While management researchers argued intuition could be explained in rational terms, I found scholars with a spiritual perspective saying we must look beyond the rational mind for understanding. I shifted from viewing intuition as "analyses frozen into habit" to include "connecting with the perennial wisdom." This extended my sense of intuition in the small to encompass intuition in the large. A spiritual quality emerged in my writings. An article I submitted to a management journal was rejected because it sounded too mystical and parapsychological. That tone emerged from a variety of intuitive explorations that guided me closer to soul.
Using an Intuition Journal
As part of my deepening psychological work, several modalities opened up over the years that gave access to intuitive knowing. These were the Intuitive Hand that communicated through pastel drawings and clay sculpture, the Intuitive Voice that came through poetry, the Intuitive Eye that expressed itself with photography and The Intuitive Self that came through journaling. In retrospect I clearly saw intuitive channels opening up and showering me with a cornucopia of knowing.
Although I used free form journaling in the Synthesis Institute, the most sophisticated was material I developed for the Intuition in Management course. As mentioned in another thread, the first oral edition of Intuitive Experience Journaling from 1993 evolved into the eighth edition by the spring of 1997. I personally tested each version before asking students to use the guidelines. I was as much a student in the course as other members of the class. I only asked participants to do what I had already done myself. For instance during a one month trip to California in 1995, I field tested the current revision on a daily basis before preparing a final draft for the fall term.
Exploring the dimensions of intuitive experience deepened my appreciation for their subtle aspects. The varieties of intuitive experience framework showed me the type, form and kind of intuitions that were characteristic of my Intuitive Self Profile. Armed with that information, I saw opportunities for knowing outside my preferred modes. My pattern was dominated by professional and transcendent types; thought, image and epiphany forms; and solution, suggestion and understanding kinds. This left a broad range of possibilities to expand my horizons into the personal type; body, sensation and emotion forms; and the decision, impulse and ESP kinds.
Other Intuitive Explorations
Examples of other modalities for intuitive discoveries appear in the Author section under the Explorations link. The Synthesis Institute program encouraged use of the Intuitive Hand through drawing and sculpture for accessing the subconscious. These tools helped me discover what I knew but did not know that I knew! Drawing and sculpture pointed to intuitions in the small waiting in my shadow. Both media came out in simple abstract images. I used reflection and free form journaling to tease out the subtle meaning of the images that flowed from my hand to paper and or that were shaped from clay.
During the period when my Intuitive Hand explorations began, poems would spring to mind while free form journaling around the meaning of a drawing or sculpture. Momentum gathered for the Intuitive Voice as they came of their own accord without a hand created image to evoke them. Sometimes the words came as half formed incomplete phrases that required reworking before the rhythm was satisfactory to my ear.
On other occasions, they sprang as if cut from whole cloth. I had to get the words on paper as fast as they came. These poems offered immediate and satisfying insights. That is not to say those with a more difficult birth were not as satisfying in the long run. They were, but more attention was necessary to distill the wisdom they held. The "Intuition" poem in the Introduction flowed onto the paper without a word of editing. Its intuitive message was immediately clear.
Connection with my Intuitive Eye through photography occurred more recently. I became aware of the intuitive insights my choice of subjects offered on the trip to California mentioned above. One of those pictures was a sunflower shown in the guided imagery discussion. The strong impetus to take and the care devoted to acquiring the photograph all signaled that picture was more than a tourist snapshot. My awareness of these dimensions of the photograph was stimulated by my attention to the subtle aspects of daily experience acquired through keeping the Intuitive Experience Journal.
On a recent trip to Southwestern India, I used a camera more than on any other excursion. Of dozens of pictures taken with a digital camera, a half dozen called out for special attention. These are included in the Intuitive Eye section of the Author Explorations along with a title suggesting the metaphorical meaning evoked by the images. Recently a strong urge to photograph treescapes captured my attention. Even though this calling has not been answered, impetus for that initiative lies just below the surface of consciousness. Provision has been made to include them on the website when that initiative begins.
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Intuition in the Large
Even though business academics did not accept the larger view of intuition, the same could not be said for business executives. Among other data from an international intuition survey of 1300 senior and top managers from nine countries, Jagdish Parikh and his colleagues assessed respondents with "objective" and "self rated" intuitive scales. Based on the objective measure constructed from ten pairs of rational and intuitive items, they classified executives as low, medium or high in their intuitive orientation.
The most notable result was that sixty percent of the nearly 450 respondents who were high intuitives expressed agreement with the statement they "tuned into higher levels of consciousness" when they had an insight. They also expressed agreement with "spontaneous insight based on prior experience" and "flashes from subconscious levels." The fact they recognized a "higher" source of knowing beyond themselves in addition to experience suggested at least a subconscious awareness of soul by a majority of business executives world wide.
Frances Vaughan influenced my thinking about intuition beyond the limited rational perspective. In Awakening Intuition, she spoke of four levels of intuitive awareness: (a) physical, (b) emotional, (c) mental and (d) spiritual. Although a particular intuitive experience might have elements of more than one level, Vaughan believed they were usually easy to categorize according to level. She stated "Spiritual intuition is associated with mystical experience, and at this level intuition is pure." This was consistent with the broader concept of intuition typical of Eastern views.
Mysticism offered a deeper understanding of intuition than Western thought. Yogananda's definition represented this breadth and depth. He characterized intuition in this way:
I found this view elaborated by Swami Rama when he wrote about the third eye. In the mystical literature, the intuitive seat of knowledge was located at the sixth chakra. In Rama's psychological rendering of the traditional wisdom, intuition took on a level of meaning beyond conventional Western thinking. True intuition was seen as a function of higher levels of consciousness that provided access to a wider range of knowledge. In the esoteric literature there was no question about intuition in the large - that was the genuine article. What Westerners called intuition was an unreliable lower level of knowing.
The definitions offered by Eastern traditions were richer in scope than those of Simon and other business scholars. In contrast, psychologist Vaughan's spiritual level was consistent with the esoteric view. These definitions spoke directly of intuition in the large without a nod to the experience based intuition in the small of rational thought. Carl Jung was explicit about the relationship between yoga practices and the ability to access a level of knowing beyond personal experience: