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Author Topic: Instinct -- is it energy or the subconscious?  (Read 9744 times)
ertha
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« Topic Start: October 30, 2008, 01:41:49 pm »

When we meet someone, why do we instinctually dislike them? How do know when something isn't right? Why are uneducated guesses sometimes really, really accurate?

I've heard instinct described as when the subconscious mind makes logical connection between different events and communicates it to the conscious mind, before the conscious mind can put the pieces together itself. I've certainly experience that: while driving I often know when someone will cut me off well before that person cuts me off. I thought about it and realized there are certain subtle signals given by drivers that they are about to do that: a small veering toward their intended lane, movement of a head in a shoulder check. Now I can consciously figure out when someone will cut me off -- no instinct required.

But then there are the times when I can't explain why I "know" something: I visited a friend who I've had a spiritual bond with for a decade. We sat down on her balcony for a coffee, and I had a vision of violence occuring, which to be is indicative of an out excessive amount of an unhealthy negative emotion (self-loathing, hatred, power-control issues). I knew it came from somewhere behind me, so I checked out the buildings behind me when we headed back in, and focussed on the left side of a green duplex. Inside, I told her about my vision, and she replied, "I bet I know which house it is. It's the left side of the green duplex." I asked if she had seen anything there, and she replied nothing out of the ordinary, she just heard things in the wind.

We walked past the house and checked out what might be different about it -- maybe a curtain hanging crooked, or some junk outside. Any sign of disarray or excessive order that implies any control issues or lack thereof. There was nothing to distinguish it from the right side, or any of the other duplexes. I don't know why we had the same instinct about the place. About a month later (after many other visits) I went to visit her and realized the duplex felt different. Before I said anything she said "they moved two days ago. It's been quiet ever since." It was a bizaare incident. I think it's instinct based on sensing energy.

Anyway, now that I've wind-bagged enough -- what do you think?
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« Reply #1: October 30, 2008, 02:06:58 pm »

But then there are the times when I can't explain why I "know" something

I think it's instinct based on sensing energy.

Playing devil's advocate here, it might also be confirmation bias: you more clearly remember the times your instinct was right, and not the times when it was wrong or simply not there.

That said, I do believe it is possible to sense energy this way. The hard part is being able to do so consistently.
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ertha
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« Reply #2: October 30, 2008, 02:14:10 pm »

Playing devil's advocate here, it might also be confirmation bias: you more clearly remember the times your instinct was right, and not the times when it was wrong or simply not there.

That said, I do believe it is possible to sense energy this way. The hard part is being able to do so consistently.
True, it could be confirmation bias. Because of that, I do remind myself to write down when I've "sensed" something, wrong, but that's only a recent thing I started doing, and I'm wrong a lot :lol:
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« Reply #3: October 30, 2008, 04:52:43 pm »

Anyway, now that I've wind-bagged enough -- what do you think?

I personally hold instinct, or intuition, in high regard. In some cases I think it is the sensing of energy, and in other cases I think it is a matter of your personal subconscious, or psychic abilities, coming into play.

The sensing of energy, to me, is what people describe as a 'gut hunch'; you just know something is going to happen. Your example of driving in a car and knowing what another driver is going to do is a good example. My husband does this all the time, but I'm useless at it. I guess I haven't paid enough attention to my 'gut hunch' in the past, or maybe it's purely because I'm a relatively new driver in comparison to him.

Clairsentience is another form of 'sensing energy' and is something that I have been finding out about recently. Clairsentience is tuning into the emotions of a person or a place, so that when you walk in somewhere you just 'know' what has recently occured in the room, or how a person is feeling. In some ways this can be seen as a psychic ability.

I'm not sure, but maybe psychic abilities are a way for your subconscious to tell you things. Perhaps those people who have the gifts of clairvoyance or clairaudience are in fact tapping into their subconscious and this is how they just 'know' something. I'm unsure about this, though.
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« Reply #4: October 30, 2008, 06:01:10 pm »

I think it's instinct based on sensing energy.

I had always thought of "instinct" as one of those primal drives, if you will, that helps us to survive like, say, avoiding prickly looking plants or sleeping more in the winter; it is instinct that compels beavers to construct dams without thinking about it..it is like a firewall to help protect us and assist in physical survival.

Intuition however works, I think, on a different level. Intuition, I think warns, us if there is, for eample, a possible danger with a individual or if there is something unusual about a environment.

Humans seem to be one of the few beings that are conscious of this and can actively choose to develop this ability.

I just see it differently.
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« Reply #5: October 30, 2008, 07:59:10 pm »

Anyway, now that I've wind-bagged enough -- what do you think?

About ten years ago there was a book entitled The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker (sp?). Essentially, he was strongly supporting the use of intuition. He stated that we should follow our gut because those feelings are there for a reason and help with survival. He addressed noting small nonverbal behaviors and attentiveness to the environment that warn us of impending danger. There was nothing psychic about the book. It was strictly just about using your senses and trusting your intuition.

