A clinical approach will give you clinical results with a utility approaching zero.
Conditions permitting, I go out each morning and pick up solid waste (pollutants) around my apartment building. That it looks nicer without visible trash is just a benign side-effect. What I’m really after is answering the plea of Creation to remove some harmful toxins. With that approach, I began developing a sensitivity to where the crap hides, even some of the smallest bits of plastic and paper, and cigarette butts of course. I sense their presence before I see them with my eyes.
It’s neither magic nor miracle, per se, but an entirely natural and normal function of human capabilities. You don’t even have to be a believer of any kind because this is wired into us. It’s a part of the wider range of things that often fall under the label “intuition.”
If you listen to behavioral scientists, you’ll often hear that intuition is mostly a way of leaping over logical steps in the thought process. It’s a shortcut that tends to work because it’s based on pattern learning. You don’t have to wait for every part of the analysis to be complete because you can see where it’s going. We don’t want folks working that way all the time, particularly where later stages in the process can radically shift the results, but it seems useful in a lot of places.
But that’s just the very lower edge of intuition. At it’s best, intuition is the memory of moral patterns. The issue with the litter I collect every morning is not based on precision and absolutes; it’s based on a sense of moral offense. My intuition isn’t going to compel me to chase litter all over the world, only the places where I exercise a limited moral dominion. I have a calling from God that sets the boundaries. I don’t have to know things intellectually about the specific types of threats to the environment; I have to know what God wants me to do.
This isn’t on the level of intellectual content, but far more personal. A proper understanding of intuition requires that you grasp the personal nature of Creation itself. Everything is personal in that sense; we are dealing with living things. All Creation is alive. It cries out for redemption, and it knows that it’s own redemption rests on ours. Creation isn’t fallen, but we are, and we humans as a whole have been granted a certain range of dominion over Creation.
Don’t externalize that. That limited dominion includes dominion over nature and our own nature. We are part of nature, and it is part of us. Not in the sense of being a mere extension of us, but that it’s all one big happy family. Tossing litter on the ground isn’t just bad science or a simple ethical violation. It’s a moral issue in the sense that you are hurting yourself. All of sin is in part self-destruction. Don’t think of it in objective terms; God’s moral character doesn’t measure things numerically.
So the clinical approach presumes that matter is lifeless and compartmentalizes humans from nature. This is why it can never grasp the nature of intuition; intuition is inherently moral and about moral truth. That’s because it’s actually a part of our linkage between intellect and heart-mind. Lots of people experience variations of this capability without recognizing it for what it is and what it should do for us.
We need to rebuild what has been thrown away and buried in the landfill of time and culture. God has granted us a whole range of very normal capabilities that look like magic to Western minds. We are wired to commune and fellowship with Creation itself, every tree and all trees together. Some natural beings are actually colonies in the sense that all of the trees in a single area are sprouted from one single being. They are wired tightly together across a wide area. But the distinction tends to fray quickly because pushing too hard on the concept means we lose our own connection to it. You and I are a part of nature and nature knows it better than most of us. We can choose to develop an awareness of it. Granted, it takes a while to get used to it, and to discern between all sorts of false mythology. It’s easy at first to mistake mere sentiment for the voices of nature. Our emotions are so badly perverted by Western culture.
The trees in other parts of the world know my name because that’s how Creation works. Get used to thinking like that. It will open up whole regions of divine service in your mind. This is reality.