Dimensions of Intelligence
The full spectrum of intelligence is made up of five dimensions, from PQ to TQ, via IQ, EQ and SQ. Physical intelligence is a property of all life-forms. PQ controls our breathing and regulates the autonomic nervous system. The coordination required to walk or put on a jacket is a PQ capability. After PQ comes IQ and EQ, which are about intellect and emotion, followed by SQ, which is about meaning and purpose.
As a higher dimension of intelligence, SQ replaces the ego with the soul, both as the seat of personal identity and as the governor of PQ, IQ, and EQ. The qualities of spiritual intelligence are experienced at the subject-pole of attention in moments of presence, in the form of wisdom, compassion, integrity, joy, love, and creativity. SQ therefore increases personal fulfilment and social responsibility, boosts individual and group performance, and results in cooperation, tolerance, and peace [1, 2, 3].
Beyond spiritual intelligence (SQ) is the ultimate dimension of intelligence, called transcendental intelligence (TQ). Whereas SQ shifts from the ego to the soul by transcending the object-pole of attention, TQ shifts from the dualistic consciousness of the individual soul to the non-dual consciousness of the universal soul, by transcending both poles of attention and the mechanism of attention altogether. TQ represents the intelligence of non-individuated feeling-awareness itself, which is the self-existing and self-radiant ground of all being, and the transcendental source of all [4, 5, 6].
Not surprisingly, TQ is extremely uncommon. There are very few reports of stable and permanent TQ on record. Limited and temporary forms of TQ occur more often, as evident from studies in transpersonal psychology, and from art and literature, and from the histories of spiritual traditions. However, even partial TQ experiences, with rare exceptions, result from many years of preparation.
The Separate God Idea
As the intelligence of transcendental consciousness (non-individuated self-existing self-radiant feeling-awareness), TQ represents the ultimate dimension of intelligence. However, if you merely believe in the existence of a transcendental dimension of reality, as an article of faith, without actually experiencing transcendental consciousness as your own inherent source, then transcendental reality is objectified as something separate from yourself. This gives rise to the idea of a separate God. The objectifying effect of religious belief thus personifies transcendental reality in the form of a separate deity. According to religious belief, human beings are “made in the image of God.” But according to transcendental intelligence, it’s the other way around. From the non-dual TQ point of view, the religious idea of a separate God is made in the image of the human ego, as a counterpart to the apparently separate self. Accordingly, transcendental intelligence realises the divine not as the separate creator of separate beings, but as the ground of all being, the non-separate self-condition and source-condition of all apparently separate beings. TQ therefore does not require the idea of a separate creator God, because transcendental intelligence recognises the appearance of the universe as a stepped-down modification of, in, and as, self-existing self-radiant transcendental consciousness itself [7, 8, 9].
In addition to rejecting belief in the existence of a God, atheists usually subscribe to materialism, which is the belief that reality is fundamentally physical or material. Materialism and theism are widely regarded as the only possible alternatives. Consequently, atheists simply assume the truth of materialism, based on their rejection of theism. Thus it is assumed that if theism is false, then materialism must be true. But this is not so. The SQ paradigm represents a third alternative, in the form of secular spirituality, that supersedes both theism and materialism, as explained below.
The philosophy of materialism goes back a long way. As an explicit belief system about the ultimate nature of reality, materialism dates back to ancient Greece, and even earlier. However, in the civilisations of the ancient world, materialism was a minority point of view, on the fringe of the prevailing mainstream religious culture. But after the scientific revolution in 17th century Europe, materialism for the first time gained mainstream cultural support. With the official endorsement of orthodox science, the materialist point of view is now established as the dominant paradigm of contemporary secular culture. But ironically, at the height of its influence, materialism has been discredited. Quantum physics represented the first scientific challenge to the materialist perspective. But the final blow to its legitimacy was the emergence of post-materialist science, upon which the SQ paradigm is based. The findings of post-materialist science confirm that belief in materialism results from using IQ and EQ without engaging SQ . The emergence of the SQ paradigm therefore signifies that the dogma of materialist reductionism, both as a scientific premise and as a philosophical world-view, has now been superseded.
Consciousness is not a product of the brain.
The scientific evidence shows that the brain is the receiver of consciousness not the source of consciousness.
According to the theory of materialism, consciousness is an epiphenomenon, which is the idea that consciousness results from, and depends on, the operation of the brain. Orthodox science still adheres to this reductionist point of view, despite conclusive evidence to the contrary. Much contrary evidence is provided by studies in medical science. For example, sometimes patients suffer a complete loss of brain function for a period of time during an operation. Later, when they recover normal brain function after the operation, some of these patients can accurately recount events that occurred in their physical vicinity while their brains were not functioning [11, 12, 13]. Therefore, the subject-pole of attention (or feeling-awareness itself) is not located in the brain, otherwise it would not be possible to witness events while the brain was not functioning, and later recount those events with complete accuracy after brain function is restored. Thus consciousness is not dependent on the brain.
