What do Michael Finley, Dune Lankard, and Gore Vidal Have in Common?

Baseline 

In Clinical Psychology we used to talk a lot about baseline. The first thing a clinician assesses is the patient's baseline level of functioning. Sadly, when I was in the field, many times our team assessed a first psychiatric break, meaning our patient suffered a 'break' from reality. The baseline level of functioning assesses mental and emotional stability before a psychiatric crisis. Then, treatment is focused through a certain level of care, to reach baseline. 

I'm not laying the ground work to admit my own psychiatric break on the second day of my juice fast. Although I'll admit I've been on the verge before. I don't trust anyone who hasn't experienced at least one bout of self-doubt, crisis, or a life transition that put them in a tail spin. Gore Vidal, who you will know more about later, called it 'The Wound.' We are all recovering from something, it's about coping and accepting life on life's terms. 

I want to give a few examples of how my intuition functions normally as a baseline so we can measure the effects of the juicing properly over the next 30-days. I know there is no 'scientific' way to measure intuition because scientists have been trying for a long time and they have found the prediction of intuition to be an elusive phenomenon. I've included a few good studies here: 

One study my friend Sara Hospador recommended. It provides research on predictive events and how we process them. 

The findings are short and sweet:

Reaction to Events

Nobel Prize Winner Daniel Kahneman wrote, Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow. He researched intuition extensively. He brings a balanced viewpoint to the research and his findings. He is particularly interested in how intuition fails us and when it works.

Here is his article on cognitive fallacy: 

Don't Blink The Hazards of Confidence

How it Works for Me - Anecdotal Evidence

It was February, one month before leaving for Costa Rica. I was working fervently on trip details, contacting friends there, and even trying to convince one unsuspecting Alaska preservationist, Duke Lankard to come with me on a research mission for eco-tourism. You would think with such frenetic activity, communications, and preparations for the trip, my intuition would take a backseat and allow the logic brain to drive and get everything done. 

Not so much. My dreams are the first indication. I dreamt of my friend Dune and a group of elders sitting around a conference table. In my waking life, I volunteer on a local school project that Dune's connected to so it made sense. It was a powerful dream about the youth project and the stakeholders involved. 

The next day I had a feeling I was going to bump into him. It was Friday and as I picked my boys up from Kungfu school I saw Dune standing in the waiting area. It freaked me out a little, so I walked up to him a bit nervous. Dune has a reputation in Alaska and nationally as a powerful pioneer, leading conservation activist and champion of the Alaskan Eyak people, the last of his people. Words fail me, but I have much respect for Dune.

As I approached and he gave me a warm smile. Impulsively I blurted out, "I had a dream about you last night!"

He gave a little chuckle and said, "It's funny, I've been thinking about you too. We need to get together." 

We had a nice lunch the following day and I learned even more about his work in Washington, activism, and new projects on the horizon. I told him of my dream intuition and we hashed out the details. 

Then, a few weeks later, I had another intuitive experience. It was a typical morning. I woke up bleary eyed and groggy. As I hung onto the last moments of sleep I heard a name loud and clear. I turned to my husband and asked him, "Who's Michael Finley?" 

He rolled over without missing a beat and started telling me a story. At first I thought he might have been talking in his sleep but his cadence was crisp, clear, and matter of fact. He was wide awake answering my question,  "So, I'm at work yesterday and talking sports with Dave. He asked me about the Dallas player who got cut because of a financial reasons. It was one of the first times it ever happened. An owner stepped in and cut a player because of the luxury tax. That same player went to San Antonio and won a championship with them."

I rolled over and listened as he continued, "He just sent me an email yesterday before I left work. The title was: Two Words."

A brief pause. Then, "Michael Finley." 

I couldn't contain my excitement. It was clear as a bell. I don't know how I got into my husband's head but you'd suspect he'd feel a little exposed. LIke walking around naked or something, but after quizzing him, he didn't mind. 

The next night, I went to bed with great anticipation. What's going to happen next?, I thought as I drifted off to sleep. I dreamt of many different themes. All of which escape me now, but there was another name I remembered quiet vividly as I woke up.

I blinked my eyes, wiped them open and heard, "Gore Vidal." I answered myself, who's Gore Vidal? I thought hard about who he was as I laid there but I didn't know. It sounded vaguely familiar, but it didn't bring up any sudden associations. 

Thank the gods for the internet. I did a search on Gore Vidal and found he was a writer. A famous writer, but it meant nothing to me. Like Michael Finley, I assumed I was picking up on someone else near me. An intuitive calling card of some kind. 

I found out who it was when I went to Costa Rica. I was at my friend Maria's place. She has a restaurant in Naranjito, near our property in Quepos. The evening was winding down and we were hanging out at the bar talking and laughing. Turner and I were sharing stories about friends again and he mentioned Tennessee Williams and A Streetcar Named Desire. For some reason it brought out the Gore Vidal in me. So I said, "I had this dream before I left about Gore Vidal. I heard his name but I wasn't sure what it meant. I have a feeling it's for you." 

He shook his head and looked a little pale. "I can't believe you just said, Gore Vidal." 

"Why?" I retorted. 

"Because I used to drive past his house every day on the Amalfi Coast." 

Later that night he texted me a link of what Vidal called his, 'Perch.' 

I learned more about the writer and his infamous fights with Norman Mailer. After Vidal wrote a bad review of Mailer, they saw each other at a party and Mailer punched him in the face. Lying on the ground Gore's response was, "Once again words have failed Norman Mailer." A poetic way to respond in light of the violence. 

I find intuition is the same. Words won't and don't do the phenomenon justice. I think it's fair to say my baseline level of functioning includes semi-famous people, the scandalous or noteworthy personalities, and progressives. It comes through the invisible connection between the people I care about in my life. 

As I move forward in this process I will continue to document:

  • Synchronicity (unsuspecting events that coincide that are beyond chance)
  • Intuitions - predictive events with a certain 'knowing' before hand

And any other strange phenomenon, like pounds lost. 

Here's to the journey of juicing! 

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Comment by Courtney Marchesani on April 10, 2014 at 11:50am

I will check it out! I'm on day four today. Blogging day three:) I think there is a reason why many different cultures fasted. I'm thinking what we've caught onto is a very old practice but being done in a new way. Just read about a bishop who did from a 21-day fast. I wonder if he was juicing? 

Comment by Kimberlee Hayward on April 9, 2014 at 2:01pm

Just read a book called Synchronicity. It's by a psychologist.... great read! Gives a different spin on the phenom; some I like, some I didn't  - but all good to ponder.

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