Intuition and Intellect
There is another way of knowing beside the ordinary way, through the channels of eyes or thoughts, a way which can be found only by quietening the mind and stilling the emotions.
Ordinarily, ample time is needed to accumulate data and deliberate properly before correct decisions or judgements can be made. None of this is necessary to make them intuitively, for the intuition itself operates out of time and beyond thought.
The intellect has so dominated the modern man that his approach to these questions is first made through it. Yet the intellect cannot provide the answers to them. They come, and can only come, through the intuition.
We can convince the intellect that the soul exists–but the only really adequate proof is intuitive personal experience of it.
When we realize that the intellect can put forth as many arguments against this theme as for it, we realize that there is in the end only one perfect proof of the Overself’s existence. The Overself must prove itself. This can come about faintly through the intuition or fully through the mystical experience.
The philosopher does not hold any views. Views are held by those who depend on the intellect or the emotions alone for their judgements. His dependence is on the intuition, the voice of his higher self.
Intellect obstructs the light of the Overself.
When we keep ourselves busy with everything external and our minds with thoughts about everything external, the intuition is unable to insert itself into our awareness. Even if it whispers to us, we will not realize what is happening. If we continue to ignore it, we may lose the capacity to hear it at all. It is then that we have to retrain ourselves to do so. The practice of meditation is one such way of training our receptivity.
Intuitions move in on us in one of two ways: either so soft and gentle at first as almost to be missed or with such aggressive forcefulness as to allow no other way.
Intuition is not the equal but rather the superior of all other human faculties. It delivers the gentlest of whispers, commands from the Overself, whereas the other faculties merely carry them out. It is the master, they are the servants. The intellect thinks, the will works, and the emotion drives towards the fulfilment of intuitively felt guidance in the properly developed spiritually erect man.
Intuition tells us what to do. Reason tells us how to do it. Intuition points direction and gives destination. Reason shows a map of the way there.
The intuition must lead all the rest of man’s faculties. He must follow it even when they do not agree with its guidance. For it sees farther than they ever can, being an efflux from the godlike part of himself which is in its way a portion of the universal deity. If he can be sure that it is not pseudo-intuition, truth in it will lead him to life’s best, whether spiritual or worldly.
Edison said that all his inventions grew out of initial flashes which welled up from within. The rest was a matter of research.
An intuitive idea is quite different from one derived from the customary process of logical thinking. Unless it is distorted or muddled by the man himself, it is always reliable. Can we say the same of an intellectual idea?
Remember that custom and habit are the great tyrants who enslave the mass of mankind. Real freedom is possible only when one is true to one’s own self. Do not permit yourself to be hypnotized by the common indifference to these high matters, but be loyal to the promptings of the spirit.
If he can come to this belief in the reality of his own higher self, he can come into all the knowledge he needs, all the help he needs, by heeding its guidance (felt intuitively) and by applying its injunctions to his daily life.
The need to guide his personal life more intuitively comes home to him after every major mistake has been committed and its effects felt. He sees then that it is not enough to calculate by intellect, nor feel by impulse, nor act on emotion, for these have led him to sufferings that could have been prevented, or caused other people sufferings that bring him regrets. He learns that it is necessary to listen inwardly, to wait in mental quiet for intuitive feeling to arise and guide him.
Intuitive guidance comes not necessarily when we seek it, but when the occasion calls for it. It does not usually come until it is actually needed. The intellect, as part of the ego, will often seek it in advance of the occasion because it may be driven by anxiety, fear, desire, or anticipation. Such premature seeking is fruitless.
Feeling is as much a part of true insight into the Real as knowing. It gives life to the end result. It is evoked by enlightened writings and inspired art works. Thinking may not rightly claim overlordship here, but intuition, the silent voice of the Overself, may do so.
The intelligence which sometimes solves our problems for us during dreams is of a higher quality than that which ordinarily solves them during wakeful hours. It is indeed of the same order as that which we call intuition.
Philosophical intelligence combines the intellectual faculty with the intuitive.
In every important move he will seek guidance from the intuitive levels of being as well as from the intellectual.
No counsel could be safer and better than that which proceeds from a man to himself by way of intuition. But first let him be sure that it is intuition.
… The difference between a mere impulse and a real intuition may often be detected in two ways: first, by waiting a few days, as the subconscious mind has then a chance to offer help in deciding the matter; second, by noting the kind of emotion which accompanies the message. If the emotion is of the lower kind, such as anger, indignation, greed, or lust, it is most likely an impulse. If of the higher kind, such as unselfishness or forgiveness, it is most likely an intuition.
If it is authentic intuition, he will feel increasingly convinced by it as days and weeks pass until in the end its truth will seem unarguable to him.
A man is really free when his intuition directs his intellect and rules his energies.
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