Soul Searching: The Quest for Spiritual Intelligence

Frances Sink


It heals an old wound to think that I might have a slight spiritual learning disability that can be localized in my temporal lobe that makes it unlikely that I will experience divine visions or voices, rather than believe that I was passed over by God as an inadequate recipient of Grace.

I guess most of us are average, some with a little more or a little less spiritual intelligence and our “God Spots,” for the most part, are not oversized or overactive.  So, how do we, of average spiritual inclination, cultivate transcendent, compassionate awareness and gain access to the deep places of the soul?

Understand, I am always trying to figure out

what the soul is,

and where hidden,

and what shape-

…and what the soul is, also

I believe I will never quite know.

       Though I play at the edges of knowing,

truly I know

our part is not knowing,

but looking, and touching, and loving,

which is the way I walk on,


through the pale-pink morning light.

from “Bone,” by Mary Oliver



                                                                                                                   Within us is the soul of the whole,

                                                                                                              the wise silence, the universal beauty,

to which every part and particle is equally related;

the eternal One.

When it breaks through our intellect, it is genius;

when it breathes through our will, it is virtue;

when it flows through our affection, it is love.

from” The Oversoul,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson