Intuition

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Intuition is a form of knowledge gained without the operation of reasoning or the presence of objective proof. There are different levels of intuitive knowledge. The reliability of the information thus gained depends on the source of this knowledge and the ability to perceive it correctly by our conscious mind. In Theosophical literature there is emphasis on the "spiritual intuition," which is a cognition that comes from the sixth Principle, buddhi.

General concept

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word "intuition" as follows:

1: immediate apprehension or cognition without reasoning or inferring.
2: knowledge or conviction gained by intuition.
3: the power or faculty of gaining direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference.

Levels

The word intuition has being used in different ways by Western thinkers. For example, for Immanuel Kant, intuition is the basic sensory information we get through our sense-organs, equivalent to what we understand as perception. For Carl Jung, intuition is an "irrational function", a "perception via the unconscious" that brings forth ideas, images, possibilities, ways out of a blocked situation, by a process that is mostly unconscious.

The word is also used for the gut feeling one may have based on once's experience, or for feelings and thoughts that may be perceived by psychic means.

The kind of intuition that is frequently found in Theosophy is the spiritual knowledge that has its source in buddhi, the spiritual soul.

Spiritual intuition

When the nature of buddhi expresses through manas there is a phenomena of direct perception, beyond rational thinking, which is sometimes called spiritual intuition:

The Spiritual ego reflects no varying states of consciousness; is independent of all sensation (experience); it does not think—it KNOWS, by an intuitive process only faintly conceivable by the average man.[1]

In some of Mme. Blavatsky's writings there are some references to this principle forming a body:

In the normal or natural state, the sensations are transmitted from the lowest physical to the highest spiritual body, i.e., from the first to the 6th principle (the 7th being no organized or conditioned body, but an infinite, hence unconditioned principle or state).[2]

Jinarajadasa comments

In The "K. H." Letters to C. W. Leadbeater, Mr. C. Jinarājadāsa wrote some comments about intuition:[3]

It is a characteristic of the Intuition that it acts from the future, and not from the past or the present; it is excellently described by the phrase used for it by Lawrence of Arabia: "the unperceived foreknown"...

Very noteworthy is the emphasis which the Master K. H. has laid on Intuition, as a very necessary requisite in one's character, if one is to unravel the mysteries of the Path of Occultism.

In a letter to Miss Arundale written in 1884 occur these phrases:

"the continual performance of duty under the guidance of a well-developed Intuition."

"From their ignorant and malevolent intolerance you appeal to us, because your intuition tells you that they will not accord you justice."[4]

Two years later the Master wrote to Mr. Leadbeater: "Believe in your better intuitions."[5]

Somewhat earlier, in writing to Colonel Olcott, the Master said:

"Intuitive as you naturally are, chelaship is yet almost a complete puzzle for you."[6]

And the whole problem was stated earlier by the Master in the following:

"It was never the intention of the Occultists really to conceal what they had been writing from the earnest determined students, but rather to lock up their information for safety sake, in a secure safe-box, the key to which is – intuition."[7]

Online resources

Audio

Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. VIII (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1990), 96.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IV (Wheaton, Ill: Theosophical Publishing House, 1991), 101.
  3. C. Jinarājadāsa, The "K. H." Letters to C. W. Leadbeater (Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1980), 56-57.
  4. Letter 20 in Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, 1881-1888.
  5. Letter 50 in Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, 1881-1888.
  6. Mahatma Letter 110 in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett.
  7. Mahatma Letter 49 in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett.