The Intuition: Knowledge by Fusion

By Shirley Nicholson

Originally printed in the March - April 2004 issue of Quest magazine. 
Citation: Nicholson, Shirley. "The Intuition: Knowledge by Fusion." Quest  92.2 (MARCH-APRIL 2004):44-53.

Every one of us possesses the faculty, the interior sense, known as intuition, . . . the only faculty by means of which men andthings are seen in their true colors. It is an instinct of the soul,which grows in us in proportion to the use we make of it . . . .[It] awakens the spiritual senses in us and the power to act.

—H. P. Blavatsky

Theosophical Society - Shirley Nicholson, former chief editor for Quest Books, served as director of the Krotona School of Theosophy in Ojai, California, and later as administrative head of the Krotona Institute. She is corresponding secretary for the Esoteric School in North America. She is author of two books on Theosophy, compiler of several anthologies, and has written many articles for Theosophical journals.

Jean is teaching a handicapped teenager to throw a pot on the potter's wheel. She perceives that he has not grasped the idea of centering. The right words pop into her head as she demonstrates the proper technique and leads the boy to get the idea. She has intuited his problem and found just the right way to get through to him.

A potter, singer, and songwriter, Jean hits upon the "just right" way to express her ideas and emotions through her arts. Her works are original and show independent spirit. She can turn the same intuitive faculty to understanding people and their problems and communicating with them. This gift shows in the way she teaches pottery making and in her relations with her friends, who often come to her for advice and counseling.

Jean operates from intuitive vision rather than from will or planned purpose. When she gets an idea for a piece of sculpture or a song, she is convinced that her vision is valid. Her ideas rarely follow on previous ones but come afresh. She sees a vision of the whole and works out details as she goes along rather than building the whole from the parts. She is ingenious at overcoming difficulties as she proceeds. She does not think through the solutions in a step-by-step way; they come to her holistically.

Jean's mind works quickly. She jumps to conclusions without the gradual process of rational, linear thinking. She grasps significance and meaning immediately. On the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, she would be classified as intuitive because of her emphasis on wholes and extravert because she is oriented to the outer world. But artistic people are not the only intuitives. Others are found in the business world, especially among CEOs and entrepreneurs; they can also be found as teachers, counselors, research scientists, design engineers, inventors, musicians, social activists, and writers.

Though undervalued in our scientifically oriented culture, intuition is a valid way of knowing. C. G. Jung included intuition along with sensation, thinking, and feeling in his classification of ways of functioning. It is a universal human ability. Australian aborigines, who have an uncanny instinct for finding sources of liquid and food in desert areas, access intuition in a state of consciousness called the "Dream Time" (Shallcross and Sisk 46—47). As many psychotherapists including Jung recognize, there is more wisdom in the total organism than in just the conscious mind. Frances Vaughan refers to "an intuitive process that calls for accessing levels of awareness that are not available to habitual ways of thinking" (Shadows 257). In Eastern thought, intuition is considered a faculty that develops during the course of spiritual growth. One aim of yoga is the systematic cultivation of intuition, which is considered a function of higher levels of consciousness on which a wide range of knowledge is available.

There are many studies of intuition, and there was even a journal called Intuition. Businesses are hiring workshop leaders to train managers in developing intuition. In these workshops, you might see vice presidents and CEOs lost in guided fantasies, or giving a right- brain (subjective, emotional) report of an accident, or finding metaphors for the way their company works. One manager compared his company to a car with five drivers, all with steering wheels unattached to the car's wheels. Participants are encouraged to pay attention to such images and ideas, even if they seem "off the wall," as they may express a useful insight.

You have intuition. It tells you to do something or not to do it. It pulls you in a certaindirection so that you are at the right place at the right time. It tells you that your idea orintention "feels right" or "feels wrong." It shows you new relationships between ideas you've beenworking with so that all the pieces of the puzzle fit. It comes suddenly and unexpectedly. You feel elated and want to express your insight in words or action.

