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Excerpted from Developing Intuition by Shakti Gawain. Copyright 2000 by Shakti Gawain. Excerpted by permission of New World Library, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"In my experience, it works best to balance and integrate logic with intuition."

  Shakti Gawain, Developing Intuition, Part 2

Our modern western culture, on the other hand, does not acknowledge the validity or even the existence of intuition. We respect, honor, and develop the rational aspect of our nature and, at least until recently, have disregarded and discounted the intuitive side.

Our school system reflects and reinforces this bias. It focuses almost exclusively on developing our left-brain, rational abilities and mostly ignores the development of the right-brain, intuitive, holistic, creative capacities. We often see the same bias in the business world. Only in recent years have some schools and businesses begun to truly value intuition, and to encourage the kind of creativity and progressive thinking that results from intuitive awareness.

The rational mind is like a computer -- it processes the input it receives and calculates logical conclusions based on this information. The rational mind is finite; it can only compute the data that it has received directly from the external world. In other words, our rational minds can only operate on the basis of the direct experience each of us has had in this lifetime -- the knowledge we have gained through our five senses.

The intuitive mind, on the other hand, seems to have access to an infinite supply of information, including information that we have not gathered directly through personal experience. It appears to be able to tap into a deep storehouse of knowledge and wisdom -- the universal mind. It is also able to sort out this information and supply us with exactly what we need, when we need it. Although the message may come through a bit at a time, if we learn to follow this flow of information step by step, the necessary course of action will be revealed. As we learn to rely on this guidance, life takes on a flowing, effortless quality. Our life, feelings, and actions interweave harmoniously with those of others around us.

In suggesting that our intuition needs to be the guiding force in our lives, I am not attempting to disregard or eliminate the intellect. Our rational faculty is a very powerful tool that can help us organize, understand, and learn from our experiences, so of course it is important to educate our minds and develop our intellectual capacities. However, if we attempt to direct our life primarily from our intellect, we are likely to miss out on a great deal. In my experience, it works best to balance and integrate logic with intuition.

Many of us have programmed our intellect to doubt our intuition. When an intuitive feeling arises, our rational minds immediately say, "I don't think that will work," or "What a foolish idea," and the intuition is disregarded. We must train our intellect to respect, listen to, and express the intuitive voice.

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