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Monday, December 14, 2015

Morals and Gut Instincts: How Our Awareness of Gut Feelings and Intuition May Protect Us From Immoral Behaviors


A recent study (in Nov. 24, 2015) was conducted by doctoral student Sarah J. Ward, in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri, to determine if people who are prone to trust their instinctive hunches and gut feelings, may at times be less likely to commit immoral acts compared to those who tend to discount their intuition. Ward, along with co-author Curators' Professor Laura A. King of Psychological Sciences at UM, tested 100 people (75% were female) and the results indicated that those who listen to their gut instincts are more likely to be truthful and are less likely to cheat on an IQ test. It also showed that those who do not rely on their gut feelings are likely to cheat and feel guilt and shame afterwards. While the researchers must have understood the reasons for this condition intuitively, we did not find that Ward offered a clear explanation of why exactly our awareness of gut feelings protects us from immoral behaviors. Therefore, we would like to do a bit of speculation on why those who listen to their gut feelings tend to be more moral and we base our ideas on our own research on gut feelings and decision-making with hundreds of people in counseling.

First of all, remember that the gut holds the feeling gauge of emptiness and fullness and it reflects our two instinctual needs, acceptance (social need) and control (need for freedom). Therefore, if we are following our gut feelings, we are likely to do what is best for maintaining a balance of these two needs. Awareness of the gut feelings of emptiness and fullness concerning these two instinctual needs is self-regulatory. If we are aware of our gut feelings, then we might feel empty to cheat or to blame a coworker for our mistakes, for instance, because we would lose a feeling of connection and acceptance from that particular co-worker (even if it appeared to us that by lying we might save face and protect our reputation and relationship with others who thought previously that we were honest). Also, and perhaps even much more importantly, lying and cheating requires us to pretend to others that we are not lying and cheating, and this is a loss of the freedom to be ourselves in a natural way, which induces a feeling of loss of control of our own responses to life and results in a feeling of emptiness in the gut. Another way of saying this is that telling and living a lie impacts the instincts and generates stress. Most all of us have experienced this at one time or another and we know how stressful and uncomfortable it is to live a lie. Any time we must put on a “face” and hide our own responses to life, we lose our freedom and we must perform and filter our words and behaviors rather than respond naturally and authentically. For the person who is accustom to following their gut feelings, this stress is understood as not a positive way of being and it feels better to go ahead and admit failure than to experience the loss of the freedom to be authentic. We also have pointed out how following our gut instincts and satisfying our inner needs on a gut level will open the heart chakra and the feeling of compassion and caring for others. We have found over and over in our clinical findings (see our book What's Behind Your Belly Button?), that following one’s gut feelings is a path of self-regulation and also of caring for ourselves and for others as well. 

This is a highly important piece of research that Ward has performed because people need to understand that the gut is a reliable center of reference as a guide in our lives and that our human nature is a caring one of others. This study shows that leaving out the awareness of the gut response in decision-making and relying solely on our thinking brain is not the best moral path many people have for so long thought it to be. It would be valuable to continue Ward's research and explore the affects of the use of the Somatic Reflection Process on gut feeling awareness to find how it improves moral behavior. The importance of this research says a lot to one's choice of parenting styles and goals, in that following Ward's research calls to parents to do well to nurture the child's awareness of their instincts and gut feelings as a guide to developing morality rather than imposing rules, external thinking, and even religious standards upon the child for a moral compass.
For a complete protocol of the Somatic Reflection Process and verbatim counseling sessions using it to explore gut feelings and unite body-mind, we refer you to our book What's Behind Your Belly Button?.

We have certainly found in our work with people exploring gut feelings, that there is a direct correlation between gut feeling awareness and “caring” for self and others. In fact, it is the 12th and final Key to Understand Your Gut Instincts and Overcome Emotional Stress in Increasing Intuitional Intelligence: How theAwareness of Instinctual Gut Feelings Fosters Human Learning, Intuition, andLongevity:
 12. Reflection on the gut voice helps us to be more mindful of our caring nature and thus be more caring of others. And with the new awareness of our gut responses and needs that we acquire through reflection on our instinctual gut responses, we are able to live a more caring and healthy life, with the thinking head finally conscious and listening more clearly to the responses that are our path to our most reliable and authentic self—our gut instinctual feelings in our body.” (Page 41)

You may be now asking yourself, “If consciousness of our gut feelings is proving to increase our ability to care for self and others and act more moral in relationship to others, then why are we not educating our gut intelligence?” Here is a beginning look at that important question, an excerpt taken from our most recent book Increasing Intutitional Intelligence, pages 46-49.

