Tapping into Your Intuition: Your Personal Guidance System

Many of us have a vague idea of what constitutes what we call our “intuition,” that nebulous sense of “knowing” that ultimately proves to be uncannily on target, despite not fully understanding where the information it imparts comes from. To complicate matters, the contents of intuitive messages seldom seem based in logic, making the information’s validity seemingly suspect. But, despite its mysterious origins and the apparent red flags often raised with it, does this mean we should automatically dismiss the intuition as something unreliable and untrustworthy? Its track record would seem to suggest otherwise. So what are we to do? Perhaps taking a closer look at our intuition would give us a better understanding of what it is and how it functions, the objective of the excellent new documentary, “PGS: Intuition is Your Personal Guidance System” (web site, trailer).

While on a trip to the US, veteran Australian journalist and filmmaker Bill Bennett was driving to the airport, somewhat pressed for time. As he approached an intersection, he heard a voice that told him to slow down, a suggestion that he contends he typically would have ignored under such circumstances. But, for whatever reason, this time he decided to heed the recommendation. And it’s a good thing he did: As he arrived at the intersection, an enormous speeding semi truck ran a red light at the cross street. Had Bennett continued as he had been going, he surely would have been seriously injured, if not killed, in a horrific crash.

Paying attention to “that little voice in his head,” that “gut feeling,” saved his life. He was so profoundly impacted by the incident that he began obsessing about what happened. He became consumed about trying to determine where that seemingly illogical but life-saving information came from and why it came to him when it did. He soon realized that this compulsion would not leave him alone until he did something about it. And it was from that experience that he began a three-year exploration into examining and understanding the nature of intuition, a journey that led to the creation of this film.

As a longtime journalist used to ferreting out the truth by gathering cold, hard facts, Bennett knew that, in the course of his investigation, he would likely come up against material that didn’t readily fit his typical reporting methods. He therefore realized that, if he were to succeed at this task, he would have to consciously set aside that preconception and keep an open mind about what he might encounter. And, based on some of the interviews he would conduct for the film, it’s apparent that some of the information he uncovered was likely far different from what he was accustomed to encountering through the kinds of stories he more typically researched. To his credit, though, Bennett stuck to his guns and put his journalistic assumptions aside as he proceeded, leaving himself open to whatever came his way.

Filmmaker Bill Bennett on location in the making of his new documentary release, “PGS: Intuition is Your Personal Guidance System.”

In making the film, Bennett traveled the globe, visiting places as far flung as his native Australia, the US, India, Turkey and locations in between. He interviewed a variety of experts from a range of fields, including those from “traditional” backgrounds, like science and medicine, to those more versed in the unconventional, like psychics, channelers and spiritual healers, as well as those from a variety of religious orientations. Through these conversations, the experts provide different pieces of the intuition puzzle, but, amazingly, their observations all fit together, creating a mosaic of insights, giving viewers a comprehensive picture of what constitutes this phenomenon.

Most of the film’s segments open with a question, such as “How Do I Tap Into It?” and “What Stops It?” From there, Bennett explores each question and presents comments from experts for elaboration, explanation and examples. This provides viewers with an easy-to-understand format that, collectively, paints a concise yet inclusive picture of what the intuition is, how it works and why it’s important. This is especially true when it comes to understanding how we can make use of it to better our lives. Effectively drawing on the power of this personal guidance system can be employed in countless ways, from seizing upon valuable opportunities to recognizing fortuitous synchronicities to, as Bennett found out for himself, saving your life.

In compiling this film, Bennett has assembled an impressive lineup of experts, including author and medical intuitive Caroline Myss, holistic medical practitioner Dr. Norman Shealy, after-death medium James Van Praagh, psychiatrist and author Dr. Judith Orloff, and Institute of Noetic Sciences chief scientist Dr. Dean Radin. (Biographies of these and many other experts can be found on the Interviews page on the film’s web site.) In addition, Bennett does an excellent job of framing his film’s subject matter, placing it in a clear, readily accessible format, one that leaves few stones unturned in explaining what the intuition is all about. It provides both an informative and personal take on the material, bringing it down to a level that audiences can more readily relate to. Overall, it’s the kind of film that aspiring directors of metaphysical documentaries could learn a lot from.

“PGS” is currently playing at special screenings in the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. For dates and details, check out the film’s web site. To find out how to set up a screening in the US, click here. A companion book to the film is also currently in development.

There’s no doubt that the intuition exists and that it can be a valuable life tool. And now, thanks to this film, there’s a great resource for understanding how it works. The information it contains may prove invaluable whenever we approach life’s intersections, be they figurative or literal.

A complete review is available by clicking here.

Intuition on the Radio 

Join host Frankie Picasso and yours truly for an upcoming special edition of Frankiesense & More in which we’ll interview filmmaker Bill Bennett about his new release, “PGS: Intuition is Your Personal Guidance System” (web site, trailer). We’ll speak with the director about the making of this wonderful new documentary, as well as what makes the intuition so special. Watch for details about its availability on the web site of The Good Media Network.

