What Happened To Intuition?
It’s the year 2017, and sadly, we’ve all pretty much been plagued with the same addiction of technology dependency.
The fifteen seconds while waiting at a stoplight is suddenly such a swirling abyss of boredom and restlessness that you can’t succumb yourself to, so you check your phone for salvation.
A commercial break stirs up an unbearable amount of impatience, so you automatically pick up your phone to drown it out by scrolling through Facebook.
Eating a meal alone is just too boring and uninspiring, so you mindlessly scroll through Twitter and Instagram the entire time to see what other people are up to.
Our worlds are now filled with information-overload, kernels of distraction at the touch of a screen, constant multitasking and overly abundant external stimuli.
And the paradox is that when we try to get away from all of this just to silence it out, we still turn to technology. We get pulled right back into the incessant scrolling as we look for a way out. It’s exhausting.
So, I’m wondering: how did clouded and cluttered lives become the new norm, and what did we sacrifice in compensation?
Intuition is your “inner voice” or “gut feeling” that’s always trying to get in touch with you, and it’s you in your purest form.
Sometimes it’s quiet and musters up faint little chirps, and other times it sounds like a fire alarm blasting all of your heart’s desires right from the organ itself. It knows what feels most right for you, what path you should take in any situation, and when something just doesn’t sit quite right. You might not know how it knows these things or where in the world it comes from, but it’s important to give it your full attention.
It’s a source of wisdom that doesn’t deserve to be thrown out by any means – some even call it the highest form of intelligence. And the best part is that when you’re in touch with your intuition and inner truth, you’re living your life from the inside-out, when all we’ve been doing these days is living from the
Yet, we constantly ignore intuition and choose either a) distraction (cell phones – the perfect crutch) or b) our tendency to over think, rationalize, and data collect when confronted with an issue or problems. We’ve come to believe that life can’t be as easy as just listening to our intuitions. Instead, we believe we must always “Stop and think,” “Tread with caution,” collect as much data as we can before you make a calculated move, or simply drown it out with a distraction.
Albert Einstein pointed out that "the intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
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I was reading a book the other day that mentioned religious texts, and an epiphany hit me. The Torah, among other texts, was written ages ago in a no-technology world, yet even today, in 2017, it still provides lessons to guide us through life. It still sparks discussions, raises new questions and makes us think. Since the time it was written and up through today, the Torah has been studied by millions people within their lifetimes and discussed by some of the world’s top scholars, and we still haven’t reached the end of its teachings. Considering that the Torah was written in a far less advanced society than we have today, it’s remarkable that its wisdom is so true that it’s maintained relevancy despite the test of time.
And the fact that the Torah is still pertinent to our lives makes me think that we seek its teachings because it represents intuition, and it comforts us when we have trouble accessing the intuition that lies within ourselves. It represents a universal truth, taps on our shoulder signaling us to pay attention, and wisdom on how to take that next step at certain forks in the road.
And I realized that maybe what we’re consistently chasing after is how to listen to and interpret our intuitions, and that maybe the Torah has always been there to help us get closer to this goal. Maybe that’s why we turn to it when we need advice or help, because we’re having trouble hearing ourselves to find answers. Maybe the Torah serves as a universal human intuition. And not only does it help us to hear ourselves, but its stories make us think in ways so that we can better understand the relationship between the outside world and our inside world, helping us to optimally function and live our lives in a society that’s fluctuating and unpredictable.
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Perhaps the solution to our problems or knowing what to do at a crossroads can be found deep inside our bones if we take the time to peel back layers and search. If we could just move away momentarily from overthinking and technological distractions, and instead, get to a place of stillness and the quiet of just being alone with ourselves, we can clear out an inner path for the voices to come up and reach us. And considering how we spend our lives in the search for purpose and meaning, maybe all of the answers are right there in what our inner voices are saying, and we’ve just been looking for them in the wrong places.
Perhaps they’ve been there all along. Rabbi Meier told me the other day, “perhaps when you hear something that’s true, you’re not learning it for the first time; you’re simply recognizing.”
And that made me think some more. If intuition has always been there, and if our souls are eternal, then maybe intuition and the soul really are one and the same.