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. I'm Jeffrey Mishlove. This is Part 2 of our two-part series on unlocking the wisdom of your subconscious mind. With me is Dr. Marcia Emery, an adjunct professor in the Masters in Management program at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Marcia is the author of Dr. Marcia Emery's Intuition Workbook. She is also actively involved both in the business community and in the academic community in training and teaching whole-brain thinking. Welcome again, Marcia.

MARCIA EMERY, Ph.D.: Thank you, Jeffrey.

MISHLOVE: In Part 2 of our discussion we're going to look at some of the more advanced approaches to cultivating intuition using the power, the wisdom, of the subconscious mind. I think it might be good, though, to recapitulate some of the fundamental methods that you have talked about for activating intuition.

EMERY: Right. And I think a good idea is to run through the problem-solving formula again with that -- starting with a very simple, basic problem, a question. As I said earlier, the problem could be a perspective, a decision, understanding a person. From that point we're trying to get very relaxed mentally and physically. So first we center; then we become receptive, through breathing, through relaxation. And at that point we allow ourselves to elicit the imagery -- the image, symbol, metaphor, picture, however I say it; this is what the intuitive mind sends.

MISHLOVE: In any sensory modality.

EMERY: Yes, in any sensory modality. So the symbol that comes is often very puzzling, so then we have to unravel that puzzling symbolism. Sometimes we have our "Aha!" right away, and sometimes we don't, so sometimes we have to incubate, rest, let it go, let it go. And suddenly the "Aha!" comes, once we let it go, and we come back once again to further interpret, and then apply. Let me give you a good example of this. A gal that I knew had a very pressing problem. She was married, three children, and didn't know whether they would have another child, their fourth child, or build a wing onto their house. Someone could say, "Well, that's very different dilemma. Those are two distinct things." And she couldn't decide; the family couldn't decide. So she went through this process of becoming very centered; for example, she looked at a geometrical figure, a focusing object. Then she went through a breathing and relaxation. And when she did that, she got an image of the sun coming up over the horizon -- the sun being the s-u-n -- you know how a child draws the sun with the spokes coming out. And she said to me, "All I got was the sun coming up over the horizon." And I said, "That's all you got?" Right away I saw the interpretation and the pun, and ten months later her son, s-o-n, Alec Stephen, was born. And she always came back to me and said, "I'll never forget that piece of intuition." So this is being alert to the intuitive mind -- very direct, very simple, very, very punny.

MISHLOVE: It is direct and simple as you've expressed it, and one of the things that we had been discussing in Part 1 of this program is the notion of the culprits, the little gremlins of the mind that can lead us astray, because while you're defining intuition as the wisdom of the subconscious mind, and it is wise, and it is true, many of us have experienced, or have heard tell, of examples where people thought they were using their intuition and it led sometimes to disastrous results.

EMERY: Right, and let's give a couple of examples of that. I see that a lot in hiring in companies, and particularly when people have a hole that they're trying to fill, and they get very, very antsy, and somebody comes along, and they say, "This is absolutely the greatest person in the world," and they hire them, and two weeks later the person quits. And they say, "I wonder what went wrong. My intuition wasn't right." And I said, "You weren't using your intuition." Now, in a case like that it was wishful thinking. That's a positive emotional influence.

MISHLOVE: Or I suppose a common example is in a relationship, a divorce.

EMERY: Absolutely.

MISHLOVE: When somebody is newly out of a relationship, the next person they meet may seem to be --

EMERY: The man or woman of their dreams. And two weeks later, the kind of bloom falls off the rose, and they're very, very disillusioned. Now, when that happens, again we could say it's the wishful thinking. Sometimes they're projecting onto the situation, they're projecting that this person is who and what they are not. But there's another very important culprit that we need to talk about, and that's fear. Suppose somebody wants to go forth and change a job, and they say, "Oh my goodness, I couldn't possibly change my job," for whatever reason. They'll say, "I'll never get another job," and they're really paralyzed by fear. Now that's not using their intuition; but they'll say, "My intuition tells me I couldn't get a job." And that's not intuition. That's fear holding them back.

MISHLOVE: So you're saying here that both the positive and the negative emotions can pull us off center.

