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Monday, November 1, 2010

The Practice of Spiritual Business


In my last blog post I argued that using spiritual perception – what I call Integrated Intelligence – in business and professional situations is perfectly acceptable. The development of Integrated Intelligence will tend to shift a person’s worldview to a more spiritual and ethical one, and shift the way they look at doing business in the world. After all, there is nothing intrinsically “unspiritual” about doing business or making money. They are neutral pursuits in themselves. An adventurous, creative and self-reflective approach to business can have benefits all-round. Indeed, both success and failure can lead to self-growth and wisdom. Business can be a spiritual exercise!

But what about the practical applications?

As you will recall from my previous post, there are seven practical core mental skills that Integrated Intelligence provides. These are: 
   
·        Integrated Location. The capacity to sense where things are, without having prior information.
·        Integrated Diagnosis. 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.
·        Integrated Evaluation. Intuitively determining the wisdom or value of different options and choices.
·        Integrated Inspiration. Creative knowledge and ideas that come to you from spiritual sources, not your conscious mind.
·        Integrated Perception. The ability to sense the connections between and amongst things.

What I am talking about here is classical sixth sense. I am merely being specific about what you can do with it. Yet at a practical level, even if you are adept at employing Integrated Intelligence, it does not make you infallible. Intuition is imperfect, and has to be employed with some degree of respect for human fallibility. Just one small issue is the potential to confuse intuition with other inner voices and feelings, such as conditioning, expectation, wishful thinking, greed and the ego in general. In a connected universe, even the thoughts and intentions of others can affect your subconscious, as I outlined in Sage of Synchronicity and Extraordinary Mind.

Recently I received a call from Gino Yu at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He invited me to help organise the Shifting Hong Kong retreat/conference with well-renowned systems theorist Ervin Laszlo. Gino is extremely busy, so needed someone to take responsibility for the two-day event. I will outline the creative process that unfolded, because it demonstrates the practical application of INI and some of its core mental skills.

When we sat down to dinner, Gino told me that he was unsure how to focus the event, or how to decide its central theme. I told him how I would approach such a problem, and to his credit, Gino listened. I told him that every single human gathering has a consciousness, and intention behind it, and that it acts like an attractor field to bring people and physical events together. I told him that it is possible to tap into that consciousness field and “see” what the event is calling us to do at a spiritual level. So right there in the restaurant I did that. I simply relaxed, and held out my hand a little in front of my chest, and began to move it around. What I was doing was literally feeling – in a kinesthetic sense – the consciousness of the retreat. In my minds eye I could see it as a kind of pool of energy, and I invited the information to make itself known. I did this by asking a simple question.

What is the ideal focus of intention for the Ervin Laszlo retreat on November 22nd/23rd?

“What I am getting is the idea of where it should all go. What are the practical steps we should be taking to bring the consciousness of Hong Kong forward? What is it about Ervin Lazlo’s vision that can assist in this? I can sense that Ervin Laszlo’s ideas can be used as a kind of platform around which to build a vision for Hong Kong.”

I didn’t even have a chance to finish.

“That’s it! I got it!” Gino exclaimed excitedly (Gino is an infectiously enthusiastic fellow). He literally gave me a high five, and then he agreed that this is what it would be about.

Later, we went back to Gino’s lab at the InnoCentre at the University and mapped out some more ideas. Gino generously allowed me to do a little more energy connecting. In front of his huge whiteboard I began to move around, feeling the collective consciousness of the people of Hong Kong.

“What do the people of Hong Kong need at a spiritual level?” I asked.

In my mind I saw the bright lights of the city centre, but on the periphery there was a great patch of darkened space. I could feel people crying out. “We are lost. There is no hope. I feel despair. What is going to come of me?” I then began to sense the future, and ‘saw’ that perhaps fifty years from now Hong Kong would have ghettos of very poor, disempowered people, increased crime, and a deeply marginalised underclass. It felt like corruption and avarice were running the show.

The overriding feeling was one of despair, that the materialistic focus of the city was reaching its limit. As I moved around, feeling the energy of the whole thing, Gino wrote what I was saying on the whiteboard. I should emphasise that Gino was making plenty of comments along the way, and it wasn’t all my thinking! However, he did allow me to go a little “nuts” and work with the energy. From this beginning, the current outline and schedule of the Shifting Hong Kong retreat was born. The entire outcome is an example of Integrated Inspiration in action.

The next day as I was almost snoozing - on my way back home on the ferry to Lantau Island just south of Hong Kong Island - I decided to check the energy on what we were putting together. Immediately a small vision came to me. I saw myself sitting in a room There were two sections of seats divided by a row down the middle. From the first person perspective I saw myself I was sitting on the far left of the room, looking over. I saw that all the seats on the right were full. I didn’t see the left side clearly, but it seemed there were some empty seats there. What I sensed in this vision that the retreat would have no problem attracting right-brained creative and spiritually minded people, but needed a little work to attract a broader audience. This is a perfect example of Foresense (the vision), and Integrated Evaluation (sensing the effect of too much right-brained focus would have on the outcome of the conference).

In this instance we had only one person versed in the application of Integrated Intelligence, working with one other intuitive and spiritually-inclined human being. Imagine the benefits if multiple individuals were able to draw upon such resources as companies and institutions mapped out their strategies and futures? I have seen first hand how this can be done, when I was part of an advanced spiritual group in New Zealand. It can make for powerful creative decision-making. 

Truthfully, such a process can also make for certain problems. The people involved need to be spiritually mature, or egos can clash – just as in any group of people (however I will not go into that here). The other obvious issue is that all those within the group need to be open to the possibility of working with INI. If even one individual is overly sceptical, it can greatly disrupt the process. Also, there needs to be at lest some members of the group who understand how intuition can be easily confused with other inner voices and feelings.

This simple example  is just one potential application of some of the core skills of integrated Intelligence. There are many other scenarios in work and business settings where a little input from the intuitive mind can greatly enhance decision making and creativity.

Finally, we cannot forget the core outcomes of Integrated Intelligence: wisdom and personal transformation. It is difficult to unsettle the wise man or woman, and the spiritual maturity of one who approaches life and business with a spiritual perspective is likely to make him/her more settled, confident, and detached than the typical ego-centered, profit driven businessperson. This detachment is not the unworldly aloofness of the reclusive monk, but the relaxed mindfulness of a person who is able to see that regardless of the ebb and flow of life, thoughts and desires, and the up and downs of business, that there is something behind it all that is unmoving: the spirit. In the end this is the greatest asset for the Sage as she goes about doing business in the marketplace.

Marcus

P.S. For those interested in learning how to use INI in life, work or business, I am conducting the Intuitive Shift workshop very soon in Hong Kong on November 19. This is part of the Hong Kong consciousness festival.

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