For a long time I have grappled with the dilemma of whether to teach business people how to use what I call Integrated Intelligence. Integrated Intelligence (INI) is a naturally occurring intuitive way of knowing. It can assist us greatly in understanding ourselves deeply, in comprehending life and the world we live. INI can be used in making decisions of all kinds, from such mundane choices as whether or not to watch a particular movie, or for life-changing choices such as who to marry or which career to choose.
There is also no practical reason why you cannot use INI at the office, for your business, or for making financial decisions. I have done this for a long time, and I know many others who do it to (in my next blog post I will detail practical real-world examples).
Make no mistake. Integrated Intelligence is powerful. It grants us an intuitive and mental capacity that brings with it great responsibilities. Take a look at the following list. As a person who uses INI every day, I have taken the time to map out precisely what these mental processes are:
Integrated Perception. This is the ability to sense the connections between and amongst things. Integrated Perception actually has many forms, and is probably not a single cognitive process.
Integrated Location. This is the capacity to sense where things are, without having prior information.
Integrated Diagnosis. Integrated Diagnosis is the ability to intuitively find the cause of problems.
Integrated Recognition is being able to immediately know somebody or something without ever being told about them or it.
Foresense. When you sense what is going to happen in the future, this is Foresense.
Integrated Evaluation. Integrated Evaluation involves being able to intuitively determine the wisdom or value of different options and choices.
Inspiration. This term refers to creative knowledge and ideas that come to you from spiritual sources, not your conscious mind.
But the question is whether it is appropriate to use a mental process which is normally associated with the mystical and spiritual traditions to make money. We can readily think of a Buddhist monk or a New Age guru using INI to get around in daily life, but it is more difficult to think of your local deli owner, lawyer or - God forbid – banker using spiritual intuition to help keep his or her business in the black.
I will be quite blunt about why I have not, until recently, taught business people how to use INI. Integrated Intelligence can be applied in selfish ways. It can exacerbate the problem of evil in the world. Once you have developed the capacity to sense consciousness and energy at a deep level, there is nothing stopping you from using it for whatever purpose you choose, good or bad.
As the classic example, it is well known that Hitler was a paranormal buff. He consulted clairvoyants as he laid out his plans to conquer the world and exterminate the Jews, the disabled, homosexuals and the “work shy”. This is an obvious case of deliberate abuse of INI, albeit through the medium of hired clairvoyants.
A far greater problem is the unconscious abuse of Integrated Intelligence.
Let me ask you this question. If I were to grant you now the capacity to see into the past present and future, to see deeply into the souls of others and sense their motivations, their fears, their dreams; and if you could immediately know the cause of problems and the ways things fit together, how would you feel? How might it change you as a person?
In the movie Bruce Almighty, Jim Carey is given God-like powers, and subsequently goes around with all the maturity and self-discipline of a three year old child in a candy shop with mother’s credit card. It is funny to see this kind of thing in a movie, but in the real world abuse of INI has real consequences. Although INI won’t grant you the omniscience and omnipotence of God, it does invest you with a great deal of perceptive power. In real life much suffering can emerge from its misapplication.
The problem, in a nutshell, is the spiritual ego. In the earlier stages of spiritual development, as your power and perception grow, the ego will tend to personalise the whole process, and begin to party hard. Look at me! I’m so clever! I’m smarter than all these other people. I know so much more. Or the New Age favourite - I am more spiritual and evolved than you are! These thoughts and projections can sneak up on you, and barely be conscious. The ego is a trickster, and likes to play games, especially hide and seek!
What I have come see is that it is not a matter of whether you have a spiritual ego, but simply whether you are prepared to acknowledge it and take responsibility for it. It’s a bit embarrassing to discover that you have a vain, selfish self-inflating egomaniac hiding away in there somewhere, but really, it’s no big deal if you just gently accept it, and make the choice not to allow it to have power over you. The problem is that some people have no genuine intention to do this. They are the ones who can cause damage.
Just what damage can a spiritual ego do? Firstly, the perceptions of INI might be used to develop a service or product that is actually more harmful than good. For example, I might try flogging dodgy self-help programmes which do little more than delude people. I might actually know that I am peddling doggy poo, but get carried away with the prospect of lots of cash, and forget the bit about human decency.
