by Enest O’Neill
“All Ideas Come From God”
Who said this — “All ideas come from God”? Albert Einstein — the greatest thinker of our time. He had faced so many impossible problems and his mind had come up with so many ingenious answers that he was convinced that the ideas came from someone outside himself. He could use his great intellectual powers to test the theories once they occurred to him, but he had no doubt that they occurred only because of intuition. We’ve all experienced intuition at some time. Often we experience it the morning after we’ve gone to sleep with some difficulty on our minds: we awake with the difficulty solved. We usually attribute this to the mind’s unconscious activity through the night, but we wonder why it should work better when we’re not using it than when we are.
Most of us have experienced intuition in other well-known situations — those moments of decision when we had to make a choice that would determine the whole course of our lives. Suddenly we’ve just known what we should do — sometimes it seems illogical — at other times it seems utterly alien to our natures. But we’ve followed it — and, as Frost says, “that has made all the difference”.
What is Intuition?
Is intuition just the unconscious working of our minds when we’re asleep? Then we ought to pay all our scientists and economists to sleep — if the mind works best when we’re unconscious. But we don’t really believe that. Besides, those big moments of decision in our lives leave no time for sleeping — we find ourselves making the crucial decision when we’re wide awake — right in the middle of our normal activities. Moreover the decision we make is often one that our minds would never arrive at — even if they had centuries to work at it. So, intuition seems to be some power that is deeper than the mind — and has knowledge that is beyond what the mind possesses.
This is why we are often surprised at the insights of people less educated than ourselves. They seem to express perceptions that are beyond their natural experience of life. Indeed they often evince a wisdom that goes beyond what any person imprisoned in time possesses. Sometimes you’d think they received the insight from someone who knew the future. Thus we have come to think of intuition as a knowledge that is different from sheer intellect — and, in many ways, higher than the intellect. Most of us use our minds to understand and manipulate things and circumstances and people to fulfil some purpose; but intuition appears to introduce a creative direction that can change a situation by adding something to it. It seems to bring a life from outside the situation itself — and this life often bears the impression of the ageless foundations of life itself.
The Empirical Evidence of the First Century
All of this is confirmed by the unique human being who lived in the first century of our era — Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of the Creator of the universe. When Simon Peter (who later publicly denied Him) said, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now; but you shall follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times.” (John 13:36-38). This man, Jesus Christ, evinced an intuitive knowledge of men and events that went beyond simple intellectual perception of present circumstances.
Furthermore, he implied that this was the kind of knowledge of intuition that was His Father’s normal provision for us humans. He explained, “These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things” (John 14:25-26). Jesus tied this gift of intuition to the Spirit of God and therefore to our own spirits — that part of us that lies deeper than the psychological capacities of our minds and emotions. He and his students — Paul, John, Peter and the others — made it clear that we human beings were created to live by the daily aid of intuition from our Creator. Our minds are simply computers that can collect and organize knowledge of the world, but cannot know the way the world really works — only the Maker knows that. But His plan was for us to share that insight through our friendship with Him so that we would not create oil-spills on the California coast or cause the land to sink in Houston or Florida through our abuse of the underground water. Intuition was always intended to be the “sine qua non” — the thing we couldn’t do without — if we were to develop the world the way the Creator intended.
In the next article let’s look at the way we lost this gift!