|The Third Eye|
Written from a psychological perspective, this excerpt from Swami Rama's Yoga and Psychotherapy offered a take on intuition that bridged Eastern and Western views. In this view, pure intuition is a function of the sixth chakra. Added emphasis appears in red, and my reactions are enclosed in a box: (Note 154)
The next chakra is the ajna chakra which is located between the eyes and slightly above at the space between the two eyebrows. This is sometimes called "the third eye" because it has to do with a certain kind of seeing. Behind the area of the "third eye" is located the pineal gland. There is a traditional relationship between this and the sixth chakra. The pineal gland was said by the ancients to be sensitive to "a light within." . . .
Consciousness that is centered at the ajna chakra involves "introspection" or "the ability to see within." In ancient times, a "seer" was one who had focused his consciousness here and was able to see intuitively. The term "clairvoyance," though it has acquired "psychic" connotations, actually comes from the French which means "seeing clearly," and also refers to the centering of consciousness at this chakra. But the "third eye" has the ability to "see" in a way that the physical eyes cannot. This is a deeper vision or intuitive means of gaining knowledge.
In modern terms, "intuition" has also assumed a vaguely pejorative connotation. It is often used synonymously with the term "hunch." It is regarded as either unreliable or imaginary. It's certainly not considered something that a sensible person would rely on. . . . In Eastern psychology, by contrast, intuition is a clearly defined phenomenon. It is, moreover, something which can be distinguished from superstition and hunches. A "hunch" may involve an element of intuition, but it is one that is contaminated and confused with material from the personal unconscious.
One's complexes and problems intermingle themselves with what little access he might have to something beyond his usual limited consciousness. His premonitions are, then, more often than not mistaken and, at best, unreliable. But "getting hunches" is a natural tendency of the human mind. When the mind spontaneously goes to a state of calmness and relaxation, one is likely to receive such an impression. But when he becomes aware of that potential, he more often than not begins to intervene in the process and intellectualize. Then, even the hunch, contaminated as it is, evaporates.
By contrast, true intuition is a stable, reliable function of the higher levels of consciousness and awareness from which a wider range of information is accessible. There intellect and emotion flow together and become integrated, permitting a new kind of knowing, a kind of knowing which both depends on and promotes self realization. Intuition unquestionably comes from the highest source of knowledge. It dawns bit by bit with the growth of consciousness. Techniques of meditation provide one with the means through which he can discover and develop within himself that level from which intuition operates.
Intuition has two aspects: there is a difference between creative intuition and higher or inward directed intuition. Examples of creative intuition are Newton's discovery of gravity or Kekule's discovery of the ring structure of benzene discussed earlier. It brings the super consciousness into productive contact with the outer world. The higher intuition, on the other hand, is not used for working with the more material, outer sheaths, but is used to grasp the innermost nature of our being. It is unalloyed and useful in helping one find his way deeper to even more advanced levels of consciousness.
In the advanced practice of meditation, a focusing of consciousness on the sixth center leads to gradually separating out the contaminants from the pure experience. . . . We might say that the intuitive mode of consciousness that is associated with the right side of the brain is finally brought to its perfection. "Opening the third eye" means integrating the right and the left. It means bringing together the judgment and discrimination which characterize the left side with the openness and access to the intuitive world that characterizes the right. . . . It means bringing together these two partial, inaccurate ways of knowledge into an integrated whole that is more profound and penetrating. . . .
Even when preparation is not systematic, however, some fleeting contact with a more universal consciousness may be momentarily experienced. This may occur in people who have, through their life experience, reached a level of unusual maturity and personal evolution. Sudden flashes of an altered state of consciousness may be experienced and reported as overwhelming. Such experiences have been described by philosophers and poets through the ages, . . . but without any systematic preparation or well designed discipline, such persons are usually unable to find their way back at will to these moments of illumination. They must wait for them to happen spontaneously. . . .
One who knows how to meditate on the space between the two eyebrows or ajna chakra gains a new perspective on the principles of time, space and causality. The one-pointed inward focusing of awareness leads to a point from which the multiplicity of phenomena and events can be seen as one interrelated whole. The causal sequence of phenomena in the world is then transcended and "future" events can be apprehended. Though this may sound absurd to the hard-nosed, intellectualizing materialist, according to the exact and well-defined science of meditation, the network of past, present and future is a flow of many events on the bed of time. And this entire bed can be visualized, with proper training.