Many people think that learning to develop their intuitive senses is frivolous and time-consuming. Notice I use the verb "think." For if instead we can say, "I believe," we are affirming a feeling. And responding from feelings is utilizing our intuition. To discount the realm of intuition is like deeply discounting the value of something we hold dear. It is denying one of the powerful gifts Creator blessed us with, in order to help us feel our way through life. Denying our intuitive faculties is like functioning solely from the perspective of "if I can see it, I can believe it."
Let's examine this statement. For most of us, seeing is believing. Yet it is precisely how we "see" that is in dispute when we speak of intuition. What is the definition of sight? How do we value it? If you and I look at the same object and comment on it, our comments will vary, sometimes widely. Each one of us has our own perceptions, our own views on any given object or subject. Likewise, our individual beliefs about how life works and what Creative force drives the universe vary, as well. Seeing is not simply a visual exercise. It is experiential. When we look at a tree, for example, we not only view it visually but we may feel the tree. We hear the wind blowing through its boughs, taste the smell of its fragrance, or remember how sharp the needles felt last time we touched them. Seeing in this way is a kinesthetic, felt sense. Some of us feel/see more than others. And the longer any of us observes the tree, the more we may glimpse its subtleties. We may notice the color variation of new growth, perhaps viewing a bird nestled among its branches. Our focus may wander to the tiny woodpecker holes along the trunk, or the small scar left by a fallen limb. Perhaps we also see/feel something more about the tree which we can't define, but which somehow feels part of it. If asked about the tree, we might unthinkingly include such words as "glorious" or perhaps "sad." In this way, we are exercising subtle perception.
This is where the term imaginary comes in. For imaginary simply means activating images. Images, like photographs, are pictures that represent something which exists on a deeper, more profound level. When we look at a photo of a person, that image does not convey the rich complexities existing within the human being. We have to imagine something about the person in order to infuse the picture with meaning, especially if we don't know them very well. In practicing with imagery, however, we must be careful to utilize our feelings rather than our judgments. Judgments are based on surface observations and give us no depth perception. I am sure none of us would want to be summed up by another as one-dimensional, but in fact our judging mind habitually practices this summing-up all the time. Even summing up something as literal as a written report can best be accomplished by thoughtfully sensing what is hidden between the lines, as well as reading what is on the printed page. Taking anything at face value gives us only one perceptual edge. Delving beyond face value requires that we engage something more, something deeper. It often requires that we engage our intuition, our hunches, our gut feelings about a person, place or thing. Even the most logical and rational among us engages intuition without knowing it, from time to time.
What does choosing to engage more of our intuition provide us with? What's the benefit of developing it further? First, we are able to more fully observe events and circumstances that surround us. Second, we learn to trust ourselves more. Trusting solely in our intellect is like saying, "I trust my computer, I just don't trust the person punching the keys." The brain is like our body's computer. And though it is a valuable resource, it is principally a tool to help us gather and sort information. Like a computer, its animation is derived solely from the person operating it. And that person is not only flesh, but soul and spirit as well. The greater Mind we all have access to through utilizing our intuition is more mysterious. It is not something we can dissect out of the body; not something we can view in a concrete, third-dimensional way.
I have a theory that Creator gave life to us, to all life on Earth and all that exists in the cosmos, in order to experience itself through its creations. If this is true, one of the most important aspects of life may be to delve into its more mysterious aspects experientially, intuitively, in order to flesh out our God essence or Divinity. This inner work, our creative work, allows us to resonate more harmoniously with the unseen forces of Creation. We can then be in more acceptance of what is given, in our lives. No matter what our challenges are, we accept what they have to teach us more gracefully, even if those challenges arrive in the guise of something or someone that brings up our deepest fears and inadequacies. We are then more open to learning, or to our "tuition," or as Webster defines it, our instruction. Utilizing our in-tuition is simply choosing to acknowledge the learning that takes place within. Often we are taught not to trust ourselves.
From childhood on, we are taught to discount our "imagination." Yet this world of imagery, including that which is provided to us symbolically in dreams, can be key to unblocking the channels to a rich and abundant existence.
(Previously published in The Maine Eagle, August 2002)
Bela Johnson complements her gifts of intuition and healing touch with a background in Psychology. Her work involves helping others to open themselves to a more gratifying and authentic sense of being.