Personal Wisdom-Memory Approach to Intuition
Book Digest by Clayton Montez
you wonder whether you are making the right
decisions in your life? Perhaps you depend upon
others more than you would like when it comes
time to choose life-forging goals or dealing
with difficult decisions. Now research psychologist
Dr. Henry Reed demonstrates a unique path with
heart warming stories to show us how we can
use our own intuitive abilities to help ourselves.
his new book The
Intuitive Heart (ARE Press), Reed combines
his research with dreams and with professional
psychics to forge a discovery that people have
a natural intuition within their moments of
compassionate empathy. A major block to intuition
is getting in your own way. Helping others helps
you to overcome that block by shifting the focus.
Helping also involves empathy and compassion,
which invokes a natural "feeling into"
to the other person, an intuitive act of having
one's "heart go out" to the other
person. Reed shows, in fact, that our use of
the word heart as a metaphor for feeling, empathy,
wisdom, reveals our own intuitive understanding
of such common human experiences of intuition:
"To know in one's heart." "Heart
speaks to heart." "Speaking from the
heart." "To search the heart for wisdom."
credits his research on dream telepathy, shaped
by a dream of his own and an inspiration from
Edgar Cayce, for his discovery of the intuitive
nature of empathy. In earlier dream work, Dr.
Reed observed that participants would report
dreams that seemed to offer insights into other
people. He writes, "My dream is 'about'
me, but it is "for" you, not just
about what I have learned, or need to learn,
about a personal situation, but a personal situation
that also relates to the concern with which
you are wrestling."
The results consistently demonstrated that dreams
often have messages that can be as meaningful
for others as they are for the dreamer. These
observations were the beginnings of his idea
that an intuition into an outer reality may
be expressed in the form of a personal, subjective
an attempt to verify that this appearance of
"inter-subjective" dreams could be
produced intentionally, Reed, in collaboration
with Robert Van de Castle, of the University
of Virginia, developed what they called "The
Dream Helper Ceremony." In this experiment
dressed up as a group healing ceremony, group
members area invited to volunteer to be the
"target" of the rest of the group
members' dreams. The only requirement is that
volunteer should be facing some personal dilemma
for which help is desired.
The "target" person does not reveal
the nature of the problem, so that it remains
a secret, undisclosed focus for the group's
dreams. The next day, the group shares their
dreams. Still without knowing the target person's
problem, the group searches for common patterns
in the dreams and on this basis offers tentative
insights into the target person's situation.
Afterwards, the target person reads aloud a
personal statement prepared the night before,
describing the problem and why help with it
The target person then responds to the dreams,
noting points of accuracy. As a final step,
the group members are led to interpret their
dreams for personal meaning. Sharing these interpretations
reveals that group members are finding personal
insights in their dreams that also have relevance
for the target person's problem. Thus, it appeared
to Reed that when someone dreams on behalf of
a targeted person and strives to intuitively
resolve a personal problem, the subjective truths
of the dreamer enable the recipient to arrive
at his or her own meaningful conclusions.
There have been statistical studies of the Dream
Helper Ceremony, Reed notes, showing that the
dreams do hit the target. Over the years, however,
Reed found that the true value of the process
was not so much for demonstrating "telepathy,"
but for helping people discover their ability
to make intuitive connections with each other.
further understand how people do form intuitive
perceptions of others, Reed drew upon his research
with professional psychics. The structure of
that work was similar to that of the Dream Helper
Ceremony, but rather than use dreams, Reed used
the "readings" provided by professional
psychics. In many studies, Reed volunteered
himself to be the "target" of a group
of readings from psychics responding to undisclosed
and disclosed questions.
He found that these professionals could indeed
provide useful insights into his personal questions.
He also found that the was quite a bit of variability
among the psychics in the answers they provided
to these questions. Reed concluded that each
psychic was "viewing" the question
from a personal perspective that reflected somewhat
upon the psychic's own personal history. In
this research Reed was again confronted with
the fact that external, objective reality, could
be meaningfully portrayed via subjectively oriented,
He likened this finding to the "post modern"
philosophical perspective. In art history, this
idea was expressed in the shift from realistic,
photographic like portraits, to more abstract,
impressionistic renderings. In science, this
idea came into being through developments in
atomic physics that revealed that experiences
with external reality are necessarily conditioned
by the perspective of the observer and, even,
that reality itself may have a subjective component
created by the consciousness of the observer.
