|Levels of Intuitive Awareness|
The first time I heard the expression, intuition in the large, was in an interview Jeffrey Mishlove did with Frances Vaughan in the Thinking Allowed series. I also read her Awakening Intuition in which I was intriqued by her discussion of the "Varieties of Intuitive Experience." The first notion became a central theme in my thinking about intuition and the four varieties were seminal in selecting the Forms of intuition for the Intuitive Experience Journal. Added emphasis appears in red, and my reactions are enclosed in a box: (Note 152)
The broad range of intuitive human experiences falls into four distinct levels of awareness: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Although any given experience may have elements of more than one level, experiences are usually easy to categorize according to the level at which they are consciously perceived. For example, mystical experiences are intuitive experiences at the spiritual level, and as such they do not depend on sensory, emotional, or mental cues for their validity. . . .
The intuitive experiences defined as inspirational or psychic frequently depend on physical and emotional cues that bring them to conscious awareness. At the physical level a strong body response may be experienced in a situation where there is no reason to think that anything unusual is going on. The kind of jungle awareness which enables primitive people to sense danger when there are no sensory cues of its presence, is a highly developed form of intuition at the physical level. . . .
The cues of intuition on a physical level are not, however, always easy to perceive. Unfortunately, one often fails to acknowledge messages from the body until they become painful. If you are attuned to your body, you will notice your body responding differently to different people and different situations . . . . At times you may feel open, warm, and responsive, and at other times you may feel that you want to close up and withdraw. Learning to trust your bodily responses is part of learning to trust your intuition. . . .
On the emotional level, as on the physical level, awakening intuition is inseparable from developing self awareness. On this level intuition comes into consciousness through feelings. Sensitivity to other people's "vibes" or "vibrations of energy," instances of immediate liking or disliking with no apparent justification, or a vague sense that one is inexplicably supposed to do something, can be instances of intuition operating on this level. . . .
How you feel about yourself, your relationships, and everything you do is related to how willing you are to take emotional intuitive cues into account when you are making choices. The better you know yourself, the more you can trust your intuition when it attracts you to someone you would like to know better, or warns you not to get involved. . . .
What is commonly called "woman's intuition" is intuition on the emotional level. There is no evidence that men and women are inherently different in their intuitive capacities, but the popular belief that women are more intuitive than men is related to the fact that women in our society are not taught to repress feelings as much as men. . . . Boys, however, are just as capable as girls when it comes to developing the intuitive function. . . .
Intuition on the mental level often comes into awareness through images, or what is called "inner vision." Patterns of order may be perceived where everything at first appears chaotic, or patterns of change may be apprehended intuitively long before the verification process of careful observation is completed. In the West, the intuitive flashes which follow the exhaustive use of logic and reason tend to be more highly valued than other types of intuition, . . .
Intuition on the mental level is operative in the formulation of new theories and hypotheses in any field, for this type of intuition implies an ability to reach accurate conclusions on the basis of limited information. Although all intuition is mental in the sense that it is a function of the mind, intuition on the mental level refers particularly to those aspects of intuition related to thinking. . . .
Spiritual intuition is associated with mystical experience, and at this level intuition is "pure." Pure, spiritual intuition is distinguished from other forms by its independence from sensations, feelings, and thoughts. In a discussion of intuition in spiritual psychosynthesis, Assagioli considers intuition as an independent psychological function which is "synthetic" in that it apprehends the totality of a given situation or psychological reality. Assagioli says: "Only intuition gives true psychological understanding both of one self and others." . . .
At this level intuition does not depend on sensing, feeling, or thinking. It is not associated with the body, the emotions, or pattern perception relating to specific problems or situations. Paradoxically, the cues on which intuition depends on other levels are regarded as interference on this level. However, an awareness of how intuition functions on other levels helps to dispel the misconception that intuition as a way of knowing is an all or nothing proposition.