Ego and Soul

Twin Poles of Attention

Twin Poles of Attention

Operating System

Just as a computer and a phone have an operating system, so does our own awareness. The twin poles of attention represent the basic operating system of human awareness [ref].

Twin Poles of Attention

The twin poles of attention are the subject-pole and the object-pole. At the object-pole is everything we are aware of, including thoughts, emotions, beliefs, perceptions, memories, hopes, ideas, self-image, etc. At the subject-pole of attention is feeling-awareness itself (or consciousness itself).

Opposite Polarity

The ego and the soul are located at opposite poles of attention. The ego is identified with the object-pole of attention (states of body and mind), and the soul is identified with the subject-pole of attention (feeling-awareness itself).

The ego and the soul are located at opposite poles of attention.


The ego is your body-mind self, or your false self. The ego is founded on identification with your body and mind at the object-pole of attention. The ego exercises IQ and EQ but has no access to SQ.


The soul is your existential self, or your true self. The soul is founded on identification with feeling-awareness itself (or consciousness itself) at the subject-pole of attention. The soul exercises IQ and EQ with SQ.

Three Dimensions of Intelligence

Three Dimensions of Intelligence

Qualities of the Ego

Being the ego means experiencing yourself as being your body and mind. The ego feels dissatisfied and insufficient, and constantly seeks satisfaction elsewhere, in the next experience, using this moment as a means to the next, and reacting to each moment from a state of lack.

Qualities of the Soul

Being the soul means experiencing yourself as being feeling-awareness itself (or consciousness itself). The native qualities of feeling-awareness itself are experienced at the subject-pole of attention in moments of presence, in the form of wisdom, compassion, integrity, joy, love, creativity, and peace. Consequently, the soul does not seek satisfaction elsewhere, in the next experience, because the soul is already happy, and therefore does not use this moment as a means to the next. Instead of reacting from a state of lack, the soul therefore responds in each moment from a state of prior fulfilment.

Different Purposes

The ego and the soul use IQ and EQ for different purposes. The ego uses IQ and EQ for personal gain, in the constant search for compensation for the inevitable dissatisfaction of being the ego. But the intelligence of the soul has a different purpose. SQ uses IQ and EQ for the benefit of all, to express the native qualities of feeling-awareness itself, which are experienced at the subject-pole of attention in moments of presence, in the form of wisdom, compassion, integrity, joy, love, creativity, and peace.

Spiritual intelligence shifts from ego to soul at the opposite pole of attention.

From Ego to Soul

The essence of spiritual intelligence is the shift from false self to true self, from ego to soul, at the opposite pole of attention. The SQ portal is a simple three-step process that rapidly shifts from ego to soul, and thus activates spiritual intelligence. Watch this short video for an explanation of how to use the SQ portal to experience your spiritual intelligence.

Spiritual Intelligence

Spiritual intelligence replaces the ego with the soul as the seat of personal identity and as the governor of IQ and EQ. Thus spiritual intelligence uses IQ and EQ, not from the ego, but from your true self as the soul. Consequently, SQ lives with wisdom, compassion, and integrity, which is the ultimate form of fulfilment.

Spiritual Intelligence and Free Will

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.

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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