We have all heard of these great, but also rather impractical cliches such as “trust in life”, “listen to your inner guidance”, “follow your intuition”, etc.
I asked myself recently: How can I trust or listen to something that I can’t see or hear, and have no reliable perception of?
This is what I found out…
The five primary senses
For the most part, I assume to rationally conclude my experience of life through the information I gather from day to day experiences. It also seems, that the data needed for these conclusions, I gather through my primary 5 senses:
Sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.
Our 5 primary senses are complex sensory receivers that gather data from the external environment and send it for processing. Sounds simple enough, although there are some shortcomings I immediately identify with this basic assumption of mine.
For one, our primary senses, don’t actually transmit data – they transmit subtle energetic signals, which are then formulated into data through post-processing within our mental and emotional faculties.
This means that the data we formulate through our primary senses is not objective. It has less to do with our environment and much more to do with our assumption of it. The way we process our sensory data is also highly individual and follows no particular set of rules or deeply carved biological patterns.
Our interpretations of these signals are learned over the course of our lives. A newborn baby has some basic survival instincts such as feeding but they do not yet have the capacity to discern and interpret the many different signals that they receive through their sensory mechanisms.
To me, it’s very interesting to observe a newborn baby – their movements, reactions to external stimuli, instinctual impulses – and to imagine the state of being that they are living in. They have no linguistic ability to solidify and capture their experiences in thought-form, and their memory is totally experiential and not conceptual like it is when we become older.
When I feel into the state of being of a newborn, I feel it as a waving ocean of frequencies, washing through their awareness. There seems to be little to no discernment within their sensory experience.
As we grow older we being to be able to isolate and translate the many subtle signals that flood into our being and over time this ability becomes increasingly refined.
Gateways of mastery
This leads me to the second realization, that our ability to perceive our sensory signals is highly individual and not equal in all humans.
This is apparent already at a young age but becomes especially distinct as we become adults and develop what we call skills, talents and personal abilities.
Essentially these are all a highly refined capacity to process certain sensory data. Just think of how comprehensive a field biologists’ ability to observe nature is, or how a food or wine connoisseur can isolate and describe many different flavor dimensions. This same way, a musician would be able to identify and extract an incredible amount of detail from a song, in comparison to someone who has very little interest or understanding of music.
From another angle, think of how immediate and multi-dimensional our understanding of our native language is, and compare that to the agony of trying to learn and understand a totally new language. Sometimes I can’t even tell where one word ends and the other one begins!
It’s fascinating how we synthesize a wide range of sensory data into a masterful expression. I get an image of a stream of frequencies coursing through the prisms of our being and bursting back out into the world as uniquely crafted creation.
Imagine a skilled football player as he moves through a crowd of other players, rapidly processing his sensory data from sight, hearing and touch into a spontaneously choreographed flow of incredible reaction speed and precision. There is very little thinking involved in this – the player has given himself totally to be guided by his intuition or instinct within that moment.
This is the apex of sensory synthesis. Our data processing becomes so refined, that it largely transcends conscious thought, opening a portal to an entirely different realm of expression.
As the mind of the football player takes the back seat, spontaneous, non-verbal decision making begins to burst into action. This is the culmination of mastery, focus, and relaxation. In sports, I think it’s the adrenaline released under pressure, that triggers the necessary relaxation for this process to occur.
Let’s explore another expression of this same phenomenon, but in an entirely different context: the fine arts.
A skilled painter focuses her sense of sight and touch to translate a sensory experience onto canvas through a fusion of colors, textures and graceful motion. Such creative expression is a complex process, involving many dimensions of the artists being.
Whether the artist is translating something from their external environment or something from their inner eye – either way, the painter embarks on a journey through gathering sensory data, blending it with their mental and emotional processes and gracefully allowing it to flow through their hands on to canvas.
The creative flow can only truly begin to stream through us when our mental state is relaxed and we surrender to the feeling of whatever is wanting to express through us.
Skilled painters may follow specific stylistic patterns, which is a part of their mastery and uniqueness, but the aspect of the painting process that I really admire is the finishing touches and that special moment when a painter considers their piece done.
The bulk of the painting is sometimes done quickly, and as far as paint quantity goes, this is where the majority of it is consumed. Furthermore, this first stage of the painting process can be quite intellectual, where the artist is thinking of perspectives, contours, and developing the general concept.
The deep magic beings to happen when the bulk of the painting seems to have been completed and the artist begins to apply the finishing touches to every square inch of the painting. Accents, shadows, and other subtle refinements bestow a depth of life into the artwork. This stage of the painting process is where masterpieces are created.
