by Paramhansa Yogananda (Excerpted from: Inner Culture Magazine, December 1939)
Intuition is that directly perceiving faculty of the soul which at once knows the truth about anything. Unless you have the power of intuition, you cannot possibly know Truth. It is the knowing power of the soul without the help of the senses or the mind. Intuition can give you knowledge about things which your senses and understanding can never give. Intuition does not depend upon any outside data whatsoever.
Intuition Means Soul-Perception
Intuition means “soul-perception.” It shows the difference between true and false reasoning. Errors are made by people who fail to distinguish between a real “hunch” or intuition, and their conceptions born of intellect, experience, or blind belief.
Many books and courses of study are prescribed for students in school, but nothing is taught them about concentration and the development of the sixth sense—the all-knowing faculty of intuition. Many people make mistakes in everything, from the study of health and business up to the study of philosophy and religion. Thousands of people make wrong investments and take wrong paths because their minds are not scientifically guided by intuition.
By the development of intuition one can outgrow the law of cause and effect in one’s own life. Intuition tunes the mental radio so that it can intercept all vibrations of future happenings which otherwise are deflected by diverse currents.
Pure reason and calm feeling lead to intuition. Therefore, the first requisite in developing it is to calmly reason and calmly feel everything. Intuition is developed by exercising common sense, daily introspection and analysis, depth of thought and continued activity in one direction, calmness, and, best of all, by meditation, holding to its calm after-effects. This is the only way. You then begin to perceive everything which is within as well as without.
If you can produce a perfect state of calmness in concentration and meditation, when you have a deep problem to solve, you will be able to solve it. If you hold to the calmness that comes after meditation, then you will be guided aright. Intuition guides your reason. When you have developed intuition, you will stand firm in your knowledge, though the whole heavens and the universe rise up to defeat you. Whenever you want to intuitively solve a problem, first go into deep meditation or silence. Do not think of your problem during meditation, but meditate until you feel that a sense of calmness fills the inner recesses of your body, and your breath becomes calm and quiet. Then ask God to direct your intuition so that you may know what you should do.
First, try to find out the truth about simple problems; then, when you find your intuition working infallibly, use it in finding the solution to big problems. For example, suppose two propositions are given you about a business matter; both propositions seem very attractive, but both cannot be right for you. You are obliged to decide between them, and you can decide rightly by your intuitive sense. Supermen continually use their intuition in everything they do, and thus accomplish the seemingly impossible.