This article is related to the previous article “Four Powers of Intuition“
The source of all Knowledge is the Superconscient; it is the reservoir of all creativity – the source of all inventions, paintings, musical compositions. In contrast, the source of all Ignorance is our limited consciousness which is only aware of its identity as the physical body in the physical world. Every problem we face is the result of a deformation of some underlying Truth and the Intuition required to solve a problem can be found by bridging this gap between Ignorance and Knowledge, by ascending and widening our consciousness so we can become aware of our larger Self. When we ascend into this wider consciousness, we also find ourselves crowned with the power of Intuition.
According to Sri Aurobindo & The Mother, there are two sources of intuition – one in the heart and one above the head. These sources of intuition correspond to the two centers of the Divine in us – the soul or psychic being within the heart, and the Central Being above the head. From time to time, we receive intimations from these two sources, but these intimations are clouded by the impurities that we have gathered since birth. Our surface personality is a whirlpool of activity and our thoughts, impulses, desires, habits obstruct the stream of Divine perception which is natural to the pure Self. The central aim of Integral Yoga is to remove these obstructions by a process of purification thereby allowing a ascent of consciousness from our surface personality into the subtle body or inner being. This is a gradual process fraught with stumblings and mishaps which need to be corrected by a painstaking effort towards purification as well as a central vigilance which delineates truth from impurities.
In the Synthesis of Yoga, Sri Aurobindo outlines four methods to cultivate the development of the Intuitive Mind.
Method 1: Silence the mind – make it a “Mirror of the Universe”
“At first it might seem the straight and right way to silence the mind altogether, to silence the intellect, the mental and personal will, the desire mind and the mind of emotion and sensation, and to allow in that perfect silence the Self, the Spirit, the Divine to disclose himself and leave him to illuminate the being by the supramental light and power and Ananda”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga – II: The Intuitive Mind
Thoughts are not the essence of the mental being but only an activity. When the thinking activity ceases, one feels a void and then one comes to realize that thoughts are not created within us but that they come to us as mind-waves from a vast infinite mental space (Chidakasa). This awakening to the inner mental-space turns our mind into what is referred to as a mirror of the Universe where it reflects the flow of thought-waves as they impinge on our mental consciousness. By staying in this state for longer intervals, one gradually heightens the consciousness and is able to develop the mind’s intuitive powers. For more on this subject, see the post All thoughts come from outside
A word of caution may be in order here. The preliminary effect of meditation is that it brings a feeling of levity which quickens the mind. Under the circumstances, one may easily fall into the trap of assuming that the swift reasoning of our quick-thinking intellect is actually our new-found intuition but that is not true. Some feedback is required to distinguish real intuition from random thoughts in circulation. One must train oneself to inwardly concentrate the consciousness at the point above the head and wait patiently for guidance.
Method 2 : Descent of Light from Above
Aren’t you aware of this thing up above, this white plate at the crown of the head? It’s what receives intuitions. It’s just like a photographic plate, and it’s not even active – things pass right through it without our even realizing it. And then if you concentrate just a little, everything stops, everything stops.
The Mother, Mother’s Agenda: October 11, 1960
This may be said to be a advancement over Method 1 described above. The continued ascent and descent process of Integral Yoga leads to the opening of the Brahmarandhra (door of Brahman) situated at the top-center of the skull, and brings about a descent of light and rising heat (Yoga-Agni = fire of Yoga or spiritual fire) in the brain. This illumination kindles the awakening in the subtle centers within the brain which are the source of latent faculties within Man. One then perceives the first signs of intuition whereby a ray of light turns into a faint wave caressing the skull and then a new idea is born in the brain. What begins as a spasmodic contact later integrates fully into our mental functioning. The mind discovers that observing a moment’s silence seems to automatically bring forth the solution.
