Science and Intuition.
In earlier times, there was no distinction in the concepts of spirit, nature and science. Man was seen as a part of the universe. Serious subjects like the form of the relationship between the soul, life, nature and man were thought and contemplated. Intuition was given special importance. The consciousness which rose from intuition was in stark contrast to the consciousness risen from intellect. The knowledge that is born out of intellect depends upon an incident, process or an object. This is why Buddhists have ranked it as dependant knowledge whereas intuition is ranked as complete knowledge. In the Upanishads, the summary of this complete knowledge can be found as follows, “Which is soundless, touchless, formless, undecaying, tasteless, eternal and scentless, beginningless, endless, beyond the great, and constant, knowing that, man escapes from the mouth of Death. The knowledge attained from such an experience is complete.” (Kathopanishad 3.15)
The primary aims of the consciousness based on the intellect and reason are sorting, classifying, getting compared, comparing and categorising. This consciousness divides the truth in separate compartments and tries to learn about the nature of the world. Science is a product of this consciousness. There are uncountable kinds of objects, creations and processes present in the world. To decide upon a category for each is impossible. Therefore, the intellect decides upon ordering, creating concepts and deciding symbols for those things which are more relevant and clear. In this way, the knowledge led by intellect is based on choosing special features and processes of nature. This is why, all the words produced by this knowledge have its own limitations. Physicist Werner Heisenberg says in connection the words of materialistic science, “The problems of language here are really serious. We wish to speak in some way about the structure of the atoms….But we cannot speak about atoms in ordinary language”
Actually, the consciousness born of intuition feels the reality of nature directly through insight; whereas, materialistic science understands the reality of nature by inspecting natural processes through experiment. The limitations of vision become the limitations of knowledge. In this way, science grasps only a part of the truth and not its whole form. For instance, we may have a look at Newton’s model of classical mechanics. In this model, friction, the power opposing motion, has been criticized. In spite of this, this model had its shadow over the world of science as it was seen as a form of deciphering the most amazing principles of the process of nature. There was no space for electromagnetic processes in this model because these processes were not discovered then. The discovery of those proved that Newton’s model of classical mechanics is incomplete. This principle can be applied on those objects which have a high number of atoms and the speed of which are less than the speed of light, but the speed of which is higher than the speed of light, there one can only apply the Quantum Principle. The unfortunate aspect is that the quantum principle has not been able to find a place from the school level to the college level. In its inadequacy, the knowledge of the students about nature will also remain incomplete.
Through concepts and symbols, mathematics too, tries to create a map of the truth. Actually, mathematics gives facts related to truth the form of formulae and fits them into it. And then, in order to make them comprehensible, writes pages after pages. If we observe, we see that by assigning a symbol to the truth in the formulae, they are made abstract. The intelligent comprehend it but because the truth is tied and altered to be filled in a capsule of a formula, it gets detached from the world of reality and the common public. Actually, the language of mathematics has brought us to such a platform where understanding the symbols expressing the truth has become difficult. This is the reason why words are being required to explain their meaning. They are being interpreted in various ways and these interpretations are producing a vision which makes us realise the truth as they decode signals though the interpretation of concepts. This vision does not have a precision like a formula. Such an interpretation of mathematics draws a picture of the reality just like the models of philosophy. This is the point where the models of science and philosophy are seen standing on the same plane.
In the last thousand years, due to the expansion of intellectual knowledge and the decline in humanity, it has been proven that it is difficult to teach the lesson of humanity with intuition. Achieving intuition is actually achieving the truth by going beyond the intellect while in the uneven state of consciousness. The weapons like doubt and reason of the mind create a ground for combat. However, it is an undeniable truth that in the absence of intuition, survival is only possible with the help of the weapons of combat. In the modern society, it is the intellectual knowledge which is given the position of the most superior one. However, if this was the most superior form of consciousness then there would not have existed various kinds of mental disorders in those having an intellect. Actually, consciousness is of many kinds. In this context, William James writes in his book ‘The Varieties of Religious Experiences’ that our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the flimsiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. Intuition is the product of a powerful consciousness.
Intuition also plays a special role in the field of science. The question of the utility of intellect does not arise in the field of research in science unless a scientist’s intuition gives it an insight of the use of intellect in that field. This is the ground for creativity. The uniqueness of this insight is that it arises suddenly. It is not born in the situation where one sits with a pen and paper and exerts pressure on one’s brain. Instead, in the moments of comfort after a focused intellectual action this insight automatically activated just like how the sun tears the clouds and comes out. Just the way Newton found the vision of thinking about the power of gravity when he watched an apple fall. Achieving this doubles the joy. The biggest limitation of materialistic science is that the vision inspired from the viable intuition has no value unless it can be proven using the language of mathematics and analysed in words. That is, unless the intellect can gather evidence to prove an experienced truth, science does not permit that truth to enter within its boundaries. If we see it from this view, then intellect should be considered that which follows intuition. However, the modern society has created such a whirlwind of intellectual consciousness and science that the topic of intuition has been left behind. Man is identified only due to the power of his self. It is because the intuition, connected undifferentiated with the soul, is not being able to rise that today’s man is suffering from so many issues at the psychological level. If we view things from this point, we see that the study of the evolution of intuition is a huge demand of this era.
Author : Dr. Rakhi Roy Halder
Translator: Harshita Srivastava ( Translated from original text written in Hindi)