Global Sustainability Newsletter

Issue 18 - January 2013


I wrote in my previous postings about various kinds of intelligence human population is being endowed with in today’s world. A lot is known about IQ, which is an abbreviation of the term “Intelligence Quotient”. Our appreciation of EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) is rapidly increasing and today business leaders are being trained in the understanding and practical applications of EQ into their work practices. And, in the last ten years, the importance of spiritual intelligence (SQ) has been brought to our attention and has been used as a modern psychological indicator.

Why am I returning to those concepts in the context of global sustainability? There is a very important reason why I link the two groups of concepts together. Based on our traditions and experiences in our past as well as instructions of all wise teachers, it can be asserted that:

Global sustainability completely depends on the ratio of IQ, EQ and SQ in the total human population.

Human psychology has not been given due recognition in our recent history. Since the birth of modern psychology, sometime in the second half of the nineteenth century, we have been witnessing the gradual expansion of this field of science, with only a minute fraction of total population coming to terms with the significance of psychology in the life of a human being. The majority of people do not appreciate this significance; for them personal psychology is as it is, and nothing else can be said or done about it.

Each of the types of psychological quotient (IQ, EQ and SQ) signifies different abilities. The IQ is a measure of personal intelligence and the ability level of solving abstract problems. High IQ has given its bearers high positions on the career ladders in almost all fields of human endeavour. This particular phenomenon is, incidentally, a measure of this civilisation’s up to date’s reliance on high IQ in its operations.

High IQ in the majority of cases, however, has a flip side, and this is a low EQ. Individuals with high IQ have generally much lower abilities to communicate with other people than those lucky ones whose EQ is high. Their (high IQ exponents’) emotional intelligence is not very well developed. There are some exceptions to this ruling, nevertheless, in general population this phenomenon is very common. Today some aware people, who require greater than ordinary balance between their IQs and EQs, work with their psychological therapists on developing the weaker side of their personality, whether it is IQ or EQ.

A person with a very high IQ and a low EQ is an excellent exponent of a one-dimensional(in a psychological sense) human being with a tendency for using this high intelligence for personal needs. In some severe cases of strong IQ a person may show unrecognised or recognised symptoms of an autistic behaviour. A person with a high EQ and a low IQ tends to be one-dimensional as well. Only when combined together and balanced, the high IQ and EQ personalities may be regarded as two-dimensional and of a higher value in the sense of occupying a higher level of being. The abilities of a person with a well-developed two-dimensional personality are exceptional compared with the two previous cases. This person understands the world not only in terms of personal advancement and personal needs, but can also sympathise with another person: a partner, family or community member. The two-dimensional personalities have often been described as holistic or whole, meaning generally that the person is intelligent and capable of encompassing in their thinking the needs of other human beings and not only their own. However, in truth, it can be said that only people who have developed all three intelligences and who possess high levels of IQ, EQ, and SQ can be called WHOLE people.

Spiritual intelligence is an endowment of a higher level of being and thinking than the previous two levels. It is accorded to people who have come to an appreciation of a deeper dimension of life; in their thinking they are capable of encompassing wider circles of phenomena (not only their personal needs or the needs of their immediate family), such as all people in this civilisation and all living beings on the planet. People endowed with SQ have three-dimensional1 personalities, and these people think truly holistically. They understand how we, all living beings on the planet, are united and interdependent; they have respect for all life and the universal processes; they know that we can go on and save the planet when we unite into one planetary family and when we act as one for the benefit of all. The level of being and of holistic thinking of a person with high SQ is much higher than that of a person with two-dimensional personality. For example, whereas people with one and two-dimensional understanding of the world have local agendas, conservative “not in my backyard” views, separatists tendencies (national agendas), thinking in dualistic “black and white”,” good and bad”, “yours religion and mine” terms, and they would create conflicts with no end in view, the three-dimensional personalities have a perspective of seeing the problem from the top or from the “bird’s eye view” position (the third (Z) dimension) and can find solutions to all those problems created by the one- or two-dimensional thinking. The three-dimensional perception affords the person much wider horizons of understanding and it is only this level of thinking that can be really useful when looking for solutions for humanity’s tomorrow. People with no SQ have created problems of today and they will continue to do so, not understanding their own mind’s limitations.

