Is “Intuition” the opposite of “Logical Reasoning”? Or, is the relationship something else?
Let’s look at the relationship between these two seemingly different processes. First, we’ll define the two, then compare.
Logical Reasoning is the capacity for making sense of things through a precise method of checks and balances. In general, it’s the process of applying the scientific process to an argument. So, it’s really a natural way of combining the scientific process with logic.
Every spiritual explorer should study and use all three of the logical reasoning tools. The basics of logical reasoning is a helpful overview. “The Logical axioms” is a list of tools specially made for those dealing with the subject matter of spirituality. And, last but not least, the tool for spotting logical fallacy. This last tool will help you analyze the arguments you’ll likely encounter when people are trying to sell you their ideas. Adding this analytical approach to your spiritual practice is essential. This suite of tools will enable you to sift out the facts from the fiction. Next, let’s look at an overview of the scientific process.
To be a scientific method, the foundation of the process must be empirical or measurable evidence. There are specific principles of reasoning which determine this standard. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the scientific method as “a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.
Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, they share the same features and substance. These are:
- Conduct Systematic Observation
- Collect and Measure Data
- Develop a Hypothesis from the Data
- Conduct Experiments to Test the Hypothesis
- Derive Probable Conclusions
- Modify Hypotheses and Retest
- Then start again
The overall process of the scientific method involves making educated predictions. And, then carrying out experiments to test those predictions. The goal is to see if the results are repeatable. A hypothesis is the basis of conclusions from repeatable tests. The hypothesis may be very specific or general. This depends upon the range of results from the tests. Scientists test and retest hypotheses by repeating experiments.
Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning. In other words, you have a eureka moment. You find an answer without knowing where it came from. Different writers give the word “intuition” a great variety of different meanings, ranging from mystical insight to unconscious pattern-recognition.
Mistranslating the word “intuition” is common. It easy to confuse it with instinct, truth, and even belief. The word “intuition” comes from the Latin verb “intueri” which means “to contemplate.” And, so intuition and reason seem to be two different roads? But, perhaps not.
Intuition and Logic not Opposites but Complementary
Some Eastern traditions regard intuitive thinking as a connection. It’s linking with a higher plane rather than engaging the thinking processes of the mind. This is because the intellect is unable to access subconscious information directly. So, we access intuitive thought by means of another type of awareness.
Albert Einstein talked about his own process he coined “intuitive thought.” While at a Physics conference in Kyoto in 1922 explained how he used images and music to solve problems. Einstein’s insightful leap forward in physics did not come from analytical reasoning or mathematics alone. These tools became the medium for the communication of these concepts. Einstein goes on to say, “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come close to the conclusion that the gift of imagination has meant more to me than any talent for absorbing absolute knowledge.”
The art is then being able to work with the analytical mind in an intuitive way and resolve the differences so that the answers can be understood. The only way to do this is by trial and error. Above all, find those eureka moments, the sweet-spot, between intuition and logic.
What’s your experience? What techniques have you used that enabled you to blend logic and intuition?
If this article resonates, there are more on our blog. Also, you may be interested in learning about our blended learning process. This is our curriculum which we use to teach several mind-expanding tools. It also aligns the Hero’s Journey. This is the term Joseph Campbell gave the pattern of consciousness development. Our learning process is available in two forms. You can take part in the virtual learning module or in our workshops.
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