Lets see what SQ is all about:
In today’s fast-changing world, materialism and stress have become part of our everyday lives. We are constantly looking for answers: How to live a successful and happy life?
One way of finding out answers to this question could be to explore the Spiritual Quotient (SQ), relating to our ability to understand and comprehend the spiritual aspects of life, which, contrary to popular belief, are not necessarily connected to religion.
Most of us are familiar with the concept of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ).
In the mid ‘90s, Daniel Goleman started talking about EQ or Emotional Quotient. Danah Zoher and Ian Marshal in their recent work SQ: Connecting with our Spiritual Intelligence observe that “While computers have IQ and animals can have EQ, it is essentially an SQ that sets human beings apart”. Therefore, for the ‘Wheel of Life’ to roll smoothly, all the spokes of the wheel – IQ, EQ and SQ – have to be equally developed. The journey from IQ to SQ represents moving from gross to subtle, finite to infinite and from tangible to intangible.
SQ has several dimensions: Compassion, wholeness, self-esteem, gratitude, spirit of surrender and service and the ego. Handling the ego is one of the critical dimensions of enhancing SQ. Ego issues, if not handled with care, can create problems in our personal, social and professional lives. Hence for better relationships, it is very important to understand and handle the ego – both of ‘self’ and others.
Ego stems from our bundle of memories. It gets further reinforced when we repeatedly embrace a particular thought for extended periods of time. We tend to take ‘ego positions’ based on what happened to us in the past. One of the key aspects of handling the ego is to analyse the way in which our thoughts are organised because our ego is embedded deep into our thought process.
Our thoughts are often organised in a hierarchical order. First of all there is a primary layer of thought which constitutes the core, then there is a second layer, a third layer, and so on. The primary layer represents objectivity of thoughts and maturity whereas the subsequent layers represent subjective interpretations often arising out of perceptions which may be far away from reality.
Shri Ramana Maharishi advised that one should contemplate primarily on the inner core rather than on the secondary and tertiary layer; for once we concentrate on the core thoughts, we will naturally look at the events of life more objectively. Once we are objective and deal with issues with all gentleness, care and with a satvik approach, all our transactions become free from the ego.
J Krishnamurthy calls this state of mind as one of “All Conclusive Awareness”. Staying in this state softens our ego. To handle the ego, one has to therefore promote objectivity, for, with objectivity comes truth. This in turn dilutes the ego. Once our actions originate from the depth of our heart representing the primary layer, the path for ego-free relationships will be paved.
Dealing with the ego becomes easier if we can instil a spirit of ‘surrender’ in our psyche. The environment around you becomes tranquil and peaceful. Surrendering essentially means crucifixion of our ego, but surrendering becomes a rather difficult and painful process because of our worldly attachments.
Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita (chapter 18) says: ‘ ‘Fly unto Him for refuge with all your being, O Bharata; by his grace you shall obtain supreme peace and eternal abode”. Krishna advises Arjuna to surrender his ego unto Him.
Commenting on this, Swami Chinmayananda says that “The surrender unto the Lord should not be a temporary self deception; it should be done with a total spirit of devotion and with a state of ego-lessness.” This was the spirit exhibited by Radha, Prahlada and Hanuman.
The surrendering of ego is often construed as a weakness. On the contrary, the spirit of surrender enhances our quality of goodness which ultimately leads to godliness. But where is God? Vedanta says He resides within us.
By surrendering the ego we will be able to perpetually experience Spiritual Actualisation, leading to a higher SQ. For, “We are not human beings having spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having human experience”.