By Aparna Jacob
You came into this life equipped with everything you needed to know. So, when uncertain about a choice to be made, turn within for directions, to that unfailing guide – your intuition
Okay, I`ll be the first to confess. I flip coins to arrive at crucial career decisions and even resort to games like, ‘If that signal changes to green before I get there, then the answer to my question is `yes`.’ Irrational? Admittedly. But I`m sure I`m not alone.
We usually go through life carefully, afraid of stumbling on the dark roads in what appears to be uncharted terrain. Most of us seek an indication, a cosmic approval that we are doing the `right` thing.
Now what if someone were to tell you that each of us has chosen to come into this life with a mission, a purpose, the map of which is imprinted on our soul? That you can easily access the directions at will just by asking guidance from an inbuilt compass?
Reading the Compass
All of us were born fixed with this compass, usually referred to as intuition. How does one describe it? The dictionary defines intuition as `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 – `to see within`.
Intuition provides us additional information that does not come from the analytical side of the brain. This does not mean it`s the antithesis of reason. In fact, intuition has often been described as a `clear cold light` because it is pure reason. Intuition reveals a thing in its entirety, thus helping make sense of the world.
Journalist Dilip Raote describes intuition as ‘taking in the larger picture and penetrating to its essence, or comprehending the entire situation, in a moment’. Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov, author of Man`s Psychic Life, Elements and Structure, describes intuition as ‘true illumination, deep understanding, and clarity’. Vedanta teacher Uday Acharya explains it as ‘a comprehensive grip of the principle of universality’. With this, comes a comprehension of things in their totality, a holistic knowing.
My favorite definition came from a 27-year-old psychic, Daisy Sha, who says: ‘Each one of us has a private coaching class, where we sit `in tuition`.’ Her conviction speaks when she says: ‘Within each of us resides a wisdom called intuition. When developed, trusted and followed, it is a powerful inner compass that unerringly points us in the direction of success.’
Spiritual writer Deepa Kodikal calls intuition ‘a quick simultaneous dawning of knowledge that is accompanied by a solution’. In times of crisis, she explains, not only do you have precise directions as to what to do, but it`s also as if nature conspires to smooth out the hurdles in your path.
Deepa elaborates with several examples from her life: ‘I remember as a student, I was more involved in extra-curricular activities than studies. The night before exams, I`d read whatever came first when I opened a book. Those were always the questions asked the next day!’
Our Heart Knows
‘The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of,’ said Blaise Pascal. And this is how most people agree intuition works. It`s a feeling that blooms from your heart. A few years ago, for instance, Daisy`s quest for an apartment led her through the slummy back lanes of suburban Mumbai to an old, nondescript building. ‘The place was in shambles. But the minute I stepped through the door, a calm descended on me. I just knew this was it.’ The house was caught in legal tangles. ‘But once I`d made the decision, everything resolved itself gradually.’
‘Set your intention and trust the universe to take care of the details,’ says Mike Fotheringham. It seems that getting in touch with one`s dream is the first step. But how does one unearth something buried under years of conditioning, obligations and forgetting? Here`s a technique intuitive consultant Lynn Robinson prescribes: ‘The goal you aspire for is what gives meaning to your life.’ Lynn continues: ‘So every time you feel enthusiastic, it means that God is saying `yes` to your goals. Enthusiasm is nothing but intuition speaking to you.’
Your true dream, the divine mission you arrived with, can never be selfish or ruinous. So it isn`t as limited as earning your next million or getting the better of a colleague. The knowledge from the divine spark within occurs only when we strive toward purity, compassion, and understanding of the human condition. But accessing the springs of our noble intents often involves wading through the morass of self-centredness. ‘That strong urge you feel within could well be wishful thinking or your ego speaking,’ warns Deepa. ‘Keeping a pure mind is a prerequisite so that your intuitive messages aren`t obfuscated by negativity or selfishness.’ Acharya has another yardstick to check messages from the ego: ‘The ego is reactive. Its messages tend to be based on thoughts of scarcity, guilt and fear. Intuition speaks from the divinity within you.’
Tapping the Wellspring
Acharya`s theory of attuning the internal and the external has echoes of the scientific explanation offered for the workings of intuition. Mirka Knaster, author of Discovering the Body`s Wisdom, suggests that the body`s internal network of sensory receptors provide us with proprioception (awareness of the precise position of our body) and kinesthesia (the awareness of direction of movement) which, combined, function as a sixth sense, allowing us to know where we are in space and time. According to Knaster, these proprioceptors pick up energy emanating from other people and other creatures around us.
An old classmate and her boyfriend are so in tune with each other`s thoughts that on most occasions they wait for each other at the same spot without a prior intimation. Vrishaali Mohite, a Mumbai housewife, can intuit about the wellbeing of her son studying engineering in Nagpur. She remembers: ‘I dreamt that he`d fallen and hurt his left foot.’ She called Nagpur only to be told that he had fractured his left leg in a bike accident the previous day.
With sharpened receptivity, we lay the groundwork for a spiritual connection to one another and to God, and learn to recognize messages from the higher self when we hear them. These messages, which flash upon the inward eye, often have their source in the subconscious. Perhaps you have been mulling over a problem for weeks, coming to no solution. Then suddenly, while daydreaming during another task, a solution pops up.
A relaxed frame of mind is a receptive mind and in this receptive state you `hear` your intuition. Says Raote: ‘When engrossed in one`s work, with a certain level of detachment, the left and the right side of the brain conjoin and sparks of intuition fly.’ Teachers will be in complete agreement about how, when immersed in correcting papers, they always turn to the correct page.
Deepa attributes intuition to that original source, call it God or even your superconscious, that has an element of sadguru tattwa. Communications of the superconscious or higher source are felt as warnings, urgings, new ideas, inspirations, breakthroughs in understanding, desires to redirect your life, a need to stop or let go of what you are doing, or a need to commit or go forward with what you are hesitant about.
Intuitive impressions come to us in a variety of ways-usually through a highly developed sense like vision. Clairvoyants discern objects, people, or situations not with the physical eyes, but with an internal sense sometimes referred to as the `third eye`. Such `visions` concern something beyond one`s physical view, in the next room, down the street, or a thousand miles away. Similarly, one could be clairaudient, even clairsavourant or clairscent.
Clairsentience or clear sensing is probably the most frequent way intuition manifests in our lives, through hunches, gut feelings or a sense of knowing without knowing how one knows.
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