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Intuition and the Sensory Human: Knowing Something When You are Part of Everything

By Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.

It’s 4:30 a.m. in the Los Angeles International airport just before an extraordinary moment. I had squeezed in an hour of sadhana (daily spiritual practice) before dashing to catch a flight to Guadalajara, Mexico, but I was tired and running on automatic cruise control. So was the attendant, who clearly didn’t get any sadhana. I passed over my two luggage bags. He handed me the tickets, bag tags, passport, and customs forms. Then it struck me. My eyes opened, my breath changed, and before I knew what I was doing my arm snapped forward like a rattler striking its prey. I grabbed the bags just as he pulled to toss them on the conveyor. We locked eyes. He was nervous—terrorists lurking everywhere these days, you know. I smiled and said, “Just thought I should check these tags.” “Sir, they are right there, and copies are in your ticket jacket.” I leaned forward in the dim light and we both stared at the tags. Through my sandy morning eyes I saw one tag labeled GDL, Guadalajara. The other said New Delhi, India! Not Indiana, India! 

He woke up. He looked furtively over each shoulder as if to catch the prankster who must have done this. I laughed and let out a “whew” as I wiped my forehead, “Did you want to find out which bag would make it to Mexico first? Through New Delhi or direct?” He laughed when he saw I was not angry. As he poked around, he discovered the machine had run out of tape when it tried to print my real tag. He had accidentally grabbed an extra tag for a family that had left for New Delhi a few minutes before me.

The day was saved. My bag would not disappear into an Indian discount bazaar in a distant land. 

In that moment, I knew something without knowing that I knew something to know. My intuition saved the day. For just a moment, after a wave of relief filled with gratitude passed, I felt like Captain Kirk (or maybe Picard). You must remember the archetypal triangulation between the captain, the doctor, and Spock. The doctor would gush with a flood of emotions and good intentions. Spock would raise an eyebrow and lay out perfect, soulless logic—a rationale undistracted by the distortion of emotion. The captain listened to both, loved both, and in an intuitive flash would launch the crew into action, headlong into some impossible challenge. With confidence and courage he trusted his intuition and would always find a way to save the day.

In my own little way I was Kirk, guiding my starship by something seemingly intangible that is always alert and right.

Such moments happen to each of us—all the time. We may notice it or not. They result from a capacity that already exists in us—intuition. It is a relationship as intimate as love itself. It is perception that sees beneath the surface of habits and facts and finds the diagonal path past the unknown and the impossible.

Granted, this incident and those you can recount in your own life are just the foothills that presage a much greater capacity in us. We cannot always see the peak that the foothills lead us toward. Yogi Bhajan reached that peak and has shared the vision of the Sensory Human.

From the mountaintop, this intuitive capacity is as normal as breathing, as subtle as the invisible air we breathe, and as essential to consciousness for the Sensory Human as oxygen is for life itself.

In a few generations we will have evolved more. We are not done developing. We will be born as Sensory Humans, intuition awake, filled with new perceptions of the energy and world we are an integral part of. Today we still need to labor to give birth to the Sensory Human within us. We need to stimulate the prefrontal cortex, develop the old brain and hypothalamus to enrich our senses, balance the smooth collaboration between our brain hemispheres, and develop the higher glands to give us the subtlety to read between the lines and to see the future in the seeds of the present.

Intuition is our capacity to sense our connectedness with everything. As part of everything we share an ability to sense the pattern in things. In each moment, each snippet of experience, there is the imprint of the whole. We can notice what type of seed we are looking at and know what that will become. If we know we have an apple seed in our hand, we know it will be a tree that will bear apples. We may not know all its circumstances, nor exactly how big it will be, nor if a pestilence will assault it. But we can know that we have a seed and know its identity and its destiny. That seed can be a single thought, an action, or the pattern of things in one moment of time that encodes part of the future. The clearest intuition is centered in the present, deepened with stillness, refined with listening, and perfected with the power of love that lets us surrender and merge with more than our self.

Lest you think this is an idea shared only by yogis and seers, look at a few recent books. Sources of Power by Gary Klein documents how intuition is a key capacity for leaders. The ability to act before you consciously know what you are doing is critical for experts and for people who must make complex decisions on the front lines of chaos—firefighters, paratroopers, emergency medics, and pilots. More recently, Greg G. Meyers summarized research on the pros and cons of intuition in Intuition—Its Powers and Perils. With expositions like these, intuition is finding its rightful place. It belongs in the captain’s seat, not on the sidelines along with its imitators, luck, and hunches.

Just imagine a world in which people act from their intuition and consciousness instead of from impulse and ego. They will still use logic and spreadsheets and have powerful feelings, but they will make decisions differently. When you give your most brilliant rationale for something, they will listen to your proposal but read how real you are, at what level of integrity you speak, how brightly your aura radiates when you explain your ideas. Their decision will depend on your integrity and on the pattern of consequences that must follow from your actions and ideas.

In a world of Sensory Humans, our old dance of using our personae and masks to persuade, seduce, convince, and control will no longer work. All the status, fame, money, and intellect we possess will not override the reality of our psyche—the quality of our awareness and the capacity to be real count for more. After all, it is our psyche and its relationship to the Universe that determine how well our logic and feelings are used. It is our sensory capacity to align with our real spirit that determines whether the fruit of our efforts will be rotten or fresh.

Someone asked me, “What is the best yoga posture to develop the intuition of a Sensory Human?” These days, yoga postures, in all their beauty, variety, and symmetry, adorn the covers of Vogue and Time and the ads for many corporations. So it is a good question. But all the hundreds of postures we use in Kundalini Yoga will not help if you do not master three fundamental states of mind: the point, the straight line, and the circle.

Meditatively become a single point, still; nothing left in the ego; in a state of Shuniya—the absolute zero of the self. Create a straight line between your personal heart and the Infinite heart of Guru Ram Das[1]. Become a circle in which all people and things are at equal distance so you can serve everyone equally and see God in all. These three postures are the foundation of the Sensory Human.

Whatever we must go through together to awaken and cultivate the Sensory Human, it is worth it. It is our destiny. It is our nature at full bloom. So let us meditate and go ahead. With all your intuition and spirit, give your mind the courage to do those disciplines that awaken your Sensory Human. Go where you have never gone before: Make it so!

[Published in Aquarian Times, Spring 2003]

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, Ph.D., LPCC, is a leading Trainer in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, and has helped to compile and elucidate Yogi Bhajan’s teachings since 1969. He co-founded the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) with Yogi Bhajan in 1972. Yogi Bhajan gave him the title Director of Training. He is involved in the development of international training programs for teachers in Kundalini Yoga and the research and applications of meditative and yoga techniques to help people deal with happiness, stress, positive lifestyles and emotional vitality. He instructed, in yoga and wellness psychology, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for more than 15 years and established wellness programs in universities and clinics internationally. He is committed to sharing the essence of the teachings of Yogi Bhajan to create fulfillment for each individual in spirit, vitality, life purpose and robust communities of consciousness and values.



[1] Guru Ram Das is the 4th Sikh Guru, the embodiment of compassion, humility, integrity and service.