Consciousness and the Brain
Recent studies in post-materialist science confirm that consciousness is not a product of the brain, contrary to the materialist point of view that still prevails in mainstream neuroscience. These studies, as summarised below, provide conclusive evidence that consciousness continues in the absence of brain activity. The brain is therefore a receiver of consciousness, not the source of consciousness.
Spiritual intelligence represents the secular pathway beyond materialism. SQ is experienced by identifying with feeling-awareness itself at the subject-pole of attention, rather than with states of body and mind at the object-pole of attention. SQ thus recognises two inherently distinct domains, located at opposite poles of attention, neither of which can be reduced to the other. Consciousness, in the form of feeling-awareness itself, is located at subject-pole of attention, and everything else, including the physical dimension of existence, is necessarily located at the object-pole. Accordingly, from the SQ perspective, it is self-evident that reality is essentially psycho-physical in nature, rather than fundamentally merely physical, as claimed by the theory of materialism.
Secular Non-theistic Spirituality
Spiritual intelligence thus refutes the philosophy of materialism, based on the irreducible psycho-physical nature of experiencing the world. On the evidence of direct personal experience, without resort to religious faith, SQ verifies that feeling-awareness itself (or the soul) is inherent in every possible experience of material reality. Spiritual intelligence thus transcends the belief that everything is fundamentally material, on the basis of that which is irreducibly not material, namely, feeling-awareness itself (or consciousness itself). The philosophy of materialism is therefore transcended in spiritual intelligence without relying on belief in the existence of a separate divine being. Consequently, as an innate dimension of intelligence that everyone can access, spiritual intelligence represents the foundation of secular non-theistic spirituality.
Nature of Existence
The basic nature of existence is understood according to the dimensions of intelligence available at each stage of development from ego, to soul, to transcendental being.
The ego identifies with the products of IQ and EQ at the object-pole of attention in the form of states of body and mind. The basic nature of existence is therefore understood from the ego perspective in object-pole terms. Object-pole explanations of existence include both materialism and theism. Both these opposing viewpoints seek to explain existence with reference to phenomena at the object-pole of attention. According to materialism, the basic stuff of existence is made of atoms and molecules. According to theism, the basic stuff of existence is a separate creator God. A separate God is as much an object of attention as an atom or a molecule. Therefore materialism and theism belong together, despite the fact that they are opposed to each other. Both these opposing viewpoints originate from the perspective of the separate ego, which exercises IQ and EQ, but without SQ or TQ.
From the soul perspective, which exercises IQ and EQ with SQ, but without TQ, the basic nature of existence is understood not in object-pole terms, but in subject-pole terms. Subject-pole explanations of existence are made from the position of individuated feeling-awareness itself (or the soul). From this perspective the spiritual qualities of the soul are the basic stuff of existence. In the absence of a TQ perspective, the spiritual qualities of the soul are often assumed to emanate from a presumed separate divine being. However, from the TQ perspective, the spiritual qualities of the soul are simply the native qualities of transcendental consciousness itself experienced in the form of the apparently individuated soul. Spiritual intelligence experiences these soul qualities in association with everything experienced at the object-pole of attention, without requiring the presumption of a separate divine being. SQ uses thought, emotion, and perception, and every other experience at the object-pole of attention, including the discoveries of science, not for the purposes of the ego, but for the purposes of the soul.
From the transcendental perspective, which has access to the full spectrum of intelligence, the basic nature of existence is located prior to both poles of attention, in the realisation of non-individuated feeling-awareness itself. Transcendental intelligence (TQ) is associated with the experience of being lived by the whole, with no separate self-identity, either as the ego or as the soul, even while functioning as an apparent individual, animating a separate body-mind. The basic nature of existence is experienced by TQ as transcendental consciousness (non-individuated self-existing self-radiant feeling-awareness). In the ancient wisdom tradition of Vedanta, TQ is described as satchitananda (truth-consciousness-bliss). TQ is a state of non-dual awareness, and therefore recognises energy as the radiance of consciousness, not as something separate from consciousness. Consequently, from the transcendental point of view, the world was not created by something separate from the world, in the person of a separate God. From the vantage-point of TQ, the world arises spontaneously and transparently within self-existing self-radiant transcendental consciousness, as a stepped-down modification of, in, and as, transcendental consciousness itself [14, 15].
TQ and Contemporary Science
Modern discoveries in quantum physics duplicate the teachings of ancient spiritual traditions of transcendental realisation (e.g. Advaita Vedanta, Buddhism, Samkya Yoga, Jainism), as explained in the article below.
SQ and TQ
Transcendental intelligence represents a highly advanced state of consciousness. TQ can take a lifetime of dedication to emerge, after a long process of neural development based on intensive spiritual practice [16, 17]. Consequently, full realisation of TQ is extremely uncommon. Temporary TQ experiences are more frequent, when consciousness is momentarily free from the sense of individuated self, both in the form of the ego and in the form of the soul. However, temporary TQ experiences are not equivalent to full TQ realisation, which is a permanent state. A collective paradigm shift based on TQ therefore belongs in the distant future, at a later stage of human brain development. But SQ is different. Everyone can experience SQ right now, at the current stage of human brain development. Moreover, a collective paradigm shift based on spiritual intelligence is sufficient for profound global transformation.
