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Spiritual Intelligence 101: Are you a player?

A man and a woman performing a modern dance.
Image via Wikipedia

Thanks for checking in. You are on a new blog for creative mystics. It’s something I’ve held back on for years. Now its time.

Sign up for emails and I’ll send a fun, free audio file, “Define Mystic.” Other resources are on the way for those who want to play with mystery.

What is Spiritual Intelligence?

Is it enlightenment? consciousness? Being a holy smarty pants? Weird trick of nature? Does it require a degree?

I think of spiritual intelligence as your highest quality of experience…like occupying the pent house view of awareness with the added benefit of a cool basement play room. HAVE IT ALL!

Founders of religions knew that dancing in compassion with spacious devotion to the transcendent was the trip of a lifetime. Those wise guys were seriously in love with something, nothing, maybe everything. I relate. In HAVING IT ALL: Mind, Body, Heart, and Spirit Together Again At Last! now an ebook available on the InterPlay website. by mild-mannered wise guy, Phil Porter, it turns out you don’t have to be super pious to have the love of your life.

There’s a trick, though. “Suffering” comes with everything. A hidden word from Jesus in the Apocryphal Acts of John* helps me with this. While dancing and singing in community he chanted, “Learn to suffer so as not to suffer.” Secret– don’t just look at words. Look at the form. Huh? Apparently, certain practices like dancing and singing make suffering easier.

Buddha focused on detachment and mediation as practices. Jesus was big on love, forgiveness, and communing. Real gurus don’t eliminate suffering. Brain chemistry confirms that humans are made to react. So how do you play with life’s hard, purply stuff? How do you hold onto your spiritual real estate–that basement to penthouse YOU?

#1. Be a Maker

Being a “maker” is a must for spiritual intelligentsia. When I forget this I slide toward Bummersville.

Are you on the make? Do you have a craft, practice, discipline to lose yourself in? Does it allow experimentation and accept failure?

Making teaches you the “how-to’s” of lifework, connects you up to the energy of Creation, and initiates you into your work with those grim playmates: fear, death, and destruction. Oooooo. Fun. Bring it on!


Being a maker trains you to see beyond the immediate.

Best yet, from the Universe’s point of view, creating beauty and joy is the single offering you need to make and YOU get to decide what’s beautiful.

Want more sweet news? You don’t have to make anything permanent or be good at what you make. I make dances in the moment. That’s about as fleeting as you can get, but what grace! See Dance: A Sacred Art: The Joy of Movement as Spiritual Practice if you are interested in how to make something beautiful and fleeting.

Making stuff can be easy! Call it prayer if you like. Co-create with the universe. Put your heart into it. Be awe-mazed.

Making will unveil your gifts I learned from making dances and teaching that one of my gifts is apprehending intrinsic order or arrangement. Ideas have form, as do people, places, energetic and invisible realities. Forms repeat, extend in recognizable relationships or patterns and tend to produce particular outcomes.

When I recognize a form I may name it and call on it. Being a “form catcher” compels me to make art, discern meaning and direction, design helpful rituals, and deliver maps that lead to consciousness raising. In the olden days, folks called this magic. Maybe it still is, but without big pots or black books. “Mastery” is out in the open for those who want to see.

Another bit of magic is that I improvise. Dealing with change is what life demands. Being overly controlling doesn’t work. “How do you balance spontaneity and structure to get the best out of an ordinary-extraordinary life?”  That’s been a key question in my life. Another one is “How do I become full and whole, no matter what?

To both questions I say, “learn to improvise.” Check out an InterPlay class. Or, better yet, a Secrets of InterPlay workshop:  Improv for life made ridiculously easy. It’s a building block approach to being present and creative with your five great freedoms: free to move, voice, speak, connect, and just be. Simple, simple stuff is big, Big, BIG!

Here’s a secret: gobs of suffering is not our own. Who’s is it? How do we deal with it?

Leave a comment….Let me know technologies you wonder about, use or need or if you know of a cool, helpful site with good resources. We can start a revolution of “out mystics.” or Mystics on the Make. Smiling,



  1. Allysson says:

    Our community minister gave a sermon on spiritual direction last week. One of the main points she made is that the job of a spiritual director is to listen, to create a space where one can be heard on such a deep level that one can hear oneself. It came to me later that this is one of the things that happens when we are witnessed in InterPlay, especially in a focus session. I always knew this was a spiritual practice!

  2. K Grey says:

    Great stuff.

    Don’t confuse “detachment” with non-attachment though.
    In your post’s context, “detachment” would be sitting out the dance. Non-attachment would be dancing with abandon, with no regard to appearances, purpose, or outcome. To dance for dance, to be dance. Just dancing. One of the most commonly misunderstood Buddhist concepts. Zen too is just this. What is not? *L*

  3. K Grey says:

    PS – Life is 100% improvisation. Always a live, always new. It can only seem otherwise. Raw reality scares the hell out of many, so they enforce routines and other seemingly predictable forms of “order” to attempt to manage any imagined disorder they see (life being the expression of natural harmony, already perfect). That attempt itself is an improvisational act, though they can become self-blinded to that aspect and thus feel somewhat “secure” in their familiar routines. We all do this, the difference is in the relation to that doing. Gets back to the “non-attachment” stuff I rambled on about before.

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