MULTIPLE Intelligences – Spiritual (Part 6)

Spiritual growth 

the more I connect with the universal

PREVIOUS: M.I. (Part 3d)

SITE: Gardner’s M.I. apps for iPads

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.


9. SPIRITUAL / EXISTENTIAL (spirit-smart) – seeing the big picture, likely a whole-brain function, which is increased by prayer & meditation, because they lessen the blood flow to the parietal lobes, which normally gives us a sense of time & space.

This group is concerned with the morals, ethics & values of life, looking for real-world understanding, & the application of new learning. They have the sensitivity & capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, how did we get here, what’s our purpose, & why do we die. They’re not afraid to look into the depths of truth to find the hidden answers, to think of other possibilities.

Being particularly aware of their own existence & introspective, they’re drawn to exploring existential & philosophical questions, including what may lie beyond death. Even as ‘every-day’ people, they have deep thoughts. They understand their role in others’ lives, and how they play a small but important part of the whole game. They are in constant search of their purpose of living.
— see their role in the ‘big picture’ of things
— learn new things better when it’s value is known
— value truth & justice
— enjoy discussing questions @ life & death
— religion or spirituality is important to them
— find relaxation or meditation exercises rewarding
— are sensitive to different cultural environments
— want to make a difference in the world
— seem “wise beyond their years”, peaceful
— are “universalistic”, more tolerant  & respectful of diversity

For centuries philosophers have been debating the nature of human intelligence. We are different from the other animals, but why? Do we have a soul? Is there some sort of duality between the corporeal flesh and the mind or spirit? Did we acquire our unique capacity for rational thought and all that goes with it as a result of some special act of creation or did it just happen as a result of evolution through natural selection?

Dr. Gardner divided this category into:
Existential Intelligence
— concerned with ultimate issues – the larger spiritual concerns of life
— an ability to intuitively sense & gather clues from the environment – (people, places, things), contributing to the whole picture
— the ability to pick up energies & have access to information without actually being able explain exactly why or how we know these things.

Moral-Ethical Intelligence
— focused on the highest realization of human nature.
— an innate sense of morality – not necessarily associated with religion – but as a statement about the kind of personality, individuality, will, and/or character that a person has developed

Conscience – know the right, decent way to act, & act in that way8 virtues
Empathy – identify with and feeling other people’s concerns
Fairness – choose to be open-minded, & act in a just, fair way
Kindness – show concern for the welfare & feelings of others
Respect – value others by treating them in a courteous, considerate way
Self-control – regulate thoughts & actions , to stop internal pressure & external reactions, to acting in the right way
Tolerance – respect everyone’s dignity & rights, even if they have beliefs & behaviors we disagree with

CAREERS: life coaches, cosmologists, prophets, philosophers, religious teachers, poets
INCREASE ability: make connections between book-learning in & the world outside, to see the big picture, look at every issue from different points of view, relate specific topics with national & global concerns

TECH ideas: Google earth, Discovery Education, Podcasts, GarageBand, Powerpoint, Keynote
FAMOUS People: Jesus, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates,Martin Heidegger, Buddha, St. Augustine, Wayne Dyer.

BOOK: “Ethical Intelligence” by Bruce Weinstein, PhD   // REVIEW  //  QUIZ

* * * * * * * * * * *
WORK: There’s a natural correlation between the M.I. categories of human learning
& the knowledge & skills needed for 21st century workplace productivity.  This CHART shows the way each mental style contributes it’s specialty to modern-day tasks. wok & M.I.s

What is Self-Control ? (Part 4)

head or heart 

that are good for me & are suited

PREVIOUS: Types of Self-control (Part 1)

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.



Control is about power – to make someone do or be what we want. When applied to ourselves – that power can be used either –
• to heal & nurture ourselves & express our best to the world – OR
• as a defense mechanism to deny our pain, that power is debilitating & destructive

SELF-DISCIPLINE relies on the same willpower as self-control, but uses it:
a. to prevent ourselves from doing what is seen as UNdesirable, OR
b. to delay instant gratification & pleasure, in favor of some greater gain or for more satisfying results at a later time
• Healthy self-discipline is not rigid or limiting. It provides the stamina to keep going & the ability to handle stresses, with flexibility.

VALUE of Self-Discipline – it allows us to:Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 7.04.57 AM
a.  obey legitimate rules & laws
• avoid talking or acting on impulse, overcome procrastination & sloth
• not give in to addictions & other self-destructive patterns
b. continue & finish internal or external projects, even after the initial rush of enthusiasm has faded, or when they get too boring or too hard

ACoAs are often short on healthy self-control, which would come from the “Unit”, and too long on self-discipline. At first the latter category may seem like a good thing – because it’s supposed to keep us from doing actual bad or wrong things (which it can also do) – but that’s not the main way we use it

✶ What ACoAs often do, instead, is to prevent ourselves from pursuing what we believe to be UN-desirable actions, BUT are in fact positive ones DIS-allowed by our Toxic Family Rules, such as having opinions, thinking for ourselves, standing up for our rights, leaving bad situations, following our bliss, feeling our emotions, relaxing, being happy ….

