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What Is Intuition?

The question 'what is intuition' has been asked through the ages, and continues to get a variety of answers. Here you will read what it is, what it is not, and have the opportunity to share your intuitive perceptions.

What Is Intuition?... The Essence

Intuition is sensing something from beyond and independent of the input from our five well known senses of sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch.

IntuitionHence it is often referred to as a sixth sense. Further, intuitive awareness does not rise from acquired knowledge, experience nor memories. Rather, it is based on perception outside of the physical, and beyond the boundaries of space and time as we understand them. It's source is invisible and otherwise unknowable, such as another persons thoughts, a future event, or guidance from life inspiration or higher energy. It may appear in response to prayer, encouraging your personal spiritual growth.

What Is Intuition?... The Science

The phrase 'follow your heart' gains further merit when reflecting on the results of current scientific research.

Intuitive perceptions have been studied diligently over the past century. Recognized authorities in the field include the HeartMath Institute. In one noteworthy study, researchers connected individuals to sensitive monitoring equipment and sat them in front of picture screens which intermittently flashed emotionally charged photo's.

The results identified:

  • People responded to the emotionally charged stimuli 1.5 seconds before it was actually shown to them!
  • The first reaction to the stimuli, prior to seeing it, emanates from the heart. This reaction then travels to the brain and throughout the body.
  • "intuitive perception of a future event is related to the degree of emotional significance of that event" (McCraty et al., 2004a, 2004b)

What Is Intuition?... The Availability

What is IntuitionEveryone has the capability of intuition. It appears more prominently in some people's lives than others. Think of it as being on a sliding scale, like handwriting ability. The hardware is available to basically everyone. There are varying abilities in utilizing it, from rudimentary to artful masters. Like most things, practice in using and developing intuition will see it improve.

What Is Intuition?... The Experience

Although the inception of intuition is not through our five senses, it is experienced through our senses:

  • Vague feelings:

    • The most common is the feeling of having a 'hunch' about something.
    • A gut feeling may register discomfort, signally you to turn away from something, or an elated gut feeling pulling you toward something.
  • Fleeting thoughts:

    • You might acknowledge a passing thought that you have no rational basis for. Yet, it gives you knowledge of something in your future. Most of us have heard of at least one person who, on seeing their future partner for the very first time, had the thought... I'm going to marry that person.
  • Signs and symbols:

    • Dreams or actual physical waking occurrences may introduce intuitive messages through characters, symbols or animals appearing to you. Two examples:

      • A grasshopper may mean that no matter what it feels like, you are going forward. This meaning is derived from their physical incapability to walk backwards.
      • Snakes are unique in that they completely shed their skin, symbolizing new beginnings/new life.
  • A sense of a time or spatial shift. Example:

    • The day that my husband died I felt a difference in the atmosphere. It felt like a porthole had opened and altered the density of space as we know it.
  • Synchronicities:

    • Some people see meaningful coincidences, occurring without any basis in logic, as a confirmation or indication of significant events to happen.
      • Synchronistic events seem to frequently occur when we are 'on purpose'. Monomyths, journeys of the hero, are just such times where things happen as confirmation, or a directional pointer.

What is intuition... Not?

Everyday we are bombarded with information, and we are only able to consciously process 'bits' of it. Although most information is not logically or consciously processed, it is available to us through our subconscious power.

Sometimes when we experience 'hunches', they may be based on our subconscious processing of information rather than intuition.

It is up to us to assess whether subconsciously, our logic, knowledge, or previous experience has created the hunch. Although technically, this type of hunch is not an intuitive message, it still provides valuable guidance.

Unconscious use of available information creates 'intuitive look-a-likes' through:

  1. Subconscious perception of circumstances. This could be bits of data we pick up from body language, subliminal sounds or peripheral vision without really being aware of it. Example:

    • You may be driving down the highway and suddenly get the feeling to slow down as there might be a speed radar up ahead. You drive a couple of kilometers and sure enough there's a radar. If you stopped to analyze the situation you might realize that your logical analytical skills were at work behind the scene:

      • the traffic was heavy so a prime target for speed radar's
      • perhaps it was a holiday, another prime target
      • maybe you heard in the past of someone who got a speeding ticket around that area
      • maybe you had passed a sign a ways back that said 'speed radar's operate in this area' but had not consciously acknowledged it as you were talking to a passenger.
  2. When our mind has an awareness of a possibility or opportunity in our future, it will sift and collate information in line with that possibility. Example:

    • When I decided to buy a new Mazda 6 car, I suddenly started seeing a lot of them on the road. Was life suddenly telling me this was indeed a brilliant idea to buy one... no. My awareness started filtering for the opportunity of what my future car would look like.

Through increasing self knowledge, it is possible to know whether our hunches are based on prior knowledge and subconscious programming, or not.

When you get a hunch or feeling about something, ask yourself what information might have contributed to that. Whenever you determine that your experience is not based on subconscious information feeds, you can be quite certain it is an intuitive nudge.

What Is Intuition?... The Hinderances

Western society has become quite adept at unwittingly hindering intuition. Although available to everyone, there has been basically no impetus to encourage it's use or development, and often it is discouraged. The reasons that people do not use their intuition more, are easy to understand:

  • Intuitive messages are generally not clear directions written on a piece of paper, reminding you what to do.
  • Western society reveres logic and if something cannot be logically explained, it is often dismissed, even feared.
  • Intuition often appears in an abstract form. People are often not accustomed to interpreting the meanings of symbols.
  • Some think that intuition may be closely tied to our instincts. As we suppress and move away from instinctual behavior, perhaps this subdues intuition.

What Is Intuition?... Your Experience

Now it is your turn. Click this link to tell about your intuitive perceptions. Let us hear about when intuition has helped and guided you.

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