They Can Open the Doorway to New Knowledge
“Intuition is more than a tool, it is a way of being in the world. … It does not emanate from consciousness but consciousness is where it is invited and experienced.” [Sharon Franquemont]
- They Can Open the Doorway to New Knowledge
- Characterizing Expert Intuitives
- Operating Modes
- What Is the Source?
- Constancy, Consistency and Versatility
- Interacting with Expert Intuitives
- Conducting Inquiries
- Finding and Qualifying Intuitives
The main strength of CAI’s several programs in applied intuition lay in its staff of expert intuitives. Let us now become better acquainted with them: what kind of persons they were, how they learned to do this kind of work, what are their modes of working, what services they were able to offer and how they felt about doing so.
The information presented here takes the form of a report based upon my own personal experience with the approximately ten intuitives on the CAI staff, and several others who only applied.
Characterizing Expert Intuitives
While everyone possesses intuition as a natural ability, its application requires that it be developed into a skill that can be used to obtain specifically requested information. Those who choose to do so for other persons must also be able to deal with many kinds of questions so as to obtain full, accurate and timely answers—not just interesting fragments—and to communicate them to the inquirer clearly, fluently and on demand —sensitively when needed. I call such a person an expert intuitive, for lack of a better term.
To be an expert intuitive may seem to require a special background or gift but all those qualified at CAI were actually very “ordinary” people, if I may say so without offending them. Aside from this single skill I found little to distinguish them from the general population. They were old and young, male and female, well off and poor, well educated and relatively uneducated, and they ranged from agnostic to religiously inclined. A few welcomed publicity and were widely known for their intuitive work, though most preferred to maintain their personal privacy.
Even the popular notion of what a highly intuitive person ought to be—in close touch with their feelings and perhaps more emotional than rational, for example—did not fit them consistently. Some clients and observers expected that anyone so attuned to such rich knowledge ought to be a highly informed individual, one who knew everything and whose life was working perfectly. Sorry again, but wrong expectation. All of CAI’s expert intuitives were “normal” according to common standards of normalcy. Several intuitives outside of CAI, with whom we worked from time to time and had the same expert qualifications and possessed this same normality. They appeared to experience the same challenges all of us face at times in the course of our lives. These observations suggest that the practice of intuition is not limited to a few lucky or uniquely talented persons, as commonly assumed, but is widespread if not universal.
On the other hand, after many years of familiarity with them I felt I could identify a few less obvious features apart from personality, intelligence and normal background. For one, they exhibited an orientation toward life that tended to be what I would call philosophical, unselfish and perhaps spiritual (not religious). That is, they were not very concerned with achievement, material possessions, competition, status in society, others’ opinions of them or imposing their beliefs on others. They exhibited positive living values, high integrity, a clear sense of personal responsibility and compassion toward others. In their counseling work all of CAI’s long-term expert intuitives were immediately able to elicit trust from the clients who came to them. While these traits are not entirely unique among the general populace, they can easily go unnoticed among those we do not know well.
This characterization is necessarily my own impression, of course, for I was the one who screened and selected them and learned to work with them effectively. I could be biased in stating these qualities, and cannot claim that they hold for expert intuitives everywhere.
On the other hand, CAI’s intuitives differed greatly from one another in the mode by which they accessed intuitive information. About one-third functioned from a fully conscious state; inquiries with them could not be easily distinguished from an ordinary conversation or interview. Another third worked from a full trance state, usually termed channeling or mediumship, in which they were obviously unconscious and appeared to be talking in their sleep. They had little or no later memory for what they had spoken while they were “out.” Their trance speech sometimes appeared to come from a distinct personality other than their own. The last third operated in an intermediate mode: a light trance or semi-conscious state. They appeared to be fully present, spoke in their own voice and could converse freely with the inquirer, though they lapsed briefly into a meditative state before answering the questions put to them.
