Monday, October 26, 2009

A Side of Intuition With Your Tuition

In between going grocery shopping and watching hours upon hours of the modern gladiatorial competition commonly known as American football, I was inspired to pick up my handy, dandy Webster's dictionary and investigate the origin of two words that sound similar yet have very different connotations in the context of our modern English linguistic tradition.

Tuition, the charge or fee for instruction as at a private school, college or university, has its roots in the Latin word tueri, which means "to watch". Closer to modernity, we receive our English word tuition from the Middle English via the Old French word tuicion, which literally means "protection" but is commonly understood to mean "to watch after or protect". I have duplicated the word origin and history below for your assessment.


1436, "protection, care, custody," from Anglo-Fr. tuycioun (1292), from O.Fr. tuicion "guardianship," from L. tuitionem (nom. tuitio) "a looking after, defense, guardianship," from tuitus, pp. of tueri "to look after" (see tutor). Meaning "action or business of teaching pupils" is recorded from 1582. The meaning "money paid for instruction" (1828) is probably short for tuition fees, in which tuition refers to the act of teaching and instruction.

The origin of the word tuition in conjunction with its modern usage raises several thoughts in my minds eye. The first is that education, in all ages, has been deemed a sacred trust between teacher and pupil that the expansion or enlightening of one's mind should not be entered into lightly. Compensation for one's efforts, in this case the teacher's efforts, is to be expected. However, of greater significance I think, is the idea that one does not fully appreciate an endeavor for which they do not pay for or, at least, provide some collateral against.

The second thought that arises from the etymology of the word tuition is that the teacher, or rather institution of teachers such as at a college or university, is thought to be a protectorate of certain knowledge and methods. This appears to be in line with the common conception (amongst students of the occult) of the modern college and university system being a descendant of the ancient Mystery Schools in all of their intimations (Babylonian, Egyption, Greek, etc.). The exact nature of this knowledge or methodolgy can be debated. However, I believe that part of the answer lies in the modern college and university system's dissemination of the 7 Liberal Arts and Sciences (with a few outliers) as an essential part of their curriculum and the core competencies of their students and also in relation to a word that finds its origins in the same root word as tuition, that being "intuition."

Intuition is defined as a keen or quick insight, a direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process. Intuition is commonly thought to be pure, untaught, noninferential knowledge of a subject.

Intuition finds its origins in the Middle English "intuicion" meaning "insight", from Late Latin intuitiō, intuitiōn-, a looking at, from Latin intuitus, a look, and from the past participle of intuērī, to look at or contemplate (as noted above with the etymology of "tuition"). The complete word origin and history is duplicated below for your assessment.


1497, from M.Fr. intuition, from L.L. intuitionem (nom. intuitio) "a looking at, consideration," from L. intuitus, pp. of intueri "look at, consider," from in- "at, on" + tueri "to look at, watch over" (see tuition). The verb intuit is an 1840 back-formation apparently coined by De Quincey.

I strongly believe that it is no mere coincidence that the word commonly used to denote the fee that our modern institutions of learning, especially our colleges and universities, charge for admission into their halls and for the use of their vast resources has the same genesis as the word our language has found fit to use as a description of learning that has little or no basis in knowledge of a structured nature. The two concepts are indeed quite at odds with each other if taken at face value.

However, if looked at from the vantage point of metaphysical inquiry, the terms tuition and intuition can be quite endearing to one another for the aim of a true education is not to provide the recepient with constants and absolutes but rather to equip the novitiate with the tools that one needs to seek out truths in their myriad forms with the fore knowledge and expectation that there are no such things as absolutes and constants in a universe that is governed by one absolute -- that a thing as it is today will not be the same on the morrow.

Furthermore, it posits that truth which has guided novitiate, pupil, sage, priest and master alike since the first beams of light emerged from the heavens and illuminated the darkness that allowed our ancestors to be able to dwell in the light -- that true understanding comes not from examining the other but from turning our eyes inward; that structures must first be erected on the plane of the mind before they can be constructed in the physical realm.

The world that we live in is the sum total of the world that we have conceived.

We currently live in a day and time where the strengthening and development of the natural, God-given gifts of the mind has been surmounted by the refining of applied mechanical and rote skills. These are but simply vocational programs in masquerade. True knowledge, even true light, comes from the proper understanding and ability to apply that energy which we as humans, formed in the image of the gods (see Genesis 1:24), have hardwired into our very nature. Education then, as it was in the Ancient Mystery Schools and should be today, holds the key to unlocking and refining that vast potential, that cosmic inheritance, which is not bound by creed, dogma, or belief but is as infinite and profound as the universe from which we all draw our collective consciousness. One's own faculties for understanding and deducing should be enhanced, not surmounted by, education.

Have a side of intuition with your tuition.

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