Intuition and the Creation of a Better World

Steiner, Rudolf

To have knowledge of a spiritual being through intuition means having become completely at one with it, having united with its inner nature… Imagination brings us to the point where we no longer feel that perceptions are external qualities of beings; instead we recognize in them the emanations of something that is soul-spiritual in character. Inspiration leads us still further into the inner nature of beings and teaches us to understand what these beings are for each other. In intuition, we penetrate into the beings themselves.

Rudolf Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, p.338, Great Barrington, MA, Anthroposophic Press, 1997

Through inspiration one acquires the knowledge of the relationships between the beings of the higher world. It is possible through a higher stage of cognition to understand the nature of these beings themselves. This stage of cognition may be designated intuitive cognition. (Intuition is a word misused in everyday life for an obscure, uncertain insight into a fact, that is, for a certain idea which at times agrees with truth but the justification of which is at the time not provable. What is meant here has naturally nothing to do with this sort of intuition. Intuition denotes here a cognition of the highest, most illuminating clarity, and, if one has it, one is conscious in the fullest sense of its justification.) —To have knowledge of a sense-being means to stand outside it and judge it according to the external impression. To have knowledge of a spiritual being through intuition means to have become completely one with it, to have become united with its inner nature.

Rudolf Steiner, An Outline of Occult Science. Spring Valley (NY), Anthroposophic Press, 1972 pp. 309-10. Currently published as An Outline of Esoteric Science.

In contrast to perceptual content, which is given to us from without, thought content appears from within. We shall call the form in which thought content arises "intuition." Intuition is to thinking as observation is to perceiving. Intuition and observation are our two sources of knowledge. We remain alienated from an object in the observed world as long as we do not have within us the corresponding intuition, which supplies the piece of reality missing from the percept. Full reality remains closed off to anyone without the ability to find intuitions corresponding to things. Just as a color-blind person sees only shades of brilliance without hues, a person without intuition observes only unconnected perceptual fragments.

Rudolf Steiner, Start Now: A Book of Soul and Spiritual Exercises. SteinerBooks, Great Barrington, MA, 2004, p. 71

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