By Matthew Stein, P.E., Author of When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance and Planetary Survival, ISBN #978-1933392837, published by Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, VT (800) 639-4099

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

-Albert Einstein

From climate change to terrorism to an economy clouded by the peak in global oil production, we all face a future filled with uncertainty. Whatever actions and strategies we may have used successfully to guide or lives and businesses over the past few decades may not continue to work in this next period of rapid change. Clear intuitive messages can provide the extra guidance needed to navigate the murky waters of an uncertain future. I like to call it The Intuitive Edge, and many businessmen take high priced seminars from intuitive experts to improve their “gut feel” and the accuracy of their business decisions.

The rational mind processes information and reaches conclusions that are based upon an information base that is usually incomplete and imperfect. Intuition appears to give us the ability to move beyond the limits of time and space, to “see around corners” that the rational mind can’t breach. Intuitive hunches have been credited with saving many a person’s life, and with guiding numerous entrepreneurs and investors on their road to success. I’m sure that nearly all of us can remember times when we received strong intuitive guidance about something. If we listened to that guidance, we usually found that we were glad we did. If we didn’t listen, we may have been “burned” in some kind of painful life lesson. I suggest that you use some of the following links and articles to help you develop intuitive tools to assist with your navigation of our changing world.

My father in-law, Joseph Jussen, was a resistance fighter in WWII and a Dutch soldier during the Indonesian revolution. He was credited with saving many Jewish, Dutch and Indonesian lives; and numerous courageous acts of resistance and sabotage. About a year before the end of the war in Europe, he was captured while driving a truckload of smuggled food for the resistance. After weeks of interrogation and torture (he had recurring nightmares of this throughout his life), on the day scheduled for his execution, several resistance fighters disguised as Nazi officers, boldly walked into the prison where Joseph was held and requested to “take the prisoner to the yard for execution”. When he got to the prison yard, instead of the anticipated firing squad, they surprised Joseph by hoisting him to the top of the tall prison yard wall. Joseph leapt to the sidewalk below, breaking both ankles, and was carried into a waiting get-away car. The authorities posted his picture throughout the area, so for the next year, until the liberation of Europe by Allied Forces, he was unable to show his face in the light of day.

Why did Joseph survive numerous close calls, while most of his friends and comrades perished during these perilous times? Was it more than just luck? He had only a third grade education, and was not much of a thinker, but he was street smart and used his powerful intuition to guide him through dangerous situations. That thought or picture that just happens to snap into your mind may be the key to your own personal survival in our changing world.

I remember hearing a powerfully moving account of one woman’s survival of the Nazi Holocaust:

On a hot summer’s day, when she was a teenager in Germany, her father received a strong intuitive message. He told his daughter to wear her ski boots to school that day. Later in the morning, all the Jewish children were rounded up and forced into railroad cars. The following winter, she was marched, along with 800 other children, through heavy snows for several weeks. While many of the other children’s feet froze solid, hers were protected by her ski boots. She was one of less than 100 survivors of the march through the snow.

At some point in our lives, we have all had demonstrations of the power of intuition. The difficulty in dealing with intuitive messages is to distinguish between the different voices. Which is speaking? Is it the voice of fear, ego, fantasy, or true inner guidance and wisdom? Many times I have allowed my strong rational mind to overrule my inner messages, only to regret having listened to this mind that thinks it always knows best!

In recent years, increasing numbers of businesspeople have found that developing their intuition gives them an extra advantage in today’s tough business environment. Laura Day and Patricia Einstein, authors of two suggested references on intuition (see below) teach high-priced seminars to Fortune 500 business leaders to help them develop their intuitive business skills. You can develop these skills on your own, using the exercises in their books. In addition to boosting your chances of success in emergencies and survival situations, these skills can help you deal more effectively with everyday decision making.

Testing Your Intuition

My mother in-law, Jackie Jussen, told me the following story: Orphaned at the age of five, Jackie was raised by her grandmother on a remote coffee plantation on the island of Java, Indonesia. Living far from any sizable community, her grandmother relied on natural herbal medicines. When a neighbor’s son was deathly ill with malaria, Jackie’s grandmother used her herbs to nurse him back to health. The neighbor was a Japanese immigrant and presented her with the gift of a kimono, which bore the seal of a powerful Japanese family.

Years later, during the World War II Japanese occupation of Java, civilians were forbidden to listen to the radio. All radios were registered with the state and fitted with official seals to indicate whether the radio had been used. Jackie’s grandmother broke the seal on her radio so she could hear foreign news. When officials discovered the broken seal, she was ordered to appear in court. To maintain order and obedience, Japanese wartime justice was typically cruel and swift. Infractions, such as breaking the seal on the radio, usually resulted in a public beheading in the square immediately after sentencing. As her grandmother prepared to leave for the court hearing, an inner voice told her to wear the kimono. When the magistrate saw the seal of a royal family on her kimono, he asked her how she had come to own this kimono. Upon hearing her story, he reprimanded her, but spared her life.

