Intuition - 直覺 - Zhíjué
A hawk does not care for ethics
in the midst of free fall-
Theories of predation,
mean nothing to prey.
~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
Animals (except us) live Tao. They do not need to reason with a self; they are devoid ego. They never doubt themselves. When hungry, they eat. When tired, they sleep. Responding to the natural cycles of day and night, animals follow their intuition. They mate in the proper season, and nurture their young by way of their ingrained, genetic memory. When they begin to waste away, coming towards death, they invariably fall to a predator. Nature is dispassionate; look at the turning seasons.
By contrast, we humans depart from the natural norm. We worry (well, most of us) about ethical action. Extremes of behavior become more pronounced; look towards the saint or sadistic murderer if you need further illustration. Tao considers all of this artificial...unnatural, and yet, how have we come to be so separate of nature? Why have we gone down this path?
Followers of Tao prefer to live with Tao, as the other animals do. The goal is to avoid the interference of theory with excessive thought. A student must first learn skill and ethics so completely that the traits become part of the being, a subconscious guide which does not require activation. Reacting to a situation by asking yourself what is right and wrong is too slow to ever be effective. One must use intuition (correctly) to do what is correct, when presented with sudden danger or opportunity. There should be no foreshadowing your movements; no doubt in your self.