The weather forecast says sunny with 10% chance of rain. Nonetheless, I hand over the kids to my husband and tell him I need to mow the lawn now, before the rain comes, there isn't enough time to have the kids 'help' me mow the lawn. I can feel the rain coming, too. Sure enough, the first drops come as I just finish. As I head back inside, I hear thunder.
Am I crazy? This isn't the first or only time that I 'feel the force'. But it is the first time I discuss it publically. Why is it that we are the only species on the planet that trains ourselves (and our offspring) to ignore our instinct? An alien looking down would probably wonder at our stupidity in disregarding our own abilities.
North american indians say that you can feel the rain coming when the hairs on your fingers stand up (there's a scientific explanation for this phenomenon, if you care to know). I find it is the smell of rain in the air. Perhaps there are also other signs. But just as dogs know when a thunderstorm is coming, so should we – if we don't ignore our instinct.
I know that instinct also tells us when a person whom we hold dear dies – my grandfather died as I was in the airport catching a plane after visiting him; I remember the very moment but only was told after I'd landed. I also know that it tells us when it's time to go to the toilet – my two-month-old daughter doesn't need diapers anymore. I get confused and amazed stares all the time, especially when she 'has to go' in public (typically a restroom or bush, if available).
But, it leaves lots of questions open. I still wonder: what else does human instinct tell us? Why do we humans, in our scientific glory, train ourselves to ignore it, and then call people who don't ignore it 'crazy'? Do people in subsistance villiages, and nomads, know much more about following instinct – and can they help us regain our instincts? How exactly does instinct work – and more particularly, how does feeling a death work, something that is rather unexplainable by modern science?