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 and Where is the Source?
- Constancy and Consistency
- Other Means of Intuitive Access
- Interacting with Expert Intuitives
- The Intuitives’ Subjective Experiences
- Finding and Qualifying Intuitives
- What Happened to CAI’s Intuitives?
- Expert Intuitives Today
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.
Characterizing Expert Intuitives
While everyone possesses intuition as a natural ability, the method of intuitive inquiry requires those who have developed this ability into a refined skill they can employ to obtain specifically requested, novel and accurate information. They must be able to deal with many kinds of questions and 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 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 all adults, old and young, male and female, well off and poor, well educated and relatively uneducated, and they ranged from religiously inclined to agnostic. 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 very intuitive persons ought to be—in close touch with their feelings and perhaps inclined to be more emotional than rational, for example—did not fit well. Some observers expected that anyone so attuned to such rich knowledge ought to be a highly evolved 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. They appeared to experience the same up-and-down challenges we all face in the course of our daily lives.
Several intuitives outside of CAI with whom we worked from time to time, and who obviously had the same expert qualifications, also appeared to possess this same “normality,” though I did not know them well enough to be able to make the same claim.
This observation indicates that intuition is very widespread, if not universal, and it is not limited to a few lucky or uniquely talented persons as is commonly assumed.
On the other hand, after many years of familiarity with them I feel I can identify a few less obvious features at a level below personality. 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 material possessions, what others thought of them, their status in society and imposing their will and beliefs on others. They all exhibited high integrity, positive living values, a sense of personal responsibility, were obviously compassionate toward others and could readily elicit trust from those with whom they interacted, including their counseling clients. While these traits are not truly unique or rare, they were nevertheless shared by almost all CAI ‘s long-term intuitives, excluding only a few who had been qualified for expertness but were still on probation and eventually released.
This characterization is necessarily my own subjective impression, of course, and it may not hold for expert intuitives everywhere. Indeed, I was the one who screened and selected them to join the staff, so I may be biased when stating these common qualities.
On the other hand, CAI’s intuitives differed from one another in the mode by which they accessed intuitive information. About one-third functioned from a fully conscious state, so that inquiries with them appeared no different than an ordinary interview or conversation except in content. 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 similar semi-conscious state they appeared to be fully present, spoke in their own voice and could converse freely with the inquirer.
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 remain fully or partially conscious usually reported that when a question was posed to them they had the answer immediately, as if it they already knew 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, which they then had to form into sentences. One intuitive [LH] worked mainly with pictures, which she then had to interpret, though at other times she spoke 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 speaking them, a mode called automatic writing.
Their impressions about the accuracy of the information they were providing were also fairly standard, if they spoke of it at all. Just after they received it it, and sometimes later, t was common for them to say that they knew it was perfectly accurate and “true,” without any doubt all. However, it was common for them to have doubts later, especially after they read what they had spoken. They might 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 any substantial feedback that it was useful or even correct by external standards. Only a few retained this initial confidence for a long period. I had to write off their opinions on the quality of the information as quirks of incredulity, understandable as a common human trait, and a humble reluctance to take personal credit for what they presumed had its origin outside of themselves and merely flowed through them.
On the other hand, I observed that it is also common for many practicing intuitives to affirm strongly that what they ave spoken is absolutely true and can be trusted to be accurate. I cannot disagree with their claims, for I am aware of the potential validity as a product of innate access to deep knowledge. However, I am also aware of the possibility that errors may occur during its reception, and also the human foible to defend one’s beliefs as true before they have been confirmed, even internally.
Therefore, I cannot accept the statements of intuitives, even the most expert and the most sincere, about their own information, as evidence for the ultimate accuracy of intuitive information in general. We must look elsewhere for this assurance.
What and Where is the Source?
There are many mysteries about the trance process but the greatest one concerns the question of where the intuitive information comes from. It is obvious that it does not arise from the intuitive’s brain, education or background of experience. Are they somehow accessing an ubiquitous and abstract reservoir of all knowledge, as postulated in ancient traditions such as the alleged Akashic Records or God’s Book of Remembrance, to which Jung gave the name collective unconscious, as discussed earlier? Could they be drawing on a source claimed by mystics to be an abstract, non-rational and non-material domain of reality, though still tappable by a trained human mind? And what about these unusually wise nonphysical “beings” who sometimes speak through trance intuitives—do they really exist as they claim they do, or are they only sub-personalities of the intuitives’ and somehow generate new information from deep in the intuitives’ minds?
