Developing Intuition As a Power of Knowledge

Sri Aurobindo recognizes that despite the limitations inherent in the action of intuition in our normal human intelligence, it is indeed possible to establish the action of intuition in a much purer and more powerful form if it can be purified and separated from the binding force of our physical, vital and mental nature. True intuition comes from a higher source and, in order to be truly and fully effective, it must not be distorted or diluted by the processes of the lower mentality.

“It is possible to cultivate and extend the use of the intuitive mind in proportion as we rely less predominantly upon the reasoning intelligence. We may train our mentality not to seize, as it does now, upon every separate flash of intuitive illumination for its own inferior purposes, not to precipitate our thought at once into a crystallising intellectual action around it; we can train it to think in a stream of successive and connected intuitions, to pour light upon light in a brilliant and triumphant series.”

This requires observation of the mental process and a systematic effort to separate oneself from the action of the normal sense-mind and thought-mind: “…if we can reduce in it the element of material thought enslaved to the external appearances of things, the element of vital thought enslaved to the wishes, desires, impulses of the lower nature, the element of intellectual thought enslaved to our preferred, already settled or congenial ideas, conceptions, opinions, fixed operations of intelligence, if, having reduced to a minimum those elements, we can replace them by an intuitive vision and sense of things, an intuitive insight into appearances, an intuitive will, and intuitive ideation. This is hard enough for our consciousness naturally bound by the triple tie of mentality, vitality, corporeality to its own imperfection and ignorance, the upper, middle and lower cord in the Vedic parable of the soul’s bondage, cords of the mixed truth and falsehood of appearances by which sunahsepa was bound to the post of sacrifice.”

This stage of enhanced and purified action of the intuition is a transitional stage, as it does not represent the action of the gnostic consciousness; yet it has begun the process of disentanglement required for the shift of consciousness to the next plane or standpoint of awareness.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 22, Vijnana or Gnosis, pg. 461

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