Can science prove that we have an intuition or must we search the past? Here we compare religion, ancient spiritual
beleifs and science to find answers.
There have been several, famous minds throughout history who have spoken of the importance of trusting our intuition. From Albert Einstein, Aristotle, Napoleon Bonaparte, Nikola Tesla, to Oprah Winfrey – to name a few – and yet, we hear nothing of this throughout our formal education.
I wanted to research both scientific and spiritual beliefs in order to aid my own journey as learning how to access and trust our intuition is easier said than done. I had so many questions; how do I know what my intuition is? Where is this guidance coming from? Can it be scientifically proven? Is it a feeling or a cognitive function? Or did I eat something bad at lunch?
Here is what I found?
Upon researching this topic for my book, I came across a talk by Dr Martin L. Rossman who emphasises the importance of an ‘emotional education’. He demonstrates just how significant and impactful this skill is, and deserves equal attention as the intellect receives.
We are thoroughly versed in the skills required in order to take the next step in our education; primary school, high school to university or college – and not on how we cope and navigate our everyday life, successes, failures, love and our relationships with others.
I think everyone can agree, that our bodies have a lot more tools available to us, than we currently know of and with our education and social structure based entirely off of intellect – more predominant in the western world – now is more important a time than ever, to seek truths from the past, in order to get a glimpse into what we are capable of.
…But instinct is something which transcends knowledge. We have, undoubtedly, certain finer fibres that enable us to perceive truths when logical deduction, or any other willful effort of the brain, is futile.Nikola Tesla
Topics covered in this post:
- Can science prove we have intuition?
- Spiritual definitions of intuition; religion, ancient spiritual beliefs and many cultural traditions,
- How we access our intuition,
- Final thoughts.
Can science prove we have intuition?
The English language is superb but when it comes to defining our emotions, it falls short; our intuition is defined as an emotion and not a cognitive act, making it difficult to prove within the scientific community, whereas ancient spiritual beliefs may offer a more detailed and conclusive theory on how to use it and what it is for. Ultimately it comes down to your own belief system and what you feel to be true.
Whilst training as an EFT & TFT therapist, I came across the work of Dr Candace Pert who discovered the mind-body connection. Dr Pert proved that the brain was hard-wired to respond to the body’s internal morphine which means that everyone has the same engineering in the brain for creating bliss. Her research led to the discovery of natural opiates in the body – a chemical that binds to the receptors in the brain and body, associated with pain, reward and addictive behavior.
Our emotions are regulated by neuropeptides which can be found in the brains memory centres and are jam-packed with these receptors – ready to interact with those peptides. As a result, our emotions and memory are intertwined.
Your subconscious mind is really your body. Peptides are the biochemical correlate of emotion.Dr Pert
Our biologically active peptides, can also be found in the gastrointestinal tract, coined as the gut-brain axis in the 1970s, meaning, that our brain can send signals to the gut and vice versa, through a sort of data pathway, however, here’s where it gets interesting; the peptide-secreting endocrine cells of the gut do not, leaving science unable to define the exact role our microbiota-gut-brain interaction have.
Neurons, however, are also polarized secretory cells in that they store neurotransmitter and neuropeptides in synaptic vesicles but release their secreted products only at the nerve terminal. As a consequence, the membrane sorting problem, a topic of much current study in polarized and secretory cells, is especially intriguing and challenging in the neuron.Exerp
tfrom the study Membrane Traffic in Neurons and Peptide-secreting Cells R.B. Kelly,
K.M. Buckley, T.L. Burgess, S.S. Carlson, P. Caroni, J.E. Hooper, A. Katzen, H.-P. Moore, S.R. Pfeffer, and T.A. Schroer
Laymen terms? The data held in our neuropeptides – that travel back and forth from our gut to our brain – carry with them pain, nausea and discomfort which is why gastrointestinal diseases are associated with pain, anxiety and depression. These neurons know exactly where to release that information. This also tells us, that science can only prove that we use our gut intuition in its literal sense; Scientists in the University of
Ever heard the phrase don’t go food shopping whilst hungry?
