Showing posts with label SQ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SQ. Show all posts

Friday, May 20, 2022

SQ - Levels of moral development



Practically all human problems (except natural disasters) can be understood, at least partially, as problems of consciousness.


McIntosh, Steve. The Presence of the Infinite . Quest Books. P.225


The purpose of the psychoanalytic method is to make the unconscious and the subconscious conscious. Jung believed this to be true at the cultural level as well as at the individual level. Therapists who work from interpersonal and systemic models also believe this to be true of long term committed relationships and in high functioning families.


So if Steve McIntosh is right and practically all human problems can be understood as problems of consciousness, why don’t we have and use more models of the stages of consciousness? If we had such models perhaps we could discard our dependence on the DSM.


If you are curious, integral philosophy and psychology describes such models.


One model I have found very helpful is Kohlberg’s model of moral development which is based on preconventional, conventional, and post conventional viewpoints. The conflict most often seen in psychotherapy is the struggle between the preconventional and the conventional. People stuck at a preconventional level of morality are described as lacking empathy and compassion while people at the conventional are described as anxious and obsessive being codependent and people pleasers. People at the post conventional level are often seen as wise and mature and more mentally healthy.


I have never heard a sermon preached on the stages of moral development although there is plenty of research now on these stages and how they develop. This would be useful information of people seeking to further grow in their spiritual life.

It would seem that most UUs are at a post conventional stage of moral development but they quickly regress to the conventional stage when confronted with conflict and disagreement. The spiritual teachings and practice most helpful at the post conventional stage of moral development is not the Golden Rule but the Platinum Rule.

The Platinum Rule is "Do unto others as they would have you do unto them." To enact this rule and practice it assumes that the actor knows what values, beliefs, opinions, and practices the other has. This knowledge is based on curiosity and interest and empathic understanding.



Saturday, May 14, 2022

Spiritual intelligence: the stages


What are the stages of spiritual intelligence? There are many models. For our use on UU A Way Of Life the description of the stages of spiritual intelligence involves five:

Concrete, literal

Magical and superstitious

Conceptual and reasonable

Holistic and integral

Mystical, nondual, energizing.


People grow through these stages as well as organizations like churches and cultures. People, socialized in a religious tradition, can be at different stages of spiritual intelligence as well. Some religions and churches do a better job of nurturing and facilitating this growth than others. Many churches have a center of gravity in one of these stages and attract membership with participants being primarily at one of these stages. Often as growth occurs and spiritual intelligence develops, schism can occur or some people have grown beyond the bulk of the congregation and will move on seeking support from a new group of people who share their level of SQ.


One indicator of a vibrant religion and church is one that can serve the needs of people at different levels of spiritual intelligence. These religions and churches can be described as “resilient” as compared to rigid and even brittle. 


Spirituality is different from religion. Some people are spiritual but not religious and some people are religious but not spiritual and sometimes people are both religious and spiritual. At UU A Way of Life we are spiritual, but not religious. The kind of Unitarian Universalism that UU A Way Of Life attempts to share and incubate is not organizational or institutionally  based. The kind of Unitarian Universalism that UU A Way Of Life describes, acknowledges, and facilitates is a way of life not merely a social club which one might attend on Sundays to have coffee and cake and socialize.


The mission of the church is to facilitate the spiritual evolution of individuals and cultures and all of humanity and sentient beings. The mission of UU A Way Of Life is to help people experience the good, the true, and the beautiful and become aware of the presence of the infinite in the finite. 


You, your family, your community, your nation, the whole world is invited to join us. What is most beautiful, true, and good in your life? Leave a comment.


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