Method 3 : Listening to the voice within the heart
In the words of the Mother:
“Behind the emotions, deep within the being, in a consciousness seated somewhere near the level of the heart, there is a sort of prescience, a kind of capacity for foresight, but not in the form of ideas: rather in the form of feelings, almost a perception of sensations. For instance, when one is going to decide to do something, there is sometimes a kind of uneasiness or inner refusal, and usually, if one listens to this deeper indication, one realises that it was justified.”
When the being, and especially the heart itself, has been bathed in silence day after day, month after month, there begins to emerge the faintest pulse of intuition from within the heart which says “do this…not that”. This is the voice of our soul or psychic being – a voice which has been long supressed by our surface ego. Initially, one must listen to this voice with caution because as long as the heart’s desires have not been completely tranquilized, the voice may get appropriated by our ruling desires and impulses and end up misleading us. It is only after complete psychic transformation that what began as the faint voice develops into a pure voice of Intuition.
Method 4: Developing the intellect
Sri Aurobindo says:
“A fourth method is one which suggests itself naturally to the developed intelligence and suits the thinking man. This is to develop our intellect instead of eliminating it, but with the will not to cherish its limitations, but to heighten its capacity, light, intensity, degree and force of activity until it borders on the thing that transcends it and can easily be taken up and transformed into that higher conscious action…”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga – II: The Intuitive Mind
This method is semi-consciously practiced by those with well-developed intellect, who are already accustomed to engaging in heightened thought formations. They seem to discover solutions during dreams or periods of relaxation. During dreams, solutions appear spontaneously because the subliminal consciousness, free from the control of the regimented day-time mind, is able to vibrate at a higher intensity and automatically tap into the Superconscient. Similarly, during periods of relaxation, the mind, devoid of thought, semi-consciously tunes into a higher level of consciousness and suddenly finds the right idea for the problem at hand. Interestingly, the term “Incubation effect” has been coined to denote this phenomenon.
This method can be observed in the lives of various scientists:
- The Irish mathematician, William Hamilton, discovered quaternions during a period of relaxation after having exerted himself to no avail : “He was troubled by a certain problem for a few days. The solution came to him while taking a walk on a bridge. He carved the formula on that bridge to make sure he would not forget it.” 
- The Hungarian inventor, Nikola Tesla, in his biography My Inventions describes the visions which would play before his eyes in early childhood. These are indications of a highly-developed intuitive mind: “The incessant mental exertion developed my powers of observation and enabled me to discover a truth of great importance. I had noted that the appearance of images was always preceded by the actual visions of scenes and I was impelled on each occasion to locate the original impulse. Soon I became aware, to my surprise, that every thought I conceived was suggested by an external impression… “These luminous phenomena still manifest themselves from time to time as when a new idea opening up possibilities strikes me but they are no longer exciting being of smaller intensity. 
- The Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan, often saw equations in his dreams and ascribed them to the family Goddess. 
- The German mathematician, Carl Gauss, discovered the construction of the 17-gon in his dream just before waking up. He wrote in a letter “I succeeded in the morning of this day, before I got up, to see the connection…”  He remarked that fruitful ideas seemed to appear in the morning just before he woke up. 
- The geologist Louis Aggassiz discovered the missing features of fossil fish in his dream : “Accordingly, towards morning the fish reappeared in his dream, confusedly at first, but at last with such distinctness that he had no longer any doubt as to its zoological characters. Still half dreaming, in perfect darkness, he traced these characters on the sheet of paper at his bedside.” 
- Friedrich Kekule worked out the structure of Benzene in his dream. 
- Otto Loewi in his dream found a way to prove his hypothesis that neural impulses were transmitted chemically. 
Shortlink to this post
- N. Tesla, My Inventions, pp 12-14
- Kanigel, Robert. The Man Who knew Infinity.
- Scharlau, Winfried and Hans Opolka. From Fermat to Minkowski, p 64
- Donnerer, Joseph and Fred Lembeck. The Chemical Languages of the Nervous System, p 79