What is it? And is it considered a real thing?

There are lots of theories being developed, so if you know it exists in a subjective way or if you consider it a flim-flam, it's good to know that it's there or not :)

Frances Vaughan(PHd) summarized Spiritual Intelligence or in this method describe below referred to as a Spirituality Quotient or SQ.

He stated: This inquiry into spiritual intelligence suggests that it is one of several types of intelligence and that it can be developed relatively independently. Spiritual intelligence calls for multiple ways of knowing and for the integration of the inner life of mind and spirit with the outer life of work in the world. It can be cultivated through questing, inquiry, and practice. Spiritual experiences may also contribute to its development, depending on the context and means of integration. Spiritual maturity is expressed through wisdom and compassionate action in the world. Spiritual intelligence is necessary for discernment in making spiritual choices that contribute to psychological well-being and overall healthy spiritual development. Here's the paper looking into the summary in more detail.

At the beginning of the twentieth century psychologists discovered ways and means to measure intelligence that developed into an obsession with IQ. In the mid 1990's, Daniel Goleman popularized research into emotional intelligence, EQ, pointing out that EQ is a basic requirement for the appropriate use of IQ. In this century, there is enough collective evidence from psychology, neurology, anthropology and cognitive science to show us that there is a third 'Q', 'SQ' or Spiritual Intelligence. SQ is uniquely human and, that some of those mentioned below consider the most fundamental intelligence, stating that SQ is what we use to develop our longing and capacity for 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 and the way we shape our lives.

A run down on SQ from a wiki article:

Spiritual intelligence is a term used by some philosophers, psychologists, and developmental theorists to indicate spiritual parallels with IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EQ (Emotional Quotient).

Danah Zohar coined the term "spiritual intelligence" and introduced the idea in 1997 in her book ReWiring the Corporate Brain.

Howard Gardner, the originator of the theory of multiple intelligences, chose not to include spiritual intelligence amongst his "intelligences" due to the challenge of codifying quantifiable scientific criteria. Instead, Gardner suggested an "existential intelligence" as viable. However, contemporary researchers continue explore the viability of Spiritual Intelligence (often abbreviated as "SQ") and to create tools for measuring and developing it. So far, measurement of spiritual intelligence has tended to rely on self-assessment instruments, which some claim can be susceptible to false reporting.

Variations of spiritual intelligence are sometimes used in corporate settings, as a means of motivating employees, and providing a non-religious, diversity-sensitive framework for addressing issues of values in the workplace. According to Stephen Covey, "Spiritual intelligence is the central and most fundamental of all the intelligences, because it becomes the source of guidance for the others."

Definitions of spiritual intelligence rely on the concept of spirituality as being distinct from religiosity.

Danah Zohar defined 12 principles underlying spiritual intelligence:

  • Self-awareness: Knowing what I believe in and value, and what deeply motivates me.

  • Spontaneity: Living in and being responsive to the moment.

  • Being vision- and value-led: Acting from principles and deep beliefs, and living accordingly.

  • Holism: Seeing larger patterns, relationships, and connections; having a sense of belonging.

  • Compassion: Having the quality of "feeling-with" and deep empathy.

  • Celebration of diversity: Valuing other people for their differences, not despite them.

  • Field independence: Standing against the crowd and having one's own convictions.

  • Humility: Having the sense of being a player in a larger drama, of one's true place in the world.

  • Tendency to ask fundamental "Why?" questions: Needing to understand things and get to the bottom of them.

  • Ability to reframe: Standing back from a situation or problem and seeing the bigger picture or wider context.

  • Positive use of adversity: Learning and growing from mistakes, setbacks, and suffering.

  • Sense of vocation: Feeling called upon to serve, to give something back.

Robert Emmons defines spiritual intelligence as "the adaptive use of spiritual information to facilitate everyday problem solving and goal attainment." He originally proposed 5 components of spiritual intelligence:

  1. The capacity to transcend the physical and material.

  2. The ability to experience heightened states of consciousness.

  3. The ability to sanctify everyday experience.

  4. The ability to utilize spiritual resources to solve problems.

  5. The capacity to be virtuous.

The fifth capacity was later removed due to its focus on human behavior rather than ability, thereby not meeting previously established scientific criteria for intelligence.

Frances Vaughan offers the following description: "Spiritual intelligence is concerned with the inner life of mind and spirit and its relationship to being in the world."

Cindy Wigglesworth defines spiritual intelligence as "the ability to act with wisdom and compassion, while maintaining inner and outer peace, regardless of the circumstances." She breaks down the competencies that comprise SQ into 21 skills, arranged into a four quadrant model similar to Daniel Goleman's widely used model of emotional intelligence or EQ. The four quadrants of spiritual intelligence are defined as:

  1. Higher Self / Ego self Awareness

  2. Universal Awareness

  3. Higher Self / Ego self Mastery

  4. Spiritual Presence / Social Mastery

David B. King has undertaken research on spiritual intelligence at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. King defines spiritual intelligence as a set of adaptive mental capacities based on non-material and transcendent aspects of reality, specifically those that:

"...contribute to the awareness, integration, and adaptive application of the non-material and transcendent aspects of one's existence, leading to such outcomes as deep existential reflection, enhancement of meaning, recognition of a transcendent self, and mastery of spiritual states."

King further proposes four core abilities or capacities of spiritual intelligence:

  1. Critical Existential Thinking: The capacity to critically contemplate the nature of existence, reality, the universe, space, time, and other existential/metaphysical issues; also the capacity to contemplate non-existential issues in relation to one's existence (i.e., from an existential perspective).

