Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Spiritual Quotient (SQ) of Intelligence and How Religion Kills It

So what is SQ?
‘SQ is what we use to develop our longing and capacity for meaning, vision and value which allows us to dream and to strive. It underlies the things we believe in and the role our beliefs and values play in the actions that we take and the shape we give to our lives. SQ gives us access to and use of the significance of our visions and values in the way that we think and the decisions that we make. SQ is based on the brain's third neural system, the synchronous neural oscillations that unify data across the whole brain. SQ offers us a viable tertiary process that unifies, integrates and has the potential to transform material arising from the other two processes. It facilitates a dialogue between reason (IQ) and emotion (EQ) and between mind and body. It provides a fulcrum for growth and transformation and the ‘self’ with an active, unifying, meaning-giving centre. This quotient is the one that makes us whole, that gives us our integrity, can be seen perhaps as “the soul's intelligence” and the intelligence of the deep self. It is the intelligence with which we ask fundamental questions and with which we reframe our answers. SQ is also our transformative intelligence, that is, the capacity we use to learn, construe, validate and reformulate the meaning of our experiences’. (Mezirow)(Zohar)
False paradise: Beware of opiate religion – (Jakarta Post 19/3/06 - abridged)
Eko P. Darmawan's book “Religion is No Opium: Theses of Feuerbach, Marx and Tan Malaka” is a criticism of the ugly reality of how religion is practiced and at the same time, an attempt to correct the misunderstanding of Karl Marx's famous statement: "Religion is the opium of the masses."
'According to Eko, Marx's body of thought has far too often been reduced into "Religion is the opium of the masses" because few ever read this statement within the larger context his work. (p. 178). In fact, when Marx associated religion with opium, he did not make this statement in an unfavourable and derogatory manner. Religion, he said, is the panacea for the soul, a light for life. This means that religion will not be born in times of spiritual health or as medicine is not necessary for a healthy body. Religion is the antithesis of eras of darkness. When society is engulfed in gloom, religion will be [increasingly] present. Religion is present when a particular social condition demands it, or more precisely, when social conditions are far from ideal.
Religion also exists [today], as a teaching that is external to human life, be it in the form of a prophet, a holy book or even religious leaders. It is this external nature of religion, perhaps, of which Marx could not approve. When we talk about the external nature of religion, this means that human beings feel the need for a certain authority beyond themselves to find enlightenment -- or the light on their path of life. For Marx, if individuals depend too much on an external authority to find enlightenment, they forget that they possess their own source of enlightenment within [SQ]. In this respect, the individual is negligent of the fact that he/she is endowed with the spring of truth within him or herself. A person is deaf and blind to his/her own source of enlightenment because he/she is too busy devoting him/herself blindly to an external authority.
The only way to combat this is to continuously develop one's powers of reason, mind, emotional strength and historical knowledge. [I ask you, will learning the Koran by rote, without understanding its message, develop high levels of SQ intelligence in children?] The kind of religion that becomes opium for the people is one that promotes "an ideal human being ... in an imagined form." Opium creates an illusory paradise -- that is, an unreal world like those propagated by as an example, charismatic TV Christian preachers and Muslim proselytizers (persuaders and converters), in which faith has become a commodity’.
If you agree with the proposition put forward in the Jakarta Post (and I do) you can easily come to a very unsavoury conclusion. Not only can religion as an integral part of culture (e.g. Arab/Islam) lead to the diminution of intelligence because of the stifling ‘emotional quotient (EQ) effect’ some cultures have on the young, (see previous posts), it can also ‘dumb them down’ on a spiritual intelligence level as well. You don’t have to be a mental giant to figure out that the less intelligent the population is the easier it is to control. Again, the major problem we should all recognise with the apparent rise in religious fervour is the fact that it is being exported to places that currently enjoy the benefits of a reasonable, peaceful and enlightened community.

http://www.addall.com/detail/1582341311.html, http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20060319.N01&irec=30
(Syaiful Bari, (Religion is No Opium: Theses of Feuerbach, Marx and Tan Malaka) Eko P. Darmawan Resist Book, Yogyakarta, October 2005) The reviewer is chief editor of Yogyakarta-based magazine Humaniush

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