Intuitive refers to having the ability or the potential to understand something despite any factual proof or evidence. It refers to a person’s innate feelings or judgment towards something without conscious reasoning. People are, thus, characterized by their intuition. Intuition is also an inner insight into the unconscious, unconscious knowledge, and unconscious cognition. While the quality of intuitiveness is understood chiefly in terms of psychodynamic personality categories, one can also be spiritually or psychically intuitive in contemporary times.
Intuition comes from the Latin verb ‘Inteuri,’ which can be translated as to consider, and from the late Middle English word ‘Inuit,’ meaning ‘to contemplate.’ Intuition forms a topic of study within psychology and philosophy. But in general usage, it refers to someone’s gut feeling based on some innate sense or experience.
History Of Intuition
The Greek physician, Hippocrates of Kos, suggested, around 460 BC, that humans have a ‘persona’ – that is, a personality which is constitutive of four different temperaments. He called these temperaments' humor'. The predominant fluid or humor in one’s body established a person’s dominant personality. The four humors identified by Hippocrates were blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm, which made an individual’s personality sanguine, choleric, melancholic, or phlegmatic.
With the development in psychology, personality tests and classification became much more refined and systematized. Wilhelm Wundt was the first to distinguish between the human body and personality.
Intuition And Modern Psychology
Subsequent research in psychodynamic approaches allowed psychologists to develop personality types to categorize people. The eminent psychiatrist Carl Jung proposed a theory that only four personality traits existed, namely sensing, intuition, feeling, and thinking. Human personalities were based upon and influenced by these four core traits only.
Numerous personality assessment tests have been developed over the years, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire, the Big Five Assessment, the Enneagram test, etc. Most of these personality tests use the intuitive character trait as one of the personality types in their categorizations.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), created by Carl Jung in the 1940s, uses the intuitive trait explicitly in its personality test. In this test, the questionnaire assesses the personalities of the individuals to categorize them into four sets of opposing personality traits – extroverted versus introverted, intuitive versus sensing, feeling versus thinking, and judging versus perceiving.
The second letter in the four-lettered MBTI personality can either be an N or an S. N denotes intuitive while S denotes sensing. Whereas their inclination towards facts and senses characterizes those who are S types, N types or the intuitive personalities are more concerned with the deeper meanings and patterns of life.
Intuitive people search for patterns or meanings in life that go beyond the surface level. They are more interested in the world’s potentialities than the literal reality. They try to work out the hidden meanings of life. Intuitive people prefer to use their imagination instead of facts to look for new ideas and creative possibilities.
The Myers-Briggs test describes an intuitive person approaching a problem by thinking about it thoroughly rather than a hands-on experience. Intuitive people like to work through abstract theories and find new things or new ways of doing mundane things. The 16 Personalities Questionnaire also uses the instinctive personality trait as a category. Here, the intuitive (N) character trait is juxtaposed with the observant (S) characteristic.
Intuition And Psychic Experiences
Psychic experiences can also be seen as part of intuitive experiences. An intuitive person is more likely to go through a psychic or spiritual experience. Intuition, in spiritual terms, can be understood as being able to have a piece of direct or inner knowledge or a path towards some higher understanding without logical thinking or reasoning. In many cultures, intuition or intuitive experiences are fundamental to one’s religious and spiritual awareness.
The act of worshiping itself can be seen as an intuitive experience. But this does not mean that people who are not spiritual or religious cannot have intuitive experiences. The point is that intuitive experiences are often part of spiritual or religious experiences.
Intuitive experiences can be a way of communicating with oneself. For example, suppose someone is capable of intuitive healing. In that case, they can send signals to their immune system to fight against any ailments or symptoms that may be affecting him or them.
Although an intuitive personality is an innate quality, concentration exercises and meditation can help hone the power of intuition. One can focus on themselves and listen to what their consciousness tells them when one is better equipped with concentration powers and a balanced state of mind.