Intuition and Reason

Intuition by definition is “supra rational”; in other words, it functions as a sort of “lightning-flash” that provides knowledge not accessible to the functioning of the logical reasoning faculties. It is possible that this knowledge may come as an illumination into the mind, but it may equally come to the heart, the vital sense, even the physical body. As with everything that intervenes in the mixed working of the mind-life-body, however, it is subject to admixture, dilution, and interpretation by the filtering gradations of consciousness. It is therefore subject to misunderstanding or wrong understanding when we allow these filters to distort or misconstrue the meaning of the intuition.

Some who rely on “intuition” abandon reliance on the rational faculties, as the reason is unable to accurately judge intuition, since it is of a different order of knowledge. The danger here, of course, is that by abandoning the solidity of the rational process, we become ensnared in “pseudo-intuition” that can in some cases be extremely dangerous lines upon which to rely and base one’s actions.

The reasoning part of our mind then determines that it cannot trust the “intuition” and begins to try to monitor, control & judge it, which of course, it is incapable of doing, being a totally different type of knowledge coming from a different way of seeing. We then see a mixed action whereby the intuition influences the rational mind, which then appears to be making logical decisions, without acknowledging the original source of the inspiration behind those decisions. Sri Aurobindo points out that: “…even if the mind became predominantly an intuitive mind reliant upon its portion of the higher faculty, the co-ordination of its cognitions and its separated faculties…would remain difficult so long as this new mentality has not a conscious liaison with its suprarational source or a self-uplifting access to a higher plane of consciousness in which an intuitive action is pure and native.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 26, “The Ascent Towards Supermind”