In academia, this idea found expression in the
notion that there may not be absolute truths,
but rather "stories" or "narratives"
used this "post modern" perspective
then to fashion a vision of intuition. When
we take something "into our heart,"
it is an act of intuition, whereby our empathy
for that something is created through our imaginative
"becoming" of that thing. Reed notes
that many creative, expert intuitives refer
to becoming "one with" the object
of their intuition. In the act of imagination,
novel uses of past experience may repattern
themselves into a uniquely creative personal
vision of the object of intuition.
From these ideas, Reed developed what he called
the "Intuitive Heart Discovery Process."
Starting with the assumption that caring for
someone creates an empathic bridge of intuitive
understanding, he then focused the results of
this attempt at understanding through personal
history. The result was a unique technique in
the evocation of intuition, yet resembling a
process that is quite familiar to human experience.
Take something into your heart, Reed would say,
and ask that a personal memory spontaneously
come to mind, and use that memory as a metaphor
to form a wisdom story. Like dreaming, connecting
with others through a memory couches intuitive
understanding in subjective terms, personal
to the observer, yet possibly creatively insightful
about the objective, external reality.
In this formulation, our intuition does not
see things exactly as they are, but sees things
in a way that reflects our own perspective.
It is like a person saying, "Your situtation
reminds me of a time when I ...." and the
other person responding by saying, "Funny
you should say that, because I..."
story in the book, for example, tells of a young
man who was trying to use the Intuitive Heart
Discovery Method to help a friend. Without knowing
the friend's question, the young man recalled
a memory of a time when he preoccupied himself
with creative projects in the absence of his
father. When his father returned home, he applauded
his son's efforts.
The yound man reflected upon that memory that
it shows him that he could initiate projects
on his own and later be rewarded for maximizing
his abilities. The young man's friend, it turns
out, had been wrestling with the idea of starting
a business but had been waiting for a "sign
from God" that had so far not appeared.
The young man's story showed the friend that
he too should not wait until someone gives a
blessing, but rather that the blessing would
come in the form of success once he initiated
Intuitive Heart Discovery Process is both a
metaphor for a theory of intuition and an applied
methodology for invoking intuition. While we
may understand the heart's ability to empathize,
we seldom realize how to harness its capacity.
The simple step-by-step techniques developed
by Dr. Reed provide a specific methodology that
is within everyone's skill range.
suggests we learn the process first by helping
others with it. In this way, working with blind
targets prevents "thinking" too much
about the question, while trying to help someone
else with a genuine need invokes the compassionate
heart, which is intuitively empathic. Once confidence
is gained through positive feedback, the person
can begin to use the method for oneself. The
disovery process begins, then, by asking a friend
to focus on a question while the person practices
his or her intuitive story telling skills.
begin the Intuitive Heart Discovery Process,
the first step is to experience "trusting
inspiration" by focusing on the natural
flow of our breath. To watch the breath without
controlling it is a meditation similar in nature
as the Zen meditation of watching oneself behave
spontaneously. It is also a way to overcome
the natural doubt about intentional intuition
expressed as a fear of "getting in one's
The exhalations teach relaxation and that profound,
but equally elusive, experience of surrender
and letting go. Allowing the incoming breath
to arise naturally is equivalent to the experience
of receiving "inspiration," and teaches
that things can happen without our having to
make them happen. The idea of this part of the
process is to teach that the intuitive inspiration
comes as naturally as the breath inspiration.
next step is to engage the heart by the invoking
the feeling of gratitude. Appreciating the breath
as the gift of life is a "no brainer"
invitation to the experience of gratitude. Research
has shown that invoking that attitude has a
beneficial effect upon the heart. The subjective
experience of the heart's response to gratitude
is that of the heart softening, warming and
expanded consciousness of the grateful heart
leads naturally to being able to experience
a "heart connection" with the friend.
This experience creates a feeling of empathy
for that person, an intuitive connection. Again,
research has shown that this subjective experience
is accompanied by certain manifestations of
entrainment, or resonance, between the physiological
functioning of the two individuals.
suggests that as the next step, the person mentally
affirm something like the following to set the
intention for the invocation of intuition: "I
give myself permission to care enough for this
person to share of myself to help this person
and their concern I now ask my intuitive heart
to choose and present to my awareness a personal
memory from my past experience which, when I
reflect in my heart as to its meaning, will
provide me with insights that will also spark
helpful inspiration for the other person's concern."