Examples of Intuitive Insight

Some of the changes in how we think and live have come from intuition. In the nineteenth century, Elias Howe, a first-rate machinist, tried to invent a sewing machine, but he repeatedly failed. The eye for the thread was in the middle of the needle's shaft in his models. One night he had an elaborate dream that was very real to him. He was captured by a fierce tribe and taken to their king, who commanded him to finish the sewing machine at once on pain of death.

He tried but failed. Warriors surrounded him. They were going to execute him with spears. He noticed that near the tips of the spears were eye-shaped holes. He woke up and immediately designed a model sewing machine with the eye for the thread at the tip of the needle, as on the spears and on today's sewing machines.

The psychologist Abraham Maslow refers to two types of scientists (Goldberg 20). One type resembles tiny marine animals, like corals, that build up bit by bit from facts. The other type contains the "eagles of science" who take imaginative flights and produce revolutions of thought. Maslow claimed that Einstein, an eagle, took "intuitive leaps," that his theories were "free inventions of the imagination." His "thought experiments" were visualizations, often done while he shaved. In one of his thought experiments, Einstein imagined twin brothers, one of whom stayed at home on earth, while the other rode around the universe on a beam of light. Einstein saw from this exercise in imagination that the earthling would age faster than the universal traveler. His revolutionary theory of the relativity of time came to him through this fantasy.

In a Sidney Harris cartoon, "The Creative Moment," Einstein is shown at a blackboard, baggy pants and all, writing "E=ma², E=mb²." The humor of the cartoon is its depiction of Einstein's theory as coming from a logical, linear process, whereas Einstein himself said, "The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don't know how or why."

Helen Keller did not affect the world with her intuition in the same way Einstein did, but it changed her life. Before the age of six this blind and deaf girl was wild and unsocialized, eating with her hands and unable to care for herself in any way. Then Annie Sullivan, a gifted teacher, came to the Keller home to help Helen. She tapped words into Helen's hand in Morse code, but Helen did not associate the taps with meaning. One day Annie took Helen to the pump house, and while she tapped W-A-T-E-R into one hand, she pumped water onto the other hand. Helen had a breakthrough. She got the connection. By the end of the day she had learned thirty words. She also started to become socialized and manageable. Later she wrote, "I understood that what teacher was tapping into my hand meant that cool something. That word ‘water' dropped into my mind like the sun in a frozen winter world. It woke me up" (Houston 117).

In a similar way, very young babies learn to connect sounds with objects, to see that a word can stand for something else. We have all had this fundamental intuitive breakthrough. The extent of this basic human ability sets us apart from animals. Language is a hallmark of being human, and it is learned by each child through an intuitive insight.

What Is Intuition?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines intuition as "the act or faculty of knowing directly, withoutthe use of rational processes." Additional meanings of the word are "innate or instinctual knowledge" and"a quick and ready apprehension." The word intuition comes from the Latin in + tuiri, "to look (directly) at." Intuition is knowing something from inside rather than outside. Dane Rudhyar, a philosopher and composer, calls it "a mode of supersensible perception, a spiritual ‘seeing'" (Shallcross and Sisk 52). It can be like a lightning flash that suddenly illuminates a dark landscape.

Intuition is associated with buddhi, a Sanskrit term for the unitive aspect of our nature. The English word intuition is an inadequate translation of that term. Buddhi, a human principle and fundamental aspect of the self, is different from the mind. As action is the function of the physical body, emotion the function of kama or the emotions, thinking the function of manas or mind, so intuition is a function of buddhi. This principle is part of the deep, interior aspect of consciousness, close to the ground of being—the One Life, God, or Brahman. It is part of the transpersonal Self. Yet intuition, on a lower octave, is also a here-and-now faculty that we can use daily.

Thinking and Intuition

The intuitive way of knowing is fundamentally different from that of the mind. Thinking isrepresentational or deals with abstractions; it is the map rather than the territory. When you think, you create an inner representation of reality through symbols or words, which you manipulate. You consider the object of thought as something "out there," apart from yourself as the thinker. You think about something, by means of these interior representations.

