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Sussing Out Your Sixth Sense
By Karen Kleinwort ~ 6/24/2011
What we commonly refer to as our "sixth sense" goes by many different names: gut feeling, inner voice, instinct, intuition, subconscious. Regardless of which term you prefer to use, this sixth sense is not some magical or mystical power that only a few people are blessed enough to possess; rather, it is as common and natural as the other five senses we automatically accept as being valid and real because of our experience.
Theories about Intuition
One of the most common ways in which people "explain" intuition is to relate it to the scientific understanding of energy. For instance, we know from the Law of Conservation of Energy that energy can be neither created nor destroyed; as such, everything that exists in the universe is energy in some form. Moving to a more metaphysical understanding of this concept, we can see that all human interaction – whether physical or mental – is essentially interaction between and among different energies. In this way we can sense the energy that surrounds us with our bodies as well as the energy of every situation we visualize with our minds – and THAT is how our sixth sense manifests. An awareness of the reactions of either/and our bodies or minds – no matter how subtle – to those we meet and the situations in which we find ourselves can lead to an accurate understanding and interpretation of the meaning of these reactions.
Others describe this sixth sense as our ability to tap into "universal knowledge." Similarly to those who subscribe to the aforementioned energy concept, those who embrace the concept of universal knowledge in relation to the sixth sense believe it allows us to access the past, present and future knowledge of the all-knowing Universe that is not bound by constraints like linear time. In this sense we are all able to make more appropriate or advantageous life decisions because we're all blessed with some degree of this sixth sense; as such, our primary goal should be to master the interpretation of the simultaneously subtle-yet-obvious cues of intuition.
How Intuition Works
The first step in understanding how your sixth sense is actively at work in your life is to specifically look for things you might otherwise label as coincidences or instinctive reactions. For example, you might experience an urge to phone a family member with whom you haven't spoken in a while, and that person might share with you that he was feeling disconnected from the family and was wondering where his place was in the grand scheme of things. Similarly, you might decide (on what seems to be a whim) to break normal routine and fill up your car on the way to work rather than on the way home, only to discover that afternoon that your regular gas station was roped off for repairs.
Your sixth sense does, in fact, manifest itself in your life in both mundane and profound ways. Whether it diverts you from a traffic jam on the interstate or a serious accident on that same stretch of road, it's difficult not to think to yourself in retrospect, "If I'd been traveling through there just X minutes later….." These are moments to celebrate and be thankful for, as they are simple, everyday examples of how your sixth sense works to your advantage.
Keep in mind that attuning to, understanding and correctly interpreting your "sixth sense" means being open to your intuition manifesting itself in any of several ways. For instance, you might feel a particularly "magnetic" force in your "gut" or the over-arching theme of a particularly vivid dream that puts you on the path to a greater truth or understanding. If you're familiar with or interested in Tarot, you might be inextricably drawn to a particular symbol or picture on a card that can illuminate the language of intuition.
Introspection and experimentation are, however, the best avenues by which you can explore your sixth sense and become better acquainted with it. (Check our archives for more information on intuition, sixth sense, etc.) Yet don’t dismiss your "gut feelings" out of hand; instead, explore their roots and how they can inform your understanding of the human condition and sharpen your intuition.
Until next time, embrace your inner wisdom.