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Intuition - Truth, Consequences & Soulwork
Martyn Carruthers 1999

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

Women more often talk about intuition - men more often talk about gut feelings.
What is the difference between intuitions, gut feelings and guessing?

Intuition - Truth and Consequences

Many times I followed my feelings into avoidable suffering. And many times I did not attend to my own feelings, and missed opportunities. I write this page to organize my thoughts, feelings and experiences about intuition.

While most people can recall feelings about situations involving risk, some people claim special or infallible insights about the truth or future of situations or opportunities - without access to facts or concrete information. These special people may make claims and predictions (often retroactively, e.g. I knew that would happen).

Claims to intuit the far future, the distant past, or life on the Pleiades, appears to be harmless delusions. Someone who can accurately intuit tomorrow's stock market prices could quickly become a billionaire ... but these self-proclaimed intuitives prefer to teach others how to duplicate their behavior.

Apart from the accuracy of intuitive advice, I am interested in the responsibilities and consequences of giving and accepting irrational advice. How responsible are the advisors? How mature are the people who pay for this? How does giving and accepting irrational advice affect people's lives - their relationships with friends, families and children, and their life path?

What is Intuition?

The word intuition comes from the Latin intueri, which translates as looking inside or contemplating. Intuition could be defined as an apparent ability to acquire knowledge without inference or logic.

As I look around today's advertisements on the internet, intuition often describes: a) guesses, or b) an unconscious synesthesia of received information, c) some sort of unrealistic idealism or d) scams.

Advert: Intuition is a comprehensive grip of the principles of universality. A person who develops intuition can know anything, without the barriers of time, space or other obstructions

As intuition is often used to proclaim or support irrational beliefs, intuition has been a subject of study in psychology, and a topic of perennial interest for members of New Age groups. The internet offers many pages about intuition training (over two million hits on Google just now).

I note that the goals of these trainings are rather abstract, without evidence or checks to test whether or not intuitions are accurate, relevant or even safe. So much is assumed to be true.

Advert: After I teach you how to listen to your intuition ... you'll possess an unfailing source of wisdom that will guide you, moving you through crises and towards your hopes and dreams.

No responsibility seems to accompany intuited advice. If their advice isn't effective - too bad - you're on your own. As for consequences, intuitive people seem most comfortable around other intuitive people (if they avoid discussing details), and do not seem overly tolerant of people with other perspectives.

I Feel Therefore I Am

Two mental facilities are thinking (inner dialogue) and feeling (self perception). Our thoughts reflect what we consciously know or at least suspect, while our feelings seem to reflect our less conscious impressions.

I avoid circular arguments that what feels right must be right because it feels right! But rather than trying to make the irrational rational, let's consider some consequences.

A parents' predictions can enormously affect their children's' lives. If parents pronounce their guesses as infallible truth, the children must either deal with this at some age, or carry a burden throughout life, not wanting to prove a parent to be wrong.

A person who offers intuitive advice to friends may lose those friends. But, if they are skilled orators, they may replace those friends with followers or even devotees.

Truth or Consequences?

Much depends on the definitions that we use. Some people's descriptions of intuition sound very much like thinking, some sound like guessing and others like random association. I have talked with many people who make important decisions on the basis of intuitions or card games that were purchased from other people.

If the intuited advice was beneficial, people give praise. If the advice was not beneficial - some intuitive people may blame the enquirer for thinking bad thoughts, having doubts or lacking faith.

This leads to a dark side of intuitive advice ... mentor damage. Dysfunctional mentors may seek compliant adults and use their authority to treat those adults as if they were children, or use them to test ideas. Some people need to influence others - especially disillusioned people or people in a mid-life crisis who want to create meaning in their otherwise meaningless lives. And some people use other people as guinea pigs or research rabbits to test their theories.

You can probably recall unpleasant experiences that damaged your relationships - even relationships with friends or family. Following mentor damage, I find that many people become unable to discern who is good for them - and who not. Some abused people avoid any form of mentorship - and some seek out many forms of advice - often simultaneously! Both reactions can increase the inner chaos.

Were you raised in a family and a community that preferred myths to reality? In my coaching, I often explore personal myths - some can be called:

  • Lost Identity - lost or diminished contact with sense of self
  • Identity Conflict - identify with two or more people simultaneously
  • Identification - identify with another person, usually while under stress
  • Identity Bonds - behavior is bonded to others, often by a need to survive

Advert: Develop your intuition with my Intuition Training!
Are you stuck and can't decide? Ask me for an intuitive consultation!

Intuition and Identity Loss

Many people complain of chronic sadness, anxiety, anger or inner criticism. We often coach such people to recover parts of themselves which were split-off during trauma or disappointment (see Inner Child). Probably you can recognize people with these symptoms ...

  • People who cannot define their own goals or outcomes
  • People who were once idealistic and are now depressed
  • People who describe empty spaces in or close to their bodies
  • People who express few or no emotions and appear dissociated
  • People with little internal motivation - they must be asked or pushed

You constantly expose your maturity. Use your feelings (intuition) and your thoughts (reason) when you choose and implement plans, without relying too much on either.

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I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers, All rights reserved 1999-2015

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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email