Instincts, gut feelings, hunches, premonitions … all of these words point to a deep capacity that we all carry inside known as intuition.
The word intuition originally came from the Latin word intueri, which meant “to contemplate” or “to look within.” Without learning how to look and listen to our intuition, we tend to rely solely on the limited rational mind or external input from others, which can quickly lead us astray.
Many scientists and researchers are now referring to intuition as the highest form of intelligence we possess. In other words, intuition is no longer limited to the new age world of magical thought; it is increasingly being seen as a legitimate way to make judgments and decisions.
Unsurprisingly, spiritual traditions for thousands of years have all known and revered the powers of intuition. Buddhist, Islamic, Hindu, and Western philosophy have all connected intuition with planes of higher consciousness or the Soul. The Advaita Vedānta for example (a school of Hindu thought) values intuition as an experience through which a person can contact and experience Brahman (Spirit/God).
Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung also believed that intuition is a powerful force, once writing,
Intuition gives outlook and insight; it revels in the garden of magical possibilities.
Personally, I see intuition as the “Soul’s GPS” which can help us discover our life purpose, make wise decisions, and lead fulfilling lives. In this article, I’ll show you how to trust your intuition and break through the fearful voice of the mind.
What is Intuition?
Intuition is a sudden and inexplicable feeling that arises within us. Also referred to as the instinct, sixth sense, inkling, hunch, and gut feeling, intuition is the mysterious force that guides, protects, and informs us. The information we receive from our intuition is not usually available from our conscious mind and thus stems from the unconscious.
What common ways do we experience intuition? Usually, intuition emerges as a quiet inner voice or feeling that tells us to take this chance, go down that path, accept that opportunity, open that door, and so on. Intuition also tells us what not to do, what to be careful of, when to be vigilant, and when to stop.
How Does Intuition Arise?
Intuition is associated with the right side of the brain which is responsible for creativity, imagination, musical and artistic aptitude, and emotions. The left side of the brain, on the other hand, is connected to logic, reasoning, and critical thinking (we tend to favor the left brain over the right brain in the West).
Intuition stems from that nonlinear dimension of our minds, that part where unconscious connections and associations are made and arise within our conscious minds seemingly out of nowhere.
As Joseph Murphy, author of The Power of Your Unconscious Mind notes:
Within your subconscious depths lie infinite wisdom, infinite power, and infinite supply of all that is necessary, which is waiting for development and expression.
Intuition is an amazingly powerful tool – a natural gift of our biology that is ready and available to us. However, it’s often ignored or forgotten by us humans. Yet there are so many exhilarating benefits from learning how to tap into it. We’ll explore some benefits next.