A Tribute to Ken Skelton: Intuition Beats Out Logic

November 24, 2008 by  
Filed under Nedda

Professor Kenneth Skelton was in his early seventies in the late 1960’s when I was his student at SUNY New Paltz.  He was forced into retirement because of his age, but his mind was clear, quick, and razor sharp.  He was the best teacher I had while attending graduate school there.  I’ve always wanted to let him know this and to thank him.

Dear Professor Skelton,

I’ve owed you this letter for many, many years.  You have been a pivotal teacher in my life.  Perhaps you don’t remember me.  I did a private tutorial with you comparing the writings of Karl Marx and Alexis De Tocqueville.  We had some intense discussions about the strengths and weaknesses of dialetics vs. intuition.  I felt dialectics was a superior approach, but you firmly held that intuition is far more powerful than any form of logic.

My dear Profession, YOU WERE SO RIGHT!!!  And I have wanted to let you know for many a year that, although it took me a while to “see the Light,” I did finally learn the lesson you were trying to teach me.  How I wish I had learned it earlier.

Life experience finally brought me to this new understanding.  My father had trained me in Hegelian dialects and used his fine mind as a sword to defeat others in mental combat.  He gave me this training as a gift and prepared me to do the same as he did.  Fortunately, although it did not seem fortunate at the time, I kept having problems with life decisions based on logic.  Every time I made the “logical” choice for myself, it just didn’t go the way I intended.

It wasn’t until I took stock of this that I realized how logic was failing me.  I thought often about our conversations, and realized that, perhaps, as you had suggested, intuitive insight was the better way to make choices.

It turned out that, indeed, decisions I have made based on intuition CONSISTENTLY were successful at bringing me happiness, well-being, and joy in my life.

Thank you, again and again, for leading me towards embracing intuition.

Since our time together, I have learned that intuition is how our own higher spritual aspect communicates with us.   We are “on our path” when we follow what gives us joy and what intuitively seems “right” for us.

Finally, I can tell you I have learned the lesson you set for me.  I hope this brings you as much joy as it brings me.

Blessings to you in whatever realm you now reside.

Nedda