Intuition and the Power of Supra-rational Thinking

Art by Peter Diamond
Art by Peter Diamond

by Chris Mackey

Do we place too much of an emphasis on rationality over intuition? Our education system places great emphasis on developing our capacities for collecting data, applying reason and using logic. These are very worthwhile means of gaining knowledge, but we generally pay much less attention to ways of developing our intuition, another form of understanding and guidance.

This is an underlying theme of the recent film, The Man Who Knew Infinity. It tells the tale of the Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan who rose from poverty and obscurity to ultimately be acclaimed as one of the greatest mathematicians of the last century. However, when he arrived in Cambridge in 1914 at the invitation of his mentor, GH Hardy, he was initially viewed with extreme scepticism and disdain by many of his traditional peers.

Their negative reaction to Ramanujan was not so much based on racism, as their objection to his unconventional ways of thinking. He could not conventionally explain his reasoning that enabled him to derive formulae that solved complex mathematical problems. He was not so concerned about demonstrating conventional proofs for his mathematical expressions, as he felt that their validity could be demonstrated in other ways.

Most mathematicians would work by applying their understanding of various concepts to build a formula. That would be a rational process. By contrast, Ramanujan worked the other way around, drawing on intuition. He felt that he had received his understanding from something beyond him. The formulae came to him first, and their accuracy and significance were often revealed later. Ramanujan specifically attributed his intuitive understanding to a Goddess who “wrote on his tongue”, sometimes revealing solutions to him in visions and dreams. The contemporary mathematician, Ken Ono, described Ramanujan as more of a poet that a problem solver.

Strikingly, the potential application and meaning of many of Ramanujan’s formulae were most relevant to things that only became of interest well after his death. For example, he detailed “mock-theta functions”, extremely complex formulae that are relevant to current understanding of string theory in physics, and such phenomena as black holes.
Despite recognizing Ramanujan’s genius from their earliest correspondence, GH Hardy was himself perplexed by Ramanujan’s reticence to account for his findings using conventional proofs. No doubt their collaboration, which helped many such proofs to be discovered, consolidated the appreciation and usefulness of Ramanujan’s work. Nonetheless, it’s clear that Ramanujan had drawn on a most worthwhile method that was not well appreciated and accepted, even though it led to solutions being found that Hardy and others believed could not be derived in any conventional way.

As a psychologist, I have become especially interested in the under-recognized potential of intuition to solve problems or address challenges. I have now heard of countless examples where others acted on an intuition that defied any rational explanation, and benefited greatly by doing so. Sometimes it even saved their lives. I hear such examples much more often now that my clients and other acquaintances know that I have written a book on synchronicity.

This is one example. A friend, Ross, explained how he was once travelling on foot alongside a highway in Queensland and decided to sleep on one side of the road, sheltering beneath a bush. Soon after he lay down to go to sleep, he had a strong, inexplicable urge to move to the other side of the road. He was initially quite reluctant to do so in the windy conditions, as the ground on the other side of the highway was more damp, uneven and less sheltered. Minutes later, a passing car ran off the road through the bush where he been sheltering and then back onto the road again. It was as though he had received a message from something beyond him. He had learnt to respond to such messages before. If he had dismissed his intuitive urge to move as being irrational, he almost certainly would not be alive to tell his story.

Ross’s thought process might not have seemed rational, at least in the sense of being explicable in terms of reason or logic. But this did not make his insight less valid. Nor was it less than rational. Like Ramanujan, many of Ross’s previous intuitive insights had proved to be true in an uncanny and most advantageous way. He had many stories describing times when he had experienced favourable outcomes by acting on intuition. In many such situations, these outcomes might not be achieved through rational thinking alone.

