Extraordinary Knowing

February 2nd, 2012

I will prove to you that I’m psychic. Please complete the following exercise.

1. Pick a number between 2 and 10.

2. Multiply that number by 9.

3. You should have a two digit number.  Add the two digits together.

4.  Subtract 5 from that number.

5. Correspond that number to a letter in the alphabet: 1=A, 2=B, etc.

6.  You should have single letter.  Think of a ONE WORD country that begins with that letter.

7. Think of the last letter of that country.  Choose an animal that begins with that letter.

8.  Think of the last letter of your animal.  Choose a color that begins with that letter.

9.  Now you have an image in your mind.

Wait. It’s coming to me now…..wow, you definitely have a creative mind. You are imagining orange kangaroos in Denmark! Are you impressed? Do you believe in extraordinary knowledge? I do, despite what I wrote in the previous piece about the nature of the universe. In this series, I wrote first about what spirit is and some of the ways we use the word. In the second piece I suggested that the universe is indifferent. It has no preference for whether we thrive or fall. It just is and things just happen. Events and surprises have no inherent meaning. We create the meaning. Where does this meaning come from? What causes synchronicity? It’s impossible to say for sure, but I’m comfortable to say that it comes from somewhere deep in our minds. To me this is no less extraordinary than divine intervention. But it IS much closer and more accessible than divine intervention.

Someone wrote to me and suggested that maybe the universe DOES care; it just has a really good poker face. That could be true too. This is more akin to the deist perspective, where God or the Universe or whatever name you give to the source of life, is an external force that created an extraordinary, wonder-filled universe but trusts the flow of life enough not to interrupt it. In this view, the creative energy is luring you towards the future, inspiring (in spirit) you to make life affirming choices but not controlling your actions in any way, aside from an occasional, serendipitous wink and a nudge in the direction of truth, goodness and beauty. This is a very valid, and plausible, explanation of mystery. It still avoids the problem I raised in the second piece that a belief in a personal God tempts you to avoid taking personal responsibility, and can lead you to taking life way too personally.

Either way, whether the universe just is or whether there is some creative force behind, but not actively involved, in it, it’s hard to deny that there ARE extraordinary events and unexplained knowledge. There is so much more to life than meets the eye. As Shakespeare wrote, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” (Read on for more about extraordinary intuition)

Life is FULL of situations that we can’t fully describe or explain. A sudden déjà vu moment will create new connections in your mind. You will “know” the phone is about to ring straight before it does, maybe even intuiting who will call. You will feel someone else’s pain or struggle without knowing how you know. You will feel absolute clarity about a decision or direction and not know where your clarity comes from. You will fall in love, with a person or an ideal, and not fully understand why this person or idea moves you so deeply. You will discover generosity to give even beyond your own need for survival and not completely understand where this care comes from. This is all part of the mysterious connectedness of life. With or without a cause, it is part of what makes life such a gift. When it comes to thriving in mind, body and spirit, this is an important point. You have powers and knowledge to take charge of your own life way beyond your rational mind.

When it comes to wellness, there are people who have “healing hands” and as well as training for many years, they have abilities they can’t fully explain. Some people have an incredible gift for empathy, and have no idea how they know what they sense about other people. In some cases, this knowledge can even become a burden because you “feel” so much around you. Others have the ability to intuit or heal people, even from a distance. It’s impossible to deny the experience of so many people, even if it IS possible to argue over the cause or source of this ability.

Elizabeth Mayer tells the story in her powerful book ‘Extraordinary Knowing” about one of the world’s top neuro-surgeons. He is the type of well respected doctor who is called on to attend to heads of state. His secret, and it is a secret because he would be shunned for revealing his methods, is that he stands over his patients on the operating table and does nothing until he sees a light appear over their head and at that point he knows it’s time to begin. He might wait 30 seconds, several minutes or even hours, but he intuits that until the white light appears it’s not safe to operate.

There are many stories on both sides of the healing process, both from those lying on the operating table and those operating, of extraordinary knowledge and unexplained turns of event; too many to discount. Without lapsing into a belief in a personal spirit, it seems to me that spirit is a good word to describe the “more” that makes life full and surprising. Stay open to extraordinary knowledge, incredible intuition and unexpected recoveries. Listen to the wisdom of your body, even when you don’t know how you know something. For example, consider how amazing it is that the body knows not to drink hydrogen peroxide. The only difference between water and hydrogen peroxide is one tiny oxygen atom and yet the body knows to immediately purge itself of hydrogen peroxide. The pungent taste is an immediate warning signal. Spirit is a very reasonable word to describe the intuitive, and mostly unconscious, wisdom of the mind and body.

Spirit is also a great word to describe sudden and surprising bursts of creative inspiration or problem solving genius. I read an interview with the musician Seal. He described the creative process-

Music is a wondrous language that exists out in the ether- all I do is make myself open for it to pass through me. This means that my creativity can be volatile. And fleeting. My best songs have come quickly- they surface when I’m really not even aware of the writing process. I pick up a guitar and 20 minutes later I have a song like “Kiss From A Rose.” The music just passes through me and feels divine in that way.