Exploring the Examined Life 

Exploring the nature of our life is one of the noblest pursuits in which we can engage, and writer-philosopher Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was undeniably one of the best seekers ever to have undertaken this endeavor. As a result of his experiences, he wrote a variety of works covering a range of subjects. But, while the name is a familiar one, many of us are unable to describe his work or ideas with specificity. Thankfully, that shortfall has now been addressed in great detail in the excellent new documentary, “Henry David Thoreau: Surveyor of the Soul,” available for viewing on DVD and at special public screenings (web site, trailer).

Born in Concord, Massachusetts, site of the first battle of the American Revolution, Thoreau seemed to have drawn from the revolutionary spirit of his birthplace throughout his life. The alternative views that infused his writings, philosophies, life choices and vocational pursuits set him apart from most of his peers at the time. But that’s no surprise, given that he was possessed of a natural curiosity and a desire to examine himself and his existence with a conscious deliberation that few exercise during their lifetimes.

Considering the diversity of pursuits that characterized his life, it’s difficult to pin down Thoreau to any one particular outlook or accomplishment. He invented technology to make pencil manufacturing more efficient. He was an educator who took an unconventional approach to teaching. He was a naturalist whose observational studies would  prove valuable to latter-day scientists studying climate change. He wrote a variety of books and essays covering a wide range of topics. And, as this film’s subtitle implies, he was an expert land surveyor. But, as should be obvious from these and other endeavors, he surveyed more than just topography; he truly was a surveyor of the soul.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862).

Thoreau’s best-known experiment in personal introspection came in 1845, when he moved into the woods not far from his home. On July 4 of that year, he embarked on an ironically timed odyssey of personal independence, building a one-room cabin for himself on the shores of Walden Pond. His intent was to spend time making a concerted effort examining what it meant to live life in the moment and exactly who he was as an individual. The result of this two-year venture was Walden: Life in the Woods, arguably Thoreau’s most famous book.

Through his time at Walden Pond, a variety of travels, and the ordinary and extraordinary events of everyday life, Thoreau amassed a wide range of experiences that went into his writings. Over a comparatively short career, he compiled a thoughtful, impressive, eclectic body of work covering a variety of subjects ranging from transcendental philosophy to nature studies to social commentary and even travelogues.

But, despite the diversity of this subject matter, Thoreau often found ways to connect his topics. Understanding this inherent sense of connectedness was important to him, and he frequently sought to address various aspects of it through his work, most notably our connection to ourselves, our connection to nature, and our connection to our society and culture. As a corollary to this, Thoreau also believed it was important that we appreciate and make proper use of the resources afforded by man, nature and technology. He believed there was an intrinsic integration among these elements and that it was in our best interests to understand the nature of these interconnected relationships.

One reason why Thoreau believed that understanding these connections is important is his contention that our thoughts and existence fundamentally mirror one another. It’s an idea, for example, reflected in his work as a surveyor, an outward vocational representation of the “work” he did internally as a surveyor of the soul. Similar parallels can be found in his other writings, particularly his travelogues, which often show connections between what he witnessed and what he was experiencing personally at the time.

As an individual who was part of a larger society, Thoreau also believed it was crucial that we understand our connection to and role in that greater whole. This fueled his social activism efforts, particularly those as an ardent abolitionist. He was so fervent in his beliefs on this subject that some even considered him a radical. However, given his prevailing philosophical and metaphysical outlooks, he could not stand back in good conscience and condone a practice that he saw as a fundamental affront against humanity.

Thoreau’s Walden Pond cabin site and memorial rock cairn. Photo courtesy of Films by Huey.

Various aspects of Thoreau’s life also reflected another innate quality – his willingness to go beyond conventional limitations and think outside the box. This thinking can be seen in activities as diverse as his abolitionist activism – far from a widely embraced outlook at the time – to the development of his improved pencil manufacturing technology. It’s also a central theme in his writing, something that genuinely set him apart from many others at the time.

“Surveyor of the Soul” does an excellent job of profiling its central figure, providing great detail about Thoreau’s life and work, intertwined with thoughtful examinations of his philosophy and outlooks. The film fittingly shows how his life events inspired the writings that came out of them, again drawing upon the sense of inherent connection that was such an important theme in his writing and thinking. Intercut with this narrative are additional insights drawn from interviews with authors, historians, professors, Thoreau scholars and staff from the Walden legacy sites. In addition, the film includes commentary from those who have been inspired by Thoreau, including students who participate in educational programs based on his works and philosophy. In all, director Huey (a.k.a. James Coleman) has compiled a fascinating, comprehensive piece that could easily be considered the quintessential Thoreau biography. For those who want to know more about the enigmatic author, this is definitely the film to see.

Socrates famously observed that “the unexamined life is not worth living,” a contention with which many of us would probably agree. But this need not be the case; with a little effort and guidance, it’s possible to conduct such an introspective review, and the advice Thoreau offered in this regard is as good a starting point as any. “Surveyor of the Soul” makes this process even easier, offering viewers an inclusive overview, one that can help the curious successfully launch their forays into the life examined. And, given what might come out of such an undertaking, it’s a pretty safe bet that Thoreau would likely approve. 

A complete review is available by clicking here.

Copyright © 2018, by Brent Marchant. All rights reserved.