A liberal soul

Anyone who claims, suggests or tacitly assumes that intuitions are peaceful, delightful or otherwise benevolent hasn’t given the subject nearly enough thought.

A few minutes of concentrated reflection on one’s own life or on any span of history will turn up dozens of examples of clashes of intuitions provoked to violence by self-evidently outrageous claims of self-evident truths.

It is possible that no single intuition can, without the dubious aid of other intuitions, imagine how multiple conflicting self-evident truths could be valid, especially when this possibility is the furthest thing from self-evident.

Each intuition simply perceives what is and knows what it knows, and while its knowledge is far from complete, it has the gist of how everything hangs together and works. Something vast and mysterious might be sensed beyond or behind the world — but right here where things are happening, things are grasped by the mind for what they are.

Only unavoidable frustrations of neighboring intuitions making contradictory claims — the necessity of negotiating with unconquerable enemies — and the experience of sudden insight into the truth of their absurd claims — ratified by an overwhelming rush of respect and esteem that accompanies such insights — demonstrates to an intuition the truth that reality transcends every intuition at every point, not as a heaven that stands outside the mundane realm, but as a possibility packed into every conceivable thing. Simply hearing what another person says about things and, behind it, the everything to which every thing belongs, can call another heaven out of nowhere to pervade the universe, and to transfigure it. It is this immediate experience of transcendence that situates intuition within reality, instead of reality within intuition.

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