Intuition vs. the finger which points at the moon; intuition development

intuition development
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Intuition vs. the finger which points at the moon.
The attention bridge. Chapter 5.

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In view of what has been previously said about intuition and how, in the form of sensations, we perceive the content of attention-energy flows, we shall now consider the following question:

        Why do we so often confuse or not even perceive the subtle energies emitted by the feelings, emotions of volitional impulses of those with whom we interact attentionally?

        And why do we never, or nearly never, perceive the flow of vital energy that we transfer to one another by the mere direction of our attention?

        The “reason” that the recognition of our intuitive perceptions, (as well as the information or insights that they bring), is so elusive lies in the fact that we humans foolishly and repeatedly give less importance to intuitive perceptions than to our rational interpretations.

       This is a process of dissociation between perception and cognition which the celebrated Chinese philosopher, Confucius, tried to explain to his disciples by using the following metaphor “When a wise man points at the moon the fool looks at his finger.”

        When applying this metaphor to the perceptual-cognitive processes of human beings, we find that the wise man that all of us have inside us is our sense of intuition; that the finger which points at all that we perceive intuitively is our power of reasoning; and that the fool who, instead of looking at the moon (our intuitive perceptions), looks at the finger (our rational interpretation), is our ego.    

        The reason that “looking at the finger that is pointing at the moon instead of the moon itself” is foolish is because intuitive perceptions show us the world as it truly is[1] whereas rational perceptions don’t always do this. What rational interpretations frequently do is present the world in three different ways: how we would like it to be; how we fear it is; or how we assume it should be.

The flow of subtle energy and the case of the fool who, finding himself under the influence of rational interpretations related to his personal interests, looks at the finger pointing at the moon rather than the moon itself.

Surely all of us, at some time, will have suffered the sentimental or sexual rejection of someone we desired. I am equally sure that on many of these occasions we ended up berating ourselves for our stupidity when “deep down we already knew” that our feelings would not be reciprocated.

       Other essentially similar experiences are like when you mess up because you don’t wait for the right moment to make a comment or to propose an idea to someone who, as a result, gives you short shrift. This when, beforehand, something inside you was saying “Best leave this for another time.” But we chose to pay more attention to that little voice inside our head which said, “Why leave this for some other time? I’d rather it was now!”

        If in either of these situations “we already knew before-hand” what would happen, it is because our intuition must have indicated this to us via the sensations produced by the subtle energies which were transferred to us by the people we were interacting with[2].

        And if where we kept this knowledge was “deep down”, it is because we superimposed our rational interpretations on our intuitive perception – thus burying our intuition under our rationality.

This is ultimately a process of self-deception or manipulation which we feel impelled to succumb to when what we perceive intuitively is not in keeping with what our “ego” is interested in perceiving. Instead of choosing to accept things as they are, we choose to allow our “wise” intuitive perception to be superimposed by “the finger” (or the manipulation of rational interpretations) which, selfishly, points out that things really are how we would like them to be. This is what we do when we let ourselves be fooled by people who make proposals of offer “bargains” which we know deep down are too good to be true.

This kind of self-serving self-deception is one of the main reasons that we choose not to recognise the innate wisdom which, in the form of sensations, gives us our sense of intuition. A recognition which would save us from so many blunders; given that we would no longer foolishly ask life to give us things that we know we will never get.


The flow of subtle energy and the case of the fool who, finding himself under the influence of rational interpretations related to his traumas, looks at the finger pointing at the moon instead of the moon itself. 

Human beings not only look at our rational interpretations instead of our intuitive perceptions in order to avoid having to acknowledge those aspects of reality which do not conform to our selfish interests. There are also times when we do precisely the opposite by misinterpreting situations which we intuitively know are satisfactory. This leads us to experience fears and worries which are totally unnecessary.

         Here is an example which we most of us will have experienced. You are riding your bicycle and fall off on a turn and, immediately afterwards you find it difficult to turn with the same confidence as before since you cannot help taking precautions which you “know” are unnecessary.

      Similarly, someone who has been the victim of infidelity in the past may well believe they are being cheated on again even when their new partner has never been unfaithful and there are no grounds for suspicion. That is why many of us will have had a partner who has made us suffer (or that, conversely, we caused to suffer) because of their fantastical mistrust of us and their fits of jealousy[3].

What happens in these cases is clear. When we suffer a traumatic incident the rational interpretations that we make remain embedded within us.  So that, when we find ourselves in similar circumstances, we associate them with the first situation. These original interpretations resurface causing us to suffer again what we perceive as the same traumatic situation.

        We should take into account that the greater the unawareness of what lead us to suffer painful or traumatic experiences, the greater our tendency to project externally ghosts that only exist within us and therefore mistake something completely inoffensive for something terrifying.

