Finding the Voice of Intuition: Is it Intuition or just my Imagination?
In some of our classes, a question that frequently arises is how to tell the difference between one's real intuition and what may simply be a desire 'rationalized' or disguised by one's imagination.
There are several distinctions:
The "voice" of Intuition:
Will never give you reasons.
Will not make judgments.
Will not ask you to do something that harms another.
We all hear this inner voice several times a day. It's usually not accompanied with lightning, and booms of thunder. It's more like the voice that says, "take the umbrella", or "call your friend". And yes, because it's not loud and pushy, we often ignore it.
Now we'd like to elaborate on these three ideas, for our intuition speaks in many ways.
It will never give you reasons: Although the flash of insight or intuition comes in a second it also must make its way to us through our ordinary mind to our waking consciousness. We sometimes confuse its message with our own desires or tag on a reason afterward. For instance, you might have the intuition, or as we like to say it, "the thought occurred to me that I should bring an umbrella." But the very next second we think "It's not going to rain, no one else said anything about that and besides it's in the back of the closet and it will take time to find it." So we don't take it and get wet that day. The "reasons" (for or against) are tagged on by our reasonable, everyday, ordinary mind, not the intuition.
It will never judge. If you find yourself thinking you "should", "have to", or "must" take the umbrella, those judgements of should, etc, come from your desire/ego/vital mind. Perhaps you 'should' take the umbrella because it will make your mother happy that you are sensibly taking care of yourself. But, that is not an intuition.
It will never harm another. This is a slippery slope because just about everything we do has what might be seen as a negative effect on something else in our world. If we take a step we will be crushing some microbes, if we eat food we'll be killing some creature whether it be plant or animal; so don't take this literally. We say "never harm another" in terms of clear-cut instances of intentionally, knowingly causing harm to someone.
An example of a not-so-clear-cut instance is one Sunday after a public talk a woman came up to us and told us how much she enjoyed it and then gave an example from her own life that was totally different from what we had been speaking about. She had heard only that part of the talk that suited her ego/vital mind and didn't want to accept the totality of the idea. Well, part of us wanted to smile, accept the compliment and go on with our day. However, the deeper guidance within us suggested we stay a little longer and fully explain the idea to her again. At first she was not happy, but as we progressed she realized this has been one of her pattern problems all her life. Did we do harm by disagreeing instead of "making nice"? We felt we would have done more harm by allowing her mistaken impression to persist. The point here is that you'll have to investigate for yourself what "harm" is.