Why Are We Not Educating Our Instincts?

It became clear to us that prior to our counseling clinical work with gut feelings, the conscious use of this gut intelligence was never before cultivated in Human society. By this we mean that there has never been a culture in history based on uniting both the thinking and gut brain intelligence. We began this book by discussing the importance of instincts in the learning process and many other aspects of Human growth and development starting with conception. Yet, as we get into the subject of instincts, we find that we face the question; “Why aren’t we encouraging the use of the instincts beyond birth—especially in the learning process in the early years of life, when learning is at its peak?”
Our answer suggests that at some time quite recently in Human history (and to this day), it has been decided that in order to find dependable ‘good’ behavior in Human Nature, it is necessary to control Human Natures’ “evil” behavior by inventing external forces to keep it in check. So we find that we are surrounded by arbitrary civil laws and religious laws, which insist that natural law be distorted to conform to a set of ethical and moral standards. Kind of dumb is it not? How does anyone change natural laws? Does anyone who can think clearly as we look at the results of this concoction believe that this scheme is working? Fortunately, modern science has now come to the rescue furnishing convincing evidence that Human Nature has the intelligence to control its self.
To begin to deal with Human learning as a process of animal need for the Human individual is to change our cultural focus of attention from the plethora of external Human achievements to the inner world of Human necessity. We think this change involves our Human feelings and it will lead us in finding through some serious self-reflection elements of emptiness that we have ignored—overwhelmed by the externally focused senses. Many people today feel that something is wrong with our inner satisfaction with life but few have any notion of what to do about it or where to look for a solution.
To include the ancient animal intelligence—a powerful natural inner intelligence with which the Human animal is born—with the essential instincts is presently sure to be a disturbing subject for many people who have marginalized the importance of their instincts. Such a change is necessary, however, to free those “devilish” instincts, which have now been discovered by both clinical and neurological research to be essential to accurate Human learning needs, and which we as a species are presently denying. The results of these efforts of both experience and research now demand a new and more accurate functional image (way of viewing) of our homo sapient nature.
In order to produce a more healthy and accurate understanding of the animal mind and body intelligence, thinking and feeling together—the intuition—requires experience with these basic tools for healthy and accurate problem solving (learning) for the newborn, older children, and adults as they mature.
From the amalgam of modern science now available, intuition, and personal experience, we conclude that most cultures have never consciously integrated the two brains with their nervous systems. Therefore, we as educators are not effectively using this Second Brain—the animal brain. “We are not effectively applying and consciously using the brains we were born with!” And many cultures are still denying the obvious fact that Humans are members of the animal kingdom.
Until the latter part of the 20th Century, there was little interest from our modern world (so focused on logic and the head brain) in the digestive system as a center of functional intelligence—intelligence that could play a dominate role in the learning process and the well-being of Humans as members of the animal kingdom. The notion of the importance of the gut as a center of intelligence was left years ago prior to our modern cultures. Any attempt to revive the gut’s place of importance has been rejected until recently. What is suspected is that the gut—the ancient animal brain with its enteric nervous system (ENS)—and perhaps the whole body has somehow been mistakenly viewed as the disruptive force that interferes with the management of Human behavior.”
The above is an excerpt taken from Increasing Intutitional Intelligence pages 46-49.

