I never knew anything about intuition for a very long time.
I never had to feel ashamed of it! After all, I was quite well-informed about a lot of things and capable of putting forth some strong logical arguments. Intuition had no place or need in my world and life went on well without any problems.
Until fortuitous circumstances opened a window of intuition and showed me an entirely new world.
I then understood what I was missing all the while and hurriedly tried to make up for lost time by understanding what it was all about.
Not easy - because intuition is heavily underplayed.
What do you think?
Do we need to recognize intuition?
Why is Intuition underplayed?
Intuition gets underplayed simply because logic and rationality get overplayed.
This thing about man being a rational animal is often taken too far and stretched out of shape so that we end up believing that we are some sort of super computer with amazing processing power and analyzing capabilities that can provide answers to all kinds of problems, provided the information is complete. Is there a schoolboy or girl who can remain unaffected by the crystal clear structure and efficacy of Euclidean deductive and logical systems? Even if you fail to grasp it, there is so much of logic in all the sciences that you are bound to get ensnared and succumb quietly. If you are one of the rare cases who escape, then you may have to live on the fringes of this technology driven landscape struggling to adapt to the demands of a tech based world.
Modern life is increasingly built on artificial platforms and systems that conceal the illogic of life effectively, so that we progress into adult life ably supported by crutches built with strong logic. Large swathes of the physical world around us are cleaned up, leveled and built up as per our specifications so that we have complete control and predictability built in. Nothing is left to chance. We then revel in this mastery over the forces of nature, the neutralization of ambiguity and uncertainty, and the assured predictability that is ushered in.
When logic fails....
Logic serves the purpose in most situations.
Yet there are those disturbing moments or periods in life when human supremacy totters, logic fails and the inadequacy of rationality raises its ugly head to shake us out of our stultified slumber.
Those moments when logic fails may seem a disaster but actually represent wonderful opportunities to pick up cues from the intuitive side in us and find solutions to seemingly intractable problems that defy solution. This is not as easy as it sounds and will need to be developed gradually.
I bought this “man is a rational animal” gospel and spent a good part of my youth testing it out in varied situations with good results. It was only when I got stuck in situations where extreme brilliance or creative solutions had to be found – as in a chess game – that my inconsistent results set me worrying. I would play like a genius in one game and bungle hopelessly in the next. The more I summoned my logical capabilities and applied them to such situations, the worse I performed. It was much later when I did a transactional analysis inventory that came up with my “egogram”, that I discovered something that stunned me. The “Adult” logical side was not my greatest strength, as I had imagined. It was the much stronger intuitive “Little Professor” that I was relying on all these years while remaining blissfully unaware of it. Soon things started falling in place and I could make sense of the inconsistencies, and so naturally I started reading more about intuition.
It’s then that I discovered that there was very little written about intuition and in any case most of it could not be related to my experiential understanding as it was using logical analytical frameworks to explain something that defies logic. But over the years, I have also understood that intuition is a precious gift that we are all endowed with and if it is carefully nurtured and allowed to flourish, it can come to our assistance in difficult circumstances that defy solution. Unfortunately, many of us have killed the intuitive side in us because of dogmatic adherence to the logical route. But if we understand the value of intuition in effortlessly navigating life’s complexities, it may never be too late to add it to our arsenal.
How can we develop and nurture intuition?
I don’t think it’s possible for me to draw up an exhaustive list of action points, but I can jot down something from my experiences, which will indicate in a way the direction to go ahead:
- Start recognizing intuition. It’s that strange feeling in the gut that you feel – sometimes very strongly – and turns out to be bang on target later on. As you start recognizing intuition you will find that it surfaces more frequently.
- Understand that while logic is an extremely useful tool that works brilliantly where data / information is sufficient, there are many situations in life when data is not complete and logic would not help. These situations are normally complex situations involving people, relationships, or something with an element of the future in it.
- Learn to hold your intuitive feelings – and not dismiss it peremptorily – for the reason that it makes no sense. This is very critical because most intuitive insights do look nonsensical immediately and establish their value only after considerable time has elapsed. Learn to hold the idea and mull over it if you will, but take a good look before deciding not act on it.
- Once in a while at least, keep aside the critical, dogmatic, judgmental side of you and allow the natural child in you a free reign.
- As time passes and you are able to notch up some successes with your intuitive insights, learn to distinguish between your desires and intuition. It’s not easy but it will slowly improve your track record.
- Gradually apply intuition in more and more facets of your life - business,astrology, travel, relationships - there is no end to the list of possibilities.