Intuition and the Creation of a Better World

Nature of the Intuition

Agni Yoga

Intellect is not wisdom. Straight-knowledge is wisdom. Intellect is reason. Wisdom decides, for long ago this decision already ripened. Intellect is the threshold of wisdom, and when sharpened it merges into the sphere of synthesis. Reason and a mind adapted to one specialty are the corners of the future house. A man with a specialized mind can pave for himself a brilliant future, but he will incarnate until his mind loses its narrow specialization. When intellect loses its specialty, it is already wise. Each specialty is designed for the conditions of earthly life. The synthesis of spirit opens all spheres·.

Agni Yoga, sl. 508

Assagioli, Roberto

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

Bailey, Alice

In the heart of every [human being] lies hid the flower of the intuition.

Alice Bailey, The Rays and the Initiations, p. 11

Bailey, Alice

The intuition is not a welling forth of love to people and, therefore, an understanding of them. Much that is called the intuition is recognition of similarities and the possession of a clear analytical mind. Intelligent people who have lived in the world for some time and who have experienced much and who have contacted many other people can usually sum up with facility the problems and dispositions of others, provided they are interested. This they must not, however, confound with the intuition.

Intuition is a comprehensive grip of the principle of universality, and when it is functioning there is, momentarily at least, a complete loss of the sense of separateness. At its highest point, it is known as that Universal Love which has no relation to sentiment or to the affectional reaction but is, predominantly, in the nature of an identification with all beings. Then is true compassion known; then does criticism become impossible; then, only, is the divine germ seen as latent in all forms.

Intuition is light itself, and when it is functioning, the world is seen as light and the light bodies of all forms become gradually apparent. This brings with it the ability to contact the light centre in all forms, and thus again an essential relationship is established and the sense of superiority and separateness recedes into the background.

Intuition, therefore, brings with its appearance three qualities:

Illumination. ...The light to which I refer is that which irradiates the Way. It is "the light of the intellect", which really means that which illumines the mind and which can reflect itself in that mental apparatus which is held "steady in the light". This is the "Light of the World", a Reality which is eternally existent, but which can be discovered only when the individual interior light is recognised as such. This is the "Light of the Ages", which shineth ever more until the Day be with us. The intuition is therefore the recognition in oneself, not theoretically but as a fact in one's experience, of one's complete identification with the Universal Mind, of one's constituting a part of the great World Life, and of one's participation in the eternal persisting Existence.

Understanding. This must be appreciated in its literal sense as that which "stands under" the totality of forms·. To have true understanding involves an increased ability to love all beings and yet, at the same time, to preserve personality detachment. ... Intuitional understanding is always spontaneous. Where the reasoning to an understanding enters, it is not the activity of the intuition.

Love. ... When the intuition is developed, both affection and the possession of a spirit of loving outgo will, necessarily, in their pure form, be demonstrated, but that which produces these is something much more deep and comprehensive. It is that synthetic, inclusive grasp of the life and needs of all beings ...which it is the high prerogative of a divine Son of God to operate. It negates all that builds barriers, makes criticism, and produces separation. It sees no distinction, even when it appreciates need, and it produces in one who loves as a soul immediate identification with that which is loved.

These three words sum up the three qualities or aspects of the intuition and can be covered by the word, universality, or the sense of universal Oneness.

Alice Bailey, Glamour: A World Problem, pp. 2-5

Bailey, Alice

The intuition is a function of the mind ... and, when rightly used, it enables man to grasp reality with clarity and to see that reality free from glamour and the illusions of the three worlds. When the intuition functions in any human being, he is enabled to take direct and correct action for he is in touch with the Plan *, with pure and unadulterated fact and undistorted ideas – free from illusion and coming direct from the divine or universal Mind. The unfoldment of this faculty will bring about a world recognition of the Plan and this is the greatest achievement of the intuition in this present world cycle. When that Plan is sensed, there comes the realisation of the unity of all beings, of the synthesis of world evolution and of the unity of the divine objective. All life and all forms are seen then in their true perspective; a right sense of values and of time then eventuates. When the Plan is truly intuited and at first hand, then constructive effort becomes inevitable and there is no lost motion.

