The Intuition Network, A Thinking Allowed Television Underwriter, presents the following transcript from the series Thinking Allowed, Conversations On the Leading Edge of Knowledge and Discovery, with Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove.


JEFFREY MISHLOVE, Ph.D.: Hello and welcome. Our topic today is intuition, an often discussed human faculty which is difficult to understand -- sometimes associated with a sixth sense or ESP, sometimes associated with the emotions, sometimes thought of as being an aspect of the biocomputer within our own mind. With me is Patricia Sun, an internationally known Renaissance woman, expert in conflict resolution and communications. Welcome, Patricia.

PATRICIA SUN: Oh, thank you. It's nice to see you again.

MISHLOVE: It's a pleasure to have you here.

SUN: Thank you.

MISHLOVE: Let's start out by defining intuition as you use the term.

SUN: Well, I actually feel that intuition is part of our intelligence. It's an aspect of our capacity to grasp reality, and one of the reasons why I think we have so much difficulty with it is that our normal way of talking about our intelligence is the linear side of our intelligence -- the logical side, the cause-and-effect side.

MISHLOVE: The left brain, so to speak.

SUN: The left brain, exactly right. And intuition, being the right brain, thinks in an entirely different style. It thinks in metaphor, feelings, pictures, spatial whole. It governs all those intangible things that are incredibly essential, like love and beauty and art and music, and is why those arts and powerful emotions like love and joy seem to be gifts of the gods -- because they do just pop into your mind. In fact, one of the things I talk about in my lectures all the time is that right brain is where genius comes from, where the ideas that never existed before just pop into being. They don't have to have a logical origin.

MISHLOVE: It sneaks up on you sometimes.

SUN: It definitely does. It just comes in. It's interesting even that you would say it sneaks up on you. That is the linear mind's interpretation of the lack of control of the intuitive mind. The intuitive mind is proclaimed by no control. It is allowed. You can't create it; you can't make it. It's already there. What you can do is receive it, and most of us don't like to do that because we like to be in control all the time.

MISHLOVE: Well, you know, a few minutes ago as I was sort of rehearsing in my own mind how to introduce the program on intuition, I had this image of the two of us dancing or doing t'ai chi or swimming. It sort of went click, click, click, one right after another, and that seemed to be an intuition about what an interview about intuition might be like.

SUN: Well, it is, and it is the ingredient that makes an interview spontaneous, hopefully profound. It is what gives it grace or difference, because like dancing, the way for a dance to be really beautiful, is first you maybe exercise a lot, have the ability to make moves. But what makes two people dance together wonderfully is the magic of a kind of following something else. It's like jazz music, or when you compose something. There's a following something. The Greeks called it the muse -- the muse has to hit you. I think all of those ideas about intuition show our logical belief that they are somehow magical, and it is why we are uncomfortable with psychic phenomena -- telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, healing, just knowing something. All of those phenomena have been made occult. The word psychic, as opposed to intuition, implies occult, and occult really means hidden. So yes, it is hidden, we don't know how we get it; but it implies a kind of sinisterness or some other kind of magic, which is what the linear mind tends to do with things it doesn't understand. It gets a little afraid of them.

MISHLOVE: There are some scientists who say that what intuition really is, is that your brain can work so fast, it can perform logical computations faster than you can realize that they're going on, so you can instantly have an answer.

SUN: I don't think it's a computation -- see, again, that's our attachment to the linear thinking. It comes to conclusions, it gives you information, more than any linear computation could give you. You know the old parable about the six blind men touching the different parts of the elephant.


SUN: They're asked to tell what's an elephant. The guy who's got his tail says, "Oh, he's like a rope." His leg: "He's like a tree trunk." The guy that's got his belly thinks he's a wall; the one that's got his nose, he's a serpent; his tusk, he's a spear; his ear, he's a fan. Now, they're all correct in their observations, except they're all wrong about what an elephant is. I even like to say we, as evolving people getting to become on good terms with our intuitive mind, with our right brain, all our experiences are true, except they're not quite, because we don't really allow that intuitive mind to give us all of its information, and it's why a picture is worth more than a thousand words
-- because there's no words in all the universe to tell you what a picture tells you. Because if I gave you all kinds of ropes, tree trunks, walls, fans, spears, and serpents, you'd still never get an elephant.

