Intuition: More Than Sixth Sense


All of us have the ability to use our intuition to enhance every area of our daily life, recover lost information about the past, verify unknown information about the present, or predict information about the future.

You wouldn’t believe one word of it. No problem. As Laura Day, a renowned expert and author of a ground-breaking book, Practical Intuition — which was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show — puts it, “Intuition can empower you to be productive and active in any situation.

With intuition, you’ll be able to reclaim some measure of competence and control over your life. Intuition will improve your decision-making. It should be an integral part of your life, like exercise and meditation. Employing it will open you up and add to the quality of both your thinking and your emotional selves.”

Day’s prescription is practical, not an ‘instant,’ spiritual, how-to toolkit. She urges you to develop your intuition by applying it consciously through practice, not just by reading about it.

She says that reading is primarily an intellectual art and your thinking mind can interfere with your intuitive mind. Here goes — Day’s exercises on intuition.

To start with, you should establish what is truly important to you, and then respond to your merits and shortcomings. Once you have done that, you ought to respond.

You have to be brief and honest. You should act like a plumber — one who is plumbing your unconscious. Don’t just peek ahead. Be patient.

Speak Your Own Thoughts

You could use a scribble pad, or notepad. To ‘speak’ your own thoughts, or write them. But, be careful. Because, what you may wish for — you may get. Day offers a famous parable in the regard.

The tale of an ambiguous question put to an intuitive in ancient Greece. A powerful ruler was about to invade the lands of one enemy kingdom. He asked the Oracle at Delphi whether a great battle would be won.

The Oracle responded in the affirmative. The Oracle was correct: a great battle was won. Unfortunately, for the king, it was won by his rival.

To get into the intuitive ‘act,’ you should become better acquainted with yourself.

Here’s a step-by-step method.

  • Take a long, deep breath
  • Allow your mind to relax and move back to the places within where you hold your memory
  • Have faith that your unconscious will generate memories that provide the information you need to answer your question
  • Allow yourself to get all the components of what is meaningful about the question.

As you analyse, allow yourself a pause, every time your perceptions want to travel — or, allow them to run until you hit another memory.

Don’t worry about whether it’s a ‘real’ memory, or that you’re just making it up. Write down at least four memories in your intuition notepad.

Not so simple though. Because, the questions should be good questions; they should be able to generate useful information and satisfy a triad of requirements:

  • First, each question must be specific and unambiguous, so that a precise answer is possible
  • Second, each question should be simple rather than compound
  • Third, each question should be directly relevant to the issue you want to know about [Remember — you need to be exact, and also specific].

Integral Process

Intuition is, quite simply, a capacity; it is something that is within us all, like the capacity for language, or thinking, or appreciating music. It’s not acquired power. Rather, it’s an integral part of every human — mental, emotional, and psychical — process. Each moment, all of us receive information intuitively.

Only thing is we’re simply incognisant of the process. We use our intuition in every practical, or reasoned decision we make — from choices as mundane as what we eat for lunch to what to pursue by way of a career, or whom to marry.

The trick, says Day, is using your intuition more effectively to bringing the unconscious data it supplies to a place where your conscious mind can interpret them.

How do you do it? By knowing how to access, and applying it, effectively. By learning to understand the information you receive intuitively. This requires structure, yes, just as thinking is improved with the structure that logic provides.

And, the inference is obvious. Whatever native intuitive skills you’ve retained from your childhood, you can develop them, like any other skill, with practice. More so, when you learn to recognise your intuition, cultivate awareness, and your memory.

When your eyes encounter a word on the page, it is instantly compared with the tens of thousands of words stored in your memory bank, right? Along with that word, images and associates stored with it are retrieved by your memory and served to your conscious mind.

Your intuition functions in much the same way. It’s simply a matter of learning how and where to shift your attention.

What’s more, everything you notice is significant. There are no coincidences. The more you think about them, the more it boggles the mind. Everything, therefore, can be interpreted.

Even unconsciously. Like meeting your friend this evening. Yes, intuition has to it something more than what meets the mind, eye, or ear. It’s also child’s play. Because relying on intuition means operating without the safety net of logic, common sense, and sensory experience. It may not, therefore, be easy. But, its rewards are meaningful, also empowering.

  • Think of yourself as a child
  • Play the make-believe game
  • Learn to suspend judgment
  • Dare to be the devil’s advocate
  • Deliberate.

And, label your impressions as you articulate them, into three categories: ‘genuine’ intuitive impression: ‘imaged’ intuitive impression; and, ‘interference.’

Use feedback and you’ll discover which of these tend to be accurate ‘hits,’ and which were off-target Because, gaining conscious control over your intuition is like learning to ride a bicycle — it takes practice to get the hang of things. But, once you have the ‘key,’ it’s not difficult at all.

Beyond Sixth Sense

Intuition is something that is easily understood. Think of the computer’s ‘intuitive’ interface. It is, indeed, your sixth sense — more than a synonym for being prophetic, subconscious, or instructive.

It is not telepathy. Not a dream, because dreams are not intuitive. Dreams present information in the form of a storyline. Unlike intuition, where information is fragmentary.

Intuition is more than symbols. It is a question of putting it all together. Of being objective, shaking it up, about the interconnectedness of things, and spirituality. You have to pretend that you are someone else. Here’s a framework:

  • Describe yourself in detail
  • What is the major focus of your life, right now?
  • In what ways will your focus change over the next few months?
  • How do you feel about the world around you?
  • What do you need?
  • Are you on the right track?

You ought to answer the set of questions as a person you have chosen to be. You’d trade places, no problem., or use your description as a metaphor.

The result would be worth all the effort. Because, we are all intuitive, and more capable of giving help to others, and ourselves, than we realise.

And, yes, intuitively.

— First published in ThinkWellness360