by Stephen Lampe
The Metro Section of The Washington Post of November 20, 1999 carried the story of how one man happened not to have traveled on the ill-fated Egyptian plane that plummeted into the Atlantic Ocean in the early morning of Sunday October 31, 1999. Ezzat Mohamed Abdou, an Egyptian father of six and a resident of Alexandria, Virginia, in the Washington Metropolitan area of the United States, is alive today because of his wife’s intuition. Mr. Abdou had a confirmed ticket to travel to Cairo on Egypt Air Flight 990 on Saturday, October 30. He was to catch a flight out of Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., to connect Flight 990 scheduled to depart Kennedy Airport in New York at 11.00 p.m. He gave up the trip at the last minute. As it turned out, that flight departed late, more than two hours late, and never arrived at its destination. Shortly before 2:00 a.m., the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 217 people on board.
Holding up his unused Egypt Air Flight 990 ticket, Mr. Abdou explained to a reporter (Ann O’Hanlon) that he was not on the flight only because his wife had hidden his passport and had adamantly insisted that he should not travel. Mrs. Soad Abdou, his wife of 20 years, had told him, “I have a feeling that something is going to happen.” They argued and quarreled, and he got quite angry but she never gave him his passport. In addition to a hot dog business in Washington, Mr. Abdou has an import-export business out of Egypt, and for that reason he routinely traveled to Egypt, each time by Egypt Air. According to him, this was the first time his wife would prevent him from making a trip. “I thought my mother was acting strange,” said Eman, their 14-year old daughter.
Mr. Abdou said, “I was very angry. But I felt something, so I didn’t fight her. I wanted to go, but I didn’t want to go.” As the time for him to leave for Reagan National Airport to catch a connecting flight to New York drew near, he yielded to his wife and cancelled the trip. At 5:00 a.m. the following morning, Mrs. Soad Abdou got up to take care of their 3-year old daughter, Neveen. She turned on the television and heard the news that Egypt Air Flight 990 had crashed three hours earlier. She screamed. “She was crying and shouting. I thought there was fire in the house,” Mr. Abdou said. “The flight is down. I told you I had a feeling something was going to happen”, the wife announced. It is a case of a wife’s intuition saving the life of the husband. The husband also apparently had some intuitive sensing, but it was very weak. But for the wife, he would have embarked on the trip and would have perished in the crash.
The gift of intuition is more frequently associated with women than with men. The explanation lies in the fact that women are by nature more spiritual. I recall the speech of the 9th Earl Spencer at the funeral of his sister, the late Princess Diana (wife of Prince Charles of the United Kingdom). Earl Spencer let the world know that his sister was not a saint, but a human being of unique qualities. The unique qualities of Diana, according to his brother who was also the closest person to her, derived from her greatest gift - intuition. Earl Spencer said of Princess Diana: “But your greatest gift was your intuition, and it was a gift you used wisely. This is what underpinned all your wonderful attributes. And if we look to analyze what it was about you that had such a wide appeal, we find it in your instinctive feel for what is really important in our lives.”
What is intuition? Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines it as “the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference.” In other words, the intuition permits one simply to know; without conscious thinking, without racking the brain. It is as if a piece of information or idea simply drops into one’s consciousness, or flashes across one’s inner horizon. From where do such ideas and information come? A person’s intuitive knowledge comes from deep within him or her; from his/her innermost core - from the spirit! The human being is a spirit; his physical body is simply the outermost of the many coverings of the spirit. The spirit’s perception is expressed as intuition. The clarified spirit receives ideas, which it impresses on the individual through the intuition (what some people call “gut feelings”). Thus, a highly intuitive person is one who can readily connect with her own spirit; who can hear her own inner voice loud and clear. Information from the spirit reaches the back brain (the cerebellum) as a picture and is transmitted to the frontal brain (the cerebrum) where it is processed for earthly understanding.
