Only relatively recently have we as a species given prominence to the so-called rational mind over the intuitive mind. The trend exacerbated by Cartesian thinking has left humanity existentially bereft, divorced from the well of instinctual knowledge, or gnosis, and susceptible to mind-control.
The ancients gave prominence to what we call the subconscious mind and rightly saw it as omniscient. They understood that the conscious mind uses selective awareness to screen out any information that doesn’t fit within the context of the everyday, that it acts as a filter.
This ‘every-day’ filter is comprised of a story made up of a vast complex of descriptions of reality, and relies for its continuity and validity on the function of belief vs disbelief, which in turn relies on an ongoing internal narrative that occurs in the prefrontal lobes.
At around the time hunter-gathering was superseded by agriculture, our forebears, on account of waiting for crops to grow or fail, were obliged to become future-referenced in their thinking, instead of being present-centered as their hunter-gatherer predecessors would have necessarily had to be – you’d not be much good in a hunting pack, dealing with ferocious animals if your mind was occupied with worrying about the future, or dwelling in the past. Furthermore you’d have needed intuition to know where and what best to forage, and hearing the messages arising from intuition requires being cognitively present.
This future-referenced mind became so adroit at constructing what-if scenarios and projecting them like movies into the prefrontal lobes, as if onto a screen in the back of the frontal (forehead) bone, it actually then mistook the movie for reality itself. This required so much cognitive attention it all but blocked out the intuitive faculties altogether.
Intuition became replaced by beliefs, by relying on the so-called rational mind. In fact this is merely the rational mind operating within the necessarily limited confines of a self-constructed story.
While the storyline might vary between the extremes of hope and triumph, and fear and failure, the components of the story as they appear in the internal narrative, albeit disguised in far more elaborate form, were, and remain to this day, as two basic questions: in the situation I perceive myself to be, am I going to live or die, and am I going to win or lose.
When present-centered, hence outside of the story-realm, your intuition naturally, spontaneously tells you everything you need to know at any given moment, in any given situation.
But as soon as you revert to story-mode you can no longer hear what it’s telling you, and hence have to rely on imagination based on perceptions and imprints of past experiences.
It’s this that creates the groundhog day quality to daily life, as well as numbing you to the actual exhilaration of being alive thus causing you to waste the most precious gift you’ll ever receive: existence.
So how do we circumvent this compulsive story-mode and find ourselves present-centered and available to the messages coming from our intuition?
The answer, according to the wonderful ways of the ancient Taoists, masters of the human condition, is two-fold – firstly you have to shift your vantage point, whence you’re observing reality, and two you have to stimulate the chi in your kidneys, liver and heart.
To preclude launching into a whole book’s worth at this stage, in a nutshell, it goes as follows:
Mentally differentiate between your arm and your hand.
Now move attention first to the hand, and what it’s feeling like (tense, relaxed, hot, cold etc), then to the arm and do the same.
That was easy.
Next differentiate between your leg and your arm.
Move attention first to the leg and then to the arm, and again discern how it feels in each.
Slightly trickier but still easy.
Next differentiate between your front all the way from your forehead down to your pubic bone, and your back all the way from the back of the head down to the sacral bone. Move your attention into your front. Ascertain how it’s feeling in there – hot/cold/soft/hard/noisy/quiet/weak/strong etc. Now move attention into the back and do the same.
Notice the back is immediately obviously far quieter, more still, stronger and calm.
Faced with these two options, while the stimulation-oriented self might wish to choose the front, momentarily override that urge and, for the purposes of this exercise, choose the rear option instead.
Sit in your back instead of your front in other words.
Watch the world, both the inner and outer worlds, from there.
Now, according to this system, the kidneys correspond to the water element. Hence their authority over the bladder and so on. But also over your ability to flow through life like water. The kidneys are also in charge of the bones, their strength and resilience, as well as the joints that join them to other bones and thus enable them to take part in forming a skeleton.
Hence why the old expressions, ‘I feel it in my waters’, and ‘I feel it in my bones’.
Without going into book-mode explanations then, let me just shortcut and say the kidney chi is whence arises intuition.
Look at the inner ankles and note a triangle dent of sorts between the ankle bone and the tip of the heel. Press right into the middle of it with your thumb, and you’ll feel it delightfully tender. Keep pressing patiently for a few moments till the tenderness dissolves – repeat on both feet.
The heart facilitates consciousness – the brain processes it but the heart chi enables it in the first place – the heart chi gives a sense of shape to consciousness and provides the sense of self in the midst of it.
When intuitive impulses arise they have to be assimilated within the context of the self or they have no relevance. The heart chi enables this.
Press a thumb into the highest point of the armpit, the dead center of it, stretch your arm out and wind the arm in a backwards circle as if winding a pulley. Allow the winding motion to cause the thumb pressure to exert extra stimulus. After nine or so circles change arms and repeat.
The liver is in charge of vision, both in a physical sense – the eyes are the ‘flower of the liver’ – and in an inner-vision sense – the ability to discern and decode the intuitive messages coming through. The liver also the energy and motivation to follow them.
Feel between the big toe and next toe along, move the fingers up the web towards the top of the foot. When you can’t go any further without running over the bone, press that point at the top of the web, angling the pressure straight down as if towards the sole. Once intelligent contact has been made repeat on the other foot.
You’ve now stimulated the three energies sufficiently to activate a healthy flow of intuition.
Meanwhile, may this serve you well, dear reader.
With love, Barefoot