Chapter 21 – Intuition

Chapter XXI
W. John Murray
The Realm of Reality
Divine Science Publishing Assoc.
New York, 1922.

“By thy great wisdom and by thy traffic hast thou increased thy riches.”
–Ezekiel 28:5

[240] Glorious indeed is the world of God around us, but more glorious is the world of God within us. “There lies the land of song; there lies the poet’s native land.” These are the words of Longfellow to whom intuition meant the perception of Truth without aid of conscious reasoning, but a perception, nevertheless, which conscious reasoning must eventually support. “If only I could have known what was going to happen, so much might have been avoided which now must be endured,” says the man who has made a mistake in business, and the woman who has made a mistake in love.

The popular notion that women are more intuitional than men might be seriously questioned if their matrimonial and sentimental ventures were used as tests. If the faculty of intuition has a special field in which to exercise itself, it would seem to be in affairs of the heart, but the number of mistakes made by women in such [241] affairs is as great as are those of men, or more so, if one may judge by the divorce findings. It is too late after the bad move is made and the results are beginning to appear, to remember that we had a “hunch” that things were not going to turn out well, for it is this intuition which comes from something higher than the intellect which ought to be considered, and not so frequently brushed aside.

Much of Russell Sage’s monetary success, it is said, was due to his wife’s intuitions, upon which he learned to rely rather than upon his own method of reasoning. The trouble with most men in business is not that they are lacking in intuition, but that they allow intellect to reason them away from their intellectual perceptions. The trouble with most women in love is not that the faculty of intuition stops functioning, but that other considerations silence its “still, small voice,” and it is only when trouble comes that both men and women remember the “hunch” in the case. “If I had only stopped to think,” we say; but the trouble is that we did stop to think and, going contrary to our warning, we invited what we did not want.

There is a prevalent notion that intuition is a gift, and while it is true that some are born with greater capacities along this line, just as some are born with sounder constitutions, it is nevertheless true that intuition, like physical strength, may be acquired. It is a question of exercise in both cases. If “God enters by a private door into [242] every individual,” we should see to it that the latch-string is always on the outside. It is not belittling to intellect to say that intuition is superior to it, and that it is that upon which it must ultimately depend for its clearest explanations of Truth. Intuition is that which furnishes intellect with its working ideas. When it is said that “All science is based on the assumption of causation,” it simply means that the intellect would have nothing to work upon were it not for the intuitive perception, or assumption, that effect presupposes cause. As it is the office of intellect to reason from ascertained facts, it is the function of intuition to grasp Truth at first hand, and then to bring all the powers of reason to bear on the translation of Truth into concrete usefulness.

Intuition is not that in man which corresponds to instinct in the animal. We cannot compare it with the mental quality which causes the bee to construct its cell, the beaver its dam, or the bird its nest; for while these indicate the certainty of unusual mental operations, they do not necessarily lead to divine communings. Instinct in the animal enables it to co-operate with nature, while intuition in man enables him to co-operate with nature’s God. The one enables the animal to use nature’s forces for constructive purposes, the other enables man to utilize Divine Energy in a way that makes for health, wealth, and wisdom. It is from intuition, and not from intellect, or instinct, that man rises to the highest exhibitions of artistic genius in music, poetry, painting, architecture [243] and invention. If one reads carefully the visions of Joseph and of Daniel one will see how large a part intuition played in their interpretations. There are more ways than one of acquiring knowledge, and learned men are discovering that inspiration is as necessary as education, if men would not forever memorize and repeat what other men have memorized and repeated before them.

Swedenborg says that nothing ever happens in heaven. What is meant by this is that nothing ever takes place on the plane of the objective that has not already taken place on the plane of the subjective, so that all prophecy is based upon seeing in the subjective world the mental picture of that which will ultimate itself in the physical world, unless something is done to produce a short circuit. Our intuitions may prophesy good or ill because they are based upon the inner perception of thoughts in the subconscious mind of the race, and since this is so they are invaluable in developing the good mental pictures on one hand, and destroying the bad mental pictures on the other. The more intuitive we become, the more we shall invite success, and the quicker we shall forestall failure, for intuition is a two-edged sword which cuts both ways. It is through intuition that we perceive opportunities and seize them, unless we permit intellect to reason us away from them.

On the other hand, it is through intuition that [244] we sense danger, even when all seems most auspicious on the surface. Intuition appraises us of forthcoming good and warns us against approaching calamity. It is that in man which is spoken of as his “guardian angel.” It causes a man to change his mind and take the elevated [trolley] when, as a general rule, he almost automatically travels by subway. There is no apparent reason for departing from his usual custom, and he feels almost foolish for following what seems to be an unreasonable impulse, but he learns, on arriving at his office, that there has been an accident in the subway which would have delayed him, even if he had not been injured by it.