MISHLOVE: So in a sense we're like these blind men if we don't use our intuition.

SUN: Exactly right.

MISHLOVE: We operate through partial information, and intuition is somehow holistic. It gives us an overview, a whole sense of things.

SUN: Exactly. It gives that richer information that you know in one second. And so you can get information from that logically; you can extrapolate. And of course, as I started to say about genius, the word genius comes from genesis, and genesis means creation and creativity, and what creation and creativity are, are out of nothing, something. The very power of "Out of nothing, something" is the main point, but the linear mind rejects that, it doesn't like it. It doesn't even like the word infinity: What do you mean? What's the end? What's the beginning? It wants to contain. And as soon as, I think, we get on good terms using both the linear mind happily, and using it as a tool -- knowing it's a tool for sorting reality but not equivalent to it -- then the intuitive, acausal mind will have more room to speak in metaphor that we won't have to take literally, but get the meaning of the parable or the insight of the greater whole of reality.

MISHLOVE: One way in which people discuss intuition -- I've heard the term, "Listen with your heart," or "Open up your heart." It has something to do with our center.

SUN: Yes, it is. It's with feeling, and it is with love. The phenomenon about love is, when you are genuinely loving, you trust the world -- you trust the universe, you trust who you are with -- and that state of love is the most optimum state for intuition to move in, because one of the reasons we naturally block our creativity and our intuition is we're afraid. We're afraid mostly of being wrong, especially if we can't deduce why this could be a right answer. And so there's sort of this controlling aspect trying to understand it.

MISHLOVE: I guess part of it is trusting ourselves ultimately, and being afraid of how we'll judge ourselves if we're wrong.

SUN: We do already judge ourselves very harshly, and I think that's one of the difficulties. We're hard on ourselves. We want to be good, we want to be right so much. We know all the ways we fall short of that, and also in our linear-thinking dominance we think there's only one answer to things, and of course one of the first things intuition tells you by seeing an overview, is there's many, many parts to something. There's many, many perspectives, and that's where our real creativity comes in.

MISHLOVE: A little earlier you mentioned the notion of infinity. There's a paradox there, I think. There's something about intuition -- it involves wholeness; it does involve grasping or connecting with infinity. And then on the other hand you mentioned the notion of genesis -- of creating something out of nothing. It's a funny thing to me, because nothing is almost like the opposite of infinity, which is everything, and yet somehow --

SUN: They're the same thing.


SUN: Intuition is letting you know they're the same thing. I think it's called God, myself. But you know, I do think that infinity and the nothingness that Lao Tzu, for instance, talked about, talking about the yin -- he would say that the yin is the nothing in the lump of clay that makes it a valuable vessel. So the void in the room is the endlessness -- the infinity is the endlessness; God is the endlessness. We have difficulty comprehending endlessness and no beginning, which are really the same thing, I think -- I mean, that's how this feels to me intuitively. And I think as we begin to be more comfortable with that -- that we can't control it, that we don't know -- we allow ourselves to be more in awe. I wish I could remember the exact quote Einstein made -- a beautiful, wonderful quote, about him feeling very sorry for people who could not be in awe of God, because, in effect, he said, "I think you might as well be dead." Because it is in that openness, it is in the innocence, it's in the not knowing, that you get filled. I think even Jesus talked about that: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, because they are filled. Blessed are those that thirst, because they drink." That paradoxical thing he was talking about -- the first thing last, and all of that -- is, I think, alluding to this state of receptivity, even as one is being logical and observing, and not being blind or not paying attention. It's important to allow both states at the same time, which is what we find a little bit difficult to do.

MISHLOVE: There is this aspect of intuition which opens us up to spiritual experience, religious experience. It seems to me to be a crucial aspect of it, and yet the other side, I suppose, in the material world, is that great inventions come out of intuition, many very practical things.

SUN: Absolutely. But you know, living well -- practical things -- I think is part of the spiritual phenomena. I think it was the linear mind that made spirit separate from matter, and that the intuitive mind knows that it's the descent of spirit into matter. In other words, it isn't God versus man, it's God in man, it's God in the earth. It's heaven on earth, not heaven separate from earth. I mean, even Jesus said, "Pray for this. Pray for thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven." Make it here.

