Using the Book of Five Rings as a starting poing, we will explore what it means to go inward and cultivate your inner Samurai.
Today, we will be exploring Miyamoto Musashi sixth rule: Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for everything
Musashi's philosophy included nine rules. These nine rules are the quintessential distillation of everything that Musashi wanted to tell his readers about how to live life. Though written more then 350 years ago, his philosophy has influenced modern business people in Japan and China, as well as in Europe and North America. They are principals that apply to the outer world of business and the inner world of your still small voice. Musashi’s steps will help you get in touch with and strengthen your inner Samurai.
INNER SAMURAI INTUITIVE JUDGMENT
Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for everything is Musashi’s sixth rule. It means to develop your intuitive intelligence. Developing our intuitive intelligence means strengthening the innate astuteness of our inner Samurai. Though, still the question begs: what exactly is intuition? See Dr. James Wanless' post on Intuition is Energy!
If you’re not sure, you’re in good company. Many people are confused about what intuition is or isn’t. Are you? I know I was. Since it’s gotten such a bum wrap over the years it’s probably a good idea to get clear on what it is, and the best way to do that is by being clear about what it is not. First off, it is not ESP or anything else hooley-gooley or paranormal. It is not emotions. It is not instinct. Although, the word intuition has haphazardly been thought of and labeled in these ways.
What intuition is, is an extremely important and powerful form of non-linear intelligence that is useful for discerning complex patterns and relationships. It is what Albert Einstein talks about in his frequently used quotation:
I did not arrive at my understanding of the fundamental laws of the universe through my rational mind. The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you.
Intuition is a form of subconscious intelligence that is both misunderstood and highly underrated. It is the way we all learn as small children. It is an extremely fast way of learning. Music is learned intuitively, which explains why young children given instruction in playing the piano have marked increases in their mathematical abilities. The acquisition of new languages is learned primarily through intuition. This is how Rosetta Stone, Berlitz, and other adult language courses achieve such a high rate of success. It’s not from teaching grammar; it is through subconscious word associations.
The word intuition comes from the Latin word intueri, meaning “to look within.” This is exactly what Musashi’s sixth rule instructs us to do. Look within to discern right course of action. Look within to make judgments based on intuitive knowing. Look within for the understanding of all things. Though how do we do that?
In Japan, intuition is known as stomach art. As such, it is considered an art form. The only thing we have similar to stomach art in the West is what many would call a “gut reaction” or a “gut feeling.” I’m sure you have heard people say--perhaps even yourself--“I’m just going with my gut on this one.” Or, “you know, I’m just having a gut feeling about this.” Usually when people say this, they are letting you know that their internal meter is indicating movement in one direction or another. How many times have we heard stories about people who decided not to get on a plane flight at the last minute because they just had a gut feeling that something terrible was going to happen, and it did.
This is exactly what Musashi is saying to do--rely on your intuitional intelligence when making decisions and judgments. In fact, he would advice, go one step further and make it an art form. Study it. Appreciate it. Value it. Practice it. Your intuition is strengthened when you pay attention to your gut feelings. Then take action. Act on your intuition. You can trust your gut, and here’s why: Intuition is a unique whole-brain activity. Unlike logical thinking that relies on the left hemisphere of your brain, or creativity that draws from your right, your intuition draws upon both the right and left hemispheres of our brain. It also connects the conscious mind with the subconscious mind, where our entire lifetime of experiences is stored.
Since intuition powerfully integrates your conscious and subconscious thought processes, it behooves you to focus on your gut and develop your stomach art. For by doing so, you will have at your fingertips, so to speak, an extraordinarily profound way of making decisions. You will walk more confidently and feel stronger when you rely on your gut. In this way, intuitive intelligence will assist you in making both educated and wise decisions about how you want to live your life and show up in the world.
For more information about stomach art, Penny Piece wrote thoughtful blog entitled, Advice From My Inner Voice.
So what do you think of rule number six?
Let me know what you have developed intuitive judgment and understanding for.
The original Accidental Pren-her™