The Intuitive and Rational Minds
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift
and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that
honors the servant and has
forgotten the gift.~ Albert Einstein
We have the natural gifts of two valuable and complementary minds: the rational and intuitive. In this culture the rational is associated with logic and as such with the male mind. The intuitive is associated with feelings and is by nature irrational which in our culture has a negative connotation; it is often associated with women. Consequently, the rational mind is usually seen as being superior while the intuitive mind is often denigrated and seen as being less reliable and inferior.
Albert Einstein who was a creative genius turns this on its head! My guess is he speaks from personal experience: that his ideas came from his intuitive mind and he then refined them into theories through his rational mind. Thus he perceived the rational mind as the servant of the intuitive mind which is the fountain of creativity and inspiration.
Yet our culture has marginalized the intuitive, denying its importance if it is not "evidence based" or logical. This has happened in the field of psychology as well where cognitive behavioral therapy is increasingly valued over a less rational, more intuitive internal exploration.
It may be worth looking at your own thoughts and feelings about your rational and intuitive minds. Have you bought into the cultural construct that the rational mind is superior, not trusting or listening to your intuition? What kind of relationship do your rational and intuitive minds have? Which do you listen to? Which do you value more? Have you experienced the optimal interplay of the intuitive and rational minds?
If you discover that your relationship to the intuitive is not as developed as you might want it to be, there are easy steps to take to build that relationship. All it takes is listening, not discounting hunches, gut feelings, images, ideas that seem to come from nowhere or may not make sense. Pay attention and you will be richly rewarded as your intuitive and rational minds come into z greater sense of balance!
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Peggy Handler, MFT, is a psychotherapist in San Francisco's Noe Valley