Opening 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]
- Opening the Doorway to New Knowledge
- Characterizing Expert Intuitives
- Operating Modes
- What Is the Source?
- Other Means of Intuitive Access
- Interacting with Expert Intuitives
- The Intuitives’ Subjective Testimonies
- Finding and Qualifying Intuitives
- What Happened to CAI’s Intuitives?
The main strength of CAI’s several programs in applied intuition lay in its staff of expert intuitives. Let’s 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.
Characterizing Expert Intuitives
While everyone possesses intuition as a natural ability, its application requires that it be developed into a skill can be used to obtain specifically requested, novel and accurate information. Those who choose to do for others so must be able to deal with many kinds of questions, to provide full and accurate answers—not just interesting fragments—and to communicate them to the inquirer clearly, fluently, on demand and 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 one skill, I found little to distinguish them from the general population. They were all old and young adults, 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 known for their intuitive work, though most preferred to maintain their personal privacy.
Even the popular notion of what very intuitive persons ought to be—in close touch with their feelings and perhaps more emotional than rational, for example—did not fit well. Some clients and observers expected that anyone so attuned to such rich knowledge ought to be a well informed individual, one who knew everything and whose life was working perfectly. Sorry, wrong expectation. All of CAI’s expert intuitives were “normal,” according to common standards. Several intuitives outside of CAI with whom we worked from time to time and had the same expert qualifications also possessed this same “normality.” All appeared to experience the same up-and-down challenges all of us face in the course of our lives. This observation indicates that intuition is very widespread, if not universal. It is not limited to a few lucky or uniquely talented persons, as commonly assumed.
On the other hand, after many years of familiarity with them I feel I can identify a few less obvious features apart from personality and intelligence. For one, their orientation toward life tended to be what I would call philosophical or spiritual (not religious); that is, they were not much concerned with achievement, material possessions, competition, their status in society, what others thought of them and imposing their beliefs on others. All exhibited positive living values, a sense of personal responsibility, high integrity and a natural compassion toward others. They readily elicited trust from those with whom they interacted, including their counseling clients. While these positive traits are not unique or rare among the general populace, they were nevertheless shared by virtually all CAI ‘s long-term expert intuitives.
This characterization is necessarily my own impression, of course, and I cannot claim it to hold for expert intuitives everywhere. Indeed, I was the one who screened and selected them so I could be biased in stating these qualities.
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 so that an inquiries with them could not be 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; they appeared to be talking in their sleep and 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 being or 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 often lapsed briefly into a meditative state before answering the questions posed 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 would say 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 answer immediately, as if they had forgotten it and just remembered it. Some said the answers came to them soundlessly in their minds in English words, already composed into sentences, 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 then 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 impressions about the accuracy of the information they provide 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. However, some expressed doubts of its “truth” right after they spoke it or later when they read what they had said. They would advise me to not take seriously their little amusement. I did take it seriously, of course, and they knew I would not discard it, for they 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 their reluctance to take personal credit for what had its origin outside of themselves and merely flowed through them.
It is common for many practicing intuitives (outside of CAI) to affirm strongly that what they have spoken is absolutely valid and can 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 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 statements of intuitives, even the most expert and the most sincere, about the information they provide, as evidence for its ultimate accuracy. We must look elsewhere for this kind 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, experience or brain. Is he somehow accessing an ubiquitous and abstract reservoir of all possible knowledge, as postulated in some ancient traditions that call it the Akashic Records or God’s Book of Remembrance? 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 of reality they say they reach in their deepest states of mind and claim that it is accessible to all. Then there are the unusually wise nonphysical “beings” who 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?
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, or 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 applied. To whom or what can we complain if it should turn out to be wrong? If we had a familiar concept or even a name for the source we might be able to attest to its validity. Without this assurance it must almost always be independently verified in some way against an external, independent source.
Satisfying answers to the above questions are simply not to be found. We are left with the challenge of developing a trust in something we cannot readily identify in terms familiar to science, medicine, philosophy, religious tradition or common sense. What remains? Only one’s personal intuition, the very source we are trying to explain. A small collection of wise minds through history are telling us that not only is this mysterious source trustworthy but there exists no higher authority. It is left to each person to test this assertion for himself. This is the best we can do.
Constancy, Consistency and Versatility
Despite the expert intuitives’ differing modes of reception, the quality, depth and broad content of the resulting information itself turned out to be very much the same. This observation is based upon the personal experience of conducting nearly 200 inquiry sessions (1 to 3 hours each). I have not been able to detect any significant differences in the information being provided that might be attributed to obvious differences in personality, background, education, training and mode of reception. These subsidiary features appeared to be personal traits, 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 liked to work with. They seemed to have been more at ease with certain kinds of clients rather than others. Some disliked abstract, detailed and specialized information, for example, though they were quite capable of providing it when the need arose and the content of their discourse never seemed to be affected if I ignored their preferences. Others were delighted with people, biography and history. A few liked to preach and would interject lectures or answer questions in more detail than asked. The intuitives also varied noticeably in how they expressed themselves through language, animation, emotion and mood during an inquiry, though again, the content of the communication appeared to be unaffected.
