“There are two roads to knowledge–the longer, slower, more arduous road of rational combination and the shorter path of the imagination traversed with the force and swiftness of electricity. Aroused by direct contact with ancient remains, the imagination grasps the truth at one stroke, without intemediary links. The knowledge required in this second way is infinitely more living and colorful than the products of the understanding.” –Johann Jacob Bachofen in 1854, quoted in Joseph Campbell, “The Mythic Dimension”
While this quotation in a Joseph Campbell essay is directed at the viewing of myths more interms of their central meanings and intents (grasped intuitively) rather than only through laboriously studying the outer-world chronology of their “plots,” I see here a wider application.
I do not suppose that any of us has the skill to obtain 100% of our knowledge–especially about the day-to-day events of our lives–via intuition, dreams, Tarot cards or readings from the I Ching. I do think, as Einstein observed, that even within the most scientific of displines, intuition often paves the way to our discovery of empirical facts.
Learning how to to trust our hunches will, I believe, allow us to walk down the shorter path to knowledge more often–and to great advantage.