I love exploring the intricate aspects of what it means to be human. Sure, we are made of flesh and bone, but there is so much more that really goes into defining how we experience life than the simple senses: taste, touch, smell, seeing and hearing! We are highly developed sensory Beings that can – not only sense what’s going on around us – but actually shape our own experience. It’s subtle, but observable – if you put the effort into watching, practicing and consciously participating in what you do and how the world responds to what you do.
In order to really do this, one needs to understand what and who they are.
A great book to help the reader get a better understanding of who they are can be found in just about any bookstore today. It is:
Eckhart Tolle distills complex spiritual theory down into common truth. That common truth can forever change the way you perceive your world – if you understand what he’s saying. Fortunately for us, his words have been viewed by so many that it’s easy to find some of this key ideas on the web.
Looking at Wikipedia, I’d like to repeat the following section on the ego and internal presence:
The ego and the deeper Presence
The book begins with Tolle recalling his initial transformational experience when he was twenty-nine. This spiritual experience was one that not only jolted him into an intense awareness of the present moment, but also one that suggested his inner being or self had hitherto unsuspected depths: “am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with.”
For Tolle the ego is a sense of self derived from the content and activity of the mind. It is “a mental image of who you are, based on your personal and cultural conditioning.” He notes that virtually everyone hears a “voice” in their head all the time, the involuntary and often repetitive thought-processes of our minds. As we live “the voice comments, speculates, judges, compares, complains, likes, dislikes, and so on.” It may be reliving the past or rehearsing imagined future situations.
Tolle claims there is a deeper sense of self than the ego, a conscious presence which may be known in various ways. One method he recommends is simply to listen to the voice in the head without judging it in any way or getting caught up in its contents. Just by ‘watching the thinker’ in the head, he says, “You’ll soon realise: there is the voice, and here I am listening to it.” That I am realisation is “a sense of your own presence … (arising) from beyond the mind.” And as one becomes aware of this deeper self as a conscious presence, so the involuntary thinking begins to subside, giving way to stillness, peace and what he calls “the joy of Being.”
To me, the most important thing that he presents really well is all summed up on the last paragraph (where I quote the quote): “You’ll soon realise: there is the voice, and here I am listening to it.”
A twisted interpretation might be, not only do I have the sense of touch, the sense of smell and the sense of sight, but I have the sense of self! That’s right, it’s another attribute of our being human! That voice in your head is no more evil than your sense of smell. It is … what it is.
That sense of smell can sense small amounts of vapors or various substances but there are a sequence of events that occur based upon that stimuli. To start with, if you’ve never smelt a rotting animal, the experience upon detecting this smell is immediately emotional. The smell is repulsive. Instinctively, you would step away from the smell. Meanwhile, as soon as the smell is detected, the voice in your head might say “Oh my God! What a foul smell. What could that be? It’s disgusting…” Then, through a little bit of investigation you discover the source of the foul smell. At that point, an association is made between the smell and the source of the smell. Depending on the level education (ability to label things), you may be able to describe the experience well. If you don’t have any idea what it is, all you can go on is the emotional experience.
The key thing to notice in this discovery process is that when you sense something it is your Being that experiences what the senses provide. The voice in your head is a side show that may or may not fully understand what is being sensed. To me, this is a very strong statement that you might not want to simply breeze by.
Your Being receives what you sense. The voice in your head does not! Your Being acts upon the stimuli in a pure unhindered way. The voice in your head responds to what your Being experiences in order to enhance it. The voice in your head adds an intellectual understanding to the raw experience.
That voice in your head, because it is language based, can also be thought of as a translator. It is used to ‘label experiences’ in ways that can be shared with others. Note that the voice in your head didn’t cause the experience, it just translates (or maybe narrates) the experience.
The experience still happens to the Being.
Thinking back to the smell example above, how is it that the Being (you) first react to the smell? Does your body process the smell, associate it with rotting flesh and the voice in your head yells danger – danger? No. You immediately feel repulsed by the smell. You have an emotional reaction. If the smell had been that of a ripe cantaloupe, the emotional response would most likely be attractive. The smell would make you feel good. Upon investigating the smell, you may discover something wonderful to eat. But in every case, the response is emotional.
Senses generate emotional responses.
Now, what are emotions?
Emotions aren’t something you can touch, smell or see, but there are none-the-less sensed! You might say that we have the sense of emotion! Ha! We’ve found another human sense!
When dealing with emotions, we generally feel either attracted or repealed (to some degree). It’s only when the translator gets involved that we start thinking about it as love or hate, or happiness or sadness, etc.. Keeping the translator aside, the sense of emotion is normally strong or weak rather than good or bad.
