On intuition and the illusion of security.
Often I have in my mind the knowledge of what, in the present circumstance, is the proper thing for me to do. I will have a thought, didactic and remonstrative, that will try to compel me to perform a certain action in order to achieve or move nearer towards a certain end. The end that my thoughts wisely compel me towards is often a thing that would be to my benefit to accept, to capitulate to and accommodate; the compulsion is wise because its end is good, healthful, and, to all apparent knowledge, an end as such, something consummate in its perfection. The intuitive comprehension of what is good for me to do in such and such a situation arises prior to, or without the solicitation of, my higher mental faculties, and bypasses almost entirely the meta-cognitive processes of analysis and discernment. An impression is noticed, absorbed, funneled into my subconscious mind and, before I can summon any will of my own, is powered immediately out again in a state of total resolution: “this is it–do this.” And most of the time it works out best, for my sanity and my dignity both, if I do not stop to question this gift of intuition, but rather instantaneously take up whatever advice it has given me and bear it up and carry it out. I often suffer if I do not.
From these easy decisions I derive a peculiar and pervasive feeling of security. Without having consciously to effect any change in my behaviour, my mind seems to be working to protect me by automatically fortifying my actions with pre-emptive defenses. I feel that I do not have to work to be safe or successful, or that, at least, that I have to work with considerably less vigor and attention than my peers do, because it is seemingly my good fortune to have a guardian angel or a proximity alarm that warns me ahead of time of any approaching danger. This predictive capacity rises around me like a bulwark and I seem to walk through life a free man, carefree and ambling, without a fear to look out for nor one daunting horror to overstep. But–and to no small amount of distress–each time I fall briefly out of this safety field, I feel myself questioning the structural integrity of its architecture, testing the ground for potential pitfalls and the walls for unnoticed holes. “Am I really as safe as I think I am?” I ask myself. “Is the peace of safety reducing me to sloth? Would I be similarly safe without this? Would I be better off? Will this illusion of security be my downfall?”