Those who know others are intelligent;
Those who know themselves have insight.
Those who master others have force;
Those who master themselves have strength.

Let's turn here," he said, turning down a short road. We had been looking for a new restaurant to try, and lately they had all been disappointments. The sign at the start of the road was weathered, and I remembered eating at the place it advertised years ago. I didn't like it very much.

The restaurant had changed some inside. We sat at a walk-in table next to a window looking out on the Pacific Ocean. Our server was gracious and genuine. We ordered crab cakes for breakfast. They were the best crab cakes that I ever had, and we ended up going back for dinner that same night.

The restaurant has become a regular place for us because we ignored what we thought we knew and went with a feeling instead.

After all of the omelets, waffles, and crab cakes that we've eaten at that restaurant since then, I'm glad that my boyfriend trusted his intuition and his intuitive whim. Both men and women have been given the gift of intuition. It's not a gender-specific thing, though sometimes we encourage men to focus more on the logical than the intuitive.

Open up. Trust your heart when it whispers quietly to you. Start small. Go for a drive and on a whim take a road you've never traveled before. Gradually, as you become more tuned in to your intuitive feelings, they will guide you along your path. Sometimes your intuition will help you find a nice place to eat; sometimes they'll guide you to a winning career path and sometimes to a best friend.

Listen to your heart. Sometimes you need to ignore what you think you know, and go with your intuition.

-Melodie Beatte, More Language of Letting Go ©2000

[Intuition] is that sensory system which operates without data from the five senses... Just as we were taught to develop and employ cognition - to think things through - so, too, can we learn to develop and employ intuition - to ask for guidance and receive it. Just as there are technologies to discipline the mind, such as analytical thinking, studying, repetition, and respect for the mechanism, so, too, are there techniques to engage and discipline the intuition.
--Gary Zukav, The Seat of the Soul

Intuition: a direct, self-evident, axiomatic, and often momentary experience different from either perception or sensation, or still more from imagination, memory, discursive thought and ordinary observation in all its forms. Plato called it a "divine madness" (in contrast to reason, the senses, and the madness of infirmity). Intuitive knowledge and the works of creative imagination are more or less directly associated with delvings into levels beyond the limits of our normally conscious life. Intuition often guides men in their actions by hints and feelings, where they could not help themselves by conscious thought. The process of intuition is well described in its extreme form over one hundred years ago, by one of the greatest philosopher-poets of the nineteenth century, F. Nietzsche. He thus describes the mental state in which he wrote Also Sprach Zarathustra:

"Has anyone at the close of the nineteenth century any clear perception of what the poets of strong ages called inspiration? If not, I will describe it. Possessing only the smallest remnant of superstition one would hardly be able to reject the idea that one is nothing but a medium for super-mighty influences. That which happens can only be termed revelation, that is to say, that suddenly, with unutterable certainty and delicacy, something becomes visible and audible and shakes and rends one to the depths of one's being. One hears, one does not seek; one takes; one does not ask who it is that gives; like lightning a thought flashes out, out of necessity, complete in form -- I have never needed to choose. It is a rapture, the enormous excitement of which sometimes finds relief in a storm of tears; a state of being entirely outside oneself with the clearest consciousness of fine shivering and a rustling through one's being right down to the tips of one's toes; a depth of joy in which all that is most painful and gloomy does not act as a contrast but as a condition for it, as though demanded, as a necessary colour in such a flood of light....Everything happens in the highest degree involuntarily, as in a storm of feeling of freedom, of power, of divinity."(F. Nietzsche, Werke (Taschenausgabe), Vol. VII, pp. xxiv ff.)

Sir Arthur Eddington put it this way, "Human spirit as "something which knows" is not quite so narrow a description as "the observer." Consciousness has other functions besides those of a rather inefficient measuring machine; and knowledge may attain to other truths besides those which correlate sensory impressions....Deeper than any "form of thought" is a faith....In the age of reason, faith yet remains supreme; for reason is one of the articles of faith."

If you have ever done anything even remotely creative, if you have ever thought to travel another way and then found that you had avoided disaster, if you have ever known something which comes to you with a character of brevity, suddenness and immediate certitude, you have experienced your intuition. We all have it. And one of the most important things that intuition does for us is to confirm reality, as we perceive it, beyond that which our five senses tell us is rational. It helps us form and understand our belief system. It is our spiritual muscle, one that should be exercised and kept in shape.

Try this for a week: While you have your morning meal, or even if it is just coffee, have a pen and paper handy. Write down ten ideas that come to you. It doesn't matter if they are original ideas or even impossible concepts. Write them down, and don't stop until you have ten of them. It could be something that you want to learn more about, some invention you thought of, a brief description of how you would like to remodel your bathroom. It really doesn't matter what you come up with. What you are doing is hooking into the creative flow of the universe. It is there for you and I, and it always has been there for us. When we learn to fill our cup and drink deeply of this river of knowledge and creativity, we tap into the power of the divine. By opening your mind to this exercise of creative thought, you come into closer contact with the very source of that still small voice which is your guide.

Knowing how to access this power when we find ourself in the "painful and gloomy" will help us to experience the depths of that joy which the Universe has in store for us, that "fine shivering and rustling through one's being." Grasp it. Work with it. Ask your questions of it. Let it guide you. Understand it. It is within the reach of all. We need only to open our eyes and see, unstop our ears and truly listen.



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