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When faith and function collide

By Laura Day, Oprah.com
Intuition is a powerful tool that is an innate part of every human being, but it is not a religion or even a belief.
Intuition is a powerful tool that is an innate part of every human being, but it is not a religion or even a belief.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Author Laura Day talks about tapping into the intuition inside all of us
  • Reader struggles with religion being against psychics and/or horoscopes
  • Personal responsibility is an important aspect of being human, expert says
RELATED TOPICS

(OPRAH.com) -- If you could lay your hands on this suffering world and heal it, would you? If you could give information to comfort and guide the lost, wouldn't you? If you could save jobs by preparing your company for the future, would you?

I received a letter from a reader that began, "I struggle with my desire to have a 'glimpse' into what might happen in my life with my Christianity that teaches me psychics and looking into your future is against God's will."

She continued, "Biblically, we are not to look to psychics or horoscopes, etc. I understand being a better 'you', loving yourself, that's all healthy stuff. You are advertised as a psychic, which is different than the self-help stuff and self-intuition.

"If I trusted my intuition, I wouldn't want someone else to tell me what my future held. I'm sure somewhere in here it's all about changing me, but when really? I'd just like someone to look into life's crystal ball and reassure me about my future."

This letter touched me. The writer clearly wanted to use intuitive skills and perhaps other techniques not recognized or possibly condoned by her faith to better her life without betraying her faith.

People are faced with this question every day. Are your tools in line with your beliefs? Are your prayers, and even your behaviors, in line with what you believe to be the right thing?

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Most of us are our worst critics. Most people work very hard to stay on the right side of goodness. But, there's a lot of gray between the black-and-white lines of life.

Intuition is a powerful tool that is an innate part of every human being. When used properly, it gives direction, shows you how to help others and what they need from you. It allows you to create success in your life and communities and so many other things. Intuition is not a religion or even a belief.

I teach many people who are not believers how to use their intuition. Often, their companies hire me to train them to work together, know their market and create products that succeed. They don't know how to use their brains in a consistently accurate and successful way, but once they do the first exercise, they have proof that intuition gives valuable information. They don't need to become believers.

A good scientist suspends judgment and runs the experiment anyway. But I'm not talking about science, I'm talking about faith.

Faith is the beliefs you hold, even when you don't have concrete proof. Faith is unique to every individual. Anyone who tries to undermine your faith is not a helpful person to you. However, new challenges can make you examine your faith. If you truly believe, this experience will only make your faith stronger.

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There are many fine examples of prophecy in the Bible. Although Christians are cautioned to beware of false prophets, aren't the false prophets in the Bible the ones who lead people toward a belief for their own gain? Jesus was a prophet and a healer, but he didn't use his gift of prophecy to save his own life. Instead, he allowed his life to be taken, so that all could be saved.

Good intuition allows for good planning. It has nothing to do with belief or prophecy.

You use your intuition all of the time. You can't "get rid" of the ability to perceive the future, know each other's thoughts or send our own. All of you can feel what it is to be another.

However, when you know this about yourself and take responsibility for its proper use, just as you would with your words and deeds, you are forced to use it according to your individual beliefs. Prophecy is typically told to a prophet who then spreads the word. But intuition is future-related, so you have the choice to use it only for your own knowledge and betterment.

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Someone once asked me in a workshop, "How do you know that you work, your ability, isn't a 'gift' from the devil?" I responded with the truth: "I don't. Does anyone?"

You are each responsible for how you use all your abilities, whether your intellect, your speech, your emotions, your bodies, your money or your influence. No power or tool forces you to do harm in order to be "lead astray." You need to be willing participants.

Personal responsibility is an important aspect of being human. If your intuition is "of the devil," he must be very upset with what the good people in the world do with it!

It is normal to be afraid of the unknown. The more you feel you can see the future and act in the present to change it, the less fear you have. You have choices. While future events, in my experience, can be predicted, if you are active in your life, you create them as well. In fact, the best use of prediction is to know that an unproductive event is coming and to do something differently now.

"How to Rule the World from Your Couch" is not about someone else telling you the future, but your own knowing and awareness of what's ahead.

Often, you don't want to see what's right before your eyes. Then, it is helpful to have someone else, perhaps someone else who has done my "couch training," to be your guide. I would never encourage someone to give up their beliefs or their ability to create their future to any other person, no matter what their "title" may be.

Belief is more powerful than any tool. No matter what you believe, if you believe something is wrong, chances are, you will be unable to use it effectively. Your subconscious and super-ego will throw too many obstacles in your way. This is why criminals can use intuition to create perfect crimes when the average person would and could not.

Who you are determines how you use all of your abilities. The values of modesty, humility, generosity, integrity, honesty, family and community are shared by all religions.

I am sure you know the Sabbath believer who goes to worship and then breaks the commandments all week. You may also know good people who live godly lives but rarely give themselves the pleasure of worshiping in community.

Here are some suggestions to adapt new tools into your beliefs:

• Make clear goals in your life.

• When you have clear goals and stick to them, intuition and "right action" is automatically engaged. You become aware of these natural gifts in an organic way.

• Do not "swallow" any system whole.

• Take what is useful and in line with your beliefs and leave the rest. The best students of intuition and life sort through what is useful for them or their "market" in any modality or teaching and leave the rest behind.

• Every human being has light and shadow.

• Be as honest about your weaknesses as your strengths. You will find that your community, more often than not, will want to understand and help.

• Look at each tool and forget its name.

• Ask how you can use it to be a better human being according to your beliefs. Do not go to the head of your place of worship and say, "Is it okay to want to go to a psychic?" Instead, ask how, in your particular faith, the ability to "see ahead" can be properly used.

• Ask your church leader to read books like How to Rule the World from Your Couch. No one knows everything. Your leader may find that these simple abilities are not only part of being an effective human being, but also useful to the community when put in the language of your particular religion.

Whether psychics, astrologers or Christians -- these are just words. It's how you conduct your life that counts.

I have never entered a house of worship where people gathered to pray and support one another where I did not leave feeling blessed, even if I didn't agree intellectually with everything said. "When two or more gather in my name" has many real meanings to your life, and intuition shows you that you are able to join, even when apart, to create good in the world and in your life.

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