Saturday, June 07, 2008

Returning to intuition.



We do not start life as reasoning creatures, we begin our process of learning intuitively, absorbing, osmosing, observing, feeling, doing, being. We do not begin with a language or any explanations of the world we have entered, and reason has no place in us until we learn to reason some way down the road. It is perhaps the very fact that we do not have reason available to us that we learn so much in such a short time. Within two years we have not only mastered an incredible array of motor skills, including, amazingly, walking, but have learnt a language from scratch, having nothing on which to build as we do later in learning a foreign language. I am not sure, were reason available to us at that age, that such an incredible feat of learning would be possible. It is only once we have learnt to reason that we can decide something is difficult, or perhaps too difficult. Young children clearly get frustrated some times, but a well nurtured child will persist, day by day, for a child is naturally an intuitive learning being.

Sadly, the vast majority of us are taught to put aside that intuitive ability. As we grow older and begin to be 'educated', we are taught through a process of reason to use and rely on our intellect. It is a sad failing of schooling that intuitive learning has little or no place in education.

Intuition is still with us, though, we are still impacted intuitively by the world around us. We do not use reason or intellect when we see an awesome sunset or experience the majesty of a storm, it is our being that responds to beauty, we absorb it pre-reason, pre-intellect, in an intuitive, free way. At any point on our journey we can go back to intuitive learning and re-develop it. There are many ways to engage with the world intuitively, through meditation, art, music, creative writing and we can re-learn to be in the world in an intuitive way, to shut down our inner noise and absorb the world around us, to be in it and a part of it, rather than a mere observer.

Just taking off our shoes and walking on grass engages us intuitively, in a tactile experience that requires no inner processing, or a crawl on hands and knees, climbing a mountain, canoeing a river, swimming. The world awaits us, each leaf, each blade of grass, each breath of wind, each moment is ours.

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