I agree that we really should trust our intuition. I think some are more tuned into it than others. I think it is more than just hypervigilance to the environment. I think that it does have to do with the sensing of energy as I have had some very strong whaps upside the head about a situation or person and yet the environment was perfectly normal.
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« Reply #6: October 31, 2008, 04:44:35 am »



I'd go with the subconcious, although I'm a little uncomfortable with the connotations that a chunk of brain is somehow classified as 'other.'  Sefiru has also pointed out confirmation bias, which is a pretty big deal whenever people are talking about psychic skills, etc.

To go into more detail on the subconscious element (because to some people saying 'subconscious' is just as magical as saying 'energy'), in terms of making judgements, it's likely based off many things that you know, quite possibly mostly in the form of conscious knowledge, which are so well known or accessed, you no longer need to actually work your way through everything you *know* to get the information you desire.  In a sense, that's what you are steering towards when you gain competency in a field/ subject.  yes, you'll need to look things up and do reading, but there will be some things that you call effortlessly to mind.

In terms of forming an instant opinion about someone: well maybe they remind you in someway of the last ten arseholes you met.  Or they look like the picture of a convicted murderer in a paper <shrugs>
Unfortunately, at the point where it's unconscious, it's difficult to identify where the impulse came from.  The accuracy of the gut instinct is likely to depend on the quality of the information source/s that have gone into the instinct.
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« Reply #7: October 31, 2008, 09:03:32 am »

I had always thought of "instinct" as one of those primal drives, if you will, that helps us to survive like, say, avoiding prickly looking plants or sleeping more in the winter; it is instinct that compels beavers to construct dams without thinking about it..it is like a firewall to help protect us and assist in physical survival.

Intuition however works, I think, on a different level. Intuition, I think warns, us if there is, for eample, a possible danger with a individual or if there is something unusual about a environment.

Humans seem to be one of the few beings that are conscious of this and can actively choose to develop this ability.

I just see it differently.
Oy. You're absolutely correct. Intuition is what I meant, rather than instinct.
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« Reply #8: October 31, 2008, 12:58:01 pm »

The sensing of energy

this is such a great way of describing intuition.
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« Reply #9: October 31, 2008, 01:35:35 pm »

this is such a great way of describing intuition.
There is a great book called 'The Human Antenna" by Dr. Robin Kelly.  It explores the science of our subconscious and how our intuition works.  Fascinating.
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« Reply #10: October 31, 2008, 01:37:51 pm »

this is such a great way of describing intuition.

Why do you say that sensing energy is 'a great way of describing intuition'?
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« Reply #11: October 31, 2008, 01:39:28 pm »

Unfortunately, at the point where it's unconscious, it's difficult to identify where the impulse came from.  The accuracy of the gut instinct is likely to depend on the quality of the information source/s that have gone into the instinct.

I agree with this.  And I'll elaborate on what I think of as the sources of information that can be involved.

A lot of information for the unconscious comes from memories, whether consciously recalled or not.  A lot more information comes from the senses, whether consciously noticed or not.  I personally think that a lot of "psychic" phenomena can be attributed to these two information sources.

Also, the unconscious is very good at synthesizing information, and coming up with creative ideas out of whole cloth.  IMO, a lot more "psychic" experiences actually come from these sources.  I put divination into this category; I see divination as reflecting on the way the past has influenced the present, and extrapolating from that how the present is likely to influence the future, with the extrapolation focusing on areas represented by a random selection of symbols. (Please note, this does not mean I think divination is always inaccurate!)

And then there's the thorny area of true psychic experiences.  In this category I include energy sensing (life/emotional/aura energy, electromagnetic energy, dowsing, etc), remote sensing (direct vision, clairaudience, etc), true telepathy (as opposed to cold reading, or warm reading if you know the person well), and other such things.  These things would also feed into the unconscious.

However, what few experiences I have do fit into the model I've outlined above, as do a lot of second- and third-party anecdotes.  I just can't prove any of it.  And if I experienced something that didn't fit, I would have to revise my views.

Of course, there are some people out there who maintain that anything that comes from the unconscious must be a psychic power!!!  Generally, when I encounter this attitude, I end up arguing semantics.

Of course, as long as my unconscious is fairly accurate at telling me a certain type of thing, I don't usually care where it got the information from.  (I guess this is why I'm an engineer and not a scientist! Cheesy )  My biggest problem is separating unconscious promptings from really strong desires.  For me, they're both accompanied by this "Ooh! Ooh! I know the answer!" feeling, like a teacher's pet raising her hand in class. (Does that make any sense?)

There is a great book called 'The Human Antenna" by Dr. Robin Kelly.  It explores the science of our subconscious and how our intuition works.  Fascinating.

Hmm, I've never heard of it. I'll have to look that book up. Thanks!
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« Reply #12: October 31, 2008, 04:41:05 pm »

I agree with this.  And I'll elaborate on what I think of as the sources of information that can be involved.