For this reason, I refer to the examples of Ramanujan’s mathematical ability and Ross’s life-saving intuition as reflecting “the power of supra-rational thinking”. They are not so much irrational as beyond rational. Intuition is not a lesser form of thinking, but merely a different form. Undoubtedly, it is often important to apply our reason in solving problems. Science and formal knowledge in many areas would not likely have advanced anywhere near as far without such discipline. But this does not mean that we should ignore intuition, or disparage those who claim to find it especially useful.

In my view, the most powerful form of understanding will often apply reason and intuition at one and the same time. This partly involves appreciating our implicit, as well as explicit, thinking. But these stories suggest that at least some people might intuitively tap into an awareness that exists beyond themselves. We seem to be very good at developing our thinking that uses our brain like a computer. I think we are perhaps in our infancy in terms of learning to use our mind as a receiver. This may relate to processes of enlightenment. There seems little to lose in exploring this potential further – the power of supra-rational thinking.

In my book, Synchronicity: Empower your life with the gift of coincidence, I describe many examples of the benefits of drawing on deep intuition. Recognizing the potential relevance and meaning of remarkable coincidences in our lives seems to be an especially useful way of tapping into a deep intuitive realm. In my own life, and in that of many of my clients and others, it is one of the most useful ways of helping clarify our sense of life purpose and meaning. Synchronicity can point the way to our personal destiny. It can guide us toward enlightenment.

Chris Mackey is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society with 35 years’ experience as a clinical and counselling psychologist. His book, Synchronicity: Empower your life with the gift of coincidence, was released internationally by Watkins Publishing in September 2015. His additional articles on synchronicity are posted at

Time is Art Co-creator: Magenta

magenta, time is art film

Magenta is an artist, healer, and systems engineer. She is the Executive Director of the Evolver Network, an open-source community platform for sustainable planetary culture. She designed the HiveMind festival as a community forum to coalition build among organizations and leaders devoted to healthy ecology, spiritual realization, and right use of technology. Magenta has served as editor and curator for Aorta Magazine, a magazine for female and trans-identified radical political artists. She advocates for the legalization of entheogenic plant medicines, and educates about the history of global shamanism. She teaches psychic skills through a lense of chaos magic, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and the physics of light. She is also an illustrator, collective marketing strategist, and designs clothing using recycled materials. To bring all this under one “job”, she calls herself an imagination healer – reminding people of our collective power to create the reality we truly want to live in.

As part of an on-going series of features on the co-creators in the film, Time is Art, we put together some pressings questions for them. Enjoy Magenta’s inspiring answers.

Has a dream you had ever come true?

Every day. I believe in dream walking – that the different states of consciousness are permeable. The Toltecs and Tibetans have practices for learning this. Basically, I try to be in tune with my dream consciousness and be aware of what images I’m walking forth into. Ayahuasca taught me a lot about how to do this. I hold firmly in mind many expressions of a global society in balance with the Earth. I’d like to draw these someday, but for now I meditate on it and encourage others to remember that it’s possible for us to create Eden together, we’re sort of just deluding ourselves that we don’t have power to do that, or…. Maybe it’s taking us some evolution to work together in a way so we take care of each other.

What’s a song that has special meaning for you?

Luzmila Carpio’s “Ama Sua, ama llulla, ama qhella.” I’m learning it now as my first quechua song. She wrote it in defense of the indigenous cultures of Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.

Recently a 6 min clip featuring Jennifer’s inspiring conversation with Magenta in Dolores Park, San Francisco was featured on

If you could time travel, who would you like to meet?

Tesla, definitely. You can all time travel astrally so, I recommend giving it a try.

If you woke up tomorrow with no fear, what would you do first?

I don’t think I’m afraid of anything. This has gotten me into trouble in the past but I’m getting a little smarter about it. When I’m living in a place that doesn’t have a lot of fear in the culture, I walk outside and greet the sun and plants and dirt and open my being to being alive.

If you could spend ten minutes with your ‘hero’ alive or dead what would you ask them?