Yet the biggest problem with developing INI in terms of the ego is a problem relating to INI itself. INI is only possible because consciousness has connectivity. Consciousness probably operates as a kind of fifth force (there are four known forces in nature – gravity, electromagnetic forces, and the strong and weak forces which operate in the nucleus of atoms). At present, the exact mechanism is unclear in scientific terms, but the key point is that I have seen and experienced that consciousness works within levels or gradients of density, something like attractor fields in physics. Because the ego is into power, control and manipulation, it gravitates towards low-density consciousness fields. It attracts what I call – for want of a better term – dark energy. In terms of human emotionality, these are consciousness fields dominated by fear, shame, guilt, blame and so on. When a person begins to develop INI and gets too big an ego, he may begin to “channel” these darker levels of mind. This in turn can really hurt the people that he is dealing with in everyday life, especially those he is close to. They get dragged down into the muck.
When we use INI in the market place, the problem becomes even greater. The market place is basically a world of ego projections, a place of push and shove, where the prime rule is survival of the fittest. It draws out the base instincts of the ego. It pays to remember that at an evolutionary level, the human ego is a survival mechanism, and it has emerged from the requirements of the physical organism to stay alive. Therefore when you apply INI in a modern urban business setting, you are inevitably going to be dealing with egos full-time, including your own. As mystic Leonard Jacobson says, if you gaze upon the vastness of the ocean you will find the eternity in yourself – it can help transform you. But when you look into the ego projections of others and engage them, you will find the smallness within yourself. The key then for the spiritual entrepreneur, is to discipline the mind and choose carefully where she chooses to ‘look’. She must know which things to focus attention upon, and when it is necessary to disengage.
If you are in business as a spiritual entrepreneur, this is a choice you will make many times every day. A failure to discipline the mind and focus upon the right things will result in you being dragged into the madness of the world ego, with all its suffering, pain, its anger and blame, its battles for control and power.
Remember that in terms of consciousness, the battle of the ego is a battle to the bottom, because the “winner” is the loser in spiritual terms. The king of the castle must maintain the “dark” consciousness field that has helped him attain “royalty” in the market place.
I emphasise that much of the ego operates at an unconscious level. There are many, many people working even as spiritual practitioners who are trapped in the ego. The truth is that we are all susceptible to it.
Given all this, should we then avoid developing and applying INI is our lives and in the competitive business world? Or should we move cautiously forward and try to use INI for better or worse?
I believe that the answer is yes, as long as the person enters the ‘race’ with the right mindset.
In the beginning of this post I mentioned the core mental processes of Integrated Intelligence. However I didn’t mention that there are also two core outcomes, which emerge from the successful application of INI. It is these two potentialities which make the effort, the process of using INI in professional circumstances worthwhile:
Wisdom. Wisdom results from the capacity to use INI to create a life (and business) that is deeply meaningful and in alignment with a person’s (and society’s) highest needs.
Transformation. A core shift, lifting the person (and society) towards greater wisdom and intelligence, and creating a higher level of consciousness. This causes a transformation of his/her entire being (and the consciousness of society).
Ultimately, even those who employ INI for selfish ends in business and life might be transformed by it, or at least partially changed for the better. How can one continue to operate in the dissociated ego-driven world of the modern mind when one sees first hand that there is a deeper spiritual thread behind it all? How can one become obsessed with material gratification when one comes into direct contact with a force that connects all things, and which bestows grace and divinity upon those with a true heart?
The one who completes the spiritual journey is not the same one who begins it. It’s an old aphorism, but very true. This is why I have made the decision to begin to teach the broader community about Integrated Intelligence, and that includes the business community.
On November 19, as part of the Hong Kong Consciousness Festival, I will be conducting one such workshop. It’s called “The Intuitive Shift: Using Integrated Intelligence in Life and Business”, and it is about coming to a deeper understanding about who we are, and the way we relate to the world. This workshop is not merely about activating a greater intelligence to boost career and business. It is about experiencing that greater intelligence, the very Cognitive Shift which beckons the human species at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
It is an exciting time.
In my next post I will write about INI and business in practice, describing ways that you can directly apply the intuitive mind for your career and professional interests.