Psychology Today heralds the gut as something that must be trusted for three reasons: 1) Your intuition is shaped by your past experiences, and your existing knowledge which you gained from them; 2) Your intuition is encoded in your brain like “a web of fact and feeling”; 3) Your intuition connects you with all the nerve cells in your body. First published in 1841, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance and Other Essays asserts the importance of following one’s own instincts, and avoiding conformity and false consistency at all costs. According to Emerson, if we do not, so to speak, stand in our truth, “We shall be forced to take with shame our opinion from another.”
Emerson further states that the difficulty of self-trust lies in the conspiracy of society to jade the perspective of the masses. Emerson also points out that societal conformity is not the only barrier to self-reliance; self-fear of our own consistent instinctual dependence is often blocked by “a reverence for our past act or word because the eyes have no data for computing our orbit other than our past acts, and we are loth to disappoint them.” Thus, we must always live in the moment and “recall the boldness of youth.” 117 pages well spent.