Results of Intuitive Experiment #14

Well done to everyone who had a go at this experiment – some of you did well with this one!

The man in the photo is Karl Ove Knausgaard, a novelist who is best known for his six-volume autobiography entitled My Struggle which was widely-read and critically acclaimed in his native Norway. The books have also been translated into 22 languages.

(Well done to those of you who picked up he was a writer!)

The autobiography caused some controversy and a media frenzy when it was published, due to its no-holds-barred exposure of his private life and the private lives of his family members. Knausgaard’s autobiography is perhaps unique in the utter transparency and honesty with which he presents his innermost thoughts and secrets. Nothing is too mundane, intimate, shameful or dark to be omitted from the books.


Knausgaard was born in Oslo in 1968, the youngest of two brothers. His mother was a housewife and his father was a school teacher and local politician.

His fraught relationship with his angry and emotionally abusive father marred his childhood and he apparently spent much of his earlier years either in tears or in fear of his father.

When he was a teenager, his father left the family and moved in with Knausgaard’s grandmother and proceeded to drink himself to death (he died when Knausgaard was 30.)

The author studied at Bergen University and did a series of odd jobs while he was pursuing success as a writer. He published two novels before writing his autobiography.

Personal Life

Knausgaard had a first marriage to the journalist Tonje Aursland but later left her. Both were unfaithful during the marriage.

Knausgaard fell for his wife, the poet Linda Bostrom Knausgaard, while still married to his first wife, but she rejected his advances at the time. In the book he describes his anguish at being rejected by her, purposely cutting his face with a piece of glass while intoxicated.

He met her again by chance after his divorce, and the pair got married. They had four children together.

His first wife did not know about the timing of his feelings for the second wife until the book came out.

Negative Consequences of the Book

An article in the New Republic sums up the central appeal of the book:

“Speak to Knausgaard’s devotees and you will hear a persistent theme….that reading My Struggle is like opening someone else’s diary and finding your own secrets.”

Knausgaard says, however, that this transparency has come at a price.

Although his wife, brother and mother were supportive of its publication, both his ex-wife and father’s side of the family were unhappy that their private lives were laid bare for all to read. His family objected in particular to the way in which his grandmother was portrayed in the book (as a senile, incontinent alcoholic who lived in filth and squalor). They threatened to sue him and his publisher and still refuse to speak to him.

Most of the names in the book were not changed, so reporters were able to easily track down the cast of characters (this was made all the more easy as they are the only Knausgaard family in Norway.)

In addition, his wife (who has bipolar disorder) relapsed into depression following the publication of the first book, and was also hospitalized while he wrote the final one. It was speculated that this was connected to the stress of his portrayal of her and their relationship in the books:

“I would have left her…because she was always moaning. She always wanted something else, never did anything to improve things, just moaned, moaned, moaned.”

In an interview, Knausgaard expressed regret that the book impacted negatively on those around him. He admitted feeling that he had made a ‘Faustian bargain’ in attaining success by revealing so much about his relationships and those close to him. He also explained his motivations for writing such a revealing book:

“When I started out on My Struggle, I was extremely frustrated over my life and my writing. I wanted to write something majestic and grand…but found myself with this small life – looking after kids, changing diapers, quarrelling with my wife, unable to write anything really. So I started to write about that. During that process, I realized that this was material. I didn’t like it, but still, it was something. Not nothing.”

Karl Ove Knausgaard is the perfect subject for an intuitive experiment such as this, because there is very little we can’t find out about his life – it’s all laid out in his books, in great detail.


Feelings of worthlessness and shame permeate My Struggle.

Knausgaard said in an interview with the Paris Review that he is full of self-loathing and feels “like a whore”.

Here is my assessment of his character upon tuning into him energetically:

  • Sensitive
  • Extremely perceptive
  • Romantic
  • Easily wounded by criticism
  • Passionate
  • Prone to stress and anxiety
  • Capacity for tremendous focus and willpower
  • Intense

The writer Zadie Smith said in a review that she needs his books ‘like crack’.

Another reviewer of the first book states that it is:

“Neither surpassed nor equaled… Beautiful prose and profound humanity.”

I am reading Book One of My Struggle and I have to say that I haven’t found literature this addictive since reading Jane Eyre as a teenager.