The spirit has a vastly wider range of perception than the physical body with its intellect, which resides in the frontal brain. For this reason, a person who has the gift of intuition will always turn out wiser, a lot wiser than those without. It is the spirit that has access to true knowledge, and it is, therefore, the spirit that should lead and decide while the physical body should simply implement the intentions of the spirit, utilizing the intellectual part of the brain, which is a valuable tool. The intellect, with all the scheming of which the brain is capable, is limited to physical space and time; therefore, its activities cannot possibly bring about knowledge that lies beyond earthly realms. But the human spirit can probe beyond earthly conceptions of space and time, and can receive totally new knowledge and understanding, which the intellect may then adapt to the conditions on earth. It is an error to think that the intellect is the alpha and omega of knowledge and wisdom. Quantum jumps in knowledge (that are sometimes called paradigm shifts) are invariably the product of intuition and not of the intellect.
Intuition will characterize humanity during the coming Spiritual Millennium, which is the age of the spirit, the Aquarian Age. The role of intuition will become much larger and more extensive as greater attention is paid to human spirituality. And progress will be faster, surer, and more enduring. The need to subordinate the intellect to the intuition will be more widely recognized, and the beneficial consequences of such subordination will be evident in all aspects of life on earth. We know, for example, the importance of new technologies in fueling economic growth and development. If human beings would become more intuitive, more and more people would be inspired, and would receive from higher realms the knowledge that could bring about totally unexpected and highly beneficial new technologies. This is not conjecture. Students of the history of science and invention know the significant role that inspiration and intuition have played in achieving major scientific and technological breakthroughs over the centuries. Millions know the word EUREKA, the exclamation attributed to Archimedes, the Greek scientist, on the discovery of the principle of flotation; a principle which enabled him to develop a method for determining the purity of gold. That was a case of intuition.
Even in our time, intuition is very much at work in scientific and technological discoveries and inventions. Some readers may be familiar with the works and ideas of the American inventor, scientist, architect, cosmologist, futurist, philosopher, and poet - R. Buckminster Fuller. He has been described as one of the 20th century’s most notable “Renaissance Man”. He wrote that he became aware of his own intuitive gift at the age of nine, and declared that intuition is the most important faculty of the human being. He says that intuition is a uniquely human quality, which we should use to develop long-range solutions for survival of life and the planet. Among his many writings is a book entitled “Intuition”, which has gone through several editions.
One international satellite television channel has a program on which highly successful businessmen and women are interviewed. Each of them comments on the major factors responsible for his or her success. In one interview, an American woman, who had built a highly successful fresh flower mail-order business, said she attributed her success to her habit of depending on her “gut feelings” (her intuition) in decision-making. Even though she was a graduate of Harvard Business School, she said that she did not rely on traditional analytical tools in the management of her business. She said that she found that decisions based on her “gut feelings” always turned out right. A characteristic of true intuition, the voice of the spirit, is that it is always right! On another occasion, one of America’s most successful oil businessmen was interviewed on the same television program. He stressed his love of nature and his belief in a “sixth sense”. Asked the secret of the man’s success, the wife said she believed it could be stated in one word: “intuition”.
All human beings, as human spirits, can acquire the gift of intuition. But to become intuitive, we must become spiritual in the sense of keeping our thoughts pure, trying to do good, living simply, interacting with nature, and always striving to do that which would be pleasing to God. This implies that we should always make deliberate efforts to learn and become convinced about the Will of God and, therefore, be able to understand what would really be pleasing to Him. As we move into the Spiritual Millennium, immense opportunities are afforded us to learn the Will of the Creator. The opportunities come through new works of spiritual knowledge now available on earth as well as through various experiences, joyful and painful, personal and otherwise. Therefore we must be alert, and we should not imagine that we already know it all. In the process of becoming spiritual, we would not only acquire a pure heart, we would also become humble. Intuition travels on the path of purity and humility.
Let me conclude by noting one lesson of the greater intuitive faculty of women. It is that the world would be a far better and happier place if we men would pay greater attention to the views of women. It is not accidental that societies that treat their women with the greatest respect and consideration are much more developed and humane than those that brutalize them or treat women as mere possessions. However, women should be aware that aggressive and masculine behavior dulls a woman’s intuition and deprives her of the ability to provide spiritual leadership.