Mark Lakeman of City Repair in Portland. How can I help share the practices your community is doing? –

What is one influential film that you feel has affected the collective unconscious, positively or negatively?

Future dystopia movies (and books). When do we get Hollywood movies about a world that is peaceful and balanced. Imagine how shockingly beautiful that could be. CGI is so advanced – I have friends who know how to do the most exquisite digital 3D modeling… I suppose most people like drama and fear, but I also think we’re addicted to and trapped by it, and that there is a vast infinity of “other” possibilities that I hope start to open up, especially as entheogenic culture becomes more mainstream and starts to mature so people start creating art and businesses as expressions of their experiences and knowing more is possible. There’s a lot of singular egoism in that culture right now, people in awe of the personal visionary experience, and people in true need of deep personal healing. But I’d like to see more collective action emerge. We’re working on that through the Evolver Network. I spent three years developing a concept for a media company, it just needs to be written up so we can ask for seed funding. Once TEN is up and running stable I can jump over to that project, or allocate some energy to getting the tech built out for it.

If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

How to awaken your imagination again. I do this in a weekly class and through social media and everyday play.

What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

I know I process sensory experience differently than most people. I’ve been trying to understand what’s going on there, I’m very synesthetic – I hear and feel images, I feel and see sound, I experience all my senses linguistically as if I’m making shapes with my mouth, most things I experience kinesthetically, like my body is moving as the thing. It can be overwhelming, almost like being a baby, just always in a space of interconnection and not having much of a handle on boundaries.

What do you love most about yourself?

Enjoying creating beauty.

Would you like to know about all your previous lifetimes so you can learn from your mistakes?

I don’t think I’ve been incarnate before, at least that’s the answer I get when I go to the Akashic Hall of Records or whatever hippy people do to find this sort of information.

How would you describe ‘freedom’ in your own words?

Liberation to be, express, and receive love.

What makes a person beautiful?

I find people who aren’t guarded and have done a lot of healing work on themselves beautiful. I like seeing people’s hearts shining and their bodies free to create.

If you were forced to eliminate every physical possession from your life with the exception of what could fit into a single backpack, what would you put in it?

Right now my laptop and projector, so I can keep making the Evolver Network happen. If I could be computer free, probably a set of watercolors and paper, toothbrush. I have one nomad friend who only has a backpack of possessions, and I’m amazed that she always ferries objects around to gift to people – special pieces of clothing or crystals… She gifted me a rainbow tail made of alpaca fur, all the way from Peru.

When does silence convey more meaning than words?


What music do you listen to to lift your spirits when you’re feeling down?

Huun Huur Tu. They’re a throat singing band from Tuva. It’s a culture that still has nomads. All their songs are about how specific places are so beautiful. Their singing is about singing the spirit of place – with throat singing you hear the harmonic overtones of what’s around you, the sound glances off of objects in a prismatic way. It’s very fun to do.

What is your favorite fictional story? (novel, movie, fairytale, etc.)

Flatland – it’s a story about math. The main character visits different dimensions where people can only perceive parts of him/her/it.

What artistic medium do you use to express yourself?

Visual art – painting, drawing, graphic design… Business… Dance… Music… Poetry… Clothing design. I <3 art.

 Who or what is the greatest enemy of mankind?

Our intellectual constructs – to some extent I think the way most modern cultures use language gets us into trouble and disconnects us from the way other species use language and communicate with themselves and with us.

 What does God mean to you?

The infinite-sided polygon! I like to joke that “I’ll see you another side of the infinite-sided polygon”. I love God. I wish more people were more playful with the concept. A chaos magician friend of mine once told me to be aware of BS – belief systems. I started a tumblr to collect the sacred pattern art of many different world cultures – Shipibo, Celtic, Islamic, crop circles, and more… to show that these cultures are all talking about the same thing. They’re literally drawing the same (or quite similar) patterns when they represent the sacred. I need to spend some time adding to it, but it’s here:

How do you know when it’s time to let go of something or someone?

