Faith, Power and Intuition

March 26, 2010

A Christmas Cactus Explodes Into Bloom

There seems to be an interesting relationship between faith and intuition. It was St. Thomas Aquinas who said, “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” Although I suspect he was referring very specifically to faith in Christianity, my observation is that this perspective extends across many traditions. I recall during the many frequent debates with my parents around my disbelief in their traditional Christian doctrine, my mother said in response to my logical dissection of her argument “You have got to have faith” My response was “Mother, you can’t ‘got to’ with faith. You either have it or don’t.” Part of the argument for their beliefs were the miracles performed in the name of God. At the time I did find it puzzling that on occasion their prayers could be uncannily effective. On one occasion in answer to a prayer to help them avoid having to sell the house, an envelope arrived unexpectedly from a friend saying that ‘God had guided her to send this money.”

My study since that time has suggested equally amazing and provocative stories from almost every spiritual tradition. Whether it is Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism – miracles are performed in the name of God. Unfortunately this common relationship between power and different beliefs does nothing to reconcile conflict or competition between them. For my own part I have had to conclude that there is a relationship between faith and acts of synchronicity that defy the wisdom of logic.

For many years I felt excluded from accessing what appeared to be a universal energy. I knew I could not create faith just because there appeared to be power associated with having it and I suspect that having ‘false faith’ would not be as effective. As the years passed I found a belief system that worked for me. It has no formal connection with a spiritual tradition but has evolved from a sense that the universe is power. That there is a connection between us and that power and that within that connection is a guiding force that we can access through our intuition.

Intuition is an amazing gift but it requires a pre-requisite step of faith in order for us to harness it. It reminds me of my Christmas cactus that breaks into an explosion of colour when treated to water. When we believe in our intuitive capacity and set an intention to explore, it responds similarly. I believe it is as natural a human phenomenon as seeing or hearing but most of us have lost touch with it. I suspect that we are born these amazing intuitive beings but at the age of six something terrible happens to us. We get sent to school and for the next fourteen plus years we are confined within a paradigm that does not respect intuition as a tool of learning. In a workshop recently an attendee shared with me how her five-year old daughter could intuitively solve complex problems at a nearby science center without trying to work them out.

So how do we create a sense of trust in something with which we have lost trust? When working with people I try to find a language that resonates for them. For some, it is as simple as a belief that guidance comes from God, for others it may be based on the conviction that we have a higher self to help direct our journey on this earth; some have an instinctive belief in their intuitive sense of just ‘knowing something’. Intuition according to the dictionary is the faculty of knowing without the use of rational process.

When I first began coaching people on intuitive decision-making, I had a rude awakening when trying to communicate the concept to a logical skeptic. God, higher self and intuition were words that meant nothing to him. It was only when I recalled a language from a brain workshop that I attended in the eighties that I was able to break through this barrier. This language concerns the biology of the brain; within the right hemisphere of the brain we have an area that I will loosely refer to as the sub-conscious; it has the capacity to multitask and work without us being aware of it. Once we develop tools to access this aspect of who we are then we can bring this unconscious processing into our conscious awareness, this results in “the faculty of knowing without the use of rational process – we are all hard wired to be intuitive!