Gladwell tells of an experiment where participants were asked to pick from a red and blue deck of cards, with each card winning or losing money. What the participants didn’t know is that the red cards were designed to make them lose instead of win. After picking 50 cards, they started to figure it out, and could pretty much explain what was happening after 80 cards.
The interesting part is that the researchers hooked up monitors to test the stress response in the palms of the hands of the participants. What they found is that after only 10 cards, the stress response was activated when someone picked a card from the red deck. Participants also began unconsciously favoring the blue decks.
This is intuition. Our bodies know things before we do. Sometimes it takes a long time for the unconscious/intuitive knowledge to creep into our awareness, and when it’s something we don’t want to hear, it takes even longer.
Paying attention to the subtle clues in your body and gut is a good start, but acting on this information prior to it being totally integrated into your conscious awareness is the tough part. Maybe we don’t need to act on it before feeling total conviction, but simply make a commitment to pay attention regardless of whether or not we like the information that’s rising to the surface.
According to A Course in Miracles, repeating the affirmation, “I am determined to see” will help us learn to listen and trust this incredible guidance system.