What my intuition says…

Third-Eye Chakra

During the opening retreat, many groups raised the question of the role of intuition in our thoughtscape. What is intuition? It has been called that gut feeling, ESP, the sixth sense, the inner knowing, instinct… whatever it is, it has a powerful influence over us.

I will openly confess that I am not a believer of the supernatural or magical qualities of intuition. I feel that although there is much we don’t understand about our consciousness, it is possible to explore it, model it, and explain it.

Intuition, to me, provides a feeling of what action I should take. For instance, my intuition enables me to read a person when I’m coaching, or do just the right move playing soccer, or even sense the immediate situation around me. I have found, however, that one’s intuition can be as flawed or as adaptive as one’s thinking. My impression is that intuition, like many skills, can be developed and improved upon with practice and experience.

But then that is just me. Others may experience intuition very differently.

Now it’s your turn. I would like to know your theory of how intuition works. I am also curious, how do you know your intuition is adaptive? When is it maladaptive? And finally, what are the disciplines needed to develop your intuition?


P.S. – Here is a word document explaining my theory of intuition: Street Wise – A Theory of Intuition. Read it at your leisure.

3 Replies to “What my intuition says…”

  1. Intuition is I think somewhat related to Level 1 responses – The fight or flight response, but also gets a fair bit of credit for being something mysterious (holy cow my past life is emerging! or I’m psychic!) I believe people do thinslice as Gladwell notes in his book BLINK, but what he is talking about ( if you thinslice well) is transferring knowledge to a familiar context. I watched Richard Dawkins on CBC last night (The Big Picture) who was exploring the downside of blind faith related to religion in his new book THE GOD DELUSION – which to me has similar theme of putting a great deal of weight for decision making on your inner knowing based on faith at the expense of seeking truth or applying the principles of inquiry. The question is always – what in my orienting story leads me to believe that my gut instinct is better than scientifc inquiry? I am not one to ignore my intuition – but I use it as a starting point for further investigation – recognizing that my orienting story greatly influences it and my thoughtscape is not all inclusive.


  2. I think intuition is the word we use to describe knowledge we gain about things we are unconsciously aware of. That knowledge can be of several types. It could be something in your gut that tells you not to trust someone or to go back and check if you left the stove on. It could be the sense you have that someone is watching you and, upon looking up, you see that they are. It can be tapping into body knowledge where your body cells detect things that your brain is not aware of (like athletes use). There is quite a lot out there about cellular memory now. It could be what causes you to try something unique when you are creating something artistic or practical.

    It could be that we actually have had past lives and intuition is a way of looking at them. This goes beyond my experince but I am not willing to rule out the possibility.

    I think intuition operates at basic levels (level one) and at much higher levels especially Level 4 but also level 5. I think operating at level 5 requires being willing to be and do what others are not willing to; and a certain amount of pioneering which I think must tap into intuition.

    I believe there is a whole lot more going on than what I can sense with my 5 senses and more than my little brain is currently aware of. If I believe in progress & creativity; and that there is more to be revealled to me (and others), then it could be intuition that guides me in my curiosity and exploration.

    Good topic. I look forward to hearing from others.

  3. At the risk of sounding like a total whack job – I think intuition is the link to knowledge and experience we are unaware of on a conscious level (here comes the whack job part) and may well be informed by past life experiences.

    I mentioned at the opening retreat I walked the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela. I flew into Madrid and couldn’t get on the morning train north that would take up towards the Pyrenees to start my journey. So, with an unexpected full day in Madrid I decided to tour the city. I toured around using subway and buses, and walked all over taking in the Museo del Prado, the Royal Palace, the botanical gardens and more, I even slept in a park when I got tired. There wasn’t a moment when I was afraid or nervous.

    And, then, I walked into a Plaza Mayor. Consciously, I was enjoying the architecture of the grand arcaded square but as I entered the square my entire being was overwhelmed with a need to get out of there. It was crushing. I tried to think rationally and suggest to myself there was no reason to feel this intense fear but I was unable to overcome it so I left and went on to enjoy the rest of my day.

    Thinking how ridiculous it seemed, I went back later in the evening. The plaza was full of well-dressed Spanairds out with their families on a Saturday evening before heading to dinner somewhere. As soon as I entered the square the feeling came back. I tried to push through the feeling and made my way to the centre of the square where I sat down on a bench. Within moments, two men – far apart from each other in different parts of the square – burst into my focus and made the feeling inside of me intensify. Rational me says: this is crazy, this plaza is full of people, what could happen to me? As I sat there, both men made their way to the bench and sat on either side of me. That was it for me, I was done. I’d watched enough Oprah to know that I had to listen to the voice inside of me telling me to flee! And so I did. And I never felt that way again anywhere in Spain. In fact, I felt the exact opposite and had an overwhelming sense of connection and familiarity with a landscape I’d never seen in my life.

    When I returned home I was sharing this story with my family. A couple of them looked shocked. They in turn shared with me that they had asked a shaman friend, before I left, how my trip would be. He told them it would be great, it would be all of the things I needed it to be but that I would be confronted with the space where I had been burned at the stake in a past life.

    That, along with many other more positive associations allowed me to come to the realization that I needed to listen to my intution – that I am guided by more than what of which I am consciously aware. My job is to listen. To be still and to listen and use that to inform my journey.


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