Physically speaking, emotions take the form of energy (light or electrical pulse) more-so then just about anything. When you deal with the five primary senses, a scientist would say that the vapor triggers the receptors in your nose to send a signal (via your nervous system) to your brain where it is processed. If you where to ask me, I’d say that the vapor triggers a receptor that sparks the flow of emotion which is understandable by your Being (consciousness).
This brings us around to how your Being communicates.
If you ‘listen to the voice in your head’ – how do you hear it? You’re ears translate sound waves into electrical impulses (energy, light) that enters your nervous system that get processed by your Being. It would seem that the voice in your head would do the same thing if it wanted to be heard (sorry about talking about it as if it had a ‘mind’ of its own). In other words, the evidence suggests that your Being doesn’t hear sound, it senses energy. The voice in your head is simply energy shaped by your Being.
Converting physical sensations into energy is the technique by which the Being realizes its experience in the world. The Being doesn’t use organs like eyes and ears, but rather has eyes and ears and crude ways to sense specific types of energy.
The reverse process: Creation (part of communication).
If you turn this process around, it would make sense that the Being also uses energy to communicate. If you want to convey something that you ‘know’ to someone else, it generally has to be translated by physical senses (created) so that it can be shared. This would involve describing a smell or texture in a way that someone else can relate. If they don’t have an understanding of the words (or the other means of expression) they will not understand what you’re trying to communicate.
Yet, when you look at how the senses are designed, there are unique paths for input and output.
For instance, even though we hear with our ears (which are considered sensory organs) we speak to generate sound. The sound that we generate is a direct reflection of our Being. There is nothing stopping you from saying whatever it is that you want to say. The only time your sound is censored is when your Being consults the translator (voice in your head) to make sure that what will be said is exactly what you intend to say.
There is also movement and expression. Your body will naturally reflect your current emotional state. It is pretty easy to physically see the difference between someone that is happy and someone that is sad. These are universal traits that form a layer of communication – weather you are aware if it or not.
When it comes to communication, the energy flows from your Being and gets translated as that energy makes it into physical form. If the energy can make it through unedited, it’s a pure reflection or manifestation of your Being. Singing, dancing, making something (creating) and intuition are quite often considered uninterrupted.
Now, how does all this related back to the title intuition and ego? Well, let’s look at the widely accepted public definition from the Wikipedia for Intuition:
Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason.
Considering this, along with my interpretation above, when you intuit something you experience pure understanding from your Being without having to translate it through the ego. That understanding comes from pure energy. As that energy leaves the spirit (Being) it enters the body and gets processed by the appropriate ‘tool’. If it comes through as logical energy, it might feed the ‘translator’ in such a way that the energy is intellectualized so that it can be recorded or spoken. That energy may also come through as a feeling, which, rather than being intellectualized, it is expressed through the body.
In any case, it is energy that you share with yourself. It is a very subtle energy that many people overlook, or undervalue, yet it is there always available for the observant.
Meditation, as it turns out, is a conscious practice where major energy components of the body (and mind) are energetically reduced in order to allow essence of your Being shine through. As you reduce the energy flows to places like your ego, the synchronicity of the underlying subtle energies (like emotions) become more predominant. When the energy flows slow, the affect is like removing all the big waves from a pond. After doing so, any small wave can be observed and explored.
It is in these states that the Being can sense subtle energies that don’t normally come through the standard sensory paths (eyes, ears, etc.). It is in this calm that things like intuition can be felt. Or, more importantly, the emotional energy that surrounds you. Or even, it is in this calm that you can sense the energy of others!
Yes, that is correct. The energy that you give out influences your environment. Likewise, the energy that others give out also influence the environment and you can pick this up just like you sense your own energy! The problem most people experience is that they can’t tell the difference between weather it’s their emotion or if it’s someone else’s emotion.
This is where intuition and ego (the translator) get involved. If you are in harmony with yourself, you should intuitively know if the emotion is yours or not. If there is too much noise preventing the intuitive understanding from coming through, consult the translator. The ego is a good consultant that should be able to help you identify the source of the emotional energy.
A couple key things that the ego and intuition show us is that at our core, the I am inside each one of us receives and emits energy as it’s form of perception and creation. We sense energy. We have physical tools that help us sense energy. We are not simply hands and feet (flesh and bone) but the core spirit uses energy as its key interface into our physical world.
So, even though you may not make a sound, you can still be heard.
Sending an emotion is much stronger than sending a thought.
Calming yourself helps you feel other energies.
Wow. I loved writing this. I hope you can feel the energy too!