SHOULD WE - Yes or No - TRUST INTUITION?
by Gail C. Ferguson
No! No! A thousand times! No! You must not
trust this phenomenon called intuition. You can expect
it to work!
The difference between these commands lies with the verbs. The first, to “trust”, implies that one can hope for results, but with little certainty. To “expect”, on the other hand, is to have no doubt of an outcome.
My view is that intuition is a biological process, a nature-driven information provider. Like other phenomena in the natural order, it is governed by laws that are consistent; hence, it serves us in its way. In the future, when we have figured out its rules, then people of all ages will expect it to work and as a result, will use it confidently.
It would probably surprise most to learn how much safety we squander when we fail to make the most of this ability. To better appreciate this loss, think of the danger you would invite by crossing a street blindfolded rather than using your eyes to watch traffic. Surely no healthy person would think it wise to live even one day behind a blindfold. Why?
What are eyes for, if not to spot hazards, and opportunity? Scientists will tell you that vision’s ultimate purpose is defense. It helps any organism adapt to its environment. When a creature sees danger in its surroundings, then it uses that visual information as a warning to move out of harm’s way, thus to protect itself. If asked to give up the defensive advantage that comes with vision, who in this world would not exclaim: “Why would I be so foolish!”
I propose that like vision, intuition also defends life. It, too, can influence our moves by supplying its particular kind of information in time for us to use it to our advantage.
Debate over intuitiveness has hissed and crackled for decades. Most arguments are based on the standard dictionary definition of intuition as “the power or ability to arrive at direct knowledge or cognition without specific rational thought and supposition.”
One question prevails: is this a genuine capacity? A corps of critics argues that we are foolish to presume so. Their reasoning says that experiences reported by the Man-on-the-Street have no base in facts. As a rule, they are merely figments of lively imaginations, fabricated to get attention, and tedious ramblings. These critics have not yet verified their assertions, however.
Advocates say humans do have an intuitive capacity. They cite ancient history, fresh anecdotal evidence, and encouraging results from some controlled scientific experiments. The discussion goes on and on. Obviously, scientists will have to collect a large amount of solid proof to settle the contest.
In 1973, I began asking why we would be intuitive. Twenty-five years later, I penned my hypothesis: “Intuition is a sensory system evolving in our species. It defends us from harm, and from doing harm. It reports reliable information that humans cannot learn in any other way. The information is transmitted via special effects, officially ‘psi effects,’ such as telepathy, precognition, and clairvoyance. Intuitive experiences follow laws. Those who obey its rules enjoy the advantages that come with having enough accurate knowledge to move through life safely and successfully.”
To illustrate the point, have you ever had a strange “feeling” that you should make a specific move – [Leave the room now] - but ignored it? Did you find out later that you could have avoided an argument, or some problem, if you had paid attention to that odd feeling? Sadly, at an early age most people begin to discount psi effects like this “feeling”. How long will it take for us to realize that we are actually forfeiting the kind of protection we crave, and require, to sustain our well-being?