During my school years and career adventures which overlapped on several occasions, there were times when the class content and the job details were less important than the processes themselves. It was as if the degrees and jobs were not as significant as what happened while I took classes or met my work responsibilities. At times what came out of experience had more lasting value and deeper meaning than class or work content.
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Consulting Psychic Guides
The Cassadega psychic community is located between Orlando and Daytona Beach. Originally founded as a winter home for a community of spiritualists in upstate New York, Cassadega recently celebrated its centennial. At any one time there were anywhere from 20 to 30 intuitives living in the community. Some owned homes and others rented a cottage for part of the year. They practiced together since all agreed to follow the community's standards of ethical practice.
On several occasions with friends, my son or by myself, I visited the community to obtain a reading. Rather than make an appointment, I usually went to the bookstore that maintained a list of mediums available for readings that day. Using my intuitive sense, I selected one from the list and called to see them. No two readers used the same technique to facilitate the flow of intuitive knowing. Each had a personal way of connecting with intuition in the large with me as the subject. One read my aura, another asked my sun sign and yet another focused on a different aspect of my being to make their connection.
As a management professor, I fantasized about a research study of the community. With their cooperation, I would observe and document their individual reading styles. By comparing and contrasting approaches, I would discover underlying patterns of belief and behavior shared by all even though their surface approaches differed. I further imagined their keys to intuitive knowing would correspond to those found in a similar study of managers. My hypothesis was that the dimensions of intuitive knowing are the same for spiritualists and executives. I still hold that belief although I do not have evidence other than my sense about the process of intuitive knowing.
In contrast to 900 telephone number psychics who promised to answer all questions and solve all problems, I did not seek the advice of intuitive counselors to tell me what to do. Instead they were models for my own awakening intuitive knowing as well as validation for vague insights that had not reached the light of day. In using psychic guides, I found their observations teased out and gave life to intuitive knowings that were at or just below the surface of consciousness.
My relationship with psychics worked at two levels. First I listened to their impressions, and second I observed how they worked. While they verified my intuitive impressions, they offered a role model for the intuitive way of being in the world. Using that strategy, I periodically consulted with an intuitive guide. I have an hour reading with a psychic every three or four months. We usually discuss the intuitive process as well as explore clues to my current circumstances.
Knowing What I Knew
Another avenue of psychic insight came through my Synthesis Institute studies. Since psychosynthesis emphasized spiritual growth in the self discovery process, this was a natural venue for intuitive insight to flourish. My counselor was intuitively gifted in guiding my sessions and those of others I observed in our group. Time and again, I saw her quickly cut through to the core issue in our processes. It was not unusual to be overcome by an epiphany at the sharpness of her insight and the client leap forward that followed facing the crux of an issue.
Reflecting on those experiences, I sensed some were intuition in the small drawing on similar client situations and others were intuition in the large flowing from knowledge that reached beyond her expertise with or knowledge of the client. Whatever the source, my personal discoveries during this work flowed like an avalanche. There were so many, I grouped them into categories to help comprehend their diversity: Transformation, Self, Relationships and Intimacy. Intuition was flooding me with new insights about myself, others and my relationships with them.
Most people I knew were skeptical of these explorations. They did not think the methods were scientific. But I realized that was rational arrogance to believe the logical mode of knowing was the only way to discover. I saw these and similar models of reality as alternative metaphors for discovering meaning in the fabric of life. Whether the ideas were scientifically valid became a non issue. The question was: to what extent did seeing the world through that set of lenses help me find meaning in my life experiences? If I came away from the exploration with an enhanced sense of comprehension, then it was valid!
That raised a larger question about the nature of truth and validity. Increasingly it seemed presumptuous to believe scientific theories of reality were any more valid than non scientific views, for instance one of the American Indian or shamanistic traditions. How conceited to think the Western mind had a corner on truth. In the infinite infinities of implicate order levels, at best the human mind could grasp but a fragment of the larger truth. I was learning to accept knowledge that came through the epiphanies of experience. Listening to the surf or watching a sunset, I knew as much as it was humanly possible to know.
If my intuitive sense confirmed a new insight no matter what model it came from, then meaning was added to my understanding. That was divine! A line from Hamlet speaks to the consequences of allowing the rational mind to shut out avenues for self discovery:
I tried to accept truth wherever I found it with the full realization that I would never come remotely close to TRUTH. This was another way Eric Hoffer's True Believer title worked in my subconsciousness - beware those who think they know. The Tao Te Ching said: "He who speaks does not know, He who knows does not speak."
Studying the "Mind"
On another avenue exploring the dimensions of intuitive experience, we monitored neurological activity during a series of tasks that alternated between the rational and intuitive. Our subjects were students from the course I team taught with my wife and one of our colleagues. The equipment consisted of an electrical skin resistance (ESR) meter and brain wave display called the Mind Mirror designed by Maxwell Cade along with traditional Autogen electro encephalograph (EEG) monitoring equipment. Student testing took place in the Cognitive Styles Assessment Center I established in the School of Business.
The student volunteers completed a half dozen paper and pencil assessments of style preferences including the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and our own Human Information Processing (HIP) Survey. To supplement the paper and pencil results, we wired the volunteers to the ESR, EEG and Mind Mirror to monitor changes in neurophysiology while they completed a series of tasks such as adding numbers and matching patterns. These efforts were limited by hand recorded readings made during task completion. Our setup was not sophisticated enough to record real time analog or digital data.
Having done neurological research and read about efforts using sophisticated brain scan equipment, it was clear nothing of consequence would be learned about intuition from reductionist investigations of neural activity. The subtle dimensions of intuitive behavior would not be revealed following these lines of inquiry. Finding out what I would not learn pursuing those avenues, my interest in self reports of internal process was heightened. Later emphasis on the Intuitive Experience Journaling protocol owed much to what I did not learn observing individual's neurophysiological responses.