EMERY: That's a good way of saying it -- pull us off the intuitive center, and lead us astray. That's what I say about the culprits.

MISHLOVE: So is there a way that one can, in advance of the situation, take preventive measures?

EMERY: Let's take a simple problem: will I get a promotion? Rose went through this, and it came down, and she was asking, "Will I get a promotion?" and no light came on. Remember we talked about the traffic light. So the red light of the traffic light came on right away, and Rose said, "Oh my goodness, I'm not going to get a promotion."

MISHLOVE: This is a way we can activate our own subconscious mind to provide yes or no answers, by visualizing a red or a green light.

EMERY: Yes, a traffic light -- what comes on? Or a yes or a no. Or signs going up, "Yes" or "No." And Rose got a no. And her next question was, "Is the fear culprit operating?" So "Is the fear culprit operating?" -- that's a real yes-or-no answer. And think of all the things you could do with the yes or no. You could have a light bulb, yes or no, and you close your eyes, you're receptive; which light bulb is going on? You could have a banner hung out a window; which banner is being hung out, a yes or no? A sign goes up, yes or no; what is going up? These are all the creative ways of activating your imagery.

MISHLOVE: But can't you reach a point of kind of an infinite regress? Supposing she says, "Is the fear culprit operating?" and she gets a no. She might say, "Well, is the deception culprit operating?"

EMERY: Well, at a certain point -- I like to use the phrase that this strikes a responsive chord in your own spirit, in your own psyche. And you know, if the fear is operating, and you get that red light on, yes, you are very aware of that, that's vibrating. Now let me touch over here, and I'm touching what's called my gut, and this is my solar plexus actually; and many people -- I've had nurses tell me, by the way, they could stand next to a patient that is either dying or has a severe problem, and they'll get that reverberation right here, in their gut. So we all learn where our intuitive muscle is feeding back to us. Some people will tell me the hair on the back of their neck will stand up. Some people will say, "Suddenly I feel comfortable, or uncomfortable." So we're talking about being aware that a culprit -- what would some people say -- a red flag has gone up; or I say the hair on my neck has gone up, instead of the red flag.

MISHLOVE: Is it possible that sometimes people are in such great stress or turmoil in their life, or there's a cultural situation of such stress or turmoil, that subconscious wisdom just can't get through?

EMERY: Oh, absolutely. And you know what I tell people? Let it go. I tell them, one, let it go. I say, two, go back to your breathing -- we're going back to the steps right now. Go back to your breathing, your relaxation; look at your mandala. We're trying to come into the part now where we're talking about how can we activate your intuition, when it's dormant. One of the things I tell people is to have fun. Have you ever noticed when you're giving a talk or you have a guest, and you suddenly start laughing, how you lighten up, and your ideas start flowing? When we are constricted, when we are tight, when we're tense like this, our intuition is cut off. When that intuitive mind opens, when we're relaxed, when we're in natural settings, when we're having fun, and something that's very near and dear to your heart is physical exercise, and that's very, very important for balance. We can't be all mental and expect our intuitive muscle to work. And so I feel that physical exercise is very important as well.

MISHLOVE: I suppose all of us enter into a state of dreaming about every day, and this can be a great source of wisdom if we know how to access it.

EMERY: You've touched my intuitive muscle, because that's how my intuitive doorway opened, through my dreams. And nowhere, as a psychologist, did I ever learn that dreams were intuitive; I never knew that word as a psychologist in my studies. But I didn't realize that dreams could go forward to give us information, or to give us a preview of upcoming events. One of the first intuitive dreams that I had, I had a brand new car, and in the dream I'm on my way to an eleven o'clock meeting, and I taught in Washington, D.C., and I'm going down Sixteenth Street, and I put my foot on the brake and it went right to the floor and my brakes didn't work, and I heard a ping, a little sound effect. And I said, "Uh-oh," and I kind guided my car over to the curb, looked up, there was a No Parking sign, and I see a policeman coming over to me. And I said, "Do you mind watching my car? My brakes don't work, and I'm on my way to a very important eleven o'clock meeting." Well, I woke up and I said, "What is this all about?" And being a psychologist, we always try to read meanings into things, and I could say maybe I didn't want to go to the meeting, maybe I was trying to hurt myself with the car, maybe I felt I didn't deserve it; I could go on endlessly. I was looking for a meaning. Well, finally I just forgot it, I shelved it. And three days later, guess what? My brand new car -- I'm on my way to an eleven o'clock meeting. You heard the rest of the story already.

