Many eminent thinkers - from Kant to Jung to Einstein - have stressed the importance of intuition and have depended on it in their personal and professional lives. They have tended to define intuition as 'a priori' knowledge, as a fundamental and indispensable aspect of human nature.
Then there are those scientists and psychologists who have explained intuition away by lumping it in the same province as animal instinct. This is not so surprising since Western society has always extolled the intellect and genuflected before the altar of Reason. And we have to give reason its due. Our world could not have evolved without it since everyone of us thinks / reasons every day. But, as Aristotle said, reason is subject to error.
We must realize that intuition and reason do not stand aligned against one another. One was never meant to supplant the other but merely to balance and complement. In this light then, let us take a closer look at what intuition really is.
Intuition is a process of receiving information / insight exclusive of any rationalization, of any act of analytical application. It is how we interface with the Cosmic, our Higher Self, or whatever we want to call the Consciousness that unites us all. Intuitive impressions manifest in our objective minds and are then either acted upon or ignored. Unlike deductive or inductive reasoning (which oftentimes is open to question) true intuition is unequivocal and crystal clear.
B.H. was motoring down the highway heading for a family reunion in Toronto. He had been driving for about two hours. Suddenly three words bellowed at him from behind - Stop the car! B.H. was so startled his heart skipped a beat and he almost lost control of the automobile. He pulled to the side of the expressway. His first thought was that someone had stowed away in his back seat. When he looked behind him he discovered that there was no one there. He sat still for a minute collecting himself, felt an urge to step out of the car and decided that, indeed, he could use a few deep breaths of fresh air. When he got out he noticed that the inner tube in his back left wheel had ballooned out between the rim and the tire itself. It seemed on the verge of exploding.
Now if you or I had been sitting in the front seat beside B.H. we would not have heard this so-called shout. Intuition doesn't usually manifest in such a dramatic fashion but in this case it probably was what was required since our fortunate friend might have ignored a more subtle mental warning.
Intuition is not a woman's 'thing'. Everyone has it but intuition has to be comprehended, enhanced and then employed. Many small children are quite intuitive because parental conditioning has yet to take root, but soon even they fall into a 'reasonable' frame of mind after hearing the following admonition one too many times - "Now dear, don't be silly. It's just your imagination". Intuition is then inhibited and ultimately smothered because, after all, father and mother know best.
Many creative people use their intuitive power. A number of famous inventors have had similar "aha" experiences. They have struggled sedulously on a particular project for weeks, sometimes months and years, and the final piece of the puzzle just does not fit. It seems that every logical option has been attempted. Then one day when they're preoccupied with something else, relaxing in a fishing boat, they encounter this very formidable flash of insight. The answer is now so obvious. What happens in these cases oftentimes is that after the analytical mind decides to take a breather the subconscious continues to assess all current information plus any and all suppositions and conclusions that have been previously stockpiled in the memory banks. A successful resolution sets off an 'inspire' alarm sending the information reverberating into objective reality.
Hold on a minute - you interrupt - I've had strong gut feelings before and half the time they turn out to be wrong. Intuition is unerring but our objective translation process is certainly not infallible. We can misinterpret an impulse from the higher/inner self. Remember, depending on the state of an individual's spiritual development / awakening, intuition can manifest in a number of ways. It can be an ephemeral impression not much stronger than the barrage of countless other thoughts that pass through our brains every day. It can be a persistent symbol or idea that seems to fly in the face of logic. It can be a physical sensation one feels in the solar plexus area, and so on.
P.E. had been interested in metaphysics for a number of years and although he knew all about intuition he felt that his ability in this area was only average. One evening he started to experience a dull but constant pain in his ears and decided to go to bed early hoping that the discomfort would subside with rest. He woke up at 2 a.m. and the distress level was by now quite intense. The thought of going to the local hospital and waiting for hours in the E.R. was not appealing. So with complete confidence and sincerity he closed his eyes and mentally asked his Higher Self if there was anything that could be done. Within seconds the title of a book flashed in his mind. This volume was an encyclopedia of Home Remedies which he knew he had in his study though, since he had over a thousand books, it took him fifteen minutes to locate it. He turned to the chapter that described his symptoms, performed a recommended exercise, and his pain completely vanished within ten minutes. Although this incident was by no means worthy of a PBS documentary feature P.E. acknowledged that it had had a profound effect on him and served as an impetus for him to continue his study and meditation practices.
Speaking of meditation, those individuals who retreat into the silence on a regular basis or who are introspective and contemplative by nature tend to be more intuitive and can further augment their capabilities through continued application. Of course you have to be receptive to the idea of a Higher Self in the first place. If you are but you feel that your present proficiency hovers just above zero on the scale then there are exercises and techniques available. Initially the experience will be very much like beginning piano lessons - a lot of practicing of scales and not a heck of a lot of music.
Sample exercise: Every time the phone rings, stop, close your eyes, and mentally ask - Who is calling? You have to go with the first answer that comes into your consciousness. If you wait too long it gives your objective mind the opportunity to go into action (Well, let's see; it's about 5 p.m. and hubby did tell me this morning that he would call if he was going to be late ... but it could be Helen since this is movie night and we were planning on going and ... yada yada yada). Keep score for a few months and see if there's any improvement.
Exercise #2: Verify that your clock radio has the precise time to the minute. Then, ten to twenty times during the course of the day, stop whatever you happen to be doing, close your eyes and mentally ask yourself what time it is. Go with the first impression that pops into your mind - and it should take no more than two or three seconds. If your intuitive nature is average at best it will take practice and effort before you even start getting close. Eventually you'll find that you're getting part of the correct answer (i.e. 3:45 p.m. instead of the actual time of 3:48 p.m.). A good time to test yourself is when you wake up in the middle of the night because your objective self is fairly dormant, not functioning to speed, and has little idea whether it's midnight or 3 a.m.