To read more on educating the gut brain and increasing our Intuitional Intelligence, click on the following links to our books to go to Amazon:
"Increasing Intuitional Intelligence" is available on Amazon USA and Amazon UK
as well as Amazon,de and  other international Amazon sites. First published in October 2015.
"What's Behind Your Belly Button?" is also available on Amazon USA and Amazon UK
as well as Amazon,de and and Amazon.CA and other international Amazon sites
and it is on The Book Depository with free international shipping. First published in Nov 2011.
If you are on the homepage of this blog, click word "comment" directly below to see all comments and make one yourself! If you are on the webpage for this post, then simply post in the box provided below.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Increasing Intuitional Intelligence: How the Awareness of Instinctual Gut Feelings Fosters Human Learning, Intuition, and Longevity

We are announcing our new book release! Increasing Intuitional Intelligence: How the Awareness of Instinctual Gut Feelings Fosters Human Learning, Intuition, and Longevity by Martha Char Love and Robert W. Sterling is now available on Amazon internationally. In this book the reader will look further at the process of education of our instincts from birth through old age and lay the foundations for evolving the higher intuitive mind and creative thinking.

This book is particularly important for those in the field of education as we make suggestions for the education K through 12 of the two brains—gut and head—as a uniting intelligence. We also explore our future Human selves and what it could bring to our species to follow our instincts and develop an increased awareness of our gut and head as a two brain united intelligence, fostering our intuition that leads us to advancements in the sciences, medicine, mental health, increased wellness and longevity, and even the development of human telepathic communications.

This book was written due to many questions that both our blog readers and Goodreads readers have asked us over the last four years, since the publishing of our first book "What's Behind Your Belly Button?". People have posed to us many questions about the Second Brain, the gut brain, and how it affects our lives. We have tried to address them all in this new book, Increasing Intuitional Intelligence. Perhaps the number one question people asked us is about the relationship between gut feelings and increasing the intuition. Because so many people are further interested in intuition and intelligence of mind, this book concentrates on learning and Intuitional Intelligence. We even discuss the possibility from a social scientist view of Humans that we are as a species on the path to developing intuition and telepathic communication. Also, educators and parents have expressed much curiosity as to how to teach the young child about gut feeling intelligence and they wonder what difference this would make in development of personality and wellness. And the third most asked question is concerning love relationships and using the intelligence of gut feelings for decision-making in relationships. So if you have been wondering about your relationship decisions, this book may be of great benefit to you. We also explore questions concerning how the medical profession can use gut feelings and access memory for diagnosis.

We hope readers will continue to question and always feel free to message us and comment on the blog with inquiring inspirations.
Click Photo of Book Cover to go to its Amazon book page:
We would like to share the introduction of Increasing Intuitional Intelligence with you:


Increasing Intuitional Intelligence: How the Awareness of Instinctual Gut Feelings Fosters Human Learning, Intuition, and Longevity is written as a companion to our book published in 2011, What’s Behind Your Belly Button? A Psychological Perspective of the Intelligence of Human Nature and Gut Instinct. It is a response to the readers who have asked us to share more on how our knowledge of uniting Human multiple brains—gut and head—affects current theory and practice in a number of subject areas as well as life experience, wellness, and the evolution of mind.

We have selected the title Increasing Intuitional Intelligence because the ultimate goal of our lives’ work has been to increase human intelligence through the development of our intuition. You may have already learned from business coaches that intuition is used for a majority of important decisions by the most successful business executives. They will often say that all we have to do is to listen to our intuition and act on it to develop it further. While it is true that it is important to practice using our intuition, there is a part of the learning process of developing intuition that we can not skip, and that is the inner work part. We can not skip right to the enlightenment state and be intuitively intelligent without quite a bit of inner work and self-awareness. That is what this book and What’s Behind Your Belly Button? is all about—the inner work it takes to become aware of your instinctual gut feelings to unite the gut and head brains and to increase Intuitional Intelligence.

First we must take the time to clear the emotional channels within us, clear out our old ways of perceiving ourselves and accompanying emotions that are blocking our intuitive awareness. This is where freeing our instincts and listening to our gut feelings is essential. Our Intuitional Intelligence connects instinct and feeling (our unconscious) with reason and sensory input (our conscious mind) and is brought forward in our awareness as insight. Intuitional Intelligence is linked to our awareness of our Human Nature and the ability to be aware of our unconscious—our own inner state of being (self-awareness)—and to being aware of the feeling state of others (empathy). It makes sense even to the logical mind that the first place to begin our work to increase our Intuitional Intelligence is within our own instinctual feeling state, where the impact of life is registered in our gut feelings of emptiness and fullness.

