Monday, May 26, 2014

Confused Perceptions and Wrong Intuitions

I talk about intuition or your inner knowing a lot on this blog, and it's because it's the clearest and truest direction you have from your divine connection. Even when something I or another spiritual teacher says rings truth, what is it that is doing the ringing? That ringing is within you. The resonance is within you.

So much of what gets said by people has no resonance for us. It just passes by like the wind. A much smaller portion of the stuff people say can trigger and upset us, but this is because we've staked out a claim to something that isn't real. When we build an idea, relationship, or life on top of illusion, we have no real foundation. We can spend our whole lives trying to defend things and ideas like who we think we are. In such cases, anything that remotely questions us feels like an attack. This is how our perceptions can get so confused. We're caught up in defending illusions, and the ego will use anything it can--including intuitive knowing--as part of the defense.

Yet even here that can  be resonance. While the personal attack or unsettling situation is probably not coming from a clean space of love, there is much that the world naturally does to show us whether we are founded on the truth or on falsehood. If we're on falsehood, a part of us knows and will resonate while we're being triggered and upset by the event. At which point, everything is particularly messy.

So what to do? Go inwards.

Superstition and Intuition: Fear and Clarity

I recorded a video about superstition and intuition some time ago, and you can check it out at the end of this blog. It's a pretty simple difference: superstition is about fear; intuition is about clarity.

But most of you don't have much clarity, and some of you don't yet have the humility to admit this either. So the journey inwards is about understanding who you think you are, what you are actually fearing, and so forth. Mostly, superstition is about fearing a bad outcome. It tends to come from an idea that doing this or that will bring about bad luck of misfortune. With intuition, there's no element of fear when we are clearest. It doesn't need to control you. However, because we're so used to acting from places of fear, many people start to create inner threats for not listening to their intuition. Things get jumbled up more as subtler levels of the ego try to incorporate intuition into everything you do as a self-protective measure. We are pretty masterful at thwarting ourselves, but don't worry, all this can be unraveled. All of this wants to be unraveled because we naturally want to flow in simplicity.

The Simplicity of Intuition

As I said, intuition has no need to control. It doesn't need to force you to be anyone or go anywhere. There's no threat of failure for not listening to your intuition, although at times an intuition may feel particularly urgent. This, however, is relatively rare because most of our lives are not spent in dire situations. A lot of times intuition goes unnoticed as we simply did something because it felt right. As we tune into the ease of this feeling, things naturally start to flow. We aren't analyzing things, but being able to analyze things doesn't go away. This isn't a space where the ability to reason is discarded. Rather, the ability to reason is enhanced.

For example, we have an intuition to climb a mountain. There's no reason for it. You aren't a mountain climber. However, our rational thinking allows us to plan appropriately for this new venture and prepare for the rigors of it. Then, off you go on the adventure, and who knows what you'll find. Maybe it will simply be a beautiful experience. Maybe you'll discover you love mountain climbing. Maybe you'll have some kind of deep spiritual experience. No one can say. Intuition doesn't really get too caught up in predicting things, although some of you will find that you can refine it to have senses of the future and events that may transpire. But I encourage you not to get too caught up in this if you have this gift. Stay with the present moment; it is the only one that truly exists.

Caught Up in Fear

However, since most people are completely confused about who they are and are caught up in fear, their ability to listen to their inner clarity is pretty badly compromised. It's why a third-party--friend, spiritual teacher, etc.--can be really useful in getting insights about yourself. The external perspective helps to reflect back many things about ourselves that we can't see. However, at this stage, the individual tends to be the most resistant to truth and the most confused about resonance. I can't tell you how many times people in my sessions confuse the discomfort of the truth arising within them as a bad thing. The truth illuminates the discomfort that is already there. That is all, and most of you will need to practice getting comfortable with discomfort.

Intuition often illuminates a lot of lessons about how we have not listened to ourselves and how our lives are completely out of integrity. But the unconscious ego tries to fight this and to barter with it. This bartering is one of the elements of confused intuitions. Whenever you find yourself debating and bartering some inconvenient feeling about something, you might want to slow down. Bring more awareness to what you are feeling. Breathe into it. See where it is coming from, and see where the objections and negotiations are coming from. It's one of the ways you can start to disentangle yourself from fear.

5 Common Themes in Wrong Intuitions

The more the unconscious ego is bartering with the intuition, usually the more confused and worse it gets for the person. It inhibits the person from simply trusting the insight and taking action (or not taking action) as they sense things. Here are some other themes that show up and which lead people to making very confused decisions.

  1. Looking for external validation such as through horoscopes. A lot of times, there will be no external validation at all for the intuition. It's the ego that needs it because you're afraid of something. Once again, fear is an ongoing theme in all these.
  2. Finding a convenient action for an inconvenient intuition. Instead of doing when you feel is best, you do something that seems safe in some way. This will certainly lead to unexpected results and situations that may not fully support the path you truly want to go down.
  3. Constantly looking for an intuition to do lots of things. Intuition isn't a hard thing, and some egos will try to co-opt it for making decisions about doing everything. Don't worry so much. These things come when they come. You cannot force intuition, and trying to force intuitive knowing is a great way to confuse yourself and start manufacturing supposed intuitions, which aren't intuitions at all.
  4. Forcing an outcome and justifying it. This builds off of the external validation theme. A lot of times people will go looking for some psychic reading or something else to justify what their ego already wants to do with a "spiritual" or "intuitive" source and then trying to force something to happen. Think about this with so-called love potions or things to make someone fall in love with you. This is nothing but unconscious ego, and it shows a lack of faith in life and love.
  5. Trying to be right. This underlies the above ones, but it is particularly problematic for those healing practitioners in the psychic world where being "right" may be important. They can get into trying to force themselves into seeing something that they aren't ready to see, and the ever-shifty unconscious ego will start to make something up with some type of inner feeling that kinda, sorta feels intuitive. Trying to be right in this way is a recipe for disaster.


The Ego Wrapped in False Intuitions

Ultimately, what happens is that you aren't living from intuition anymore. But as I said before, you can unravel this. Since fear is the underlying theme--or the uber-theme--for all the above themes, that is the one that needs to be addressed. As I said, intuition in its clearest is simple, undemanding, and with no element of control. It simply feels like you should turn left instead of right at the stop sign. It may be more persistent if you need to leave a bad relationship or job. Really, it's just you at that place inside where you and God meet.

That convergence is a powerful place that wants to flow. A lot of times people think they should just do whatever God wants them to do, but I've found that what you truly want and what God truly wants are actually the same. It's the unconscious ego that has different plans, and those plans for the most part have been confusing matters. It's those plans that are going to be thrown out the window the more you listen to this space inside, but with practice in listening, the sense that you are confused about anything also dissipates. You really do see how elaborate you've been with trying to confuse yourself, and you also start to become masterful at seeing through the dance that the ego keeps trying to hook you into.

The Clearing of the Waters

All of this leads back to doing your inner work and committing to knowing yourself. In some ways, this is a commitment to unknowing. There is so much of life that is unknown to us, and the intuition is one of those things. It's not mystical, but it is in that vulnerable place of possibility where any direction and any dimension is open and possible to us. This is often feared by the ego, which wants certainty and familiarity. But this is not how life is. Life is vast and infinite. This is the truth, and to clear up our perceptions and our intuitions, we have to learn to embrace and look at the truth. When we do that, our intuitions become surprisingly clear.


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