Intuition: A Non-Explanation
CAN INTUITION BE EXPLAINED SCIENTIFICALLY? IS IT A PHENOMENON OF THE MIND?
Intuition cannot be explained scientifically because the very phenomenon is unscientific and irrational. The very phenomenon of intuition is irrational. In language it looks okay to ask, "Can intuition be explained?" It means: can intuition be reduced to intellect? But intuition means something beyond the intellect, something not of the intellect, something coming from someplace where intellect is totally unaware. So intellect can feel it, but it cannot explain it.
The leap can be felt because there is a gap. Intuition can be felt by the intellect - it can be noted down that something has happened - but it cannot be explained, because explanation means causality.
Explanation means: from where does it come? why does it come? what is the cause? And it comes from somewhere else, not from the intellect itself, so there is no intellectual cause; there is no reason, no link, no continuity in the intellect.
For example, Mohammed was an illiterate person. No one knew about him; no one ever felt that such a great thing as the Koran could come out of him. There was not a single act, not a single thought, that was special about him; he was just an ordinary man - absolutely ordinary. No one ever felt that something extraordinary was possible in him. Then, suddenly, this parable is recorded:
An angel appeared to Mohammed and said, "Read!"
Mohammed said to him, "How can I read? I do not know how; I cannot read, I am illiterate."
The angel repeated again, "Read!"
Mohammed again said, "But how can I read? I do not know anything about reading."
Then the angel said, "Read! By the grace of God, you will be able." And Mohammed began to read.
This is intuition.
He returned to his house trembling, trembling because he could not conceive of what had happened.
He could read - and he had read something inconceivable. The first ayat of the Koran had been given to him. He could not understand it because nothing in his whole past related to it. He could not feel the meaning of it; he had become the vehicle for something that was unrelated to his past, absolutely unrelated. Something from the unknown had penetrated him. It might have been related to something else, to someone else, but it did not relate to Mohammed at all. This is the penetration.
He came into his house trembling, he felt feverish; he just went on thinking, "What has happened?"
He was unable to understand what had happened, and for three days he was in deep fever, trembling, because there was no cause for what had occurred. He could not even gather the courage to say something to anyone. He was an illiterate: who was going to believe him? He himself could not believe what had happened; it was unbelievable.
After three days of deep fever, coma, unconsciousness, he gathered the courage to tell his wife, but only under the condition that she not tell anyone else. "It seems that I have gone mad," he said. But his wife was older than he was and more learned. She was forty and Mohammed was twenty-six; she was a rich woman, a rich widow. She felt that something real had happened, and she was Mohammed's first convert.
Only then could Mohammed get up the nerve to speak to some friends and relatives. Whenever he would speak he would tremble, perspire, because what was happening was inconceivable. That is why Mohammed insisted - and this became a tenet, a foundational tenet of Islam - that "I am not divine; I am nothing special. I am not extraordinary, I am just a vehicle."
This is what is meant by surrender and nothing else - nothing else! The postman just delivers the message to you; you yourself cannot even understand it.
This is intuition. It is a different realm of happening that is not related to the intellect at all, although it can penetrate the intellect. It must be understood that a higher reality can penetrate a lower reality, but the lower cannot penetrate the higher. So intuition can penetrate intellect because it is higher, but intellect cannot penetrate intuition because it is lower. It is just like your mind can penetrate your body, but your body cannot penetrate the mind. Your being can penetrate the mind, but the mind cannot penetrate the being. That is why, if you are going into the being, you have to separate yourself from body and mind, both. They cannot penetrate a higher phenomenon.
As you go into a higher reality, the lower world of happenings has to be dropped. There is no explanation of the higher in the lower, because the very terms of explanation are not existential there; they are meaningless. But the intellect can feel the gap, it can know the gap, it can come to feel that "something has happened which is beyond me." If even this much can be done, the intellect has done much.
But intellect can also reject. That is what is meant by a faithful mind or a faithless mind. If you feel that what cannot be explained by the intellect is not, then you are a nonbeliever. Then you will continue in this lower existence - tethered to it. Then you disallow mystery, then you disallow intuition to speak to you; this is what a rationalist mind means. The rationalist will not even see that something from beyond has come.
Mohammed was chosen. There were scholars around, many scholars, but Mohammed, a very illiterate person, was chosen because he was faithful. The higher could penetrate; he could allow the higher to enter into him. If you are rationally trained, you will not allow the higher; you will deny it, you will say, "It cannot be. It must be my imagination; it must be my dream. Unless I can prove it rationally, I will not accept it."