Hunger actually reduces our memory recall, resulting in the reliance of our intuition. For example, these Scientists at Exeter University tested how well an animal could survive in an environment riddled with predators; food was scattered at various points and in some areas, in short supply. Whether the animal used its cognitive abilities – for example, their logic – to survive or their intuition alone, gave them the same chance of survival. The difference, however, was if the food was too close to a predator – or an external threat to its livelihood – the animal was influenced by its gut feeling to deter it from going after the food, which in turn, encouraged it to venture out into new territory.
This information found that both animals and humans – we are mammals – showed that studying the animal’s brain activity during this time may show it was highly active, nevertheless, they were actually relying on their gut intuition.
Spiritual definitions on intuition.
Hinduism offers a very definitive description of what we define as intuition; a belief shared amongst other ancient spiritual beliefs differing in terminology.
Anja is known as the ‘guru chakra’ or third-eye chakra located slightly above but in between our eyebrows. In the Hindu tradition, it is the sixth primary chakra in the body and known as a part of the brain that can be accessed through meditation and yoga. This intuition centre is connected to our pituitary gland, eyes, head and lower part of the brain which can be developed as if it were a muscle.
According to dr Deepak Chopra, our intuition is treated as a sixth sense, comparatively in science, the proven sixth sense accounts for 16.7% of the body and referred to as the energy, meridian pathways, or our emotional body.
Our intuition is an inner sense for guidance that is believed to be a portal linked to the soul that helps us make the right decisions in life, regardless of what our intellect or ego uses in order to make a conclusion about a person, situation, what we eat, etc.
Intuition is an active inner awareness of the immortal blissful Self within. It is the eye of wisdom through which the sage senses in everything the unseen Presence. It is the Divya Chakshu (or Prajna Chakshu or Jnana Chakshu) through which the Yogi or the sage experiences the supreme vision of the all-pervading Atman or Brahman. It corresponds to the Brahmakara Vritti of the Vedantins. It is the third spiritual eye of Yogins and sages.Swami Sivananda
Like science, many religions and spiritual traditions, link the brain to what we define as gut intuition which in my opinion, is curiously similar; the difference being, science uses intellect in order to discover and define, whereas spiritual beliefs are based on trusting inner, enate wisdom, separate from intellect.
Buddhism finds intuition to be a faculty in the mind of immediate knowledge and puts the term intuition beyond the mental process of conscious thinking, as the conscious thought cannot necessarily access subconscious information, or render such information into a communicable form.Elizabeth Davies – Women’s Intuition. Celestial Arts, 1989
In catholicism, our intuition is defined similarly to the philosophical view that considers it a ‘fundamental process of our knowledge’ – Catholic Encyclopedia – which is used as a moral compass that influences our actions. Within this religion, our intuition serves as a combination of both our intellectually found knowledge and sensory perceptions; sensuous or empirical intellectual intuition – what our senses first perceive,
intuitive morality and intuitional ethics – inner knowing of moral principles, moral qualities of our actions.
Nevertheless, Catholicism has determined that our intellect and sensory perceptions are unable to access or achieve a connection to that of spirit;
But it is easy to show that if intuition is necessary for every act of knowledge, it remains essentially insufficient in our present life, for scientific and philosophical reflection. In our knowledge of nature, we start from observation, but observation remains fruitless if it is not verified by a series of inductions and deductions. In our knowledge of God, we may indeed start from our nature and from our insufficiency and aspirations, but if we want to know Him we have to demonstrate, by discursive reasoning, His existence as an external and transcendent Cause and Supreme End. We may indeed, in Ethics have an intuition of the notion of duty, of the need of a sanction; but these intuitive notions have no moral value if they are not connected with the existence of a Supreme Ruler and Judge, and this connection can be known only through reasoning.Catholic Encyclopedia
How To Access Your Intuition.
If there is one thing I have learned over the past 7 years, it is that my limitlessness lies in my ignorance and not within the boundaries of my intellect and so, with an open mind and heart; or should I say gut? I began reading a book called The Path of Intuition by Anne Salisbury PhD and Greg Meyerhoff.
I must warn you, for those new to the concept of ancient spirituality, this book may be a bit much; it is not exactly gentle on the subject of channelling and their concept of God. However, they do offer some valuable tools that have worked consistently for me over the past year or so and taught me how to access my intuition, of which I would like to share with you.
It is of course, not the only way to access your intuition, however, it is the easiest method I have found for those starting off on their spiritual journey.
