Intuition is Not Rational, but it's not Irrational

by Gada Jane

Intuition and rationality are not incompatible. They are simply distinct internal processes. In my work and practice, it’s very important to understand the differences between intuitive, rational, and emotional processes.


These days we value rationality very highly but often don’t think too closely about what it is. A lot of people like to think of themselves as “rational people” so they don’t use their intuitive faculties very effectively. But rationality is not an identity. It’s a process.


When I hear “i am a rational person” as an excuse for not practicing intuition It usually means the person in question has a natural preference for rational processes or that they are a blocked intuitive. Sometimes both. In either case they probably could benefit from exploring their intuitive processes more deeply.

I say “Intuition is not rational but it’s not irrational” because intuition is not rationality’s it’s a distinct processes but sometimes the most rational thing to do is draw on intuition.


Nobody is solely rational. We all have intuitive abilities and we all have emotions. Think of this way: emotions can be messy and complicated but they are also super useful in many situations. Perhaps if you are choosing a stock to invest in, you want to avoid making an emotional decision, but if you are choosing a life partner, you definitely want your emotions involved.

Context matters.


Similarly, intuitive processes are most useful when we know how to use them and when.


When people fear intuition because they see it as “irrational” they cut off a part of themselves based on a flawed understanding of intuition. Intuitive practices are rich and nuanced and precise. The truly irrational thing is to reject them simply because they have their own divine logic.