The Need for the Coordinated Action of the Suggestive Intuition and the Intuitive Discrimination

When they begin their interaction with the human mentality, the first two active powers of the intuitive consciousness labour under certain limitations due to that interaction. The suggestive intuition can be seized upon by the mind, and all kinds of concepts, ideas, thoughts, opinions and definitions can be attached to it, until it is covered up and distorted beyond recognition. The intuitive discrimination, on the other hand, may be able to separate the intuitive from the mental substance, but it does not, on its own, have the power to bring forth new and unexpected insights or powers of understanding from the intuitive realm. Sri Aurobindo notes that it is only through the combined action of the two that serious progress and development can take place.

“If the intuitive discrimination works by itself, it creates a sort of critical illumination that acts on the ideas and perceptions of the intellect and turns them on themselves in such a way that the mind can separate their truth from their error. It creates in the end in place of the intellectual judgment a luminous intuitive judgment, a sort of critical gnosis: but it is likely to be deficient in fresh illuminative knowledge or to create only so much extension of truth as is the natural consequence of the separation of error.”

“On the other hand, if the suggestive intuition works by itself without this discrimination, there is indeed a constant accession of new truths and new lights, but they are easily surrounded and embarrassed by the mental accretions and their connections and relation or harmonious development out of each other are clouded and broken by the interference. A normalised power of active intuitive perception is created, but not any complete and coherent mind of intuitive gnosis.”

“The two together supply the deficiencies of each other’s single action and build up a mind of intuitive perception and discrimination which can do the work and more than the work of the stumbling mental intelligence and do it with the greater light, surety and power of a more direct and unfaltering ideation.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 21, The Gradations of the Supermind, pp. 785-786