* The Plan, as referred to in the Alice Bailey teachings, is "the expression of the Purpose or the Will of God". In history the working out of the Plan can be seen in the progressive illumination of the mind, the revelation of love and the evocation of the spiritual will.

Alice Bailey, Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 25

Bailey, Alice

The intuition is entirely concerned with group activity; it is never interested in or directed to the revelation of anything concerned with the personality life.

Alice Bailey, The Rays and the Initiations, p. 711

Brunton, Paul

It is true that the nature of God is inscrutable and that the laws of God are inexorable. But it is also true that the God-linked soul of man is accessible and its intuitions available.

Paul Brunton, The Notebooks of Paul Brunton

de Chardin, Teilhard

What matters is that in the interacting development of these two basic trends upon which Mankind is continuing to build itself, technical organisation and the growth of reflective consciousness, the second should acquire an ever greater predominance and degree of autonomy...

Teilhard de Chardin, The Future of Man, pp. 240-241,

de Chardin, Teilhard

All the communions of a life-time are one communion. All the communions of all men now living are one communion. All the communions of all men, past and future, are one communion.

Teilhard de Chardin, Le Milieu Divin, p. 124

Finser, Torin

Where do decisions come from? For me at least, they have a mysterious quality. It is hard to determine what is really happening in the moment in which an individual makes a decision. There is certainly an important element of preparation, but the second in which one realizes a decision there is a magical element at work. There is an intuitive quality to the act, and intuition is connected to the will, the motivational aspect of our constitution. It is as if we dive into the lake of decision and really know what we have come to only a split second after we emerge on the surface. Decisions are bigger, more encompassing than we realize, and our consciousness grasps just a portion of what was really at work in the act of deciding.

Torin M. Finser School Renewal: A Spiritual Journey for Change, p. 144

Hamilton, Craig

"When groups get really good at [collective wisdom] and practiced at it, it can lead to very fast decision making," Robert Kenny points out, "because you're drawing on intuition which is a way of direct knowing as opposed to linear process of rationality and discursive logic." Part and parcel of this collective intuition seems to be the capacity for truly original thinking that can often lead to breakthrough solutions. Glenna Gerard, coauthor of Dialogue: Rediscover the Transforming Power of Conversation, explains, "When the group has really come together and there is collective wisdom present, there seems to be the ability to generate thinking that transcends what any one individual has thought before." But to Gerard, what is perhaps most distinctive about the kind of intuition that emerges in groups is its ability to reflect a sense of the whole.

Craig Hamilton, 'Come Together : The Mystery of Collective Intelligence' in What is Enlightenment magazine, Issue 25, May - June 2004, p. 73

Jefferies, Richard

There is an immense ocean over which the mind can sail, upon which the vessel of thought has not yet been launched.

Richard Jefferies, The Story of my Heart

Khan, Hazrat Inayat

That wisdom which is like the essence of life and which is to be found within oneself can only be attained by first making the mind obedient; and this can be done by concentration. If a person's mind is not under control, how can he use it? It is one thing to learn, and another thing to make use of one's learning. It does not suffice to learn a song: that does not make a person into a singer. He must learn to produce his voice also. And so it is with intuitive knowledge. When a man has become qualified by studying for a long time and yet cannot use his knowledge, what is the good of it? There is a sufficient number of learned people; what we want today is people with master minds, those who see not only the outer life but also the life within, who draw inspiration not only from the outer life but also from the life within. Then they become the expression of that perfect Being which is hidden, hidden behind the life of variety.

Hazrat Inayat Khan, Spiritual Dimensions of Psychology. Lebanon Sprigs, NY, Sufi Order Publications, 1981, p. 206

Pascal, Blaise

The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of. (Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point.)

Blaise Pascal, Pensees, iv, p. 277


The true earth is pure and situated in the pure heaven? But we who live in the hollows are deceived into the notion that we are dwelling above on the surface of the earth: which is just as if a creature who was at the bottom of the sea were to fancy that he was on the surface of the water, and that the sea was the heaven.... If any man could arrive at the exterior limit, or take the wings of a bird and come to the top, then like a fish who puts his head out of the water and sees this world, he would see a world beyond: and, if the nature of man could sustain the sight, he would acknowledge that this other world was the place of the true heaven and the true light and the true earth.