MISHLOVE: I mean, if it wasn't for some sort of spiritual essence animating us, we'd be clay ourselves.

SUN: Exactly. And it's not as though we have to argue about it like religious dogma.

MISHLOVE: Like, which theology are you?

SUN: Exactly. It is an inherent phenomenon in people. They long -- and it's sometimes ridiculed by ourselves, by our linear mind, in our effort to control -- but we are spiritual beings, and it is inspirational, and it is practical, and it is creative, and it is delightful, and it is part of being very alive -- being able to dance and sing and have art. If we're only linear we get very computer-like, and a computer's only as good as whatever information you put in it. So we have to keep sourcing, or being open, to perhaps the source.

MISHLOVE: That's what intuition ultimately is -- being in touch with that source.

SUN: Exactly. Not disqualifying it with your linear mind -- letting the linear mind step aside for a moment. I use an example on this about the earth being round, and that intuitively we knew the earth was round -- well, the sun was round, the moon was round. And then we got logical and said it can't be round, we'd fall off. Obviously it was flat, because just look. And then we realized, after going around, that it was round. Then we went to the moon, we looked back, and yes, it's round. Why I go into all that is that on a sphere, north, south, east, and west are wonderful coordinates or linear things that help us perceive and understand and coordinate, and they're tools for discerning. But on a sphere, if I'm facing east and I want to go as far west as I can go, all I have to do is turn around. So in other words, on a sphere there is no such thing. It's something we've made up.

MISHLOVE: There is no such thing as up or down, north or south.

SUN: As north, south, east, or west. We've just made it up for convenience, which is very useful. Now, this is an example of what I think is the next level of thinking -- is that we'll be able to keep the convention and the usefulness and the sorting ability of that linear idea, while simultaneously knowing that the earth is round. Otherwise it would get very confusing.

MISHLOVE: Well, in a way -- to play devil's advocate for a moment -- it sounds like you're making the linear left-brain mind into the bad guy a little bit here.

SUN: Yes, it does sound like that, and I apologize if it does. I am really trying to boost the intuitive, acausal mind, more than make the linear mind the bad guy.

MISHLOVE: In our culture it's so dominant.

SUN: It is our attachment to it that is causing us the pain. It is wonderful -- I mean, I'm obviously very logical and verbal, and I love it, and I think the linear mind is a wonderful part of us. It's essential. The thing is, because of its style of thinking it tends to preclude our comfortableness with intuition -- to trust that a mother knows how to take care of her baby, and that you do know what's wrong with your body. Maybe you don't know it totally linearly or logically, but you do have a sense, particularly if you ask yourself. It's an ability, an asset, that a doctor or a healer could have working with a patient. Instead of having to go super-technological and statistical, they actually can look at the person and feel them and know more about what's going on.

MISHLOVE: If they can open up to that.

SUN: If they would allow that intuition and their heart.

MISHLOVE: It requires, I suppose, a willingness to be vulnerable.

SUN: Very much so, because you are empathetic and you are not in control. See, the key thing about the intuitive mind is that you're not in control, and I think that's one of the reasons we dislike it so much.

MISHLOVE: And the linear, logical, rational mind is so well geared to being in control.

SUN: That's right. It just gives us the wonderful illusion that we are.

MISHLOVE: And I suppose to be really intuitive, there's a sense of surrender. You have to give up that need to be in control, which must be associated with defensiveness and fear and hurt and a lot of these emotions.

SUN: Exactly. And I think precisely that's why the sort of evolutionary leap I think's happening, this integration, why there's a lot of crisis, and why secrets are coming out, and why we're going to have to be more authentic and be more earnest and tell the truth more earnestly, knowing that the truth has many parts and many sides, and at any given moment your truth may be rather complicated and contradictory even.

MISHLOVE: For example, I just talked about the defensiveness associated with the linear mind. Isn't there also a way in which one can retreat into intuition, and that can be a little bit one-sided and dangerous as well?