Trance intuitives sometimes claimed that they preferred the trance state so as not to be continually questioning and doubting the information coming through them. Those not in trance said they felt responsible for what they are saying and preferred to remain awake. Well, each to his own.
Intuitives who remained fully or partially conscious usually reported that when they “knew” the information immediately, as if they had forgotten it and just remembered it. For some the information came into their minds soundlessly, already composed into sentences with English words, while others received it as a small burst of knowing or a set of fleeting ideas or concepts that they then had to compose into sentences. One intuitive [LH] worked mainly with pictures, which she “saw” and then described and interpreted, though at times she recited her message from a light trance as if she were reading prepared text. Some expert intuitives (though none at CAI) wrote their replies on paper or typed them on a keyboard rather than spoke them, a mode called automatic writing.
Their own impressions about the validity of the information provided also varied, if they spoke of it at all. It was most common for them to say they knew it to be perfectly accurate, without any doubt, though some expressed doubts of its “truth” shortly after they spoke it or later when they read it; they advised me to not take seriously their little amusement. I did take it seriously, of course, and they knew I would not discard it. Tis hey continued to produce more and more as the months and years went by, even before I was able to give them substantial assurance that it was correct and useful. I had to write off their opinions about the quality of their information as quirks of understandable incredulity, and as a natural reluctance to take personal credit for what had its origin outside of themselves and merely flowed through them.
It was common for many practicing intuitives (outside of CAI) to affirm strongly that what they had spoken was absolutely valid and could be trusted to be accurate. I cannot totally reject this claim, since I am aware that at the deep level from which intuitive knowledge arises it may indeed appear to be fully accurate and “true.” However, by the time it passes through the intuitive’s mind, is expressed in words and conveyed to the listener, errors may occur. There is also the human foible to defend one’s beliefs as true before they have been confirmed, internally or externally. Therefore, I cannot fully accept the intuitives’ evaluative statements, even the most expert and sincere, about the value of the information they provide as evidence for its ultimate accuracy. We must look elsewhere for this higher level of assurance.
What Is the Source?
Perhaps the greatest mystery about intuition is where the information comes from. It is obvious that it does not arise from the intuitive’s education, background of experience or brain. To all appearances he is somehow accessing an ubiquitous and abstract reservoir of all possible knowledge, as postulated in several ancient traditions, which call it the Akashic Records, God’s Book of Remembrance or the like. Psychologist Carl Jung gave it the name collective unconscious, a fairly neutral term without religious connotations. Mystics speak of an abstract, non-rational and non-material domain they say they can reach in their deepest states of mind, and they claim to be accessible to everyone. Then there are the unusually wise nonphysical “beings” who sometimes speak through trance intuitives; do they really exist as they appear to, or are they only the intuitives’ sub-personalities that somehow draw hidden information from the intuitives’ unconscious minds? The question about the source of intuitive information must remain unanswered for the time being.
Of course, answers are not needed before we utilize the obviously rich and invisible source, whatever it might be, any more than we need to understand how our television works before we can enjoy the programs, and how drugs work in our bodies before we can benefit from them. But accuracy remains a major issue for new intuitive information that is to be trusted and applied. To whom can we complain if it should turn out to be wrong? If we had a familiarity or even a name for the source we might be able to attest to its validity. Without this assurance the information must almost always be independently verified in some way against an external, independent source before it is used.
So we are left with the challenge of developing a trust in something we cannot identify in familiar terms, either in science, medicine, philosophy, religious tradition or common sense. What remains? Only one’s personal intuition, essentially the very source we are trying to justify.
A small collection of wise minds throughout history are telling us that not only is this mysterious intuitive source trustworthy, but there exists no higher authority. If they are right then in the end it is left to each person to test intuitive information for himself. This is the best we can do for ultimate verification, and it is obviously inapplicable in the social domain of applied intuition.
