Intuition is a form of intelligence that is increasingly indispensable in the world we live in. We use it continuously without even being aware of it and if we try to define it, we realize that we don’t have a clear idea of what it really is.
There is still a lot of reticence in speaking freely of intuition as a form of valid intelligence. While on the other hand, logical-rational thought and notionism constantly renew their consecration. Despite their effectiveness in some circumstances it is somewhat obsolete.
Albert Einstein said – The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift -. It seems a cliché to mention genius in an article that talks about intelligence, yet these words contain a meaning that is not at all obvious.
Reversing the structure of the sentence, we could say that if rationality stimulates servitude, by the opposition, intuition stimulates freedom. It is about the freedom to follow what each one truly feels, which is what determines us as individuals and at the same time distinguishes us from others, it is about the freedom to be oneself.
Intuition is defined as the ability to know for immediate warning what is not manifest in itself. Therefore, without the help of reflection or an inductive or deductive rational process. Virgil gives the following synonyms of the word intuition – illumination, electrocution, lightning, foreboding, sensation, omen, sixth sense.
Having an intuition, therefore, means discovering what was hidden, something that was not evident in itself, without the help of logical-rational thought. It is no coincidence that the word truth derives from the Greek term Aletheia, literally – what is not hidden – to underline how his research always has to do with bringing to light something hidden, as if there was a mysterious meaning that is to us to track down.
Even the words presentiment and omen indicate something that comes before the actual event, and this something would be found within us. There is a whole theory of knowledge inspired by this conception of truth, which explains how our interiority and our sensitivity are not at all an obstacle to learning but are rather its fundamental condition.
We generally think that knowing means putting emotions and feelings in brackets in order to use only our logical-rational part. It is a legacy of the positivist culture, which from the end of the nineteenth century onwards has become the dominant model of knowledge. Instead, it must be recognized that this is only one of the various possible paradigms, and that the other, that of foreknowledge – of intuition – boasts a millenary tradition.
The first to speak of knowledge in these terms was Plato, his theory of knowledge is known according to which the soul would already know everything. And learning would only mean remembering what the soul already knows, or bringing out something that would already be inside us.
In the contemporary age, on the other hand, it is philosophical hermeneutics that has committed itself most in this direction, thanks above all to the work of Martin Heidegger and his pupil Hans-Georg Gadamer. The idea of the former was also inspired by the cinematographic works of the American director Terrence Malick, which perfectly represent this tension between man and his own inner voice.
Then, the task was inherited by psychoanalysis which, through the study of the unconscious, continued the search towards the knowledge of what is hidden and influences our decisions in an unconscious way. As is well known, however, psychoanalysis is not categorized as a science, and for this reason, its theories have often been taken little seriously.