Reason is a system of thought, it defines and delineates its own products (ideas, concepts, thoughts, even words used to express these), and it operates solely within the limits of that system. Reason is a mode of knowing; there are other modes, other methods of knowing, other “kinds” of knowing that simple rational awareness. It is easy for one rational mind to convince another rational mind that the irrational aspect of mind doesn’t exist, since reason is the dominant function of mind, at least in reason’s estimation. It’s never easy to usurp a king from his throne, but the world is much more expansive, inclusive and yes, democratic without it.
There are two modes of functionality in the brain and in the mind. Intuition is how we refer to the functioning of the non-rational half of the mind. That is what makes it so tricky to “talk” about, using rational methods and rational concepts to describe the non-rational functioning of the mind. Intuition and reason are co-equal partners of the mind, working co-operatively to bring sense on one side and manifestation on the other.
Common in the language is talk about “women’s intuition”; in a paternalistic society, that is meant to denigrate and dismiss that which is “other”, and for a paternalistic society, it is ‘rational’ to do this. People often rely on hunches, inspiration, insights, “sudden” bursts of ‘knowing’ that wasn’t there “consciously” before. When we speak of the “conscious” mind, we speak of the mind that is aware of its environment, and aware of itself to whatever limited degree; it is aware of its idea of itself, like a hypothesis that actions and reactions in the material world either reaffirm or refute,
What is it to know something “intuitively”, to have an “intuition” of something? To know that you know something, directly and immediately; the source is sometimes unknown or unseen, often an insight or inspiration will pop up, seemingly out of nowhere, seeming of its own volition. The key here is the immediate knowledge, not an analytical conclusion reached after consideration. An insight arrives seemingly complete and intact, only because we don’t have the process of its generation in our awareness, certainly not in our rational awareness, the “thinking” mind. The rational mind is directed outward, toward the material universe, where it does its work. The rational mind doesn’t see the intuitive work being done because it’s looking away toward consequence, toward cause and effect, and not toward the source of the inspiration; that other realm is the intuition.
Reason is linear, intuition is associative, intuition sees from the global perspective, reason sees through the here and now. Where does reason reside? In the underlying framework of the system that is Thought. Reason applies universally, it’s consequences indiscriminately. Reason applies it’s method on particulars; intuition seeks to communicate the particular’s place in the whole. Reason is the process by which we look out on and understand the material world. Intuition is the process by which the internal world seeks to make itself understood to the us as beings existing within the limitations of being in a physical body in the material world. 2014.0330 18:41 ed.
So, excuse me while I ramble a bit; this is, after all, the intuition of which we speak. This is not going to be easy, this is not going to be direct, but then considering the subject matter, what else could you expect?
What is “the intuition” of which we speak? First, it is not reason. What is reason, but a system by which we sort and analyze information?
What is intuition but an alternate method to achieve comparable results, with different sorts of data?
Why is reason so antagonistic to intuition as to deny its existence and, failing that, it’s validity? Because the ruler is uniformly antagonistic to the usurper, to the alternate ruler of the “mind” universe. We are a left-brain dominated society, and in order to maintain that dominance, the alternative had to be squelched.
Can reason, in fact, be retrained to full partnership with intuition? Can the war of the sexes be declared officially over? That is the depth of the question, and the complexity of the answer we seek.
I have a computer that is partitioned into two halves, two “lobes”, if you will; one running Windows (8.1 by now), the other running a linux clone, Debian. Both “sides” perform many of the same functions, fulfill many of the same tasks, only the do things differently. On the surface level, it’s a difference between proprietary software and open source software, but I’m looking at the underlying developmental, structural, framework for comparison.
There is an interface, a junction where data from one side of the partition can be shared with the other, but not having located it, I’m as yet unable to access it – not that it isn’t there, just that I can’t go there – yet.
The two lobes of the brain also have a single, and singular juncture point – the corpus callosum. The two lobes operate independently, but communicate through the activity in the corpus collasum. John Boghosian Arden posits that the neural activity in the corpus callosum is that which localizes the mind to the brain, that the neurological/biological-electro-magnetic energy of the interaction between the two lobes is what generates – but I prefer to limit it to localizes – the field of information in which the ‘mind’ operates.
Janus, the God of Transitions…
Another irony is that even in the definition of Janus there are two very different versions as to …
We see this two-faced image a lot in our lives.
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus (Latin: Ianus, pronounced [ˈiaː.nus]) is the god of beginnings and transitions, thence also of gates, doors, passages, endings and time. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past (for our purposes, Janus looks not only from beginning to end, but from intuitive to rational; hey, it’s an image, it can stretch.).
Let’s look at the individual nature of the activity in each of the lobes of the brain. One operates by analyzing parts from the whole, one views the part from the perspective of the whole – one sees the trees, the other the forest.
One looks outward, one looks inward. Call it the difference between sight and vision. We use our body’s eyes to have sight of the external world, the material universe, the manifest. We use our mind’s eye to incorporate the potential into the manifest. When we look internally, when we imagine and dream and daydream and create, we use a vision of what we wish to bring into physical reality to guide us forward. When we look externally, we see with our senses the result of our vision out in the material world, the manifest dimension. And we do both, simultaneously, continuously.
Where do we look when we look “inward”?
There are those who would deny the existence of the “internal universe”, they insist they believe only in the external world, the world their senses validate for them, every day of their lives. And that’s the problem, that’s the limitation – your life is larger than “the days of your lives” – whether you recognize it or not. It’s there, and there exists a connection to the rest of the universe, or else how could your existence continue just based on your own will that it would? Think about this for a second – can you will yourself not to live, can you will yourself to die, can you will yourself OUT of existence? Contingency and Necessity – Existence necessarily exists prior to your having will to exert in that existence. You can’t turn it off, you couldn’t have turned it on. You can will yourself to kill your body, in an attempt to shut off your mind – and, in a sense, it works; your body stops living, the mind “no longer” (all time being simultaneous, the sense of “longer” is immaterial).has a locus in the material plane. In this realm, it ceases to exist because it has no locus in time and space, but that does not imply the ‘mind’ ceases to exist, it just ceases to have a link to this realm.
What goes on before birth and after death is called a “mystery” because, no matter what conjecture we carry out, we can never know. Our knowledge is limited by time, space and the senses; beyond that, we rely on its continued sustenance, but we cannot ‘rationally’ know anything about it.
But can we know, intuitively? Consciousness is a unitary thing; it simply exists, consciousness is individuated because our bodies are, but consciousness carries on within and without us. That is one of the essential mysteries. They are mysteries because their solutions exist outside the realm of time and space.
In his books, Eckhart Tolle talks about this interior connection, the intuitive ‘knowing’, but I’d say it’s more like an intuitive channel to knowing, rather than the knowing itself. Reason is about what can be known; intuition is about everything else. We cannot know all that cannot be known, but we can certainly know about the process by which …
Attention is like a flashlight beam, it can only be focused on a single thing in a single moment; forget multi-tasking, it’s layering and ordering and bookmarking, not actual multiple functions going on simultaneously, except insofar as the rests between beats of activity are part of the activity.
Gotta take a beat, and come back to the workings of intuition from another angle next time. See you then.