I started reading The Intuitive Warrior by Michael Jaco. He’s former S.E.A.L. Team 6 and writes with intelligence. It’s not the book you think it would be. It’s not filled with war stories or secret government training methods. It’s more of how to train your mind so you can run on intuition or on an instinctual level. Instead of being mentally confined by high stress (combat or everyday life) can only hinder our ability to react. This “internal state”, he explains, keeps the mind open to infinite information so your thoughts flow as if by caveman instinct alone. He also talks about how to develop this by teaching our minds to create the neural pathway for it out of repetition. It’s really interesting. The way he describes things takes me back to High School and falling into the state of mind he talks about. No wonder I kick so much ass. Ok, that’s a small joke…but just a small one.
I’m only part way into the book but he has some great things to say. Finding your “internal landmark” that puts you into this heightened state. Taking yourself from tunnel vision to “wide angle” vision that even under stress incorporates your peripheral vision. Stories of his senior Seals hearing things that years of live fire with no ear pro should never have let them hear. I recognize this state.
During my year on the delayed entry program for the USMC I got to take part in a blank fire Ambush/Counter Ambush training. They gave us no instruction. They simply wanted to see what we would do with it. My team was first to ambush. Naturally we picked the high ground. Well, that didn’t end well since they did as well. But something extraordinary happened when it was our turn to try and avoid an ambush. Being the oldest on the team I was charged with leading the patrol. We came around the corner to where we had set up our ambush and I stopped. Instead of leading them into this recess something told me to skirt around it through the trees and the back side of a cinder berm. It was working perfectly. We moved silently and my men did as ordered.
I brought them to a halt as we closed on the center of what ended up being the kill zone. There was a thick Ponderosa Pine with old and scraggly sagebrush all around it. There was smaller vegetation all around but nothing that could conceal anything bigger than a Jack Rabbit. I knew that the opposing team was in the sagebrush. I couldn’t see them but I knew they were there. My point man…dumbass…without waiting for orders stood and ran right into the kill box yelling and firing blanks wildly. I ordered my team to stay behind cover and…couldn’t let my point man die alone…charged after him. Naturally we were hosed. The rest of my team couldn’t see us go down and proned out over the berm and tried in vein to save us.
Point of the story is…this Seal isn’t wrong. I had spent my teen years out in the high desert honing these abilities that I didn’t recognize as something mentally tangible. Even now, not instinctively but with effort, I can call that “landmark” state back. Back then…I was a bit of a nerd…but only selectively. I studied wolves and anything related to them. I surmised that they must be able to exist on a more primal plain than us and strove to find that state within myself. I even called it “the wolf”. Though we called it two very different things they are the same principle.
This book, The Intuitive Warrior: Lessons from a Navy SEAL on Unleashing Your Hidden Potential receives the Gundoc Seal of Approval.