Constancy, Consistency and Versatility
“There are people who obtain knowledge existing in other people’s minds, or in the outer world, by means yet unknown to science.” [H. J. Eysenck]
Despite the expert intuitives’ differing modes of reception, the overall quality, depth and accuracy of the resulting information itself turned out to be very much the same. This assessment is based upon nearly 200 inquiry sessions (1 to 3 hours each) in many of which the information could be externally verified. I was not been able to detect any significant differences among the intuitives that might be attributed to differences in personality, background, education, training and mode of reception. These subsidiary features appeared to be personal characteristics of the intuitives but not fundamentally relevant to either the the intuitive process or the information itself.
On the other hand, the intuitives all had their personal preferences for the kinds of subject matter they preferred to work with, and their versatility varied accordingly. Some disliked abstract, detailed and specialized information, for example, though they were quite capable of providing it when the need arose and I ignored their obvious displeasure. Others were delighted with biography and history. A few intuitives liked to preach and would interject small lectures or answer questions in more detail than asked. They also varied noticeably in how they expressed themselves through language, animation, emotion and mood during an inquiry, though again, the content and usefulness of the communication appeared to be unaffected.
We at CAI took these preferences into account when selecting intuitives for individual clients and particularly when exploring research topics. Their likes and dislikes tended to diminish as the session preceded, and they were rarely determining factors once the session was underway. An intuitive’s technical background (two were engineers) seemed to offer little advantage, even when difficult terms and concepts arose, for all intuitives had their own ways of describing novel scientific and technical concepts and processes so that they could be understood. (My own background in science probably helped here.) It was common for both trance and non-trance intuitives to utilize specialized terms and concepts which could not possibly have arisen from their personal backgrounds: the names of chemicals, drugs and diseases, descriptions of complex mechanisms and foreign expressions, for example. It was obvious that they were tapping a larger and more comprehensive body of knowledge than could have arisen from their own experience, and far beyond what they consciously knew.
This observation indicates that in properly conducted intuitive inquiry sessions the intuitive responses are essentially independent of both the subject matter and the expert intuitive. This uniformity speaks favorably for the versatility, predictability and reliability of the intuitive process itself. On the whole, intuitive inquiry turned out to be a consistent, steady, largely predictable and trustworthy means for acquiring a wide variety of totally new information.
There remained only to check the agreement of the information among different intuitives who were questioned on the same topic. This was the issue behind the use of consensus, which was employed to compensate for possible disagreements between intuitives. It turned out to be largely unnecessary for accuracy but was retained to increase confidence among clients who sought higher credibility for intended applications.
Alternative Means of Intuitive Access
Several CAI intuitives began their intuitive work with numerology, astrology, I-Ching, enneagram, Tarot or a similar divinatory method and continued to use it at the beginning of their sessions with counseling clients. This traditional approach may have helped put their clients, and perhaps themselves, at ease with a familiar form of consultation rather than this new “intuition,” which surely seemed similar to gypsy fortune tellers and street psychics.
We found that candidates who relied heavily upon any of these alternative systems were never able to qualify as expert intuitives. They failed our test procedure and we we found we could not utilize them for accessing novel, accurate and useful intuitive information. Just like personal serendipities, dreams and the common “psychic reading,” they could occasionally offer valuable insights but lacked the consistency, constancy and reliability needed for responsible and genuine expertness.
Remote viewing falls in a separate category, for the term is not clearly defined. It began as a form of clairvoyance that demonstrated competent intuitive performance, but it now covers a broad spectrum ranging from highly accurate, precise and verified applications to the sporadic and popular types of divination just described. While remote viewing was first introduced for responsible use by the intelligence community, it has since become an experimental and training form of intuitive inquiry.