True intuition is never vague. There is no element of doubt. Once you develop a feel for how your personal process functions then remember that impulses should be acted upon - even if sometimes they don't seem logical. Your confidence will surge as a certain level of mastery is reached. When there is a crucial decision that needs to be made or an imperative question that has to be asked you will know that a powerful ally resides within you. Ninety-nine percent of your life can still be resolved through the power of reason. There is no need to ask your Higher Self if there's going to be rain at the company picnic so you know whether or not to bring an umbrella. Just turn on the weather channel!
In these days of burgeoning interest in all topics metaphysic, intuition and psychic phenomena have piqued the curiosity of many. Indeed, we have all, by and large, been fascinated by accounts of experiences involving psi (that elusive "x" factor that causes psychic phenomena), usually assuming that these phenomena belong to a realm out-of-the-ordinary and are not within the daily purview of most of us "common folk."
As one who has delved more and more deeply into the world of intuition as a practicing intuitive, albeit somewhat unintentionally, I would like to share some of the things I've learned about these interest-provoking, yet little understood phenomena. I say "albeit somewhat unintentionally" because I did not set out years ago to have this as a career goal: it was not what I majored in in college nor something I had ever seen myself doing. However, at the same time, being somewhat of a "reluctant" intuitive has given me an interesting perspective on this often misperceived topic as I had to develop and work with a faculty I didn't even know was there.
I think what most of us do is to assume that intuitive/psychic phenomena are something that other people experience (and I'll use these terms interchangeably in this article to refer to informational phenomena, rather than other forms involving psycho kinesis, teleportation, etc.). One thing (of the many) that I've learned from doing this work is that everyone is intuitive and can have "psychic experiences." Intuition is democratic; it really is everyone's birthright.
I've also learned that what I used to consider as other-worldly really is a very natural part of life. Intuition and psychic knowing are actually another form of intelligence, another way of knowing and apprehending. For those who are interested in developing and using their full mental and knowing potential, developing and using their intuition is essential. However, one flip side of this aspect of intuition is that, because intuition really is a form of intelligence, it is not always connected to spirituality. We have often assumed that intuitives, just because they are intuitive, are spiritually oriented; this ain't necessarily so! As an ability, it can be used for good or ill, just like anything else.
Consider, for example, the reports of psychics who tell vulnerable clients that they have a curse on them and they can remove it for some exorbitant fee. Although this sort of misuse would appear to be in the minority, the point is that spirituality is not always a correlate of psychic ability nor, conversely, is psychic ability necessarily a portal to mystical wisdom and higher knowing. When the two are combined, however, ah, now that's a beautiful thing! But I'm digressing....
One fascinating aspect of intuition is that it can come in many different forms and, just as I am convinced that everyone has intuitive ability, so too have I learned that the form it can take can vary greatly from one person to another.
I always assumed that intuitive or psychic information came in the form of sudden, strong awareness, almost like being hit by information, and, indeed, some people do get information like this. Intuitive insights can also be very subtle -- a sense or feeling or impression about something. And some people simply have a knowing about things; this knowing can be so deep that it will often be there with no effort, as if by osmosis, a knowing that is deeply integrated and ingrained and may just come to conscious awareness at the appropriate time. One just knows -- without knowing how one knows or when one came to know.
Aside from the strength or subtlety of these awarenesses, the form can vary greatly as well. Some people will see images or hear voices (either literally through the auditory faculties of their ears or in their heads or minds). Some may see or sense colors. Others may have an impression that does not come in the form of one of the five senses.
Some people are very sensitive to energy, whether it's the energy of a place or location, people's energy, geological or geothermal energy, nature energy, animal or plant energy, or even color or light energy. Some people are sensitive to the energy of objects, receiving information from holding them. This latter form is called psychometry and many forensic psychics who specialize in working with police on solving crimes work with this form.
The type of information that comes from intuition can also vary. We have all had mundane experiences where we think of a song right before it's played on the radio or think of someone just before they call on the phone. Psychic information can come in the form of events -- what is going to happen -- whether trivial or significant. It can also come in the form of meaning, what the meaning or significance is of what someone is going through.
There are truly many variations on the forms and types of intuitive experiences and the information they may provide, as well as the way they come to people. I am often asked by clients how I receive my information and what form it comes in. It took me a long time to figure this out and to know how to respond, because I was not doing what I thought an intuitive did (or should do?). (I read people's energy -- directly experiencing it -- on a level not usually associated with the body, receive information, and work to interpret it -- usually in the form of a direct experiencing that is difficult to define, a sense, an impression, sometimes visual images, sometimes words or quotations, sometimes colors, etc. I am particularly sensitive to people's and animals' energy. And I also have a deeply seated knowing about things.) Some intuitives/psychics specialize in certain types of phenomena or information: some specialize in health, working as medical intuitives; some, in finding missing people or lost objects; some, in communicating with passed-on loved ones; some, in animal communication; etc. Some people directly access their information; others work with guides as intermediaries. The point I would like to make is that intuition/psychic informational experiences are a much richer, more complex, and diversified phenomena than most of us have realized and, because of their richness and complex beauty, are well deserving of our admiration as another of the universe's creations and marvels.
