We generally define intuition as the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. But we could add the idea that it is is not always the case that it is available immediately. It’s a bit more mysterious than that.
The key is the fact that it is not the result reasoning. Second is the fact that with intuition we usually understand an entire situation, without fitting pieces together. In other words tapping intuition is not dependent on logic.
Scientists tell us that the brain is divided into two hemisphere connected by the corpus callosum. There is a pop psych myth that the left brain is linear, sequential and deals with conscious thought, implying language and the right hemisphere is creative, non-linear, and more concerned with spatial and visual information. This is referred to as the “lateralization of brain function.” It is considered a theory and a bogus one at that.
The right brain-left brain theory originated in the work of Roger W. Sperry, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1981. But later research has shown that abilities in subjects such as math are strongest when both halves of the brain work together. Today, neuroscientists state that the two sides of the brain collaborate to perform a broad variety of tasks and that the two hemispheres communicate through the corpus callosum.
But we’re no nearer the mystery of intuition. Step one is recognizing that we remember everything that happens to us, including what has been said to us. But this record, or vast experiential database, is maintained in the subconscious, and therefore not always available to the conscious mind. It may contain similar situations or examples of what is happening to us now. It may also include subtle information like micro-expressions, tone of voice, body language, etc when we’re in conversation. All this data, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, creates a whole picture, a complete feeling sense, or “intuition” which suddenly manifests to us on the conscious level.
We’d all like to tap into this intuitive awareness but how? First, you can’t demand it to happen. and you can’t deny it when it happens –– and this occurs more often than we think because we’re taught to deny anything that isn’t the product of conscious reasoning.
Tapping intuition requires that we relax and pay attention to what is happening or being said now, rather than thinking about our response. Relaxed attention. We may not have an immediate intuitive experience but find it occurs later, the next day, in a dream or whenever the situation has been absorbed and processed by the subconscious. If we accept intuition rather than dismissing it we have a chance to test it in the real world. Doing this not only validates our intuition but gives us confidence in our ability to use it.
About the author: Robert Mendel has been a writer and editor on a variety of publications and provided freelance articles to newsstand magazines focused on travel, motorcycling prefab building, architecture and the martial arts. He has trained in gong fu for over 40 years. He wrote and produced an ebook on sustainable prefab building for online sale and co-wrote a book on self defense.