Interacting with Expert Intuitives
“I do know that each individual has access to intuitive knowledge and can gain glimpses of inner reality. The universe speaks to each of us in this regard.” [Jane Roberts]
CAI’s research and service programs were exploratory and participatory endeavors for all those involved, so cooperation was essential. The most rewarding aspect of this work with expert intuitives lay less in the abundant information they provided than in the evolving personal relationships with them. Unlike most professional practices, the study of intuition was not forced to follow any artificial social ground rules, legal requirements or evidential protocols. We were free to experiment and explore as we wished in a spirit of purposeful discovery. Affection and trust emerged over time, just as if we were a team of adventurers probing into a mysterious (but safe) jungle. Each member contributed to the endeavor what he or she could do. Even some of the non-physical “beings” voluntarily joined us in this exploration.
The intuitives did not become “employees” of CAI until much later, when I “hired’ them to fulfill paid tasks for various clients: counseling, consulting, public performances and the interactive work with visiting travel groups. Even so they remained largely unpaid participants for many years. In retrospect, I can appreciate now that these voluntary and loosely structured arrangements, with minimal commercial motivation, not only enriched our relationships but also contributed to CAI’s success.
My primary role at this stage was to provide focus to our activities and maintain a high standard of quality. This meant that I had to set goals and prepare the research inquiries clearly and carefully. The questions had to be free of ambiguity, assumptions, biases and any “leading” that might produce responses favoring what I wanted or expected to hear. All information received in the inquiry sessions had to be documented in typed transcripts so that parallel sessions on the same topic could be compared for consistency and to allow for later verification and application of the new information. This practice was maintained throughout the ten years in which CAI was publicly active.
Testimonies from Intuitives
What does it feel like to work as an expert intuitive? How did they get started in such unusual work? Where has it taken them? We may learn answers to these questions by letting them speak in their own words about their personal experiences in providing intuitive information.
When asking questions I soon discovered that the intuitives required little or no background explanations or reasons behind the inquiries. They needed only enough information to focus it and to define what I wanted. The intuitive source, whatever it was, seemed to be already well aware of which topic I was exploring, what I already knew about it (and did not need to be told) and the questions I was about to ask. It seems to be aware of where the search could lead and how it would turn out if pursued. This foreknowledge was an intuitive mystery in itself. Clearly, some kind of non-ordinary communication was taking place beyond the verbal exchange itself. I could only accept this feature, resist the attempt to explain it at the time and take advantage of it— without letting it compromise the quality of the information provided.
Limitations on Content
The answers to my many questions almost always flowed abundantly. My practice was to pursue each subject and topic until the responses appeared to be complete and clear. When gaps remained I always persisted until I felt I understood the new information. With few exceptions (discussed below) the communication was never limited or denied in any way, though sometimes I was not very well prepared and the questions were not as clearly formulated and posed as I had intended, and had to return later to finish the inquiry.
The transcripts of the sessions were made by a team of volunteers. When possible and convenient I compared the most novel portions of individual inquiries with information already available in libraries (there was no internet at the time). The results were always encouraging, even though few were decisive enough by themselves to draw any useful conclusions. I knew that complete verification would be time consuming, costly, surely difficult and not always possible; it would have to wait until much later, at least until all relevant inquiries on the same topic had been completed and compared. As it turned out, the most useful verifications had to wait 20-30 years (!) until a body of external knowledge from published scientific studies had grown sufficiently to provide external “proof” that the new information was correct.
It was from the accumulation of these small validation exercises that I deduced that (1) the intuitive information being provided was consistently valid and apparently unlimited; (2) the quality of the questioning was a critical factor for success and (3) the source was fully cooperative in providing the information on demand. In only one instance it was not given when requested, and this blockage was immediately explained.
This one instance of clear blockage arose during an inquiry on how nuclear waste material might be decontaminated (which is impossible according to modern physics). The intuitive began to describe an unusual electrochemical process which involved pulsed magnetic fields at very low temperatures, but he soon stopped abruptly and further details were not forthcoming. I immediately asked why. He explained that the requested process was indeed feasible but it could also be employed for creating dangerous weaponry and “could not be given at this time.”
