I've had the opportunity to see a lot of amazing people speak to large or small groups. And when my friend, Norma Kamali, invited me to see Abdi Assadi, a spiritual counselor, acupuncturist, and intuitive, speak at her Wellness Cafe, little did I know that he'd be one of the best speakers I've ever seen.
Very few people can hold an audience's attention for more than twenty minutes, and Abdi had it for well over an hour. He didn't hold the group's attention by dazzling us with intuitive magic tricks -- if anything, his words were far from it, saying his interest was purely in "pointing people toward their own nature" which he warned, "can be another way for our egos to opt out of doing the work and hence the potential of downside." I left intrigued and amazed by his humbleness and uncanny ability to breakdown large, somewhat inexplicable concepts like intuition, and explain it to the group in a way that wasn't necessarily sexy, but was genuine. I left with his book, Shadows On the Path, which I plowed through over two nights and was blown away. It's definitely one of the best books I've read in a long time.
Back to the interview... Abdi talks to us about everything we need to know about intuition. I tried to ask the important questions, but my guess is that Abdi would say that each and every one one of us needs to ask our own questions :)
MBG: Intuition: what is it? How/why should we use it?
AA: Intuition is just another mode of accessing and processing information. Most of us are divorced from its conscious use. It can certainly be useful in life in terms of making decisions but it is just one mode of perception. We all have it and we all use it daily with out being aware than we do it. Some of us are more attuned to it and many of us are great at tuning it out. It can be useful in times of great change in our lives when pure intellect hits a wall and we need another angle to view our issue from.
What's the biggest misconception about intuition that you'd like to clear up?
Being the good culture of addicts, we want magic bullets and there are none. The biggest misconception is that somehow by using our intuition, all our problems disappear because we have a direct line to the truth. It is common for people to use intuitives, tarot cards or the I-Ching to get a hit on some question and leave their brains at the door. It also can commonly be used a tool for voyeurism, for digging into a question over and over instead of dealing with the underlying issues.
Can intuition (or what we perceive to be intuition) be a self-fulfilling prophecy? Once we feel something is going to happen/want something to happen, we create the energy and circumstances so it actually happens?
Despite external circumstances, our entire life is a self fulfilling reality. Regardless of whether we subscribe to thoughts creating reality or not, this is so internally. Our internal mental chatter as well as strong preferences and aversions hold us back from ever being in the moment and experiencing life. For example, it is very common to observe our internal fear, anxiety and pessimism over-ride an external reality that might in fact be pleasant or at least non life threatening. So we can constantly be living a life of anxiety; self fulfilling our unconscious fear.
There is a deeper piece here: our unconscious mind is busy recreating old wounds in order to heal them. Hence our experience of butting up against the same issue over and over in relationships, jobs, teachers etc.
Is the goal of intuition connect us to our true nature? Will the universe connect us to our true nature whether or not we're in-tune with our intuition? Or does intuition just help us get there faster?
The goal of intuition is to help the bodymind steer the waters of this life. Our true nature and the universe are one and the same. There is no distinction once we step out of our minds. We are always connected but due to forgetfulness we are hypnotized into confusing the part (bodymind) with the whole (our true nature). Intuition can help us get there if use it that way. For example, it can be used to examine places in our lives that are false etc. But it is just a tool. You can use a hammer to build a school or a prison. The irony is that intuition is most powerful when there is no "me" present. Just like remembering your true nature.
You're a big believer in meditation? How can it combat this mass cultural sleepwalking?
Meditation, on par with quality time in nature, is the single most important tool that one can use to break our cultural hypnosis. Done properly, it loosens the knot of the ego and its self protecting and propagating tendency. We need to remember that some of the brightest minds of this culture and its science are employed to keep us sleepwalking through consumerism.