The artist becomes hyperfocused on small subtle details that are decided upon very intuitively and impulsively. The crescendo happens when the artist finally feels that the painting is complete. There are no mental criteria that could ever make this decision. This is purely intuitive. Beautiful.
The same applies to musical creation. There are logical patterns in music, but no musicians will compose a melody based on a chart. You can choose 5 notes and every musician will play them in their own unique way, based on totally non-verbal dimensions of their decision making that bypass most mental processing.
I have been doing a lot of design work with graphics and websites over the years. My main strategy is to start from the first idea that comes to my mind and see what happens from thereon. The whole process is based on intuitive decision making. Small details such as moving something a few pixels here and there, changing the color tone slightly and choosing a font with a differently shaped “a”, can make all the difference.
Writing is a special process for me. When I set out to write this article, I had nothing but a basic idea and some scattered mental contemplations from the week before. What I mostly had were some questions I was seeking answers to.
The final arrangement of words and the stream of ideas, visions, and epiphanies that actually streamed through my fingers as I typed this out has surprised me deeply. Most of the themes and ideas in this article did not exist in me before I opened up the gates to let them out.
Trust is the key
I attribute these somewhat transcendental moments of creativity, where one feels almost guided by some ineffable intelligence, to one thing: Trust.
I previously mentioned how the combination of Mastery, Focus, and Relaxation can open up a portal to intuitive action.
Let’s explore this.
Mastery is only needed so we would feel safe enough to surrender. This is an interesting mental condition, that mostly operates as a hindrance, but at times it can also open us up to magic when our trust becomes bigger than our fears. One day, we will trust unconditionally and there will be nothing to prove anymore.
Focus, brings together our sense perception, internal processes and expands our awareness beyond thinking. I imagine this as a relaxed state of focus, opening a tunnel through which our intuition can descend.
Relaxation is the key to trust and surrender. It’s only through deep trust and relaxation that our intuition can really express itself into the world.
One can not relax without trust, and neither can one trust without being relaxed. Relaxation, allows our intuition to speak, and Trust, allows it to take action through us.
This way, we become instruments of our intuitive intelligence.
Intuition, our 6th sense
Let’s zoom in on this intuitive intelligence we’ve been exploring. I call it intelligence because it often arrives as an idea, inspiration, or even a decision or action.
Intuitive guidance is interesting as it doesn’t really leave a trail, meaning there are no logical steps that one could trace back to its origin.
I believe most of us are familiar with this 6th sense of intuition in our lives – especially through scenarios similar to those described above.
Many of us, including myself, are actually using intuitive decision making daily. I use it in my design work, my consultation work, my writing, and because I trust my abilities and years of experience, I allow many professional decisions to be based on these feelings.
The thing is, that in this context, it doesn’t feel like a mystical higher intelligence anymore. It actually feels like a fairly normal conduct of my professionalism.
No doubt, being an expert or a talent feels good. I’m sure anyone can relate to that. Just having something that you can trust yourself so deeply in, feels undeniably amazing.
In fact, it’s so fulfilling, that it can easily become our primary article of self-identification. There’s a kind of superpower in being able to surrender like this. This is why some of us can keep working the same profession, way past its expiry date. Being good at something makes us deeply trust ourselves, even if just within the narrow frames of our comfort zone.
This way these narrow pipelines to the divine, strangely become our prisons.
Our trust needs to expand beyond the condition of mastery. Trust is a universal truth, and to only allow little bits of it, at our most self-assured moments, is not really trusting much at all.
It’s just about feeling safe, no? What makes us feel safe? To feel protected and loved.
Imagine if the only purpose of this intuitive intelligence within you was to serve your most authentic happiness and prosperity.
That would be quite a game-changer, no?
Alone, in silence.
At the end of January 2020, I flew from Bali to Estonia, and I did so totally by myself! As a father of 3 young children, this rarely happens. I truly cherish moments of being only with myself but usually, it’s no more than a few hours.
There I was, winter in Northern Europe, alone in my parents’ countryside house. Estonia is a very sparsely populated country and the countryside during the winter months is a very very quiet place. There’s no traffic, no socialization, nothing really to do – just silence… piercing silence.
By the time I had fully arrived, February rolled in, and I was going to spend the full month, almost totally alone. This never happens. Sure, this wasn’t necessarily a leisure trip. As normal, l had plenty of work, errands, and meetings scheduled, but this time everything had this expansive space around it.
I quickly realized that I am not the easiest companion to live with. Let me explain: in such silence, the gap between my inner world and the outer world becomes extended. My thoughts begin to echo within this space, instructions to my body become lagged and the volume of inner dialogues is turned up.