How did you do with this experiment?

Did you learn anything about your intuitive process through this?

Meet Anna

Hi, I’m Anna Sayce! My purpose here on this website is to provide practical techniques and information to help empaths to understand, and fix the root of their energetic overwhelm & also to help sensitives to embrace and develop their intuitive gifts. I believe that developing our spiritual & intuitive side is very powerful and allows us to improve our own lives, and if we wish, even make the world a better place for others. Discover more >


  1. Joan

    I didn’t really spend enough time on this one. The only thing I got when I looked at his picture was stress and I personally felt anxious looking at it. It seemed to me that his mind was like a whirlwind and all over the place. Next time, I’ll do more 🙂

  2. Sharmila

    I picked up on some sort of interest in the arts but I somehow thought music. I also felt like I could have a conversation with him. I sensed honesty and openness from him, also trustworthiness.

  3. Rhona

    Just found out I am not intuitive!! lol

  4. radha walker

    I got that he was sensitive, a writer, and Scandinavian, but I can see that what so thought was reclusive energy, was the self loathing and the need to write out and publish intimate details.
    I couldn’t pick up on his family life.
    And I can see looking back that his painful childhood is written all over his face.

  5. Brett

    Mmm , well , I’ve tried a few of these experiments now and I’ve been pleased with my results so far , however this time I’m just not sure , the consensus of opinion seems clearly to be that he is gentle, sensitive,passionate, compassionate ,a guy that has had to suffer abuse and sadness all his life and had to struggle long and hard to make it , however I don’t get that I still get dishonest ,untrustworthy,emotionally manipulative , doesn’t pay his bills ,actually not compassionate to weak or vulnerable people,I think really bordering on a narcissist, I’m only new to investigating what I may be capable of phsycicly , am I projecting my own insecurities or experiences into what I’m trying to do and that is clouding my perception, at this point in time I feel I need to apologise to the guy,

  6. Jessie

    I surprised myself, I got way more information correct than I thought. When looking at his photo all I could feel was immense sadness, I thought he struggled with a hard life and I was right. There was something about his picture, I don’t know why but for some reason I couldn’t stop staring at it. His eyes are very deep, I found him to be trustful. Although I guess it would be different if you were married to him! Lol. This is the first time I have taken any of these tests before, now I definitely am going to keep an eye out for them in the future.

  7. Kelley

    I felt that I wouldn’t trust him and that he was an entertainer. Pretty close… I’m happy with my assessment.

  8. Craig

    I didn’t really focus on what he did as a career but more on his qualities… very cool. Here is what I picked up:

    strong and caring from hardship
    cares deeply about humanity
    loves deeply and passionately
    trustworthy (perhaps this was generous on my part)
    gentle but not weak
    amassed wealth
    surrounded by addictions and overcame his own

  9. Tara

    I did not concentrate on a possible profession but I did pick up he liked to work alone. I also picked up the struggle with his father and that relationship made him who he is today. I also picked up a love hate relationship with himself. Happy one min sad the next.

  10. elizabeth

    I got the word ‘STRUGGLE’ loud and clear first time I looked into his eyes in that photo, and couldn’t get past that. I also had a strong feeling that he was Scandinavian but really that’s not hard to guess. So I did far better on this one than I did on the previous few.

  11. Mand Maud

    I didn’t join in with a comment, but I did have a go without spending much time/energy. In fact I didn’t make any attempt to exclude distractions and focus properly. 🙂 I felt he had artistic sensibilities, but certainly didn’t get writing. I could see he’d had painful experiences, found that obvious, and I felt they’d been been over a period of time rather than one or two single traumatic events.

    What really interests me is that I was at first puzzled about whether he was honest. Then I got clarity: yes, as in truthfulness – but no, as in integrity. The extraordinary openness of a biography like you describe goes with the former; the unfaithfulness goes with the latter.

    I’ve been discovering recently (with friends and strangers whom I know online only) that I pick up loads when I exercise my intuition, and almost all of it is accurate. This freaks me out a little but it’s also exciting and wonderful.

    Love your website, by the way. 🙂

  12. Smiles

    Joan, I think I got some of the same things as you did, I got confused and stress.

    I also got guarded, but now I think that was not right. Would a guarded person write all about his personal life for the world to read?

