Intuition is perhaps the most central of spiritual values. I was reading a piece about a college graduate business man who was into reiki and such. Why was he doing all that? Because he wanted to get in touch with a wisdom beyond intelligence.
The fact is that our culture stimulates thinking. We learn by heart, reason, searching facts etc. We pass exams, measure all that can be measured and so forth. However useful all that is – at a certain point one can’t avoid the insight that all that thinking doesn’t lead to wisdom. Voor spiritual balance you need intuition too.
By the way, intuition without reason is just as out of whack as the opposite. I was very happy to read in a Rudolf Steiner biography that he thought training in mathematics was important. A spiritual researcher needed to be able to think rationally too, he said.
I’m still reading Consciousness, an introduction, by Susan Blackmore. She says about intuition that it is the result of hard mental work. Great scientists come to a new insight have been at the subject for a long time. But the insight that turns their world around comes to them while they cross the street, in the shower, or whatever: in some way the brain recombines what it knows into a totally new idea. The central question is: is that a contribution by some cosmic field, or ‘just’ the result of processes in the brain?
And if it’s the latter, does that explain other forms of intuition as well?
11 thoughts on “Inspiration and intuition – spiritual value no.6”
I intuition is also very useful in learning to understand how others feel without them expressing it. That’s a nice way to get beyond your own selfish perceptions. 🙂
–Doug (formerly Gerald Ford)
Nice to see you here. What you describe as intuition is, I think, usually called empathy. But good point. Very important.
Wow. Long time since I found a site this inspiring and filled with wisdom.
Thanks for sharing your insight. Will be dropping by a lot.
Peace and blessings,
Glad you’re inspired by all this – I do try 🙂
That is interesting you say intuition is a spiritual value after considering whether to call value virtue, because if intuition is only part of inspiration then (similar to what Yogis may say) it can be considered a form within inspiration (spiritual process.) Then it is a distinct idea beyond the mind, and virtues are beyond the mind. Maybe it was actually a New Age person who said the causal body is an idea, but not coincidentally the angelic choir Virtues could be an idea of the Logos controlling our own logos. That implies a lot about what inspiration and intuition are. I am more sure that Yogis say something like the tree of life is reflected in us. (in the Bhagavad-Gita, at least illustrated with a painting.)
I think the tree of life is a Western idea – and to have it reflected in us reminds me of the Kabbalah. But I may be wrong.
Of course the etz-chaym is Quabalist, but the Bhagavad-Gita describes something like ‘an imperishable banyan tree rooted in [something] …,’ and one of the pictures in Swami Prabhupada’s version shows reality symmetrically reflected in a picture that has a tree on all of at least one side of the symmetry. I was talking more about inspiration as a reflective process of atma.
I’d love to see a direct quote on that tree in the Bhagavad Gita.
‘Krishna. Men call the Aswattha,- the Banyan-tree,-
Which hath its boughs beneath, its roots above,-
The ever-holy tree. Yea! for its leaves
Are green and waving hymns which whisper Truth!
Who knows the Aswattha, knows Veds, and all.
Its branches shoot to heaven and sink to earth,
Even as the deeds of men, which take their birth
From qualities: its silver sprays and blooms,
And all the eager verdure of its girth,
Leap to quick life at kiss of sun and air,
As men’s lives quicken to the temptings fair
Of wooing sense: its hanging rootlets seek
The soil beneath, helping to hold it there,’–Edwin Arnold’s translation at sacred-texts.com.
The painting that I saw in a translation by Swami Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada said the tree was the Vedas, IIRC. I think it also symbolized Maya or something, but I forgot the details.
As actions wrought amid this world of men
Bind them by ever-tightening bonds again.
If ye knew well the teaching of the Tree,
What its shape saith; and whence it springs; and, then
How it must end, and all the ills of it,
The axe of sharp Detachment ye would whet,
And cleave the clinging snaky roots, and lay
This Aswattha of sense-life low,- to set
When I put that in quotes, somehow it removed my comment on it. That was from Edwin Arnold’s translation at sacred-texts.com. A translation I have by Swami Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada said the tree was the Vedas, IIRC, but I think it also said it represented Maya.
Oops, sorry. Now I see that my commentary got written in the middle of the quote somehow… but you should be able to see where the quote continues.
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