Laura Day is an intuitionist. She is fifty-three years old, and she lives in New York City. The location matters. It is a financial hub of the world economy, and Laura Day offers advice and trains individuals in the financial industry as well as other fields, such as medicine. She herself uses intuition; she teaches others to use intuition; and, in six mass-market books she has published since 1997, she advocates for intuition.
THE BOOK. This post, the third in a series of initial looks at intuition, draws information from Day's most recent book: Laura Day, How to Rule the World from Your Couch, Atria Paperback (Simon & Schuster), New York, 2009, 270 pages.
HER AUDIENCE. Day presents information in this book that she has "been teaching ... for nearly thirty years." (p. 86) "I have had the honor training so many different kinds of people, from surgeons, engineers, psychologists, and college students needing a clear path, to teachers, future authors, and artists." (p. 24) However, she writes in large measure to individuals in business: "As with everything in this book, the idea is for these tools [of telepathy in particular] to translate easily to use in the business world." (p. 77) For example, under the subheading "You Can Use Mediumship in Countless Ways," she lists: "To know how to sell your product from the market's point of view." (p. 52)
HER PURPOSE. Day aims to teach skills that will "really bring miraculous change to peoples' lives," she says. "There is a lot of science behind, actual proof of, the powerful, amazing abilities that intuition can yield." (p. xiii) Day is an altruist: "... I am nothing if not someone who desperately wants to give others what they ask of me. So here it is. This is my tool kit for using your intuition everyday in your life and business." (p. 24)
My goal is that the advice written in this book will prove itself to you, once applied. I'll give you an example: the best first-time student I ever had told me that he didn't believe in intuition. He attended my workshop as a favor to his wife and scared himself silly when, within thirty minutes, he got detailed, accurate information about someone he had never met just from holding the person's name in a blank, sealed envelope. (p. 9)
STRUCTURE OF HER BOOK. The structure and style of the book are befitting an activist who is appealing to a literate mass market. Chapter 1 is an "Overview." As the Table of Contents (pp. ix-x) shows, the remaining seven chapters are each devoted to an intuitive skill:
- Gathering information: "Flashes of insight gained without using traditional sources of 'information'."
- Mediumship: "The ability to become someone or something else and view the world from that perspective."
- Telepathy: "The ability to send and receive information from a distance."
- Body Heat Telepathy: "The ability to connect physically and emotionally with another from a distance."
- Remote Viewing: "The ability to perceive a scene when separated by space or time."
- Precognition: "The ability to move a person or situation forward in time and accurately experience what will happen."
- Healing: "The ability to have an effect on people or situations using the remote transfer of energy."
One can use these abilities to solve any problem in one's life.
If you seek intuitive information on a particular question, you may start with your remote viewing to get the physical layout of the problem but quickly use mediumship to experience the issue from the inside out; simultaneously, you may call on telepathy to hear the many positions on the topic, while also using healing to introduce a catalyst for a better outcome. (pp. 40-41)
Each chapter devoted to a single intuitive skill begins with a "Quick Hit Exercise" for experiencing that innate skill. The chapter continues with "What You Experienced in the Quick Hit," to explain the experience. The remainder of each chapter is a detailed explanation of pitfalls to avoid and techniques for gaining the most benefit from using the skill. Day is not a scholar writing to scholarly readers. The book contains no footnotes, bibliography, or index. The book is, in effect, a training handbook. Besides serving her professional goals -- earning an income from training -- it also serves her activist goal of spreading intuitionism:
I have ... included group exercises for those of you who wish to teach these techniques or experiment with them in your company training programs, as well as 'initiations' to use as class icebreakers, training evenings, or community experiences. Intuition is a powerful way to demonstrate to people how useful we all are to one another. (p. 18)
HER METAPHYSICS. Day is focused on the practical use of intuition, not on theory. She is not a philosopher of intuition, in the sense of creating a broad, integrated set of abstractions about the nature, foundation, and application of intuition, as Professor Robert Audi is. (See the June 27, 2012 post.) Day does, however, philosophize, that is, she does occasionally employ broad abstractions about the nature of intuition and the world in which it operates.
