Psychics and Science

Almost all of us have had some experience with intuition, such as; getting a gut feeling about someone you’ve met, knowing who’s calling on the phone before you pick it up, a deja vu experience, knowing something someone is about to say, or even knowing what’s in a gift before you open it. These kinds of experiences, though fairly common, seem to happen spontaneously and at random leaving us wondering what exactly happened. This doesn’t need to be so.

My experiences researching and learning about intuition have shown me it is something we can learn to use when we want to. We can learn this in a way that convinces our rational minds it is real and reliable. But what is intuition? My dictionary says it is: The act or faculty of knowing or sensing without the use of rational processes; immediate cognition. A more common definition is knowing something without the use of the five known senses. I believe intuition is an innate human ability. Some people may have more natural ability, like having a talent in music for example. But we all have some talent.

So how do we get to the place where we can really use intuition? Like learning any other skill, the most important part is practice. I know this from experience, I am not a natural psychic. I knew no way of using any ability I was born with. I did have a few interesting experiences that made me sit back and wonder. From there I began to get curious. I began learning about it, studying and experiencing it. Now I’ve had enough experiences to know it’s real.

This is probably the most common way I’ve heard of people get interested in intuition. They have an experience of some kind that makes them wonder. It stretches their beliefs about the world or themselves in some way. After a few experiences like that they really start to think about it.. Think about it now for a moment. What unusual experiences have you had. Any of the ones I mentioned above? Others? What did you do about it? Chances are if you’re reading this article you’re at least thinking about it, perhaps wondering. That’s a great place to start! Feeling the sense of wonder can open into curiosity, which leads to exploration, then to more experiences. So keep wondering.

But meanwhile, there’s lots you can do.

Firstly, no secondly, the first part is WONDERING! Did I emphasize that yet? Keep wondering, stay curious. What was that experience you had? Think about it again, remember. Secondly, if you enjoy reading, there are some great books available. (I’ve included a short list of some of my favorite books at the end of this article.) Read what other people say; hear what they’ve experienced. When you hear other people’s stories you’ll realize you are not as strange as you think! In fact you may even be normal. (Well hopefully not too normal!) Then, start practicing. Don’t wait for the next spontaneous event to occur. Create one. There are many ways of doing this.

I have learned that becoming aware of ourselves goes hand in hand with learning intuition. If you’re doing any self-enrichment practice, keep at it. This includes, yoga, relaxation, dream work Tai Chi and other martial arts, art in any form, or any other creative endeavor. All of these practices help us become more aware of how we perceive, how we think, feel and act in the ordinary world. The way we sense and perceive things normally is closely related to intuitive perception. Can you imagine a rose right now? What does it feel like? Smell like? Can you see it’s shape? This is the same way intuitive perceptions come into our awareness. You could think of intuition as if you’re remembering something you’ve never experienced before.

But as you become aware of how you perceive things, you will begin to recognize the difference between perception and imagination. Perceptions tend to be, quick, moving, and changing. Our minds grasp stimulus very quickly and move on. Whereas imagination tends to be more stable, more concrete, evolving slowly. How about that rose, can you hold it clearly in your mind? That’s a quality of imagination.

But how exactly do you learn to tell the difference? Perhaps the most important part to any learning endeavor is feedback. For feedback you find ways of checking your results. Is it working? Then change it. If you’re learning to play an instrument, you hear when it sounds wrong, and change what you did. With intuition it’s the same. When you get feedback, you learn from experience when you’re right or not, when you’re perceiving intuitively or imagining.

So here’s a simple exercise you can do. Remember a recent conversation you had on the telephone with a close friend or a family member. You may recall the sound of their voice, a phrase they used, or even your feelings when talking with them. Those were real-time perceptions, they are already in your memory. Now the next time you want to call that person, before you do so, you can set up an experiment. Take a deep breath in, hold it for a moment, then let it all the way out. Do this a few more times. Then become aware of the room you are in. Look at the colors, listen to the sounds, are there any smells? Notice what you are feeling. Are you warm? Comfortable? Anxious or relaxed? Whatever you sense, just notice it without labeling or judging. This is important! Just observe. The act of noticing along with the deep breathing helps you shift into your right brain. I’ll say more about this shift and why it’s important a little later. For now, it brings you into the present. You can also do any of the self-enrichment practices I mentioned earlier before you try this experiment. They will help.