SUN: Oh, sure thing, exactly. Then that gets to be the bad guy, so it's not that either one is the bad guy, it's whenever you go too far into either one, you'll be out of balance and you'll be hurting. One of the examples that we were talking about for the show is with channeling, and how that is a very real use of people's intuitive mind. Of course my position on it, what I believe it is, is that it's really a part of each person, that it's part of their own intuition. If their personality structure does not let them have certain information, like clairvoyance, or some kind of parable-type insight about what is or how things could be, if they give it to Chief Running Cloud or the Ancient Egyptian or the Old Chinese, someone who means to them that they have insight, then that part of the mind -- something like The Three Faces of Eve -- can split up and that part of the mind can have access. And often it is intuitive, then, and it is clairvoyant, and delivers some information that is very impressive to people who are observing it, and perhaps for them personally. Also, when people watch someone do channeling, the energy in the room is different. You start being more intuitive because the person is being more right-brained, and they are feeling it, they are surrendering into it, and so it is stimulating. So in that sense I think it's all fine, as long as we know it's sort of all us.

MISHLOVE: You know, I encounter many people, as they open up to this realm, they may see auras, they may heal people. I guess the key here is really balance, because at that point the mind also seeks some kind of rational explanation for it.

SUN: Precisely.

MISHLOVE: And it's important to have a well-reasoned explanation.

SUN: Well, I don't know if it's so important to have a well-reasoned explanation. I think it's important to keep looking for an explanation. I think that's more important than having one, because when you have one you tend to stop, and usually there's much more to know, and what happens is you create a box, you create a logic that you are eventually going to have to break down again. And it's OK; it is a container, it is useful, it is the process, and you're right, you will seek it, and that's good. I feel that part of it is if we could seek it, observe the phenomena, and also kind of know, well, it looks like this, and for want of a better term, let's use this container to explain it now, knowing that as we move along it will probably grow, and it isn't exactly that.

MISHLOVE: No point getting too attached to our models here.

SUN: Exactly -- using them just as metaphors are, especially when we get into physics and into psychic phenomena.

MISHLOVE: Patricia, you have quite a reputation as a healer. I'd like to talk a little bit about how intuition relates to healing work.

SUN: Well, for me, it's almost entirely that -- although now that I say that, that's not true either, because I do pay attention, and I am alert to sort of medical information and how things work, and I always respect listening to medical models, I just don't hold them as literal truths, which allows me then to get the best out of that, and use the best out of my intuition. But in terms of actually healing someone, the experience, the phenomena that happen when you're healing, whatever they are, it's very intuitive, it's very non-controlling, it's almost always purely love and wishing the person well and wanting to feel them whole.

MISHLOVE: You must reach deep inside of yourself to this place that you can only find through intuition.

SUN: Very much so.

MISHLOVE: There can't be rational guidelines at that point.

SUN: It's pure empathy, pure empathy. And it's empathy in a kind of innocent way, almost -- how can I say it? -- non-contrived, not preconceived or anything. It's just almost instantaneous. I can feel it like a flittering of something, and then I feel the loss, or I feel the dark place, or I feel the hurt, and then I just wish it well. I wish sometimes I could really explain to people, who always want me to explain how you do healing. I say, "It's so simple and it's so easy, we really literally can't believe it, and therefore don't allow it." And feeling love. If you want to heal yourself, for people listening -- if you want to heal yourself, feel love in the area where you have a symptom, or you feel numb or unconscious. People say, "How do you do that?" And I say, "Well, just imagine how it feels when you love something -- a flower, a baby, someone you love -- when you're in awe, and you go, 'Aaahhh, isn't it wonderful?'" And instead of being angry at a need -- it doesn't work -- send a lot of love. Feel it glowing. Use imagery of any sort, with feeling.

MISHLOVE: When you used that word flittering, I had this image of a little bird. You know, there are some people, in a certain state, birds will just come to them, even wild birds.

SUN: That happens to me all the time. Animals are very receptive to that. It's a place, I almost want to say, it's a kind of still place. There's no control, there's no grabbing energy. It's just open. And when you're like that, animals trust you. You know, I'm one of those people, like a green thumb -- deer come up to me, and things like that. That's true, because they feel you're no threat, and it is what makes people intuitive with animals and good with animals and children and people and healing and all that. It's all, I think, the same thing. I don't think it's a big mystery. I think it is something that we are all going to do, and I think in a fairly short period of time. I think it's going to speed up more and more, it's going to get more and more normal. One thing I always love to say at every workshop -- it's great if you can say it on the air -- is one of the things I think everyone can do to speed up the process of their own intuition and healing and empowerment and authenticity on the planet, is to begin to consider from this moment forward that everyone can read your mind. That then puts you at the level of really being authentic; now you know what I'm talking about. It also gives your linear mind, your little computer, a new program. Instead of having to keep track of only what you said, it now has to be a little bit more aware of what you think, which causes you to become more conscious of what you do think, which is very empowering, and also, I believe, it's going to happen anyway, so we might as well start practicing while the fog's down. It's a little easier to do.

