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Edited by Marta Sinclair
Chapter 21: The heart in intuition: tools for cultivating intuitive intelligence
Dana Elisa Tomasino1 Mainstream science has endeavored to account for intuition purely in terms of cognitive processes within the brain (Baron, 2004; Lieberman, 2000; Mitchell et al., 2005; Simon, 1987). Yet there is a long-held notion, shared by many cultures and civilizations throughout human history, that the heart is involved in intuitive experience: this is the view of the heart as a locus of inner wisdom and insight – a conduit to an intuitive intelligence that both transcends and yet also complements the perceptions and understandings of normal awareness (Godwin, 2001; Young, 2003). Ironically, while this ancient understanding of the heart has largely been relegated to metaphor by modern society, new science is now beginning to reaffirm the validity of this age-old concept and to develop an understanding of the heart’s central involvement in the psychophysiological and emotional processes that underlie intuition (Bradley et al., 2011; McCraty et al., 2004a; Tressoldi et al., 2009). Building on this new research, this chapter views intuition as a wholebody process in which the heart plays a key role, both in the processes by which intuitive perception occurs and also in the creation of an optimal bodily state – psychophysiological coherence – that appears to enhance intuitive receptivity. Activated by positive emotions, this state is marked by a systemic shift toward increased synchronization and harmony in an individual’s physiological and psychological processes. Positive emotionbased tools and technologies that activate psychophysiological coherence are discussed as a programmatic means to cultivate intuitive receptivity, and, with sustained practice, to ultimately...
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