Then when you feel you are present and aware, just close your eyes and ask yourself a question you want to know about this person. Are they home? What will be the first words they say to you? Is there anything else you want to know that you would normally ask them in person; remember to be respectful of your friend. Did they get (the job, new car, etc. ) today? Just ask one question at a time and wait for an answer. Notice whatever you experience. Your intuitive perception can come into your awareness in many different ways: a general feeling, a word, an image, a sound, a smell, a feeling on your skin, and others. Whatever you are experiencing, notice it and write it down. Usually the first perception that comes into your mind is the most accurate. It doesn’t matter if your sensations make sense or not. Your analytical mind may want to define it in some way. But for now it doesn't need to make sense. It may take a little practice to allow yourself to not know for a little while. But you can do this. Then ask the next question. Ask as many as you want, noticing any perceptions you have for each one.

Then when you’ve asked everything you want to know, when you written down your perceptions, call your friend. If they answer, you’ve answered your first question, you know they’re home. You can ask the other questions that are on your mind. Remember to be respectful, share your experiment with them. When you’re done talking, go back to your list. Mark the correct and incorrect answers you had. Look over all your answers again. Do you remember any sensations you had for the correct answers? How about the others? How about the ones that didn’t seem right or wrong? For now, just reflect on your experience. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense. With practice you will learn. For now your subconscious is already learning.

That’s a very simple exercise where you can get immediate feedback. With practice, you will begin to learn what sensations you perceived beforehand were accurate and which ones were your imagination. The reason to pay attention to anything you experience is that you receive information in many different ways. What happens when you’re at work and you get a pleasant sense that reminds you of the feeling you get when you’re with your friend? They may be thinking about you, call them and see. You’ll never know unless you ask. You can at least say you were thinking of them and make their day. Becoming intuitive is about learning to trust yourself, whatever you sense or feel. You may not truly believe it is possible, but by allowing yourself to try and see you can start convincing yourself. Try it.

In the classes I teach on intuition, the main focus is similar – do it, experience it, and learn from it. Relaxation, sensory awareness, and heightened perception techniques are very helpful for cultivating intuition. But there are other benefits as well. You learn about yourself, your thoughts and feelings, how you perceive, what you enjoy. You even learn to see the value of having other ways of thinking, like using the right side of your brain.
I’ll briefly explain why this is important. The function of language and speech is located in the left side of the brain of the majority of people. (98% of right-handers and 66% of left-handers) Since these language skills are so closely related to thinking, reasoning and other higher mental functions the left side of the brain has long been considered the dominant hemisphere. It certainly is dominant in our culture where logic and reason play such an important role. But the right side of the brain has equally important functions. It is where perceptual information is processed – a key to developing intuitive perception. The right side can be said to be intuitive, subjective (experiential), relational and time-free whereas the left is verbal, rational, and on-time. (This is a simplified view.) It’s important to recognize that both sides of the brain are needed, both ways of processing information. But they are different.

How many times have you heard the phrase, “What you’re saying makes sense but something doesn’t feel right.?” That’s both sides of your brain processing the same information differently. You can read Betty Edwards book listed at the end of this article for more about this. Developing an ability to shift in and out of these different modes of consciousness brings an increased richness to all aspects of our lives, not just developing intuition. This is why creative people tend to be more in touch with their intuition. They are used to crossing over, balancing the left and right modes of thinking. It is a skill we all can use.
Intuition is available to everybody. The way to learn it is mapped better than ever before. But it is only from personal experience that each of us will know the meaning of intuition. At a deeper level, developing intuitive skills offers a much greater opportunity than simply satisfying the desires of the cognitive mind. We can begin to grasp ideas such as non-locality, holographic qualities in nature, even time, space and consciousness in a way that has profound meaning. Experiencing intuition reminds us that the world is profoundly rich, that wonder and awe are important parts of to being human.

Patrick Marsolek researches and writes about intuition, hypnosis, and altered states. As director of the Inner Workings Resources he teaches hypnosis, intuition, Nonviolent Communication and Argentine tango.

Suggested Reading
These are a few books that I’ve found valuable. They aren’t all in print, but you should be able to find all of them through inter-library loan. The first book listed by Dr. Radin is a must for the scientist or skeptic or anyone who needs a proof of the existence of psychic phenomena.
The Conscious Universe – Dean Radin Ph.D. – The scientific truth of psychic phenomena
The Holographic Universe – Michael Talbot – many applications to consciousness
The Psychic Paradigm – Beverly Jaegers – A practical down to earth guide to experiencing intuition.
Mind Trek – Joseph McMoneagle – An insider’s view into Remote Viewing with practical guidance.
Your Sixth Sense – Belleruth Naparstek – Another good practical guidebook.
Multidimensional Mind – Jean Millay Ph.D. – More on Remote viewing and consciousness.
The Diviner’s Handbook – Tom Graves – A practical, lucid guide to dowsing.
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain – Betty Edwards – Good consciousness building tools also.
Megabrain – Michael Hutchison – Tools and techniques for brain growth and mind expansion.

Copyright 2000 – Patrick Marsolek