The problem has been that most people in our modern world are not aware of the important role of the gut holding our feeling memory and registering how life is impacting us. Our feelings of emptiness and fullness that is felt in our guts and  relate to how well our needs as human beings are being met have for so long been confused in our awareness with the feelings of emptiness and fullness that accompanies hunger. We have missed the awareness of this vital feeling gauge in our gut. Until this feeling awareness in the gut is recognized and time is spent becoming aware of our gut feelings and the impact of life upon us from early childhood, we can not step forward in developing higher mind and Intuitional Intelligence.
In this book we will look further at the process of education of our instincts and lay the foundations for evolving higher mind and creative thinking. We talk quite a bit about the education of the young because we think that the learning process about the instinctual gut feelings we are born with begins at birth and needs to be included in the educational program as early as preschool age. In time, with proper care and attention, education, and a culture that supports instinctual awareness, the child will learn more and more to be attuned to his/her instincts. As his/her logical brain develops along with the awareness of his/her instincts and gut feelings, the child develops Intuitional Intelligence and a higher creative mind.

You will find Increasing Intuitional Intelligence is divided into five main units that include essays on the affects of consciousness of our gut instincts on many areas of life experience and are as follows: 1. Step One to Increasing Intuitional Intelligence! Educating the Gut Brain, Learning, Gut Feeling Awareness and Childhood Development; 2. Instinctual Awareness and Its Affects Upon Longevity; 3. Gut Feelings and Intuitional Intelligence as Applied to Psychology 4. How the Consciousness of the Gut as a Brain Affects Religion and Culture; and 5. How Uniting our Multiple Brains Affects Health and Wellness and the Medical Profession.

Within these essays, we address a variety of subject areas exploring the importance of gut instincts and using gut intelligence in: the aging process (beginning at birth), emotions, developing Intuitional Intelligence, longevity, happiness, memory, fear of death and dying, decision-making, inner human needs, the learning process, children and school, parenting, social bonds, marriage, body awareness, personality development, emotional intelligence, relationships, human communications and technology, creativity, evolution of mind  and our relationship to spiritual beliefs and religion, cultural history, and the medical profession.

In What’s Behind Your Belly Button?, we turned the current behavioral understanding of the Human psyche held in popular academia upside-down, inside-out and bottom-up with our conclusions from our clinical research based on our 40+ years of counseling and educational experiences that explored how people use their gut feeling responses as a source of intelligence. We demonstrated the idea of a two-brain system of intelligence—gut and head—in the Human being. In Increasing Intuitional Intelligence, we explain just how the two brain system functions psychologically for positive growth and development, well-being, a fulfilled life, and ultimately for developing our higher mind or Intuitional Intelligence. 

We realize that this material is not easy to fully comprehend because it is both academic (requiring the use of the thinking brain) and also readers must research their own inner feelings (requiring the use of the feeling gut brain) and experiences to make sense of the new psychological image (view) of Human Nature that we propose. Most of us have very little experience with the conscious awareness of our gut feelings, so this is new to most people. We have found that readers and researchers alike are fascinated with the subject and have many questions about living with gut instincts and making the most of gut intelligence. 

Although it is new for most of us to think of ourselves as having multiple brains as intelligence sources, it is an exciting prospect that hits home with many people even as they first begin to read about it and consider it in their own experience of themselves. To first become aware that you have a gut brain that has been guiding your behavior toward fulfilling your inner instinctive Human needs, explains much about ourselves and why we do and feel what we do. As a result, we have had many enthusiastic readers write to us, tell us they are successfully using the complete protocol for the Somatic Reflection Process that we include in What’s Behind Your Belly Button? for exploring gut feelings, and then ask us questions about how to further use gut feelings to unite the thinking and feeling brains to achieve well-being and happiness with a variety of life circumstances and issues. It is to answer many of these questions that we have written this second book, Increasing Intuitional Intelligence.