By contrast, intuition deals intimately and directly with realities, not with their symbolic representations. Words cannot convey the essence of a sensory experience, such as the color blue. Yet you instantaneously know what blue is when you see it. This immediate apprehension is also characteristic of intuitive knowledge, by which we know something with our "whole being with total conviction," as Virginia Tower wrote in describing the magical moment of intuitive insight (20):

That instant of tranquility is like an interval when the movement of sea water on a rocky beach pauses and becomes lucid just long enough for the eye to catch the panorama of glistening shells and sea life upon the floor of the ocean. It is a strange and wonderful moment of clarity and conviction.

Thinking and intuition as contrasting modes of knowing have recently been studied in research intothe right and left hemispheres of the brain. Experiments were made on patients whose connectionsbetween the hemispheres of their brains had been severed during surgery. Those experiments showedthat the left side is largely responsible for analysis, logic, language, and views of the world asconsisting of discrete, separate things. By contrast, the right side synthesizes and grasps phenomena with unity and fullness. It is holistic and intuitive. These characteristics are typical of buddhi or intuition.

Arthur Deikman, a psychiatrist, distinguishes two modes of consciousness that relate to the left andright brain (30—35). The "instrumental" mode of consciousness automatically perceives boundaries, discriminates between ourselves and others, and sees us as separate from everything else. You are in this mode when you deal with the practicalities of daily life, like shopping, writing checks, composing a business letter, and making a "to do" list. The "receptive" mode of consciousness, on the other hand, relaxes your sense of boundaries and gives you a sense of merging with the environment, as in a hot bath, enjoying a sunset, or meditation. In the receptive mode, your thinking slows down and verbal meanings blur. Your sense of being a distinct self softens. You are no longer controlling things but are open and receptive. Deikman calls this mode the "spiritual self" because in it one is "other-centered" and identified with the larger life process. It is characterized by service rather than gain for oneself. Intuition is more likely to occur in this receptive, right-brain mode.

The intuition, however, does not work in a vacuum. It enlightens the mind; it does not eliminatethe mind. The philosopher Immanuel Kant, in his book Critique of Pure Reason, held that "thought without intuition is blind, and intuition without thought is empty." Intuition often occurs after the mind has struggled with a problem. The solution for Howe's sewing machine came in a dream after long pondering. Kekule, a Flemish chemist of the nineteenth century, had a famous dream-inspired breakthrough. He spent years wrestling with the structure of the benzene molecule. One evening, exhausted from trying to figure it out, he dozed by the fire. He had a vision of atoms swirling together. After a while, he perceived structures in the mass: the atoms twisted into snake-like shapes. Then one of the snakes grabbed its tail with its mouth. The chemist awoke startled, knowing that benzene atoms are structured in a ring. This insight was soon confirmed, and it laid the groundwork for the modern structural theory of organic chemistry.

By definition, intuition is always right. However, urges from the unconscious can suddenly popinto awareness, imitating intuition. It is not always easy to distinguish a true intuition from suchan impulse motivated by desire. An impulse is apt to satisfy wishful thinking and inflate the ego, while intuition is holistic. Impulses usually pass quickly, while an intuition persists and even becomes nagging.

Buddhi as Intuition

Intuitions, whether or not they originate in buddhi, can impress you at many levels. Lama Govinda says that "intuition may be active on all levels, from the sensuous to the highest spiritual experience" (Foundations 77). Frances Vaughan also holds that spiritual intuition "is the basic ground from which all other forms of intuition are derived" (Awakening 80). According to this view, intuition can be experienced in various ways and can reflect in or stimulate various principles.

Buddhi in itself is the "unity sense." At the higher reaches of buddhic experience, your consciousnessmerges with what you perceive. But intuition experienced on lower levels is not necessarilyaccompanied by a sense of unity, although ordinary intuition does imply some kind of unitive connection with the situation at an inner, unconscious level, as when you somehow know to be at a certain place at just the right time.

