of the Intuitive Heart
The Story behind the
discovery of the principles behind the Intuitive Heart is a fascinating
one. It is a story about research, about the caring exhibited
by participants and how it developed into the practical program
known as the Intuitive Heart Discovery Process.
My research has
made a discovery that sheds new light on the relationship between
intuitive functioning and spirituality. I call this discovery
the "intuitive heart." This metaphor envisions caring
as a path for the natural expression of intuitive ability. Suppose
you care enough for someone to give of yourself to help that
person. That motivation can be enough to experience an intuitive
connection with that person. Many people have experienced this
fact spontaneously, demonstrating that it's a natural occurrence.
More than twenty years of research investigations, involving
some novel experimental methods, have developed a way to explore
it intentionally. The intuitive heart is revealing its spiritual
The story begins for me in the early 1970s
while I was a psychology professor at Princeton University. I
was researching creative problem solving in dreams with students
sleeping in the laboratory. I realized that the typical laboratory
approach was not conducive to inspirational dreaming. Searching
for an alternative approach I had a dream of my own in which
I was on a vigil in a tent. That tent was upon holy ground overseen
by a wise old man. Based upon a this dream, I created in 1972
a vision quest ritual using a "dream tent."
The Edgar Cayce organization, the Association
for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.), invited me to conduct
dream research at their summer camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
I installed my dream tent at that lovely nature shrine, alongside
White Rock Creek which flows through camp. I guided several campers
who wished to incubate a dream in the tent in quest of inspiration.
The experiment was a success, demonstrating that visions exactly
like classical accounts of spiritual encounters in antiquity
can still be obtained in our modern world. When I published that
research, I commented that normal experimental methods, focused
on manipulation and control, weren't appropriate for transpersonal
levels of the mind. When we try to go beyond the familiar boundaries
of who we believe ourselves to be, it seems more fitting to use
rituals of seeking, beseeching, and surrender to a higher order
of harmony. Insisting on personal control or the traditional
methods of mechanistic science may not allow the desired experiences
The dream tent marked the beginning of the
evolution of a new research paradigm that is suitable as a spiritual
path. It is a process of co-creating consciousness, a process
shared among the researchers, the research participants, and
the Creator. The A.R.E. moved to support this new model for doing
research. In 1973 it established a board of research advisors
of which I was a member. We determined that the best style of
research (consistent with the ideals expressed in the Edgar
Cayce philosophy) was one in which the participants learned something
themselves, at the same time as the researchers learned from
the data collected. At one weekend board meeting, I had a dream:
A group of us have met for "research into enlightenment,"
and we are stumbling in the dark searching for the right method.
Suddenly we begin dancing together in a circle, each one recognizing
the other by a particular individual symbol that we display.
As we dance, a fountain of sparks burst forth from the center
of our dance and illuminate our space. We know this dance is
the research method we need. Later, upon hearing my dream, the
advisory board accepted it as an expression of our ideal. A drawing
of the research dance adorned our first home-study research questionnaire.
Soon thereafter, a serendipitous event at A.R.E. Camp carried
my research to yet another level of co-creative discovery. The
morning after a certain person was incubating in the dream tent,
someone else in the camp community approached me with a dream
concerning that very person. Then another person came to me with
yet another dream about that same person who had slept in the
tent. These "bystander" dreams reflected the dreamers'
sincere desire to be helpful to the healing quest of the person
in the dream tent. Since I alone knew the private concerns of
the questing person, I recognized that these bystander dreams
had clear telepathic elements.
Here was something of a psychic sort happening
in an unplanned manner. Seeing the possibilities, I wanted to
transform this spontaneous phenomenon into something we could
explore intentionally. I remembered that Edgar Cayce had criticized
psychical research that seemed to have no goal other than to
prove that one person can read the mind of another. He had made
some general suggestions to the effect that if we would create
experiments in which we tried to help each other with ESP, we
would discover the real meaning of psychic ability. That suggestion,
plus the spontaneous bystander dreams and my own dream of the
research dance combined to form the next step in this new research
approach. I called it the "Dream Helper Ceremony."
Here's the way it works:
Among a group of people who have gathered
together for the ceremony, a volunteer who is suffering from
some personal dilemma asks for help. This volunteer does not
reveal the nature of the problem, but our group "sleeps
on it" and tries to help out in our dreams. The next morning,
the group shares their dreams and examines them for what help
they may contain for the volunteer focus person.
