“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They did not mean to do harm. They are however, absorbed into the endless struggle to think well of themselves. T.S. Eliot
Neuroscience can tell us how the brain functions to enable us to fill out our humanness, but it cannot explain how we can escape captivity by our ego, as most religions attempt to do. We have two selves as we’ve shown already in this book: First, the me I tell myself I am, my ego, that the late great social scientist, Hayakawa called the self concept. Second there is the self that comes from somewhere else; it is where I know things that I didn’t learn.
Implicit learning, discernment and spiritual intelligence
Gillian Stamp’s research uncovered what the various spiritual traditions had called discernment. She believes it to be the outcome of ‘patience with uncertainty.’ As one remains open to the truth something rises from one’s spirit that switches a light on.
Stamp quotes a top international banker who describes this process as “That most valuable human skill for making decisions in factual obscurity.” She described it as “The ability to see what might not be there yet,” and likened it to “Moving softly through the forest tracking that beautiful beast reality, and discovering signs of its passage, the metaphorical broken twigs and flowers.”
The Bible calls it faith. It’s a different kind of knowing one that produces the distinctive and beautiful experience of spiritual intelligence.
“Tracking that beautiful creature reality”
She quotes Shackle from Cambridge University who said, “It’s as if one has discerned some of the threads of that shawl of loosely inter-knotted strands which waves in the wind of other human influences, political contention, technological intervention, and explosion of population.” It’s as if a person who has remained open to life and permitted their spirit to teach them, eventually emerges as a Level 4 thinker with the joy of the God given gift spiritual intelligence.
Inspired imagination and the human spirit
It seems this fascinating process of having to make decisions without sufficient data not only leaves room for inspired imagination, but brings with it the hope of actually uncovering new knowledge. This is where spiritual self regulation is necessary because our unbounded imagination could become self indulgence, leading only to fantasy. Professor Shackle who was fascinated by this phenomenon explained that it has the effect of creating a life strategy from one’s imagination. It not only changes and develops what one deems to be possible, but it leads to acceptance of the need to discipline the ego, the necessary first step in becoming wise.
Poet T.S. Eliot asked the question of our age when he said, “Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?