This post is formatted to reflect an original journal entry.
Feeling as though I’ve reached a turning point in my thinking. As if all this talk of being, becoming, actualizing one’s inherent potential, or instinctual personality, is really just tantamount to a kind of intuitive living. That really living intuitively—“from the gut,” as Carl Rogers says—is the higher, more integrated, more holistic kind of consciousness I’ve been working toward.
My psychological experience has shown time and again that certain contents issue from a psyche more complete than consciousness. They often contain a superior analysis or insight or knowledge which consciousness has not been able to produce. We have a suitable word for such occurrences—intuition. In pronouncing it, most people have an agreeable feeling as if something had been settled. But they never take into account the fact that you do not make an intuition. On the contrary, it always comes to you. – C. G. Jung
A thought: intuitive living necessitates belief in a higher power and the belief that it is at once transcendent and immanent. Miracles are everywhere, and everything is sacred, especially you. And it is a holistic way of living, relying fully on the inner voice that knows. Living by one’s intuition as a means of interacting with the world from the gut, soul—visceral—from the deepest part of oneself. The kind of thinking that requires no answers or justifications. But, no, it’s not thinking at all. Just a swift and exacting form of knowledge. Knowing oneself is a sense beyond sense.
And what courage that requires! This must be the kind of courage Paul Tillich and the other existentialists talk about—letting the incessant questioning fall away and living according to an inner certitude that is inexplicable. That’s full of “hunches” and imaginative ways of knowing. What do I mean here: “imaginative ways of knowing”?
Some imaginative work is simply play, some fantasy, wishing of a regressive-type, as in wish fulfillment. Not necessarily grounded. Not the kind of thing you want to base a life on. Wait, but I wrote myself in Seven Road: sometimes you just gotta live by the wishes. Wishing turns into willing, and willing turns into action. But there is also a bit of alchemy here. Sometimes wishing is a form of knowing. The language of a soul expressing its desires, its yearnings in symbols. I knew I’d read it somewhere before:
The human wish…is not merely a push from the past, not merely a call from primitive needs demanding satisfaction. It also has in it some selectivity. It is a forming of the future, a molding by a symbolic process which includes both memory and fantasy, of what we hope the future will be. The wish is the beginning of orienting ourselves toward the future. – Rollo May
What I was just discussing with Writings from the Couch, his fictional vignettes so artfully illustrating the mechanics of these internal processes and, in turn, helping me gain insight into my own. Wishes, fantasies, little mouthfuls from a soul looking toward an uncertain future.
But, this is intuitive living. Reading that symbolic language. Living what you know. And not questioning it—or at least, learning to rise above the questions. I’ve always been an intuitive type, but not to this degree. Never relinquished control like this. Oh, what a silly sentiment…I am beginning to understand my own intuition differently. Not wanting to control, attach, make sense of, order. Instead, a voice, a force, a presence that quietly and powerfully is. But it seems this is the only way to feel powerful, not to, as Dr. May says, “experience contradictions in will,” which only lead to feelings of anxiety, helplessness, impotence—worse—apathy.
Intuitive living. Living by the wishes. The bare language of the soul. That’s it: the higher self is the whole self in action. As I was reflecting on these ideas last night over a steamy bath and a glass of red wine, surrounded by a roomful of soft jazz, two sentences arrived in my mind suddenly and demanded my full attention: You don’t need to understand it. You only need to be grateful for it. I couldn’t have said it better myself.