  2. Personal Meaning Production: The ability to derive personal meaning and purpose from all physical and mental experiences, including the capacity to create and master a life purpose.

  3. Transcendental Awareness: The capacity to identify transcendent dimensions/patterns of the self (i.e., a transpersonal or transcendent self), of others, and of the physical world (e.g., nonmaterialism) during normal states of consciousness, accompanied by the capacity to identify their relationship to one's self and to the physical.

  4. Conscious State Expansion: The ability to enter and exit higher states of consciousness (e.g. pure consciousness, cosmic consciousness, unity, oneness) and other states of trance at one's own discretion (as in deep contemplation, meditation, prayer, etc.).

Also, Vineeth V. Kumar and Manju Mehta have also researched the concept, extensively. Operationalizing the construct, they defined spiritual intelligence as "the capacity of an individual to possess a socially relevant purpose in life by understanding 'self' and having a high degree of conscience, compassion and commitment to human values."

So if you made it to the end of this, you might be interested in what your “Spiritual Quotient” (SQ) is..

If so, I found a simple test you can take... although here's the warning from the test

Be warned: calling a test like this 'spiritual intelligence' and not say 'scientific intelligence' already suggests a certain bias in the approach. Spirituality is always a subjective issue, even when people deny that there is a spiritual side to life at all! However, what the test does do is try accurately to reflect the thoughts of the greatest spiritual philosophers. And it is (mostly) for fun.

It has some interesting questions like

Is true science mechanistic circular or reductive?

Whether you believe in God or the Divine or not, what image do you have?

Why do you think people believe in God or why don't they?

Will science ever completely understand everything in time or will it never understand anything even with time?

Who is more religious: Scientists, Church-goers, or Theologians?

Is science a religion?

Can you be spiritual without being religious?

All kinds of goodies to get you thinking :)
The nice part is there is a detailed analysis of your answers where you can always find a way to disagree lol



Views: 2283

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Wow! What a post! I can see that the course in psychology has expanded your horizons tremendously. Congratulations PS.

Though the post will require several readings to post any meaningful comment, I will begin with the meaning of the word "Spiritual". Due the cultural and historical differences, the word spiritual is perceived differently by people of different origins. For example, as explained to me by my good friend Peter O'Lalor, in the west the word spirituality refers to study of the spirits and spirits are those which are invisible or not visible. This of course is a simplistic explanation. However, in Indian system spiritualism refers to the study of the self as indicated here and here.

And I can answer one question immediately.

Can you be spiritual without being religious?

Please read the small book here.

What more proof of GOD do we need? All the evidence is right under our noses. Perhaps, people do not believe in God because they do not believe in their SELF or believe in their true potential.


It depends upon what you mean by "GOD". Most people would agree with you. However if you mean a Creator God then most Buddhists, who do not believe in a creator, would disagree. But that is just a fine point probably not worth arguing about.

Depending on what the word is interpreted to mean, most Buddhists that I know would also not believe in self.

But as a diagram of relative values for us in our mutually interdependent and impermanent existence here on Earth from birth to death, there is a lot of usefulness attending these kind of mind mandalas.  

This in particular, strikes me as akin to some other synthetic post-modern attempts to model understanding. It reminds me little of Ken Wilbur's All Quadrants All Levels (AQAL) charting.

Curiously, HPB also relied on using a five pointed star as a symbol generally representative of humanity in some of her published interpretive diagrams explaining her esotericism.

Neither Buddhist, Jewish, or Muslim are Not of focus, asking the appropriate question to attain the most probable answer for solution. Not easy to find questions without knowledge. Buddhist is a body following the spirit of the Avatar seeded into Gautama, i.e, same for Jesus Christ. An objective view over subjective beliefs should be an applied rule for an intentional adaptability - setting aside set beliefs- to obtain beyond emotional attachment. 

Is there septenary confinement that the human race is subjectively unconsciously aware of? 'Septenary confinement' in context to the seven vices, murder, lust, gluttony, pride, sloth, etc,etc.. What lies latently confined that can motivate a vessel in such movements? Is it an act of vice to debate the differences between the meaning of God/creator/Allah with such incompetence of knowing that the value is their aggregation, thus seeing the beauty in their different analogies Is to Be appreciated? 

Critical thought is only useful when it is not attacking another thought of another, but when used not to look for the problems, but to seek solution for the problem. 

Love & Light  


In addition to what is said above this thread, seven is a number we see everyday which is impressed and forced daily by the days of the week, seven sacred planets, seven chakras, seven continents, seven rays, seven angels from heaven etc, etc, into our collective conscious environment, into our subconscious environment, and  our material environment. Is seven harmonic or chaotic? Both. Seven is balance and separation... But where is the balance that is needed?  Why are the seven vices more known and spoke about than the seven virtues? 

Like an IQ which boils down to a number that associates ones intelligence and ignorance by a number, perhaps the seven virtues, the seven vices, and "Five Vital IQ's" could/should/needs a triformed macroscopic analysis. Five-Seven-Three what does it mean? : ) <g>

Love & Light


 P.S. SELF - the Constant, which is not of form. 


Search Theosophy.Net!


What to do...

Join Theosophy.Net Blogs Forum Live Chat Invite Facebook Facebook Group

A New View of Theosophy


Theosophy References

Wiki Characteristics History Spirituality Esotericism Mysticism RotR ToS

Our Friends

© 2023   Created by Theosophy Network.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service