In the twenty years since first attempting
this experiment I, and many others who have conducted this ceremony
themselves countless times, have observed similar results. Usually
no one individual dream appears to have any obvious relevance
for the volunteer focus person, especially since the group doesn't
know the nature of the volunteer's problem. When we view the
dreams as a whole, however, we find surprising commonalities.
The dream themes form patterns that ultimately prove, when the
volunteer does finally reveal the nature of the problem, to zero
in on the targeted problem and point to potentially helpful lines
of resolution. Even more revealing and helpful is when the dreamers
reconsider the dreams and interpret them for what they reveal
about themselves. The dreamers find their dreams are attempting
to achieve resolution in their own lives to some aspect of the
same dilemma that is confronting the focus person. In one case,
the focus person had just lost his job. One dream helper saw
in her own dream how she needed to confront certain changes in
her life situation that have made some of her comfortable patterns
no longer advisable. It is as if the focus person's unrevealed
problem acts like a telepathic innoculant, and each helper then
creates healing antibodies during the dream state. In effect,
each participant inwardly knows the plight of the volunteer and
inwardly seeks to create a gift of resolution. Time and again
I've seen the Dream Helper Ceremony demonstrate the principle
of the intuitive heart: Out of compassion, we find the other
person within our own experience. Truly this is an experience
of oneness individually expressed.
Obviously the dream helper ceremony is not
the usual telepathy experiment. Rather than isolating the participants
from each other, the ceremony creates a sense of spiritual community.
Rather than attempting to prove something, it attempts to be
helpful, and in so doing it creates some meaningful intuitive
Taking these intuitive connections to the
next step, to experience them directly in the conscious state
of mind, did not happen right away. It took several years to
digest the implications of the Dream Helper Ceremony and to realize
what the next step would involve. It has required facing the
fact that we are shy about the implications of face to face telepathy.
A teenager who participated in a dream helper ceremony, for example,
remarked that to think that your own dreams are perhaps not really
yours is "spooky!" Translation: the dissolving of boundaries
awakens concerns over unwanted intimacy. Intimacy, however, is
an inherent, but little discussed, aspect of oneness. My research
using this approach to telepathy has determined that intimacy
is one of the new frontiers of psychical research.
Today we are gaining a greater appreciation
for the axiom of "oneness," or the interconnectedness
of all beings. It was Edgar Cayce's first principle, as well
as many other psychics. In mythology, oneness is the condition
before the creation of the separate beings. In psychology it
is the condition of merger between mother and infant before the
baby begins to experience itself as separate. Learning to tell
lies and to keep secrets, for example, are two important ways
a child discovers that its mind and mommy's can be distinct.
I have found many examples, in fact, of people whose family members
had unwittingly stumbled onto family secrets through accidental
ESP. Many stories contained some embarrassment. Sometimes ESP
is unwanted. It would seem we are not ready to live in a consciously
psychic community until we are ready to do without our "fig
leaves." In fact, as I sifted and correlated insights from
the statements of psychics with findings from parapsychological
research and interpersonal behavior, I became convinced that
the psychology of intimacy (more than the biophysics of brain
wave transmission) governs telepathy.
To explore this insight, I created several
"rituals of discovery," experiments that provide an
intimate, new form of psychical research. Unlike experiments
based upon a mechanical model, they involve meaningful situations
and tasks that are engaging to the caring human being. These
rituals often have symbolic dimensions. They allow people to
explore possibilities of experience and to discover truths that
may have applicability in their own lives while simultaneously
providing data that may have significance for a scientific theory.
Rather than a laboratory, the natural places for these rituals
of discovery are conferences, workshops, and study groups, where
people are intent upon learning and self-exploration with others.
To design one such ritual of discovery, I
drew upon parapsychology's roots in hypnosis. An important phenomenon
from that history is "rapport," or the remarkable ability
noted in the late 1800s of the hypnotized subject to respond
to the unspoken suggestions, and even private experiences, of
the hypnotist. Hypnotic rapport led both to the discovery of
"medical clairvoyants," such as Edgar Cayce and others,
as well as to the laboratory study of telepathy. Rapport is a
oneness that can be quite intimate because of its co-creative
A clue about how rapport can work came to
me unexpectedly one day in my psychotherapy practice. I was lost
in a daydream about something from my own past and I thought
I had not been paying attention to the client. After some conversation
I realized that my daydream was in fact a telepathic response
to the repressed history of the clients' problem. In a state
of rapport, personal experiences from my past that connected
with experiences of my client were brought to my consciousness
through a direct, telepathic process. Like the teenager commenting
about the Dream Helper Ceremony, I at first asked myself, "Are
not even our own thoughts really our own?" Then I realized
that such rapport could be put into the service of interpersonal
In my recreation of this phenomenon as a ritual
of discovery, I teach people to become absorbed in the sound
of another person's voice vibrations, while observing their own
inner (i.e. intuitive) responses. In one version of this experiment,
called "The Getting to Know You Game," the ideal is
"mutuality" and resonance becomes the medium of discovery.
