I like to call the openness to non-conceptual reality ‘intuitive logic’ or ‘intuitive reason’ since the term is an oxymoron and a paradox that can explain everything or nothing depending on whether you have erected a conceptual fence to stand on.

Intuition and logic/reason tend to be placed on opposite sides of the fence due to the failure to recognize that intuitive knowing is the higher octave of thinking and intuitive feeling is the higher octave of emotion. The source of much of this comes not only from the prevalence of rational materialism but also from Jung’s personality types and astrological quadrants which view them as opposites rather than complements.

Yet just as Lao Tzu said: beauty and ugliness define one another, front and back follow one another and being and non-being produce one another. The two are one in that they can never be mutually exclusive, i.e. you cannot have one without the other because each depends on and gives rise to the other.

This mutuality also holds true for intuition and logic. The mutuality of logic and intuition means head and heart need not be at odds, or at the very least, are only as divided as we are inside. Neither one can provide or is meant to provide a complete understanding of our existence by itself. This is why we could also say that ‘logic + intuition = common sense’ or that ‘right brain + left brain is a no brainer’… and if someone cannot get that then what more can be said?!

Intuitive logic integrates apparent opposites through the understanding that contradiction and opposition only arises when we grasp at the self-existence/inherent existence of things. Once we understand that everything exists interdependently such that nothing (no-thing) has an inherent existence there is no paradox because there are no self-natures.

Things are real in that they exist, but they exist on a functional or conventional level rather than on an ultimate one because they are not inherently real, i.e. they are what in Buddhism and Daoism is called "empty". This lack of ultimate existence is not a problem since things actually co-exist through the boundless web of interdependence that arises from their lack of inherent existence, i.e. their emptiness. Thich Nhat Hanh calls this web of interdependence ‘Interbeing’ as distinct from monistic Being.

However, things become problematic when we grasp at them as though they are inherently real, and in so doing, forget our role as observers in co-creating them. The Buddhist Middle Way apporach conveys how the experiential nature of existence always lies somewhere indefinable between self-ness and other-ness. Conscious experience is co-creation by both self and other through the inseparability of both because both are empty. Simply put, Cartesian logic divides the world into either/or whereas intuitive logic accepts the world as both and neither because everything exists in the Middle Way.

Everything exists through the co-created quality of conscious experience that arises through the observer and the observed such that its contents can never be deemed purely objective, i.e. inherently real, or purely subjective, i.e. just creations of the mind. That is why the Middle Way approach of intuitive logic is perfectly summed up by Nagarjuna’s intriguingly paradoxical remark, “To be or not to be, the wise cling to neither.”

Author's Bio: 

Mark Kelly has spent several years on a spiritual odyssey traveling the world learning from traditional wisdom keepers and modern spiritual innovators. He is dedicated to bringing the best of the ancient wisdom traditions to the modern world because the survival of both depends upon them coming together in this time of great change. He is now writing and speaking about what he has learned, in particular about emptiness and the Middle Way.