— To run our own life, rather than someone else’s, & not have someone else run ours
— To make that happen we have to ask: “Who or what motivates me?”
— To be the one in charge requires that we are our own Motivator.
This is not selfishness, but it also does not negate/eliminate :
AA Step 1: “We admitted we were powerless over—-” – and –
AA Step 3: “…turn our will & our lives over to the care of God..

Having a choice fits with the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me: Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 8.11.47 AM
1. the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
2. courage to change the things I can,
3. and the wisdom to know the difference”

ACoAs: Just because we start out as under-dogs, doesn’t mean we can’t WIN – over our damage, over our pain, over others trying to control us! Deciding for ourselves, from an inner place of certainty & serenity – being empowered – can be every ACoA’s goal.
And for those of us who don’t like the word CONTROL – we can say: being in charge, using our Adult Ego state, being our own motivator!…. or find another term.

So, how in charge are you of your life – actions, career, emotions, health, home,
finances, relationships, work life…..?
Based on many studies, including Fujita (2008), correcting our thinking (eliminating CDs) can enhance the ability to be in charge of ourselves, to maintain our focus and achieve greater self-care.

• Most adults respect others who are in control (C) of themselves & their life. Being respected is the opposite of being shamed. We have a right to be respected, and that will come to us more often if we are indeed in control – of things WE CAN – as in line 3 of the Serenity Prayer.

Healthy Self-Control means WE:
• have self-respect as a Healthy Adult, especially in our thinking
• know our rights, our options & what’s actually possible (not fantasy/illusion)
• use that info to practice setting boundaries, with ourselves & others
• are in present-day reality, including owning our adult abilities, acquired knowledge & useful experiences
• can stay centered & act according to our own mind
• make declarative statements & ask for our needs – in the right place

NEXT: Types of Self-Control (Part 3)

What is Self-Control ? (Part 1)

in control 

Others or myself?

PREVIOUS: Letting go of Controlling -#3

SEE posts: Personal Responsibility // UNIT: Healthy Adult, Loving Parent


Self-Control 101 (Normal)
Events or Thoughts —-> lead to —-> Emotions
Emotions ——-> lead to ——> Beliefs
Beliefs ——-> lead to ——> Decisions
Decisions ——-> lead to ——> Actions
—> lead to —> Rewards or Consequences

Def. of CONTROL, from the dictionary: To exercise authority over, direct & command -OR- to hold back, curb, restrain – self or others.

Purpose of Self-Control (SC)
To gain a present reward or a delayed gratification, OR to delay, reduce or eliminate punishment
DEF: ● to hold in check or curb (the WIC & PP ?)
● to exercise restraint or direction over something or someone
● to eliminate or prevent the spread of something (our damage ?)

SELF-CONTROL (S-C) is about harnessing our willpower to accomplish things that are generally regarded as desirable & highly valued by society, such as including long-term goals
✱ It is internal mastery over our own actions – by monitoring our thoughts, regulating our emotions, setting goals & making responsible choices.
This gives the ability to moderate competing urges, desires & activities.

• S-C implies the ability to govern oneself – to make choices & decisions that benefit ourselves, & then others. To do this we need to honor who we are – our needs, tastes, abilities & experience.

• S-C is not an inborn character trait that would automatically allow us to govern our thoughts, emotions skills& behavior.  It is a skill that has to be learned & built up – by the process of ‘stalling, distracting and resisting’ negative urges.

Healthy families help their children to grow this skill as part of their over-all training.  In adults – developing S-C is motivated by a conflict-free desire to stop doing harmful things to ourselves or others. Practice & perseverance are required, but it gets easier with repetition.

Self-control is expressed by being in charge of our own actions, & is quite complex. It requires that we stay awake & function out of the present (not reacting from past trauma & toxic Parental Rules), regulating our thoughts, dealing appropriately with our emotions, setting goals & following thru, & making responsible choices.
As adults, we’re held responsible for our thoughts, emotions & actions (T.E.A.) to the extent that these can be under our self-control, which is not always possible. And SC is harder for us to maintain IF we’re in the wrong environment, where others are not willing to govern themselves. (MORE…)

• People are born with varying degrees of tolerance for routine vs. change, patience vs boredom., social vs private interactions…. BUT, unlike physiological traits, SC can definitely be considered a learned skill to the degree that it’s developed through education, social interaction & conditioning
• SC becomes self-discipline when we have to apply intentional effort.
However, when it’s practiced habitually for some time, it can become a character trait.