Plato (tr. B. Jowett), The Dialogues of Plato.


They (the statesmen elect) must raise the eye of the soul to the universal light which lightens all things, and behold the absolute good; for that is the pattern according to which they are to order the State and the lives of individuals, and the remainder or their own lives also; making philosophy their chief pursuit.

Plato, Republic VII, 540

Redfield, James

Ideally, once we recognize the central question in our lives, we will have a guiding thought or an intuition about how to answer it. We find ourselves with a mental image that would suggest going somewhere, taking some action, saying something to a stranger. Again, ideally, if we follow the intuition, coincidences will occur to give us information pertaining to our question. This synchronicity leads us further down our life path ... and, in turn, to a new question.

James Redfield, The Secret of Shambhala, p. 91

Shah, Idries

Sufian said:

’The wisdom which is invisible but which sustains is a hundred times better than the appearance of wisdom, for that has itself to be sustained.’

Idries Shah Thinkers of the East, p. 143

Soutar, William

...In religion too – argumentation is a waste of time: you cannot argue anyone into belief – just as you cannot demonstrate that a poem is a poem: in each instance you must feel that your own experience has been illuminated and made a truth. The intellect must share in the illumination but the actual recognition of truth is not an intellectual process.

William Soutar Diaries of a Dying Man

van der Post, Laurens

The nose is to the animal what the intuition is to the spirit of men; it is the organ which enables the animal to detect what is far away and would otherwise be hidden. We say of a man who has good hunches in his profession that he has a good nose for it'.

Laurens van der Post, The Heart of the Hunter, p. 172

Vaughan, Frances

Time after time it appears that major human achievements involve intuitive leaps of imagination. It is the intuitive, holistic, pattern-perception faculties associated with the right hemisphere of the brain that break through existing formulations of truth and expand the body of knowledge. The stabilization of intuitive insights, and their usefulness to humanity, are subsequently determined by careful, logical examination and validation, but the original vision or insight is intuitive.

Frances E. Vaughan, Awakening Intuition, p. 153

Whyte, David

Human beings have an intuitive capacity and knowledge (what the romantic poets called sensibility) that somewhere at the center of life is something ineffably and unalterably right and good, and that this 'rightness' can be discovered through artistic and spiritual explorations that have been honored by all the great perennial religious traditions.

David Whyte, The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America, p. 293

Wickes, Frances

To the rationally minded the mental processes of the intuitive appear to work backwards. His conclusions are reached before his premises.

Frances Wickes, The Inner World of Childhood.

Zukav, Gary

In a world of five-sensory humans that understand power as external, intuitive knowledge is not regarded as knowledge, and, therefore, it is not processed. It is not submitted to the intellect. It is not expanded or studied or made technical and disciplined. Just as we were taught to develop and employ cognition – to think things through – so, too, can we learn to develop and employ intuition – to ask for guidance and receive it. Just as there are technologies to discipline the mind, such as analytical thinking, studying, repetition, and respect for the mechanism, so, too, are there techniques to engage and discipline the intuition.

Gary Zukav The Seat of the Soul, p. 84

Pineault, Annie

Perhaps the most important distinction between Western thought patterns and First Nations understanding of intuition lies in the latter's rootedness in space and not time. The linear construction that dominates the historical approaches of the Western tradition is not at the center nor is it the focus of Native consciousness. This is not to say that Natives are not aware of the concept of time or that Western traditions ignore space. Yet, it is within this specific cultural difference that I find a starting point from which to begin the journey to my understanding of intuition. ...

Primarily, I believe that the First Nations perspective on intuition is based in the inherent teachings, which are land based and contain the inherent concepts or tools needed to understand the functioning of participating consciousness within a land- based philosophy. These teachings do not question or put forth a tentative ideology that perhaps there is an inherent consciousness. They firmly instill the fact that there is a participating consciousness and that we are a part of it and not separate from it. In the teachings, I recognize and acknowledge my position and how "I walk" on Turtle Island, When I speak about "my walk:' I distinctly wish it to be perceived as the essence of my being and how it interacts with the other forms of consciousness in this measurable plane, which most humans consider to be the interactive world.