These individual traits and preferences were taken into account when selecting particular intuitives for particular research topics and clients but they were never determining factors once the session got underway. Even their likes and dislikes tended to diminish as the session wore on.
Specialized topics (perhaps 25% of the sessions) were never a noticeable problem. A technical background by the intuitive (two were engineers) seemed to offer little advantage, even when difficult terms and concepts arose, for all had their own ways of describing novel scientific and technical processes so that they could be understood. (My own background in science was probably a help here.) It was common for both trance and non-trance intuitives to utilize specialized terms and concepts that could not possibly have arisen from their personal backgrounds—the names of chemicals and uncommon drugs, for example, and descriptions of complex mechanisms—sometimes with a little hesitation. It was obvious that they were tapping a special body of unfamiliar knowledge and using language, 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 personality, background and mode of 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 questioned on the same topic—the issue of consensus—and also how it compares with that already known from traditional sources of information—the issue of verification.
Other Means of Intuitive Access
Several CAI intuitives began their intuitive work with numerology, astrology, I-Ching, enneagram, Tarot or a similar divinatory means, and they sometimes continued to use it at the beginning of their sessions with counseling clients. This probably helped put their clients (and perhaps themselves) at ease with a more familiar form of consultation than this unknown “intuition” and its apparent similarity with fortune telling and street psychics.
We found that candidates who relied heavily or entirely upon any of these systems were never able to qualify as expert intuitives for accessing novel, accurate and useful intuitive information. Like serendipities, dreams and the classic “psychic reading,” they may offer valuable insights from time to time, but they lacked the constancy and consistency needed for genuine expertness.
Remote viewing falls in a separate category because the term covers a broad spectrum of intuitive performance, ranging from the types of divination just described to several highly accurate, precise and verified applications. Since first introduced for use by the intelligence community it has since become a modern alternative for clairvoyance itself, and is subject to the same ambiguities.
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]
I discovered that the most rewarding aspect of working with the expert intuitives lay less in the information provided and more in the evolving personal relationships with them. CAI’s research and service programs were exploratory and participatory endeavors for all those involved, and cooperation was essential. Unlike most other professional practices, the study of intuition was not forced to follow any 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, as if we were a team of adventurers probing into a mysterious (but safe) jungle, each member contributing to the endeavor what he or she could do. Even some of the non-physical “beings” joined us in this exploration.
My primary role was to provide focus and goals and maintain a standard of quality . This meant that I had to prepare the research questions as clearly and carefully as I was able, for they had to be free of ambiguity, assumptions, biases and any “leading” that might produce responses that might favor what I wanted or expected to hear. A secondary role was to document in typed transcripts all of the information received in the inquiry sessions, for possible future verification and application and so that parallel sessions on the same topic could be compared.
When asking questions I soon discovered that the intuitives required little or no reasons, background or explanations, only enough information to focus the inquiry and explain what I wanted. The intuitive source, whatever it was, seemed to be already well aware of the topic being explored, what I already knew about it (and not needing to be told again), the questions I was about to ask, where the search would lead and how it would turn out if pursued. This was an intuitive mystery in itself. Clearly, some kind of non-ordinary communication was taking place beyond the verbal exchange. I could only accept this feature, resist the attempt to explain it at the time, and take full advantage of it without letting it compromise the quality of the information.
Limitations on content
As noted above, the answers to my questions almost always flowed abundantly. My practice was to pursue each subject and topic thoroughly until the responses appeared to be complete and clear. When gaps remained I 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 well prepared and the questions were not clearly formulated and posed.
The transcripts of the sessions were made by a team of volunteers. When possible I compared the new material with information already available in libraries (there was no internet at the time), and the results were consistently encouraging, even though not decisive enough to draw conclusions. I knew that complete verification would be time consuming, costly, surely difficult and not always possible. It would have to wait until later, at least until all relevant inquiries on the same topic had been completed. 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.
It was from this experience that I deduced tentatively that (1) the intuitive information being provided was apparently unlimited; (2) the quality of the questioning was a critical factor for success and (3) the source was cooperative in providing it clearly and on demand. In just one instance it was not given when requested, and the blockage was then explained.