When you "resonate" with someone, you find that the
two of you are in accord. You and that person, although of different
personal histories, are of one mind. When a group of people become
one with the sound of a single target person's voice, they each
resonate with the subject in a different way. Each member of
the group experiences different internal events (memories, images,
feelings). A little later, when they share and explore the personal
meaning of their own experiences, they find that those inner
experiences reflect a personal connection with the target person;
a shared interest, hobby, emotional pattern, or other piece of
personal history. Sometimes their experiences zoom in on something
significant about the subject, as in a "psychic reading,"
providing some helpful information to that person. Here again
is one of the clearest signs of the intuitive heart.
From all these years pursuing a new model
of psychical research, one essential theme stands out. The rituals
of the intuitive heart ask people to search within themselves
and share something from their own experience that might be helpful
to another person's unexpressed need. This approach seems better
than asking people to attempt to "be telepathic" and
"read minds." The belief that we can read minds can
easily turn into a belief that we have insights into another
person, which can easily turn into a belief that we know what's
best for this person, which too often results in offering advice.
The Bible, for example, warns against picking on the mote in
the other person's eye and ignoring the beam in our own. Research
into the intuitive heart has affirmed the philosophy derived
from intimacy research that we give more and do a better service
to another person when we share of our own experience than when
we give advice.
I firmly believe that it is possible to enlist
our intuitive abilities to be helpful to another person without
having to give advice
to do so. In fact, I have discovered that when we are willing
to share of ourselves and to speak from the heart, we all can
demonstrate the functioning of intuition. Here is the "ritual
of discovery" that I have developed to demonstrate this
I call the ritual "in my experience"
and it requires two people. One person serves as the client and
the other person will be the intuitive "consultant."
The client person focuses upon some personal concern or dilemma,
but does not reveal what it is.
The consultant first initiates an intuitive
mode of functioning by shifting attention to the breath and relaxing,
letting the breath flow naturally and unaided. An affirmation
for this step might be, "I can trust in inspiration"
and reminds the consultant that it is not necessary to force
intuition, for it will come on its own, spontaneously and naturally.
For the second step, the consultant shifts
the attention to the heart and experience the feeling of warmth
and love, gradually letting this feeling expand toward the client's
heart, creating a fantasy of two hearts joined in love. The affirmation
for this step might be, "I give myself permission to care
enough for this person to share in the feeling of love and to
share of myself with this person."
The third step is to allow a personal memory
from a past experience to spontaneously come to mind, trusting
that it will be a memory that will prove useful to the client's
concern. The affirmation for this step would be, "I now
allow to enter into my awareness a memory from a past experience,
a memory that will stimulate in me insights that will prove helpful
to my client's concern."
The consultant accepts the first memory that
comes to mind, no matter how trivial, embarrassing, or seemingly
irrelevant. The consultant describes aloud this memory to the
client, as if telling a story. After describing this event, the
consultant ponders aloud what lesson this experience has to offer.
In an improvisational manner, speaking from the heart, in other
words, the consultant fashions an insight from what he or she
can now learn from that experience.
Upon finishing making a teaching allegory
from this spontaneous memory, the consultant asks the client
to reveal the focus of concern and to respond to the teaching
Here's an example, taken from a workshop where
I had the opportunity to participate myself. I was paired with
a woman I didn't know. As instructed, she had written her concern
on a piece of paper but I didn't know what it was. As I sensed
a heart connection forming with her, I recalled a time when I
was mowing the lawn as a teenager. My mom was there, relaxing
on the patio. I missed a patch of grass and as I went back to
cut that missed patch I looked up to see if mom had noticed my
error. I described this memory to my partner, then contemplated
aloud its meaning in an extemporaneous manner. I noted that I
was concerned about my mother's approval and not arousing her
criticism. As I sought for higher guidance concerning the lesson
for me in this memory, I realized I wanted to please her so that
she would be happy and have more nurturance for me. I expounded
for awhile about the significance of that early experience for
later lessons I would have to learn and habits I'd have to unlearn.