I’m terrible at this. I usually wait until something quite aggressive or insane happens. I *have* to stop doing that. Or start being smarter about when someone is coming to me for healing, and take the step of making a formal container for that instead of doing it with friends and lovers.

What have you witnessed that has strengthened/weakened your faith in humanity?

What’s happening right now is phenomenal – so many projects and initiatives, social entrepreneurial endeavors… people are coming to a shared understanding that we can work together and address big systemic problems by taking ownership over our actions, and sharing with each other. Moving from competition to… I really feel like we’re approaching hivemind or insect consciousness as a species. Maybe we’ll stop being a parasitic insect on the planet, maybe that will happen very soon.

What are some of your favorite books?

Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Kandinsky… The Media Ecosystem by Antonio Lopez… Empowering Public Wisdom by Tom Atlee… Fuzzy Dice by Paul Di Fillipo… Les Guerilleres by Monique Wittig… Pale Fire by Nabokov… Glyph by Percival Everett… Postsingular by Rudy Rucker… My Journey with Aristotle to the Anarchist Utopia… A Glastonbury Romance by John Cowper Powys… anything by Bruno Schultz and Mark Leyner… You Bright and Risen Angels by William Vollmann… J.G. Ballard… Out of the Silent Planet (it’s a C.S. Lewis book – the next two in the series get too Christian preachy for me, but that one is a very strange landscape)… Philosophy in the Flesh by Geroge Lakoff and Mark Johnson… HERmione by H.D… Jorge Borges… The Tuning of the World by R. Murray Schafer… The Palace of Memory by Frances Yates… Visionary Architecture: Unbuilt Works of the Imagination by Ernest Burden… After the End of Art by Arthur Danto

What do you think we could do to best improve the education system?

Stop having a top-down approach. More autodidactism. Learning by working on actual, not abstract problems. Intergenerational collaboration.

Who is one of your favorite philosophers, spiritual leaders or adepts?

I like how Arthur Danto writes about art.

Have you ever had contact with beings other than human beings? If not, do you believe other entities or beings exist beyond our third dimensional reality?

All the time. I don’t identify as particularly human – identity is a weird construct, and humans are particularly sophisticated spiritual channels. I’m not arrogant enough to think I know what reality is or what the extent of life is. My intuition is that it’s quite infinite, and that the astonishing diversity of physical life-forms on Earth are a sliver of indication of what’s possible with other types of lifeforms. I suppose I’m an animist in a way… I experience sounds and minerals and art pieces as sentient beings in a way, perhaps it’s all vibration organized in particular ways, some of which we can see the way we’re told is possible to see, and some of which we can’t. I think the world would be healthier if more humans opened up to the extended landscape of sentience and interconnection. We run around in all these silly language channels and the capitalist industrial complex, giving our life force away to others instead of basing our actions on physical, intuitive presence with each other. This has to change, it’s going to. I have some friends who believe what’s actually going right now is some kind of extra-dimensional parasitism, why the excessive resource extraction and poverty gap etc. I think people are just trained to be blind and limited by self-reinforcing systems we’ve created, but who knows. Media is incredibly powerful and I don’t think people understand that – billboards and mainstream TV, I recently started seeing TV once in a while again and it’s shocking the behavior programming that is permitted, it’s criminal – police state has it backwards. Time to monkey wrench the matrix – everyone will like it, it’s much sexier on the other side, trust me.

Do you think the majority of human beings will ever live in true harmony with nature in this lifetime?

Maybe next generation, 100 years. I’m opening to it happening much faster, I’m doing what I can to make that happen.



Self Worth

sophia loveThis is a process that in the end will yield a product. This product is you, but not a version of you holding any notion of worth as truth. The version we are looking to release understands that all are worthy equally.

It does not matter on which part of the planet your physical body was born. Lines drawn on the ground are separators which serve only one thing – the false notion of accumulation and division.

