I’ve found people can sometimes confuse intuition with imagination or instinct. This article is meant to clear up any confusion you might have about the differences between these important concepts. Let’s start with instinct.
Your instincts are your inherent genetic survival drives. All living creatures have some level of instincts, from the lowliest microbe to mankind. They do not require any intelligence, and they don’t involve any kind of inspired guidance from your Higher Self. Instincts are part of the basic drives wired into your physiology.
Imagination, on the other hand, is something much more sublime and interesting. Your imagination is a powerful creative force driven by your conscious and subconscious mind in response to your desires and intentions. Your imagination crafts visions of value in the manifestation of your reality. While driven by your physical mind, your imagination uses many of the same inner senses as your intuition does to evoke into being new worlds and possibilities. Your imagination is an incredible tool directed by your will in the conscious creation process.
Using your imagination as a gateway or portal, you can experience inspiration and bring forth great acts of creativity. In other words, imagination and inspiration can serve as both the pathway to, and facilitators of, your intuition. When you use your imagination to visualize a place within your mind, you create an ideal internal space from which you can access and interact with your intuitive self. In such a state, you can receive powerful and important insights from both your subconscious mind and your Higher Self.
This means that your imagination is a powerful tool and stopping point as you travel the path of intuitive development. The imaginary environments and situations you evoke in your mind can form a potent backdrop and foundation for your intuitive practices. To take just one example, when you practice guided visualization, your imagination sets the scene and conjures up an appropriate environment in which you can open yourself higher, more intuitive states of mind that are only accessible through your inner intuitive senses.