When the body functions spontaneously,
that is called instinct.
When the soul functions spontaneously,
that is called intuition.
They are alike and yet
far away from each other.
Instinct is of the body – the gross;
and intuition is of the soul – the subtle.
And between the two is the mind, the expert,
which never functions spontaneously.
Your individuality can be divided – just for the purpose of understanding it; otherwise there is no division. It is one single unity, whole : the head, the heart and the being.
Intellect is the functioning of the head, instinct is the functioning of your body and intuition is the functioning of your heart. And behind these three is your being, whose only quality is witnessing.
The head only thinks, hence it never comes to any conclusion. It is verbal, linguistic, logical, but because it has no roots in reality, thousands of years of philosophical thinking have not given us a single conclusion. Philosophy has been the greatest exercise in futility. Intellect is very clever in creating questions and then creating answers, and then out of those answers, more questions and more answers. It can make palaces of words, system of theories, but they are all just hot air.
The body can not rely on your intellect, because the body has to live. That’s why all essential functions of the body are in the hands of instinct – for example, breathing, heartbeat, digestion of your food, circulation of the blood. A thousand and one processes are going on inside your body in which you have no part at all. And it is good that nature has given the body its own wisdom. Otherwise, if your intellect were to take care of your body, life would have been impossible! Because sometime you may forget to breathe – at least in the night, how will you breathe while you’re asleep? You are already so confused with just thoughts; in this confusion, who will take care of the blood circulation, whether the right amount of axygen in reaching your cells or not? Whether the food that you’re eating is being analyzed into its basic constituents, and those basic constituents are sent where they are needed? And this whole tremendous amount of work is done by instinct. You are not needed. You can remain in a coma; still the body will continue to work.
Nature has given all essential functions of your body to instinct, and it has left all that makes your life meaningful… because just to exist, just to survive has no meaning. To give meaning to your life, existence has given intuition to your heart. Out of your intuition arises the possibility of art, of aesthetics, of love, of friendship – all kinds of creativity are intuitive. The very word intuition has to be understood. You know the word tuition – tuition comes from outside, somebody teaches you, the tutor. Intuition means something that arises within your being; it is your potential, that’s why it is called intuition. Also, if you see there’s a – ‘in’ prefix in all the three words : in-tellect, in-stinct and in-tuition; that means all these qualities are inborn. Wisdom is never borrowed, and that which is borrowed can never be wisdom. Unless you have your own eyes, own vision, own clarity, own wisdom to see, you will not be able to understand the mystery of existence.
Intuition can not be explained scientifically because the very phenomenon is unscientific and irrational. In language it looks okay to ask, “Can intuition be explained?” But it seems, “Can intuition be reduced to intellect?” And intuition is something beyond the intellect, something not of the intellect, something coming from some place where intellect is totally unaware. So, the intellect can feel it, but it can not explain it.
The leap of intuition can be felt because there is a gap. Intuition can be felt by the intellect – it can be noted that something has happened – but it can not be explained, because explanation needs causality. Explanation means to answer the question from where does it come, why does it come, what is the cause. And it comes from somewhere else, not from the intellect itself – so there is no intellectual cause. There is no reason, no link, no continuity within the intellect.
Intuition is a different realm of happening that is not related to the intellect at all, although it can penetrate the intellect. It must be understood that a higher reality can penetrate a lower reality, but the lower can not penetrate the higher. So intuition can penetrate the intellect because it is higher, but intellect can not penetrate the intuition because it is lower. Intuition is something happening to you, not coming to you – something happening to you without any causality anywhere, without any source anywhere. This sudden happening in you which is beyond reason is Intuition. Intuition means just that – that’s why reason denies it. Reason denies it because it is incapable of encountering it. Reason can only encounter any phenomenon that can be divided into cause and effect.
According to reason there are two realms of existence, the known and the unknown. And the unknown means that which is not yet known but will someday be known. But mysticism says that there are three realms : the known, the unknown and the unknowable. By the unknowable, the mystic means that which can never be known. A mystic says, “Whatever you do, something in the very foundation of existence will remain unknowable – a mystery.” And if the mystics are not right, science is going to destroy the whole meaning of life.
Intellect is involved with the known and the unknown, not with the unknowable. And intuition works with the unknowable, with that which can not be known. The intrinsic quality of the unknowable is unknowability; it will always exist as the unknowable. The unknowable is the beauty, the meaning, the aspiration, the goal. Because of the unknowable, life means something. When everything is known, then everything is flat. You’ll be fed up, bored.
Intuition is possible because the unknowable is there. When something from the unknowable comes to be known, it is a jump – there is no link, no passage, there is no going from one point to another point. That’s why the mind is always confused and try to find out the reasons for the happening. Reason is an effort to know the unknown, and intuition is the happening of the unknowable. To penetrate the unknowable is possible but to explain it is not. The feeling is possible, the explanation is not. The more you try to explain it, the more closed you will become, so do not try. Let reason work in its own field, but remember continuously that there are deeper realms. There are deeper reasons, which reason can not understand. Higher reasons, which reason is incapable of conceiving. This is the realm of intuition.