The shift from the ego to the soul has enormously beneficial consequences. Spiritual intelligence increases empathy and compassion, which are the source of humanitarian values, social justice, and peace. When SQ is exercised on a community-wide scale, new norms are created, and society is thus transformed, as governments are repurposed and corporations are reformed, according to spiritually intelligent principles. Therefore, at this point in our history, at the dawn of the new millennium, faced with unprecedented global crises of our own creation, coupled with immense potential for improving the quality of life for all, SQ represents the necessary and sufficient means of individual and collective transformation.
For the first time in history,
science and spirituality are united in mutual accord.
Spiritual intelligence is authenticated on the basis of findings in post-materialist science . The scientific consensus based on the evidence can be summarised in the following three conclusions. Firstly, consciousness is independent of the brain and therefore outlives the death of the human body . Secondly, while alive in bodily human form, consciousness inherently transcends the ego (the body-mind self) in the realisation of the soul (consciousness itself, the true self) . Thirdly, the intelligence of the soul, called spiritual intelligence, results in accelerated personal growth coupled with advanced capabilities and high performance . The entire evidence for spiritual intelligence is independent of religious belief, and thus establishes secular spirituality on an empirical scientific foundation .
The Emergence of Spiritual Intelligence
For the first time in history, science and spirituality are thus united in mutual accord. Together they introduce secular spirituality as a new paradigm based on our innate capability for spiritual intelligence. The SQ paradigm thereby supersedes earlier paradigms, represented by theism and materialism, which dominated collective consciousness during the first and second millennium of the common era . As the synthesis of theism and materialism in the form of secular spirituality, SQ represents the next stage in the evolution of collective consciousness . Spiritual intelligence is therefore emerging as the new paradigm of the third millennium .
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 . 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. The scientific evidence forspiritual intelligence is 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
About Spiritual Intelligence (SQ)
- Zohar, D., Marshall, I. (2001) SQ: Connecting With Our Spiritual Intelligence
- Amramt, Y. (2007) The Seven Dimensions of Spiritual Intelligence
- Draper, B. (2010) Spiritual Intelligence: A New Way of Being
- Wilber, K. (2000) Integral Psychology: Consciousness, Spirit, Psychology
- Rajneesh, Bhagwan Shree (1980) Book of the Secrets
- Muktananda, S. (1978) Play of Consciousness
- Thomas a Kempis (1441) The Imitation of Christ
- Rastogi, T. (1982) Islamic Mysticism
- Tolle, E. (2004) The Power of Now
- Yogananda, P. (1945) Autobiography of a Yogi
- Aurobindo, Sri (1940) Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method
About Transcendental Intelligence (TQ)
- Wilber, K. (1993) The Spectrum of Consciousness
- Sharma, A. (2008) The Philosophy of Advaita Vedanta
- Samraj, Adi Da (2007) Radical Transcendentalism
- Hawkins, D. (2006) Transcending the Levels of Consciousness
- Almaas, A.H. (2014) Runaway Realization
TQ SourcesThe Tradition of Advaita Vedanta
- Astavakra Gita
- Tripura Rahasya
- Maharshi, R. (1989). Be as You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi
- The Diamond Sutra
- Lankavatara Sutra
- Chand, B. (1987) Lord Mahavira
- Feuerstein, G. (1989) The Yoga-Sutra of Patañjali
- Samraj, Adi Da (1973) The Method of the Siddhas
Philosophy of Science
- Kuhn, T. (1970) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
- Popper, K. (1959) The Logic of Scientific Discovery
- Henry, J. (2008) The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science
- Sheldrake, R. (2013) Science Set Free
- Haisch, B. (2012) The Purpose-Guided Universe: Believing in Einstein, Darwin, and God
- Segal, Z. et al (2002) Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
- Fulton, P. et al (2005) Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
- Brown, K.W. (2003) The Benefits of Being Present
- Fairbairn, W.R.D. (1952) Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality.
- Greenberg, J & Mitchell, S. (1985) Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory.
- Bion, W. R. (1970) Attention and Interpretation.
- Tart, C. (1977) Transpersonal Psychologies
- Wilber, K. (1999) Essays on Transpersonal Psychology
- Daniels, M. ( 2005) Shadow, Self, Spirit: Essays in Transpersonal Psychology
- Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
- International Journal of Transpersonal Studies
- British Psychological Society – Transpersonal Psychology Section
- Zohar, D. & Marshall, I. (2001) SQ: Ultimate Intelligence
- Seil, F.J. (2008) Neural Plasticity and Regeneration
- Dehaene, S. (2002) The Neuroscience of Consciousness
- Newberg, A. (2014) Principles of Neurotheology
- Siegel, D.J. (2013) Interpersonal Neurobiology
© 2011 – 2017, Richard Griffiths.