Intuition is an interesting concept, and I believe that it’s a bit hard to really make sense of for people who don’t consider themselves intuitive. At least it didn’t make a lot of sense for me a year or two ago.
I suppose many think that intuition is something you are born with… some people just “know” certain things without being able to reason them out, and other people have to conduct an elaborate analysis of the facts in their minds to end up with the same conclusion. If that’s the way you think about it, you might believe that intuition is something of an unfair advantage.
Another widespread position seems to be that intuition is very risky… after all, intuition doesn’t give you the certainty that logical reasoning can give you, right? So perhaps if you go by that idea, you might say that it’s better to not use intuition at all.
I think that the answer is somewhere in between, as it often happens to be… and I’m going to tell you how intuition became a natural thing for me, even though I wasn’t exactly born with it, nor did I think it made sense to trust in it. But now I do have it, and I do trust it, because I use it in a way that I’m confident in. And don’t worry, I’m not going to cite the usual hogwash about left brain versus right brain… I’ll just explain a useful way of looking at intuition, and I’ll also waste a few words on how important I think it is for knowledge engineering.
I haven’t posted anything for months, but I feel very strongly about an experience I had yesterday and I want to tell you about it. This is a story involving a person who had been feeling extremely strong pain for months and months, and myself.
At first glance this post will look like it’s rather unrelated to what I have posted about before. In fact, it’s about the human mind and about how it works, and about how it changes.
Please understand that I have to suppress a lot of details and slightly warp the story to protect the identity of that person. I just flipped a coin to determine that I’ll be presenting that person as male, and I’ll call him Chris. I don’t know any person called Chris, so I guess that’s okay.
So Chris had been trying everything he could find. Pain medication, stronger pain medication, elaborate diagnostics, alternative approaches to healing, everything. All doctors pretty much agreed that there was no physiological basis for the pain. Chris found that hard to accept, because that had to mean that it’s a psychosomatic thing; a signal from the body that things aren’t going right… a signal that change needs to happen. Still, he started looking into psychotherapy. A few attempts had no real effect; at some point he found a therapist who could indeed help him reduce the pain for a while (in exchange for a lot of money, of course). A permanent solution wasn’t in sight, though. The last thing he tried was an inpatient therapy, during which on some days he actually felt really good… but there wasn’t any method to it. The pain would keep on coming back.
Then we met, and we talked about it.