We can all have one or more types of intuition in one or more forms. The information or content we get can run the gamut from the mundane to the divinely sublime. But we all usually have some form or forms of it, and, if we're truly open and don't put preconceived terms and self-imposed limitations on it, can receive many different types of information in different forms. The trick is to start to work with what we have (and may not even know that we have). Ofttimes someone will have an ability and just assume that everyone else does. For instance, a gifted healer I know has always been able to see people's organs and assumed that everyone else had this trait.
It is in starting to work with what we have that we start to open up the treasure chest that we have been given in our lives. There are many benefits of doing this aside from the trivial and temporary side effects of wowing or entertaining ourselves or others, or of simply manipulating energy or playing psychic games. We can have many practical benefits in our lives with regard to information that can be helpful to us in a practical, quotidian fashion. For instance, we have all heard about people averting potential tragedy or catastrophe by heeding gut feelings or other intuitive information they received.
In addition and quite significantly, when we begin to tap into our own intuitive/psychic knowing ability, we begin to strengthen in ourselves. Once we begin to develop our own knowing, it is very powerful and deepening. No one can take that away from us. With knowing comes the beginning of understanding. And with understanding and insight can come wisdom if we are so open and so inclined.
There are many ways of starting to develop our innate gifts. There are several very good books on this subject that are available. I as well as others have taught workshops on this. One can just practice and feel one's way along.
The key is to know how it works for us and also simply to believe that it is indeed there. We have to first acknowledge and own that we do, in fact, have some form(s) of intuitive ability. Once we figure out how ours manifests, we must honor our gifts and their form(s).
One tricky little potential sticky point to using intuition/psychic ability is in learning to distinguish what is true knowing from what may be coming from our own "stuff" -- our wants, needs, fears, mindsets, beliefs, etc. True intuition is not colored by emotional feelings; it is neutral, colorless. Nor is it filtered through our mindsets or cultural filters. If we get a feeling about something that is tinged with, for example, fear, it may just be coming from our own issues. Pure intuitive information is just that: pure, and uncontaminated by our "stuff."
One reason why it may have been more difficult for us in our contemporary Western culture to work with our intuition, aside from the fact that it hasn't been valued in our culture, is that it often works in a different way from our normally used and encouraged faculties. Intuition is receptive. It is a receiving of information, which is a different mode from that of our left-brain logical modes which are active as we analyze and probe. Instead of trying to figure things out intuitively (which doesn't work because it's a figurative oxymoron), we must instead receive information, paying attention to what comes. I am convinced that we all receive information all the time. It's just that we aren't trained or encouraged to pay attention to these subtleties. As a matter of fact, I am convinced that we are all spoken to all the time by this wonderful universe, if we are inclined to listen or pay attention to the signs we are given.
It is perhaps my own personal prejudice, but I also feel that the highest manifestations of intuition/psychic information come in a spiritual form and/or have spiritual relevance -- that give us information for our own progress on our paths (or for others on their paths). I haven't figured it all out yet, but I have a strong sense that the more we connect to the knowing place within ourselves, the more we also connect to the divine. And the more we consciously connect with the divine, the more true knowing we have.
We don't have to become professional practicing intuitives or psychics to develop our potential and benefit from it. Intuition is real. It is a very natural part of life. And it can be yours if you desire for it to be. It can enrich your life, as well as that of others around you. And it is deserving of our respect, because it can serve a quite honorable purpose.DIANE BRANDON has had a lifelong interest in metaphysics. She is a member of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and the International Association for Near Death Studies.
Visit her website at www.dianebrandon.com
1) WHY IS INTUITION IMPORTANT?
Your intuition can contribute "quick and ready" insight according to Webster's dictionary. I define intuition as "when you know something, but you don't know how you know it." Too often we discount the role of intuition in decision making. Begin to pay close attention to what your intuition is telling you; it could lead directly to positive changes in your life.
2) LEARN HOW YOUR INTUITION SPEAKS TO YOU
Each of us has a predominate form in which we receive intuitive information. It may come through feelings, images, body sensation (gut feelings) or through your thoughts. When you are making a decision pay particular attention to all of these ways that your intuition communicates with you.
3) ASK YOUR INTUITION QUESTIONS
Many people believe that intuition comes completely unbidden. I have found that when you ask your intuition for additional insight it will respond with answers. Ask, "What should I do in this situation?" or "What do I need to know about this." Remember you may get the answers from a variety of sources. (Feelings, words, physical sensations, and images.)
4) WHAT ARE YOU ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT?
The root of the word enthusiasm is entheos. It literally means "God Within." Just think, when you feel enthusiastic about your dreams it means that God is speaking through you and saying "yes" to your goals! The feeling of enthusiasm is one of the ways your intuition speaks to you. What makes you excited, happy, delighted? What do you look forward to each day? Do more of it!
5) BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR GOALS
We are often quite clear about what we don't want. Spend time thinking about what you do want. What does your ideal life look like? Draw pictures or cut out scenes from magazines that illustrate the life you want to create. Write in your journal, envision. Spend time each day imagining your ideal life. Envision the details of that life. Imagine you are living it now. What are you wearing? What are you feeling? Who are the people around you? The power is within your mind and heart to bring forth the new life you desire. Your intuition will show you the way.
6) SPEND TIME IN PRAYER AND MEDITATION
Intuitive answers often come to life's questions through self-reflection. Prayer and meditation are two ways we have of slowing down enough to listen to the still, quiet voice of our Higher Self. Remember that the answers don't always pop into your mind fully formed as you meditate or pray. You may find them slowly evolving into your consciousness over several days or weeks as you ask for insight.
7) CREATE POSITIVE SELF TALK
Pay attention to what you tell yourself about yourself and your life. If the general tone is hopeful and positive you feel better and are more optimistic. William James said, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives." It's easier to create a life you love when you give yourself affirmative messages and follow your intuitive guidance.
