The Definition of Spiritual Intelligence

Three Dimensions of Intelligence

Three Dimensions of Intelligence

Definition of Spiritual Intelligence

Spiritual intelligence is a higher dimension of intelligence that activates the qualities and capabilities of the authentic self (or the soul), in the form of wisdom, compassion, integrity, joy, love, creativity, and peace. Spiritual intelligence results in a sense of deeper meaning and purpose, combined with improvements in a wide range of important life skills and work skills [ref].

Analysis of Spiritual Intelligence


where P = presence

As an analysis of spiritual intelligence, the above equation means that SQ equals IQ and EQ magnified by the power of presence. Thus spiritual intelligence results when intellectual and emotional intelligence are exercised in the state of presence. But what is presence? Although the experience of presence is unmistakable, nevertheless the nature of presence is often misunderstood.

Twin Poles of Attention

Twin Poles of Attention

The State of Presence

Presence is more than simply being aware of your immediate surroundings with greater clarity than usual. That’s only one of the results of presence. Presence is the shift from the object-pole of attention to the subject-pole of attention, which results in the corresponding shift from ego to soul. When you shift to the subject-pole of attention, by identifying with feeling-awarenesss itself instead of identifying with your body and mind, there is greater clarity about everything at the object-pole of attention, including your immediate surroundings. However, the essential nature of presence is the shift from ego to soul, and greater clarity of mind is one of the results.

Spiritual intelligence equals IQ and EQ exercised with presence.

Living from your Soul

Therefore the equation SQ = P(IQ+EQ) means that SQ equals IQ and EQ when governed by your soul. When your soul governs IQ and EQ, as it does in moments of presence, your ego is removed from command. Consequently, in those moments, your ego is not in charge of your thoughts, emotions, purposes, values, and actions. SQ is therefore your most valuable personal resource, because it puts your soul in command. The soul does a much better job than the ego, since the soul is the source of wisdom, compassion, integrity, joy, love, creativity, and peace [ref]. Therefore SQ realises your full potential, by living from your soul, and thus transforms the life destiny that would otherwise be created by the ego.

The SQ Portal

The diagram below illustrates a contemporary method of access to spiritual intellogence, called the SQ Portal. Transit through the SQ Portal is accomplished in three steps. These three simple steps shift identification from the object-pole to the subject-pole of attention, which creates a corresponding shift from ego to soul. This video shows how to use the SQ Portal to activate your spiritual intelligence.

Spiritual Intelligence Portal

Spiritual Intelligence Portal

Whole Brain Training

As a powerful combination of three principal dimensions of intelligence, 3Q represents IQ and EQ in association with SQ. Studies in neuroscience confirm that spiritual intelligence is correlated with hemispheric synchronisation and whole brain activation [ref]. Consequently, coaching in 3Q trains the whole brain. The resulting whole-brain coherence optimises brain function, and results in greater fulfilment, increased creativity, sharpened intuition, more empathy and compassion, and improved performance on a wide variety of work skills and life skills.

The Location of the Soul

3Q Essentials Online Course

When you activate a higher dimension of intelligence, you gain access to the qualities and capabilities of your higher self. You can use the method taught in this course to shift from ego to soul, and activate your spiritual intelligence. This releases your intuition and creativity, and results in a deeper sense of meaning and purpose, which ultimately transforms your entire personality. For more information about the 3Q Essentials online course click here


The SQ paradigm is based on a synthesis of findings from related fields of scientific research, including cognitive psychology, psychoanalysis, transpersonal psychology, and neuroscience. These findings represent the scientific foundations of spiritual intelligence, as summarised in the following article: The Psychology of Spiritual Intelligence.

How to Experience Spiritual Intelligence [Video]

Spiritual intelligence is easy to experience. We all experience SQ spontaneously at times. But spontaneous moments of SQ are rare and unpredictable. Therefore it’s important to know how to experience SQ intentionally. When you can engage your spiritual intelligence voluntarily, at any time of your own choosing, SQ becomes your most powerful personal resource. This video provides step-by-step instructions on how to activate SQ intentionally. Watch the video here


© 2011 – 2017, Richard Griffiths.

Meet the Author

Richard Griffiths

Richard Griffiths is a psychologist and corporate trainer. He is the founder of the 3Q Institute and a former National Chairman of the Transpersonal Psychology Section of the Australian Psychological Society. His published work represents his findings from a lifetime of research and practice as a psychologist and spiritual practitioner. Alongside his research in psychology, he maintained a personal spiritual practice, and had first hand experience of a number of different spiritual traditions. Eventually a secular synthesis of psychology and spirituality emerged from his research in the form of the spiritual intelligence paradigm, which is the foundation of training at the 3Q Institute.

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