Category Archives: intellect

Intellect and Intuition


Suppose we say, “True intuition has nothing to do with the intellect.”  Is this true?  False?  Something in between?

The thought is both true and not true, depending on what we mean.  It is true in the sense that intuition is “above” the mind.  Certainly, intuition transcends the mind.  At the same time, there is a relationship.  Intuition must be expressed and embodied in the mind and heart on a personal level.  That which we are on intuitive levels must become incarnate. 

And here is the catch:  unless the mind is well trained, controlled, developed, focused, integrated with the rest of the personality, then the intuition will not be able to express itself or will do so in an inadequate or distorted form.  So, paradoxically, the mind and the harmonious integration of the personality as a whole are crucial to the unfoldment of intuition. 

Without paradox appreciation, a thinker tends to latch on to one end of any given idea or statement which degenerates into misleading dogma.  Every metaphysical axiom, as mentally apprehended and expressed, demonstrates paradox.  The essence of every formulation is in between yes and no, where the truth is the golden mean between two poles.  The faculty of seeing past divisions and contradictions to the underlying unity is a leap in perception, yet the failure to appreciate realistic divisions that are before our eyes is also ignorance—another paradox.


Real and Unreal, Subjective and Objective


Whenever we become obsessed with sharp divisions we engage in a sin of separateness—with the knife of intellect we try to cut things up very neatly: spirit/matter, objective/subjective, religion/science, real/unreal, inner/outer, etc. “Real” and “unreal” have a number of meanings. In a curious way, objectivity (the material world) looks relatively unreal to spiritual perception. Yet we may knock on a wooden table and say, ”This is real,” and from the personality standpoint, so it is. And if we knock too hard we become convinced that the pain is real. Here, “real” means the practical experiences that we hold in common and find it useless to question. We may agree it’s a “real” fact that our hand hurts.

We know our perception of the physically real is subjectively taking place in the senses, brain, and mind—a realm the Eastern philosopher terms “Maya.” Perhaps our deeper sense of the unreality of external things derives from the intuitive knowledge that we are, when acting as isolated personalities, Maya interacting with Maya, illusion interacting with illusion, glamor interacting with glamor. Yet, whatever measure of reality anything has, is borrowed from the Transcendent. So never mind that we act as if the world is really “out there” the way we imagine—the important point is that we are always seeking a deeper Real. And the only way to truly know what is “out there ” is by unity in which the sharp division between “out there” and “in here” disappears—in unity we find our life is both out there and in anywhere.


Modified from Timo Waltari