This blog takes into account ideas on spirituality along the need to assist lifelong learners-- youths in and out of school, and adults-- on developing and upgrading their spirituality quotient. Spirituality quotient (or SQ) runs parallel to intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional quotient (EQ), both already established human growth parameters in education. In comparison, however, the idea of spirituality quotient is just emerging, often enough misunderstood and admixed with ideas of oriental mysticism, psychic paranormal enhancement, and worst animistic and superstitious practices.
Educators need to be guided on the SQ emergent concept, especially since religion and ethical courses, which dominate the school curricula, are constrained by sectarian religious traditions and ethical mores.
In comparison, spiritual quotient (SQ) development is outside the domain of religious faiths and ethics (without necessarily negating their importance to human development). SQ is also broadly encompassing, as it is based on scientific foundations, not faith or morality. In implementation, SQ adopts empirical approaches drawn from tested and approved scientific scholarship and practices.
And today in our post-industrial era, viewed by UNICEF to be an Age of Contemplation, SQ education deserves to be given its proper place, not only in schools but in other forums which seek to advance lifelong education and learning.
Hopefully, this Spirituality Education Blog serves as the springboard for a valid SQ educational process, generating not only interest but shared inputs from teachers, educational researchers, and scholars.
When does human spirituality begin?
Spiritual intelligence begins very early in life. In fact, it is triggered to initial vitality during the fertilization of the human fetus, and in the womb through conscious or unconscious maternal care. Recall that modern pediatricians even suggest that mothers sing and speak to the fetus growing in their womb.
Extracted from the womb, the infant cries at the initial burst of air that induces the lifelong breathing activity, consonant with the pumping of the heart. The new and young citizen of this world now thrives in the life which surrounds him-- the oxygenous air, and total physical/natural/and social environment engulping him.
Nothing is in the mind that is not first in the senses. Now the infant hears, tastes, smells, feels, faintly seeing as his sight slowly develops to clarity.
Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal was a precocious child, demonstrating more and more that he had the gift to be a nature mystic. Early as a little child, he easily learned to read with the help of his mother and older sisters; wrote his first poem about the beautiful Laguna Lake as a boy. Early schooling at the Jesuit school for boys in Manila heightened his artistic skills and attunment with the beauty of nature, as he continued to write literary pieces, also carved a statuete. Even the Catholic Castillian liturgy-- its music, rites and pageantry-- astounded him for its beauty.
Would that our educators would learn this lesson from the young Dr. Rizal. Our youths should be nurtured early enough into being attuned with beauty at home, in school, and in the environs of the community. To reflect, the present basic education curriculum requires mainly English, Mathematics and Science. Gone are the days when our early post-war youths had gardening, crafts, home cooking, and music in addition to outdoor games.
Let's rethink the basic education curriculum. I recall seeing a picture of a hundred or so Japanese pre-schoolers playing the violin for a mammoth musical ensemble. I am also aware that the Japanese as a people are nature lovers, as they get together for moon watching, cricket listening, visiting nature parks, etc.
Filipinos who wish to be globally competitive through English, Mathematics and Science may be losing much in terms of integral education, failing to develop a priceless human faculty-- spiritual intelligence.
Spiritual Intelligence is the elan vital to human success, happiness and fulfillment in life.
It is dynamic as it allows development.
Like a mystical rose, it unfolds through life, although its growth can be stifled, nipped in the bud so to say. The overpowering drives-- of instinct, feelings, imagination, reason, even abstract intelligence--can overturn the intellligence pyramid, creating bestial, deluded and pipe-dreaming humans, manifesting the demise of human spirituality.
The core of human inteligence is the ego or self. And Self-Esteem grows as SQ flourishes.
In his autobiography, the great American Negro Booker T. Washington, wrote how self-esteem need not be lost during life's quest or struggle. He tells us how as a youth he worked in a coal mine, and overheard talks about a great school in Virginia for poor but worthy students of his race. Earning some money doing household chores for the owner of the mine, and given a few nickles and quarters by elders who lived the best of their lives as slaves, he set out in the fall of 1872 to travel to the school. He was fired up, he said, with the ambition to reach what to him seemed "the greatest place on earth."
The journey was not brief as the school was many miles away, and on the way, he missed food and lodging, forced to sleep under a board sidewalk. Rendered penniless, Booker found work unloading ship cargo, and saving enough money, he continued his journey and reached the grounds of the Hampton school in Virginia. But sadly, he was treated by the school superior as a worthless tramp.
Lingering about as he saw other students admitted in the school, the young Booker got his test by obliging to sweep and clean a room. The good impression he created became the measure for his future, as he was finally accepted, feeling that he was "one of the happiest souls on earth."
The physical body-- its color, appearance, stature-- may be the first testing ground for our self esteem. Even native forbears in the Philippine islands were looked upon by Spanish colonizers as "mimicking monkeys." However, they stood their ground to be their own selves. And today, generations of Filipinos can take pride in attaining co-equal status in education and excellence in our millennial borderless world.