It is our hope that Increasing Intuitional Intelligence will help take our theories and interpretations of Human gut instincts into a place in current scientific knowledge that will revolutionize Behavioral Science and include a more functional model of the Human being. By a more “functional” model, we mean a way of thinking of who we are that is actually “usable” and “workable” when applied to Human life and allows for successful and happy living. 

While gaining much attention to those interested in exploring gut intelligence, our clinical findings still lack substantial peer research and review. Our theories on Human instincts and gut intelligence are just now on the cusp of edging into a place in mainstream popular psychology and medicine with many research studies now being conducted on the importance of the gut brain and its affects upon mental health. For instance, recent Medical studies on mice headed by Premysel Bercik at Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute at McMaster University show that neonatal stress in early life, such as maternal separation, changes the newborn’s gut bacteria and leaves it vulnerable to a variety of disorders that include disturbing gut functioning and interrupting the proper functioning of the head brain. This has been found to lead to anxiety and depression in adult life. Anxiety and Depression Association of America have calculated that Anxiety Disorders affects 40 million adults. These recent findings on the affects of early life stress on gut flora that lead to our most prominent disorder in Mental Health today are propelling research toward exploring the importance of somatic techniques (like the Somatic Reflection Process that we developed) to reduce stress levels and heal wounds of separation and anxiety. 

The concepts of gut intelligence that we put forward are based upon our clinical experiences and what we have learned from the reported affects of using the Somatic Reflection Process that we developed on gut feeling awareness with hundreds of people, including ourselves. So while much of what we write may seem like conjecture and assumption, it is based on ample professional clinical experience. Our experience makes it very difficult for us to be quiet, even if our theories fly in the face of traditional academia. We are hoping that our discussions in this book will influence neurologists and other medical scientists, psychologists, educators, and graduate students in a variety of areas of study to conduct further research and experiments using our protocol of the Somatic Reflection Process to render more hard data on the affects on Human life of being more conscious of our gut feelings and instincts and uniting the two centers of intelligence.

Of course, the idea of the gut as a center of intelligence relating to Intuitional Intelligence is not new. For instance, the ancient Hindu placed the astral soul of Humans (one’s self-consciousness) in the pit of the stomach. For the modern Parsis  (see Isis Unveiled and translation from the Vedic Sanskrit hymn in Rig-vedas) there exists a belief up to the present time that spiritual adepts have a flame in their navel that enlightens them and shows them the spiritual world and all things unseen, even at a distance. They call this inner vision through the gut the Lamp of Deshtur. And while a number of Mesolithic cultures revered the gut as a main center of intelligence, we propose that we have never had a culture with a balanced integration of the head and gut brains. In fact, modern people in general have left behind the consciousness of the belly and marginalized the importance of the enteric nervous system as a center of intelligence in favor of the upper thinking brain. Without the awareness of the gut brain information in our thinking, we leave out perhaps the greatest piece of information needed in our perception to help us make sound judgments through our intuition—and that is “the impact of life upon us from moment-to moment”. Now our task is to unify the two brains. 

In our first book, What’s Behind Your Belly Button?, we have proposed a protocol and demonstrated the Somatic Reflection Process that we created in the 70s and used with people in counseling to do just that—unify the two brains. And by using this process with individuals, one person at a time, we can bring back the awareness of our gut responses so that we can unify our gut and head brains, thus developing a clear circuit of information in our perception to give rise to our Intuitional Intelligence. We see the increase of Intuitive Intelligence as an inevitable step for our human species if we are to survive and it will make many things possible that have only so far been speculated in science fiction or esoteric philosophical texts. Of course, these changes will only come through our need for adaption and survival. But as you will see as you read this book, the pressure to do so is already at our doorstep. 

The subject of gut feeling intelligence as a path to developing Intuitional Intelligence is so new to our modern world that there is a great need for ample clarification of its meaning so that people may begin to understand within their own experience of themselves what these gut feelings are all about. This clarification also allows for the development of a model of Human Nature that is functional and successful in building a happy and peaceful world.

