We all know the feeling of intuition. ‘This just feels right.’ We do not consciously know why but it just is. It’s an important part of our senses and has undoubtedly shaped our life. But what exactly is it? This article looks to explore this within the confines of human physiology. The advent of energy’s, higher guidance and aura governing our intuition is also a possibility but this article would lose its focus should we delve into these as well.
The confines of human physiology attribute intuition (sixth sense) to our subconscious brain. Our subconscious brain is many many times more powerful than our conscious brain. We can define the subconscious brain as the part that performs all the functions we are not consciously aware of. We categorise these functions into:
1. Daily – Those activities essential for our life, e.g. our heart beat, hormonal secretion, breathing, etc.
2. Awareness – processing the information gained from our senses to create a world for our conscious brain to explore.
3. Memory management – although the access of memories is a conscious event, the process of categorizing and storing the experiences occurs behind the scenes.
To understand intuition lets use an analogy of a commentary team during a sporting event. There are usually 2 or 3 commentator’s [our conscious brain] keeping an eye on the overarching aspects of the game. Then there are a large group of analysers (50-200 people) seating behind feeding the commentator’s information. These analysers [our subconscious brain] are looking at everything else, i.e. taking apart the strategy, looking at past records / results, analysing individual performances, counting stats, watching the weather, talking to team members on the sidelines, looking at the reactions of the fans, etc. They are then summarising and feeding this information to the commentator’s. Like the subconscious brain, these analysers vastly outnumber the commentator’s and are therefore able to process substantially more information.
The commenter’s alone could give the viewer a good account of the game, but it is the analysers which enable the commenter’s to bring the game alive and to provide a depth that is entertaining and deeply insightful to the viewer.
In the same way the subconscious brain gives us the depth to make inspired decision which we term intuition. It is unsurprising that intuition is attributed to sleep. When we are sleep deprived we notoriously make bad decisions. Why, because the analysers are asleep!