This raised an issue I had not thought of previously: the possibly harmful use of any intuitive knowledge, whether or not the inquirer is aware of the consequences. Such misuse must surely be possible in intuitive reception just as it is with any new means of discovery, in science or elsewhere. I realized that I should not naively assume that new intuitive information will always be benign and free of negative impact. Responsibility for the consequences of use must be accepted, not only when asking for the information but especially when making it publicly available for application by others.
With this recognition I suspected that blockage may already have occurred during prior inquiries by myself or clients. Indeed, the questions asked by clients in individual counseling sessions were sometimes absurdly insensitive to possibly harmful consequences. The information given them seemed to be safe, though it may have been deliberately restrained by the source if literal answers would have misled the inquirers toward possibly harmful outcomes. These inquiries might be compared with a parent’s attempts to reply to the naive curiosity of a young child. While the intuitives’ responses were honest, patient and helpful, they may have sometimes been incomplete, restrained or somewhat devious. (I wondered if prayer requests are sometimes asked and answered in this same way.)
If not automatically restrained by the source, the lack of blockage could be a serious limitation on intuitive inquiries, both in the danger of releasing new information without restriction and in making claims about the extent of information that is available. This potential risk threw a new light on previous inquiries in which blockages might have occurred unnoticed. To withhold certain intuitive information, apart from personal privacy and corporate secrets, was a repugnant possibility and never a part of CAI policy. This concern never emerge again and led us to trust that the intuitive source is benign and harmless, which remains to be shown with greater certainty.
Limitations on Information Availability
Since requested information was never refused, with only this one exception, we came to tentatively assume that there was no limit to the information that could be obtained through intuitive inquiry. It took some time before the weakness in this assumption could be recognized. It lay in the realization that the only questions being asked were those whose answers might be understood. Entire areas of inquiry were therefore being excluded simply because the explanations were outside of what could be compactly expressed in words. This ruled out foreign language, mathematics, music, art, intricate technical descriptions in chemistry, biology, anatomy, physiology, linguistics (one major exception) and engineering design, to name just a few. So the limitation lies as much in the limitations of human verbal language as the intuitive channel.
On the other hand, several involved questions which would be prohibited by this limitation were answered fully and spontaneously for clients in intuitive counseling sessions, and for myself when they arose unexpectedly within a larger non-technical inquiry: description of a route on a roadmap, the structure of a chemical molecule and physical-chemical reactions deep in the earth, for example. I can only conclude we should not underestimate what intuitive inquiry can communicate, even though we have no precise formula to describe the limits of its capabilities.
I believe that in the future we cannot assume with assurance that intuitive information will always be controlled by its source to be harmless, as it was in the above instance of blockage. Therefore, since inquirer, client and ultimate users are free agents for how the information is applied, they are collectively responsible to respect the requirement of harmlessness in its distribution, application and consequences, whether or not they possess foreknowledge of the possible consequences. This ethical condition is not unique to intuitive inquiry, but is essentially the same as in all of science’s efforts to gain new knowledge. The record of past infractions and damaging consequences of misapplying scientific findings in society stands as a strong warning. Until we can be assured that protection by the intuitive source is be provided automatically, this ethical contingency should be taken into full account and applied in all future intuitive inquiries.
Finding and Qualifying Intuitives
Finding candidate intuitives to join CAI’s staff was not so difficult in California in the 1970s and 1980s. The area was alive in a spirit of experimentation with new ideas and activities, many of which bordered on intuition. There was never a lack of enthusiastic volunteers to take part in something new and different, though rather few were grounded, sufficiently informed and responsible to qualify as expert intuitives. Indeed, history is replete with mavericks who advised kings, healed the credulous, and made incredulous predictions. Some were even sainted for their efforts. It was a hazardous business, for many were killed as witches or put away in mental institutions. You don’t have to be emotionally stable and mentally healthy to demonstrate impressive examples of intuitive insight. These errant persons obviously have no place in intuitive research or as responsible counselors.