It is important to both feel into the our gut feelings in the body and then to also understand with our thinking brain just what we are feeling, how our gut feelings are organized to reflect Human need, and what it means to have a Human Nature. We are not advocating the elimination of the use of the thinking brain in favor of a swing toward the use of the gut brain, but for the uniting of these two brains into a more functional Human intelligence system than ever before in Human history. It is only with these two brains working in unity— integrating our conscious and subconscious processes—that we can as a species, through time, develop our Intuitional Intelligence and evolve higher mind from our inner vision. Are we ready and able to make this needed advance in intelligence? We think so!
Click on a book cover below to go to Amazon to Buy:

"Increasing Intuitional Intelligence" is available on Amazon USA and Amazon UK
as well as Amazon,de and  other international Amazon sites

"What's Behind Your Belly Button?" is also available on Amazon USA and Amazon UK

as well as Amazon,de and and Amazon.CA and other international Amazon sites

and it is on The Book Depository with free international shipping.

If you are on the homepage of this blog, click word "comment" directly below to see all comments and make one yourself! If you are on the webpage for this post, then simply post in the box provided below.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Affects of Increased Awareness of Gut Instincts on Aging and Longevity

Are you developing the use of your gut instincts? We feel this important learning process needs to be a part of every school child’s educational program. And if you have missed it, then there is no time like the present to start learning the deeper meaning of your instincts. Your gut instincts are related to your need for acceptance from others (attention and being social) and to your need to be in control of your own responses (freedom). Both of these needs are important to maintain health and wellness and if a person ignores these instincts and inner needs, then it can lead to a lack of life fulfillment and even dis-ease. Learning to increase your awareness of your gut instincts can have a profound affect upon your present life and also may increase your longevity.

Research now shows that developing both a strong ability to reach out for acceptance and a strong feeling of being in control are two of the most important skills for achieving longevity and enjoying the experience of aging. Developing the use of your instincts (acceptance and control as indicated by your gut feelings of emptiness and fullness) will not only help you in your present day life and decision-making, but will also prepare you for your elder years.

At Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, recent  research showed that elders who live to 100 are usually adept at satisfying their social needs for acceptance and attention from others, and tend to be more extroverted and joyful. We do not feel that a person who is naturally an introvert needs to change or even can change their typology (nor would we really want them to do so). But rather we do see this research indicating a direct relationship between educating your instinctual awareness and the ability to fulfill your inner need of acceptance with the possibility of obtaining happiness in elder years and extended longevity. Another recent research study on longevity at the University of Rochester Medical Center, the German Institute for Economic Research, and Brandeis have indicated that feeling in control is also important to reduce mortality rate, and is even more important than education level (which also affects longevity).

We see the importance of a person beginning to learn to follow instinctual awareness and to develop our Intuitional Intelligence for longevity and wellness, this most powerful part of oneself beginning at birth. And we feel this instinctual awareness learning process needs to be a part of the educational program in schools, which we outline in our new book. You can read more about developing Intuitional Intelligence in our new book to be released in mid October 2015 titled: Increasing Instinctual Intelligence: How the Awareness of Instinctual Gut Feeling Fosters Human Learning, Intuition, and Longevity.  

We hope in the meantime, you are enjoying reading our first book: What’s Behind Your Belly Button? A Psychological Perspective of the Intelligence of Human Nature and Gut Instinct. You can read not only case studies and verbatim counseling sessions in this book, but also a complete protocol and the research on this protocol for the Somatic Reflection Process on gut feelings that we developed to assist people in uniting body-mind and developing awareness of gut instincts.
Also, we suggest that you read through the many blog posts we have written here exploring gut intelligence, with many excerpts from our book and assistance in exploring your own gut instincts. We have a convenient list of blog entries on our blog below for you to enjoy:

Click on a book cover below to go to Amazon to Buy:

"Increasing Intuitional Intelligence" is available on Amazon USA and Amazon UK
as well as Amazon,de and  other international Amazon sites

"What's Behind Your Belly Button?" is also available on Amazon USA and Amazon UK

as well as Amazon,de and and Amazon.CA and other international Amazon sites

and it is on The Book Depository with free international shipping.

If you are on the homepage of this blog, click word "comment" directly below to see all comments and make one yourself! If you are on the webpage for this post, then simply post in the box provided below.