MISHLOVE: And it happened just as you had dreamt.

EMERY: Exactly, exactly. And what happened? In a brand new car, a brake cable snapped. And you know, when that happened, I remembered the dream, and I looked up and there's No Parking; there's the policeman coming toward me. And I suddenly felt relieved, because I saw it; I was prepared. And so this was my intuitive mind preparing me for an upcoming event.

MISHLOVE: Now, these kinds of experiences would suggest to me that we're talking about intuition, or subconscious powers, at a level that psychic researchers would call precognition.

EMERY: Absolutely, absolutely -- that facet of ESP which people call extrasensory perception, but you know what I call it? Extended sense perception, because the intuitive part to me is your senses are being extended. Remember I said some people are gifted visually, and some people with the auditory? So ESP, one facet of that, is the precognition, the ability to go forth. And it was just as if that intuitive doorway opened, and one after another dreams started coming. And then I started collecting them from other people -- and this was just a very quick little vignette. Kathy had a dream. The butler came in, and he said, "I have something for you, ma'am," and he placed an Easter egg in her hand. And she thought, "That's funny. It's not Easter." Well, one Easter she found out she was pregnant, and see, that was the precognition getting her ready. Someone else told me a story who was a mailman; there was something wrong with their mail truck, and nobody could figure out what it was. That night he was very puzzled by it himself, and he went to sleep, and in the dream he saw the wires crossed. He got up, he uncrossed the wires. He did what no one else could do. That's a precognitive dream.

MISHLOVE: You mean the wires in the truck were --

EMERY: Were crossed.

MISHLOVE: Literally crossed.

EMERY: Yes, and nobody -- everybody examined the car and nobody picked that up. And that night he went to sleep, and he dreamt the wires were crossed.

MISHLOVE: So you're suggesting that if we just make a habit of scanning our dreams, that often we will find anticipation of future events and solutions to problems large and small that may come up in daily life.

EMERY: Yes, it's warning. It's preparatory. It's giving us a preview of upcoming events.

MISHLOVE: So it sounds as if your vision of the human being is it's as if we have feelers that extend out into the environment.

EMERY: Senses.

MISHLOVE: Sensors that extend even into the future.

EMERY: Yes, sensors.

MISHLOVE: In ways that our conventional reality does not normally acknowledge.

EMERY: And it's so exciting when you have this view, to know you can anticipate a future event. Let's say I'm flying someplace, and let's say I'm a nervous flier, a white-knuckle, or have reason to be concerned about the flying. I could even program a dream, meaning I could ask myself a question before I go to sleep. I could write it down in a dream book, "Will I have a safe flight?" and attend to the dream images that come up that night.

MISHLOVE: But now if you're a nervous flier, one would think that maybe the images would be sort of amplifications of your fear.

EMERY: Very, very possibly. So what do you do? You come back to testing that out again. And when you have the dream you come right back to your intuitive mind and go through that whole formula of centering and getting relaxed: well, is this my fear muscle working?

MISHLOVE: It sounds like what you're saying is that if you're really going to be good at working with your subconscious wisdom, you need to have a measure of self-awareness so that you know what some of your habitual foibles are, your tendencies or traits, so that if you're working at this level you can ask yourself, "Well, is that my usual culprit?"

EMERY: Yes, that's very, very important. And you know where people have been very, very grateful? When they have been aware of the emotional culprit, they say, "Wow, does this distort my reasoning." You know, I have to present a program, and suddenly I think it's going to fail. Well, what is going on? That's me; that's my self-fulfilling prophecy. That's being very negative; that's my fear space that's being very negative. And people become very aware of these tendencies. We're backing a candidate; we're backing a program. You know, is it the emotion? Are we backing something that we have a vested interest in, a sense of ownership with?

