Convinced of the omnipotence of science, people still believe in the existence of mystical experience. And the topic where scholars and crafty gurus come together very closely is intuition, or the “sixth sense.” How can you tell facts from fantasy? Yes, people have the gift of enlightenment, but.
Since ancient times, intuition has been attributed to some sacred meaning. It was assumed that it is possessed mainly by the “elect”, having a connection with higher powers – shamans, healers, psychics, clairvoyants, and even holy fools. But experience shows that almost every one of us at least once in our life has encountered the feeling that an event should happen. And it happened.
Reasonable explanation There are several basic views on the mechanism and origin of intuition.
Scientists believe that intuition is nothing more than the ability of our brain to unnoticeably for us to read quite obvious information, to correlate it with existing experience and to draw appropriate conclusions. The participation of consciousness for this process is not necessary. Everything happens in the “background”. We noted the features of facial expressions, reactions to the interlocutor’s event – and we already guess what he will say or do. No magic
The information accumulated by the brain may not be realized, but the body reacts unmistakably. That is why often the totality of some small events causes unformed anxiety in us, the cause of which we cannot understand at all. And when tragedy occurs – we believe that this alarm was a “premonition”. In fact, anxiety is often a derivative of our physical sensations, which are primary. For example, increased heart rate, the acceleration of the autonomic nervous system – most often interpreted as anxiety. The question is why these mechanisms are launched.
Researcher from the University of Iowa (USA) Antonio Damasio argues that the results of previous experience can trigger these processes in the body.
On such findings of the scientist pushed the results of the following experiment. The subject was offered four decks of cards: two – blue, two – green. Each card indicated the amount that the player had to receive or give to the bank. Before the start of the game, no one guessed that the blue decks were larger and the winnings, and the amounts that were to be lost, while in the green decks, the winnings were more modest, but they fell out more often.
Turning over the cards at random, the players after about fifty attempts began to understand this pattern and began to choose only green cards, not wanting to lose money. However, the temperature and humidity sensors fixed in their hands testified that intuitively they “knew everything” after a dozen attempts. From this point on, their bodies experienced stress every time they took a blue map.
But they needed forty more “trial and error” to “get the mind” to the desired solution. By this time, their bodies were already “sounding the alarm”: their hands began to sweat from tension. Still unable to substantiate their choice, they still made it. Thus, our body is often smarter than we think. Accumulated competence
The first attempt at a scientific explanation of intuition came through the writings of Carl Jung. It was he who advanced the theory of the collective unconscious as the repository of a vast potential of knowledge and experience. According to Jung, intuition provides a direct link between the consciousness and the collective unconscious, which makes it possible to meaningfully interpret the experience and, at the right moment, to accurately “foresee the future.”
Indeed, a person can know the answer to a question due to accumulated experience. So, the masters of the game of chess intuitively recognize the standard combinations, which novices do not notice. The unconscious perceives everything that is happening, and only some information reaches the level of consciousness and is even less really realized, therefore, great chess players and illusionists are so few. Integrity of perception.
It happens that as soon as a person begins to “turn on logic” in trying to find the most correct solution to the problem, he quickly moves away from the result. This effect can be explained by the fact that you can quickly understand the essence of the problem, see the situation as a whole and react with lightning speed only with the help of an intuitive experience. And intuitive experience is a complete image in which details are far from always important, they fade into the background, are taken into account, but unconsciously. Logical thinking is a chain, which is formed, starting from details, to the image of the whole.
This was also confirmed experimentally. Ya. A. Ponomarenko conducted an experiment in which the subject was first asked to “walk” through a schematic mini-maze, and then with a real one. The result was as follows: if under normal conditions, going through a maze, the subject made 70-80 errors, then after solving the schematic, no more than 8-10.
The most surprising thing, however, was that one had only to ask the subject to explain the reason for choosing the path in the maze, as the number of errors increased sharply. That is, in a well-understood logical mode, a person does not have access to his intuitive experience. As soon as he turns on the analysis, at the same time doubts arise as to the correctness of the actions.