• SC is an important part of a cluster of internal resources (character, courage, faith, purpose, endurance) which – when tested by constant pressure or long-term deprivation – doesn’t disappear
• It becomes a way of thinking because of the cognitive processes & mental discipline needed to use SC
• SC requires motivation. In certain situations, such as a special celebration or an artificial psychological experiment, we may decide to briefly give up self-control for the occasion
• SC becomes a virtue when we resists temptation in order to achieve a desired goal, & can be considered a spiritual gift when it’s the result of spiritual transformation

VALUE of Self-Control – it allows us to:empowering
• be a responsible & trustworthy human being
• gain self-esteem, confidence, balance, inner strength, a sense of personal mastery so we can take charge of our life
• eliminate the feeling helpless & having to be too dependent on others
• have enough mental & emotional detachment to give us peace of mind
• be in charge of our moods & replace negative beliefs – helps keep in check self-destructive, addictive behaviors & obsessive thoughts

ACoAs – Healthy self-control is very difficult to achieve as long as:S-H
• the WIC is the ego state in charge of our daily emotions, actions & reactions
• we don’t own our True Self, by following the Toxic Rules
• externally, we stay symbiotically attached to our family
• internally, we continue to obey the Negative Introject

NEXT: Types of Self-Control (Part 2)

Backlash of Over-Control (Part 1)


or I’ll explode!

PREVIOUS: Price to pay for Over S-C

SEE: ACRONYM page for abbrev.



HEALTHY age-appropriate self-control is an integral part of mental health, which comes from the ‘UNIT’ ego state.  But constant self-restraint, from S-H & FoA, can backfire.  Among other things it ties up a lot of our energy resources.
Eventually we break down or blow up.

1. Self-Restraint & Aggression 
• Past studies in the Journal of Consumer Behavior showed that exerting too much self-control can increase irritability & anger
• New research also found that making a constant effort to stop ourselves from ‘undesirable’ actions can backfire:

a. extreme self-discipline contains the seeds of its own undoieventually explodeng – an explosive failure of control called “dis-inhibition.”  People who are trapped in this pattern can suddenly shift from one unhealthy extreme (being ‘perfect’) to the other – acting out a rebellion against too many self-imposed restrictions over too long a time (becoming a ‘failure’).

b. people who try to suppress emotions & behaviors, in a variety of ways, most often end up in emotional distress & with cognitive disruption – loss of focus & obsessing about the very things they’re not ‘allowed’ to do!

• Participants in one study were chosen by 2 criteria – those who did vs. did not restrain themselves emotionally – to see how each would react to neutral things presented to them labeled as ‘angry’ or ‘not angry’.  Different categories of self-control were chosen & subjects’ behaviors noted.

Observations re. ‘restricters
✼ they more often preferred the ‘angry’ options
✼ the active dieters preferred public service ads framed in threats
✼ those who carefully controlled their spending of a gift certificate were more interested in looking at angry faces than fearful ones
✼ those who picked an apple over chocolate were more irritated by ads with controlling phrases like “you ought to” or “need to,” & were more likely to choose movies with a theme of hostility over other genre

ACoAs: It makes sense that the more we deny our legitimate needs, the angrier – & more depressed – we get!  But this does not mean that it’s OK to blow people off because we happen to be in a bad mood or feel overwhelmed (not letting them know we’re unavailable or have changed a plan), nor to harm anyone when we’re in a rage.

2. Self-Control & Prejudice
A study from Tufts University showed that deliberate, continual self-control can cause emotional unease & guarded behavior, which could be misinterpreted as racial prejudice in some circumstances
• Researchers ran 2 group of white volunteers through a series of computer-based mental exercises:
— one group’s set was so stressful that people were temporarily depleted of the mental reserves needed for discipline
— the other group was given a less stressful set

• Once the subjects were finished, they met with either a white or black interviewer & discussed racial diversity, a social situation with the potential for racial tension.
Later subjects rated the interaction with the interviewer for comfort, awkwardness & enjoyment.
• Those who wprejudiceere mentally depleted (lacked discipline & self-control) talked about race with a black interviewer more enjoyably than those with their self-control intact, presumably because they weren’t working as hard to monitor or curb what they said
• Also, independent black observers found that the powerless & therefore less inhibited whites were much more direct, real & less prejudiced in conversations

✶ CONCLUSION: Relinquishing power over oneself (temporarily) seems to prevent over-thinking & so ‘liberate’ people to be more authentic, which could benefit both individuals & society

ACoAs: Of course this study does not imply it’s OK to be unruly or a doormat as a result of lowered inhibitions.
It’s about “Letting Go” of anxiety, looking good, projecting failure, fear of disapproval, trying to be seen, heard, accepted …. but just being open-hearted & in the moment. Then we can enjoy ourselves, be respectful & put others at ease

NEXT: Backlash, Part 2