Levels of Expression

Intuition can be expressed in physical, emotional, and mental ways. At the physical level, you might experience an intuition as a gut feeling, as a tingling sensation, or even as a pull to the right or the left. If you are intuiting a tough situation ahead, you might get a headache, stomachache, or shoulder tension. Or you might just get up and do something, even though you don't know why, which turns out to be the right thing. For example, one rainy day an accountant parked his car in the usual place at work. Then, for no reason, he got back in the car and moved it. Later that day a large tree was uprooted because of unstable ground due to excessive rain, and it fell where the car was first parked.

If you get an intuition emotionally or through empathy, you may be picking up another person's mood, even though you are not aware of any outward signs of it. Or something you plan "feels right" or "feels wrong." You might have an immediate like or dislike for someone, even love at first sight. However, emotional reactions can come not from intuition but from what you hope for or fear. For instance, you might be drawn to a particular car on the dealer's lot, which turns out to be a lemon. It takes discrimination to distinguish personal emotion from intuition.

When you experience intuition mentally you get words, phrases, metaphors, symbols, pictures, numbers, or ideas. These may pertain to concrete things perceived by the lower mind, such as the needle on Howe's sewing machine. Or they may be abstract such as gravity or relativity, perceived by the higher mind. Images are a common expression of the intuition. Jung said that the Self (his term for the transpersonal part of the personality) feeds images to the ego. Images may give you hints to solve practical problems or insight into your internal state and condition. Sometimes you understand the message immediately, and sometimes it needs to be interpreted.

Invoking Images

To invoke and interpret images, Marcia Emery developed a technique called the "Mindshift Method,"consisting of six steps (26—32):

1. Define the problem
2. Center
3. Become receptive
4. Elicit imagery
5. Interpret images
6. Apply

To use this technique, first you define the problem clearly and write it down. Then you centeryourself by using an affirmation or focusing phrase, such as "Peace, be still" or "I am the Self." Then, you become receptive by using a relaxation technique, such as a few minutes of quiet deep breathing followed by deliberately relaxing your shoulders and other areas of your body. Next, you watch for images, which may come spontaneously or which you may elicit by visualization or fantasy—Emery suggests many such visualizations. Next, you interpret the images, and if you do not see their relevance immediately, you can use a technique such as word associations until you get an "aha!" feeling that you have hit on the right idea. Finally, when you know the solution to your problem, you implement it.

A professor of English went through the steps of this formula in a workshop. She wanted to change jobs and was looking for a sense of direction. The clues that came from her visualization were a pen and a book that fell open to the word "God." She took these to mean that she should do some kind of spiritual writing. She applied for a work-study scholarship and spent some months starting a book on mysticism in English poetry. Afterwards, she relocated, found work teaching, and continued to work on the book. The book was never finished, but she began writing spiritually oriented poetry, some of which was published.

The psychologist Philip Goldberg agrees that intuition can give a sense of direction. He says there is "untapped power and wisdom within us . . . part of ourselves that—although obscured by bad habits and ignorance—understands who we are and what we need and is programmed to move us toward the realization of our highest potential" (16).

Extrasensory Perception

Some authors, such as Frances Vaughan and Marcia Emery, consider extrasensory perception to be an expression of intuition. However, spiritual traditions tend to separate the two, holding that intuition is spiritual whereas supernormal powers like telepathy, precognition, and clairvoyance are mundane. According to the Indian sage Patanjali's Yoga Sutras (3:38), the ordinary siddhis (supernormal powers) are obstacles that can distract a seeker from the spiritual path. H. P. Blavatsky explains that there are two kinds of siddhis: one kind uses lower psychic and mental energies, while the other is spiritual and demands the highest form of Yoga or spiritual training to develop (Voice 73).

In practice, it is often hard to draw a line between extrasensory perception and intuition. Some experiences we may call intuition—a tingling, an impulse, an emotional response of "it fits" or "it doesn't fit," images that pop into our mind—are perhaps really forms of extrasensory perception. Such perceptions are certainly different from the transcendent unitive experience of pure buddhi. But they may be distant reflections of the unlearned knowledge of buddhi, which stimulates lower principles in different ways. All forms of extrasensory perception may be variations of one basic extrasensory factor, as some theorists have proposed. Perhaps the extrasensory factor and spiritual "knowing" of intuition are different levels on a single spectrum of superphysical knowing.