8) PRACTICE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
Research has shown that the happiest people are the ones who have gratitude for all that they have despite their circumstances. You don't have to postpone happiness until you have achieved all your goals. Joy is an inside job. In the Talmud it says, "In the world to come each of us will be called to account for all the good things God put on this earth which we refused to enjoy." Learn to appreciate the unfolding process of your life, not just the realization of your dreams.
9) LEARN TO TAKE SMALL STEPS
Most of us feel quite anxious when making big changes in our lives. We're afraid we'll make a mistake that we'll later regret. I've found that taking small steps towards a decision works great. You may find, as many do, that as you take those small steps, that the decision becomes clearer, your resolve becomes stronger and the fear begins to lessen. Intuition can guide you small step by small step.
10) LOOK FOR COINCIDENCES AND SYNCHRONICITIES
It has been said that coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous. We often have serendipity occurring in our lives as a way to show us we are on the right path. As you trust your intuitive knowing you'll find these synchronicities occurring more often.
11) KNOW THAT THERE WILL BE EBBS AND FLOWS
We often reach success through a series of ups and downs. When you are in a "down" place and feeling stuck, know that it won't last forever. Find some ways to enjoy your life despite the lull and continue to focus on what you want. Your intuition will continue to provide guidance about the best path to follow.
12) TRUST IN DIVINE ORDER
Maybe you're beginning to feel as Mother Theresa once did when she said, "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much." The Universe has a perfect plan for your growth and unfolding as a human being. As you learn to be guided by your intuition you're beginning to act on this wisdom from the Universe.
13) ACT ON THE INFORMATION YOU RECEIVE
Developing your intuition is like learning any new skill. It's not unlike learning an athletic ability. The more you practice the better you get at it. If using your intuition is new for you it may be best to use it in relatively low risk situations at first. This will help you develop your "intuitive muscles."
14) YOU MAY NOT RECEIVE INFORMATION IMMEDIATELY
If you don't understand something, ask for clarification. It is possible to get your guidance in dreams, for instance. Many people ask for intuitive guidance during a meditation and don't receive information immediately. You may find that the insight you desire will come seemingly unbidden at some point later in the day while you're involved in other tasks.
15) WRITE DOWN THE GUIDANCE YOU RECEIVE
Whenever you're facing a tough decision, write about it in a journal you keep for this purpose. Always jot down what your intuition is communicating. What feelings do you have about this decision? What images come to mind? Are there any body sensations that indicate a good or bad decision? Is there a still, quiet, inner voice that informs you? It's helpful to look back at this journal from time to time to see how accurate your guidance was. Did you trust the information you received? Did you act on its wisdom?
16) DON'T FORGET TO USE YOUR LEFT BRAIN!
Remember to use your logical or rational mind in this process as well. There needn't be a competition between the intuitive mind and the rational mind. Your rational side can help you find out facts and assist you with details of your decision. Your intuitive or "right brain" simply adds another level of information often described as, "You know, but you don't know how you know."
17) LISTEN TO YOUR "INNER PROSPERITY GUIDE" - YOUR INTUITION
Remember that intuition provides quick and ready insight. It may come to you through a feeling, an emotion, a gut sense, a voice or a nudge to take a certain path of action in your life. It may lead you to new work, the right contacts for your business, or a book to read that opens a door to greater abundance.
18) ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS OF YOUR INTUITION
Asking questions that evoke more than a "yes or no" answer are helpful when requesting guidance from your intuition. "How could I make more money this year?" or "What could I do to increase my business?" are examples of this. Remember to listen for the answers you receive.
19) USE POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
Clarify and write down your goals, visions and dreams. Write a short positive statement that sums up your goal. Here are two examples: "I easily attract __ # of wonderful clients this year." "Money flows easily into my life as I do what I love." Say the affirmative statement several times a day. As you do this pay attention to any "intuitive nudges" you may feel. This will be guidance from your intuition that indicates the best course of action you could take in order to manifest your goal.LYNN ROBINSON, M.ED., is a motivational speaker and the author of four books, including Divine Intuition: Your Guide To Creating A Life You Love. Her free Intuition Newsletter is available at www.lynnrobinson.com
"You can learn to tap the intuitive powers of people. As a source of valuable information, intuition is at least equal to analytic data."
What do software designers, credit managers, entrepreneurs, accountants, salespeople and medical personnel have in common? They use their intuition to make better decisions, solve problems, and prevent disasters. Intuition plays an invaluable role in their lives.
Intuition is the ability each of us has to know something directly without an analytic process. The kind of information that can be known intuitively ranges from getting a "feeling" about someone or something to knowing very specific and necessary data.
While all of us rely on our intuition, many believe that they are the only ones who make decisions that way. Indeed, intuition is the best-kept secret of business decision-making. It is used successfully by most executives and managers, and yet it is suspect to talk openly about how one "feels" about a situation, or one's "gut reaction." I once learned that six of the seven people involved in a decision to release a new product had an "uncomfortable feeling" about it and yet said nothing because there were no analytic figures to back up the feeling. The product failed miserably, costing the company several hundred million dollars.
This is not an isolated incident-it happens regularly. What if one person had had the courage to say something like: "I don't know where this comes from, but I have a very uncomfortable feeling about releasing this product now. How do the rest of you feel about it?"
Intuition is how non-analytic data is accessed and incorporated into the decision-making process. Analytic data is based on the past and gives an overview of similar circumstances. Intuition enhances analytic thinking and focuses on the present situation, providing insights as to timing, specific strategy and innovation.
