To me, the word intuition has a beautiful and substantial meaning.
It is composed of two parts: “In” which points our attention inwards, and “Tuition” which means teaching or instruction. Therefore, “Intuition” is a voice of wisdom that arises within your being, that is your potential, your inner guide.
Intuition shows you that wisdom can never come through the borrowed knowledge of others, but through your own deep understanding.
A spiritual awakening and the discovery of Soul Ages comes through your intuition. It doesn’t begin as a logical conclusion to confirm that you’re an Old Soul, but rather, you intuitively feel a friction between your age and the way you perceive the world, and one day you come across a term that reasonably explains that feeling.
Our Intuition is the bridge to our higher potential, our higher selves, but nobody taught us how to listen to it. Although we can identify it as a “gut feeling”, “sixth sense” or “instinct”, many of us haven’t learned how to trust it or how to use it.
The Three Inner Guides
The cynic will often ask, “Can intuition be explained?” No, it can’t.
To try and explain intuition using logic and words, is like trying to condense something infinitely vast into a finite medium of communication: it completely limits your understanding of it.
You could intellectually describe intuition as a small glimpse into the enormous magnitude of wisdom untapped in the unconscious mind, but that simply describes the neurological process, not what it is exactly.
The way I explain to our inner work students how to listen to their intuition is by simply learning how to distinguish it from the other two Inner Guides, the inborn “In’s” that are within all of us: Instinct, Intellect and Intuition. These three inner guides are described in detail below.
This is the most primitive of our Inner Guides, but necessary for our survival. It is responsible for both our instinctive reactions, and the general functioning of our bodies. Our breathing, our hunger, our thirst, our life-threatening fears and our sexual drives are all automatically and unconsciously controlled by this Guide.
Our minds, or intellects, are one step above animals instincts as they are an instrument which allows us to create structure and organization. The intellect is a practical tool and great for sciences, for mathematics, geometry, technology, architecture and so forth. But our Intellects are driven by the mind rather than the heart, and they can become blinded without wise council even to the extent of creating weapons of mass destruction, and fanatical segregationist beliefs, among many other things. Not only that, but somehow we have let our Intellects become the masters of our whole beings, and through fanatical ideologies, our Intellects have made us self-destructive, causing us to repress many of our natural and authentic inborn instincts.
This is the highest Guide of all three. Intuition can be thought of as our collective unconscious, gut feeling, divine selves, or whatever you want to call it. This Guide comes from a spiritual level, from our souls, and brings us immense wisdom and insight if we listen to it carefully. While our Intellects are useful tools, those who know how to go beyond Intellect can use it to bridge their Instinctual levels with their Spiritual levels of Intuition. This process is what we can call true wisdom.
Most people get stuck in the middle; in a world of pure intellect, of dissecting logic and presumptuous reason that deprives us from wholeness, blinding us from the Divine.
The Wisdom of Old Souls
Some people will argue that being wise is the result of a high intelligence, but in my experience that is only one side of the equation. Rather, a wise person will intuitively know how to use his knowledge in order to make good decisions. On the other hand, a primarily intellectual person may have knowledge, but is usually unable to use it properly.
In other words, a wise person is someone who has learned to listen to his Inner Guide, and then use the knowledge they have to make a choice or decision.
It is through accumulations of conditioned knowledge that we create false selves, the result of all the beliefs and values imposed on us through our upbringings. False selves are created when we mentally believe that we are a certain way, and forget the authentic way we truly feel. When a person is wise, they learn to listen to their hearts, not their heads. They respect their bodies, they respect their minds, they respect their souls.
To be Intelligent is useful in a world that is structured around efficiency and organization. But allowing all of your energy to be sent from your Intuitive center, which is your heart, to your Mental center, which is your mind, creates an immense disharmony within you.
Connecting to Your Intuition
Relax. Getting in touch with the heart is easy when you do it in an active way. The world’s painters, poets, musicians, dancers and actors all know the secret of allowing Intuition to flow through them. Find an activity that allows you to be consumed, immersed and brings your thoughts to a halt. Examples could include juggling, playing a guitar, praying, dancing, writing, painting or singing.
It’s in these moments that the mind is quiet, that a space is opened for the subtle voice of your Intuition to emerge. Connecting with your Intuition doesn’t always have to be an artistic activity either; simple things like meditation, or playing with a bouncing ball (think of Hugh Laurie’s character in House), take away the tunnel vision tension of our minds, allowing our peripheral Intuitions to manifest themselves.
Intuition just suddenly appears – it isn’t a process of intellectual step-by-step deduction – but what we call “epiphanies” that appear out of nowhere.
Dream. Pay close attention to your dreams after you’ve been putting a lot of mental energy into trying to solve a problem. Madame Curie was known to have solved several mathematical problems through her dreams, as did Nobel Prize winner Albrecht Kossel when he dreamed the inner human cell structure, to name a few.
Your unconscious mind requires sleep to process all the accumulated pieces of information you’ve left floating around in your head during the day, and sometimes in that process you stumble across epiphanies. Even while you’re awake, there comes a point in the mind that after thinking so much, it grows exhausted with fatigue and gives up. It’s in that tired space that your intuition, your wisdom, connect dots that you intellectually wouldn’t associate.
Listen. Sometimes you can actually feel your Intuition: it’s a warmth, a flow, that comes from your navel upwards. That’s why it’s called a “gut feeling”. You’ll learn to distinguish your Intuitive Inner Guide from your mind, because your Intellect is centered in the head, on the surface, and that inner guidance will feel less profound.
Your Intellect is concerned with a destination, even before you make a decision. This is why many people go on repeating the same mistakes over and over again because they’re listening to their minds which repeat past assumptions, or sets of future expectations. Your Intuition, however, is more concerned with direction, with deeply understanding the present moment, the here and now, the environmental circumstances, as well as your authenticity, and based on that, it makes a wise decision.
Your Intellectual Inner Guide splits the world into that which it knows, and that which it doesn’t know. Your Intuitive Inner Guide realizes there is something else, something beyond that which can be seen and Intellectually understood.
This feeling is what sends our minds on a Spiritual search, a journey to find this “unknowable” essence that intuitively we know is the Divinity already within us.
To be wise is to create a harmony between the heart, the head and the body, or your Intuition, your Intellect and your Instincts. In this harmony comes the revelation of the source of one’s life, the very center, the Soul.