Day characterizes our world as one in which "[l]ife is full of miracles ... but they do not happen to us, they are of our own creation" (p. 23). There is in the world "an infinite field of information and communication" which we can "tap" into (p. 30), a field of information-carrying "energy that we all share, the energy that knows no difference between the past, present, and future." (p. 86)
In summary, "[l]ife is an interactive crapshoot, but intuition gives you an edge." (p. 20)
WHAT IS INTUITION? Day says (p. 4) intuition is an ability. It is a means to an end, which is to create the world that you want." (p. 4) "Intuition gives you information ... in an immediate, accessible way." (p. 113) You already have this ability. "Intuition, you see, is innate. It is part of our human hardwiring." (p. 8) Intuition, which "is designed by evolution to give us immediate, accurate, effective tools" (p. 22), is "instant knowing" (p. 23). You need to refine it through training, which is what the book provides. (p. 7)
Intuition is accurate insight and information that you have not gained through the everyday use of your five senses, intellect, or experience. It is a higher octave of your five senses. (p. 29)
Intuition is not the subconscious, though the subconscious can use the information you gather intuitively and the subconscious can place roadblocks in the way. (p. 6) Rather, "[y]our information [gained through intuition] ... is stored, as it is gathered, mostly by your subconscious." (p. 28)
Nor, Day says, is intuition the same as: wishful thinking; an emotion (such as fear); belief; or intellect. (p. 35) Consider the first item. Intuition is not wishing-makes-it-so.
A note of caution regarding the abuse, or misunderstanding, of intuition: do not get carried away and think that intuition is a way for you to will your desires into actuality. You do actually have to play things out, take the necessary course of action in any given scenario, and not use intuition as an excuse for idleness and self-deception. (p. 20)
A word of caution: Day uses the one term "intuition" in several separate, though related meanings, even on the same page. First, sometimes it means the information-gathering ability or skill. (For example, see p. 34, where she says "intuition uses storytelling as an information-finding sense.") Second, she sometimes uses the term "intuition" to mean, broadly, a capability of not only gathering information but also performing functions such as guiding memory in the search for information. (See p. 34, where Day says, "Intuition ... alerts you when an area in your life needs attention and gives you tools to address the given situation successfully.") Third, at times the term "intuition" names the information itself. (See again p. 34, where Day says "intuition is data that already exists.")
INTUITION AND ITS COMPETITORS. What is the relationship between intuition and its alternatives for acquiring information -- reason, faith, and following an authority?
REASON. "Intuitions give you a trail to follow. You can and will, automatically, think it through later." (p. 113) Here, with her reference to automatic thinking, Day uses the term "think" to refer to subconscious processing of information. "The information your intuition provides and your subconscious allows will come in bits and pieces that you must weave together to understand, and then you must verify it all against what your logic and knowledge tell you." (p. 208) So, reason, as a sort of handmaiden to intuition, can provide coherence ("weave together") and verification.
Reason is also helpful, Day says, in shaping the information for presentation to an audience expecting a logical chain of argument.
There are times when you want the details of the future on demand. Especially in business, you often need to present rational data-based arguments to justify your actions. The rest of this chapter will give you some simple ways to tell the future and fill in enough of the details so that your intuition is based on logic, and logical to those around you. (p. 202)
However, Day says, though reason is useful in verifying knowledge gained intuitively and helpful in shaping that information for presentation to others, do not make the mistake of trying to reason and intuit at the same time. Reason impedes intuition. (p. 168)
FAITH. Rather than using intuition, why not simply have faith in any particular idea that occurs to you? "You don't even need to have faith when you have an effective process that you follow without fail." (p. 21)
AUTHORITY. Nor do you need a guru.
I find that people often want a guru, and this is probably because we are conditioned to obey and accept others' perceptions of the world and what they believe is correct/moral/the way. The truth is that everyone has access to all of his or her own answers, resources, and truth. There are no secrets or experts. When you use intuition, you are your own guru. (p. 21)
EXAMPLE USES OF INTUITION. How might a practitioner of intuition use his ability? Consider two examples, one from medicine and one from business.
Let's say that you are a doctor and you have a few drug choices to treat muscle soreness. You don't know what the patient's chronic muscle soreness is from, but you want to resolve it in the least toxic and most helpful way. You might use mediumship ['The ability to become someone or something else and view the world from that perspective," (p. ix)] to become your patient and experience how she would react to each drug, taking notes as always. (p. 63)
If you want to raise money for your company, you use your telepathy and mediumship to find out what investors would respond to; your embodiment to experience yourself and your product as the desired person or group; your remote viewing to direct you to investors; and your body heat to draw them to you. (pp. 248-249)
DAY'S ACTIVISM. As a careful reading of How to Rule the World from Your Couch shows, Laura Day spreads her views on intuition in a variety of ways. Her books sell well, with at least How to Rule appearing on the New York Times bestseller list. Her satisfied clients recommend her and her ideas, for example, when actor Brad Pitt says, "I believe in the gut, and I believe in Laura Day" (back cover), and when Dr. James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA, claims that "Intuition is logic" (back cover) and lauds Day's work. Her training programs (which the book distills) explicitly promote intuition, and her private healing sessions (pp. 225-226) demonstrate it.
In conclusion, Laura Day, as a popularizer of intuitionism, is an intellectual and activist complement to academic philosopher of intuitionism, Robert Audi.
Author, The Power and the Glory: The Key Ideas and Crusading Lives of Eight Debaters of Reason vs. Faith, at http://www.reasonversusmysticism.com