While satisfactory answers to these questions are not available, they are not needed when we access 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 then. When we need a name for the source we may use psychologist Carl Jung’s collective unconscious, a suggestive but fairly neutral term without religious connotations.
We don’t even know who or what is responsible for the validity of the intuitive information being provided. To whom can we complain if it should turn out to be wrong? Accuracy is naturally a key concern for new intuitive information which is to be applied. It must usually be verified in some way with an independent source before it can be passed on to others, relied upon and applied. This is a almost a requirement in scientific applications of intuition but it can also be important for non-scientific and even some personal information.
Constancy and Consistency
Despite the expert intuitives’ differing modes of reception, the quality and depth of the resulting information itself turned out to be very much the same. I make this statement after conducting personally nearly 200 inquiry sessions (1 to 3 hours each), witnessing about 30 of the 1200 personal counseling sessions (each about 1 hour) and participating in 24 business consultations (each three to six hours). I have not been able to detect any significant differences in the information being provided that might be attributed to personality, background, education, training or mode of reception. These subsidiary features appeared to be personal traits, perhaps important to the individual intuitive but not fundamental to either the information itself or the intuitive process. Even a technical background showed no advantage, except perhaps some ease with terminology when the subject of the inquiry could benefit from it.
Technical descriptions, employing unusual and specialized terms and concepts, could not possibly have arisen from the intuitives’ pasts but were given provided by both trance and non-trance intuitives alike, with only a little hesitation when new terminology or concepts were needed. It was obvious that the intuitives were somehow tapping a source and sometimes a language beyond what they knew consciously.
On the other hand, the intuitives were not all equally versatile in practice, because they had their personal preferences for the kinds of subject matter they liked to work with. Some disliked abstract, detailed and specialized information, for example, though they were quite capable of providing it when the need arose. The actual content of their discourse never seemed to be affected if their preferences were ignored. Others were delighted with people, biography and history. A few liked to preach and would interject little lectures or answer questions in more detail than asked. The intuitives varied noticeably in how they expressed themselves through language, animation, emotion and mood during an inquiry, though the content of the communication appeared to be unaffected. When selecting intuitives for particular research topics or counseling clients these individual traits and preferences were taken into account as we became aware of them, but they were never determining factors once the session got underway.
This observation suggests that the intuitive responses in properly conducted intuitive inquiry are essentially independent of both the subject matter and the personality, background and mode of the expert intuitive. This insensitivity and uniformity speaks well for the versatility and reliability of the intuitive process. 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 speaking on the same topic—the issue of consensus—and also its consistency with what was already known from traditional knowledge sources—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 counseling sessions. This may have helped to put their clients (and perhaps themselves) at ease with a more familiar form of consultation than this unknown “intuition.” It turned out that candidates who relied heavily or entirely upon any of these systems were never able to qualify as expert intuitives for accessing accurate and useful intuitive information.
These systems may be somewhat useful for explaining new knowledge after it is received, but even then the information structures and conceptual models employed seemed to constrain the access and flow of intuitive knowledge, even when the practitioners are utilizing their intuition to some degree. 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 expertness.
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]
In retrospect, the most rewarding aspect of working with expert intuitives was the personal relationships with them that gradually evolved. CAI’s research and service programs were exploratory and participatory endeavors for all involved, and cooperation was essential. Unlike other professional practices, we had no legal requirements, social ground rules or evidential protocols we were forced to follow, and were therefore 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 jungle, each member contributing what he or she could. Even two of the non-physical “beings” joined us in the exploration.
My own primary and initial role in an inquiry inquiry was to prepare the research questions as clearly and carefully as I was able, free of ambiguity, assumptions, biases and any “leading” that might produce responses that favored what I wanted or expected to hear. A secondary role was to document in typed transcripts the information received in the inquiry sessions so that parallel sessions on the same subject matter could be compared with one another and perhaps lead to a consensus of agreeing responses.
When asking questions I soon discovered that the intuitives required little or no reasons, background or explanations—just enough information to focus the inquiry and explain what I wanted. The intuitive source, whatever it was, seemed to be aware of the topic being explored, how much I already knew about it (and not needing to be told again), the questions I was about to ask, where the search was leading and how it would turn out if pursued. Clearly, some kind of non-ordinary communication was taking place beyond the verbal exchange. I had to simply accept this feature and not try to explain it at the time.
Limitations on content
The answers to my questions invariably flowed abundantly. My practice was to pursue each subject thoroughly until responses were complete and clear and I felt I understood the new material. When gaps remained I persisted until I was satisfied. With few exceptions (discussed below) I never felt that the information was limited or denied in any way, except sometimes when I was not well prepared and the questions were not clearly formulated and posed.
