Thursday, April 7, 2011

When reason fails, only intuition can work - Osho talks on Madame Curie

When reason fails, only intuition can work.  And all the great scientists have become aware of it: that all their great discoveries are made not by reason but by intuition.

                     Madame Curie was working on a certain mathematical problem for three years continuously and the more she tried, the farther and farther away the solution seemed. She tried every possible way, but nothing was working, nothing was happening. And there was somewhere a deep, tacit feeling that "The solution exists. I am not struggling with something absurd." This tacit feeling continued all the time as an undercurrent; hence she could not drop the effort either. She was getting tired -- three years wasted for a single problem. But deep down within herself somebody was saying, "The solution IS possible. This exercise is not futile. Go on." And she went on stubbornly, she persisted. She dropped all other projects, she forced herself totally into the one problem. But the more she tried, the more impossible it became.

One night it happened, almost as it happened to Gautama the Buddha; of course, the problems were different, but the process was the same. Buddha had struggled for six years to attain enlightenment and he had attained nothing. Then one night he dropped the whole effort, went to sleep, and, by the morning when the last star was setting, he became enlightened.

That night Madame Curie dropped the idea, the whole project -- she closed the chapter. "Enough is enough! Three years wasted is too much for one problem." There were other problems which were waiting to be solved. It was finished in her mind, although the tacit understanding was still there just like a constant murmur. But she had followed it long enough, it was time. One has only a limited time; three years is too much for one problem. Deliberately she dropped the idea. As far as she was concerned she closed the whole project. She went to sleep never to be bothered by that problem again.

And in the morning when she got up she was surprised. On a piece of paper on her table, the solution was there, written in her own handwriting. She could not believe her eyes. Who had done it? The servant could not have done it -- he knew nothing of mathematics, and if Madame Curie had not been able to do it in three years, how could the servant have done it? And there was nobody else in the house. And the servant had not entered in the night -- the doors were locked from inside. She looked closely and the handwriting resembled hers.
Then suddenly she remembered a dream. In the dream she had seen that she had got up, gone to the table, written something.... Slowly slowly, the dream became clear. Slowly slowly, she remembered that she had done it in the night. It was not a dream, she had actually done it. And this was the solution! For three years she had been struggling hard and nothing was happening -- and the night she dropped the project, it happened. What happened? She became relaxed.

Once you have dropped the effort you become relaxed, you become restful, you become soft, you become wide, you become open. It was there inside her, it surfaced. Finding the mind no longer tense, it surfaced.

                      She had come to the conclusion from some other door which was not reason.  It was intuition.  But first the reason had to be exhausted.  Intuition functions only when reason is exhausted.  Intuition has no process; it simply jumps from the problem to the conclusion.  It is a shortcut.  It is a flash.

                We have corrupted intuition.  Man’s intuition is almost absolutely corrupted.  Woman’s intuition is not corrupted as much – that’s why women have something called a “hunch”.  A hunch is just a fragment of intuition.  It cannot be proved.  You are going to take a flight and your woman simply says that she is not going and she will not allow you to go either.  She feels as if something is going to happen.  Now this is nonsense.  You have much work to do, everything is planned, and you have to go – but your woman won’t allow it.  And the next day you read in the newspaper that the aeroplane was hijacked, or it crashed and all the passengers died.

                    Now the woman cannot say how she knows.  There is no way.  It is just a hunch, just a feeling in the guts.  But that too is very corrupted, that’s why it is just a flash.

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