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(Sri Aurobindo:) “The difference between intuition and thought is very much like that between seeing a thing and badgering one’s brains to find out what the thing can possibly be like. Intuition is truth-sight. The thing seen may not be the truth? Well, in that case it will at least be one of its hundred tails or at least a hair from one of the tails. The very first step in the supramental change is to transform all operations of consciousness from the ordinary mental to the intuitive, only then is there any hope of proceeding farther, — not to, but towards the supramental.”[1]

(Shyam Sundar, 1970:) “Isn't ordered intuition a necessity for Your true servitor?

(Mother:) Ordered intuition is certainly a very useful instrument for replacing the mind which has proved itself incapable of translating correctly the higher consciousness. But beyond intuition there is a consciousness that reflects yet better the Supreme Consciousness.”[2]

(Student:) “How does it manifest, Sweet Mother? — intuition.

(Mother:) Um! How does it manifest? It is something which takes place without any reasoning, any analysis, any deduction. Suddenly one knows a thing, without having reasoned, without having analysed, without deducing, without having reflected, without having made use of one’s brain, without having put together the elements of the problem and tried to resolve them — it is not like that. All of a sudden it comes like a light in the consciousness; it can be in the head, it can be lower down, elsewhere; it is a light in the consciousness which brings a precise knowledge on a particular point and it is not at all a result of analyses and deductions. In fact, it is the first manifestation of the knowledge by identity. Knowledge by identity — you understand clearly what that means?
         If one succeeds in identifying oneself with something, well, one becomes this thing for a time, and becoming this thing one knows all that is in it, without needing either to guess or to construct. (Long silence) That’s all.”[3]

(Mother:) “To have the true intuition one must get rid of the mind’s self-will and the vital’s also, their preferences, fancies, fantasies, strong insistences, and eliminate the mental and vital ego’s pressure which sets the consciousness to work in the service of its own claims and desires. Otherwise these things will come in with force and claim to be intuitions, inspirations and the rest of it. Or if any intuitions come, they can be twisted and spoiled by the mixture of these forces of the Ignorance.”[4]

(Mother:) “Intuition sees the truth of things by a direct inner contact, not like the ordinary mental intelligence by seeking and reaching out for indirect contacts through the senses etc. But the limitation of the Intuition as compared with the Supermind is that it sees things by flashes, point by point, not as a whole. Also in coming into the mind it gets mixed with the mental movement and forms a kind of intuitive-mind activity which is not the pure truth, but something in between the higher Truth and the mental seeking. It can lead the consciousness through a sort of transitional stage and that is practically its function.”[5]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “The true intuition [...] carries in itself its own guarantee of truth; it is sure and infallible within its limits. And so long as it is pure intuition and does not admit into itself any mixture of sense-error or intellectual ideation, it is never contradicted by experience: the intuition may be verified by the reason or the sense-perception afterwards, but its truth does not depend on that verification, it is assured by an automatic self-evidence. If the reason depending on its inferences contradicts the greater light, it will be found in the end on ampler knowledge that the intuitional conclusion was correct and that the more plausible rational and inferential conclusion was an error. For the true intuition proceeds from the self-existent truth of things and is secured by that self-existent truth and not by any indirect, derivatory or dependent method of arriving at knowledge.
          But even the intuitive reason is not the gnosis; it is only an edge of light of the supermind finding its way by flashes of illumination into the mentality like lightnings in dim and cloudy places. Its inspirations, revelations, intuitions, self-luminous discernings are messages from a higher knowledge-plane that make their way opportunely into our lower level of consciousness.”[6]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “There are mental, vital, subtle physical intuitions as well as intuitions from the higher and the illumined Mind.”[7]

  1. Letters on Yoga – I, p.160
  2. En Route (On the Path): The Mother's Correspondence with Shyam Sundar, p.140
  3. Questions and Answers 1954, p.423
  4. Ibid., p.162
  5. Ibid., p.159
  6. The Synthesis of Yoga, p.478, “Vijnana or Gnosis”
  7. Ibid., p.163

See also