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From Intellect to Intuition - Chapter Seven - Intuition and Illumination

Intuition and Illumination

"And God said:
Let there be light!
And there was light."

- Bible

We have laid down the general premise that modern educational methods in the West have familiarized man with the idea that he possesses a mind; they have brought him to an appreciation of the intellect, so much so, that to many the achievement of intellectual ability is the consummation of the work of evolution. We have suggested further that when the eastern technique of meditation (with its stages of concentration, meditation and contemplation) has been applied by the western intellectual, the mind processes can be trained to reach their highest point of development and can then be superseded by a still higher faculty, that of the intuition. We have, in the West, noted also that the finest minds we have, through an intense interest and application, reach the same standard of achievement to which meditation brings the eastern aspirant to knowledge. But at this point the parallel breaks down. Education in the Occident fails to carry its exponents on into the realm of the intuition, or of illumination. In fact, we rather smile at the idea of an illumined consciousness and ascribe much of the testimony available to the hallucinations of the over-stimulated mystic or to [148] the psychopathic cases with which our psychologists are constantly dealing.

But it can be proved, I believe, that the developed spiritual perception and an illumined intellect can be part of the equipment of the sane and balanced business man or scientist, and need not necessarily indicate a lack of psychic balance, or emotional instability. The light of illumination and of inspiration is quite compatible with the pursuit of one's daily occupations, and this has been told us for centuries in an ancient Chinese teaching, dating back to the eighth century:

"Master L Tz said: When there is gradual success in producing the circulation of the Light, a man must not give up his ordinary occupation in doing it. The ancients said: When occupations come to us, we must accept them; when things come to us, we must understand them from the ground up. If the occupations are regulated by correct thoughts, the Light is not scattered by outside things, but circulates according to its own law." (Wilhelm, Richard, and Jung, C.G., The Secret of the Golden Flower, Page 57).

These characteristics of illumination and its results are to be found working out in the consciousness of the man who has progressed through the stages we have earlier outlined, and form the theme of this chapter. Illumination is a stage in the meditation process, for it entails careful control of the mind and a scientific approach to the subject; it is a result of the true contemplative state and of soul contact, and indicates, with its sequential effects, the [149] institution of the second activity of the mind, considered a few pages earlier.

According to the pioneers into the realm of the soul, the condition of illumination supervenes directly upon the stage of contemplation, and might be described, in its turn, as producing three effects: That of an illumined intellect, of intuitive perception, and an inspired life upon the physical plane of existence. This condition is recognized by all mystics, and by all writers upon the subject of the mystic revelation. The thought of a Light which enters in and which shines upon our way, the symbolism of an intense irradiation or blinding radiance which accompanies the phase of divine contact, are so general in their use that we have come to look upon them simply as something couched in mystical phraseology, which means relatively little more than an attempt of the visionary aspirant to express in words the wonders that he has sensed.

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