Photo Gallery Michael Eckerman
Several years ago I would have said yes to these questions. But today I see that this conflict is nothing but an illusion.
In fact, I think intelligence and spirituality ultimately follow the same path, and I don’t mean this in the sense of trying to program your head with religious doctrine and then trying to convince you of it by manipulating the facts. I mean that by embracing your intellect to its fullest extent, you will eventually arrive at a sense of spirituality.
You may not label it as such, but you will find yourself generating similar results to some of the most enlightened people around.
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My upbringing fell squarely on the intellectual side. My mother was a college math professor, and my father an aerospace engineer.
My family was fairly religious, but I never considered us to be spiritual. I was raised with a strong sense of religion – attending church
every Sunday and going through 12 years of Catholic schooling made it hard to ignore – but for me there was no deeper spirituality behind these installed beliefs. Religion was just another school subject like mathematics or history. It was mostly about memorizing things, following complicated rules, and enduring sacraments like confession where I had to tell a stranger all of my sins and then do penance.
In terms of the question of intelligence vs. spirituality, the problem arises from the perceived sense of conflict between these two supposed opposites. This perception prevents us from trusting and following either side far enough. We’ll only go so far down one side or the other before flipping back to the other side. We have our intellectual pursuits and our spiritual pursuits, and never the twain shall meet. They are both kept separate and compartmentalized. In the business world, our actions are governed by intelligence; we achieve the best results when we make the most intelligent decisions.