Extrasensory perception does fit a definition of intuition as knowledge gained without rationalprocesses. Physical sensations, which do not rely on rationality, have their counterparts inclairvoyance and clairaudience—seeing or hearing that is not sense-based. Telepathy and precognition often come spontaneously to the mind, without figuring things out. But extrasensory perception usually lacks the overall perspective of intuition. For example, sensing that a prospective boss is not so nice does not necessarily mean that overall the job will not work out well.

Aspects of Buddhi

I. K. Taimni refers to intuition as "the illuminating power behind the mind" (162). He perceives itas something deeper and more spiritual than hunches or extrasensory perception. He also associates morefaculties with buddhi than just intuition in the popular sense of the term—namely, intelligence andunderstanding, contrasted with mental intellect and rote knowledge. Using our mind as an intellectual vacuum cleaner, we can gather up voluminous facts without perceiving their relationship to one another or the significance and application of what we have learned. But when it is energized by buddhi, the higher mind sees the grand design behind the details, like finding a hidden pattern among the random pieces in a child's puzzle.

Another characteristic of buddhi or intuition, according to Taimni, is discrimination. When you distinguish between a damaging rumor and the real facts, between someone's appearance and their character, between an accidental mistake and a deliberate obstacle, you are using the intuitive faculty of discrimination. Such discrimination can sort out what is of value from a mass of irrelevant information. Today, when we are inundated with so much information available in every field, as on the Internet, we particularly need this faculty.

The emotions and the mind tend to exaggerate and to give undue importance to trivialities. Buddhi and intuition give a balanced, overall view that puts things in proper perspective. According to Taimni, "Buddhi sees things directly, truly, wholly and in their true perspective, while intellect sees them indirectly, partially and out of perspective" (157).

Spiritual Perception

The quality of buddhi radiates from an enlightened person. Suppose you take a course in Buddhism ata nearby college. The professor has you memorize the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Three jewels, the twelve nidanas, and the five skandhas. But you do not catch the spirit of Buddhism as a living way to wisdom. Now suppose you were lucky enough to study with D. T. Suzuki, an enlightened Zen master as well as a professor. You might not remember all the items in all the lists, but you would taste the goal of spiritual practice, which is enlightenment, and be convinced that some have attained it.

Someone limited to lower learning can become complicated and stress the unimportant. An enlightened person is simple and direct and touches us. As Lao-Tzu observes in the Tao Teh Ching (chapter 48):

The man of learning gains day by day.
The man of Tao loses day by day.

Those who have caught a glimpse of enlightenment have soul wisdom, not merely head learning, as H. P. Blavatsky noted in The Voice of the Silence (147—48). She warns the aspirant that "even ignorance is better than Head- learning with no Soul Wisdom to illuminate and guide it . . . . [The mind] needs the gentle breezes of Soul Wisdom to brush away the dust of our illusions."

The highest mode of experiencing intuition is through buddhi in itself, independent of sensations,feelings, thoughts, or extrasensory perceptions. Blavatsky describes such intuition as "that lightwhich never shone on sea or land, that ray of divine intuition, the spark which glimmers latent inthe spiritual, never-erring perceptions of man and woman" (Collected Writings 8:102). Elsewhere, shecalls this ray of intuition "the voice of the silence" and says that the power to hear it means thedevelopment of perception that is intuitional and spiritual. It can give us insight into the deepest spiritual truths.

Using Intuition Ethically

According to Theosophical teachings, developing the buddhic principle is humanity's next stepin evolution. We have been concentrating on developing our mental powers for a long time. The full flowering of the mind is still in the distant future, so its development will go on for centuries. But alongside mental development, some people even now are unfolding buddhi, and ways to speed the process of its unfoldment are emerging. However, true intuition must not be confused with imprecise or hasty thinking.

