Intuition and the Filter Theory of Consciousness

Intuition and the Filter Theory of Consciousness
Natalie L Trent, PhD
June 17th 2018

I am often asked, How can I increase my intuition? To increase one’s intuition it is important to first explore how intuition might work.
We are consciousness observing and interacting with reality through our own unique, but limited perspective. We receive constant input from the environment around us and within us through our sensory organs and receptors specially designed to a particularly wavelength of electromagnetic energy, for example. All of these signals from the external world converge in the brain to construct a cohesive view of reality.

The current materialist mainstream view in neuroscience is that consciousness manifests through brain activity, the production theory. In this view, consciousness does not exist outside of the brain, but rather, is an illusion that our sophisticated brain creates that has contributed to our survival as a species.

There are lines of evidence that suggest consciousness may operate much differently than the production theory. These phenomena tend to involve consciousness and/or the mind transcending the boundaries of space and time, or functioning independent of the brain, including surviving after death. These lines of evidence are discussed throughout this anthology, and include near death experiences (NDEs), out-of-body experiences (OBEs), past life memories, mediumship, psychical experiences, and the effect of the mind and heart on remote systems, both biological and non-biological.

Evidence to support the production theory often comes from studying how thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and personalities, are disrupted with brain damage. But if the brain were instead a receiver for consciousness, this could also be true, such as in the case of damaging a television (TV).

As explained in Beauregard, Trent, & Schwartz, 2018 [1]:
TVs are receivers for processing information carried by external electromagnetic fields oscillating in specific frequency bands. Television (TV) receivers are not the source of the visual information presented — they detect the information, amplify it, process it, and display it. A strong parallel can be made between a TV and the brain with respect to evidence from recordings, stimulation, and ablation. These three kinds of evidence do not imply that the source or origin of the TV signals is inside the TV set. Similarly, evidence from neuroscience does not imply that our consciousness is inside or restricted to our brains.

Many prominent and respected scientists believe that instead of producing consciousness, the brain acts as a filter for consciousness, known as the filter theory.

The extraordinary physicist and inventor Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was one such scientist:

Tesla quote

And the pioneering educational psychologist Cyril Burt (1883-1971) wrote:
Our sense organs and our brain operate as an intricate kind of filter, which limits and directs the mind’s clairvoyant powers, so that under normal conditions attention is concentrated on just those objects or situations that are of biological importance for the survival of the organism and its species.

Philosopher and renowned author Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) also was a proponent of the filter theory [2]:


Perhaps, through our biological antennae, we are filtering a greater consciousness or reality, with each of us only perceiving a minuscule aspect of the whole.

This filtering mechanism can be altered, allowing an experience of other aspects of reality not normally perceived. This alteration may be occurring during mystical experiences, psychedelic experience, mediumship, and other psychical phenomena. Perhaps we are also connected nonlocally through the One Mind[3] or Mind at Large2, remerging with it upon death. We know that the brain is constantly filtering information, much of which never reaches our awareness. Information from both our external environment and internal mental environment is filtered, meaning we are only ever aware of a very small portion of reality at any given moment.

If we think of the brain as a filter for consciousness, we can change the dial and tap into information normally outside of our own internal database. This is the theory for how psi abilities occur.

Clearing Our Filters

Some people naturally tune in to so-called extrasensory information without effort. There are people who are naturally gifted as intuitives, having experiences from an early age. This is similar as someone being naturally gifted at sports or academic subjects, for example. These abilities are accessible to everyone, and the skills can be enhanced.

There are many ways that we can consciously modify or clear our filters to increase intuition. I will only cover a few of these techniques. There are many more approaches, including diet and other lifestyle factors.

Meditate & Still the Mind
Meditation is the most important tool for increasing intuition. We need to have a still mind to be able to receive information from the One Mind or Mind At Large. The thinking mind is often chatting to us all day, reminding us of this and that, making sure we stay focused on the past or the future. We need to be present and that voice needs to get quiet. Meditation is the process whereby we can let go of that ego-mind voice to allow the higher-mind voice to speak. A meditation practice will quiet this chatter through training our attention to the present moment. Once we create space in this way, we allow for more, potentially helpful information to be accessed and more creativity to be generated.

Practice Yoga
It’s important to mention that the brain is not the only organ mediating intuition. Our hearts[4] and our digestive systems[5] have nervous systems that play a role in different aspects of intuition. Yoga is about uniting mind and body and allowing prana, or life force, to flow freely throughout the body and mind through asanas or postures, meditation, and breathing exercises. This practice enhances the functioning of the body systems and wipes our filter clean and facilitates transcending the ego mind. For myself, having a yoga practice reliably increases my intuition and creative problem solving.

Fill Yourself with Life Force through Energy Medicine
Running life force or chi through your system acts to cleanse the body and mind. This is like running clean water through an air filter to wash away the debris. By the way, drinking lots of clean, fresh water and breathing clean, fresh air are also key to cleaning our consciousness filter! Practicing Reiki, Qigong, or some other form of energy medicine is highly recommended. Reiki, for example, may work through connecting with the one mind, through focused attention and unconditional or universal love. I find this to be particularly true for my distance Reiki practice as well. The extent to which I connect with universal love is the extent to which the session is powerful.
To book a Reiki session with me, click here.

Connect with Nature
In urban areas there is a lot of noise and overstimulation that blocks clear intuition. Many people I know that live in the city tell me how they pick up other people’s “stuff”, meaning feeling the emotions and stress of other’s. They describe how leaving the city to spend time in nature restores their presence of mind. When I lived in Toronto I was more frequently stressed and emotional compared to living in nature, as I do now. I make it easy on myself and make sure I live surrounded by beautiful nature. If you can’t get out of the city often, fill your home with as many plants, flowers, and rocks (e.g., gemstones, crystals) as possible!




Intuition is a helpful navigation tool for life, and we all have this innate ability. When we use our intuition we have access to extra information that informs our decision-making in all aspects of life. Having a strong sense of knowing (i.e. claircognizance) that something is wrong with a loved one can help us potential avoid a difficult or dangerous situation. Being able to pick up how another person is feeling (i.e. clairsentience) when they aren’t able to express it can help us communicate better in relationships. As we develop and listen to our intuition the more we can create a life that we love.

For more information, this topic will be discussed in the upcoming book “Expanding Science: Visions of a Postmaterialist Paradigm, edited by Mario Beauregard, Gary Schwartz, and myself, Natalie Trent, and published by Param Media.


[1] Beauregard, M., Trent, N. L., & Schwartz, G. E. (2018). Toward a postmaterialist psychology: Theory, research, and applications. New Ideas in Psychology50, 21-33.

[2] Aldous, H. (1954). The Doors of perception. Heaven and Hell-Flamingo, London.

[3] Dossey, L. (2013). One mind. Hay House Publishing.

[4] McCraty, R., Atkinson, M., & Bradley, R. T. (2004). Electrophysiological evidence of intuition: Part 1. The surprising role of the heart. The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine10(1), 133-143.

[5] Radin, D. I., & Schlitz, M. J. (2005). Gut feelings, intuition, and emotions: An exploratory study. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine11(1), 85-91.