Thursday, January 16, 2014

Oh Really Martha Beck?

Martha Beck is an excellent writer.  Her writing is concise.  She is extremely articulate.  On the other hand I just read an article in Oprah magazine that left me going, HUH?

The article was on the importance of valuing our intuition above our thought process.  Intuition she affirmed has been around far longer than the practice of a more analytical process of thinking things through before you act. 

My confusion comes in this...ok so your intuition tells you, "Don't get in that elevator with that scary man," and you act quickly and walk away.  I understand that sort of "intuitive" reaction to situations that might be dangerous.

On the other hand, thoughts, feelings intuition?  How do you sort these ideas?  There is a school of thought for facing clinical depression and other mental health ideations that teaches "Feelings are not facts."  When you are battling clinical depression you are taught that your "Feelings/intuition," have become damaged by a physical process leaving your brain stripped of the chemicals that it needs to work properly.  In this context you work best ignoring your "intuition," or "feelings," and using your thought processes to overcome your emotions.

Do we rely only on our intuition?  I think that this could be cataclysmic in our world.  I think almost every human on the planet has faced a point in their life when their feelings could have led to destructive actions for themselves and others around them.   Road rage, for example?

"Unless you can describe it as a sensation, what ever is going through your mind is not instinct but thought."  This is a quote from Ms. Beck.  "Sensation" is now what we will base our choices on?  I feel hot therefore I should put on a sweater is a "sensation" driven choice.  Now let's take this idea to a more complex level, "I sense that my neighbor is gossiping about me to all the neighbors."  What would the choices be from that usually flawed "sensation?" 

I actually knew a woman that believed that she could read people's minds.  She once told my Mother that she had called me.  On that call she knew that I didn't answer the phone because I didn't like her.  In actuality, I was under the weather, having a nap, and didn't even know that she had called. 
Her "instincts," were completely flawed, and yet she continued to navigate her life with them.

When we have those "feelings," or "sensations" don't our reactions to them stem from our "thoughts?"  I guess that my wish would be that Ms. Beck would express more clearly that feelings and thoughts are almost impossible to separate, after all we process our feelings, intuition, or sensations, through our thoughts.  Chicken and egg Martha?

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