At first, I struggled to organize myself. Whole days would be consumed by what normally would take several hours. So much of my time was spent in a hazy state of procrastination that would fill the gaps between my various daily tasks. I would sometimes start doing 4 things and finish nothing, or juggle them throughout the day without any real focus.
I’m used to living under pressure. The pressure is what moves me forward. Having rather tight timeframes to balance myself, family and work, contributes to my ability to function efficiently.
Now, this pressure was gone. I had all the time in the world. My usual propulsion engine was out of order and I felt stranded.
I highly value my time and being so all over the place frustrates me. There’s so much I could do during this sweet honeymoon with myself.
The gift of mindfulness
On my way to Estonia, I began to study my Holgenetic Gene Keys Profile. For those who are not familiar with the Gene Keys system, you can find out more on their website.
In my profile, my life’s work is the 33rd Gene Key – Shadow of Forgetting, Gift of Mindfulness and Siddhi of Revelation.
In a nutshell, the Shadow of Forgetting is about getting caught up in the busyness of life and forgetting to pause and allow space in between everything we do.
The Gift of Mindfulness is about opening gaps of silence and reflection in our daily lives, analogous to sometimes hopping off our ride to take in the surroundings, feeling ourselves and reflecting on where we’re at and where we’re going.
In these precious moments, we may discover that we get impulsive inspirations to slot in something unplanned and sometimes change direction altogether.
The Siddhi of Revelation is about fully surrendering to this and giving ourselves as an instrument of our unique mission in life.
Guidance in Silence. Overcoming Procrastination.
A far back as my life as an adult reaches, I’ve always had this conflict within myself – a kind of tug of war between what I think I should be doing, and this feeling that I don’t really want to do that right now.
Procrastination, the biggest archnemesis to my productivity and the supervillain that I have no means of beating because it hides inside of me.
I often find myself detaching from everything I’m doing and I seemingly have no control over it. It’s as if I hit a wall and no matter how I try, I just can’t get over it.
Normally, I fight this urge to just “zone out” because it seems terribly impractical. I can get rather frustrated at myself for not being able to snap out of it and resume being productive and efficient.
My most common response to this urge used to be distracting myself. YouTube, Facebook, a snack, another coffee, playing guitar, tapping my fingers, anything to mask this uncomfortable conflict within myself.
Forgetting to listen
Through the 33rd Gene Key and its shadow of Forgetting, I realized something profound about myself.
My excessive efforts to control myself are so loud, that I don’t really hear myself anymore.
I used to believe that strength is when I have total mastery of myself., so I’m able to control every aspect of my being and play it like a fine-tuned instrument.
The realization that my body is not a robot waiting for commands, hit quite hard. No matter how I bark orders at myself, there is a more articulate orchestration taking place within my being, and unless I listen, I will just keep going in circles.
Inspired by the 33rd gift of Mindfulness, I did something I had never done before in my life: I stopped, and I listened.
I’ve always been good at listening to other people, but this time I began listening to myself. And not just when I told myself that now is a good time for meditation. It would be nothing new for me to bark at myself: Now, meditate, 30 minutes – perfect time!
This was different. Whenever I started feeling an urge to detach from what I was doing, I allowed it. I sat back, closed my eyes and reflected on all that I’m doing, thinking and where I’m at.
Much to my surprise, often within those moments something would reveal itself to me. Sometimes it was an idea about changing something I’m working on, or I suddenly remembered that I had someone I needed to call but I had totally forgotten.
I realized that several times throughout my day, I experience these moments where some subtle information or guidance wants to come through. It’s like someone is knocking on the door but my music is too loud to hear it.
I started taking regular moments to “turn down my music” several times a day, and listen in case there’s anyone behind the door. Much to my astonishment, there almost always is.
The inner ear of intuition
I think of intuition as our 6th sense because it’s always active and accessible, and functions as a sensory receiver just like all the other 5 senses. To engage any of our senses we simply need to bring our awareness to it.
In the case of our 6th sense of intuition, awareness can be brought to it through silence and relaxation. For me, intuition is like an inner ear, that tunes into the more subtle dimensions of our subconscious. This is why we often say: “Listen to your intuition.”
The signals we “hear” from our intuition, go through the same mental processing as all other sensory signals and reach us as spontaneous ideas and inspirations. This is largely the same with all sensory data.
Through art or sports, we can also observe a more immediate connection with our senses, where the data is communicated directly to our physical body, largely bypassing mental processing.
The same rules that apply to all of our 5 primary senses, also apply to the 6th. It only differs because we have no perceivable body part that would represent this intuitive receiver.