As you ask yourself, "How do I really feel about this job?" you may find that a job that looks great on paper may feel "uncomfortable" or that jobs that don't look profitable on paper feel "good."
Intuition is a simple, yet powerful tool. Because it works in ways that are mysterious to our analytic minds, it is often ignored or discounted. Organizations have a difficult time openly allowing intuition into the decision-making process. When companies do incorporate the intuitive process, the results are staggering. DuPont reduced its new product development time from three years to three months using intuitive techniques.
How to Develop Intuition
You can begin today to tap your own intuitive power and the intuitive wisdom of those who work with and for you. Here are four ways to get started:
1. Ask. Before making any decision, stop and ask yourself how you really feel about what you are about to do. Also, when working with a group, ask everyone how they really feel. It helps to disclose your own intuitive impressions to encourage others to talk about theirs.
2. Be attentive. Intuitive insight is often the very first impression that occurs when faced with a new situation. Catching that first impression takes practice. One way to restimulate a first impression is to ask yourself: "If this had a smell, what would it be? How would it taste? If I had to make a decision right this moment, what would it be?"
3. Keep track. Begin an intuition journal, jotting down your intuitive impressions and tracking your results. Once you experience how accurate your intuitions are, you will pay more attention - and so will others.
4. Use power moments. Begin team meetings by asking everyone to collect their thoughts about the meetings' agenda and write down a few personal thoughts or feelings as they occur. Then ask everyone to mention something they wrote on their list. This simple moment adds focus, depth, participation, and wisdom without taking much time. Try it before going into a meeting and watch how much more involved and prepared you are.
Intuition is not a substitute for analytic thinking. It is an additional source of information. We have an intuitive ability that provides guidance on the most successful way to proceed.
Three attributes of intuition deeply conflict with the current corporate environment. Companies focused for the future are already in the process of developing new systems more open to the intuitive process.
1. Non-hierarchical: Intuitive skill is not based on formal education or years of experience. It has to do with insight and awareness. Anyone in the organization may have an intuition about where the company needs to go and how to handle a specific situation. Strategically gathering intuitive insights can greatly increase the chances for business success.
2. Non-analytic: Intuitively we can know what to do way before we know why we are doing it. Encourage employees to follow up on hunches and gut feelings and to communicate "non-analytic" information.
3. Unpredictable: Intuition is unpredictable in a couple of ways. The information and guidance received intuitively may be outside the boundaries the company has set. Intuitive information can be developed and incorporated into the decision making process, but it will never conform to rules and regulations. Learning to wait for the right time to act, allowing key factors to emerge and changing course in midstream, are all intuitive activities which by their nature cannot be planned.
We have all experienced the need for an idea or project to "cook on the back burner" of our minds before it is ready to come together. Strategic planning is becoming less focused on the details of a three-year plan and more focused on building collective vision and mission. This allows intuition to play a more important role in both planning and implementing.NANCY ROSANOFF is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Making Money Using Intuition and Intuition Workout. She is an associate member of the Innovation Network, on the Board of Advisors of Intuition Magazine and a past president of the New York Chapter of the National Speakers Association.
Visit her at www.rosanoff.com
We, the human race, need to be more intuitive. This may seem a fringe concern in the light of the problems that we have carried over with us into the 21st century. Yet the intuition has a central and potentially determining role to play in the complex and varied tasks of human and world renewal. This is so even in the very practical steps required to address the most immediate and urgent outer needs. For intuitive insight can identify the right steps and how to take them so that they lead to the greatest long-term benefit.
We call the lucky hunch, the coincidence, the 'gut' feeling, or the tuning into how someone close to us feels "intuition". These are not much help in solving world problems. They are also far removed from the intuition that Einstein considered the most important aspect of his talent. Even so, these commonplace phenomena hint at a higher sense innate in the human being, the capacity to look and to see in a way that is entirely new. It is the 'intuition' as this higher sense, the peak experience of the seer in any field, that is a vital ingredient in the creation of a better world. This is the intuition Einstein referred to when he stated that there was no logical way to the discovery of the elemental laws of nature: "There is only the way of intuition."
Jung made the comment: "Intuition is a function by which you see round corners." This image is particularly apt for the day-to-day type of phenomena we call intuitions, ranging from the lucky hunch through to instances of telepathy and pre-vision that are personal in content. Whereas perhaps a more telling image for true or spiritual intuition is that it is the ability to see through clouds. The everyday intuitions could also be thought of as 'horizontal', in that they occur entirely within the realm of personal concerns. Seeing round corners captures this sense that they take place on one plane of existence. Pure or true intuition is by contrast 'vertical'. It is the spontaneous knowing of some aspect of truth as it exists in superhuman realms of awareness. It is spiritual insight undistorted by the dark and heavy clouds of lies, half-truths, selfish desires and illusions - all human created - that hide the Real; insight undistorted by this fog in which humanity struggles daily. Pure intuition is characterized by its universality. To quote Alice Bailey, "it is never interested in or directed to the revelation of anything concerned with the personality life".
We use the words that name the highest of qualities, such as love and intuition, in an endless variety of ways, many true to the higher meaning in some respect or other, and many not. The word 'love' is used to describe attraction in the personal realm from slogans in advertisements to sell just about anything, to the sweetest of relationships. On higher levels love describes the many faces of soul - the selfless, wise and altruistic. While higher still this same word is the best we have to describe the mysteries of the Greatest Good - God is Love. The word 'intuition' likewise is used to describe experiences from the distorted and trifling to the sublime. This same word is used for vague personal imaginings; for deep impressions during a middle phase in which it is being cultivated, whether knowingly through meditation and spiritual practices or unknowingly through the right combination of skills in compassionate living; and for the perfect art in which the human being can "see into the mind of God".
