Intuition and the Creation of a Better World

Assagioli, Roberto

It seems evident that the will possesses no direct power over the intuitive function; it can even hamper its functioning. But … the will can perform a most helpful indirect action; it can create and keep clear the channel of communication along which the intuitive impressions descend. It does this by imposing a temporary check on the distracting activities of the other psychological functions.

The will can encourage (encourage, not coerce, I repeat) the intuitive operation by formulating questions to be addressed to the superconscious sphere, the seat of the intuition. These questions must be given a clear and precise form. The replies may come promptly, but more often they appear after a lapse of time and when least expected.

Roberto Assagioli, The Act of Will, pp. 195-196,

Intuition is one of the least recognized and least appreciated, and therefore one of the repressed or undeveloped functions. It is repressed by a mechanism similar to that of the repression of unconscious drives, but generally the motivation is different. Repression of the intuition is produced by non-recognition, devaluation, neglect and lack of its connection with the other psychological functions. Regarding this last point, a true cognitive process implies not only the function of intuition as such, but also its intelligent apprehension, interpretation, and inclusion in the existing body of knowledge…

The purpose of activating the intuition is that of putting at the disposal of the individual a precious function which generally remains latent and unused, thereby leaving the individual incomplete in his or her development. Another purpose is that of offering to the individual an instrument of cognition and of approach to reality, and a means of interpersonal relationships through the intuitive understanding of other human beings. A further purpose is to help him to discriminate between genuine intuitions and false or supposed intuitions which are really either sentimental generalizations or imaginative notions with no foundation in reality…

The essential distinction between cognition by way of intuition and cognition by way of the thinking or feeling functions is that intuition has the following characteristics: it is immediate and direct, not mediate and progressive as is thinking; it is synthetic or holistic, i.e., it is an immediate apprehension of a whole, one could say of a Gestalt, and not of different parts later put together to form a whole. Intuition in its purest manifestation is devoid of feeling in the ordinary and right meaning of the nature of emotion, of a warm reaction of the personality — generally either positive or negative toward the object apprehended…

Only intuition gives true psychological understanding both of oneself and of others. Whenever one wants to reach a true understanding of the essence of the specific quality of a human being, of a group, or of human relationships, the use of intuition is indicated and even necessary.

Roberto Assagioli, Psychosynthesis: A Manual of Principles and Techniques, pp. 217-221

Intuition, as well as the other psychological functions, can be activated, following the general law that attention and interest foster their manifestation. It has been said that attention has feeding power; it has also a focusing power. One could even say that it has an evocative power, and attention really implies appreciation and therefore valuation…

A characteristic of intuitions is that they are fleeting and, curiously, very easily forgotten, in spite of the fact that at the time they enter the field of consciousness they are very vivid and the subject does not think he can or will forget them easily. Such intuitions can be likened to a stray bird entering a room, circling swiftly around it, and then after a few seconds flying out of the window. The practical deduction from this "fleeting" characteristic is to write down immediately any intuitions we may have – more particularly when we recall the distorting effect of time on all our recollections…

… Intuition is the creative advance towards reality. Intellect has, first, the valuable and necessary function of interpreting, i.e., of translating, verbalizing in acceptable mental terms, the results of the intuition. Second, to check its validity; and third, to coordinate and to include it into the body of already accepted knowledge. These functions are the rightful activity of the intellect, without its trying to assume functions which are not its province. A really fine and harmonious interplay between the two can work perfectly in a successive rhythm: intuitional insight, interpretation, further insight and its interpretation, and so on.

Roberto Assagioli, Psychosynthesis: A Manual of Principles and Techniques, pp. 218-223

<< back

What's New

2016  is being observed by United Nations as International Year of Pulses. Check out a meditation  for thise theme and a full list of dates for the 2016 UN calendar.

To receive a monthly list of international events to 'Hold in the Light' by email write: with 'Newsletter' in subject line.


Other Resources