Cover Image: Spiritual Intelligence in Seven Steps

Spiritual Intelligence in Seven Steps

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Member Reviews

Sorry it just wasn't for me, i felt it was lacking direction and focus. I'm sure some people will find value in it.
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I really struggled to get through this book and to be very honest I never actually finished it. 
It is a self help book, however it was hard to get through for me. however I'm going to blame it on the right book at the wrong time. 

Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me the ARC.
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A good self help book about spiritual intelligence which you can identify within myself.  Wasn’t my favorite self help book and struggled to get through
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I thoroughly enjoyed this wise and thought provoking book. 
It’s well researched and offers perspectives from many different cultures and religions. 
Open the book - open your mind - and you will be pleasantly surprised with what you find. 

With thanks to Netgalley and John Hunt Publishing Ltd for a digital arc of this title.
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I have enjoyed previous books by the author as they have been well written and thoughtfully focused. This book continues the author’s well focused application of erudition. It models an exemplary use of sources from different cultures and eras so that Christian, Islamic and Buddhist texts are intertwined with representatives from many other traditions and cultures. This is a learned book, by a knowledgeable author.

What the book does less well is to argue a specific point, or to give an overall coherent meaning to its message. Problems with meaning began to arise in the very first pages when we hear that spiritual intelligence is a ‘type of perception’ but not like the perceptual senses (Kindle 2%). So, is it a kind of skill for looking at ordinary things in a different way, or is it a kind of super-sense like ESP which picks up an entirely different kind of information from extra-ordinary realities? In the middle of the book we hear that spiritual intelligence is a ‘faculty’ for looking beyond evidence (Kindle 58%). But how does someone look beyond evidence? Is that ignoring evidence, like superstition or conspiracy theories do? Or is it something else altogether?

Towards the end of the book the author talks of ‘insight’ which tells us things like 1+1=2 (Kindle 82%). Is spiritual intelligence supposed to be a kind of insight? But again the book is frustratingly vague on what it means by insight. Acquiring truths like 1+1=2 could be due to a unique external focused sense acquiring information from outside humans, or it could arise due to an internalised abstracting of generalised principles from specific pieces of information. Philosophers have debated these kinds of issues for centuries, and depending on which approach is taken, then very different models of concepts like insight (and spiritual intelligence) arise.  The book just never seemed to clarify what it meant by its own model.

The main body of the book was seven steps to acquiring (or using?) spiritual intelligence. The steps seemed to be essentially different ways of looking at things. But they involved a lot of assumptions which were never justified. For example, the author tells us that propositional questions like ‘do you believe in God?’ are a ‘waste of time’ (Kindle 10%). Really? People have given their lives over propositional matters like that. To suggest that they were wasting their time may strike some readers as demeaning and condescending to the point of offensiveness.

Where the book cited specific facts, I was less than convinced by its accuracy. For example, it claims that Google Ngram shows that the occurrence of the word ‘soul’ has hardly changed in literature over the last 500 years (Kindle 56%). When I checked Ngram it seemed to show some clear dips in eighteenth century usage and peaks in the nineteenth century.   

Overall this is a learned book which collates interesting quotes and thoughts from a wide range of sources. But I didn’t feel that it actually pulled it all together to say something specific and meaningful about what spiritual intelligence is meant to be.

This is an honest review of a free ‘advanced review copy’ (ARC) of the text.
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