On many different occasions, I have used the following technique for intuitively “testing” the outcome of a potential action. First, take several deep, slow breaths to calm your mind and alter your consciousness. As you do this, offer a simple prayer asking for guidance.

Once you feel that you have calmed and quieted the rational mind, make a mental picture of the potential action, path, or decision. Check for physical reactions in your stomach area. If you have an expanded, relaxed feeling, your pictured action is probably a good path to follow. If you get a clenched, tight feeling in your gut, it’s probably a good idea to avoid the pictured action. If you get nothing, either the choice is unimportant, or you simply are not intuitively in touch with it. I suggest that you practice using your intuition with small, minor decisions before using these techniques to help you with the critical ones.

Intuitive Messages

For over twenty years, I have been receiving occasional intuitive messages and inspiration. As a design engineer, when I was stuck on a problem, unhappy with the solutions that I had managed to come up with, I would often meditate on the problem and ask internally for help. Many times, this method has yielded “snap shots” of creative solutions that simply appeared on the inner screen of my mind. Subsequently, several solutions that I derived with the help of meditation have earned US patents.

In a twist on this creative method, while meditating some time shortly before Thanksgiving of 1997, I made a common request that I have made many times before– I simply asked for “guidance and direction”. Usually when I make this generic request, I get little conscious direction other than some simple suggestions such as how to improve a family relationship that I have been neglecting. However, this time was very different.  On this day, during my morning meditation I received a title, outline and full holographic picture of a huge book project for a manual to help people become more self reliant, live more sustainably on the planet, prepare for potential emergencies, and cope with failures and disruptions in modern technology. My first thought was, “This is a huge project. I can’t possibly complete this!” The inner voice responded with, “Nobody knows all of this information. You have the skills to complete this project, and will receive the help that you need, if you choose to accept this task.” The whole idea certainly felt more like a task assigned to me rather than “My Idea”.

This inspiration became the outline for my book, When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance and Planetary Survival. I am definitely not smart enough to figure out the entire outline for this book in an instant. Just writing a college term paper was a major ordeal for me. Unlike most prior inspirations that I had received in meditation, I could not attribute this one to something that my conscious and subconscious mind had already been working upon.  I had never even remotely considered writing anything like the book that had been dumped in my lap in a single instantaneous flash. I do believe that the inspiration for this book came from a higher source, but that source did not tell me who it was (I can’t claim it was Jesus, Buddha, or God himself). If it was truly divine inspiration that guided me to write this book, one wonders what is in store for mankind in the next decade? The same source that guided me to write this book indicated that many people will be needing this information in the coming years.

Spiritual / Intuition Links

Foundation for A Course in Miracles: Put together by Ken Wapnick, one of the earliest and most respected teachers of A Course in Miracles. This foundation offers books, videos, workshops and a free question/answer service to people studying A Course in Miracles.

Josie Stein’s Inner Journeys web site: Josie is a certified hypnotherapist with over 20 years of experience with altered state work. She mixes counseling coaching and altered state work to help clients make effective changes in their lives and often heal both emotional and physical issues that have not responded to other modalities.

Odyssey of the Soul: The web site for Hugh Harmon, Ph D, and Pamela Chilton, CHT. These people offer workshops, a hypnotherapy school, and are the authors of books based upon information that they have received from non-physical beings that identify themselves as Master of Light and Master of Spirit:

Laura Day’s Practical Intuition web site: A good place to hone your intuitional skills, offering workshops and interactive forums. This Australian web site has some good materials on developing your intuition for business and personal enhancement. The authors/teachers have a very impressive set of business and academic credentials, and may appeal to those turned of by more “touchy-feely” approaches.

Esalen: Founded in 1962, this famous ground-breaking center for exploring the “human potential” is still going strong. Located on 27 breathtaking acres on California’s Big Sur coastline, Esalen offers a dazzling array of workshops for the body, mind and spirit. This is the web site for Ammachi, sometimes known as the hugging Saint. According to several of my friends, hugs from Amma can be spiritually enlightening and transformational in ways that defy the rational mind, and she has blessed and consoled more than 21 million people throughout the world with her hugs. As Dr. Jane Goodall, while presenting Amma with the 2002 Gandhi-King Award for Non-violence said, ” She stands here in front of us. God’s love in a human body.” This non-profit organization has set up The Intuitive Network to “help create a world in which all people feel encouraged to cultivate and use their inner, intuitive resources.”

Omega Institute: The Omega Institute offers quite a variety of quality workshops at their New York, California and Virgin Island locations.