Instinct, intellect, intelligence & intuition ~

In preparing for my filming in India after the tour, I went onto a website for a Hindu Swami who has an ashram outside of Bangalore.

His name is Sri Paramahamsa Nithyananda, and I did an interview with one of his followers last year – a former UK banker who has now become a swami in his own right.

In perusing the website – – I came across this interesting article about the differences between instinct, intellect, intelligence and intuition.


We all use a mix of instinct, intellect, intelligence and intuition to handle our external and internal environment. Basically, all these terms refer to the same energy working at higher and higher levels of consciousness.

When intellect is purified, it becomes intelligence. When intelligence is further purified, it becomes intuition. The more consciousness you are able to bring into your life, into your responses, your decisions, the higher the chance there is that you are operating at the level of intellect or intelligence.

Are you entirely aware of what goes on inside your head? Our interactions with ourselves and the world are always a mix of conscious and unconscious perceptions. If the number of unconscious perceptions or actions are greater than your conscious perceptions or actions, it means you are operating at the level of instinct.

If your conscious and unconscious processes are more or less equal, you are operating at the level of intellect. If your conscious process is faster than your unconscious process, you are using intelligence. When you operate totally out of awareness, you make the leap to intuition.

All of us use all these processes at different times. Moreover, they are not clearly demarcated , but flow into one another. It is simply a process of greater and greater refinement of the same energy, greater and greater awareness being brought in when handling the same energy.

Intellect is what you normally use when making your decisions. Intellect uses only logic to act. It does not know any other language. Intelligence is more creative, more constructive. It knows how to respond to life moment to moment, how to be awake to the challenge of the moment.

Intelligence is aware of the situation, it can alter the answers according to the demands of the moment. Intuition is when the decision simply happens as a revelation! It happens from the energy of your being, not from the space of the mind.

Meditation brings in the awareness to go from intellect to intelligence to intuition. With meditation, you go beyond the mind, into the space of just being, where understanding and action both happen spontanteously.


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