I can often sense trouble. Even when I don’t have all of the details, I somehow know if something isn’t “quite right” or maybe it’s just not adding up. So, what is this feeling? Is it instinct, intuition or something else? Why does it seem that I only recognize potential pitfalls? Why doesn’t the opposite apply? Why don’t I sense upcoming joys or opportunities for advancement?
Jude 1:10 (New Living Translation) But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction.
Most situations in life don’t allow for lengthy analysis. The world is hectic so many decisions are made based on snap judgement. Is there a superior method to making speedy and accurate conjectures?
Instinct-Back to the Biological Basics
Instinct is the most primitive method of behavioral response. Instincts are genetic tendencies brought about by an evolutionary process meant to promote survival of the species. We are told that one should always trust their instincts. Although worthy of mention, instinct, probably good for very immediate and threatening life or death situations, is not the best for the vast majority of life’s questions. Instincts are based upon the collective good, not necessarily the individual’s best interests.
Sensing-Details Tell the Tale
Sensing is a second manner by which we arrive at those split-second hasty conclusions. With their keen and practical awareness of surroundings and situations, “sensors” tend to focus on the physical facts and features. Rooted in reality and highly attentive, they create meaning via active and conscious awareness. Through their five senses, these rational folks first gather information and then form perceptions based upon past experience with similar occurrences.
Terms related to sensing:
- Logical, practical, real
- Identifying, discerning, distinguishing, evaluating
- Detail oriented, sequential
- Schedules, plans, itineraries
- The present, short-term, here & now
Out with the Old-In with the Intuition
“The purpose of Intelligence is Prediction” – Monica Anderson
With sensing, a situation is accepted for what it is and dealt with accordingly. A realist reacts after assessing a situation. Intuition is the opposite of realism. With a flash of insight, intuition provides an overall vision of the big picture, a sudden moment of awareness of dangers and opportunities.
Intuition is much like instinct in that it is an immediate feeling or thought. Unlike instinct which is inborn, intuition is learned and developed overtime through personal familiarity. Both are protective mechanisms, but intuition is much more advanced than animal instinct. Instinct is an automatic and reflexive mode of thinking. Being formed by the unconscious mind, intuition typically occurs too quickly to involve conscious reasoning.
All three forms of discernment require memory and learning. Instinct derives from generational/collective memory while sensing and intuition come from personal cognition and awareness. Unlike sensing, which requires an initial analysis, intuition is immediate.
Terms associated with intuition:
Is Intuition the Most Advanced Form of Human Discernment?
“The world is Bizarre, and Logic can not describe it” (Monica Anderson).
Our world has become too facts-conscious, leading to information overload. Intuition is an expedient and efficient mode of processing information.
According to Francis P Cholle, author of The Intuitive Compass:
“Intuition is a process that gives us the ability to know something directly without analytic reasoning, bridging the gap between the conscious and non-conscious parts of our mind, and also between instinct and reason.”
Artificial Intuition specialist, Monica Anderson, points out that computer technology utilizes both logical and intuitive thinking:
“Artificial Intuition systems make internal predictions of future events, both external (sensory input events) and internal events. What happens is that a system that has learned a lot, and learned it well, will be skeptical to perplexing internal events at some layer and will often be able to ignore and/or correct the problem.”
Examined Existence blogger, Marvelous, theorizes that intuition could be a rapid form of reasoning where the brain conducts a “brief search of its existing files and presents the best solution.” Intuition is about “the brain’s power to see through recurring events or patterns” in order to make snap judgments based upon familiarity. Marvelous goes on to point out that over-thinking can actually lead to wrong decisions. Intuition is more reliable, especially if you are familiar with the subject matter.
What is the unique way your intuition communicates with you?
- Pay attention to feelings that come in a flash.
- Ask yourself questions & listen to the answers provided.
- Consider who energizes you & who makes your feel drained.
- Take notice of coincidences.
- Deep insight tends to come when first falling asleep or just waking up.
- Pay attention to dreams.
- Look for signs & omens- be mindful of nature, irony & even satirical comments from others.
- Keep a journal & track the accuracy of your intuition.
When I was a young child, I knew when something good was about to happen. I’d get a “fluttering butterfly” feeling in my stomach. Why can’t I still get that feeling? Possibly because intuition evolves through life’s experiences. Therefore, it stands to reason (no pun intended) that in order to develop the capacity to recognize upcoming positive opportunities, one must have had experienced similar favorable instances in the past.
If you are not recognizing potential beneficial paths, maybe you have not experienced enough joy to be able to perceive an approaching opportunity. If this is the case, there is an imbalance in your life that needs remedy. Maybe you need to change your perspective and gain a new angle on who you are and where you’re headed. Ask yourself different questions. Expand your horizons, expose yourself to more choices, do not impose limitations on yourself, and, most importantly, have faith in yourself.
Anderson, Monica. (2007). Artificial Intuition-A New Possible Path To Artificial Intelligence. Retrieved from www.artificial-intuition.com
Cholle, Francis P. (31 Aug, 2011). What Is Intuition, And How Do We Use It? Francis Cholle’s view about intuition. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-intuitive-compass/201108/what-is-intuition-and-how-do-we-use-it
Marvelous. Intuition, Gut Feeling, and the Brain: Understanding Our Intuition. Examined Existence Website. Retrieved from http://examinedexistence.com/intuition-gut-feeling-and-the-brain-understanding-our-intuition/