“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” – Albert Einstein
And if so, how is it affecting our lives? How can we see things more holistically and be more in tune with the various dimensions of life?
Rational vs. Intuitive Thinking
Rational thinking means to be thinking in a logically consistent way, grounded on statistics and objective facts. It does not do very well when dealing with human emotions, as emotional responses may not have a rational outcome.
Intuitive thinking doesn’t use rational processes such as facts and data, but comes from years of knowledge and experiences. It is the ability to understand or know something without any direct evidence or reasoning process. It can however lead to a situation that seems emotionally biased and the inability to defend decisions.
“At the highest level all decisions are intuitive.” – William W. George
The thing is, emotions are also essential to decision-making. Research has shown that those who suffer brain damage in the part that governs emotions often struggle to make decisions. They can weigh the pros and cons, but can’t pick a side.
Today’s culture prizes rational thinking because there’s guaranteed predictability that we can trust. Intuition, however, requires inner trust. Without this, we lack faith in ourselves, and hence we miss opportunities for a more profound understanding of our true self.
So how can we start to develop our intuition, and why should we?
By learning to get into yourself and activating your intuition, you are able to find your purpose.
Finding your purpose is the foundation of human life. As a human being, it eliminates the sense of randomness and provides a particular kind of deeper meaning and recognition. You are a purposeful entity, and in order to find your reason and place in this life, you need to start seeing from the inside out.
The word intuition comes from the Latin verb intueri, translated as “consider”, or from the late middle English word intuit, “to contemplate”.
Contemplative practices include meditation, yoga, tai chi, rituals rooted in a religious or cultural tradition, as well as restricted environmental stimulation therapy such as floatation. These methods allow us to go inwards; making time for contemplation, to listen to our bodies, and to acknowledge our emotions. Of course, it does not always need to be in solitude – groups and communities can engage in practices that support reflection in a social context.
As confronting as it may seem, it’s important for us to find a balance between the inner world and the outer world, so that we can navigate our lives with a more holistic approach.
Written by Elfe Nur Reyany, operations manager