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Intuitive insights

The only real valuable thing is intuition. - Albert Einstein

I rarely use logic in every day life. At work, yes, I obviously use logic. I have to. But in every day life and in relationships I almost never do. Literally, I walk out of the office (or log off my work laptop) and drop the logic. Logic is slow, convoluted and cumbersome. It takes time to build and work through logical arguments. Worse than that, logical thinking doesn’t work well if I don’t have all the facts about a particular situation. And who ever has all the facts? This means I will spend ages on a thinking process that may lead to a wrong conclusion. Waste of time.

I know this sounds strange. People sometimes ask how a person who rarely uses logic writes such a dry logical blog. I’ll explain.

I never use logic in important life changing decisions. I use my intuition instead. Then I try to support it with logic. If it works – good. If logic doesn’t seem to support my intuition – bad for the logic, I go with my intuition anyway.

Intuition works for me through intuitive insights.

What’s an intuitive insight?

Most people tried an apple at least once. If you ever ate an apple, you know exactly what it feels like to hold an apple, what it’s like to touch an apple, to bite off an apple. Its shape, colour, weight, taste and smell. Emotions and sensations associated with eating an apple.

Now, can you explain what it feels like to eat an apple to someone who never ever saw, touched and tasted an apple? Take a piece of paper and try to describe it in a way that will make the person experience it like in real life. Now matter how rich your vocabulary is, you’ll struggle. Because writing is a logical skill (unlike painting for example), and logic alone can’t explain the experience. Because we use our senses (vision, taste, smell, touch) to experience the world and it’s impossible to describe the fullness of the experience putting logical sentences on paper.

And that’s a process as simple as eating something as common as an apple. It’s so much harder to describe more complicated experiences. That’s why art is always more powerful than logic, because art may touch on our senses and emotions. Not all of them at once though, but art is much more expressive.

Imagine if people had the means to transfer – mentally – the experience of tasting an apple, or any other experience to another person, in its fulness with all the sensations. Imagine that you never tasted an apple and then someone implants – mentally – in your head the experience. And you live through it – fully – in your mind. You have a moment when you clearly experience absolutely everything associated with tasting an apple – the touch, the shape, smell and taste. You never tried it in real life, but you know exactly what it feels like, you can almost feel it in your hand and in your mouth.

That’s what an intuitive insight feels like. You just get the experience, clearly and calmly, and it never goes away, as if you’ve actually lived through it. It’s now embedded in your mind and affects the way you think, feel and act.

Of course, intuitive insights aren’t about such mundane things like food. Food is the simplest. But how can you describe what love or hate feels like to someone who never experienced it?

My insights are usually about experiencing unknown (to me) complicated emotions or untangling mental dilemmas. My insights follow my focus of attention. Whatever I’m interested in or troubled with or passionate about.

Compared to logical thinking, insights are quick, bright and powerful, and they bring the experience in its fullness. Insights take seconds but feel like eternity. Intuitive insights can be big – like what I described here – or they can be quite small, for example – a clear thought that resembles knowledge – you just know something and that’s it. You know it’s true. The trick is that they need a calm mind and balanced emotions. Insights don’t live in the midst of troubled repetitive thoughts and heightened emotions.

I rely far more on gut instinct than researching huge amounts of statistics. - Richard Branson

When my daughter was four years old, she was going through a period which lasted a year when she was interested in three things: fear, deceit and evil. She wanted to know the mechanisms behind them. She’d have a moment when she’d switch from a playful child to a serious person with an intense stare of cold green eyes and would ask me: mum, what’s fear? Where does it live in the body? What’s it like to experience fear? What’s the purpose of fear? How do you turn it off? And so on. She’d listen intently for several minutes, then would say ‘thank you mum for taking the time to explain’ and would then switch back to the playful child with blank eyes.

Apart from the fact that her behaviour was a bit strange for a child, I was fine with that because I knew something about fear and deceit, from personal experience of course. Things became much harder to explain when she got interested in evil. Mainly because I myself – surprisingly – was never truly and genuinely interested in evil. Explaining something that I never experienced myself was impossible. I didn’t want to give my daughter ideas that I could read about in books but could hardly relate to. Besides it would take me ages to investigate the subject, and my daughter has always been super persistent.

In situations like that intuitive insights come handy. I experienced an insight on evil and had the opportunity to feel and live through an intense dark desperate experience of what it feels like. I always associated evil with people full of hate and spite. The most unexpected revelation was that I saw true evil as emptiness and void – lack of any feelings whatsoever, even some simplistic feelings. Evil was pure consciousness with no emotions. Evil didn’t know what fear felt like and therefore it didn’t have empathy.

Of course, I struggled to explain that to a child in simple sentences. I tried to convey the idea, but it didn’t quite get through in its fullness, of course it didn’t. I can still see - to this date – that my daughter didn’t drop the subject, she’s investigating it herself now. Not intensely, it’s just one of many things that interest her.

That insight happened years ago, but I still remember everything clearly, and I still feel the cold shiver down my spine. That knowledge and experience is with me, and I use little things from the whole experience, to drop them here and there, if they’re relevant for my blog. I’m simply not capable of transferring this experience on paper. If only I could paint, but even a good painting won’t explain exactly what it feels like.

The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you, and you don't know how or why. - Albert Einstein
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