Knowledge gained from intuition, like that from the mind or extrasensory perception, can be usedfor either good or ill. Though it is rooted in buddhi, even genuine intuition can become tainted by personal concerns, for intuition can be used to serve the ego and turned to ends that can be harmful to oneself or others. Its overview of wholeness and balance can be lost in a desire to use it for personal power or ambition. At a lecture at the Naropa Institute in Colorado, Ram Dass said, "Ambition does to intuition what a weevil does to a granary." Though some intuition may concern personal issues, such as choosing a career or using one's money wisely, true intuition has its roots in buddhi and is beneficial overall, not just for oneself, and certainly not harmful to others.

Part of the recent upsurge of interest in intuition is based on a desire to improve profits inbusiness. There is nothing wrong with using intuitive insights to make business decisions, so long as they do not result in unethical practices. But, as observed by Ellen Armstrong (81), "There is the question of how intuition is used. Can it be another noble impulse debased or perverted by becoming a conscienceless servant to the gods of profit and power?" It is important to look for the overall consequences of acting on what seems like intuition and to be sure that the outcome will be fair and ethical. In addition, genuine intuition is not limited to worldly interests but gives insight into spiritual matters.

Cultivating Intuition

You can cultivate intuition and learn to hear its "still, small voice," but whether or not you achievethat goal depends on time, place, mood, attitude, and state of mind. If you are depressed or fatigued,intuition may be blocked. For true intuition to appear, you need to rise above strong desires or fears. If you are overly busy or your time is too structured, intuition may not be able to impress your mind, for an overactive mind with no time to cultivate stillness is not receptive to subtle impressions. If you are not open to something new and are afraid to take risks, you are not likely to let intuition in. If you don't believe that you have the potential for developing intuition, you probably won't. It grows in those who encourage it.

There are many methods to develop and enhance intuition. One such exercise, said to have beendeveloped by Sigmund Freud, is the following (Emery 107): You have to make a yes-no decision, suchas whether to suggest to your boss an innovation in the procedure of another department. The suggestion could be risky, because the department is not your concern. Should you do it? You flip a coin: heads yes, tails no. But how do you feel about the decision made by the coin? Relieved? Frustrated? Anxious? At peace? Noting your feelings, you reconsider and make the decision on the basis of your reaction to the coin flip, not on the flip itself. You already knew unconsciously what to do. The coin flip only brought the knowledge to your conscious mind.

Helena Blavatsky also taught a simple but difficult method for awakening intuition(Collected Writings 12:499). Though she was eager to teach, when her students came to her withquestions, she told them to think deeply about the matter in all its aspects and find an answerfor themselves. Her recommendation encourages independent thinking and also stimulates theintuition.

Marcia Emery's Mindshift Method, cited above, similarly helps to develop intuition, as do varioustechniques in the books of Frances Vaughan and Philip Goldberg. Keeping a journal to record yourintuitive impressions encourages more intuitive impressions to come. Note whether yourimpressions proved to be valid. As you look over this record from time to time, you becomesensitive to the difference between experiencing true intuition and passing impulses.

Communing with nature also helps quiet the mind and permits the play of buddhi upon it. As Virginia Tower poetically informs us, we get glimmerings through "those quiet promptings that come to us in the dead of night or in some isolated moment of acute perception inspired by the sight of a tree, a cloud, a waterfall. Instead of putting that moment regretfully aside, we encourage its meaning—as one blows on a tiny ember in order to bring a flame into being" (49—50).

Another way to evoke buddhi is to ponder and digest important parts of what you read. Try topenetrate to the core of the meaning beyond the words. Verses of poetry or challenging spiritual worksare good for such contemplation. The mystic work Light on the Path has many suitable passages,such as this:

Listen to the song of life. . . . Life itself has speech and is never silent. And its utterance is not,as you that are deaf may suppose, a cry: it is a song. Learn from it that you are part of the harmony; learn from it to obey the laws of the harmony. (Collins 24—25)

Contemplating this passage may show you the universe, not as a mechanical process or system, but in its dynamic wholeness as a song, full of harmony and joy.

