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Intuition

Intuition is defined as knowing or sensing without the use of rational processes. This negative definition is a sign of our limited understanding of this faculty. We do not know all the dimensions of human sensation and communication. Intuition defined in this negative way may involve capacities that are not part of existing science. One aspect of this I have experienced involves staring at someone especially with some sexual energy. Many people seem to sense this. People often look directly at the person doing the staring even when there seems no way they could have sensed this.

In the absence of careful experiments it is difficult to know if one is incorrectly attributing significance to random occurrences. A recent experiment on staring[4] has produced no significant effects. However, if such an effect exists, it may be subtle, selective and easily missed by experiments not properly focused. We need to be open about such possibilities, while being skeptical of the significance of anecdotal or personal experiences. It is equally important that we be careful in not overinterpreting experiments. In science it is most important to be clear about what you do not know.

Whatever other nonrational ways of knowing may be a part of` intuition, pattern recognition plays a major role. As we better understand the brains ability to find meaningful patterns and other nonrational means of knowing, we will differentiate these capacities and describe them in positive language. This chapter focuses on intuition as pattern recognition. The source of those patterns is not limited to an individual life experience. They include genetic knowledge revealed as archetypal images as described in Section 9.6.



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