        Consequently, the most fantastical fears are those which come from the projection of rational interpretations which were constructed in circumstances that one has no memory of. These tend to come from experiences lived in the first few years of life.

       Thus a grown man who was burnt in a fire at the age of three may well be plagued by obsessive fears that lead him to believe that he is in danger of getting burnt whenever he comes close to any kind of fire, even when it is perfectly safe.

        Or imagine a woman who suffered sexual abuse as a child while hearing Beethoven’s fifth symphony. This woman could develop the obsessive idea that something bad will happen to her whenever she hears this piece of music.


The flow of vital energy and the case of the fool who, finding himself under the influence of society’s interpretation of reality, looks at the finger which points at the moon, assuming that there is nothing else to look at. 

As we have seen in the two previous examples, there are many occasions when we do recognise our intuitive perceptions (or inner sensations) which communicate the hidden feelings, emotions or volitive impulses of those we are interacting with. This may be something we have never experienced; nevertheless this is about recognising the intuitive perceptions associated with the flow of vital energy we transfer when we direct attention to one another.

Could it be that the sensations caused by the flow of vital energy are less apparent than those caused by subtle energy?

        The answer to this question is a resounding “No”. In fact, the opposite is true.

        The sensations brought about by vital energy flow are more apparent. This is because subtle energy flows only manifest in our energy body (shedding light on the emotional or volitional content of our interlocutor) while vital energy flows also manifest in the physical body. At first we feel the decrease or increase of vital energy and then this results in the corresponding sensations of tiredness or invigoration.

Let us suppose that in an art exhibition there is a painting with a sign that says, “If you look carefully at this picture, you will see hidden images of a giraffe, a lion, an elephant and a rhinoceros.”

        However, what the sign does not say is that also hidden in the painting is an equally evident image of a gorilla.

        The visitors to the exhibition who walk by the painting read the sign and look at it until they find the animals mentioned there. But no-one, or almost no-one, finds the gorilla even though it is just as easy to spot as the other animals – whereas those who are told of the existence of the gorilla have no trouble in spotting it.

Well, can you see what’s happening here? I’m sure you can. But, just in case, I will explain it more straightforwardly.

        The reason that intuitive perceptions and sensations brought about by the transfer of vital energy go unnoticed comes from the simple fact that nobody has pointed out or discussed the existence of such phenomena before. It is the same reason that we are unable to see an image that nobody told us was hidden in the painting.

Believe it or not, we have been castrated by what is the collective rational conceit of our species. We accept that the world is exactly as we were taught to interpret it to such a point that we don’t even consider the notion that it could be any different. We do not consider the possibility that we can receive elements perceptible by our sense of intuition which we have never detected through reason. Thus, we have been trained to forge an interpretation of the world of which it is almost impossible to free ourselves, despite being perceptually and/or intuitively capable of recognising it as false or incomplete.

If our parents or teachers had encouraged us to notice the fact that simply by directing our attention we transfer vital energy to one another, we would now all be able to perceive the flow of this transfer of energy more easily than the flow of subtle energies.

        In fact, the only reason that we find it easier to perceive the transfer of subtle energy than that of vital energy is because feelings, emotions and volitional impulses, (all sources of subtle energy), do form part of the rational interpretation of reality instilled in the first years of life.

         This is done in such a way that when we interact attentionally with others we are receptive to the detection of sensations or intuitive perceptions related to feelings, emotions or volitive impulses while being totally unreceptive to the detection of the flow of vital energy. This very lack of receptiveness is often the only reason why we are almost always incapable of detecting vital energy.

        But we have now, at last, started to reason the fact that by simply directing our attention we transfer our vital energy to one another. Now nothing can stop us from observing this phenomenon. And from now we can dedicate some of our attention to the observation of how the sensations that come alive inside us differ depending on whether we are being observed or doing the observing[4].


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[1] Whenever we believe that our intuition has failed us is because it was not really our intuition but rather an interpretation based on our fears or desires. We manipulated this interpretation to a point where we mistake it for a disturbing or hopeful intuition, accordingly.

[2] This does not mean that in the cases when we did not realise this beforehand, we did not actually capture the pertinent information intuitively. Because whether we are capable or not of recognising something consciously (in order to subsequently process it rationally), our intuition always gives us the essential information about the situation we are involved in, or the element or person we are perceiving.

[3] Fits of jealousy, contrary to popular opinion, are not at all irrational. They are always the consequence of rational interpretations which, due to emotional wounds from the past, have remained entrenched inside us. One should not confuse being right with acting rationally.

[4] Once we have been able to observe this phenomenon, we will, inevitably, as ourselves how many other perceptions about ourselves and the world around us we are totally ignorant of due to the influence of the rational interpretation of reality we have been inculcated with.