My partner then revealed that what she had written was a question
about whether therapy would help her with her relationship with
her mother. She explained that her own son was showing some disquieting
symptoms that reminded her of herself and her relationship with
her own mother. She said my use of the word "approval"
hit the nail on the head. She felt that my realization about
the motivation for approval being to improve mother's disposition
was a crucial insight for her to apply in her own situation.
My story is not unique. I have collected numerous
stories from people at my workshops who have found this ritual
of discovery to provide surprising insights and intuitive connections
with the "stranger" sharing with them. A show of hands
among workshop participants has consistently indicated that the
ritual proves meaningful for most who try it. Here is another
example, from someone who tried it at home after the workshop
Pepe is a young man who immigrated from Sarajevo
two years ago. He attended one of my seminars and returned later
to share this experience:
He made a friend in New York where he was
working as a taxi driver. He asked this fellow, also an immigrant,
to write down on a piece of paper some problem, to see if Pepe
could help provide better understanding. When Pepe held the paper,
he recalled a time when he was a young boy and his father came
home by surprise. His father worked in East Germany and lived
away from the family, sending money regularly, but coming home
himself maybe only once a year. Pepe was alone, without a father,
most of the time. He got used to playing by himself. He remembered
this particular day when he was playing in the house with his
"There was a knock on the door. I went
to answer it and it was my father! He was not expected to be
coming and it was so good to see him! We had a big hug! My father
walked over to see my toys on the floor and he was pleased with
what I was making with them. He got down with me and we played
together and it was really fun!"
Pepe said that when he had this memory it
made him feel really happy. He reflected upon the memory for
the lesson it contained. He thought that it was good that he
could play alone and make himself feel contented. When his father
came, it was very special, but he had to learn to help himself
and that was very good.
Pepe said his friend was very excited with
his story. His friend had written, "Should I start up my
new business with selling greeting cards?" Pepe didn't understand
how his story could be about selling cards.
His friend explained, "I asked you this
question because I prayed to God about this new business but
God didn't answer. Your story makes me realize something very
important. Always I am praying to God about something, talking
to God in my mind about this or that problem or question, getting
angry with God that I don't get an answer when I need it. I need
to learn, like you did, the value of doing for myself. Then when
God appears, it will be like a gift!"
Pepe said he was pleased to hear his friend
respond so positively to his story. What was even better, he
said, was a week later his friend told him that he had started
up his business and was really happy about it. "Our talk
was not just words," Pepe said, "but made a difference
in my friend's life". Pepe was really glad that he was able
to help. He was
also surprised, delightfully mystified, by how his memory came
to him and had such effect. "This business of being intuitive,"
he said with a big smile, "is so amazing!"
ritual of sharing, "in my experience," has proven that
people have an uncanny ability to come up with healing stories
that profoundly touch someone they care to help. As humans we
have much in common and thus our experiences are potentially
helpful to each other. Our intuitive ability thus can be brought
into the service of finding these helpful connections. Here intuition
and intimacy show their inherent relationship.
Finding connections with another person through
such subjective experiences creates an intimate bonding between
the participants. A feeling of closeness comes from discoveries
of common interests, mutually important emotional experiences,
even secrets. Most significant, the "psychic functioning,"
marvelous as it may be, is no longer the focus of attention.
It has become transparent, allowing the two people to enjoy the
felt sense of spiritual community it helped create.
Consider this analogy from history. When the
telephone was invented, people focused on the marvel of the apparatus
itself and would say only silly things to each other. "Hey,
hey, can you hear me?" Now we take the apparatus for granted
and we focus on having meaningful conversations. The same can
happen with intuition. In these rituals of discovery, people
focus on their connections with each other, rather than on the
intuition that helped them realize those connections.
It is increasingly clear to me that experiencing
from within ourselves our connection with others is an essential
spiritual perspective. We can intellectually affirm our inherent
unity, and create moral imperatives expressing that perspective.
But in spite of those affirmations, our physical senses continue
to inform us that we are separate from each other. It is only
through intuition, or knowing from within, that we can directly
experience this unity. Intuitive awareness can thus become a
path to spiritual experience.
To learn about Dr. Reed's personal availability
for seminars or to mentor those learning to
provide intuitive development training, write him at 3777 Fox
Mouth of Wilson, VA 24363 or call 1-800-398-1370.
To study the intuitive heart group process
and to teach the process to others send us an email to request more information.