The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science

Chapter 10. Intuition

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WE have seen that the subjective mind is amenable to suggestion by the objective mind; but there is also an action of the subjective mind upon the objective. The individual's subjective mind is his own innermost self, and its first care is the maintenance of the individuality of which it is the foundation; and since it is pure spirit it has its continual existence in that plane of being where all things subsist in the universal here and the everlasting now, and consequently can inform the lower mind of things removed from its ken either by distance or futurity. As the absence of the conditions of time and space must logically concentrate all things into a present focus, we can assign no limit to the subjective mind's power of perception, and therefore the question arises, why does it not keep the objective mind continually informed on all points? And the answer is that it would do so if the objective mind were sufficiently trained to recognize the indications given, and to effect this training is one of the purposes of Mental Science. When once we recognize the position of the subjective mind as the supporter of the whole individuality we cannot doubt that much of what we take to be the spontaneous movement of the objective mind has its origin in the subjective mind prompting the objective mind in the right direction without our being consciously aware of it. But at times when the urgency of the case seems to demand it, or when, for some reason yet unknown, the objective mind is for a while more closely en rapport with the subjective mind, the interior voice is heard strongly and persistently; and when this is the case we do well to pay heed to it. Want of space forbids me to give examples, but doubtless such will not be wanting in the reader's experience.

The importance of understanding and following the intuition cannot be exaggerated, but I candidly admit the great practical difficulty of keeping the happy mean between the disregard of the interior voice and allowing ourselves to be run away with by groundless fancies. The best guide is the knowledge that comes of personal experience which gradually leads to the acquisition of a sort of inward sense of touch that enables us to distinguish the true from the false, and which appears to grow with the sincere desire for truth and with the recognition of the spirit as its source. The only general principles the writer can deduce from his own experience are that when, in spite of all appearances pointing in the direction of a certain line of conduct, there is still a persistent feeling that it should not be followed, in the majority of instances it will be found that the argument of the objective mind, however correct on the facts objectively known, was deficient from ignorance of facts which could not be objectively known at the time, but which were known to the intuitive faculty. Another principle is that our very first impression of feeling on any subject is generally correct. Before the objective mind has begun to argue on the subject it is like the surface of a smooth lake which clearly reflects the light from above; but as soon as it begins to argue from outside appearances these also throw their reflections upon its surface, so that the original image becomes blurred and is no longer recognizable. This first conception is very speedily lost, and it should therefore be carefully observed and registered in the memory with a view to testing the various arguments which will subseqtiently arise on the objective plane. It is however impossible to reduce so interior an action as that of the intuition to the form of hard and fast rules, and beyond carefully noting particular cases as they occur, probably the best plan for the student will be to include the whole subject of intuition in the general principle of the Law of Attraction, especially if he sees how this law interacts with that personal quality of universal spirit of which we have already spoken.

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"The Edinburgh Lectures in Mental Science" (c) 1909 Thomas Troward, used as public-domain material.