If you had to imagine who said this, would you guess some new age spiritual guru? Wayne Dyer? Marianne Williamson? Some ancient sage perhaps? You may be surprised to discover that the author of this quote was none other than Albert Einstein; one of the most celebrated thinkers and scientists of all time! The ‘forgotten gift’ is the Divine Feminine gift of intuition. Like other aspects of the Divine Feminine, this gift was a casualty of the overall denigration of all things feminine at the end of the burning times (see “Who Mugged the Goddess” and "Rediscover the Strength of the Divine Feminine)
In our society, most people, both men and women, tend to rely more heavily on the Divine Masculine gift of intellect versus the Divine Feminine gift of intuition because we have been socialized to value intellect over intuition. Happily, the gift of intuition is being rediscovered. Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs are but two examples of people who knew that the secret to success, in life and business, lay in the relationship between their masculine intellect and their feminine intuition. When your intellect serves your intuition, you become more creative and generate the capacity to live a more powerful, successful and fulfilling life!
Masculine Intellect and Feminine Intuition
The intellect, or ‘rational mind’ as Einstein called it, resides primarily in the left hemisphere of the brain. This Divine Masculine aspect, celebrated and honoured for thousands of years, includes the skills of analysis, reason, logic, deduction and inference. It uses past information and experience to explain the present and project the future. We use the power of our intellect to ‘figure things out’. Our intellectual mind is crucial for us to effectively function on a day-to-day basis. However, the intellect has limits. Most notably, it can hamper creativity and, when harnessed by the ego, can keep us small and prevent us from making changes in our lives.
Intuition, being the Divine Feminine gift, is essentially the opposite. Intuition is when you know something without having to directly discover or perceive it. Although this aspect of the Divine Feminine has been associated with women since the dawn of time, men are equally able to tap into and benefit from this gift. While those who aren’t connected to their intuition commonly view it as merely a ‘lucky guess’, ‘woo-woo’ or ‘freaky’ those of us who have strengthened our intuitive pathways know that the power of our intuition is no coincidence! Intuition is the essential ingredient for creativity and for evolving our life and humanity – whether that means advancing a scientific idea, creating a new technology or determining the next step in our lives or career.
We live in a ‘soup’ of consciousness. In the same way that fish don’t perceive the water in which they swim, most of us don’t perceive the consciousness in which we live and breathe. This consciousness field is intelligent and exists both within and outside of our space/time dimension. It is an invisible, non-physical, realm that we access through our intuition -- through the right hemisphere of our brain. Think of it as a portal through which we are in constant communication, whether we are consciously aware of it or not. Author Lynn McTaggart calls it the ‘field’, futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard calls it the ‘noosphere’, while Carl Jung calls it the ‘collective unconscious’.
Here is my answer to the question, “What are we doing here?” We are each here to grow and evolve our own consciousness, humanity and the planet. And the key lies in honouring and harnessing our intuitive capabilities. Our intuition provides us with nudges, hunches, information and inspiration to move us towards ever greater realms of love and connectedness. Intuition is fuelled by information that is outside of our perception and is therefore beyond the reach of the intellect. That is the profound gift that intuition brings.
Steve Jobs recognized and honoured his intuition relatively early in life. In his 2005 commencement address to Stanford University graduates, he told students about his decision to follow his intuition and drop out of college. This freed him up to follow his heart and take courses that interested him, but were of no practical value. Or so he thought at the time. It wasn’t until years later that those seemingly small and insignificant choices, which flowed from following his heart and intuition, would become critical factors in his eventual success at Apple and Pixar. He went on to suggest that his career path could not have been planned; that it is impossible to connect the dots looking forward, but that it only became clear when looking backwards. In other words, he suggested the students use the gift of intuition as their guide.
With the overemphasis on the power of the intellect so prominent in our society, it’s tempting to use it to ‘figure out our lives’ and determine our next step. Your intellect operates in the realm of the physical, known, time/space continuum so this part of your psyche is, at first, incredulous at the notion that it can’t figure out the ‘best’ path to follow, decision to make or idea to try. But relying on the intellect means that you are making decisions and choices with only a fraction of the information available, which is needlessly limiting. Inspiration comes from our intuition. It’s great to have a plan for your life or career, but I would caution against being too attached to your plan. For if you are too attached, you will surely miss key opportunities along the way.
The Dance of Intellect and Intuition
When we honour and recognize the power of our intuition and the limits of our intellect, we create the opportunity to manifest beauty, love, and magnificence in our world. Here’s how it works. Our intuition gives us inspiration or guidance and we use our intellect to put it into action. Again, the energy flows back and forth between the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine, and as it does so it creates a most beautiful dance. This principle applies in all realms of life, from the small, seemingly insignificant issues to the larger questions of life direction, career, and relationship.
As Einstein noted, the gift of intuition has largely been forgotten in our society. He recognized that much of his success could be attributed to his strong connection with his intuition. We celebrate and honour the intellect without realizing that achievements and advancements in many fields of endeavour, including science, only happen with the inspiration that comes from intuition.
The intellect is clever, but your intuition is wise. It is wise because it has access to a much greater source of information – information that is outside of our normal awareness. And it is for this reason that Einstein correctly identified the intellect as the servant. When your intellect understands and honours the wisdom of your intuition, and operates in service to your intuition, then your life will grow and flow and you will be able to navigate life’s challenges with grace and ease. By restoring the gift of intuition to its proper place, we become exponentially more influential in the world and create lives that are more fulfilling and successful. Here is the final piece of advice that Steve Jobs gave to the Stanford graduates:
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Clearly, Steve Jobs also knew the wisdom of listening to his intuition. I wonder if the ‘i’ in ‘iPod’, ‘iMac’, ‘iPhone’ and other apple products could also represent intuition, since this was clearly a big part of his success. Too bad we can’t ask him. Steve, you will be greatly missed!