Thus the person invites a memory to come, uncensored
and without effort. This step is like many intuitive
exercises that ask the person to note the "first
thought that comes to mind," except here
the request is for a memory. The breath meditation
is intended to create an attitude of trust,
so the person can assume that just the right
memory from among one's many life experiences
will serve the partner's concern.
final step is to share the memory, to explore
extemporaneously (speaking from the heart) the
experiences that surround the memory and tell
a story about it, concluding with some lesson
or piece of wisdom.
other person is then invited to speak about
their concern and to give some feedback. The
other person uses the story as a template to
create his or her own insight into the personal
concern that was the focus of the exercise.
Reed gives many examples, like the story shared
above, to show how there are often both little
details in the intuitive story that connect
in an obvious manner with the friend's concern,
as well as the overall theme of the story having
a relevant piece of guidance to offer.
evaluating the Intuitive Heart Discovery Process,
Reed reflects upon the initial inspiration he
received from Edgar Cayce. In commenting upon
traditional laboratory ESP experiments, Cayce
suggested that their trivial and fickle results
would become more stable, meaningful and revealing
if the experiments were revised to focus less
on whether or not a person made a "hit,"
and instead focused on whether or not something
helpful could be found in the exchange.
In applying this idea, Reed stresses that it
is important not to focus on whether or not
the person's story is an example of an intuitive
"hit" to the bullseye of the friend's
concern, but rather to focus on the collaborative
process of finding new and helpful insights
into the person's concern using the story as
an intuitive guide to seeing new patterns of
with friends in this manner builds confidence
in the process, preparing the person to use
it for oneself. As part of this preparation,
there is also a shift in attitude about the
use of intuition in personal guidance. Eventually,
with enough practice with friends, the Intuitive
Heart Discovery Process helps a person wean
oneself from an attitude that is disempowering
regarding intuition: "I don't know if my
intuition is correct or not, and so I don't
know if I should act upon it or not."
The Intuitive Heart process builds confidence
in an empowering attitude about intuition: "I
believe my memory does provide me with some
intuitive wisdom about the situation confronting
me, enabling me to proceed, even if cautiously,
to feel my way forward in an exploratory manner,
helping me to invent a constructive approach
to this situation."
Reed believes the example of the inventor, who
is comfortable with trial and error exploration
that is often blessed with moments of intuitive
leaps forwardf, is a more helpful vision of
intuition than the one of the clairvoyant who
can "see into" things correctly. Sometimes
when intuition is "wrong," one is
led into experiences that have surprising value.
provides some exercises to help a person move
from using the process with friends to using
it for oneself. Sticking with the "hidden
target" method for awhile, one can target
random passages in inspirational books, and
use the Intuitive Heart process to create personal
interpretations of those passages. A later step
is to perform an Intuitive Heart reading for
the "day ahead," and then explore
how helpful the wisdom proves to be as the day
After sufficient practice with this exercise,
a person would be ready to use the Intuitive
Heart process for any personal question that
might arise. Knowing in advance the question
would not be so tempting a target to biased
thought once a person had learned to trust the
honest integrity of the open heart learned through
the Intuitive Heart Discovery Process. In this
way, the person learns a valid relationship
with the source of intuition and no longer needs
to rely upon any "tricknique" to tease
intuition from the subconscious mind.
Intuitive Heart Discovery Process is not merely
a mental exercise to gain insights. It is a
form of meditation with a love-centered connection
of one's inner feelings. Through it one begins
to develop a special quality of awareness. It
is a skill-building exercise that teaches a
person how to connect with the wisdom within
that has developed from a lifetime of experiences.
By learning to rely on trust and love as one's
guide toward the living in harmony with oneself
and others, it builds a natural bridge into
stresses that "the Intuitive Heart Discovery
Process reflects ancient truths and wisdom about
sharing and giving testimony to spirit".
Practicing the method of the Intuitive Heart's
path, Reed affirms, brings comfort, trust, and
knowledgeable skill in dealing creatively with
the various circumstances that life brings as
opportunities for learning.
Montez is a graduate of Atlantic University
and Mayor of East Troy, Wisconsin. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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