I want to celebrate that more people are waking up to the power of intuition, as well as warn that it can also be another mask to hide our problems from ourselves.
As our world begins to wake up and more and more people are becoming aware that there is more than just this tangible body, people tap into other ways of knowing.
Book learning and logical inference is important, though sadly we have been imprisoned by the idea that that kind of knowing is all there is. It’s not. (For reference, I’m an academic for a living).
There is also an experiential understanding, a deep inner knowing, that comes from elsewhere than the rational mind. Which means it’s really hard to talk about because we don’t have the words – and words are anyway concepts and products of the rational mind which could never do justice to something that comes from elsewhere. Language is a key tool for communication but it also shapes what we can think, feel and be. For the scientifically minded of you, this is called the Sapir Whorf hypothesis and it’s a classic psychology study.
So what happens as people tap into other ways of knowing is we search for words, and we find ‘intuition’.
That flash, that gut feeling that you know you can’t ignore otherwise shit is gonna go down. You ‘just know’.
Intuition in this way is also a reaction to the dominance of masculine ways of spirituality and the prominence of the word intuition is part of the resurgence and reclaiming of the feminine and her expressions. (Whoop whoop!)
Intuition, however, has become a catchall word that lumps all of the nuances of right-brain thinking and feeling together.
The practice of yoga is to still the fluctuations of consciousness so you can see clearly ever more subtle levels. ‘Lumping stuff together’ doesn’t quite sit well with that. Which is why there are whole traditions of philosoph y that were simply about seeing the differences between, but I won’t go there. It’s also why I appreciate Sanskrit as a language, because there is a whole architecture of technical terms for different levels of consciousness beyond just ‘consciousness’, ‘awareness’ and ‘mind’. In English, that’s about all we have to work with.
So back to intuition.
Let’s say you have a gut feeling that you want a cheeseburger, or fries or something. A pretty standard food craving.
How do you know if that is a deep insight from the intelligence of the body for what your body needs, or if its just an echo of your past imprinting manifesting itself as a desire? Do you know what the difference feels like?
When you ‘intuit’ something, do you give yourself the space to reflect on where that comes from?
In yoga, shamanic work and energy healing there is a lot of emphasis on purification. One of the reasons is precisely because it removes these obscurities. As you have a cleaner body and clearer mind, your sensitivity increases in all ways.
This is why herbalists will often tell you to first touch a plant, or bring it close to your body, before even thinking about identifying. If that plant is meant to work with you you’ll feel it.
It’s also why I take a lot of self-identified vegetarians quite seriously when they say they’re craving meat. If you’re not eating well your body can be screaming at you to get what it needs, and with compassion and discernment (viveka) we can peel back the layers of shame we can get entangled in.
Don’t get me wrong, you know when you feel you need to take a left instead if a right that that’s usually a good way to go. I’m a big fan of sharing my flashes on insight over on Instagram.
Chances are you’re already paying attention to your intuitvie insights. And that’s wonderful!
What I invite you to investigate is the quality of those intuitions.
Try it first with food and any food cravings you may have. This is an easy start because they’re very tangible aspect and you’ll get pretty immediate feedback – if it tastes bad or your stomach hurts, you.know that it maybe wasn’t such a good idea.
Then progress to non tangible things, like how you’re breathing. Or where your feet will take you. Or the words you speak is a very interesting one to play around with.
Do you feel the difference?
I will be doing the same and reporting back!
May these sharings be of service to your liberation,