MISHLOVE: You know, that's a beautiful thought, and yet in some ways it goes right against the whole grain of our tradition of privacy and the right to privacy and the need for secrecy and these sorts of things. What you're saying is to really be ourselves, I guess we need to be transparent, is a term that's often used in psychology.

SUN: Yes. I think it's what real liberty is. I think you have true liberty when anything can come in and anything can come out. And of course we need privacy, because the reason why we've needed privacy very earnestly and very seriously, is because we've been such dogmatic thinkers, and if anyone didn't think like we thought they should, we persecuted them. But as you become more open and more empathetic, you just see yourself, you understand, and you don't invade anyone's privacy. It's an essence of communication. It is a mutual desire to understand one another which creates that link.

MISHLOVE: To get back to perhaps a religious level with this, it would seem to me that ultimately the willingness to be totally open regardless of the consequences must mean also fearlessness about death. It sort of reminds me of Christ, in a way, on the cross at that point -- you know, being willing to be crucified in order to really be yourself.

SUN: Absolutely true, and I believe that's exactly what the metaphor of the crucifixion is, and don't forget the resurrection. Also interestingly, on this same point, the translation of "O my God, O my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" has other translations, and one that I appreciate very much is, "O my God, O my God, why has Thou so glorified me?" It is interesting that we could confuse being released into a next level with being abandoned. And I think that is exactly part of this jump, and that when you're not trying to hide yourself because you don't believe you're good, when you know you are an innocent, learning being, and you make mistakes all the time, as is necessary in creation and creativity and essential to being alive, then they become small mistakes because you can see them. They're not hidden, which makes them grow bigger. I think we're really doing this, and it's very difficult, and it is scary, and we need to be kind to ourselves and one another, and maybe particularly to ourselves, because if we're too harsh on ourselves we stifle our own intuition, and we then have to project it out onto someone else -- whatever grief we see.

MISHLOVE: I suppose there's a sense -- I have been feeling this way a little bit myself today -- that to feel hurt, to feel vulnerable, can be a beautiful feeling. It's a feeling of being open.

SUN: It's free, because once everybody sees everything, you don't have to hide anything anymore. There's nothing that can unsettle you then, in a sense of that old stuff. You can be unsettled -- you know, if we had an earthquake, you might worry about it -- but I mean you won't be unsettled in that psychological stuff we carry around, of defensiveness and ego.


SUN: Yes, and it's a drag, and it does cause us pain, and it causes us to not have intimacy and be able to tell the truth to people who we love, and trust that they will hear this is just who we are and what we need, not that we don't love them if we're not doing what they want.

MISHLOVE: I suppose ultimately when we hide from other people, when we get defensive, we're really hiding from ourselves.

SUN: That's right, absolutely.

MISHLOVE: And denying ourselves access to that source.

SUN: Precisely it. That's of course why, whether it's on a personal level or it's on a country level, it's really always projection when you really dislike someone. It's a form of projection. It's some area in your life you're not understanding well enough yet, some place you haven't given yourself compassion, to be real.

MISHLOVE: That's a key insight. It reminds me of the famous statement of Will Rogers, "I never met a man I didn't like."

SUN: I like it, yes, that's true. I agree.

MISHLOVE: Well, you certainly seem to reflect that all the time, whenever I see you, Patricia.

SUN: Thanks. Well, you know, I think intuition is part of feeling God, and it is part of being free, and being artistic and beautiful and joyful and spontaneous and innocent, and I don't think it's an accident. Like Jesus said, the only way to the kingdom of heaven is to be as little children. There's a point there. I think there's a real energy statement, and when we stop worrying about how we're performing, and just be who we are, we really are free.

MISHLOVE: Patricia Sun, thank you very much for being with me.

SUN: Thank you, Jeff.

MISHLOVE: This has been a pleasure.

SUN: My pleasure.