Recently a young woman told me that she had started out for a long horseback ride when she suddenly felt that something dreadful was transpiring at home. She tried to laugh herself out of it, but the feeling persisted with such force that she turned her horse around and galloped home as fast as possible, where she found her father dying in his chair, where she had left him a few moments before, apparently well. Such things have happened so often that we no longer question them. We admit the phenomena, and we become almost fatalists in our admission. If good is on the way, according to our intuitive perceptions, we are glad of it, but if calamity is impending we are apt to say, “If it is to be, it will be, and that’s all there is to it.”

It is right here that we are to make intelligent use of this God-given faculty in order to hasten [245] the good and neutralize the evil. It is now an accepted fact among psychologists, spiritual and academic, that the subconscious mind is amenable to suggestion by the conscious mind, and that according to the law of action and reaction, the conscious mind is reacted upon by the subconscious, so that the subconscious, which stands between the individual and the Universe, may keep the individual informed of things transpiring on the subjective plane. But this reaction of the subconscious upon the conscious ought to be more intelligently persistent and not so unintelligently spasmodic, and it will become so when we learn to pay attention to it, as Joseph and Daniel heeded it.

When it is once understood that the conscious mind reacts to promptings from the subconscious, we shall see that our highest impulses come more from intuition than from intellect. In learning to place more reliance on this Inner Guide, we may occasionally follow a blind lead, but we shall less frequently reason ourselves out of good prospects by refusing to heed our infallible mentor. There are those who tell us that our first impressions are good detectives, inasmuch as they reflect what is actually taking place in another’s mentality, so that what he is, and not what he appears to be, impresses us. There are those who scorn to be influenced by “first impressions” lest they misjudge their new acquaintances, but the frequency with which they are brought back to first [246] impressions through grievous disappointments speaks volumes for the value of intuition.

The Scotch speak of intuition as “second sight” when, as a matter of fact, it is first sight, or the ability to see mind in action before it comes into manifestation. It differs from clairvoyance in that it is not confined to reading the individual mind, but feels rather than sees, what is taking place in the subconscious mind of the race. That which intuition enabled Joseph to do in the matter of foreseeing the seven years famine and to protect Egypt against its ravages, will enable any man to do in the ordinary affairs of the business world. Even the little they have of it as a natural gift, without any cultivation whatever, would, if listened to, prevent many a catastrophe and seize many an opportunity.

But the bias of our education has been all in favor of “weighing the matter” from the standpoint of reason, so that we have reasoned ourselves away from what would have protected us in one instance, or profited us in the other. All men have intuition but few men cultivate it, so that when we find one who does, we find a success. It is the explanation of all real achievement, and it reveals the law by which one man outdistances another. Speaking of the phenomenal success of a mutual friend, one man said to another, “How did he do it?” and the other replied, “He saw it first.” But it would have been of little value for him to see it first if he did not [247] act upon it directly. We must learn to trust our intuitions more. All inspiration is due to the normal action of the Universal Mind on the individual, whenever the individual is listening inwardly.

The only reason why we do not get inspirational guidance more frequently is because we permit ourselves to become distracted by the things of sense and the outer world. Like the natural talent for music and art, we must cultivate this precious gift and it will recompense us a thousand-fold. Through self-discipline and earnest longing the mental vision of the individual becomes clear, so that the power of immediate insight, which is man’s highest attainment, supersedes the laborious operations of the intellect.

The truths and glories of the spiritual world are intuitionally discerned, whereas the intellect, if it glimpses them at all, does so as through a glass, darkly. Apart from the value of cultivated intuition as an asset in business and a protection against danger, its greatest benefit to human kind lies in its power to lead us out of the bewilderment of sense to serenity of soul. When we have the faith and courage to trust it our spiritual vision will become clear and the Hidden Way out of the maze of disease and trouble will be revealed.

Intuition leads to a conviction of the Omnipresence of God, in spite of all appearances. It is the compass which always points to the peace we seek. The cultivation of intuition, like the cultivation [248] of a seed, begins in the silence. The busy man and the busy woman will be most greatly aided out of their perplexities, not by “taking thought,” but by taking time to relax. If we would be in good receiving condition we must become as passive as the flower which turns to the sun, so that the voice of God coming through the channel of intuition may not be confused by the blurring protestations of mere reason. When we have shut ourselves off from outer things and have become still, and know that the “I AM” is God, we should say silently:

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path. There is that in me which hears Thy Word and, hearing It obeys It. Through my God-created intuition I have ears which hear and eyes which see the things which make for progress, spiritual and material. I perceive Thy Way and, walking in it, I keep company with the spirits of just men made perfect.

My spiritual intuitions are not idle fancies which lead only to disappointment, but they are direct impartations from Divine Mind to my receptive soul by which I am able to distinguish between that which is true and that which is false. Intuitively I perceive that God, and not mere intellect, is my unerring Wisdom, and this perception leads me to seek guidance from the Inner and not from the outer. I cannot be deceived into doing that which I ought not to do, nor prevented from doing immediately that which I ought to do, for my Guardian Angel (Intuition) guards me [249] against the one and encourages me in the other. Following that which God has given to me as my Inner Guide, I shall go on from Glory to Glory, until it leads me at last to that Infinite Wisdom which knows no error and makes no mistakes.

Chapter 22

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