Physical fitness is a long-established idea and ideal. We have more recently begun to develop a notion of cognitive fitness. IQ tests have been around for only about a century, and we are not as clear as we are with measures of physical fitness just what, if anything, they measure. While some doubts and ambiguities remain, the idea of cognitive fitness is much better developed and supported than it used to be.
I also do some physical exercises -- stretches, sit-ups, go for walks, ride my bike. Brain exercises for cognitive fitness (maybe), and physical exercises for physical fitness (definitely).
Then there's emotional fitness -- also called “emotional intelligence”: the ability to detect and identify emotions in self and others, harness emotions to facilitate the task at hand, and understand the language of emotion, including ability to recognize slight differences between similar emotions. Some of us are really good at that -- others, not so much.
|A pyramid of Physical, Intelligence, |
Emotional-social, and Spiritual Quotients
There's physical fitness. There's cognitive fitness. There's emotional-social fitness. Is there such a thing as spiritual fitness?
I have two things to say about that.
- Yes, there is a way to measure spirituality, and there are exercises you can do to boost your spiritual fitness.
- No, spirituality is not at all one more kind of fitness, and the very idea of spiritual fitness completely misses the point.
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This is part 2 of 7 of "Spiritual Practice."
Next: Part 3: "Defining Spiritual Fitness"
Previous: Part 1: "Primary and Secondary Spiritual Practice"