A useful point arose in another forum I thought worth sharing here. Partly, it’s in distinguishing between judgment (mental conditioning) and discrimination. And partly it’s in distinguishing between intellect and intuition.
When we use words like intellect and discriminate, many people will immediately associate them with the judging mind. However, the intellect operates at a level more subtle than mind. It is a yes-no distinction, not a valuation or judgment from past conditioning and memory. Where the mind may have rigid ideas that it applies habitually to anything related (including racism, sexism, bigotry, etc), the intellect recognizes distinctions within any experience and is uncluttered by such trash or the past. This is the root of how science attempts to be objective.
However, for the intellect to be clear, the mind and emotions have to be clear enough of energetic debris. If not, they serve as a filter to any fine distinctions we might notice.
Curiously, what people call intuition is the same thing as the intellect. By intuition here, I don’t mean “gut feelings” or other emotional or bodily sensations. While these may be driven by intuition, they are not the fine feelings of the intuition itself. They can be distorted by mind and emotions, just as the intellect as above. (in my experience) This is not to discount such modes – only to recognize they’re indirect.
The difference between “intellect” and “intuition” is only in the mode we’re using. Are we using the mind or the heart? Are we feeling the distinctions or perceiving the distinctions? (senses are mind-driven) And see how the distinction is small – even feeling is a fine form of touch, a sense.
If we look at the Vedic darshana Samkhya, it describes the mechanism. Buddhi (intellect) takes a direction, Ahamkara (ego) individuates it, and Manas (mind) becomes the movie screen or sensing of it.
It’s also illustrated by the koshas. Vijnanamaya is the intellect layer, prior to mind. It is the level where the fine vibrations create interrelationships and subtle geometry. This is what underlies the fields that structure forms. Being aware on that level is being aware of the subtle distinctions and thus being able to discern or intuit what is trending, what is about to become.
It’s not quite accurate to say it is prior to word though. This is a level prior to meaning or labels (mind). But the essence of fine vibration is sound or mantra, is creation becoming. It is Word embodied. Some can hear this, such as a high-pitched tone behind everything else heard (maybe mistaking it for tinnitus). Or as a deep reverberation, sometimes felt bodily. It is as physics describes it, ever renewing in every moment.
We can argue that distinguishing “right and wrong” is dualistic. Or that that these are judgments from a conditioned mind. But as I noted above, there’s a big difference between judgment based on past memories and distinguishing qualities of what is here now.
The point is that if we’re conscious, we have choice. Do we choose to work with what is becoming or resist it and struggle? Do we co-create or obstruct? Are we clear enough to know the difference?