The one clear instance of blockage occurred during an inquiry on how nuclear waste material might be decontaminated (impossible according to modern physics). The intuitive began to describe an unusual electrochemical process, involving pulsed magnetic fields at very low temperatures, but soon stopped abruptly and further details were not forthcoming. I asked why, and the intuitive 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 mens of discovery. I realized I must not naively assume that new intuitive information will always be benign and free of negative impact. Responsibility for consequences must be accepted, not only when asking for it but especially when making it publicly available for application by others.
With this recognition I suspected that blockage may have already occurred directly from the intuitive source during prior intuitive inquiries. Indeed, the questions asked by clients in individual counseling sessions were sometimes absurdly insensitive to harmful consequences, yet the information given them was invariably safe—though perhaps restricted. In these instances factual, literal answers could have misled the inquirers toward harmful outcomes. They might be compared with a parent’s replies to the curiosity of a young child. The intuitives’ responses were honest, patient and helpful but were sometimes somewhat incomplete, restrained and a bit devious. (I wondered if prayer requests are sometimes asked and answered in this same way.?)
This blockage constraint could be serious, both in the danger of releasing new intuitive information without restriction and in making claims about the extent of information that is available. It threw a new light on the many previous inquiries in which blockages might have occurred unnoticed. To keep certain intuitive information secret, apart from personal and corporate privacy, was repugnant, and the notion of “classifying” it was never part of CAI policy.
I believe that in the future we cannot assume with assurance that the harmlessness of intuitive information will always be handled by the source, as it was in this instance of blockage. Inquirer, client and ultimate users are all free agents for maintaining its harmless application or not, all parties are responsible and all are called upon to respect this need. This is essentially the same requirement implicit in science’s efforts to gain new knowledge, even in the face of countless past infractions and many damaging consequences in society.
This ethical contingency must be taken into full account in future inquiries.
The Intuitives’ Subjective Testimonies
What does it feel like to work as an expert intuitive? How did they get started in such unusual work, and where has it taken them? We may listen now as they speak in their own words about their personal experiences in providing intuitive information.
Finding and Qualifying Intuitives
Finding candidate intuitives to join CAI’s staff was not so difficult in California in the 1970s and 1980s, for the area was alive in a spirit of experimentation with new ideas and practices, 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 sufficiently informed, grounded and responsible to qualify as expert. History is full of mavericks who advised kings, healed the credulous and were sainted, or they were banished as poor predictors, killed as witches and ended up in mental institutions.Indeed, you don’t have to be emotionally stable and mentally healthy to demonstrate impressive examples of intuitive insight. These errant persons have no place in intuitive research or responsible counsel. We had to screen candidates and carefully select those who are competent and reliable and with whom we could work.
Most of the candidates 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.) An initial interview with each candidate sufficed to evaluate their broad suitably for joining our programs. This was followed by a screening test for “expertness” for those who appeared suitable—about forty in all over a decade. We approved about one-third to join the staff as expert intuitives. They performed well, and only a few were disappointments.
What Happened to CAI’s Intuitives?
When CAI terminated its active operations (1991) most of the remaining intuitives returned to their individual counseling and consulting services, intuition development 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 assisted physicians with medical diagnosis [DR] and another managed a non-profit organization on alcohol abuse and later entering local politics [DC]. Several continued in their 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 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 just 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, moved to the foothills, set up his own laboratory and began to develop devices based upon a unique form of healing energy he had described for a few clients.
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 abundant but are more inclined to speak out about their abilities, step into the public arena 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 of the new intuitives who are demonstrating their skills on television and You-tube, where they offer teachings and guidance and provide on-the-spot counseling for large audiences, are obviously expert.
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 bypassing the pursuit of credentials such as psychology degrees, counseling licenses and laboratory testing in favor of more direct and open use of their capabilities. They also tend to identify themselves more by the service they offer than the skill they employ to provide it. While the word “intuition” is heard more frequently than ever nowadays, it appears to be shifting to refer to a broad category of competence rather than a specific distinguished skill, even by those who now practice it as a primary occupation.
Finding an intuitive for yourself
If you are seeking expert intuitives 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 them. 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 still not been established. You will still need to screen them carefully to be sure they are able to meet your needs. Do not miss the opportunity to let them help you on your path of personal growth, greater self-understanding and resolution of on-going problematic issues. Such inquiry can not only help you qualify personal intuitive counselors but can help you enhance your own intuitive capacities.
The inquiry method offered here continues to be a valid and powerful approach to acquiring new knowledge, if this is your aim. The stated conditions for success apply.
At least one organization has recently set up a competent qualifying service for skilled intuitives, using tests similar to those employed at CAI for expertness, and recommends ten or so intuitives for consultation. Several other organizations, some of them old, maintain catalogs of psychics, clairvoyants and mediums, though useful credentials are not normally provided, and they have not been tested as expert intuitives by CAI’s standards. View these organizations
“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]