Annie Pineault, 'Intuition as Old Growth and Narrative of Self' in Robbie Davis-Floyd & P. Sven Arvidson (eds), Intuition: The Inside Story - Interdisciplinary Perspectives, p. 69

Needleman, Jacob

Since the beginning of recorded history, man has been haunted by the intimation that he lives in a world of mere appearances. In every teaching and spiritual philosophy of the past we find the idea that whatever happens to us, for good or ill, is brought about by deeper forces behind the world that seems so real to us. We are further told that this real world is not accessible to the senses nor understandable by the ordinary mind.

But, and this is a point that is not usually understood, we live in a world of inner appearances as well. We are not what we perceive ourselves to be. There is another identity, our real self, hidden behind the self that we believe ourselves to be.

It is only through awakening to this deeper self within that we can penetrate behind the veil of appearances and make contact with a truer world outside of ourselves. It is because we live on the surface of ourselves that we live on the surface of the greater world, never participating — except in rare moments which do not last and which are not understood — in the wholeness of reality


It is this all-important second aspect of the ancient wisdom, the aspect that speaks of our inner world, that modern thought has been blind to. And the question about the meaning of life is inextricably linked to the need for contact with the real self beneath the surface of our everyday thoughts, emotions, and sensations.

Without this contact, the external world of appearances assumes for us the proportions of an overwhelmingly compelling force. We cannot see the real world because we are not in contact with the deeper powers of thought and sensing within ourselves that could perceive it. Because of this, it is inevitable that we experience the external world as the strongest force in our lives. This is the meaning and the origin of materialism.

Jacob Needleman, Money and the meaning of life, pp. 153-4. New York, Currency & Doubleday, 1994

Godwin, Robert W.

Most people naturally regard the horizontal dimension as what is real, because that is how Darwinian evolution designed us. The vertical, however, operates "perpendicular" to chronological time. This is where what we call God comes from. It's where revelation comes from. Revelations don't come from the past; they come from the Above. The vertical is actually the leading edge of the cos­mos, the creative space of post-biological evolution. It is about qualities, such as depth, interiority, and the three great tran­scendentals: the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. Virtually everything that defines us as humans, that gives us our dig­nity and our nobility, comes from the vertical-our capacity to know Truth, our capacity for aesthetic beauty, music, sym­phonies, poetry. To give an example, when Jesus is baptized, the spirit descends on him like a dove. It literally comes down vertically. That might be a metaphor, but it's a very useful metaphor because it describes the experience. Just like the horizontal contains energies-the energies of physics-the vertical contains energies-the energies of shakti, grace. Any spiritual practice is about opening up to that vertical energy.

Robert W. Godwin, The Only Journey There Is : An Exploration of Cosmic and Cultural Evolution - Interview by Elizabeth Debold. What is Enlightenment Magazine, Issue 35, Jan- March 2007, p. 63

Armstrong, Karen

In 1799, the year after Wordsworth and Coleridge had published the Lyrical Ballads in England, Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768- 1834) published On Religion, Speeches to its Cultured Despisers, his own Romantic manifesto, in Germany. Dogmas were not divine facts but simply "accounts of the Christian religious affections set forth in speech." Religious faith could not be confined to the propositions of the creeds: it involved an emotional apprehension and an interior surrender. Thought and reason had their place, but they could only take us so far. When we had come to the limit of reason, feeling would complete the journey to the Absolute. When he spoke of "feeling," Schleiermacher did not mean a sloppy emotionalism but an intuition which drove men and women toward the infinite. Feeling was not opposed to human reason but an imaginative leap that takes us beyond the particular to an apprehension of the whole. The sense of God thus acquired arose from the depths of each individual rather than a collision with an objective Fact.

Karen Armstrong , A History of God. The 4000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam . New York , Ballantine Books, 1993, p. 350

Deikman, Arthur

The ordinary man is said to suffer from confusion or ‘sleep’ because of his tendency to use his customary thought patterns and perceptions to try to understand the meaning of his life and reach fulfillment. Consequently his experience of reality is constricted, and dangerously so, because he tends to be unaware of it. Sufis assert that the awakening of man’s latent perceptual capacity (intuition), is not only crucial for his happiness but is the principle goal of his current phase of existence - it is man’s evolutionary task. ...Ordinary intuition ... is considered by the Sufis to be a lower-level imitation of the superior form of intuition with which Sufism is concerned.

