Intuition: Your Most Reliable Guide
By William Bezanson
How do you make decisions? What guidance do you seek? What tools do you use?
When you work on making a decision, you are actually looking into the future. You are typically trying to determine what the future will hold with respect to some parameters, and once you know all of the parameter values, then the the correct decision should be obvious to you. But the trick is how to determine all the parameters and their values. And then, how do you go about making the decision?
There are many ways to make decisions. You could gather all of the facts that you can think of that relate to the situation at hand, and hope that the right decision becomes clear. Or maybe you could look through history and assume that a similar result will materialize for similar historical trends. Or perhaps you could ask some trusted advisors for help in making your decision. And there are likely other ways.
However, all of those methods of analysis have a similar weakness—they depend on gathering all of the pertinent data. But that is impossible. There is no way that we can anticipate all of the data that we might need, and no way to obtain all those data values. There is no way that we can even know what data are relevant or what are important. We can think that we have all the information that we need to make a correct decision, but we cannot see into the future, so we can never be sure.
There is no way that we could predict an accident on our normal route to work, using our analytical powers alone. Or in choosing a mate, there is no way to analyze for certain whether we are making the right choice. Or in making an investment in a financial opportunity, we cannot know for sure if it is a sound decision to do so. No amount of gathering information can anticipate some chance happening, or some random neglect of certain data, or some unexpected change of data that totally invalidates our reasoning.
But there is at least one way to know the future—by appealing to God. I’m not talking about prayer here, but intuition. The power of our intuition can reveal to us the future with respect to any criteria that we want: which job to accept, which mate to choose, where to find a precious lost object, what route to take on a trip, and so on. God speaks to us through our intuition, which manifests to us as a very subtle feeling of how to decide in any situation.
God knows every detail of the future. So accessing God’s knowledge is vital for making decisions.
Intuition is how God speaks to us. God is not a spiritual personage who dispenses wisdom and judgment from on high. God is the sum total of all the physical and spiritual laws of Nature. So when we receive some subtle urge from our unconscious, or some slight feeling of comfort or discomfort, or some “still small voice” of guidance from inside our minds, then we are likely experiencing God speaking to us. The key trick is to determine for sure what is actually God speaking as opposed to random thoughts or wishful thinking or some negative energy.
The first method of reasoning that I mentioned above is bottom-up; it gathers data and trys to infer some higher level information that will happen at a future time; it uses your left-brain, analytical abilities.
The second method is top-down; it uses your intuition to determine from the high-level information what will happen at your lower level; it uses your right-brain, synthesis abilities.
Both methods are valid. The bottom-up one is the “scientific” method of infering from the particular to the general. Being scientific, it is the one that is mostly taught in our modern schools, and all other methods are frowned upon. The top-down method is the “magic” way of deducing from the general to the particular. Being magic, modern society does not condone it. That is a shame.
I would never argue against the scientific method. My engineering career has used it a great deal. But I would always caution that we can never know all of the relevant data. The artists, poets, and creative folk who use the “magic” method of top-down inspiration use their method a great deal.
But “magic” does not mean wrong, or weird, or demonic, or bad. Magical techniques are simply parts of nature that are not widely understood. And intuition is one of those magical techniques.
Since listening to your intuition is not normally taught in our schools or families, you’ll have to teach yourself. The mystery schools, such as a Rosicrucian Order teach how to use your intuition. Many good articles appear in OMTimes and similar magazines, explaining how intuition works. Similarly there are a variety of books on the topic.
But even without schools or e-zines or books, you can develop your own intuition by yourself. Just Do It! Who is the next person you will meet? Just visualize knowing him or her. Do it regularly. What is the next song that will play on the radio? Again, visualize it … know it! Practice regularly. Who is that calling on the telephone, or on your text message service, or via email? Visualize knowing the answer. Practice. Practice guessing any item that you can immediately verify. Like developing any natural skill, developing your intuition involves understanding how it works, and then practicing it repeatedly. With diligence, you will get incrementally better at hearing and understanding your intuition.
Remember, the inductive method of bottom-up reasoning will very often be faulty. But the deductive method of top-down reasoning will very seldom be faulty. All you have to do is work at it to become highly skilled in listening to your intuition correctly.
Recognize that you are developing your powers with the natural energies of Nature, or God. So you should express gratitude whenever it works well for you. When you get a positive (or negative) message from your intuition urging you to do (or avoid doing) something, you should give back to God some token of appreciation. A simple method for this practice is to put a few coins in a container, with a brief prayer of thanks, and then to donate the money that has accumulated after a time to some charitable cause; do it anonymously, so that any selfish motivation does not interfere with your altruistic purposes.
And then later, when you want to study further, don’t take my advice about which school to join, or which magazine or book to read—use your intuition.
Your intuition, properly developed, will be your most reliable guide, because it comes from the source of all knowledge.
William Bezanson writes for OMTimes regularly. He has published books on systems design, spirituality, and world stewardship, most recently I Believe: A Rosicrucian Looks at Christianity and Spirituality. He lives with his wife in Ottawa, Canada. His website is http://www3.sympatico.ca/bezanson1.