A lot of information for the unconscious comes from memories, whether consciously recalled or not.  A lot more information comes from the senses, whether consciously noticed or not.  I personally think that a lot of "psychic" phenomena can be attributed to these two information sources.

Also, the unconscious is very good at synthesizing information, and coming up with creative ideas out of whole cloth.  IMO, a lot more "psychic" experiences actually come from these sources.  I put divination into this category; I see divination as reflecting on the way the past has influenced the present, and extrapolating from that how the present is likely to influence the future, with the extrapolation focusing on areas represented by a random selection of symbols. (Please note, this does not mean I think divination is always inaccurate!).

And then there's the thorny area of true psychic experiences.  In this category I include energy sensing (life/emotional/aura energy, electromagnetic energy, dowsing, etc), remote sensing (direct vision, clairaudience, etc), true telepathy (as opposed to cold reading, or warm reading if you know the person well), and other such things.  These things would also feed into the unconscious.

However, what few experiences I have do fit into the model I've outlined above, as do a lot of second- and third-party anecdotes.  I just can't prove any of it.  And if I experienced something that didn't fit, I would have to revise my views.


Of course, there are some people out there who maintain that anything that comes from the unconscious must be a psychic power!!!  Generally, when I encounter this attitude, I end up arguing semantics.

I certainly don't disagree with you there. When I get a feeling for somebody, or a feeling something is going to happen, I certainly don't attribute it to psychic ability. It's when I get a visual flash, an image in my my mind's eye, of something that I stop and wonder where it comes from. I rarely have them, but they've always puzzled me, because they're an unusual way for my unconscious to communicate something to me. The aforementioned violent image, for example, which I've had a few different times. I don't know what exactly is being communicated there, because I never stick around long enough to find out if that person really is prone to violence (or in the case of the duplex, even who the person is).

Or another instance when my friend told me she dreamt of her wedding and I got a visual flash of it. She confirmed every detail I described in what I saw (which is odd, because we have never before, or since spoken about weddings, neither of us wanting particularly to marry). I usually attribute my spooky vision of her wedding to just knowing her very well, but it still baffles me why the rare unconscious impulses take that route of communication, while the rest of the time I just get a gut feeling. To me that indicates there's something different going on in the process that makes the resulting method of communication change, and that's what I find mystifying.


Of course, as long as my unconscious is fairly accurate at telling me a certain type of thing, I don't usually care where it got the information from.  (I guess this is why I'm an engineer and not a scientist! Cheesy )  My biggest problem is separating unconscious promptings from really strong desires.  For me, they're both accompanied by this "Ooh! Ooh! I know the answer!" feeling, like a teacher's pet raising her hand in class. (Does that make any sense?)
It definitely does make sense. I trust my gut except when it involves something I really, really, REALLY want, then I trust my friend's gut Wink
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« Reply #13: October 31, 2008, 05:03:43 pm »

Why do you say that sensing energy is 'a great way of describing intuition'?

hmmm...because i believe it is?
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« Reply #14: October 31, 2008, 05:09:27 pm »

A lot of information for the unconscious comes from memories, whether consciously recalled or not.  A lot more information comes from the senses, whether consciously noticed or not.  I personally think that a lot of "psychic" phenomena can be attributed to these two information sources.

Also, the unconscious is very good at synthesizing information, and coming up with creative ideas out of whole cloth. 

I think here we're touching on intuition.  I suppose there may well be a degree of overlap between the two constructs.  Certainly I understand that research on intuition has been limited, so I think it could be interesting to see what the next few years turn up.

Quote
IMO, a lot more "psychic" experiences actually come from these sources.  I put divination into this category; I see divination as reflecting on the way the past has influenced the present, and extrapolating from that how the present is likely to influence the future, with the extrapolation focusing on areas represented by a random selection of symbols. (Please note, this does not mean I think divination is always inaccurate!)

Well, one factor that's been associated with believing horoscopes etc to be accurate is a tendency for people to view information presented in a certain way as being detailed/ specific to them, rather than vague as the 'information' usually is.  In that sense, symbolism associatd with divinatory methods, for example, may trigger interpretations in terms of the more specific individual context.  Which is a fancy way of saying 'symbols may help you interpret what's going on.'


Quote
Of course, there are some people out there who maintain that anything that comes from the unconscious must be a psychic power!!!  Generally, when I encounter this attitude, I end up arguing semantics.

Same here - sometimes.  Somedays my more cynical side takes over and I decide I'm not likely to change anyone's opinions. Smiley

Quote
Of course, as long as my unconscious is fairly accurate at telling me a certain type of thing, I don't usually care where it got the information from.  (I guess this is why I'm an engineer and not a scientist! Cheesy )  My biggest problem is separating unconscious promptings from really strong desires.  For me, they're both accompanied by this "Ooh! Ooh! I know the answer!" feeling, like a teacher's pet raising her hand in class. (Does that make any sense?)

Sure...I guess they're associated with an expectancy of reward if you follow said instinct. Smiley
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