Oh, man. This topic is loaded for me for so many reasons and on so many levels.
I have been so hurt and abused by the concept of intuition that I now experience a trauma response when I hear people talk about it.
I pretty much try to steer clear of anyone who claims that intuition is any type of "magical answer giver" but occasionally it will pop up in the spaces I observe. (By the way, I consider phrases like "trust your gut" or "follow the spirit" or "god put it on my heart" to be in the same messy soup category as intuition.)
So this morning, I was watching a YouTube channel as I was getting ready for the day. This particular channel focuses on healthy living for INFJ's and most of the videos I had watched were simply harmless, helpful reminders for someone like me with this personality type. Nothing out of the ordinary or trauma-response inducing.
And then it happened.
The creator very casually and convincingly mentioned that intuition is a psychic ability.
She said it with such harmless confidence that even I was convinced for a sweet hot second before my now-more-cautious-brain snapped back into gear.
Is intuition actually a psychic ability?
Are you so sure about that?
That's the kind of belief system that gets people into manipulative, harmful, abusive relationships and situations.
It's the kind of belief system that causes people to marry narcissists that manipulate and lie to them for years.
It's the kind of belief system that cause people to join harmful and manipulative cults and high-control religions.
It's the kind of belief system that makes a girl spend thousands and THOUSANDS of dollars on snake oil "doctors" that promise but never deliver.
I happen to think it is a dangerous thing to believe.
I simply don't believe that intuition is a psychic ability.
I do NOT believe it is a special esoteric, universe, god-whisperer, magical-answer-giver that tells you all the things you need to know in order to live out your "divine soul purpose."
I believe it's a way of processing the world.
I see it as a way that our subconscious mind gathers and processes data.
Psychologist Elaine Fox, author of this blog post says,
"The truth is, however, that intuition is not magical. Instead, it is an extension of how your memory and cognitive systems normally work—a mental skill that is affected strongly by your life experience."
I believe that intuition CAN be very helpful and useful, but it is NOT the be-all-end-all answer-giver.
I'm not saying we should ignore intuition or our internal perceptions or whatever spiritual way people want to frame it, but I am saying that maybe we should remember that these things are fallible and it would be helpful for us to stop giving them so much power and start adding in more of our critical thinking, rational reasoning, and wise-minded skills as well.
Anyway, I wrote this comment (below) on that particular YouTube video, but then deleted it because I've learned that people don't like to be challenged on this concept and it's not worth it to me to get into any kind of a debate. This is just my opinion anyway, so here it is here on my platform...take it or leave it. :O)
I'm an INFJ here and just found your channel and appreciate many of your insights! I have found there to be so many variables with interpreting intuition that I no longer see it as my "answer giver" for life. I just see it as a way to "explore" or "consider" possibilities, if that makes sense. I've had WAY too many experiences with intuition that have been just plain misleading and I've seen way too many people abuse or misuse it. Fear and anxiety have definitely skewed my perceptions with intuition, but so has societal conditioning, spiritual manipulation, other people's opinions, magical thinking gone wrong, illness, trauma, etc. It's just too messy for me to consider it to be the great answer-giver. I appreciate you pointing out how it can be glamorized, but I also personally believe that it can be dangerous to say it is a psychic ability. I am now very cautious to attach any type of esoteric or spiritual language to it or even set any kind of parameters or guidelines around it. I just see it as ONE way to process the world, but not a magical answer-giver.
Lots of love and extra hugs to anyone that has been harmed by this kind of thinking.