Excerpt: the science of psychology does not know much about what is going inside our mind. Since there are no scientific proofs for the existence of the soul, scientists can not allow themselves to go beyond the mind to explain daily life occurrences, like intuition. This lacuna is unfortunate and here, while debating with the Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman's work, I am suggesting that super intuition is something to be considered, explored and adopted, if humanity wants to claim its true heritage and march into a brighter future.
Daniel Kahneman (1934-) is an Israeli-American psychologist and a Nobel laureate. He is notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, behavioral economics and hedonic psychology.
In the last decade, he has dedicated his time to complete a scientific theory about the way our mind uses intuition. His book, titled "To think, slow and fast", has received extreme superlatives by worldly thinkers such as Nassim Taleb, Prof. Daniel Gilbert (Psychologist, Harvard University) and Steven Pinker (Brain researcher, Harvard University). In 2011 Kahneman gave an interview to Calcalist, an economic Israeli newspaper, in which he spoke about his new book and the theory he has developed regarding the identification and tracking of the human intuition and cracking the common faults it carries in it. His theories reflect the current leading thoughts in the scientific psychological community. Unfortunately, science is lagging way beyond the what really does happen in our psyche.
In the following paragraphs, I would like to raise some criticism on Kahneman's conclusions and assumptions, as described in the interview, in light of my own findings on this subject.
What is intuition?
Kahneman claims that Intuition is the automatic mechanism in the mind which is unaware, uncontrolled and operates behind the scene. He calls this mechanism "system 1". The regular mind chatter, the flow of thoughts, the aware thinking, are termed by him "system 2". Both systems, according to Kahneman, are responsible to take care of our daily life, to handle unpredictable situations and to make decisions and plans about the future.
What I find most unfortunate in that statement is the fact that it does not go deep enough, beyond the mind, to a plane where other parts of the Self, exist. There lies the real intuition, or, what Kahneman would probably call "Super-intuition". I will share with you a story that will demonstrate where real intuition comes from.
A rich man in my dream
Years ago I was dreaming that I was the personal assistant of a very rich Israeli businessman. He took me in his limousine to a jewelry shop in Jerusalem, then left me in the car and went in to buy something. I was thinking (and feeling) that soon he would come out and bring me some money. That made me very happy. Then he did come out, I lowered the car window and he handed me a bill of 1 dollar. I was disappointed, but he then waved his finger at me and said: "This 1 dollar will be worth a lot". And the dream ended. I woke up and carried on with my day. Two days later, a relative of mine called to ask for an advice about her legal lawsuit against the insurance company. "They want to settle. They offer me money but much less than I want. What do you think? Should I accept their offer?" As soon as she finished I remembered my dream from two days before and knew that she should agree. "Take the offer, the little sum of money you will receive now will worth a lot", I told her, quoting my intuitive self from the dream.
Intuition comes from a much deeper place than the mind. It comes from a nearby dimension, a place that exists outside the boundaries of the box we call mind. From that place, I received the intuitive answer to my relative's question. Many of us, although not remembering our night-dreams, have such moments of inspiration during the day which are based in the near-cognitive worlds of the self. Kahneman's theory, I suspect, ignores such level of intuition. His scientific orientation forbids him to acknowledge anything that has not been proven in laboratories. And the art of dreaming, as we know, is still considered occult.
But what would Kahneman say about artists who report of blasts of inspiration that lead them to create songs, books and other items of art? And generally, where does muse come from? Kahneman would probably explain that system 1, i.e. intuition, is responsible for such artistic inspiration which surfaces from the mind through the associative process. Association is a key element in his theory. However, in my opinion, based on my own experience, true intuition, or what I call super intuition, is beyond association. New inventions must be new. If all inspiration came only from known associations then humanity would still be living in the Stone Age.
Kahneman also argues that intuition is always bound by the laws of the reality; that it is based on known orders and laws, that it will always fight to justify its initial belief.
However, the intuition that Kahneman's speaks of is what we know as an impulse, a gut feeling. It is the pale and immature offspring of the intuition that I speak of, the Super Intuition.
Kahneman says that if we want to harness our intuition to our benefit we need to program it, and the way to do it is through setting rules, extensive practice and a continuous immediate feedback from an expert.
Again, I have to disagree. True intuition is not rational at all and will not succumb to known rules, will not improve by repetitive exercises and will definitely not require external opinion as to its validity.
Super-Intuition constantly speaks with our mind. It feeds it with inspirations, innovative thoughts, visions about the futures and more. The problem is that only a small shred of those knocking-pieces-of- information is allowed by our mind to be aware. The guard, our mind, filters out most of it for reasons I would not go into here and now. Therefore, the way to allow the intuition is by stopping the regular process of thinking. To focus our attention on the present moment and to utilize our regular thinking process only to accomplish immediate tasks which are necessary to our daily proper functioning.**
I have much esteem and appreciation for a scientist and researcher like Kahneman. However, I am afraid that his words on the subject of intuition might be taken as sacred and therefore would impede other researchers the further exploration of true intuition.
Our comfort, as humans who try to understand themselves, lies in the fact that there are scientists who claim that people receive their best decisions while they are not thinking about the subject at hand. They go further and suggest to sleep or think about other things in order to allow quality decision making. If that route is followed then true intuition will come to the fore.
Then, a new era in mankind will begin.
And what happened eventually to my relative, you may wonder? Well, she took the offer and used it to buy a small apartment. Now, years after, her initial investment tripled its original worth. Would it happen without my intuitive suggestion? Probably yes. But the wisdom that was available to me then and the confidence in which I gave my advice to her, were helping to make the right choice. That wisdom is available to each and every human, right now, anytime, and anywhere.