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What is intuition?
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
4 min
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Question: Sir, can guilt and shame too be paths to realization?

Answer: One who is standing in muck, and must get out of the muck, will need to walk in the muck itself.

All thoughts are fundamentally the same – mental activity. Elation and guilt both are just mind. Whichever mental activity brings it to centre is the right activity.

Understand it using the name of your group – You Belong Here, the Origin (0,0,0)

Consider five minds standing at five different points. Minds are anyway always standing at different points.


Grace descends, peace beckons. Now all these five different minds want to come to the centre of enlightenment. Origin (0,0,0)

What route will these five different minds take? Same route? The route is called method. The method for each particular mind depends upon the state of the mind, the conditioning of the mind.

So, guilt and fear and anger too can be ways.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- Question: Sir, what are intuitions? Are they merely thoughts or are they related to intelligence?

Answer: Mental activity related to objects is of two kinds:

  1. Thoughts: These are at the surface of mind. They arise in the normal conscious mind as a reaction of the accumulated past to a stimulus. It is relatively easy to see that thoughts arise from conditioning.

Observing thoughts will tell you about your conscious mind, and the patterns of reactions.

  1. Intuitions: These arise from experiences and memories that have settled very deep into the mind. So, intuitions arise from deep conditioning. They come from the sub-conscious ‘basement’ of the mind. This basement contains mankind’s evolutionary experiences over an infinite stretch of time. This basement is the seat of both intuition and impulse. So, on one hand, intuition is deeply conditioned, and on the other hand, this basement contains knowledge that the normal conscious mind doesn’t have. This sub-conscious is the door to meta-consciousness.

Observing and comprehending intuitions will tell you something about your sub-conscious tendencies. These are called vritti. The more one can witness her intuitions and impulses, the more one gets close to the foundation of the basement. There sits our deepest tendency – the ‘I’ tendency. The root of that is the source of the mind, your own source.

Question: Sir, as you said that intuitions lead us to that basement in our mind. Are intuitions the only way to reach to that basement?

Answer: When you react suddenly without thinking or planning, that is a very good occasion to know about the basement – our deepest conditioning.

The basement can be known through many of our day to day reactions. For example,

  1. Our inexplicable fears. Somebody is afraid of a particular colour, somebody some sound…
  2. Our irrational attractions. The so-called ‘Love at first sight’.
  3. The pattern of our dreams.
  4. Deep desires like craving for sex or craving for a child etc.

These movements of the mind must be attended to. Observing them will tell us about the conditioning of the mind. Witnessing them will bring peace.

Question: Sir, why does it happen that at times intuitions come true?

Answer: Intuitions have a fair probability of turning out ‘correct’ i.e, factual. As we had said the other day, intuitions arise from deep seated conditioning of the basement of mind. The basement has stored experiences of the entire evolutionary history of mankind. So, it just knows of a few things that the conscious mind cannot think of. It can be useful at times.

However, one must observe one’s intuitions, and not become a slave of intuitions.

-Based on my interactions on various e-forums.

Dated: 27th December,’14

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