THE BLOG
01/08/2015 03:39 pm ET Updated Mar 10, 2015

When the Intellect Serves Intuition: A Portal to Innovation

"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

Artists, innovators, and the wise have found a way to tap into a creative field that has no boundaries and is directly accessible to all. This infinite field is sometimes referred to as pure consciousness or pure awareness. It cannot be fully grasped by the intellect. Often, in the midst of a creative act, people say "my work comes through me," an attempt to describe the experience of being caught in a creative stream that is beyond the mind. When we tap into this boundless field we find ourselves in a rich flow of energy, insight, and innovation, ushering in a tremendous sense of well-being.

We access this interconnected field of awareness through our intuition. Intuition comes to us through direct perception. It is holistic, integrative, and it arises from within.

Our intuition is guided by the context in which it appears. A farmer's intuition will serve his or her relationship to the natural world, an artist's intuition will inform color, content, and style, and a business leader's intuition will inform vision, strategy, and the ongoing, moment-to-moment interface with others. High social intelligence, which is the ability to accurately read other people, is largely informed by intuition.

Many of us long for those rare occasions when we are caught in the flow of creative expression. When this happens the mind is relatively quiet, time stands still or disappears, there is a high degree of focus and presence, and, paradoxically, a greater sense of spaciousness. How can we more consistently access this state?

When the mind is the master instead of the servant it obstructs our capacity to access our intuition and the creative stream which comes with it. The mind, more often than not, is either reliving and rewriting events of the past, or imagining, rehearsing, and planning for the future. Most of us spend an inordinate amount of time planning what is to come or going back over what has been. This becomes a habit of mind and a habit of attention.

The mind is a closed system. Similar to a computer, its output is based on input. Intuition accesses information that is beyond the mind, fed from the stream of pure perception. For this reason, it taps a creative stream that is infinite.

Our intuition can only be accessed in the present moment. Consequently, our access increases when we stabilize our relationship to the present. Practices which quiet the mind, such as meditation, help us come more fully into the present, increasing our access to intuitive wisdom.

When we look within, we discover the ways in which the mind obstructs our capacity to access intuition. We notice its parade of commentary, judgement and habit. Through the practice of observing the mind with an attitude of inquiry and without judgement, we develop an ability to discern the difference between the intellect and pure awareness. By placing our awareness on awareness itself, the mind eventually quiets and intuitive wisdom becomes more accessible.

We have created a society that reveres the intellect and minimizes intuition. We value knowledge over wisdom. For many, viewing the rational mind as a servant is radical. Yet, when we treat the intellect as master, we essentially place that which is finite above that which is infinite. Conversely, when knowledge is utilized within the context of a quiet and clear mind, it becomes the faithful servant that Einstein purports. "This everyone ought to know. We have eyes within, deeper than these eyes; and a hearing deeper than this hearing" (Basil of Caeserea). Through the cultivation of silence, this deeper substratum becomes a source of inspiration, creativity, and wisdom that we can consistently draw from, providing a resting place within.