Clearly what I am referring to, in saying that we need to be more intuitive, is the intuition in its higher expressions. Little credited though it may be, this higher intuitive perception has determined the course of human history. Always visionaries have had the seemingly superhuman capacity to touch and know another reality. Where they have been able to translate this experience into wise words and deeds they have become catalysts for human betterment. The intuition gifts ideas imbued with the spirit of the future. It brings the vision of new possibilities. This is one of the most important roles it plays in human affairs. Think of visionaries in the field of endeavour best known to you, and the role they have played in shaping its most beautiful and constructive features. Intuitives have already revealed the foundations upon which to build a better world, inspiring initiatives in every field with such ideas as those of human rights and responsibilities, environmental awareness and the need for global ethics that reflect our interdependence and our common dreams, hopes and needs. There has been a precious harvest of life-enhancing insights over recent decades - all signposts for the way ahead, and all justifying the claim that the intuition has a vital role at this time.
Dispelling the Illusion of Separateness
There is another role that this higher power is playing and will increasingly play in the future. As more people awaken their powers of intuition through inner growth, human consciousness will be increasingly open to and conditioned by its essence, the sense of the oneness of life. In other words their approach to life will become more inclusive. The illusion of separateness, carried through from thoughts to desires, and to actions is the greatest obstacle to human progress. It is intuition which dispels illusion. Intuition and illusion are opposites. If intuition is direct experience of some aspect of truth, illusion is the veiling of truth through wrong perception, interpretation and expression. If intuition is insight into Reality, the mind imprisoned by illusion is the 'slayer of the Real'. If intuition is the experience of identification with the whole, illusion distorts this into the sense of identification with the part.
Let's look briefly at this illusion of separateness and how the intuitive, inclusive approach weakens it. I have called it the greatest single obstacle to human progress. It is a way of thinking that denies interdependence by promoting the advantage of the part - the individual, the group, the organization, the country or the group of countries - at any cost to the greater whole. The ever-growing chasm between rich and poor in the human family demonstrates the potency of this illusion, as does the global environment crisis. The idea of separateness underlies the materialistic ethos that champions the superficial and the short-term. Deeper issues are ignored in the forward thrust of the money markets. If the priority is the right image, the slogan that will catch the eye and 'sell' the product or function regardless of quality, then it's easy to turn a blind eye to harmful long-term consequences. There is going to be little concern for any debate on ethics from businesses and organizations that operate such bizarre practices as the re-labelling of shoddy or environmentally harmful goods or services to give them a more trendy image with no real improvement to them.
If the myriad social ills of today are anything to go by, happiness for most people does not lie in this approach which 'packages' the human being as exploited labour or consumer. How can it when the soil in which materialistic systems are rooted has little goodness in it, when they thrive on ruthless competition, greed and self-interest. How can it when the illusion of separateness that underlies these systems can be traced as the primary cause of global poverty and inequality.
For most people, the sense of fulfillment and personal worth depends upon social practices and relationships that are rich in spiritual values. The well-being of humanity now and in the future depends upon us choosing spiritual values to live by. It depends upon our choice of shapers of society (be they in government, business, education or whatever) who reflect and express the humane, inclusive, wise and far-seeing capacities of the human being -- capacities that materialistic structures and norms obscure, deny or parody. This in turn depends on our ability to recognize values that are truly life-enhancing in the first place. For this we need that intuitive sense of our shared humanity, our common destiny and our interdependence. From this inclusive approach we then can recognize what is most likely to be of benefit to the whole, allowing us to choose from the vantage point of greater wisdom.
How do we Become More Intuitive?
We can think of the intuition as our seventh sense, and its unfolding as the next step in the natural process of human development, as inevitable in its emergence over time as have been our other senses; hearing, touch, sight, taste, smell, and that distillation of wisdom which we call the common-sense. The true intuitive, the one who can see through clouds, is rare. But intuitive perception is increasing as many now are spiritually awakening and accepting the changes they need to make to realize their higher potential. To become more intuitive we have to face ourselves, know ourselves, and find how to let go of spiritually limiting and corrosive habits, ambitions, and the separatist tendencies of a little self. We have to learn how to ask ourselves the right questions, and how to hear and act on the answers that come. How can I help? What is it I truly want? The answers to such questions will come in different words, symbols or forms. However if we interpret the response in the light of the soul it will inevitably express in some way the incentive to do all we can to help those who suffer, and to contribute to the creation of a better world.
The ageless wisdom teachings indicate the most effective approach if the aim is to become more intuitive: "Only as the heart enlarges its capacity to suffer with all that breathes, to love all that is contacted, and to understand and sympathize with the least desirable of God's creatures can [this] work go forward." Tolerance is said to be the first expression of intuitive understanding, reflecting the essential nature of the intuition as "the synthetic, inclusive grasp of the life and needs of all beings", as the sense that "negates all that builds barriers", as the means by which we achieve "the identification with that which is loved". Perhaps it is not too fanciful to read a deeper significance into the choice by the UN General Assembly to proclaim 1995 The International Year of Tolerance in the lead-up to the new millennium. To affirm and to strengthen the quality of tolerance is, knowingly or not, to recognize the need for intuitive understanding.
