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Why have we lost our intuition?
An extract from Amisha Ghadiali’s new book, Intuition.
An extract from Amisha Ghadiali’s new book, Intuition.
We live in a rational-lensed society, where the focus is on seeing the surface level of reality and being able to explain and prove everything as true or false – while also disregarding the unseen and unexplainable. In human development, the rational part of our brain evolved later than our instinct, yet more emphasis is put on rational thought processes through our education systems and dominant culture.
In ancient cultures, intuition was a central part of life. It goes back as far as hunters and gatherers, who used their intuition to find food and stay safe. There are stories of women from Native American tribal cultures all coming together when they were menstruating – a time when women are known to be more intuitive, sensitive, and connected to collective wisdom. They would all sleep in a circle with their heads together, and dream a collective dream that would tell the men where the buffalo were, so the tribe could eat. In these cultures the intuitive and the rational world danced together as a way of life.
The de-valuing of intuition
There are many global historical events, from witch-hunts to colonialism, that have forced intuition underground. Cultures all over the world that valued intuition and passed down intelligent techniques and wisdom for survival and thriving were endangered, murdered, and enslaved. This has had a deep impact on our global culture. Many of the words associated with living an intuitive life have become derogative, such as “loon” to denote a crazy person, when it really means living in tune with the moon’s cycles, which all human beings are affected by. This is information we all take in, through our ancestral and cultural conditioning. So much so that the mention of the word witches here may have put you off reading more of this, as you possibly dismissed it as strange, or woo woo. Pay attention, as that is how strong the imprinting is that separates us from our intuitive wisdom.
Suppression of the feminine
Our intuition and other related receptive qualities, such as listening and nurturing, are considered to be our “feminine” qualities. The fear and undermining of the feminine has led to a culture that is focused on the action-based masculine qualities of doing, rationalising, and fixing. Whether you identify as a man, woman, or gender neutral, you have within you both masculine and feminine aspects. These are deep archetypal traits that complement each other, as the Chinese symbol of the Yin and the Yang shows. If you are in balance, you will have access to both these sets of skills, and they can work together in coherence.
Intuition versus capitalism
There are indigenous cultures around the world where intuition is still a part of daily life, such as tribal cultures in the Amazon. Many of these indigenous tribes have powerful initiations and their people are trained to live intuitively and protect the rainforests. They have healers and shamans that can tune in to people’s feelings and suffering all around the globe. They have premonitions about what is going to happen so they can prepare. This is also true of the yogis in India, and other spiritual cultures across the world. In Asia, ancient wisdom and spiritual traditions sit side by side with the modern way of life. In India, for example, it is very normal to have astrology readings for all major business and life decisions. In Bali there are ceremonies and rituals every day. In Japan there are special days in the calendar where you would launch a business or get married. In China, it is common to have fortune-tellers present in business meetings. There is a counterculture in the West inspired by these Eastern and indigenous ways. However, as few parts of the world are untouched by global capitalism, there is often a tension between generations, economic progress, or the demands of both ways of life.
Intuition in the modern world
Our global society and education system prepare us to be industrial workers and consumers so we feed the system. If we were all empowered in our intuition and following our soul’s purpose we would be unlikely to orient our lives around being employable, paying off debt, and keeping up with the latest trends. So we are entrained to be “followers” on social media, and live lifestyles that have our autonomic nervous systems in constant “fight or flight” mode – your body’s natural response when you feel you are in danger.
Personal and collective trauma
There is enormous personal and collective trauma that nobody is immune from. We live in a world where high levels of depression, anxiety, stress, and addictions are normalized. In addition, we have all been affected by the systems of oppression we live within, including patriarchy, neoliberalism, and racism. It can be difficult to find space to get into a calm state, where your body can perform its natural intelligent healing and you can easily make intuitive decisions. Many of us are scared to trust our intuition and are reluctant to believe it is real. Or we feel too stressed out and frazzled – we are living life on a hamster wheel rather than getting out of the cage. We can become imprisoned in our mind, yet it’s the only prison that has no walls. We’re free to walk out at any moment. The door is there, and intuition is the key to open it.
For more information, or to purchase Amisha’s book, head here.