Limitations of the Action of the Intuition in the Human Mental Consciousness

As the life-mind acts primarily in the subconscious levels and take the form of automatic reaction and instinct, so the intuition bases itself in the superconscient levels above the mind.  The life-mind feeds sensations, perceptions and its own reactions and responses to the thinking mind which then works to interpret, integrate and utilize the information.  The intuition, when it begins to act in the human being, is seized on by the mind, and the superconscient awareness is filtered and diluted through the medium of the logical intellect and organizing reason.

Sri Aurobindo describes the situation of the intuition:  “…in mind it has no pure and no organised action, but is immediately mixed with the action of the reasoning intelligence, is not quite itself, but limited, fragmentary, diluted and impure, and depends for the ordered use and organisation of its suggestions on the aid of the logical reason.  The human mind is never quite sure of its intuitions until they have been viewed and confirmed by the judgment of the rational intelligence: it is there that it feels most well founded and secure.  Man surmounting reason to organise his thought and life by the intuitive mind would be already surpassing his characteristic humanity and on the way to the development of supermanhood.  This can only be done above: for to attempt it below is only to achieve another kind of imperfection: there the mental reason is a necessary factor.”

This implies that during the evolutionary transition there are issues as to the ability of the seeker to implement the intuitive consciousness without the admixture of the mental process.  This is one of the reasons that the practice of achieving silence of the mind may take on some importance along the way.  The habit of the mind to latch onto any idea or insight, and then shape it, cover it up with mental and logical process, and treat the result as the actual truth of the matter, must be overcome.  Failing that, the intuition cannot find its own pure and clear power of consciousness at work in the being.

Spiritual development is not a form of intellectual endeavor.  The change in consciousness that occurs represents a shifting of the standpoint to the higher plane of awareness from which the intuition operates.  At the same time, it is not “anti-intellectual” as the logical intellect and action of the mind is not to be destroyed, but rather integrated into its proper role in transmitting the higher insights to the lower levels of life and body in the material creation.



Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 23, The Supramental Instruments — Thought-process , pg. 819