Developing a Smart Soul
Spiritual intelligence begins with the development of a "strong center". This bit of ancient wisdom was not lost on the late Joseph Campbell.
"In the Middle Ages, a favorite image is the wheel of fortune…if you are attached
to the rim of the wheel of fortune, you will be either above going down or at the bottom coming up. But if you are at the hub, you are in the same place all the time…centered."
- Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
Our blueprint for "faith wisdom" consists of spiritual depth and honesty as well as trust and openness. In this chapter we also discuss "spiritual types" (e.g., traditional adherents, collaborators, mystics, reformers, and sufferers). We provide faith choices (a.k.a. "centers of value") for each type (e.g., Buddhist ideals for suffering souls or the inspirational writings of Ayn Rand for the more independently minded). Finally, we provide a quick self-test to help readers identify their spiritual type.
Related issues covered in our book
- Centers of value: These are the keys to faith development
- Faith wisdom: How to develop a smart soul
- The six spiritual types: A description and a quick self
test (partly reproduced below)
- Faith needs: Each spiritual type has particular faith needs
Hope Tip #10: Guess your spiritual type
In our book we include a self-test for assessing your spiritual type as well as a table of faith options arranged by spiritual type. To give you a sense of this material, here is a list of the six spiritual types. Can you guess your type?
Followers share a need to believe in a God or higher power and seek the presence of that being or essence in their daily lives. They desire external structure in the form of an ordered cosmos, spiritual doctrine and rules for living.
Collaborators see themselves as joining forces with a larger power or entity to achieve important outcomes. They prefer to develop alliances and cultivate support for spiritually acceptable ends rather than demonstrating obedience to a stricter code or subscribing to notions of a predetermined destiny.
Independents strive for ways of analyzing and explaining the world. They prefer to place their faith in reason and logic. In addition, they are particularly apt to connect with references and allusions to the hero archetype.
Mystics tend to be emotionally sensitive, intuitive and primed to experience a union with a larger presence. They desire contact, merger, and oneness.
Reformers believe in changing the world, seeking a spiritual cooperative or a tolerant and pluralistic mosaic. Frequently they have personally experienced injustice, discrimination or alienation of one kind or another.
Sufferers are acutely sensitized to the world of limitations, pain and danger. They seek liberation and methods of alleviating distress, frequently through changing themselves rather than struggling with a seemingly hopeless situation.