Spiritual Intelligence: The Next Frontier in Learning
Over the course of a lifetime, all the lessons we learn really begin to add up. We are constantly being educated by the world around us and all those we come into contact with. In fact, life is one giant classroom and we are all students participating in a massive all-encompassing curriculum.
Nowadays however, we tend to think of learning as a strictly intellectual pursuit. Learning anything involves putting our noses to the grindstone, memorizing countless facts and figures, and devoting hours and hours to study. Additionally, the people we label “intelligent” are those who have plenty of book smarts, a hearty dose of common sense and (hopefully) a dash of emotional intelligence too. These people are labeled the “good” learners.
The process that we have come to know as “learning” is all well and good, but don’t discount the tremendous value in being spiritually wise in addition to being book smart. Our souls desperately want to learn lessons and evolve, much in the same way that our minds do. However, spiritual lessons only unfold when you are paying attention and looking for them. When you listen each day to what your soul is trying to teach you, your life can and will expand in incredible ways, and your soul will evolve along with it.
How then can you pay attention then to the spiritual lessons that you are slated to learn as you travel through life? There are three principals that will help you tune into the wisdom your soul may be trying to unearth this very minute. Follow these steps to deepen your ability to learn and grow throughout your spiritual journey.
Start by keeping a journal of your life. A daily journaling practice helps you watch for recurring themes throughout your life. We tend to repeat the same patterns over and over until we experience a breakthrough and can then move on to new challenges. Journaling can help reveal these patterns. Maybe you continually sabotage opportunity, or perhaps you close yourself off emotionally to your loved ones. When you write each day, these types of challenges that you need to face begin to emerge when you visit the pages. An added bonus is that you can someday look back over your life through your journal pages and see just how far you have come.
Spend five or ten minutes every day writing in a private journal. Record your thoughts, dreams, fears, joys—everything that seems significant to your life right now. Pay attention to any significant themes that emerge from this ritual. They will gently guide you toward your spiritual lessons.
Use the moments before sleep to ask your important life questions. Scientists such as Thomas Edison reportedly used those hazy moments before falling asleep as incubators for their ideas and big life questions. The idea is to wait until you’re falling asleep to silently focus on a question or struggle, and then let your unconscious mind go to work to materialize the solution.
Albert Einstein used this same method when he discovered his famous formula E=MC2. This way of “learning” is not a rational process. We so often think of learning as a logical left-brained type of skill. But true learning involves a balance between the left-brained math and logic type of information and the right-brain, which is creative and artistic. In other words, learning can’t happen without the right side of brain helping out. Betty Edwards used this right-brain method to teach her students to draw better in her well-known book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.
Pay close attention to your dreams. Your dreams at night reflect the issues that your soul needs to work out in order to grow. When your conscious mind is resting, your subconscious awakens and begins churning over everything that happened to you during your day. This is the reason that your dreams are often a mishmash of your real memories with fantastical elements thrown in. Sometimes your dreams can even prepare you for what’s going to happen tomorrow. It’s common to dream of a particular theme and then, magically, something related to that theme occurs days or weeks later. It can be alarming when this happens, but know that this type of coincidence is usually significant to your spiritual path.
As mysterious and random as dreams can seem, it is important to remember them and try to interpret their meanings. Oftentimes, your dreams can help you pinpoint issues you have been struggling with in your waking life. It doesn’t take much work to relate a dream back to its corresponding real-life connection. Many times, your dreams can point you toward problems in your life that you have not been willing to consciously face yet. Dreams are actually very valuable for this reason. There is an often unexplored frontier of learning that your soul greatly wants to participate in.
These three steps are only a starting point. As you begin to connect to your spirit through journaling, the moments before sleep, and dreaming, you will start experiencing more “aha” moments and hopefully the desire to continue exploring will take root. Follow the trail of spiritual learning and see where it leads you. Happy travels.
David Solomon is a Christian minister and the author of The Dead Saints Chronicles: A Zen Journey Through the Christian Afterlife. He is regarded as a leading philosopher and exponent of cosmological mythology, Bible interpretation, and prophecy. In addition to a lifetime of spiritual studies under renowned Christian and Buddhist teachers, David is the founder of a multi-million dollar payment processing company, Fast Transact, Inc. After receiving a terminal diagnosis of glioblastoma brain cancer in 2013, David retired to Virginia Beach where he currently focuses on completing The Dead Saints Chronicles series.