The Theosophical Forum – December 1946

INTELLECT AND INTUITION — Leonard Lester

The conflict of intuition against intellect has covered mankind in the crumbling ruin of despair. Man will never surrender himself to be the permanent vehicle of any set of ideas unless it completely satisfies the whole of his nature; the union of intellect and intuition only will end the conflict. — From Man: Fragments of Forgotten History

Those youthful minds who still retain their heritage of right-thinking are not dismayed at the spectacle of life in the world today, for they intuitively feel that there is some remedy for the startling lack of wisdom revealed in the management of human affairs and that something does exist to satisfy the heart-hunger for a knowledge that can solve those riddles of life which confront every alert and receptive soul.

These voices of world-turmoil which are broadcast daily in the form of news seldom have the authentic ring of truth — the pros of today may be denied by the cons of tomorrow — resulting, for the average listener, in uncertainty, dissension, or disgust. But this dissemination of current events may serve at least to demonstrate the unreliability of opinions, the partiality or bias of judgments; — in short, it needs but little reflection to see that the unenlightened mind of man, engrossed in material concerns, is but a poor instrument upon which to rely for learning the truth. Its powers of perception and understanding are undeveloped and too narrow to embrace that wider arc of Vision which a higher and profounder conception of Man's nature and destiny demands.

Whence this confusion — these diversities of opinion and judgment — this lack of power to unite constructively even in a plainly beneficent enterprise in which the whole human family is profoundly concerned? May not this radicate to a large extent in the nature and methods of our thinking, in the distractions of multifarious and conflicting interests, in our habitual analytic mentality — looking first for the divergences rather than for the harmonies in any problem under discussion — thus creating opposing sides, dissensions, and verbal conflict?

It is inevitable that there should be differences of view-point and ideas, as of character, but rightly considered, these differences, in their essential reality, exist as constructive agencies in the progressive stages towards a common understanding. They are, as it were, the raw material out of which the unseen Master-Builder seeks to mould and fabricate his Temple into a perfect whole; and then, when the spirit of Unity, through a natural equilibrium of differences, is at last allowed to preside in the arena of the human mind, a transmutation takes place — the nobler powers of the mind are liberated, being shone upon and enlightened by spiritual sources from above instead of being controlled by earth-bound motives below.

In the foregoing, mention is made of the unenlightened mind as lacking the vision to embrace the higher and deeper conceptions of man's nature and destiny. Not in the material pastures of the world's life over which mankind has browsed, fought and flourished for ages and to which he has become bound by ties of desire, could he be expected to evolve into partnership in the higher mansions of Mind. Only when the human soul earnestly desires, and in thought and action aspires to live in communion with its higher Consciousness, can a great step forward for the whole of humanity be brought about. The Wisdom of the Ages awaits its fitting times and seasons to be shared and scattered abroad among men; for it has answers to our questionings — just as soon as the minds and eyes of the sleepers are awakened and their casements opened to the Light.

All are familiar with the ancient axiom, "Man, know thyself," but how many guess that the Truth that dwells within those words is more urgent in its appeal to the generations of today than ever before.

We are at the close of an era of the human mind in which the achievements of cold intellect and materially-directed Science and Invention have reached their high-water-mark of attainment. But the recent precipitation of tragic events has revealed, on a graphic, world-wide scale, the perishable nature of these highly extolled conquests over matter by mind, and most appalling of all, the slackness and moral unsoundness of the foundations upon which our modern civilization is resting.

Has not the hour struck (announced by the atom bomb) (1) for the higher mind of man, lit by heart-wisdom, to claim and exert its ascendency in the conduct of human affairs?

The long-smothered intuitions of man will gradually become clarified and vitalized as the light of wisdom within him is put into conscious use. For the soul-powers are within himself, and he alone, and only he, can effect that re-orientation of activity in heart and mind which will align him in the ranks of those who are heirs to the Wisdom of the Ages — as modern in essence as it is ancient in spirit, being Timeless and Eternal.

The dubious apprehensions and unrest, vaguely blended with envisonments of a brighter future for mankind, which fluctuate in the common heart and mind of the world today, are harbingers of coming changes in man's thinking, and of the dire need for it. These, too, are glimmerings of intuition, far gleams of soul-reminiscence — reminiscences of man's innate divinity and one-ness with the Over-Soul.

The destructive agencies that have rocked the world and stunned humanity, are in reality regenerative agencies working in harmony with evolutionary law and human destiny; destroying the out-worn and degenerate, and awakening mankind to the inauguration of a reign of higher and more universally-beneficent consciousness.

In the degrees of enlightenment and experience which every soul must pass through on its long pilgrimage to perfection the powers of intuition will come more and more into play. They will inspire and direct creative intellect into channels of fruitful thought and endeavor, and kindle the love of useful and benevolent activities in the paths of Peace. For the Vision which inwardly illumines it is the power to perceive the Cosmic Unity behind and within the diversities of manifested existence.

Let us all strive to hasten the day when the hearts of all men are joined in this great Enterprise — the Cause of Sublime Perfection! Then will the Intuition shed its light for all, awakening living responses on the resonant keyboard of the Soul.

FOOTNOTE:

1. The proposals to put Atomic Energy to work in constructive and beneficent projects are well-meaning and vast; but are we so sure that our present mental equipment can be trusted to remain true to the task? Would not an atomic Transmutation of the human mind and heart also be necessary? (return to text)


The Theosophical Forum

THEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ONLINE