Arthur Deikman, 'Sufism and Psychiatry', Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases (1977). Cited in Frances E. Vaughan, Awakening Intuition. Anchor, 1979, p. 178

Bamford, Christopher

Often, we first come upon [Sophia, Divine Wisdom] as if it were by chance, almost without knowing it. She finds us when we are not even looking for her. We feel her touch like a feather on our cheek. For a moment, our senses become alive. We feel her approaching at the edges of our thinking; and then – just as we anticipate finding her – she slips away, returning to her sanctum which in retrospect seems closer to us than our own jugular vein and yet remains inaccessible. Anyone who has been moved by beauty, or caught the glance of another and found one word rising on two pairs of lips, knows what it means to sense her presence. If you have felt someone else's suffering as your own, or have been with a group of friends and suddenly sensed a new unity descend and thoughts manifest that had not been thought before, you will know what I mean. One feels lifted out of the daily grind of linearity and mechanical causality into a preserve, a sacred enclosure of the heart one can describe only as "wisdom." Enveloped by wonder, filled with love, we feel solidarity with the Earth in its struggles, joys, and pains. It is a moment of identity in which we know with certitude, confidence, and humility that we are open, universal, cosmic beings – children of heaven, united with the Earth, whose destiny is our own.

Christopher Bamford, An Endless Trace: The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West. New Paltz, New York, Codhill Press, 2003. p. 15

Kingsley, Peter

Most of us think the greatest possible achievement is to come up with everything ourselves, to invent and be creative, put our stamp on the world. But there are those who consider that the greatest achievement is to listen, to change this world by bringing into it what no one else is able to hear. Into the humdrum and ordinary they bring something extraordinary, a magic: not the fabricated type of magic that we invent to try and escape from the tedium of existence but a totally different kind, far more mysterious and infinitely more real.
And this magic always has a sign it can be recognized by – in the same kind of way that an orange with its stalk and leaves still attached can be a gentle reminder of how it has been brought to us from somewhere else.
That sign is its freshness: a strange sense of wholeness so alarming and out of place in this fragmented, upside-down world of ours that we feel a desperate need to complete it. But however hard we try to change it, interpret it, force it to make sense, we can never persuade it to fit in.
This is because we are what needs completing – not it. And the only way we can understand it is when we learn to judge and assess ourselves in its light; not it in the imagined light of ourselves.

Peter Kingsley, Realty. Inverness, Calif., Golden Sufi Center, 2003. p. 59

Lipson, Michael

By exercising our consciousness, we can shift the conceptual style by which we know the world. The direction of the shift we are seeking is easy to say — toward the source of all that is good — but not so easy to find and practice. If we do practice it, we find the world will change in three ways. First, we will perceive the world differently: it becomes more meaningful. Second, we will respond to this new world more creatively: we will add meaning to it. Third, meditation works directly in the invisible, and changes the world at its heart.

Michael Lipson, Stairway of Surprise : Six Steps to a Creative Life. Hudson, NY, Anthrosophic Press, 2002. P. 14

Scharma, Otto

"Presencing", a blend of the words "presence" and "sensing", refers to the ability to sense and bring into the present one's highest future potential and acting from that state of heightened awareness in the now. That type of personal connection to your future is something very distinct. It involves your mind, your heart, empathy. It also involves your deeper sense of self, who you really are, and what you feel your real calling is here on this planet at this point in time. It involves more dimensions than your usual learning process where we reflect on past experience and try to draw conclusions from it. ...
Presencing is about intuition in a way. Its about connecting to the sources of deeper creativity of our deeper sense of self. There’s probably an overlap between intuition and presencing. Presencing is connecting to our highest future possibility and that’s what I refer to as the capital ‘S’ Self.

Otto Scharmer, 'Presencing : an interview with Otto Scharmer by Diederick Janse and Jeroen Maes' in Kosmos Journal, fall/winter 2011, p. 52 & 55 [an edited version of the teleseminar interview available at]

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