Intellect – The bridge from Instinct to Intuition

12th December is the birthday of the illustrious American singer & actor Frank Sinatra. His bright blue eyes earned him the popular nickname “Ol’ Blue Eyes“.

The idol of bobby soxers, Sinatra is considered one of the greatest music artists of all time. He won 11 Grammys and an Academy Award. He was also known for his immaculate sense of style and even earned the nickname ‘Lady Macbeth’ for frequent showering and switching outfits! Sinatra is said to have swum daily in the Pacific Ocean, which he said was therapeutic and allowed him some solitude!

Frank Sinatra had a natural instinct for understanding music, almost like a sixth sense, that he could even detect incorrect notes and sounds within the orchestra. He was a perfectionist and had extraordinary performance presence! He preferred to record his music live with the band saying that it gave him a “certain feeling” to perform live surrounded by musicians. Osho often uses Frank Sinatra’s music as a canvas for His jokes. Osho also explains the connection between intuition, intellect and instinct. 

Intuition is your consciousness, your being.
Intellect is your mind.
Instinct is your body.

And just as instinct functions perfectly on behalf of the body, intuition functions perfectly as far as your consciousness is concerned. Intellect is just between these two – a passage to be passed, a bridge to be crossed. But there are many people, many millions of people, who never cross the bridge. They simply sit on the bridge thinking they have arrived home.

The home is on the further shore, beyond the bridge. The bridge joins instinct and intuition. But it all depends on you. You may start making a house on the bridge – then you have gone astray.

Intellect is not going to be your home. It is a very small instrument to be used only for passing from instinct to intuition. So only the person who uses his intellect to go beyond it can be called intelligent.

Intuition is existential.

Instinct is natural.

Intellect is just groping in the dark.

The faster you move beyond intellect, the better.

When Billy Graham sang, “All I want is Jesus,” five thousand people joined the Protestant church.

When Pope the Polack sang, “Ave Maria,” ten thousand people joined the Catholic church.

When Frank Sinatra sang, “There’s a gold mine in the sky,” one hundred thousand Jews joined the Air Force.

Intellect functions that way. And Jews are intelligent people – if there is a gold mine in the sky, why waste time here? Just immediately join the Air Force.

Intellect can be a barrier to those who think nothing is beyond it. Intellect can be a beautiful way to those who understand that there is certainly something beyond it. Science has stopped at intellect. That’s why it cannot figure out anything about consciousness.

The intellect without your intuition awake is one of the most dangerous things in the world. And we are living under the danger of intellect, because intellect has given science immense power. But the power is in the hands of children, not in the hands of wise people.

Intuition makes a man wise. Call it enlightenment, call it awakening; those are simply different names for wisdom. Only in the hands of wisdom can intellect be used as a beautiful servant. And the instinct and intuition function together perfectly well: one on the physical level, another on the spiritual level.

The whole problem of humanity is getting stuck in the middle, in the mind, in the intellect.

And then you will have misery and you will have anxiety and you will have agony and you will have meaninglessness. And you will have all kinds of tensions without any solution anywhere to be seen. Intellect makes everything a problem and knows no solution at all. Instinct never creates any problem and does not need any solution; it simply functions naturally. Intuition is pure solution, it has no problems: intellect is only problems, it has no solution. If you rightly see the division, it is very simple to understand: unless instinct is available, you will be dead. And unless intuition is available, your life has no meaning – you just drag on. It is a kind of vegetation.

Intuition brings meaning, splendor, joy, blessings. Intuition gives you the secrets of existence, brings a tremendous silence, serenity, which cannot be disturbed and which cannot be taken away from you.

With instinct and intuition functioning together, you can also use your intellect for right purposes. Otherwise you have only means, but no ends. Intellect has no idea of any ends. This has created today’s situation in the world. Science goes on producing things but it does not know why. Politicians go on using those things not knowing that they are destructive, that they are preparing for a global suicide.

The world needs a tremendous rebellion that can take it beyond intellect into the silences of intuition.

The very word `intuition’ has to be understood. You know the word `tuition’. Tuition comes from outside, somebody teaches you – the tutor. Intuition means something that arises within your being; it is your potential; that’s why it is called intuition.

Wisdom is never borrowed and that which is borrowed is never wisdom. Unless you have your own wisdom, your own vision, your own clarity, your own eyes to see, you will not be able to understand the mystery of existence.

As far as I am concerned, I am in absolute favor of instinct. Don’t disturb it. Every religion has been teaching you to disturb it. What is fasting but disturbing your instinct? Your body is hungry and asking for food, and you are starving it for spiritual reasons. A strange kind of spirituality has been possessing your being. It should be called simply stupidity, not spirituality.

Your instinct is asking for water, it is thirsty; your body needs it. But your religions … Jainism does not allow anybody even to drink water in the night. Now as far as the body is concerned, it may feel thirsty, particularly in summer in a hot country like India and Jainas exist only in India. In my childhood, I used to feel very guilty because I had to steal water in the night. I could not sleep without drinking at least once a night in hot summers. But I used to feel that I was doing something that should not be done, that I was committing a sin. Strange and stupid ideas are being forced on people.

I am in favor of the instinct and this is one of the secrets I want to reveal to you: if you are in total favor of instinct, it will be very easy to find the way towards intuition, because they are both the same, even though functioning on different layers. One functions on the material level; other functions on the spiritual level.

But intellect goes on creating repressive methods for the instinct. Celibacy for instance creates perversions – homosexuality, sodomy – because it is not part of your instinctive program.

To accept your instinctive life with absolute joy, without any guilt, will help you to open the doors of intuition, because they are not different, just their planes are different. And just as instinct functions beautifully, silently, without any noise, so does intuition function – and even more silently, far more beautifully. Intellect is a disturbance. But it depends on us whether we make it a disturbance or use it as a stepping-stone. When you come across a stone in the street, either you can think it a hindrance or you can use it as a stepping-stone to a higher plane. Those who really understand use intellect as a stepping-stone.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Chuang Tzu Auditorium, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune, India.

Discourse series:

Sat Chit Anand

Chapter #5
Chapter title: Existence must be laughing at man
24 November 1987 am in Chuang Tzu Auditorium


Osho has spoken extensively on ‘art, music, painting poetry, dance,’ and creative geniuses like Picasso, Salvador Dali, Van Gogh, Byron, Bhavabhuti, Coleridge, Dinkar, D.H. Lawrence, Ghalib, John Ruskin, Kalidas, Kahlil Gibran, Keats, Omar Khayyam, Milton, Mozart, Yeats, Shelley, Tagore, Wagner and many more in the course of His talks. More on this subject can be referred to in the following books/discourse titles:

  1. Ah This
  2. Be Still and Know
  3. Beyond Psychology
  4. Come Follow to You Vol.1-4
  5. The Guest
  6. Going All the Way
  7. This Is It
  8. The Book of Wisdom
  9. The Path of the Mystic
  10. A Sudden Clash of Thunder
  11. Just the Tip of the Iceberg
  12. Wont You Join the Dance?
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1 Comment

  • Rajnish
    Posted December 13, 2020 2:52 pm 0Likes

    Just loved it

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