How can you prove intuition?
This is something I’ve been struggling with in the making of my film on intuition.
How do you prove it?
Various people – investors and funders – have said to me: You must have scientists giving their view on how intuition works.
Fact is, they don’t know. Some have theories, but when pressed, they admit they don’t know. They can’t prove it. Not the intuition I’m exploring.
The definition of intuition that I’m working to is this:
Intuition is a sudden unexplained insight that comes unaided by logic, intellect, or expertise.
Various scientists, like Professor Daniel Khaneman, a Nobel Prize winner and author of the book Thinking Fast and Slow, and authors such as Gary Klein (The Power of Intuition) and Malcolm Gladwell (Blink) talk about an intuition that sits outside my definition.
They talk about what I call subsumed memory recall – a process of recalling past expertise then using their intellect to come to quick “intuitive” decisions.
That’s not the intuition I’m interested in.
I’m interested in the intuition that speaks to you in a car as you’re approaching an intersection, warning you of impending danger. I’m interested in the intuition that works through coincidence so that you miss the bus that would have taken you to the World Trade Centre on that fateful morning.
I’m interested in the intuition that comes to you in dreams and whispers.
Soon I go back into the editing room, and so I’ve begun rewriting my script. I have, as Jennifer says, been “wrestling with crocodiles” with this film. Finally though, I believe I have the croc all trussed up and on the bank. I feel as though I’ve cracked the film. I understand now what I have to say.
But back to proof.
As part of this writing project, I’ve been reviewing past research materials, and I was led back to a great book by Osho called Intuition – Knowing beyond Logic. It’s a book that I read from time to time because Osho brings it all back to simple wisdom. Here are some excerpts from the book:
When the body functions spontaneously, that is instinct. When the soul functions spontaneously, that is intuition.
Intuition cannot be explained scientifically because the very phenomenon is unscientific and irrational. In language, it looks okay to ask: Can intuition be explained? But it means: Can intuition be reduced to intellect? Intuition is something beyond our intellect, something not of the intellect, something coming from some place where intellect is totally unaware. So the intellect can feel it, but cannot explain it.
If you feel that what cannot be explained by the intellect does not exist, then you are a non-believer, and you will continue in this lower existence of the intellect and be tethered to it. Then you disallow mystery, and so you disallow intuition to speak to you.
This is what a rationalist is. The rationalist will not even see that something from the beyond has come. If you are rationally trained, you will not allow the higher; you will deny it, and you will say: It cannot be. It must be my imagination. It must be my dream. Unless I can prove it rationally, I will not accept it. A rational mind becomes closed, closed within the boundaries of reasoning, and intuition cannot penetrate.
Intuition is a leap from nothing to being. That’s why reason denies it, because reason is incapable of encountering it. Reason can only encounter phenomena that can be divided into cause and effect.
According to reason, there are two realms of existence: the known, and the unknown. And the unknown is that which is not yet known but will someday be known. Mysticism says there are three realms: the known, the unknown, and the unknowable. By the unknowable, the mystic means that which can never be known.
Intellect is involved with the known and the unknown, but not with the unknowable. Intuition works with the unknowable – that which cannot be known. Reason is an effort to know the unknown. Intuition is the happening of the unknowable. To penetrate the unknowable is possible, but to explain it is not.