The transcripts were made by a team of volunteers. When one or two were on hand on a particular topic I tried to compare the new material with information already available in libraries (there was no internet at the time). While these efforts were preliminary at this early stage, they were positive and encouraging, but not decisive enough to draw any conclusions. Complete verification would be costly, time-consuming and surely difficult would have to wait until all relevant inquiries on the same topic had been completed, and even then might not be possible. s it turned out, some had to wait for 20-30 years (!) until a body of knowledge from external research studies, against which it could be validated, had grown sufficiently.
It was from this experience that I deduced that (1) the intuitive information being given was apparently unlimited and (2) the source was cooperative and even eager to provide it clearly and on demand. In just one instance it was not given when requested, and the kage was then explained.
This block occurred in an inquiry on how nuclear waste material might be decontaminated (impossible according to modern physics). An unusual electrochemical process, involving pulsed magnetic fields at very low temperatures, began to be described but it soon stopped, and further details were not forthcoming. This was the first time such a blockage had occurred, so I asked why. It was explained that the requested process was indeed feasible, but it could also be employed for creating dangerous weapons and therefore “could not be given at this time.”
This refusal reminded me of the possibly harmful use of any intuitive knowledge, whether or not the inquirer is aware of the possible consequences. I had forgotten that such misuse must surely be possible, just as it is with any new discovery. I realized I must not naively assume that new intuitive information will always be benign and free of negative impact. Responsibility must be accepted both when asking for it and when applying it, and especially when making it publicly available for use by anyone who may hear of it.
With this recognition I suspected that blockage from the source may have already occurred during prior intuitive inquiries without my being aware of it. Indeed, the questions asked by clients in individual counseling sessions, for example, were sometimes absurd with little sensitivity to possible consequences. Factual, literal answers could have misled the inquirers instead of helping them. This possibility explained why the intuitives’ responses were occasionally restrained and a bit devious, like a parent’s replies to the curiosity of a young child; they were honest, patient and helpful but not necessarily literal and complete. (Are prayer requests are sometimes answered in this same way?)
This blockage was unexpected but it had to be respected. It threw a new light on the many previous inquiries in which blockages might have occurred unnoticed. In future work I believe we cannot assume with assurance that they will always be handled by the source or recognizable as they were in this instance. This ethical contingency must therefore be taken into full account in future inquiries, at least as a personal responsibility of the inquirer and perhaps by others who may be involved.
The Intuitives’ Subjective Experiences
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. Indeed, you don’t have to be emotionally stable and mentally healthy to demonstrate impressive examples of intuitive insight. History is full of mavericks who advised kings, healed the credulous, were sainted or executed as witches, and often ended up in mental institutions. These errant persons have no place in intuitive research or in providing responsible counsel. We must screen candidates and carefully select those who are competent and reliable, and with whom we could work.
Most of those who appeared at CAI’s door were attracted from our public lectures, publications, counseling and consulting services. Some arrived by word of mouth from other staff members. An initial interview with each applicant sufficed to evaluate their broad competence for joining our programs. I next applied a screening test for “expertness” to those seriously interested—about forty in all over a decade—approving about one-third to join the staff as expert intuitives. They performed well; only a few were disappointments. (None were trained by CAI, by the way.)
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, or they 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, later entering local politics [DC]. Several continued in their regular jobs: conducting high-quality radio interviews [RW], working as a statistician for a government laboratory [NS] and four as creative artists [PP, DR, MG, VB]. Three now travel abroad giving personal intuitive sessions, classes and lectures. [LDM, RL, KR, PP].
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], who was 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.
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.)
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 less thin the 1980s. Their versatility and communication skills also appear to have generally expanded. Some of the new intuitives who are obviously expert are demonstrating their skills on television and You-tube, where they offer teachings and guidance and provide on-the-spot counseling for 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 bypassing accepted credentials such as psychology degrees, counseling licenses and laboratory testing favor of more direct and open use of their capabilities, and tending 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 and distinguished skill, even by those who now practice it 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 them. Their intuitive competence and what they call themselves may vary, as just noted, since professional standards have still not been established, so you will still need to screen them carefully to be sure they will meet your needs. The inquiry method offered here continues to be a valid and powerful approach to acquiring new knowledge, if this is your aim, and the stated conditions for success apply. 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 intuitive counselors but can help enhance your own intuitive capacities.
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 ten or so intuitives are readily available for consultation. Several other organizations, some of them old, maintain catalogs of psychics, clairvoyants and mediums, though credentials are not usually 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]