When there is no time to think, intuition can be the result of instantaneous emotional reactions. The one smallest
the neuron transmits information from the eyes or ears to the sensory distributive center of the brain (thalamus) and back to the center of emotional control (amygdala) even before the thinking process realizes that something has happened. In this sense, intuitive experience plays a protective role, therefore it is often stereotypical. For example, a person may not like a certain type of people. In this case, intuition can lead to the rejection of communication for no apparent reason.
Virginity and the “third eye”
People inclined to mysticism insist that the sixth sense has its own “organ”. This is a pea-sized organ – the epiphysis, which is behind the pituitary gland. The epiphysis is called the “third eye” because this organ is activated by the action of light pulses emanating from the eyes. In addition, in amphibians this organ has the rudiments of the lens and retina, which also makes it look like an organ of vision. Descartes did once consider the epiphysis to be the concentration of the soul in the human body, but at present the only confirmed function of this organ is the production of melatonin, a regulator of daily rhythms.
Adherents of “spiritual practices” convince followers that the pineal gland is the “antenna” that connects a person with a higher mind. There are touching stories about the thinning of the bones in the place of the “third eye manifestation” after long meditations.
A self-respecting guru will definitely talk about the “brain sand”, which supposedly is a “conductor” of electromagnetic waves. Researchers, however, on this infectious laugh. About cute bones is an absolute fantasy, and the mysterious “sand” is just a known process of calcification of the gland, which is often bad – a large calcification is associated with Alzheimer’s.
Diverse teachers are convinced that intuition is best manifested in those who practice abstinence, for only virgins are true assistants to the oracle. And this hypothesis is not original originality. The general opinion of experts – intuition is explained by the work of the brain and does not require an antenna and special mystical functions of the pineal glands and others. Neither sexual abstinence, nor attempts to become a virgin will help her develop. Although, perhaps, people who think so should practice abstinence and withdraw from the genetic pool of humanity.
People without feelings
In fact, there are those who are completely unaware of such a phenomenon as intuition. As a rule, these are people with a high level of anxiety or those who are prone to rationalization in everything. Although, in fact, these two types are very similar to each other.
In patients with neurotic disorders, there is a decrease in intuitive abilities in all parameters (temporary, spatial, personality-situational), they do not trust and do not “feel”, try to foresee and take everything into account, so that everything their experience could tell them blocked by doubts.
If we consider the lack of intuition from the point of view of “intellectual theory”, then it is quite natural. A person who is in constant tension is not able to recognize either his own or other people’s feelings. He sees everything separately, in details, and cannot catch the whole.
Knowing the mechanisms of the formation of intuition, one can successfully apply the methods of its development. One such approach is called “priming.” This is a curious effect, which experts call the “preceding effect”. The word priming comes from the English to prime – “prepare, instruct in advance.” Once faced with any phenomenon, we capture it, often unconsciously. And having met him “again” – we learn.
The more information we receive about a particular phenomenon, event, the greater the chance that we will intuitively make the right decision in a similar situation. However, there is a catch here. So, having been impressed by any criminal history, we can incorrectly assess just a similar situation and react aggressively.
A person who is in constant tension is not able to recognize either his own or other people’s feelings. Priming is compared to an autopilot who takes a lot of decisions without our participation, leaving the consciousness with more important tasks. He eliminates the intentions of the person and controls our presentation through unconscious impressions. It is the priming that makes it possible to make quick decisions, and since we do not know where the “droves” are from, we often call this our sixth sense.
Thus, it is possible to say with confidence that intuition exists and is actively involved in all spheres of a person’s life. It is quite realistic to apply it, if we strive for self-development, self-understanding, in some way to abandon stereotypes. And then, perhaps, Kant’s words will turn out to be fair: “Intuition never fails those who are ready for everything.”