Any idea that categorizes or limits the value of a person – creating a barrier that must be crossed in order to access the heart, are pretend. There are no kings or homeless in heaven. The whole notion of equal, if it were to be truly experienced, would have you comfortable to the same extent at both a soup kitchen and a banquet; dining with those you’ve labeled royalty and those you’d call common. These names, the ones that make up social commentary and that you teach your children, are not, in truth, indicative of anything at all.

Until you can look with equal eyes at both the beggar and the banker, you will not be seeing clearly. In order for twenty/twenty vision, it becomes necessary that you let go of notions of worth.

Worth is an idea perpetrated by those who have something to “gain”. It is a false notion. The idea that one part of creation is worth more than another part, is absurd.

Continue reading “Self Worth”

Weapons of Mass Illusion

love revolutionvia Sophia Love
In order for the system to change without the display of power and weaponry typically used, a complete alteration of power is necessary. Today the majority understands power as force, as might, as guns and the ability to use them. What is on our “side”, the “side” of peaceful revolution, is that what is also held deeply as a universal principle is magic.

Magic is merely the manipulation of matter in atypical ways. This can be accomplished with a being who understands the art of the dream. It is intention and expectation. It demands clarity and purity – the very things that have attempted to be muddled with this experiment. Foods, media, religions and education have taken hold and forced it out of you – instilling instead ideas around power that include superiority, competition and brute force.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Think Gandalf. There are legends in our culture that continue because within them is held the seed of truth – a mystical, internal force overpowers brute force every time. That internal force is one you hold.

To answer the question (How do we accomplish the shift without violent revolution?) will sound circular. Yet it is known to you because it also holds truth. Maintain an internal focus. Let everything you do allow the further development of clarity. The food you eat and practices you engage in either support or suppress internal strength. Choose consciously.

The movement from guns will happen when fear abates. In order to stop the fear we’ll have to replace it with a sense of power – IM-powerment.

There is no mystery that cannot be solved within the language and legends of our culture. Look carefully at what has been more typically laughed at or judged irrelevant for clues. There we will discover treasure and useful information.

Again, it is collaboration and unity that will render any show of military force null. If everyone is on board, the takeover will be ONE seamless, choreographed movement.

Cultivating Power

the sync movie

by Sophia Love

What is happening now is exceptional. There are no moments before this one that you can call on as reference. None have gone through such a time as you now navigate. You have no historical figures, no guidelines, no memories to shape the world for you – to color your actions so you do this the “right way”.

There is no “right way”, no “wrong way” – there is your way. Each thought, word and action is creative. Your co-creators, your “oppressors”, those found on and off planet are all participants in the formation of this new era. Do not assume that any greater power is held by the money lenders, political leaders or beings in ships in your skies. These illusions of power are what you are leaving behind.

Embracing the power you hold is the foundation of this shift. It is being played out on a world stage yet it springs from an internal decision. Decide the world you’d like to be living in and see only that.

Allow your vision to take form in your speech and to color your actions. Be the person today who lives and loves in the world you dream of. This is a person who chose life as it occurs right now and is aware of both the possibility and responsibility of that choice. This is a god.

If there are words that cause you to recoil, see that they are words that dis-empower. Do not take an attitude of subservience, weakness or confusion. All answers are found when you listen to that whisper within. Action leads to further action. Pay attention to where your current path is taking you. Do not be afraid to look ahead. The world you are creating right now lives there.

What will you do with all this power? No one has told you about this because of their own agenda. Your religions, governments, teachers and bankers are and have been manipulating the story for their own purpose. Seeing the results of that agenda provides a springboard from which to take off.

I love this clip because his belief is solid. Every day it’s the same, regardless of outcome. He is relentless and driven; an active force creating his world. As we cultivate those attributes with our own visions a new world is grown. It is teeming with sovereign beings fully cognizant of who runs this show. We do.