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This is a clear and distinct knowing of knowledge, and frequently, without knowing the source the knowledge. Intuition includes feelings or sensations too; a person may just suddenly feel, or know, that he or she is or is not to do a certain think. Most of the time intuition is without a pre-thought process. The knowledge is suddenly present within the person's mind; or the person just feels with a compelling force that this is the thing to do.

Intuition is frequently called a hunch, a gut feeling, a burst of genius, a gut response, and even luck. It is a function of the right hemisphere of the brain involving extra-sensory perception (ESP), but much more; it functions on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. Each person experiences intuition differently. There may be physical sensations, such as tingling of the skin or a feeling of leaden weights in the stomach; clairaudient or inner voices (see Clairvoyance); seemingly explicable attractions or aversions to newly met people; inspirational solutions to problems; feelings of closeness to God or the Divine Force; mental imagery; or clue from the environment that alter personal plans.

Various definitions of intuition include visions as well as the transmissions from spirit guides (see Guardian spirit) or other entities. Some people, however, dispute such explanations.

Many children and adolescents possess a high degree of intuition, but as they grow older their thought process become more analytical causing more activity within the left hemisphere of the brain. But, ESP studies show highly successful business executives rely more on intuition than do those who are less successful. Individuals in the creative arts, who give free rein to fantasies and imagination, tend to be highly intuitive. Intuition plays an integral part in all forms of Divination and psychic consultation.

All individuals possess intuition, though some are more highly developed than others. In Western cultures women have been conditioned to use it more than men. Intuition can be increased, once a person recognizes it within him or herself and strives to improve it. The individual does this by paying closer attention to whole-body responses to information, people, and situations; by relaxing both the body and mind through diet, exercise, yoga, meditation, and prayer; by working with dreams; and by becoming attuned to spiritual forces. Intuition also develops in close relationships. Edgar Cayce, who lived in a constant flow of intuition, said that one must "know thyself," be close to the Maker, and trust what comes from within. Cayce stated that impressions that come from the physical/mental self, rather than the spiritual self, were not intuition.

William Kautz, director of the Center for Applied Intuition of San Francisco, California, said in 1979 that intuition comes from the superconscious mind. To reach the conscious mind, it must travel through the subconscious, where it may be distorted by fears, memories, and impressions stored there. But cultivating intuitive growth through processes previously mentioned, the subconscious obstacles can be reduced or eliminated.

Studies have shown that physical environment can enhance or inhibit intuition. An ideal intuition enhancing room is painted light green, aqua, or chartreuse; lit with natural sunlight that keeps the temperature between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit with the humidity between 60 and 70 percent. Also, music stimulates intuition by putting an individual in a relaxed state to produce pleasant memories, which causes the right and left hemispheres of the brain to work in greater unity. The presence of plants cleanses the air of pollutants.

The applications of intuition and other psychic skills in business and scientific endeavors have been increasing since the early 1970s. Kautz developed a technique called "intuitive consensus" in which highly skilled channelers (see Channeling) and psychics are given questions related to problems and situations; the information is validated as much as possible by empirical methods. This process has proven to be effective in saving time and money over traditional methods of validating hypotheses. The Stanford Research Institute (SRI) of San Franciaco and the Mobius Group of Los Angeles has employed similar programs in California. Intuition, in the business world, has become a vital tool for assessing an ever-increasing amount of information.

In psychology intuition has drawn much attention. Psychiatrist Carl G. Jung, in Psychology Types (1923) described intuition as "a perception of realities which are not known to the conscious, and which goes via the unconscious." Intuition, he said, is not merely a perception, but a creative process with the capacity to inspire (see Inspiration). The intellect requires intuition to function at maximum performance, and dream symbols cannot be interpreted without intuition and imagination.

Many individuals, especially women seeking to liberate themselves, are doing dream interpretation or dream work as many refer to it. This interpretation is not analytical, it cannot be because many dream symbols possess a personal or intuitive meaning; therefore the interpretation must be intuitive. As it is known Carl Jung put much emphasis upon the collective conscious, and often it forms a basis of dreams. Even though Jung said the dreams and messages derived from them are essentially personal to the dreamer, the contents, some or all of it, may have came from the collective unconscious. The following may be an example of such a dream. A woman dreams that she is with other women on an old ship sailing across an ocean. The come to a shore and are met by a man who asks them why they have come. They tell him that they are looking for their city. He tells them to go away, because there is no city there for them. They ignore the man, pushing by him after departing the ship. They travel a spiral road that lead to the center of the land where they find a city, but are met by an old woman. The woman asks them why they have come. Again they say to find their city. She tells them that their city is not here, they will have too look elsewhere. They then proceed onward.

Such a dream can have many possible interpretations. The man himself may give rise to an initial interpretation by representing the patriarchal rulers who have inhibited women for so long. The group of women ignoring the man could represent the feminist movement of women who are demanding their rights. The old woman may represent the ancient matriarchal rule, and she is telling the women that they much find and establish their own cities or lives as she once did. Thus far, most of the interpretations could have come from the collective unconscious or history of humankind. But, besides these interpretations, there can be more personal interpretations for the woman. The man could represent a domineering or abusive husband or companion who keeps her from fulfilling her potential. Her journey on the ship may be her desire for more freedom, or her actual departure from her present situation. The other women aboard could represent her desire and need for companions to help her, or an actual group that she belongs to. The city can symbolize her personal ground or turf that she must establish for herself. There of course can be more or different interpretations derive from such a dream, but the above are representative.

Jung described humans as being oriented to the world (their environment) by four functions: sensation, feeling, thinking, and intuition. The latter give information concerning both future possibilities and the atmosphere surrounding all experiences; archetypes are inborn forms of intuition. (This coincides with Jung's theory of the collective conscious.) He employed the four types, or functions, to classify the psychological types. They are the extraverted and the introverted. The extraverted are mostly materialistic; living their lives with little respect for law or custom or feelings of others; they squander their energies while living in the world of reality. The introverted tend to be artists, mystics, seers, and prophets, and live with the collective unconscious; they frequently appear strange to others.

Intuition is important in mysticism. It is thought to be vital in perceiving direct and immediate truth of the most intimate secrets of life. Through deep meditation and contemplation, mystics experience intuitive flashes in which they perceive the ineffable nature of the cosmos (see Cosmic Consciousness), the Divine Force, the soul, and the unity of everything.

P. D. Ouspensky, who popularized the work of G. I. Gurdjieff, gave the name of "Tertum Organum" to what he called "intuitive logic" or "highest logic," defined as the "logic of infinity or logic of ecstasy," which he stated has existed from time immemorial and holds the key to all mysteries. The formula for this intuitive logic may be expressed as "A is both A and not A," or "A is All." Ouzspensky said that Plotinus treatise, On Intelligible Beauty, embodies the fullest expression of this logic. Plotinus said that "everything contains all things within itself…so that all things are everywhere, and all is all….And the splendor there is infinite."

Whether one calls this philosophy or theology, it does not matter, for the meaning is the same. Reasonable conclusions can only test the practicality of intuitive results; they neither prove nor disprove them. Intuitive results are personal, most of the time. They can only be viewed by the actions of the person as beneficial or not. And, even such an objective view by another person is often misleading when the subjective, personal intuitive meaning is not known.

Sources: 28, 199-200; 29, 285-288.