False Feedback Loop
The other day I was waiting in line at the ice cream shop down the street from my apartment. I don’t usually buy ice cream, especially during winter, but something told me that buying ice cream might be a good idea today. I can’t exactly put my finger on what it was, or what caused me to think of ice cream, let alone evaluate whether it would be a good choice or not, but there I was.
I noticed the girl standing in line behind me was wearing a shirt that said
“San Diego,” on it, and nothing else. San Diego is popular for a couple of tourist attractions, the San Diego Zoo, and Sea World, to name a couple, but her shirt only said “San Diego,” and nothing else. Since the ice cream shop we were standing in line in was a long way from San Diego, I was curious.
I asked her if she was from San Diego, and she said no, that she got the shirt from a friend. The friend had gone there on a trip and had brought it back as a souvenir. She kind of gave off vibe that she wanted me to follow up on the conversation, despite not giving any obvious openings, so I pressed on.
I asked her what her friend did it San Diego, and she told me that it’s actual her husband, but at he time they hadn’t started dating yet. He was involved in the Navy and some secret nuclear submarine program down there. I asked her if her husband was in the navy, and she said that she couldn’t say. So much for my intuition about her desire for further conversation. I tried one last time, and asked her where she was originally from, and what she told me next was completely unexpected.
I remember once I was taking this seminar on intuition. Or rather it was on hypnosis, but there was on section that was specific to intuition. A good hypnotist can develop an intuition about his client, as many times the session will depend on feedback given by the client that isn’t altogether obvious or blatant. Hypnotists that can develop a good sense of intuition can have much more success with their clients.
There are a few different schools of thought on intuition. One is highly esoteric and metaphysical, and says that there is some higher “super conscious organism” that everybody is connected into. All dreams, psychic abilities, and intuitions depend on being able to “tap into” this superconscious realm of knowledge. It is widely believed that this is a huge storehouse of information, of everything that has happened, and everything that will happen. And it is completely accessible to anyone, so long as they know how to open themselves up to it.
Another school of thought is purely based on biology and evolution. Intuition is a highly developed aspect of communication that is just as unique to humans as spoken language. Most people are aware that human communication goes way beyond the verbal. Studies have shown that as much as 90 percent of communication is non-verbal. This is where intuition kicks in. Because the amount of voice tone, facial expression and subtle cues given off by body language extremely numerous and complex, being able to process them all consciously would be impossible. So the brain developed a way, over thousands of generations of evolution, to interpret them all subconsciously, and then deliver a final “feeling” to the conscious mind. Since feelings can only give us a directional “push,” and not any specific guidance, they can be difficult to interpret.
Hunger, fear, lust, nervousness are all general feelings that generally point us in the right direction, but don’t give us specifics on how to get there. That is left to our conscious, thinking brains. The same goes with intuition. Our subconscious reads the vast amount of information about any particular situation, and then presents a vague “feeling” to our conscious brains. This can be difficult to interpret, especially if you are someone who has been brought up to believe that “feelings” are too wishy washy to be paid any attention to.
But taken in light of the massive computational abilities of the subconscious mind, these feelings can be very valuable, when interpreted correctly. Sometimes it really is a good idea to “trust your gut.”
She told me that she was originally from Jordan, and that she had a PhD in nuclear engineering, which is where she met her husband. She had come to the United States on a student visa, and had met her husband in school, where they both studied nuclear engineering.
She then apologized, and told me that she mad mistakenly took me for one of her classmates. But when she started speaking to me, she realized I wasn’t him, because I spoke with the wrong accent.
So it turns out that her intuition about me was completely incorrect, which in turn gave me an incorrect intuition about her. Kind of a false intuition feedback loop. But the good thing was our false intuition feed back loop had self corrected by the time it was our turn to order our ice cream cone. Actually, I got an ice cream cone, and she got a sundae, but that’s another story.