John D. Mayer TRADUCIR AL ESPAÑOLDepartment of Psychology - University of New Hampshire
The International Journal For The Psychology of Religion, 10(1), 2000
Emmons’s (this issue) thought-provoking article defined a spiritual intelligence that involves five characteristics:
1. The capacity for transcendence.
2. The ability to enter into heightened spiritual states of consciousness.
3. The ability to invest everyday activities, events, and relationships with a
sense of the sacred.
4. The ability to utilize spiritual resources to solve problems in living.
5. The capacity to engage in virtuous behavior or to be virtuous (to show forgiveness, to express gratitude, to be humble, to display compassion).
When I think of spirituality, I think less of a heightened intelligence, as Emmons has described it, and more of a heightened consciousness. The idea of spiritual consciousness stems from the possibility of structuring consciousness, through meditation, contemplation, and other means, so that it focuses on oneness, transcendent states, and ultimate concerns. The shift in language from the terminology of mental ability (mentioned earlier) to one of consciousness and awareness yields an interesting revision of Emmons’s description.
This spiritual consciousness would involve:
1. Attending to the unity of the world and transcending one’s existence.
2. Consciously entering into heightened spiritual states.
3. Attending to the sacred in everyday activities, events, and relationships.
4. Structuring consciousness so that problems in living are seen in the context
of life’s ultimate concerns.
5. Desiring to act, and consequently, acting in virtuous ways (to show forgiveness, to express gratitude, to be humble, to display compassion).
To translate from the language of intelligence to the language of consciousness, it would seem, requires substituting just a few key words for the terms ability and capacity, that were in the original. So, which conception is right: spiritual intelligence or spiritual consciousness?
If a new intelligence really has been found, it would enrich and broaden our notion of what intelligence may be (e.g., Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, in press). Labeling something an intelligence also raises its prestige. Scarr (1989) has argued that one reason psychologists and educators are motivated to label something an intelligence is in an attempt to adjust social behavior to value the entity more than before. Although Scarr believes many personality attributes are not valued sufficiently, she is concerned that labeling nonintelligences as intelligences creates a leveling of all qualities, and a diminishment of the concept of intelligence. So, what is the difference between finding an intelligence and simply labeling something an intelligence?
Full Text: http://www.unh.edu/personalitylab/Reprints/RP2000b-Mayer.pdf