If we were to embark upon a journey of personal transformation, taking with us only the analytical, rational mind, then it would be difficult. As skilled and helpful as logic may be, just as crucial to spiritual development is the complementary cognitive mind that also lives in us: intuition. It’s the intuitive mind that keeps our life journeys from bogging down in materialism and the limitations of the physical body.

It’s no wonder that the advice Edgar Cayce gave countless people about their soul growth included encouragement to befriend the intuitive mind. Let’s consider three key ideas that can help us cultivate intuition and appreciate its role.

“Psychic is of the soul.” This is a familiar and famous saying of Cayce’s. In a sense, it is simply restating the roots of the word “psychic” or “psyche,” going back to the Greek word for breath, life, and soul. It speaks of that realm within ourselves that especially has to do with our values and our sense of meaning in life. Certainly, there is also the flavor of the transcendent or eternal in the “psyche” and “soul,” but we need to make sure we fully appreciate how soulfulness concerns that which touches our deepest values and nurtures a stronger connection to what’s really meaningful to us. And so we might have a profound conversation with a friend and think to ourselves afterward, that it was a “soulful encounter.” In other words, we were meeting that person to the full extent of what it means to be human. It was—in the spirit of Cayce’s phrase—a psychic encounter with that friend, whether or not any telepathic or clairvoyant information was exchanged.

Intuitive awareness operates within an extra dimension. The famous 19th-century novella Flatland by Edwin Abbott imagines a world of beings living in the two-dimensional surface world of Flatland. How are they to understand the more realistic world of three dimensions? Their two-dimensional logic, as it were, always keeps them trapped in the limited perspective of Flatland. Anything that tries to express itself from a higher dimension will always come across in their world as paradoxical and mysterious.

And to extend the analogy, as we three-dimensional beings of the material world seek personal transformation and spiritual awakening, we are going to need a way of knowing that embraces and appreciates the paradoxical quality of higher reality expressing itself to us. That’s where the intuitive mind comes in. It can look at things from multiple points of view. It doesn’t require “either/or” conclusions in the way that rational thought does. Intuition can appreciate “both/and,” allowing us to be informed by insights that are fourth-dimensional. Just consider how our dreams work, often presenting mysterious, ambiguous, and paradoxical pictures of life. More often than not, a dream’s meaning can be multifold—a fact that aggravates the logical mind but offers invaluable clues about the real nature of things that the intuitive mind can grasp.

Intuition provides more information so that one can make better decisions. This third principle is crucial if we are to understand the philosophy in the Cayce readings of soul growth and personal transformation.

It largely has to do with volition—that is, the human will and its vital role in our spiritual lives. Cayce even makes it one of three building blocks that constitute the soul: spirit, mind, and will. In essence, our developmental task as spiritual beings in materiality is to learn how to use the will to make right decisions in order to enhance the greater good. Or, put another way, God wants us to learn how to make purposeful, ideal-driven choices.

And if that’s the case, then we really don’t want to turn our decision-making over to someone else or even to our subconscious mind. Just think about how tempting it is to avoid making a personal decision and instead try to turn it over to someone or something else—maybe a professional clairvoyant or perhaps even one’s own dream life. That clairvoyant or that personal dream can have a valuable role to play: providing further information that can help us to make better decisions. This principle was well illustrated by some of the results from a 1983/84 research project with 250 ARE members and 14 professional psychics that I conducted with Dr. Henry Reed. (A report can be found in Venture Inward, March/April 1985.) Among the many findings, we discovered that people were most pleased with the readings they received from professional psychics when they asked particular types of questions. When they asked questions that essentially requested the psychic to make a decision for them, they tended to be dissatisfied. However, when they simply asked for additional information, perspectives, or insights about a problem, then they tended to be pleased with the results. They could then make their own decisions, the very thing we need to learn to do, for personal transformation and soul growth.

Reprinted from the April-June 2018 issue of Venture Inward magazine.