I haven’t posted an article on here in 5 months. This is the longest I have gone in several years. I have about 10 different unfinished projects- some of them blog posts, some of them writings for other mediums, workshops, a kirtan tour that starts in only a few days, and then the swirling raw energy of ideas, those potentialities that come and go as I wait to see what will solidify as the first jottings of my journal.
Sometimes writing is like tunneling a hole into a rock with the slow, torturous drip of water. Other times it is a sculptor patiently inviting a wooden log to reveal its hidden shape. Today it is a sailor lost at sea when unexpected winds hit, and I jump from my slumber to raise the sails.
This is an apt way to start this piece, for the topic is intuition, or the trust in our own deepest wisdom. As far as I can tell at this stage of the journey, it is all we have.
Fierce and liberating, it is this Groundlessness of Being that I am referring to, the realization that there is no external authority, nothing solid to cling to. I may seek guidance from wise teachers, counselors, and experts, look to peer-reviewed journals, follow the scientific method, or surrender to a Sacred Text or Guru, but it is the Still, Small Voice within that leads the way.
I am not claiming that we are each separate islands, as Carl Rogers once claimed. This, too, grew out of his own trust in his intuition, but it was formed at a time before we suspected individualism’s invisible hold on our thinking.
I don’t believe there is some “me” that is separate from “you.” Though our wells may appear to be different, we are drawing from the same Source. Rather than build bridges between islands, I see my work as dissolving the illusion of walls.
But I don’t blame Rogers for this mistake. I have found that my intuition is always better in retrospect and constantly clouded by the invisible programming of dominant discourse.
Luckily for me, this trust in my deepest wisdom is self-correcting. The deeper we dig, both individually and as a culture, the more we uncover unconsciously borrowed beliefs, oppressive power structures, ego defenses, distorted thinking, and the Reservoir of Pristine Wisdom underneath it all. I compare my findings to yours, we both make adjustments, and this shared knowledge benefits us all.
My experience has taught me that, right now as I write this, I am wrong about things I cannot yet even fathom. This confusion can often cause harm, and I acknowledge I am causing pain in ways I as of yet don’t know.
Part of me wants to scream out to an authority to fix this. But where to turn? What criteria would I use to pick a leader or method, and how would I evaluate the criteria? How would I rate the evaluation?
When Krishna Das had to leave India, he asked Neem Karoli Baba, “How can I serve you in America?” Maharajji’s answer was to repeat the question back to him, “How will you serve me in America?” That’s when he heard the answer arise from his own heart. “I will sing to you in America.”
This is what is often misunderstood by those who do not have a Guru, or who live outside of a faith or spiritual worldview. My relationship with my Guru, with my Faith, and with Spirit, is not a supplanting of my deepest Wisdom, it is an outpouring of it. My Intuitive Heart has led me to my spiritual path, and this path deepens my relationship with the Inner Well. As I grow in wisdom, my need to be convinced falls away, and I find myself naturally drawn to my practices, teachers, and sacred texts. It’s just what feels right.
The same is true about trusting experts, peer-reviewed evidence, and critical scholars of dominant culture. It seems much of today’s revolt against specialized knowledge stems from a lack of trust of each other. Yet, I find that trusting in shared knowledge and community experts has only sharpened my intuitive capabilities.
An atheist or materialist may feel that a spiritual seeker has yet to develop a mature intellect. A spiritual seeker may feel that a materialist has yet to go deep enough into their own heart.
Both are just where they are at on the journey, each trusting their intuition to the best of their capacity. At various times in my life, I have found myself on both of materialism’s sides. As I grow on the path, I watch as these seemingly disparate worldviews melt away into a deeper, Ineffable Essence. I trust this process will continue.
In the mean time, rather than building bridges, I will continue dissolving walls, and I aim to live my life in accordance with this Reservoir of Interrelated Being.