An article by Anke Sommer
Tracing the intuition phenomenon
First of all, anything that our minds can’t grasp is something that we can’t follow with logic; it’s intuitive. Some people don’t mind when they encounter intuition while others distance themselves from it and first take a critical look at intuitive statements. Still others reject anything connected with intuition, and there are a few people who don’t know what to make of intuition at all.
Yet all of us have something like intuition in our makeup. In this article, we will trace the phenomenon together and take a look at the areas where following our intuition can be beneficial to us; finally, we will address the issue of how we can follow our intuition. In short, we will reveal the mystery that is woven around intuitive ability.
The origin of the word
In Latin, intueri (deponens) means ‘observe, consider’. It can also be translated as ‘be looked at’, a passive form of experience; this links it to the passive sense of ‘determining by sensing’ and ‘inspiration’ (Lat.: intuitum).
If we research further in this direction, we encounter terms such as ‘gut feeling’, ‘inner voice’, ‘flash of inspiration’, ‘impulse’ and ‘instinct’. These words give us a wider sense of what intuition could mean – but we still don’t know how it works. If we now encounter the word ‘enlightenment’ in our research, some people will drop out at this point, claiming that they want nothing to do with being ‘enlightened’, because it’s something that can’t be proved and understood by logic. Others’ eyes brighten and their cheeks go red with excitement on the topic of being ‘enlightened’, because they associate the word with something very good. Enlightenment is a piece of the puzzle en route to discovering the sense and meaning of intuition. In Old High German, enlightenment is arliuhtan; in Middle High German the word for enlightenment or ‘lighting up’ is erliuhtunge. The Latin word is illuminatio. Lesen Sie hier die Bedeutung des Begiffs Intuition. Intuition ist Teil der Leadership Entwicklung im Institut Sommer. Klicken Sie hier für mehr.... Read more and enlightenment have two things in common: there is no logical explanation for them, and they appear suddenly.
Then there’s the ‘flash of inspiration’ that is often sketched as a light bulb shining brightly above our heads, an image that also brings us closer to solving the mystery. It enables us to hazard a guess as to the way intuition functions. An intuition manifests itself and thus becomes graspable in the form of a thought. The thought is often linked to a strong feeling and may also appear in a flash.
Making intuition tangible
A flash of inspiration enlightens our thinking and we suddenly know what to do when we’ve been looking for an answer that we just couldn’t find. So it seems that intuition helps us to find answers to questions that logic couldn’t help us with. Finding an answer that we couldn’t find through logic is certainly a practical benefit.
The link to the subconscious
What’s more, intuition is linked to the subconscious. That is why the intellect has problems with intuition: the mind can’t grasp it. No wonder, because the subconscious can’t be grasped by the intellect. In common thinking, intuition is linked to gut feelings, and gut feelings with protection, which is responsible for survival. So intuition also seems to embody a protective function that aims to guarantee survival. This explains the countless stories of experiences of people in need, whose intuitive ideas showed them the way out of their difficulty.
So if the result of an intuition is useful for ‘my own’ protection, then I have discovered another use for it. But how can I, as a person dominated by their intellect, follow my intuition?
Following intuition means accepting it as a form of communication.
What would happen if we viewed intuition as a form of communication? We would first examine our everyday communication to see which parts of it are intuitive. We would also acknowledge that our feelings, emotions and flashes of inspiration are all significant aspects of communication.
For example, if you’re a manager in a large company and the level below you is drawing you into an intrigue then your intellect is the last part of you that would remove you from this intrigue. No, it would more likely be the gut feeling that communicates with you, that shows you the way out of the plight, like a flash of inspiration.
Impulses like these are usually simple, clear, precise, and unmistakeable – nothing like logical thought progressions. They are simply a stimulus that saves the day.
For your health
My hope for you is that you will not push this impulse away, but instead first simply examine it. Doing this in itself brings you a big step closer to following your intuition and you also get closer to maintaining your health. This is because your health also needs intuition in order to prevent the damage that can be forced on it through too much control by your mind.
If you’re interested in the topic of intuition as a leadership instrument, please note the following two events on the subject: ‘Discover your intuition – LEADERSHIP workshop with animals’ and ‘Intuition as Adventure: giving it a concrete form and using it as a leadership tool’.
You can find more information at: https://www.institut-sommer.de/leistungen/leadership-coaching/.