Spiritual view of reality is simply seeing other people and, indeed, the entire planetary community, as a community of people on their evolutionary journey – all having the same rights to a peaceful future. The evolutionary journey is the constant – the point where we are on the evolutionary curve of humanity is the variable. But regardless of our position on the evolutionary curve (a little bit in front or at the back) we all have been born here on Earth to develop further and progress on that curve. If this simple understanding of reality was accepted by the majority of people, there would be no wars, dictatorships, and separative tendencies. On the contrary, we would enjoy living in an advanced civilisation, where peace, harmony and respect for all would be the order of the day.

Our present reality, however, is different and we need to realise that our planetary citizens have to mature in terms of understanding of their own psychology and be taught how to progress from one-dimensional thinking to the next - two-dimensional level of comprehension, and then next to the three-dimensional level of understanding of our world. And here we can answer this newsletter’s title question: Why Morality is indispensable for Global Sustainability?

Morality is one of those human attributes which characterises a higher level of being; it requires considering the needs of other persons or the public good in general. Some people show very high moral standing and others are easily tempted and dragged down by common human vices such as greed, power play, fanaticism, lack of compassion; they become distracted by those vices and even with best initial intentions they may very easily change their minds and pursue counter-agendas just to suit their personal needs or their peers’ demands. Later on they may even regret what has happened, but this does not change the fact that the agenda for the public good has been dropped. And this pattern is being repeated over and over again. People with no high morals are not in a position to deliver on global sustainability agenda, because they act as puppets for their personal needs and their will is too weak to change that situation.

Morality is a concept from the three-dimensional level of understanding of reality, which has not been well comprehended and adopted so far by humanity, as is obvious from the state the world today. The more linear understanding and knowledge we have the more we are becoming aware that linear solutions do not suffice in healing the world. There is a need for a deeper comprehension of reality, especially the laws of nature and many universal laws showing us our place in the cosmos.

In case of one-dimensional personalities, especially those people with high IQ, morality is often considered as a choice, rather than an obligation. Given many possible choices, a person may always consider what is better for personal gains. The mind will calculate many different options and a moral solution may not always be the final decision. For many high IQ personalities, moral solutions appear to be completely incomprehensible; they can simply see no logic in them. The logic here is the logic of personal gains.

Considering how many people with high IQs are in power in today’s world, we can see clearly why there is so much economic injustice. The deep divisions are the result of “logical” notions of the world’s financial elite that they must gain financial benefits, because their enterprises must be profitable. And, as it continually happens, no prize is too high for their success. They do not entertain thoughts of changing the system, because they do not experience life’s deprivations; and isolating themselves from the suffering humanity, they want to continue their high-life and ever increasing prospects of gains.

The two-dimensional personalities perform much better in the area of moral behaviour. It is easier for them to understand the meaning of the ‘Golden Rule’ or ‘as you sow you shall reap’ laws. However, the best performers in this area are obviously spiritually motivated people, people with high SQs. In this special category, people first think of others rather than of themselves, morality is ingrained in their psyche. Such people do not deliberate whether to take a personal advantage in any situation – such thoughts do not even enter their minds (they would feel totally embarrassed if they caught themselves on thinking like that). The first and foremost thought is the good of the community or good of the civilisation. Morality is always part of a conduct of such persons, as the needs of all are taken into consideration. Morality is integrated with their personalities. A highly moral person is fully aware of the operation of universal laws, how his or her personal conduct affects other people; they know how the law of cause and effect operates in everyday interactions with people.

Global sustainability is an indispensable condition for a long-term survival of the human family. In order for the majority of people to act in the interest of the entire civilisation, we urgently need to teach people about their own psychology, levels of understanding of reality, one- , two- and three-dimensional personalities, morality and nature of spiritual values. Having a small fraction of population acting honourably is not sufficient, because the rest of the people will continue making wrong choices and they will hamper any real progress in the area of sustainability.

Evolution of man is slowly progressing from the first level of one-dimensional thinking, through to two and then three-dimensional comprehension of reality. It is almost impossible to notice this progression in one generation, that is, during one person’s lifetime. Nevertheless, such is our reality and perhaps by now we can start appreciating lives of so many saints, spiritual masters, humanity’s heroes and many simple but good people, who while forgetting about their own personal needs, have contributed to society in different ways, often with complete dedication.

Long time ago the concept of morality was given to early humanity more or less as a commandment. Let us hope that, as a civilisation, we will mature fast and accept morality not as a directive but as an integral part of our being and conduct, and that this will lead us to our sustainable future.

Danuta Nowak

  • 1 In this simple model, the three dimensions of X, Y, Z can be equated with the dimensions of IQ, EQ and SQ.