When there is a particularly strong sensory signal, a particular sense can engage itself, forcing our awareness to it. This could be a strong smell, unexpected visual stimuli, someone conversing with us, etc.
In this same way, our intuition can sometimes communicate with such power that we’re literally rendered incapable of ignoring it.
Procrastination is what results from ignoring the signals that are coming from our intuition. What’s being asked, is that we just stop our mental processes for a bit, so these signals could be processed too, and then we can continue our day, with perhaps some new insights or guidance. The mechanism of this is really simple, and very much like it is with any other sensory data.
At first, it seems to me that I trust most of my decision making on my 5 primary senses and my intuition reveals itself as a kind of supervising guidance.
After pondering this for a bit, I feel that this assumption is not accurate. I actually think that my decision-making mechanisms have mostly just evolved to only consider signals received from these 5 senses. I have just grown up with a kind of deafness to my inner ear.
These 5 sensory receivers, still dictate almost everything I decide upon and every action I take.
It’s hot, don’t touch. It’s beautiful, I’ll continue watching. It smells, I’ll go somewhere else. It’s high, be careful.
Going against the signals I receive from these primary senses, sounds crazy and could potentially be very dangerous.
Intuition isn’t in any way more mystical or all-seeing than these other senses, it’s just that my decisive mechanisms haven’t evolved considering it because of my limited awareness. This same way, a person with very poor vision would largely leave visual stimuli out of their day to day consideration.
What is this 6th sense for?
We have plenty of experience with our other senses, and can very well describe the purpose and use of each of them. It’s also easy to think of the many blessings we experience in life as a result of these senses.
Just think of all the wonderful things you can experience as a result of your ability to taste or touch.
Due to our limited awareness of this 6th sense of intuition, our understanding of its actual purpose is very limited. What’s even more limited is a practical context, within which we can understand and apply intuition in our daily lives.
There are unconscious applications through art, sports, and music, as I described above, but how to fully wake up intuition as an addition to our primary senses?
I will attempt to define the dimension of intuition and what purpose it actually serves in our lives, but by no means will I claim this as a finalized answer. This is an on-going exploration.
I believe that if we are able to contextualize the purpose of our 6th sense and develop practical means of using it, we will be gradually able to adapt our daily lives around it.
I imagine a life where intuitive guidance is as important as being able to see what’s ahead and hear what’s around us.
Earlier when I spoke of newborn babies, I mentioned that they seem to have this basic instinct of feeding. Nothing makes sense to them at that age, but there is a kind of intelligence that knows just this one basic thing – how to suckle and stay alive, and they are able to do this almost immediately after they’re born.
This is a survival instinct.
In the animal kingdom, we see these survival instincts expressed even more elaborately. Whole species and their behavior seems to be collectively guided by it.
There is also a great deal of teaching and learning among animals, especially mammals, but a large number of their actions are willed from a more instinctual place.
There seems to be some governing intelligence, that is primarily interested in keeping them alive, maintaining social equilibrium, and perhaps even more that we’re unaware of?
This is the 6th sense of intuition in action and its purpose: to keep us alive and to keep us growing.
What happens with humans is that our mental space becomes incredibly crowded with thought-forms as we grow older, and this instinctual guidance is suppressed in favor of our own thinking. We begin to trust ourselves as our primary guides, and this sense of self becomes so deep-rooted, that the idea of an instinctual intelligence beyond our rational thinking can almost seem like a threat.
This is certainly not true in all areas. If we were to totally hand over all authority to our limited minds, then we would be dead as a species a long time ago.
Our sexuality is still a relatively instinctual domain, as well as our relationship with food. There is mental confusion within both, but it’s an interesting balance.
At this level, I would say that instinctual intelligence is a kind of collective evolutionary brain, that governs the survival and equilibrium of life.
The evolution of modern humans largely takes place within our mental space. Within this realm, instinct becomes intuition. The governing intelligence communicates with us in more articulate and subtle ways.
It’s not just about physical survival anymore. It’s about making more holistic choices, growth of the interwoven human collective and our alignment to natural laws, etc.
The fundamental purpose is still to maintain growth and equilibrium within al life, but our mental processing capacity has begun to be able to translate this intelligence into highly personalized ideas, inspirations and instructions for our own unique lives.
Your intuitive intelligence knows exactly where you’re at, who and what is around you, what is most appropriate right here and now, and it is constantly revealing to you what the next best step would be.
The common goal – to move towards a more harmonious human collective, deeply embedded in unity and equilibrium.
I’ll write this again:
Imagine if the only purpose of this intuitive intelligence within you was to serve your most authentic happiness and prosperity.
That would be quite a game-changer, no?
Thank you for reading,