The history of the West, the history we are taught at school, is the history of logic. Although logic was formalized by Aristotle, it was its adoption by the Church that led to the assertion that there is only one truth and no other. Because logic asserts that something is either true or untrue, anything not approved by the Church became the subject of attack and eventually persecution.
This led to the Emperor Justinian banishing all the Pagan schools from Roman lands and forcing them to find refuge in Persia. All the other forms of unorthodox thinking that continued to exist were deemed heretical by the Church. This intolerant approach to knowledge resulted in the decline of Western culture.
What we know of the heresies is largely what has survived the Inquisition. Church accounts depict them as merely an alternative Church in waiting, but they were more than that. The main heresies drew heavily on the East; Manichaeism was directly influenced by Buddhism, Gnosticism was based on direct insight, and the Cathars were vegetarian and believed in reincarnation. The heresies were intuitive.
The increasing severity of the Inquisition led to all forms of unorthodox culture becoming evasive and secretive. The intuitive culture that survived did so by being expressed through arcane symbolism. When the Kabbalah and the Tarot emerged, they did so from obscurity. The Tarot emerged as a mere card game, and yet it included many contentious ideas, such as La Papesse and La Maison Dieu, and had their meaning been known, they would have been condemned as heretical.
The absolute authority of the Church began to fracture through the Reformation and the Renaissance. The Reformation provided a degree of safe haven for unconventional thinkers such Paracelsus and Jacob Boehme, and the Renaissance did the same for Pico della Mirandola and Giordano Bruno. The Florentine Academy led to a revival of the Pagan, Hermetic and Pythagorean ideas which had been excluded by the narrow-minded dogma of the Church. Western culture flourished again.
The loss of authority led to the secular Enlightenment and the creation of the Encyclopedie, which was intended to replace the Gospels as the main source of truth. While this is regarded as progressive, it was born of the same dogma which asserts there is only one truth and no other. From that moment on, science was pitted against religion, and truth became a choice between competing dogmas.
Intuitive thinking at that time found expression through the Romantic Movement, which drew attention to the importance of the inner life. Rousseau and Goethe provided the focus for this, largely through novel writing. At the same time the Industrial Revolution occurred, fueled by the inventions of often untrained amateurs.
The Nineteenth century saw the West once again opened up to the influence of the East. The Vedanta movement drew in thinkers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and most notably Aldous Huxley who through his Doors of Perception influenced the Beat generation and the New Age movement of the following century.
If intuitive thinking is regarded even today as unconventional and unorthodox, it is the outcome of its treatment throughout history. Intuition demands individual thinking, and dogma has always regarded the thinking individual as a threat.
It is to be hoped that the division between intuitive and logical thinking will finally be overcome. A renewal of interest in intuitive thinking is likely to come from individuals who feel the need to challenge orthodox thinking in whatever form it takes. For this to happen it is necessary for individuals to reconnect with intuitive thinking, to understand its nature and to develop their ability to use it. The purpose of Intuition in the West is to facilitate that change.