In general you could say that our spiritual intelligence is a line of development in ourselves like any other (such as cognitive or emotional) that starts at zero (no spiritual intelligence) and matures as we grow as a person. In this context you could say that spiritual intelligence is that part of our self that addresses the question “What is of ultimate importance or meaning in my life?”
You can also define spiritual intelligence as a is a high level of intelligence or wisdom that we are trying to bring all of our other intelligences up to as we grow. If you define it this way you can measure the growth of spiritual intelligence in three stages as follows:
Pre-individuation – This is a stage of life and education where the focus is on receiving wisdom, knowledge and understanding that from our ancestors and elders, from both conventional and non-conventional sources. At this stage we have not really distinguished ourselves as a fully developed individual, we are very much at the stage of absorbing and assimilating information.
Individuation – This second stage of growth is where we sift through th information and knowledge that we have received from stage one, choosing to accept some of it and reject other aspects of it. This process of consciously deciding that which we accept and that which we reject and articulating it in our life and personal philosophy makes us into an individual, hopefully a considered and well rounded one (!)
Trans-individuation – When we reach this stage our intelligence and wisdom have matured to a spiritual level. At this level we no longer experience ourself as the owner of a personal wisdom and intelligence, rather the wisdom and intelligence of the Universe or God moves through us. at this stage we transcend ourself as an individual. Our mind and body become a vehicle for the wisdom and transcendent loving intelligence of the divine, which manifests on the Earthly plane through us.
So, in summary the journey to true spiritual intelligence involves:
1. Digesting the wisdom and knowledge of our ancestors
2. Fully articulating ourself as an individual
3. Going beyond our individual ego and becoming a vehicle through which transcendent wisdom and intelligence can function in as uninhibited a manner as possible.
A final point here which is worth reflecting on; when we get to level three, trans-individuation, this does not mean that we loose our uniqueness or individuality (which is a common mis-conception), rather that our individuality is transcended and then subsequently included within a much larger and more expansive sense of self. Indeed, as we continue to go beyond our individuality, ideally our individuality will continue to grow, expand and develop in a holistic and healthy way. What I am saying here is a little bit different from the traditional view of enlightenment, where often the individuality is viewed as “obsolete” or meaningless once enlightenment has been attained.
If you found this article interesting, you might consider attending the upcoming series “Meditation techniques for developing your spiritual wisdom and intelligence” that I will be starting this coming Tuesday 24th August, available as recordings for those not able to attend in person.
© Toby Ouvry 2010, you are welcome to use this article, but you MUST seek Toby’s permission first.