Life tends to be richer for those who feel more.
Intuition perhaps can be best described as a gut feeling; a mixture of sensory perceptions and situational knowledge from past experiences; when the essence of these insights coupled with emotions “melt into one” you will be able to intuit specific things in a given situation. Intuition can be confused with instincts, which are more a bodily sensation linked to reflexes in the more “primitive areas” of the brain.
One dictionary definition of intuition is “quick and ready insight;” and “the act or process of coming to direct knowledge without reasoning or inferring.” It is derived from the Latin word “intueri” which means “to see within.” It is a way of knowing, of sensing the truth without explanations.
Other definitions include: The immediate knowing or learning of something without the conscious use of reasoning. In its cognitive function it is a psychic organ or means to apprehend reality. It is a synthetic function in the sense that it apprehends the totality of a given situation or psychological reality. It does not work from the part to the whole — as the analytical mind does — but apprehends a totality directly in its living existence. It is by logic that we prove, but by intuition that we discover.
Intuition is a quite common phenomenon and can be experienced by everyone. It certainly can be experienced by animals as a 2005 National Geographic article articulates. Before giant waves slammed into Sri Lanka and India coastlines both wild and domestic animals seemed to know what was about to happen and fled to safety. Elephants screamed and ran for higher ground, dogs refused to go outdoors, flamingos flew to higher ground; animals were found unharmed where many humans perished. Sometimes animals can be more intelligent than people!
Obviously our feelings sometimes are actually more
important than our thoughts. Feelings and emotions add
weight to our perceptions, they give significance to events.
Often referred to as the 6th sense, sometimes intuition really needs to be put first to get us out of harm’s way. In fact intuition is fundamental to our ability to live harmoniously with ourselves and others and perhaps it holds the key to human survival over the long term.
Einstein brings to the mind – emotion – feeling equation his genius of perception.
I think with intuition. The basis of true thinking is intuition.
Indeed, it is not intellect, but intuition which advances humanity.
Intuition tells a man his purpose in life.
One never goes wrong following his feelings.
I don’t mean emotions, I mean feelings,
for feelings and intuition are one.
– Albert Einstein
Natural intelligence and intuition are heightened when we learn to listen more deeply to our own heart’s simple feeling messages. The more we learn how to listen to our own heart the more we can learn to listen to other hearts and the easier it becomes to listen to life. Since listening is the key to all successful relationships it makes sense to learn how to listen to our own hearts. When we fail to listen to either our selves or others we miss out on the most useful information and guidance systems available to us for all hearts are perfectly networked with each other and are conspiring to message helpful truths to each other.
To listen is to suffer because we do not want to listen
to anything that might require a change.
To listen is to change.
We cannot change without listening.
Listening implies a change.
We need to change just to listen.
Intuitive messages beg us to pay attention, to listen to our hearts so that we do the right thing. Listening to our intuitive everyday hunches hones our listening skills. There is a connection between our ability to listen to others and our ability to listen to ourselves, to our own inner guidance. Most people are horrible listeners and you can tell when people don’t listen when they interrupt, respond with yes buts, or simply change the subject. The worst kinds of non listeners just never stop talking and they just don’t seem to care whether you want to listen or not. Usually we want to run from them but feel trapped by social conventions to be nice or polite.
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Daniel Goleman says, “The intuitive signals that guide us in these moments come in the form of limbic-driven surges from the viscera that Damasio calls “somatic markers” – literally, gut feelings. The somatic marker is a kind of automatic alarm, typically calling attention to a potential danger from a given course of action. More often than not these markers steer us away from some choice that experience warns us against, though they can also alert us to a golden opportunity.” Einstein added in this regard that “Emotional responses don’t lie; intellectual ones often do.” But he added, “But a combination of the two are like two eyes to view the clear picture.”
There will come a point in everyone’s life
where only intuition can make the leap ahead,
without ever knowing precisely how. One can never
know why, but one must accept intuition as a fact.
– Albert Einstein
Einstein’s definition that feelings and intuition are one is an example of deep heart intelligence. For him his intuitive perceptions were the most subtle and pure of feelings. This is why intuition, the perceptual ability to know without knowing how you know,can be seen to arise through the heart. The hearts intuition is activated through its sense of caring and through its sensitivity and openness to feel. The intuitions of the heart represent the purest and most subtle of feelings and are dependent on relative states of mental and emotional calmness that are prevalent in heart centered people.
The heart is the organ of change and it
is the best navigational device we have.
Life stripped of feelings is a life stripped of meaning. Saint-Exupéry wrote, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” A Cave Dive into the heart opens up a normally invisible world; it broadens our awareness and in general seems to know which way to go in life. What Saint-Exupéry was talking about is the heart’s capacity to feel, to intuit, for that is exactly what intuition is, the most refined of fine feelings. Our intuitive feelings are navigational beacons that play a crucial role in making those decisions upon which our destinies depend. Every feeling has its value and significance. They light up our paths of life.
Pure feelings like intuition have no thought component like emotions do; there is no time for them in their most pure form. They come from a place beyond the thinking mind and they are often the most essential guides that steer our life.
The Winds of Perception that flow unbidden through our
beings are felt and known as intuitions the subtlest messages
moving and emanating from hearts that are open and free.
Intuition, being a feeling, means just that. It is how our beings sense its surroundings. We could call this an inner vision but in essence the being uses the intuition to combine all the senses and the mind together to know the real significance of experiences. The responses we make to life are determined by the understandings we gather from what is happening to or around us. The heart working through intuitive modes of feeling and perception represents a wider range of consciousness that we can harness to effectively steer our way more skillfully through life.
The intuition does not function well at all when the heart is closed because our sense of feel is reduced. We are just not sensitive enough to feel intuitive kinds of feelings when our hearts are closed. And the thousands of thoughts that flood through our awareness each day, and the clouds of emotions that accompany them blot out this level of feeling.
Defining intuition as a feeling is another way of
saying that this is how we see with our being.
“We become aware of influences and information through intuition. When we lay the groundwork for a spiritual connection to one another and to God, we sharpen these higher senses of receptivity. Intuition is our greatest link to our higher selves (our spiritual selves) and thus to God,” writes Nancy C. Pohle, who gives us one of the most important keys when she says, “The regular practice of meditation allows us to tune in to our higher senses and clear our sensory systems of the static of other influences. We become cognizant of the impulses that arise from within with which we truly resonate.”
David Myers in his book Intuition: Its Powers and Perils asks, “How reliable is our intuition? How much should we depend on gut-level instinct rather than rational analysis when we play the stock market, choose a mate, hire an employee, or assess our own abilities?” Myers cautions that “while intuition can provide us with useful—and often amazing—insights, it can also dangerously mislead us.” Personally I have met plenty of people who are arrogant with their intuitions and that is the reason I stay away from most professed psychics and people who channel ‘higher’ beings or entities.
The Harvard Business Review on the other hand says, “One decision-making tool—human intuition—seems to offer a reliable alternative to painstaking fact gathering and analysis. Encouraged by scientific research on intuition, top managers feel increasingly confident that, when faced with complicated choices, they can just trust their gut. Indeed, a survey that was conducted in May 2002 by executive search firm Christian & Timbers reveals that fully 45% of corporate executives now rely more on instinct than on facts and figures in running their businesses.”
At its best, an intuitive leap can mark a breakthrough. “When you’re entering an area where the unknowns are high, and experience is important, if you don’t rely on intuition you’re cutting yourself short,” says Howard Gardner, professor of cognition and education at Harvard University.