Thursday, January 1, 2015

Glimpses of Greater Knowledge

In her introduction to Inner Knowing, Helen Palmer described an incident of her own inner knowing when she was involved in resistance to the Vietnam War: she knew a friend must take a route across the Canadian border different from the one planned (“My imagination became as believable and solid as the furniture in my room”)

Those who took the original route, she found out later, were arrested.  

So how to develop this thinking without thinking?

First, picture how you'll function with greater intuition: generating many ideas without constraint, seeking broad possibilities, looking for connections, playing with even the wildest insights, following hunches. 

Then notice and loosen current patterns of thinking that may be limiting your intuition. Do you tend to judge people for voicing "incorrect" facts? Do you look to others to confirm your ideas? Do you make snap decisions? Do you discount your intuitions because they're typically not believed? Do you consider only "relevant" facts (relevance defined by what you think you already know)? Do you tend to focus only on negative possibilities? Do you fail to follow through on your intuitions? Do you refuse to consider others' hunches? Do you question your own intuitive ability? 

In an interview with Helen Palmer, Cultivating and Applying Intuition, Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove referred to an exercise where Palmer "handed each person an object sealed in an envelope and said, 'OK, here, describe the history of the object,' with no preparation... I remember I was very accurate."  

This reminded me of a workshop I co-led years ago called "Practical Magic." We all brought in paper bags containing an object from our kitchens and paired up to practice intuiting what was in the partner's bag. The person whose bag was under scrutiny was to concentrate on what was inside without saying a word or offering any nonverbal encouragement. When it was my turn to imagine what was in my partner's bag, I allowed my mind to drift and said "It's like a knife, but not exactly a knife." Then I saw "It's red." Though unable to capture a specific image, I was surprised and excited to realize my intuition was relatively accurate when my partner showed me the item: a Swiss Army Knife with a red handle.

Further thoughts on intuition from Helen Palmer in the Mishlove interview: 
"Well, the nonlinear; the irrational always has a tinge of madness attached to it... So I understand when it is seen as an irrational function, but I don't see it that way once it's become stabilized, just as an integrated function that everyone has access to... 

"The realm of intuition has many, many aspects to it, and the psychic world is maybe the most easily available to people as they first begin to shift their attention into other states of consciousness... Very commonly people experience a kind of precognition or a kind of empathy in relationship they realize did not come from their thinking personality... they become curious as to how to stabilize or get re-entrance into that kind of... entering experiences. The most common, I think, is the exchange of feelings with another person... so that you are as the other is... rather than a close match between what the other has described and your own approximation... Precognitive dreams are much more common than most people realize, being able to enter a dream state voluntarily and know ahead of time an event as it will be played out. 

"Now, these sound from the conceptual part of the self like very advanced abilities, and when you start training or working with your attention, you go inside, they're actually very simple things. They're not so far out or so difficult to achieve."

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