There are multiple examples of this, such as Mozart who claimed that whole symphonies presented themselves to him in dreams. There are musicians and artists who claim to be tapping some dormant creative powers, and there are healers who intuit what’s wrong in someone else’s body from a distance. There seems to be more creative and healing potential in the world than we usually give credence to. This doesn’t mean that it’s personal or has any personal agenda but this in no way nullifies the power of the extraordinary. And knowledge doesn’t have to arrive suddenly in order to feel extraordinary. Long years of hard work can also yield extraordinary results and creative inspiration.

So stay open. There is more power within and around you than you imagine. So what is the meaning in this indifferent universe? Only the meaning you create in your own life. I like the summary given at the end of the movie The Meaning of Life,

An envelope is opened to reveal the meaning of life. This is what it says,

Well, it’s nothing very special. Uh, try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.

That works for me. There is more to life than meets the eye, and this more resides within us as we seek to live meaningful lives that make a difference near and far and last beyond our limited knowledge. Sometimes it’s surprising and spectacular, and sometimes it’s nothing special, like purging hydrogen peroxide or taking a walk. Either way it is extraordinary and a fine motivation to live with gratitude and optimism through all your days.


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  1. […] meets the eye, and more power in mind and body than we usually imagine. It reminds us of our own extraordinary knowing, the beyond that resides in our own mind and body. This power is mostly untapped and is the subject […]

  2. […] In the second piece I speak about whether spirit has any sort of personal agenda. In the third piece, I explore extraordinary knowledge, or […]

  3. Tracey says:

    Ok, my jaw is on the floor. How did you do that? I WAS thinking orange kangaroo in Denmark! How does that trick work?? I’m beside myself!!

  4. Spectra says:

    I was thinking of Teal Cats in the Dominican Republic.

  5. geostorm says:

    most times Denmark is the  first country that comes to mind, that is preceded by the baffling 9 ,take any multiple of 9 example 9×9 = 81 add 2 last digits answer 9

  6. Heulwen Renshaw says:

    I chose Denmark …what if I’d chosen Dublin (Ireland) ? it would have all gone according to plan until the ‘animal’ I then thought of Newt (lizard) then the letter T..colour: Tan.  = Horse. 
    Amphibian?  = still an animal.
    No, seriously Ian, that was good, i enjoyed it. Thanks 

  7. Arcos Plage says:

    But there is another twist in this direction, the theory of Pandeism (ie pantheistic Deism); Pandeism holds that our Creator fully became the Creation; it is inactive because it has dedicated the whole of its energy to existing as an uninterfering, nonintervening, perhaps wholly unconscious Universe, all of us being fragments of it.

  8. ian says:

    thats interesting- what is the effective difference between pandeism and pantheism?

  9. Arcos Plage says:

    Well without seeking to put words in the mouths of the pantheists, Pantheism generally holds that there was no ‘creation event’ nor any Creator which has ever existed distinctly from our Universe as we now experience it…. but Pandeism holds that there was a conscious entity which existed before (or temporally ‘outside’) our material Universe existing at all, and that this entity designed the governing dynamics of our Universe, and then fully became it. And so the distinction is largely in the order of past events (and the future implications of those, since in Pandeism our Universe might someday return to being the entity which is was before).

  10. ian says:

    interesting- thank you

  11. jas says:

    Pure probability test used by most Psychologists.

  12. Henry says:

    I got red kingfisher in Denmark, so you have 33 % of being correct.

  13. Jude says:

    I got koala and Denmark couldn’t think of a colour beginning with a .very good tho

  14. Joanne says:

    Geostorm had it right. Any number times 9 (besides 1 x 9) yields a 2 digit #. All multiples of 9 – adding the 2 digits together makes 9. Subtracting 5, thus = 4/
    The 4th letter in the alphabet is D. Most people will think of Denmark. An animal with K almost always yields kangaroo. A color wtih o – orange.
    Obviously, some people do think of another nation or animal, such as the Koala. But you have impressed a lot of people.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Agree with most of the people. A well thought game. Commons

  16. Kenneth Vogt says:

    I am kind of a “numbers guy” myself but I wonder why so many people are trying to deconstruct the exercise. It’s not a trick, it is an object lesson. It opened some possibly closed minds to a new thought.

  17. Terry says:

    I chose kyote for my animal and then got really stuck because I couldn’t think of a colour beginning with ‘e’.  I should have chosen Kangaroo!  That would have been the most obvious answer – then I would have enjoyed being impressed with your psychic ability.  I feel I’ve missed out on the fun!  I think my mind was primed, by a recent crossword, to choose kyote.

  18. Virginia Urbach says:

    Ian, ecru is a color, but had I chosen Deutschland for a country the outcome would not be the same. An old colleague presented me with this game and I was flabbergasted. Fun!

  19. Andrew Thompson says:

    I was thinking of Ebony Antelopes in Dominica!

  20. Alex says:

    I conjured up azure iguanas in Dubai 🙂  I guess technically it’s not a country but part of the Arab Emirates, but that’s what popped in my head.  Great series of articles!

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