Most of them were attracted from CAI’s public lectures, publications, counseling and consulting services. Some arrived by word of mouth from other staff members. (None were trained by CAI.) We had to screen candidates and carefully select those who were competent and reliable and with whom we could work effectively. An initial interview with each applicant was followed by a test for “expertness, given to about forty over a decade, to identify the roughly 25% who appeared qualified to join the staff as expert intuitives. Almost all of those selected performed well and stayed with CAI from two to ten years. Very few were disappointments.
What Happened to CAI’s Intuitives?
When CAI terminated its active operations (1991) most of the intuitives stallion staff returned to their individual counseling and consulting services, intuition classes or other employment. Several chose new work in areas of social service where they could apply their intuitive skills. One entered a university and became a practicing psychotherapist [MG], one to assist physicians with medical diagnosis [DR]. Another managed a non-profit organization on alcohol abuse and later entered local politics [DC]. Several continued in unrelated regular jobs: high-quality radio interviews [RW], statistician for a government laboratory [NS] and four as creative artists [PP, DR, MG, VB]. Four of them now travel abroad (Norway and Japan) giving personal intuitive sessions, classes and lectures [LDM, RL, KR, PP]. Several wrote books about their intuitive work [AA, AAA, GB, JR, LH, SF]. A few have since died [AA, AAA, JR, LH, NS] or otherwise disappeared [BR, GB, SO]. (See the full list of former CAI intuitives and the list of their publications.)
After 1991 I stayed in close contact with only one [KR] for collaboration on two books. I am not aware that any CAI intuitives continued intuitive inquiry work on technical matters, though one [JF], an engineer set up his own private laboratory in the hills and began to develop devices based upon a unique form of healing energy he had described for a few clients.
Locating Expert Intuitives Today
Are expert intuitives still around and available nowadays? I have not sought them out for many years but have every reason to believe they are not only around and numerous but are more inclined to step into the public arena, speak out about their abilities and be less concerned with protecting their privacy than in the 1980s. Their versatility and communication skills also appear to have generally expanded. A few new intuitives, obviously expert, are demonstrating their skills on television and You-tube where they offer public teachings, personal guidance and on-the-spot counseling before large audiences.
This new wave of expert intuitives is also relying more on independent inner development of their abilities and less on training programs and formal preparation. They are also bypassing the pursuit of credentials such as psychology degrees, counseling licenses and laboratory testing in favor of direct and open use of their capabilities. They tend to identify themselves now more by the service they offer than the skill they employ to provide it. While the word “intuition” is heard more frequently, it appears to be shifting to refer to a broad category of competence rather than a distinguished and specific skill, even by those who now practice counseling or consulting as a primary occupation.
Finding an Intuitive for Yourself
If you are seeking an expert intuitive for personal counsel, consulting, historical inquiries, factual scientific research, one of the alternative purposes described in this site or just for inspiration, you will have no difficulty finding a qualified candidate. Their level of intuitive competence and the term by which they call themselves may vary, as just noted, since professional standards for practicing intuition have not yet been established. You will still need to screen them carefully to be sure they are able to meet your needs. You need not hesitate to let them help you on your path of personal growth, greater self-understanding and resolution of on-going problematic issues. Such screening will not only help you qualify the personal intuitive counselor but can help you enhance your own intuitive capacities in the process.
For less personal goals the inquiry method offered here continues to be a valid and powerful approach for acquiring new and specific knowledge. The stated conditions for success still apply.
At least one organization has recently set up a qualifying service for skilled intuitives, using tests similar to those employed at CAI for expertness. It recommends ten or so well qualified intuitives for consultation. Several other organizations, some of them quite old, maintain catalogs of psychics, clairvoyants and mediums, though useful credentials are not usually provided, and none of those listed have been tested as expert intuitives by CAI’s standards.
“Intuition is a function of the mind … and, when rightly used, it enables man to grasp reality with clarity and to see that reality free from glamour and illusion.” [Alice Bailey]