We become increasingly sensitive to the world of the intuition through persistent efforts to live by our higher impressions. An idea strikes us that seems particularly lighted and we sense how it could help others. It can pass in a fleeting moment. Years back I heard a play by Vaclav Havel. It was broadcast by the BBC when he was a dissident, long before his later role as the president of his country. In the play a character says of the inner voice that prompts us to better deeds that all you have to do is to 'hum a little tune and you drown it out' or words to that effect. It so easy to do just that. But if we seize these higher impressions and act upon them so that others benefit we will find, over time, that our lives become more selfless and inspired and that the flower of the intuition begins to unfold.
Imagination is the "seed" of this inner flower. The pathway for the manifestation of all ideas is via the imagination. First they are grasped by the intuition, then they are imaged and 'thought through' the various stages of the journey into form. Until we begin to meditate or become deliberately conscious of our thought processes for some other reason, we may be largely unaware of the way our imagination conditions our experience of life. If our 'daydreams' are negative, full of anxiety, fear or harmful images they act as a magnet drawing negativity to us. If our imagination is fired by altruistic concerns it lifts our consciousness and energy flows to them. If we use the creative imagination to build images of human unity and peace we strengthen these qualities in ourselves and in our environment, evoking response from higher levels of awareness. To cultivate the creative imagination in this constructive manner sends a powerful call to the intuition.
In exceptional spiritual visionaries intuitive perception may seem to be an effortless knowing, an easy bridging between the sacred and everyday understanding. However, no matter how effortless this process, it will be the hard earned result of long practice of spiritual living in the past. Such spiritual attainment always reflects a significant expansion of consciousness and its manifestation in the meeting of real human or world need.
Intuition & Service
That the spirit of altruistic service is now widespread in the human family shows how increasingly people are turning from materialism, realizing how it vastly underrates human potential and is profoundly life-destroying. This realization indicates a shift towards more spiritual values. For many it triggers a major step forward in self-realization. With inner work and outer service there is new sensitivity to higher levels of consciousness and intuitive perception is cultivated. A new perspective results. The bonds of unity between all who work effectively in any way for the betterment of humanity and the world become almost as if visible. Events and initiatives that are life-enhancing seem as if they are lit up from within, so appealing are they. Leaders and groups with good motives and a genuine concern for the greater good are recognized as if one has an inner tuning fork that sounds its note in response to integrity. These are signs of the intuition.
From this perspective another realization dawns. It becomes increasingly apparent that any initiative in any field that changes consciousness for the better and that meets real need is in essence a group effort. For instance, who writes the books that bring new vision into human thought? Certainly the one who wields the pen or labours at the keyboard, whose thoughts push frontiers of understanding and who is able to grasp ideas imbued with the spirit of the future and then clothe this new understanding in words that do it justice and have meaning to the wider readership. In this manner insights previously too subtle, too rarefied for recognition are precipitated into the human field of conscious knowing. This may seem to be a classic example of a solo effort, but not so. New ideas are not conjured up in the thin air of elevated thought by the intellect of the writer. They are precipitated from higher levels of consciousness where they have been nurtured, magnetized and made attractive to pioneering human thinkers through the contemplative powers of the more enlightened. Every outer achievement of true value to the human family and to the world has this inner counterpart, for the most part unrecognized and unacknowledged. Yet the human creator, the one through whom new insights gain entry into human thought may often, in the peak experience of revelation, know that higher forces are aiding him or her.
On outer levels any noteworthy positive achievement is more obviously a collective effort. It results from the contribution of the many who have focused thought and labour in that particular area of endeavour. The individual may write the book or make the breakthrough in some field of art or research, and by so doing win the laurels of praise or the ridicule that is so often the lot of the pioneer. But many others, known and unknown to him or her, have also played a part. These others have created the footholds on which the one who makes the breakthrough will have climbed. They have helped condition the environment in which intuitive insight became possible.
Hope for the future springs from inner sources. Its foundation is the heart-centred intuition, innate in every human being, and now, at this time of crisis, awakening in so many. Its role is crucial. Its presence illumines all that is life-enhancing, bridging as it does between the sacred and the everyday world. "Straight knowledge", is a term used to describe true intuition: straight knowledge - spontaneous and undistorted. "High freedom" it has been called, this experience, in waking consciousness, of the presence of our true Self in every other form, the glimpsing for a moment of the light that radiates from every atom, the transformation of perception that comes when a truth becomes one's own direct experience.
By releasing divine ideas into the turbulent realms of everyday human thought the intuition provides the richest nutrients for the growth of spiritual values. Any future worth living will mean that this seventh sense is far more awakened. This will reflect the rite of passage from a materialistic era with its fixation on the little self, the superficial and the short-term. A more intuitive humanity will be a more mature humanity, no longer primarily the consumer, no longer living as if future generations do not have a say.
Theory about the intuition has become direct experience in many of those who serve with real spiritual power. The Dalai Lama is an outstanding server who demonstrates this. His message to the world on January 1st, 2000 calls for humanity to learn from the "constructive as well as extremely destructive" experiences of the twentieth century. "We need"' he said, "to approach the next millennium more holistically, with more openness and farsightedness." His consistent advocacy for compassion and a universal sense of responsibility ring true. His words carry the power of authenticity, they transparently reflect the good heart. U Thant, a former UN Secretary-General, spoke of the need for "a revival of humanism in our hearts" and to explain what he meant he described the sense of identification with others: "A dead child in the arms of its grandmother is my child. The wounded soldier -- whether American or Vietnamese or Jew or Arab -- with inevitable thoughts of his home, his family, his village, his town, his country, is my son." The intuition is this experience of oneness. In its light we see that right resolution of the crises of our time depends upon our choosing pathways that are forged by the will-to-good, pathways of an inclusive love and compassion.JAN NATION was a dedicated remarkable human being. She passed through transition but not before adding her Light to the awakening of this planet and its inhabitants.
