Look over the words or phrases listed below. If you have used them, you were probably describing an intuitive experience.
|Gut feeling||I had a feeling|
|My heart told me||Sixth sense|
|In a flash||Insight|
|I saw the light||Knew instantly|
|In the zone|
An inner voice
|Insight||Felt one with life|
Even people who are very familiar with intuitive experiences find intuition and how it operates hard to describe. One helpful way to understand intuition is as direct knowing or an inner knowing without thinking it through.
There are many misconceptions about intuition that are important to clear up.
Actually, intuition is a normal human experience and is reported in cultures throughout the world. However most people don't learn about what intuition is and how to use it, so they are not aware how it works in their life. But all people have the capacity for intuition.
It is true that some people have more intuitive talent, or strengthen their intuition through practice, or are simply born into an environment that supports the development of intuition. These things can enhance intuition, just as practice and support enhance the development of just about any human attribute!
In reality, both men and women are born with intuition. However, in Westernized societies, women and artists have more permission to be intuitive than men do. Men often say that their intuition comes from a 'gut feeling.' Women are more likely to say, 'my heart told me.'
While intuition is still a puzzle to scientist, researchers are beginning to discover that people really can know (not just guess) a lot at first glance. For example, recent 'thin slice' research finds that people can predict in just a few seconds of watching a teacher whether they will enjoy and value that teacher. These quick initial reactions generally closely match their teacher evaluations at the end of the course.
While it is true that the purest intuitive experiences are correct, most of us have to learn to distinguish between pure intuition and wishful thinking or projected ideas about people and situations. We simply need experience before we can identify our pure intuition (almost all of us haven't had much schooling on the development of our intuition).
Remember also that our "logical" conclusions are not always right either.
Yes. Basically, psychic experiences are a subset of intuitive experiences.
Intuition describes a wide variety of ways you get information without using known logical or rational processes. Here are a few examples from the full spectrum of intuitive experiences:
|An aha! experience||I intuit a creative solution|
|An instinctive knowing||My body intuits I need to do this|
|In the zone experience||Our team intuits what to do when|
|A psychic experience||I intuit what you are thinking|
Psychic experiences are just one of the many ways some human beings intuit information and knowledge. And many intuitive people don't experience intuition in this way at all.
In her book, Hidden Channels of the Mind, Louise Rhine, the wife of famous Duke University parapsychologist J.B. Rhine, analyzed thousands of intuitive and psychic stories that the public sent to her. She noticed that the psychic experiences occur most frequently in emotional situations or where there are emotional connections.
You can also get a fuller understanding of intuition by looking how it is experienced around the globe. Many cultures include intuition in their childhood education, healthcare, social interactions, ideas about death and the afterlife, and spiritual or spiritual traditions.
If you were a member of the Six Nation Confederacy or a member of the Iroquois tribe, you would believe that the tribe was one "long body." You would see the scouts your tribe sent out ahead of the rest of the tribe as acting like the tribe's eyes and ears and sending back intuitive pictures and sounds to tribal leaders just as your nerves send messages to your brain.
Many people throughout the earth believe that their ancestors, who have died and entered the spirit world, can speak to them and guide their lives through dreams and visions. Can you imagine yourself being comfortable having inner conversations with the spirit of a beloved person who has died?
If you lived in one of these cultures, you might feel differently about intuition. You could speak about your intuitive experiences with other members of your culture as openly as you now speak about your ideas, opinions, and logical conclusions in Western cultures.
Intuition is understood in many cultures as fundamental to religious and spiritual experience. Consider this: no one can point to God as a material object or describe the physical dimensions of prayer . Worship is inherently an intuitive experience, a spiritualized dialogue among people and what many call the divine.
However, it is important to remember that people who do not believe in God or aren't sure of God's existence can also have strong intuition but may experience it in different forms.
One helpful way to understand intuition is as direct knowing or an inner knowing without thinking it through.
Intuition describes a wide variety of ways you get information without using known logical or rational processes. All people have intuitive capabilities, but some might not be aware of them.
Intuition is experienced in different ways around the globe.
© 2006 Life Science Foundation, used with permission.