This is amazing, and liberating. What lies behind you is given meaning (healed, forgiven, transformed, built on) by what lies inside of you. What lies in front of you is shaped (pre-sensed, imagined, planned) by what lies inside of you. Either way, your life grows from the inside.
Therefore, THE most important thing in life is to know what’s inside of you. Get to know yourself inside out. The expression “inside out” describes deep knowing or intimacy. If you know something or someone “inside out” you REALLY know them well. It’s the same with intuition. If you know yourself inside out, you are finely tuned to your intuition. You know what makes you tick, what ticks you off, where you’re heading, what’s too small for you, what excites your spirit. You know your place in the scheme of things.
This sort of inside out knowledge is the source of genius. The world’s greatest ever hockey player, Wayne Gretsky, once said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been or where it is.” How did he know? Like a great chess player, he amazingly saw 3 or 4 moves ahead to what was emerging in his field of awareness. This sort of knowledge is non rational. It’s not irrational. I’m sure there are some patterns and signs he could describe. But its more than rational, because he “saw” the situation as a whole and knew what to do and where to go from the inside out.
Some (maybe all) of the great inventions have emerged from the inside out. Again, it’s more than rational. Ideas are based in experience, but intuition takes an idea in reality and imagines more. In 1948 Swiss engineer George de Mestral was walking his dog in the woods. After the hike, he looked at the burs stuck to his pants and on his dog’s coat. He found that the spines of the burs were tipped with tiny hooks. This clue from nature enabled him to invent Velcro, and where would we be without Velcro? That idea, one that rose up from de Mestral’s intuition, has really stuck!
Whether it’s a major innovation or just the clarity of your next steps in a project, knowing yourself inside out gives you access to extraordinary knowledge that is more than rational.
You have to make a conscious decision to use intuition for good. Intuition has to be guided by other human qualities like conscience. It’s like this story,
Mrs. Jones goes to a renowned psychic, Madame Zelda. Zelda says, “Unfortunately, Mrs. Jones, I see a rather violent death for your husband in the near future.” Mrs. Jones pauses, takes a deep breath and says, “Will I be caught?”
There are many, awful examples of people who use their intuitive genius to manipulate and bring harm. We all have that temptation. Intuition has to be kept accountable by conscience. This is where empathy comes in. If you know yourself inside out, you know what has hurt you in the past, so don’t inflict the same pain on others.
It seems to me that as humans we have three main aspects; conscience, intuition and empathy. All three come from an intimate knowledge of who we are. Conscience gives us a sense of right and wrong, what’s helpful and what’s harmful. Intuition gives us direct awareness that is often independent of reason, circumstance, situation or precedent. This makes intuition liberating. Empathy reminds us that we belong to each other, understanding builds bridges, and we have memory of how certain experiences make us feel.
The important point is that we only tap into conscience and empathy through intuition. So intuition is primary. It is our inner tuition (intuition with an Italian accent) that teaches us how to live.
Jeanne de Salzman gives another clue about using intuition for good,
We have to guard against judging with our mind before we have allowed our intuition, which is at the heart of the experience, to bring us knowledge.
Intuition brings knowledge but we have spent so long jumping to conclusions, criticisms and judgment, that we’ve forgotten how to tune in to intuition.
If we can learn to give ourselves time before responding, we will tune in to conscience, empathy and the extraordinary knowledge of who we are in the world, then our life will be more helpful than harmful. Intuition guides us to act rather than react.
C JoyBell C put it well,
Our bodies have five senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing. But not to be overlooked are the senses of our souls: intuition, peace, foresight, trust, empathy. The differences between people lie in their use of these senses; most people don’t know anything about the inner senses while a few people rely on them just as they rely on their physical senses, and in fact probably even more.