My understanding of it is very much as rei put it.
We all had these abilities as children, since children are so naturally open and curious and full of wonder.
But sadly, and slowly, over time we were all given the messages, by our parents and society, that these things are not real, and the common statement that "it's just your imagination" degraded the faculty of image-nation, which is the part of our brain which visualizes and creates images naturally.
It is very much misunderstood and not given proper estimation by the world of "Adults" (who are really just children in bigger bodies), and so, because we looked up to these people as knowing more than us as children, (and because they tend to look down on children as not being very wise or intelligent, and can speak to children in a very patronizing tone which brainwashes them all into believing they are stupid, when it's actually the other way around, we all closed off from these capacities for fear of being thought of as "crazy"!
The good news is that it definately CAN be re-nurtured. Those faculties are part of our heritage whether some choose to believe it or not! Looking up into the sky and watching clouds is a good way to begin the process of re-opening these abilities for a start! If you also choose to nurture your intuition, each person can come to their own understanding of what they can do to re-sensitize themselves and become stronger in their natural abilities.
Of course, there are those in positions of power who do not want this to be known, but just ignore them...