiritual Intelligence wants (DI) to solve or treat are:

What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? What does my life mean in relation to others? What is the right way to love? What are the real values? If I get lost, will someone find me?

Before we try to define the concept of DI, let’s make a brief review of the concept of spirituality and intelligence in general.

What is spirituality?
Understanding spirituality varies from one period of history to another, from one culture to another, from one religion to another… There is no one universal approach to spirituality. However, one of the definitions that permeates more or less the majority would be: “Spirituality is an inner human need to connect with something higher than oneself.” What could be more “than yourself”. It is something beyond our ego, beyond our selves. It can be defined as the connection of two components: vertical and horizontal. The vertical component is something sacred, divine, timeless. The horizontal component implies service to others and the planet Earth in general.

-Usually when I talk about spirituality, I ask people two questions:
1.Who are your spiritual leaders?
2.What character traits attracted you to them?
The answers are very similar. As for leaders, they mostly mention religious leaders, former activists of global peace, spiritual writers, family members, advisers….

The reasons given for choosing these people are very typical: they are full of love, kind, forgiving, have peace, are brave, honest, generous, faithful, wise and inspiring. Constantly giving almost the same answers, beyond religious and cultural boundaries, tells me that we have one general perception of what makes someone spiritually intelligent. We simply possess a “spiritual compass” that allows us to recognize a higher and fuller expression of humanity. However, the question remains how to achieve this?

what is intelligence?
Most people will say that those who are educated or if not educated are smart for them, and at least those who have greater resourcefulness in everyday life situations. Psychology by “mind” means intelligence. The definition of intelligence comes from the Latin word “inter” which means “among” and “legere” in translation “to take, gather”. By combining these two words, we conclude that intelligence is the ability to see the interrelationships or interrelationships in terms of everything that surrounds us, on the basis of which we build our own idea of it.

One of the most meaningful definitions of intelligence is:

“Intelligence is a very general mental capacity (ability), which, among other things, includes the ability to think, plan, solve problems, abstract thinking, understand complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not just a study book, a narrow academic skill. Instead, it reflects the breadth and ability to understand our environment – “gaining meaning” and “understanding” what to do. “

From the 19th century, the theory of intelligence served as a cornerstone in the world of psychology until 1983. it was thought that there was only one kind of intelligence. Harvard Gardner, a professor at Harvard, was the first to publish a study in which he gives 8 or 9 relatively autonomous intelligences, where each functions in different spheres of life. Gardner’s division is:

1.Linguistic intelligence (these are: poets, journalists ();
2.Music – (composers, conductors ();
3.Logical-mathematical (these are mathematicians and computer scientists);
4.Spatial (architects, geographers);
5.Interpersonal – (therapists, parents );
6.Intrapersonal – enables someone to know their own capabilities;
7.Natural science – (biologists, ecologists ()
8.Existential (Spiritual) – (shows interest and understanding in cosmology and the ultimate issues of life and death).

In addition to Gardner, there is an abbreviated version of Intelligence:

1.Physical intelligence – Helps us understand our bodies and how to maintain them. It corresponds to the satisfaction of basic needs (hunger, thirst…).
2.Cognitive intelligence – makes us think logically for language learning. It applies especially to children at school.
3.Emotional intelligence – is focused on the lives of adults, when they begin to develop a career and family. This is the period when the importance of interpersonal relations and social norms is especially understood.
4.We will now have a little more fun with spiritual intelligence.

-Spiritual intelligence
Man is mostly turned to things from the outside, of non-reflective consciousness, without meaning, he cares about everything and everything except himself, except when he is overwhelmed by some great sorrow or crisis. However, our spiritual intelligence helps us to cope with life’s problems, the problems of good and evil, life and death, with the deeper causes of human suffering.

A Jewish rabbi and twentieth-century thinker, Abraham Heschel, said, “We are closer to God when we ask questions than when we think we have the answers.” William Blake said: “If the doors of knowledge were cleared, we would see everything as it is – unlimited!”

There is very little agreement in defining DI, so it is better to research it than to try to define it. Since the term DI was first used by psychologists, we will start with their definitions:

Dana Zohar and Ian Marshal are psychologists who first used the term DI and wrote a couple of books about it, here is what they say: “When I say DI, I mean the intelligence with which we approach the problem of meaning and life values, the intelligence with which our actions and our lives we put in a broader, richer, more meaningful context, the intelligence with which we assess whether a certain procedure or life path is more meaningful than another. DI is a necessary basis for the proper functioning of both cognitive and emotional intelligence. She is our basic intelligence. ”

Another beautiful definition of DI, from the journal Human Psychology, eminent psychologist Vaughan says: “Spiritual intelligence refers to the inner life of the mind and spirit and its relationship to being in the world. It hints at our capacity for deep questions and understanding of existential issues. ”

This is something that psychology says about DI, a word or two about what Christianity says about it. The equivalent of DI psychology in Christianity would be wisdom.

Wisdom is also difficult to define. If one goes through the numerous studies written about it, the common thought that pervades them is that wisdom is the art of living. Solomon said, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Our people have a habit of saying: Love people, respect authority and fear God, and this is wisdom.

Spiritual intelligence and wisdom are the kind of inner life that takes place in the most private chambers of our being, daring to ask the questions that underlie our lives. When we do not know the answers to some of them, the New Testament encourages us with the words, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men indiscriminately, and reproveth no man!