Through our intuition, Source responds to our requests and feeds us information.Anne Sailsbury – The Path of intuition
At the route of this method, it is their belief that we are spiritual beings having a human experience; upon the development of our intellect, we became distant from our innate, spiritual wisdom and became bogged down by negative thinking that created too much emotional weight, thus blocking our ability to be light like spirit.
Through meditation – quietening of the mind and lulling the body into a relaxed state – we are able to shut off from our intellect and feel into the body and spirit. As a result, we can use the crown chakra – known as Sahasrara; the opening at the top of our head – to allow a tunnel of light to enter the body.
This tunnel of light, in their experience, is wisdom that feeds us the information we need in order to maintain our world. By world, they mean, our microcosmic universe in which we create our reality. Through allowing this tunnel of light to enter the body, we can ask a question in which we will receive the answer. How we ask those questions can be through thought and or emotion – similar to Gregg Braden’s Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer.
How we distinguish the answers to be true or not, lies in our ability to keep our tunnel of light clear and clean, meaning, untouched by our intellectual beliefs, or filters that we would use in order to translate those answers. In short, the body needs to undergo regular maintenance just like the mind by ridding ourselves of harmful toxins, harmful belief systems that prevent us from reaching our true potential – negative thoughts, trauma – so that we have a clean space in which to work with spirit.
Throughout this process, it is mandatory that we love ourselves, which takes time. Through love, we won’t doubt our abilities to create our own reality or affect the world in which we live in. Anything other than love, will deter spirit and reduce our ability to access our intuition or innate wisdom.
Using our imagination, we can create a tube or tunnel that upon opening the crown chakra, welcomes the divine light into our body. We can ask the divine to clear any doubt, unwanted beliefs that cloud our judgement and prevent Source/God from providing access to our intuition. We can request the tube of light be kept clear, pristine, filled with love and kept separate from our intellect and sensory body, of which we can feel.
Dharmic traditions in India tell us that gaining access to our intuition means that an individual has opened their third-eye chakra or Anja. This individual is sometimes known as a seer. So too in Buddhism, the third-eye is our access to intuition or higher wisdom.
Both cultures, access intuition by first, entering into a meditative state; keeping your spine erect – yet in its natural, slightly curved state – you want to relax into the body and observe the changes to your breath, without influencing it consciously.
Think of your spine as the gateway to the brain – when we have bad posture, such as slouching, it is known to be influenced by an emotional state and we want to avoid that.
In traditional Chinese traditions and Taoism – living in harmony with the Tao Dao; The Way – training the third-eye involves turning our attention onto the middle of the brows, with our eyes closed, whilst placing your body in what is known as Qigong positions.
Qigong positions are a combination of meditation, body-postures, movement and breathing, as it is believed, we must be in vibrational alignment with the universe.
At first, this can cause you to get a headache from the straining, however, just like working a muscle, your eyes will eventually get used to this position.
Whichever method you chose to explore, there seems to be no doubt that for both men and women, we have access to another sense that many of us, do not consciously utilize to our benefit. The more I research esoteric belief systems, the more I am reassured that our bodies sole purpose, isn’t to hold up the head but in its own right, an incredible form of engineering in which we have to look to ancient spiritual beliefs to provide instructions for.
Science is catching up and the concept of spirituality is by no means new age, to the contrary, most religions in comparison are inf act, new age and therefore do not contain the answers we ultimately look for.
Religion, science and spiritual base practices can be a wonderful thing; as humans, we feel safer within boundaries and structure. Nevertheless, turning within is ultimately where the real education should begin and I can not begin to list the many ways, training my body, with practices such as this, and exploring the many different ways my body can function and serve me, has been profound.
Intuition is often associated with being in touch with our emotions, and more commonly defined as a feminine quality and yet every man and woman is born with this natural ability. Our intuition, whether we look at it in its literal sense or spiritually, is vital to every human’s well-being, safety and experience in life.
With the focus on intellect, our other skill sets seem to have been dismissed, and intuition is still, rather undermined; hearing of it only when there has been a tragedy or negative situation. Yet, throughout history, it has served people well. Maybe it is time to pay it more attention.
Do you have any thoughts on the topic? Let me know in the comment section below as I would love to learn more about the subject.
Sending love and light,