During a chat with an old friend, we talked about intuition. This has been a popular topic since early 20th century; people want to be free from logical thought.
From my understanding in Zen way, there are three types of intuitions. But they are all supported by memory and experience. And all of them contain the feeling, perception, mental formation and consciousness, which construct this intuitive response.
1. The intuition based on irregular memory and experience. This type of intuition happens in daily life, it is done by collecting the memory and the data of experience in closest relation, with the current target. But the “closest relation” not only depends on time, but also depends on the old habit, which is also the part of logical thinking. The difference is that the intuitive decision is not along a logical route.
2. The intuition based on regular memory and experience. Normally, this type of intuition happens in arts, martial arts or any other kind of skillful techniques. In the moment of decision making and acting in shooting a target, the regular practiced feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness will become the priority. But, we can’t say that, during the practicing, there’s no logical thinking!
3. The intuition not based on memory and experience. This can only happen in Zen enlightenment. In the beginning, the Zen practice starts from memory and experience – learning the knowledge of the truth and matching with daily experience. With the growing of understanding on truth, the feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness are turning into the same quality – the emptiness of inherent self, so the memory and experience are becoming “no self”. Until one day, in one moment, a condition breaks through last layer of “this and that”; the mind has no difference with the truth! By then, the logical thinking has no difference with intuition at all.
To be free from the logical thought does not mean to become irrational, but to be free from the limit of memory and experience. To be free from the limit of memory and experience doesn’t mean doing nothing, but tobe free from the limit ofinherent self.