Thursday, September 27, 2012

Intuition and Ego

What is intuition?  Where does it come from?  Why does it so often seem like a good idea or solution or answer to whatever you seek?  We use other words for the same thing.  We say women have intuition, men have “gut feelings” or hunches.  We have all experienced it, but have we thought about what it is and why we have it?

When you think about something, what does that mean?  Most of the time we mean that we are engaging in an internal dialogue, using language to structure our thoughts.  But there are other ways of thinking.  Like visual thinking.  This is what animals do and it is how the famous autistic person, Temple Grandin says she thinks.  I myself am capable of mathematical thinking far beyond what a normal person can do.  The basic rules of algebra for example are “hard wired” into my brain.  This means that I can do algebra by simply looking, or even visualizing a formula and easily and “thoughtlessly” applying the rules and manipulating the formula.  It is so easy for me it feels effortless.  There is also kinesthetic thinking, which is what athletes are exceptionally good at.  There are others of course, but listing them is not the point here.   What are you good at?  If you have a talent for something it likely means that you are good at doing the type of non-verbal thinking  more useful for that task.

If we are all capable of thinking in different ways, why don’t we do more of it?  I suggest that the reason is your ego.  The ego stays in the upper, verbal part of the mind and tries to make you stay there.  It dominates your emotional and verbal state because it is only concerned with judgment.  You ego keeps you in a state where you are constantly judging everything around you; good, bad, or indifferent.   The problem with this is that after you judge it, you stop thinking about it.  You’re done with it, and back to thinking about yourself.  The ego keeps you separate and keeps you from thinking deeply.

Sometimes however, things get through the ego barrier.  Then you have a great or insightful thought that you don’t recognize the origin.  It’s great when it happens, but why can’t we do more of it.

When the ego is transcended, then the thinking can really begin and the ideas and knowledge flows.  This is enlightenment.  When meditating, the mind is quiet.  If the mind is quiet and the ego is out of the way and the thoughts are allowed to flow from deep levels, or from the consciousness field, then the mind is realizing its true potential.

Samadhi is quiet mind and bliss.
Enlightenment is samadhi plus the flow of knowledge.

Samadhi is relaxing, enlightenment takes energy.

Where did these ideas come from?  I just described the process.

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