SQ – Your Ultimate Intelligence

by February 1, 2012
“While computers have IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and ani­mals can have EQ (Emotional Quotient), it is essentially SQ (Spiritual Quotient) that sets human beings apart,” observe Danah Zoher and Ian Marshal in their book SQ: Connecting with our Spiritual Intelligence.

IQ primarily solves logical, mathematical and linguistic problems. EQ makes us aware of our own and others’ emotions, judge the situation we are in and behave appropriately. SQ allows us to ask if we want to be in that situation in the first place through questions like: “Is my job giving me the fulfillment I seek?”, “Are my relationships with oth­ers mutually satisfying?”, “What are my priorities in life?”, “What is the purpose of my existence?”. The transformative power of SQ distinguishes it from IQ and EQ.

SQ motivates us to create new situations if necessary. Thus it deter­mines our happiness as also our ability to meaningfully utilize IQ and EQ.

SQ has many characteristics, most of which center on perception of the unchanging, non­temporal, divine as­pect of life. Intriguingly, theistic SQ has a scientific basis. In the 1990s, research at the University of California led to the identification of a ‘God­spot’ in the human brain. This area, located among neural connections in the tem­poral lobes of the brain, lights up during scans with positron emission topography whenever research subjects are exposed to discussion of spiritual topics. The existence of the God­spot indicates that the brain is programmed to ask ultimate questions.

The highly acclaimed Handbook of Religion and Health, published by Oxford University Press, carefully reviewed no fewer than two thousand published experiments that tested the relationship between religion and practically all parameters of physical and mental health. A sample of their findings:

1 . People who attended a spiritual program at least once a week lived average seven years longer than those who didn’t attend at all.

2 . Religious youth showed significantly lower levels of drug and alcohol abuse, premature sexual involvement, criminal delinquency and suicidal tendencies than their nonreligious counterparts.

3. Researcher Harold G. Koenig concluded: “A high SQ faithfulness to God appears to benefit people of all means, educational levels and ages.”

 Interestingly, the modern concept of SQ parallels the Vedanta­sutra faculty of brahma jijnasa (spiritual enquiry), as both are unique to human beings. Moreover, like the three intelligences IQ, EQ and SQ discovered by science, Vedic wisdom addresses the three dimensions of our existence ­body, mind and spirit. To attain lasting happiness, we need to go be­yond gratifying our bodies and pacifying our minds to harmonizing our souls with the supreme soul, God, through devotional service. Amazingly the characteristics expected of high SQ people are all found in advanced spiritualists. Most importantly, the Vedic scriptures delineate a practical and potent ABCD formula for dramatically increasing our SQ and hap­piness.

A ­ Association: Interacting with and learning from high SQ people like devotees of God enables us to see order amidst chaos, plan amidst change.

B ­Books: Studying spiritual books like the Bhagavad­gita answers life’s fundamental questions and empowers us with inner direction and motivation.

C ­Chanting: Regular meditation on the holy names of God like the Hare Krishna maha­mantra bestows spiritual tranquility even amidst ma­terial adversity.

D ­Diet: Eating vegetarian food sanctified by offering to God purifies our mind and awakens our soul.

The Shrimad­Bhagavatam (7.7.21) urges us to become spiritual gold­seekers, “An expert geologist can understand where there is gold below the earth and extract it from the gold ore by various processes. Similarly, a wise person can understand the spiritual dimension within the material body, and, by spiritual excavation, attain fulfillment in life.” Lest we neg­lect our spiritual enrichment, modern management guru Stephen Covey reminds us, “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey; we are spiritual beings on a human journey.”

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