Spiritual Intelligence

Spiritual Intelligence book cover
“This is the kind of spiritual vigor Jesus is talking about when he urges us to ‘receive the little ones.'”
– The Faith Connection, September 24, 2000

“… As parents and teachers there is a lot we can learn from the way children bring to life what is best and most fully human in their hearts. Libraries and bookstores will display Sinetar’s book [Spiritual Intelligence, Orbis, 2000] in two different subject headings: “Spirituality” and “Parenting.” Her message adds a very practical slant to both subject headings (and to today’s gospel reading). It can be stated this way: Whenever we see and appreciate the spiritual gifts in our children, we enrich our own life with wider horizons and renewed optimism. This is the kind of spiritual vigor Jesus is talking about when he urges us to ‘receive the little ones.'”
The Faith Connection, September 24, 2000

“Marsha Sinetar agrees with the poet Wordsworth that heaven seems nearer to us in our childhood. Her goal in this book is to recount the signs of that experience in the young … and to show us how to recapture or regenerate those qualities in adult life. This thoughtful and uplifting work should attract a wide audience. Highly recommended.”
Library Journal, March 1, 2000

“Marsha Sinetar’s most important book since Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow, … not a book of tips for parents, but a book of insights for every adult. It will help you cultivate your own spiritual gifts and open your mind to inspired thought.”
– Delores Curran, Traits of a Healthy Family

“Marsha Sinetar is a bridge between the material, business world and the purest spiritual realms. Her countless, excellent books have shared insights into the possible enrichment of how we can live wonderfully. Spiritual Intelligence is no exception. We all know we are closer to the spiritual realms as children: we have invisible friends, and we sleep, dream, and intuitively know what we shouldn’t yet know. That is spiritual intelligence. Child-like intuition is a tool those who focus on and work with can develop to a laser sharpness. Marsha, in her unique way, shows her readers how to develop these skills.”
– Michael Peter Langevin, Publisher, Magical Magazine, June 2000

“… I want to share this extraordinary find with you — Spiritual Intelligence knocked my socks off… I’m carrying it around to encourage people to buy their own copy and delve into it… I show every client at some point in the session — “Look here, something beautiful” — I show relatives, friends, colleagues, and strangers — I just can’t help myself. People duck now when I open with, “I’ve just finished the most amazing book,” but Spiritual Intelligence really, really is….” It is very nearly an every person’s story — at least the inspiring people I see as clients and have seen through the years – my circle of extraordinary women friends and colleagues both men and women – Marsha Sinetar captures the seriousness of childhood’s inner organizing, who/what imprinted us as little people and formed us as resilient searchers? How… Spiritual Intelligence enthralled, no — enthralls me still. This book can be a confident, a prism offering ever so many lights on any given page. New and different with each reading …”
– One Therapist’s Newsletter in Spring 2000

“… [ Sinetar] introduces us to children who are “on fire with traits of spiritual intelligence,” children she calls early awakeners, live-wires who have three common characteristics: (1) a heightened sensitivity, empathy and inner direction, (2) acute focus and intense interest in selected areas, and (3) they are learning all the time… [she] demonstrates that the tough times of childhood are not necessarily limiting…” Spiritual Intelligence begs us not to complicate all of this. Sinetar explains that even the littlest child ‘gets it’: Virtue, goodness, tenacity, the expression of one’s inmost truths – all these traits benefit life, making us a joy not only to ourselves but to others, too…”
The Light Connection, May 2000

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Excerpt From the Introduction to Spiritual Intelligence:

“Spiritual intelligence is inspired thought. It is light, the kiss of life that awakens our sleeping beauty. It animates people of any age, in any situation. In children, that quickening makes boys and girls want to seek out and cultivate their inborn gifts, energies, and desires. This book says let’s stay open to that kiss of life. Let’s trust in its existence. And more: I say that certain blessed children display such hunger for some sacred idea or truth burning within that they, or at least selected patterns of behavior, can be guides. The young can show us how to express our own spiritual truths. In a nutshell, that’s what this book is about.

In the Book of Mark (12:34) we read that when a certain scribe revealed a deep inner knowing, Jesus of Nazareth said he was nearing the kingdom of God. That scribe was inspired. He had ‘spiritual intelligence,’ the heightened discernment that we often say generates supernatural qualities: intuition, a firm moral compass, power or inner authority, the ability to discern right from wrong, and wisdom. Some children are on fire with such traits, and each chapter explores these qualities.

Decades ago, the rather worldly psychiatrist R.D. Laing acknowledged that ‘each child is a new being, a potential prophet, a new spiritual prince [or princess], a new spark of light precipitating into the outer darkness.’

A few children express a brightness I call early awakening: Inspired thought or spiritual intelligence leads [them] to a superior understanding of themselves. Faithful to an inner beat, they reject anyone, or anything, that weakens it. That awakening approaches the illumination long held by the mystical tradition to signify the truth that sets free. This is, as St. Theresa of Avila said, ‘a union of love with love, and so subtle and delicate that there is no way of describing it.’

Much like the scribe deemed intelligent by Jesus, these children make contact with their intuitional depths sooner than others. …Why is this? This book is driven by that one question. In other words, what attributes do children with high spiritual intelligence share? And how do these attributes influence adults?

To answer, I’ll explore a mix of traits that prepare children for an entire life of self-respect and creative contribution. Writing as an educator, and sometimes personally — but not as a parent or a therapist — I’ll suggest why early awakeners flourish in the face of challenge while others shut down, ignore, or reject their life-affirming thoughts.”