A rational mind becomes closed, closed within the boundaries of reasoning, and intuition cannot penetrate. But you can use the intellect without being closed; then you can use reason as an instrument, but you remain open, you are receptive to the higher. If something comes, you are receptive. Then you can use your intellect as a help: it notes down that "something has happened that is beyond me." It can help you to understand this gap.
Beyond that, intellect can be used for expression - not for explanation, for expression. A buddha is totally non-explanatory; he is expressive, but non-explanatory. All the Upanishads are expressive without any explanations. They say, "This is such, this is so; this is what is happening. If you want, come in; do not stand outside. No explanation is possible from the inside to the outside, so come in. Become an insider." Even if you come inside, things will not be explained to you; you will come to know and feel them. Intellect can try to understand, but it is bound to be a failure. The higher cannot be reduced to the lower.
DOESN'T INTUITION COME TO ONE THROUGH THOUGHT WAVES THAT ARE JUST LIKE RADIO WAVES?
This, again, will be very difficult to explain. If intuition comes through some kind of waves, then sooner or later the intellect will be able to explain it.
It comes without any medium; that is the point. It comes without a vehicle! It travels without any vehicle, that is why it is a jump, that is why it is a leap. If some waves are there and it comes to you through those waves, then it is not a jump, it is not a leap.
It is a jump from one point to another point, with no interconnection between the two; that is why it is a jump. If I come to you step by step, it is not a jump; only if I come to you without any steps is it a jump. And a real jump is even deeper: it means that something exists on point A and then it exists on point B, and between the two there is no existence. That is a real jump.
Intuition is a jump. It is not something coming to you; that is a linguistic error. It is not something coming to you: it is something happening to you, not coming to you - something happening to you without any causality anywhere, without any source anywhere. This sudden happening means intuition. If it is not sudden, not completely discontinuous with what went before, then reason will discover the path. It will take time, but it can be done. If some X-rays, some waves or anything are carrying it to you, reason will be capable of knowing and understanding and controlling it. Then any day an instrument can be developed - just like radio or TV - in which intuitions can be received.
If intuition comes through rays or waves, then we can make an instrument to receive them. Then Mohammed is not needed. But as I see it, Mohammed will be needed. No instrument can pick up intuition because it is not a wave phenomenon. It is not a phenomenon at all; it is just a leap from nothing to being.
Intuition means just that. That is why reason denies it. Reason denies it because reason is incapable of encountering it; reason can only encounter phenomena that can be divided into cause and effect.
According to reason there are two realms of existence: the known and the unknown. And the unknown means that which is not yet known, but someday will be known. But religion says that there are three realms: the known, the unknown, and the unknowable. By the unknowable religion means that which can never be known.
Intellect is involved with the known and the unknown, not with the unknowable, and intuition works with the unknowable, with that which cannot be known. It is not just a question of time before it will be known; "unknowability" is its intrinsic quality. It is not that your instruments are not fine enough or your logic not up to date or your mathematics primitive - that is not the question. The intrinsic quality of the unknowable is unknowability; it will always exist as the unknowable. This is the realm of intuition.
When something from the unknowable comes to be known, it is a jump. It is a jump! There is no interlink, there is no passage, there is no going from one point to another point. But it seems inconceivable, so when I say, "You can feel it, but you cannot understand it," when I say such things, I know very well that I am uttering nonsense. Nonsense only means "that which cannot be understood by our senses." And mind is a sense, the most subtle, and wisdom is a sense.
Intuition is possible because the unknowable is there. Science denies the existence of the divine because it says, "There is only one division: the known and the unknown. If there is any God, we will discover him through laboratory methods. If he exists, science will discover him."
Religion, on the other hand, says, "Whatever you do, something in the very foundation of existence will remain unknowable - a mystery." And if religion is not right then I think that science is going to destroy the whole meaning of life. If there is no mystery, the whole meaning of life is destroyed and the whole beauty is destroyed. The unknowable is the beauty, the meaning, the aspiration, the goal.
Because of the unknowable, life means something. When everything is known, then everything is flat. You will be fed up, bored. The unknowable is the secret; it is life itself.
I will say this: that reason is an effort to know the unknown and intuition is the happening of the unknowable. To penetrate the unknowable is possible, but to explain it is not. The feeling is possible; the explanation is not.
The more you try to explain it the more closed you will become, so do not try. Let reason work in its own field, but remember continuously that there are deeper realms. There are deeper reasons which reason cannot understand, higher reasons that reason is incapable of conceiving.