Cognition – Integration – Intuition

Friday, August 13th, 2010 at 8:00 am.
by pre.

Our guided meditative excercise session in the second lap was designed to improve your intuition, your gut-level understanding of your world, the way things work. We talked a little about the pattern-detection and prediction mechanisms deep within your brain which may provide your intuition, the hierarchical Hebbian-learning models we suggested may be a hint at how these processes work.

We also discussed the dangers that excessive use of your intuitive cognition systems can lead (in particular the tendency in human intuition to use unquestioned false stereotypes which can mislead). We argued that, as they are not infallible, questioning and improving these systems is a useful goal.

It would appear that systems similar to this are working all over your brain, intuitively learning and understanding the senses, the way the world fits together, and operating all the other functions of your mind.

For example, your awareness is certainly something that takes much work to consciously understand and deliberately train, yet it’s as intuitive to turn your consciousness on itself as it is to turn your awareness towards a dog or a coal fired power station. Clearly intuitive systems lie behind the phenomenon.

Hebbian learning systems also very likely underlie your memory, certainly some kind of learning system must be! Like all the mental skills, learning to use your memory is intuitive and not only second nature but really just simply first nature. By the time you are conscious, you are always aware how to use your memory, it’s methods of implementation are basically entirely subconscious.

While learning a skill, like guitar playing or brick-laying or darts-throwing, is certainly time-consuming and requires much practice, the understanding of how your body works and must be instructed to do these things is intuitive. You know how to practice, even if you don’t yet know how to juggle or fly a remote controlled plane or whatever.

Likewise your empathy works not only intuitively but often beyond your conscious control. You can’t just command your system to feel empathy with a remembered happy person, especially while there is a crying one in the room. Your empathy, the very basis for all your social skills and ethics, is a process wired into your brain below the conscious level. To see a smile, all other things being equal, is to smile back, and intuitively feel the warmth and connection from that shared lip-curling entirely without having to push yourself consciously to do so. That is, it works entirely by intuition, by you just feeling, on a gut level, the warmth of affection which has passed between you.

With all these brain skills working intuitively, it’s clear that both an increase in general intuition skills will lead to improvement in each of these skills, and that improvement in each of these skills will lead to an improvement in general intuition.