MISHLOVE: Well, what I am hearing from you, Marcia, is a very optimistic view of human nature. I think there was a time when the depth psychologists, particularly the Freudians, would say we ought not to try and rely on our subconscious wisdom because our subconscious is full of aggressive impulses and sexual impulses and self-destructive impulses; it's better to repress it and leave it alone as much as possible. And you're saying something different. You're saying we can look into the subconscious and use it wisely and in a healthy way.

EMERY: I want to bring in Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein said, "No problem is solved by the same consciousness that created it." I think that's a wonderful saying, because how often do we say it can't be done? We're stuck, and we say it can't be done, it can't be done. Now, my optimism comes in -- you're right, it's a good word for me -- because it can be done. What it requires is a shift in consciousness, and with this shift in consciousness we're tapping the subconscious mind to show us the way it can be done. That's very optimistic; that's a good way of putting it.

MISHLOVE: Can you share with me some of your other -- I'll call them, for lack of a better word, advanced techniques?

EMERY: OK. I find when I want people to, again, activate their intuition, become aware of it, I ask them, "Play some games." That's using the intuitive muscle. And that might sound very, very irreverent, but it's getting the muscle going. What is a game? You're going to work tomorrow. Can you guess intuitively what your boss will be wearing? What will be the main color your boss or your friend will be wearing at work? You're meeting somebody new. What will they look like? That's a game. You're going to the supermarket -- this is a game I always fail at. What is the best line to get on at the supermarket? And it really takes an intuitive sense to see, where do I go? I don't mean the shortest line, but all lines are equal and you're in a hurry. Where will I find a parking space? Two teams are playing; what will be the final score? Or you're coming up to the cash register, and if you're like me, and I don't know the price of anything, so when I'm standing at the cash register I literally let a number or figure come up. So this is one of the things. It doesn't sound like an advanced technique, but it's becoming aware of intuition in action. It's becoming aware of the time intuition is talking. I also use journal techniques -- recording journals, recording your intuitive experiences, recording quotes, recording intuition in the media.

MISHLOVE: So what you're saying is that this is a skill, and like many, many other skills it can be developed through practice.

EMERY: Right. And it's not only practice -- and I didn't say the most important thing. I talked at the beginning of centering, receptivity, and imagery, and right there are three skills that people have to practice. That's very, very important. And practice becoming receptive so the images can come up. And it's so exciting for me to see people begin to identify this intuitive mind, and suddenly somebody's solving a problem; they're going like this. You know what they're doing? They're people who are feelers.

MISHLOVE: You mean they're rubbing their hands, or something of that sort.

EMERY: And I know, I know, and suddenly they come up with the answer. I talked to the producer of 60 Minutes the other night, Don Hewitt, and he said, "Do you know how we designed our whole program for twenty years, 60 Minutes? By our fingertips." I was so excited when I heard him say that, because that's what he's talking about -- by our fingertips. You will see some other people going like this; you'll see me doing that.

MISHLOVE: Leaning your head.

EMERY: Because I'm auditory, and I'm hearing, I'm hearing. You'll see some people go like this.

MISHLOVE: Staring.

EMERY: They're kind of seeing it. You'll see some people -- they're tasting it; they're really tasting it. And it's not only becoming aware of this in ourselves, but it's becoming aware of it in other people. So these are all ways -- what I'm talking about now is self-scrutiny, and when you've become aware of these things, it's of course recording them in your journal.

MISHLOVE: So as you exercise and notice other people, it becomes more like a way of life.

EMERY: Oh, absolutely. And I have to interject here, I don't allow anybody to use the W or the S word. Weird is W for me; strange is S. And if anyone says it in my presence, they have to W or S. Because I don't want it to be something unusual. I don't want it be something, so to speak, weird. I want it to become an everyday way of life. And what really excites me is -- for example, I have a lot of computer people that I work with, and they have to solve problems. Something goes wrong with the computer, and they cannot pick out a manual. Many of them are on the phone, and they're directing somebody where to go and how to get there. Well, they realize now that where they're going and what they're doing is very, very intuitive. They're telling their clients what to do, and they're not there. And the nurses tell me, you know, "The doctor said do this, and I went ahead and did this." And I'm finding people from all walks of life are becoming aware of that funny feeling. But it's not a funny feeling; it's something indigenous to them.

