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The Defeat of Our Intuition


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This morning I watched John Bohannon’s TED talk, “Dance vs. powerpoint, a modest proposal.” It’s pretty fabulous. You can watch it here:

Cool, huh?

I don’t know if you caught it, but in the middle of his talk, one statement in particular caught my attention:

“This is the great pleasure of science: the defeat of our intuition through experimentation.”

I don’t know about you, but I hate it when my intuition is proved wrong. For a second, at least. And then…

That moment is a choice point. A choice between clinging to Being Right, and learning something. Exploring.

It can be really hard to let go of the security of Being Right, of that Beautiful Idea, and be willing to accept that there might be an even more beautiful idea. Or a less beautiful idea that is right.

I hate that.

And I love it.

We are Learners, as well as Teachers. Which means not only adding new knowledge, but often replacing knowledge. And it isn’t adding new knowledge that can be hard, but allowing the replacing of knowledge, allowing for the possibility of being wrong. The beauty of that is that once we (I) allow for the possibility of being wrong, we (I) allow the entry of the new idea.

Brene Brown talks about vulnerability and shame and it is those, the fear of them, that can keep us (me) from allowing the possibility of being wrong, allowing the defeat of our intuition. The desire to protect our (my) ego.

Which is where Curiosity comes in. “Hmm, what could work better?” I ask myself. “If this thing I was sure was true isn’t working, then what will work better?”

Sigh. It’s hard to know when to keep trying, and when to shift to a new approach. How long does one keep trying, applying persistence, before remembering “If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you always got?”

Perhaps we (I) have to trust our (my) intuition.

Ha! ‘Tis a puzzlement.


OK, I was just about to hit Publish when I had another thought.

It requires both. Trusting our (my) intuition and being open to new evidence. And this is where Community is important – having people to listen to, to bounce ideas off of. Which requires vulnerability (again), being willing to let my community see me be wrong, and change.

Maybe that’s an important part of the definition of Community: The people with whom it is safe to learn, to be wrong, to grow. And to be a part of that Community, I have to offer that safe place to them, too.

Anyone feel like dancing?

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6 Responses to The Defeat of Our Intuition

  1. Paula September 21, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    Definitely feel like dancing!!! 😉

    LOVE this: Maybe that’s an important part of the definition of Community: The people with whom it is safe to learn, to be wrong, to grow. . .

  2. Susan September 21, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    Thanks Paula!

  3. Birdy Diamond September 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Interesting post.

    Yes, many scientists absolutely DETEST the notion of any kind of psychic functioning being real – even tho’ reputable scientists have proven its existence decades ago.

    As you know, I too, agree that a blend is the best way to Journey.

    No-one, not even Guides, are correct 100% of the time. :>

    So being willing to use both tools AS the tools they are is important. 🙂 :>

    Best of Fortune to you & me in our Quest(ions)! 🙂 :>
    (was planning on writing ‘Quest’, but it came out ‘Questions’. Interesting. :>)

  4. Kelly September 30, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Your notion of community has actually been my experience of community – and I like how you articulate it. I think you could write (or perheaps dance) an entire piece (or many pieces) just on this idea.

  5. Susan September 30, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Thanks, Kelly! Community, what it is, what it means, is one of my favorite topics. Guess I’d better finish the article I’ve been working on…

  6. Susan September 30, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    Quest, Questions… the Word Geek in me loves that, I never made that connection before! Hmmm…

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