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Kondo, A. (1952). Intuition in Zen Buddhism. Am. J. Psychoanal., 12(1):10-14.

(1952). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 12(1):10-14

Intuition in Zen Buddhism

Akihisa Kondo

According to our Oriental concept it is understood that intuition is one of the deepest functions of the human mind. It is a means of perceiving reality directly, not by means of logic or reasoning. This occurs or is experienced when the personality is well-integrated.

So without the knowledge of the state of mind in which intuition reveals itself, we can not seek to understand this process. And since this state of mind is the crucial point of one of the main sects of Buddhism, I wish to sketch briefly some of the characteristics of this school, which is named Zen.

According to this type of Buddhist thinking the human mind passes many stages of development until it reaches its ultimate stage of enlightenment, where full realization is achieved. I have no time to enumerate these stages in detail; however, it might be sufficient to say the following: The human mind in actual life is always driven and troubled by varying factors which vex it. These include hereditary traits and those acquired through our environment. Among these are sexual desires, greed, malice, pride, fear, anxieties and a host of others.

What are their sources? Buddha teaches that the source of life lies in the discriminatory function of our mind, which he called intellect. By this intellect we tell good from evil, life from death, happiness from misery. Attachment begins with discrimination. We therefore love, envy, become jealous, suspicious, fight or rejoice accordingly, believing that in such an attachment we find real value.

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