A Christian variation of intuitive reading is called lectio divina, or "divine reading." One version is as follows: Take some time to breathe deeply and center yourself. Then read a passage, such as an inspired bit of Scripture, over and over slowly until a phrase stands out. Then close your eyes and repeat the phrase until you have an intuitive response—an image, emotional reaction, or insight. Note the response, and then remain quiet for a time. When you feel closure, give thanks for the insight you have received.

Objectively watching your mind without judging it is another entry into buddhic consciousness.If you can observe the mind creating its picture book by imposing its patterns, prejudices, and preconceptions onto reality, you become aware that you are not that mind. You are something deeper that can stand behind and observe your mental process. This insight can open you so that you touch buddhic awareness.

Emptying the mind and dropping preconceptions and expectations is another way to invite buddhi.Blavatsky taught that higher truth cannot be absorbed by a mind filled with preconceptions, prejudice, or suspicion (Collected Writings 10:128). In a newspaper article (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dec. 22, 1997), Mrs. Norman Vincent Peale confides,

If I have a problem and I want to get God's guidance, the first thing I do is empty my mind. Then when your mind is empty you're ready to completely relax, and you say: Dear God, give me a direction. Tell me what I should do.

It's amazing how many times you'll get an answer that you didn't think of yourself. As you analyzethe idea and start following it, new things will come.

Mrs. Peale's practice is very like Marcia Emery's Mindshift Method, already cited several times:define the problem, center and become receptive, look for a clue such as an image, interpret it, and put it into action. This process can also be applied for spiritual insight.

I. K. Taimni holds that one of the best ways to invoke buddhic consciousness is through devotion, since buddhi can feed directly into the emotions (151). In intense devotion to Jesus, the Buddha, God, or a saint, we lose ourselves in higher consciousness. Taimni especially recommended the Gayatri, a Hindu prayer to God as Solar Logos, a powerful center of universal life in our solar system. Repeating a phrase in a state of deep devotion can propel one into buddhic union with the object of devotion. The ancient Jesus prayer ("Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me") or a simple statement like "Jesus, I trust in thee" can unite one with Christ consciousness. Psalm 42:1, "As the deer longs for running water, so my soul longs for you, O God," can have a similar effect.

The Buddha taught a meditation that does not require a religious orientation. He said to let themind "pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of pity, with thoughts of sympathy and equanimity,and so the second quarter, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, and everywhere, he continues to pervade with heart of pity, heart of sympathy, and heart of equanimity, far-reaching, grown great and beyond measure, all embracing" (Goddard 71). The expansion of consciousness evoked by such a meditation helps to break the confines of the individual principles. In such a state, love and compassion flood one's consciousness.

Quieting your mind by the regular practice of meditation opens a track through which insight canreach your conscious mind. It is good to start learning to meditate with a group or else to read agood book on meditation. There are many ways to get started, such as being aware of your breathwithout interfering with it, visualizing a meaningful symbol such as the cross or an image of theChrist or the Buddha, a beautiful scene or natural object, such as a rose, or just white light.Reciting a mantra quiets and focuses the mind, as does reciting or chanting a prayer oraffirmation.

When your mind has settled into quiet, rest a while in the stillness. Buddhi can play on a quiet mind and give insight. Even if you do not seek guidance on a specific problem at the moment, a passageway to intuition opens so that insights may come at another time.

Once you establish an opening for it, intuitive awareness can become a familiar state. In its worldlyapplications, it can help you to make good decisions in everyday life. In its highest reaches, it canlead you to buddhi and the perception of essential unity with all beings. The ancient verses on whichBlavatsky's masterwork, The Secret Doctrine, is based state that humanity has been given "a mindto embrace the universe" (2:17). Intuition can bring us closer to that transpersonal mind, to"the intuitive experience of the infinity and the all-embracing oneness of all that is"(Govinda, Foundations 77).

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