MISHLOVE: Well, it seems as if we live in a peculiar cultural epoch, in which there is this idea that these are strange, weird gifts. I think the word weird itself is a Celtic word which refers to magical. But we've come to think of it in a kind of chilly way, a little frightening, a little Halloweenish.

EMERY: Wooshy-wooshy, as one of my students says.

MISHLOVE: Right; or flakey. We have all of these pejorative words that we use to describe this kind of an ability.

EMERY: And Jeffrey, I'm trying to demystify intuition, and I'm trying to say it's a God-given faculty; we all have it; it's present with us. It's like everybody can sing -- now some people may not like this -- everybody can sing; some people can sing better than others. We all have our intuitive muscle, and it's our privilege to exercise and use it.

MISHLOVE: How do you explain it in terms of modern science? It seems as if when we talk about precognition, there are plenty of physicists who would say it's not possible; the future cannot influence the present.

EMERY: It's almost, again, like we have this vast data bank. And I'm going to answer in an oblique way. My dreams -- I'm absolutely amazed at the symbology that comes up in my dreams to portend future events. But sometimes in a dream it could be very literal, or sometimes it could be symbolic. And let's say we never met, and let's say I dreamt of somebody -- my neighbor, his name is Jeffrey. And let's say I dreamt that I was having a conversation with Jeffrey and I was very, very comfortable, and I'm wondering what this is all about. And then months later you call, and you say, "Would you come on my program, and let's have this conversation?" And I say, "I've already had this conversation." You're saying, where does it come from? Carl Jung called it the collective unconscious. There's vast information, and it's there for us to retrieve it.

MISHLOVE: So you're saying even if we don't have a scientific answer as to how this stuff does work or could work, it's part of your experience, and it's a natural part.

EMERY: Right. We could talk about chronos time, which is chronological time; or we could talk about kairos time. And chiros time is like everything -- past, present, future is all blended into one. And that's all available.

MISHLOVE: That comes from a Greek word, I think, doesn't it?


MISHLOVE: Meaning sort of filled or imbued with spirit.

EMERY: Yes, yes. Some people get very nervous and say, "Well, you mean my future's all acted out for me already, that I have no choice?" And of course we have choice. You know, it's there, and how we choose to use it. But the most important thing is to know we can access it, that that data bank is there.

MISHLOVE: Well, there seems to be a lot of fear around it still in our culture. I think it's a very positive and healthy sign that you're working with business executives and opening them up to this, and you in our earlier conversation described them as sort of sitting in a very stubborn posture as if they're very closed to this information, but melting.

EMERY: Let me give you a wonderful example from one of those cross-armed people. This young man was an upper-level manager, and in the morning he was doing his corporate aerobics program, and he suddenly had this flash that something was wrong with a product that they were displaying. So he stopped the aerobics -- he was doing his exercise -- and he went and looked, and he discovered a glitch that nobody, nobody'd caught. So he was so thrilled because he had this feeling that he had learned to identify. So that was one part of the problem. Then they called in some people to fix this glitch, and they got a very costly estimate and said it would take five days. So my student said, "Now, what would Marcia tell me to do? Go into your intuition." And he went into his intuition and he found that glitch in ten minutes and fixed -- end of story. He listened to his intuitive mind.

MISHLOVE: So you're saying not only does this stuff work, but it's pragmatic. It saves time, it saves money, it's something that even if we have certain cultural hesitancies about it, it fits into the practical orientation of our culture.

EMERY: And it helps us cope with these very changeable times. Information is coming at us so quickly, we're on overload with so much, and it's not only cutting to the bottom line, but it helps us cope with all the change that's going on. That's extremely important.

MISHLOVE: Well, Marcia Emery, you have explored all of the nuances, it seems, of this subconscious wisdom, and I really appreciate the way in which you've been able to put together a step-by-step simple process whereby people can activate the wisdom of their subconscious mind. And then you've identified dozens of these various culprits, and shown people in the same healthy, positive, and simple way how to move through the blocks.

EMERY: That's very basic and simple. Thank you for saying that. Anyone can do it -- bottom line.

MISHLOVE: Well, it's heartening to hear this message, and I really appreciate it, Marcia. Thanks so much for being with me.

EMERY: Well, thank you, Jeffrey. Thank you.

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