Visit www.intuition-in-service.org - just one example of her many contributions to the public at large.
Above the rational mind and below the soul realm is an intermediary plane of consciousness that I call the intuitional. It is very difficult to characterize this realm, because it transcends mental concepts but is still not a realm of being like the soul. The intuitional plane is the "highest" or most subtle and universal part of the created worlds. Although God and souls are the truly creative agents of the universe, we could say that the process of creating begins with the intuition and then formulates concepts, feeling responses, images and shapes, and finally physical manifestation. Thus intuition is a key to initiating creativity.
Because the intuitional realm transcends the mind, it is often thought of as unconscious. Yet we might use an analogy to attempt to extrapolate some understanding of this lofty realm. As mental concepts abstract, unify, and generalize the objects and patterns of physical, astral, and emotional experience, the intuitional perceives and organizes the patterns of the mind. Jung used the term "archetypes of the collective unconscious" to refer to some of the deep and universal mental patterns he observed in various cultures. The patterns of the intuitional realm are cosmic archetypes that can only be understood through holistic synthesis and spiritual perception. An example of these archetypes would be the cosmic female and male principles of yin and yang, which have so many analogous meanings and applications. Other examples might be the perception of the divine principles discussed in the first part of this book.
As a faculty of consciousness, intuition is an inward perception that comes as a whole in a similar way to sensory perception, except that instead of integrating various physical objects, intuition integrates sense perception, astral projections, feelings, and thoughts into a single perception of a situation. Intuition does not consciously reason with logic in the mind, but rather directly perceives the vibrations of consciousness outside one's own mind. Intuition does not just perceive on the intuitional level but can discover things about the physical world, the astral plane, people's feelings and ideas by using psychic perception. Intuition can be flooded with creative inspiration directly from Spirit.
Indian philosophy formalized and many people have observed a "sixth sense" and "third eye." Perhaps the best explanation of non-physical perception is that consciousness "tunes in on" the vibrations of the physical, astral, emotional, mental, or intuitional consciousness just as our ears perceive sound vibrations and our eyes light waves. Psychics describe how they "pick up" vibrations or different frequencies of consciousness. Because these skills are difficult to perfect, there are often errors; but there have also been so many successful perceptions that I believe the preponderance of evidence demonstrates the validity of these abilities.
Of course for most people, psychic awareness is a potential only occasionally used. Yet quite often people say, "I had a feeling about that." This shows that intuition works closely with our emotions. We talk about intuitive feelings. However, strong emotions and active thoughts tend to interfere with psychic awareness. Intuition seems to be most available when our thoughts and feelings are calm, quiet, relaxed, clear, and neutral. Some psychics, like Edgar Cayce did, even go into a trance in order to bring forth clairvoyance, clairaudience, spiritual attunement or contact with other spirits consciously, or unconsciously by becoming a medium. Under the influence of hypnosis, people have been able to remember much more than in their conscious state of mind, occasionally even perceiving experiences from previous incarnations. Such perceptions could not be stored in the brain originally and therefore must come from the soul record. In the last century there has been an explosion of these types of new knowledge and experience, and much research and experimentation needs to be done in these new fields. Unfortunately most traditional scientists have been reluctant if not hostile to exploring and investigating psychic phenomena with scientific detachment and open-mindedness.
I believe the philosophy presented here opens up these fields for study because of the basic premise that the soul as Spirit can know anything. However, we must be careful with psychism because of the ethical implications. Psychic knowledge, like any other knowledge, can be used or misused. Thus psychic perception is the lower side of the intuition that needs spiritual understanding of values and wisdom in applying them in order to use the gift well.
Spiritual Insight and Inspiration
Spiritual intuition is a vital component of wisdom, because it includes both psychic perception of what is and also insight or good judgment as to what is best. I believe that spiritual awareness intuitively understands the divine principles, and in any situation, no matter how complex it is, can immediately grasp the solution that is best for all by means of spiritual guidance from within. I also believe that the key to receiving these insights is loving everyone unconditionally. When our love is flowing, our hearts open; and the answers come to us spontaneously. Love for everyone enables us to transcend the biases of our egos and self-interests so that we can perceive the whole situation as it really is. If we truly care about the people in the situation, our consciousness will naturally move toward understanding and loving action. Because our love is beneficial to everyone and everything, the entire universe will be inclined to help us. However, karmic patterns, both individual and collective, will have to be faced, confronted, and overcome. These conflicts with the divine and loving will, caused by fear, insecurity, hatred, selfishness, etc., often cause people to compromise or even betray the spiritual values intuitively perceived. Other "reasons" are thought of to justify our actions. Being true to spiritual loving requires integrity and courage as well as intuition.
Inspiration is a blessing from God that floods our consciousness with joy, love, peace, and intuitive wisdom. When we place ourselves in a position to serve and minister to people, divine energies and guidance become more available to us to channel them for the benefit of others as well as ourselves. We may thus be an instrument for the blessings others receive. Any effort or communication we make that is intended to do good and lift awareness toward truth, justice, beauty, joy, etc. can be an inspiration to people. When we see someone acting on their spiritual intuition unselfishly, it can inspire us to do so also. Ultimately inspiration fills us with Spirit and makes us an instrument of divine will.SANDERSON BECK, Ph.D., is a prolific writer and peace activist. In 1982 he formulated World Peace Movement Principles, Purposes and Methods and traveled to 47 states and met with 600 peace groups to promote disarmament. He lives and teaches Philosophy (and other subjects) in Ojai, California.
Visit his comprehensive and eclectic website at www.san.beck.orgwww.san.beck.org