episode #106 creatures of intuition

Intuition is defined as the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference. 

The word intuition comes from the Latin verb intueri translated as “consider” or from the late middle English word intuit, “to contemplate”.

In the past decades, psychologists and neuroscientists have made enormous strides in identifying the sources of our intuition, and its essential role in our lives. Along the way, their research has identified the specific situations in which our intuition is likely to lead us down the right path, and the times that it leads us astray – knowledge that can help us all to make better decisions. 

What is more, the strength of our intuitions will depend on the extent of our experiences. The unconscious brain rifles through its stored knowledge to find the best answer to our problems, without us consciously recalling the precise memories that power those feelings.

According to a tradition that traces back at least to Plato intuition is a form of intellectual perception. In Plato’s book Republic he tries to define intuition as a fundamental capacity of human reason to comprehend the true nature of reality. In his works Meno and Phaedo, he describes intuition as a pre-existing knowledge residing in the “soul of eternity”, and a phenomenon by which one becomes conscious of pre-existing knowledge.

The rough idea is this: while sensory perceptions are experiences that purport to, and sometimes do, reveal how matters stand in concrete reality by making us sensorily aware of that reality.

From another philosophical point of view, a sense of intuition might be derived from Immanuel Kant, that in which it is understood as referring to the source of all knowledge of matters of fact not based on, or capable of being supported by, observation. What is more Kant claimed that all mathematical knowledge is knowledge of the pure forms of the intuition—that is, intuition that is not empirical.

Further, according to Sigmund Freud, knowledge could only be attained through the intellectual manipulation of carefully made observations and rejected any other means of acquiring knowledge such as intuition, and his findings could have been an analytic turn of his mind towards the subject.

In Carl Jung’s theory of the ego, intuition is an “irrational function”, opposed most directly by sensation, and opposed less strongly by the “rational functions” of thinking and feeling. Jung defined intuition as “perception via the unconscious”: using sense-perception only as a starting point, to bring forth ideas, images, possibilities, ways out of a blocked situation, by a process that is mostly unconscious.

Buddhism finds intuition to be a faculty in the mind of immediate knowledge and puts the term intuition beyond the mental process of conscious thinking, as the conscious thought cannot necessarily access subconscious information, or render such information into a communicable form.In Zen Buddhism various techniques have been developed to help develop one’s intuitive capability, such as koans – the resolving of which leads to states of minor enlightenment (satori). In parts of Zen Buddhism intuition is deemed a mental state between the Universal mind and one’s individual, discriminating mind.

In Islam there are various scholars with varied interpretations of intuition, sometimes relating the ability of having intuitive knowledge to prophethood.

Psychologists believe that intuition relies on powers of pattern-matching, as the mind combs experience stored in long-term memory for similar situations and presents in-the-moment judgments based on them. Examples, metaphors, images, and stories can give shape to our own and others’ intuitions in all realms of life. We gain new models of the world, and thought—conscious and not—fills them in. 


GoGo Penguin: Quiet Mind

Koop: Absolute Space

The Internet: Wanders Of The Mind

Damon Albarn: Darkness To Light

The Herbaliser Band: Theme From Control Centre

SBTRKT: Wonder Where We Land

Hans Zimmer: Dream Within a Dream

Say Yes Dog: My Soul

Hot Chip: Re-Harmonize

Prince of Tennis: Ache of Mind

Freak Power: Change My Mind

Marc Moulin: Hazard Mind

A community radio midnight show Through the Bohemian Looking Glass is aired Sunday, Tuesday and Friday night at midnight (GMT), that means you stay late on Saturday, Monday and Thursday. A new episode is aired every Sunday midnight (the night between Saturday and Sunday) on Wirral Wave radio or AirTime. Later on SoundCloud for some time.