  13. allison True

    I have been working on my intuition for a few years, and do remote readings for people. When I tune in to people, I get a group of ‘advice guides’ that leave me info for the person. this is the ‘advice’ that I received for the author before knowing anything about him:
    ‘You are fine. There is nothing to worry about. Yes ,you have had hard times in your life. You have struggled. This is part of your path – the struggling. You constantly seek to find the right thing or the right way to do things. This is very difficult for you it is difficult for you to let go of control. You must always pursue further, deeper, wider. To all reaches. You are not satisfied with any achievements in your life you must always have more
    Why do you do this? you have accomplished much with your life. Isn’t it time to relax? To enjoy to be who you truly are, a gifted soul with much wisdom to share. Reach to your inner self. It is time. You have done much on the outside. Many people are amazed. But this is not getting you anywhere in your personal development. It is time to focus inside; you must let go of those around you. They do not serve you well. They will only push you to do more. To push you further away from your true self. This is not what you want or need right now. It is time to regroup. Your past is your past. Be pleased with what you have done, but know that there is a much larger journey ahead of you. It is time to start. You are gifted in so many aspects of your life. It is difficult for you to choose. But those are only gifts. It is time for personal growth.’

    Instead of getting info about the person,I get direct personal advice for them. What is your take on this type of intuition? Is is helpful for people, or do you believe I should strive for more detail and confirmation.

  14. Julius

    I got that I would not rather not trust this person and that he seems rather egoistic in reaching his goals – not a person I would personally choose as a friend.

  15. Anna

    Craig, Radha, Jesse, Tara, Elizabeth – Awesome! well done!!

    Rhona – Is this your first time doing it? Practice makes perfect!

    Brett – yes, it can happen that one projects onto others and that can get mixed into what you intuit. A good technique can ensure you don’t do that as much, and practice is helpful, too.

    Allison – it sounds like you are naturally attuned to picking up info from guides. This exercise is about picking up info from the person’s energy field for one’s own purposes (i.e. to work out whether you trust someone), so a slightly different way of doing it.

    Julius – great to see you here, well done!

    Well done, everyone else and hope you enjoyed the experiment!

  16. Bridget

    I didn’t get writer, I got music. Like a conductor of a grand symphony. Like he lived music. And that was both times I tried tuning in, about a week apart. Interesting experience, thank you. These are fun!

  17. Gloria

    I am late, but I did the exercise.

    Immediately did not trust him. I got a big “No!” right away.

    Didn’t really get much correct after that, I said he was:
    – a humanitarian with a dark side
    – married with two children
    – Australian

    Didn’t spend too much time on him because he was uncomfortable to read.

  18. Lisa

    I picked up on that he is a writer. I had also perceived that he is/was a philanthropist–I can’t say, after learning who he is, that he is not. In a sense, he freely gave away his life in his writing which apparently has cost him dearly. I also just read he had an “infatuation with rock music,” which, I had posted that he may be involved in music, though it was secondary. All in all, though I didn’t go into a character study in my reading, I feel fairly satisfied that I picked up on the major points. I liked this experiment.

  19. Valda

    First words were outdoors, forest, woods, cabin, smoke, axe, dog, fire, mountains, snow, cold country. A darkness around him of some sort. ? Likes dark music…cello or some such. Then in strong came the word ‘writer’. Didn’t delve any further as I wanted to find out if I was on the right track!

  20. EC

    Clearly a troubled energy. I sensed that his youth had been tough, and at least in my perception something dishonest, something I would not trust so easily. Maybe it was just my projection, but something would make me feel cautious around this person, perhaps his clear intensity through his worried looks. I also sensed his troubled relationships to several women. I saw an image of him twisting and whirling his hands, so I thought he was some kind of performer or actor on stage: at least someone with a form of magnetism. He felt like a magical trickster: creative, deep, with something double-faced…I wonder how much of this is only a mirror of me and how much really is coming from the person himself or from my gut 🙂

  21. Kimberley

    Before opening your comments and reading about the person in the picture I looked at him and thought “he’s educated and articulate and has contributed something of value, he’s a writer and I get that he’s foreign (not American) and I feel he’s from a Northern European country. I feel he is still alive and is considered to be a rogue. Wow! I impressed myself

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