How can intuition help your learn?

In order to understand how can you improve your learning skills with intuition, let’s explain the basics on the intuition:

There are three types of intuitions:

1. Eidetic intuitions

Intuition is supposed to be a form of direct access, to the objects of the mental act. It is the mind’s way of interacting directly with Platonic ideals or Phenomenological “essences”? When saying “direct” I mean without the intellectual mediation of a manipulated symbol system, and without the benefits of inference, observation, experience, or reason.

Kant thought that both, (Euclidean) space and time are intuited, or in other words, he thought that the senses interact with our (transcendental) intuitions to produce synthetic a-priori knowledge.

The raw data obtained by our senses or sensory experience – presuppose intuition. One could argue that intuition is independent of our senses, therefore the intuition (call them “eidetic intuitions”) would not be the result of sensory data, or of calculation, or of the processing and manipulation of same.

Kant’s “Erscheiung” (“phenomenon”, or “appearance” of an object to the senses) is actually a kind of sense-intuition, later processed by the categories of substance and cause. Opposed to the phenomenon, the “nuomenon” (thing in itself) is not subject to these categories.

Descartes’  wise thought “I think therefore I am” is an immediate and indubitable innate intuition, from which his metaphysical system is derived. Descartes’ work is reminiscent of Gnosticism, in which the intuition of the mystery of the self leads to revelation.

Bergson described a kind of instinctual empathic intuition, which penetrates objects and persons, identifies with them and, in this way, derives knowledge about the absolutes – “duration” (the essence of all living things) and “Èlan vital” (the creative life force).

He wrote: “Intuition is an instinct that has become disinterested, self-conscious, capable of reflecting upon its object and of enlarging it indefinitely.” To him, science (or the use of symbols by our intelligence to describe reality) is the falsification of reality.

Only art, based on intuition, unhindered by mediating thought, not warped by symbols – provides one with access to reality.

Spinoza‘s and Bergson’s intuited knowledge of the world, as an interconnected whole also represents an “eidetic intuition”.

Spinoza thought that intuitive knowledge is superior to both empirical (sense) knowledge and scientific (reasoning) knowledge and that  it unites the mind with the ‘Infinite Being’ and reveals to it an orderly, holistic, Universe.

Friedrich Schleiermacher and Rudolf Otto on the other hand discussed the religious experience of the “numinous” (God, or the spiritual power) as a kind of intuitive, pre-lingual, and immediate feeling.

Eidetic intuitions are similar to “paramartha satya” (the “ultimate truth”) in the Madhyamika school of Buddhist thought. The ultimate truth, cannot be expressed verbally (with words) and it is beyond empirical (and illusory) phenomena. Eastern thought (Zen Buddhism) uses intuition (or experience) to study reality in a non-dualistic manner.

 2. Emergent Intuitions

A second type of intuition is the “emergent intuition”. Subjectively, the intuiting person has the impression of a “shortcut” or even a “short circuiting” of his or her usually linear thought processes, often based on trial and error. This type of intuition feels “magical”, or like a quantum leap from premise to conclusion, the parsimonious selection of the useful and the workable from a myriad possibilities.

Intuition, in other words, is rather like a dreamlike truncated thought process, or the subjective equivalent of a wormhole in Cosmology. It is often preceded by periods of frustration, dead ends, failures and blind alleys in one’s work and thinking.

Artists, especially performing artists (like musicians), often describe their interpretation of an artwork (e.g., a musical piece) in terms of this type of intuition. Many mathematicians and physicists (following a kind of Pythagorean tradition) use emergent intuitions when solving general non-linear equations (by guessing the approximants) or partial differential equations.

Subjectively, emergent intuitions are indistinguishable from insights that on the other hand are more “cognitive”, structured and concerned with objective learning and knowledge. It is a novel reaction or solution, based on already acquired responses and skills, to new stimuli and challenges. The strong emotional (e.g., aesthetic) correlate usually exists in both insight and emergent intuition.

3. Ideal Intuitions

The third type of intuition is the “ideal intuition”, representing the thoughts and feelings that precede any intellectual analysis and underlie it. Moral ideals and rules may be such intuitions, but mathematical and logical axioms and basic rules of inference (“necessary truths”) may also turn out to be intuitions. The moral, mathematical, and logical self-evident conventions do not relate to the world. They are elements of the languages we use to describe the world, and in this respect these a-priori languages and codes are nothing but the set of our embedded ideal intuitions.

The Rationalists realized, that the ideal intuitions (a class of undeniable, self-evident truths and principles) can be accessed by our intellect. Rationalism is concerned with intuitions, available to reason and intellect.

Sometimes, the boundary between intuition and deductive reasoning is blurred, as they both yield the same results.

The a-priori nature of intuitions, of the first and the third kind led thinkers, like Adolf Lasson, to associate it with Mysticism, by calling it an “intellectual vision” which leads to the “essence of things”. Earlier philosophers and theologians labeled the methodical application of intuitions, as the “science of the ultimates”. This misses the strong emotional content of mystical experiences.

Confucius talked about fulfilling and seeking one’s “human nature” (or “ren”) as “the Way”, but this nature is not the result of learning or deliberation – it is innate, intuitive and, in turn, produces additional, clear intuitions (“yong”) as to right and wrong, productive and destructive, good and evil. The “operation of the natural law” requires that there be no rigid codex, but only constant change guided by the central and harmonious intuition of life.

You might have already found yourself in any of the above described types of classified intuitions. Regardless of the type you belong to, try using in rightly and in a proper manner, so that you can determine the future path you want to go in your professional upgrading. If you are more of an intuitive person, follow it strongly and believe in yourself and your intuition. Only best results can follow if the right amount of determination and intuition are combined.

You can work on improving it and strengthen the feelings within yourself, in order to reach the desired level of intuition that will bring you to the level of fulfilling your wishes and goals.

Your intuition is your best friend! Change your thought to change your mind.

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