People often come to me with the goal of being able to better open up to their creative and intuitive powers. Patients, students and friends are often looking for ways to expand their horizons and to gain the ability to look at life from many different perspectives. There is one simple concept that I relay to them all. Original thought can never be achieved with the conscious mind.
THE CONSCIOUS MIND
The conscious mind represents the analytical and rational part of who we are. The analytical mind is great for solving math problems, putting a puzzle together, or keeping us on the right road when we are driving to the grocery store. The rational part of the conscious mind assigns reasons to our experiences in life. If someone pulls out in front of us when we are driving, and we have to hit the brakes, most people’s first instinct would be to look for a reason why that happened. A person might first say to him or herself, “Why did he do that?” Then he or she would likely assign that experience an explanation or reason like, “Oh he’s a jerk”. Often it may not be the right reason but nevertheless we (as a species) feel better having a reason for the things that we experience. There is one problem with the conscious mind. It can only relate to what’s been programmed in over the person’s lifetime. Because creativity is not a function of the conscious mind, a person can never truly experience original thought while anchored in the conscious thought process. All conscious thoughts are second-hand thoughts. Think about it. Every conscious thought that people have can be traced to things that person has read, watched on TV, heard on the radio, or been taught by their parents, teachers, or clergy. Much of this information is needed and often good, but it is not original thought.
THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
The subconscious mind represents the creative, intuitive, imaginative, perceptive, emotional, part of who we are. It is the little child in all of us that can easily turn a cardboard box into a train, plane, or a wonderful fort or playhouse. It is the part of us that knows no physical, rational, or logical boundaries. It is the child who can see and believe there is a purple rabbit behind the couch. It is the boundless part of us that sees wonder in the simplest of things.
HOW TO UNLOCK THE CREATIVE POWER WITHIN
Critical Faculty Bypass (commonly known as trance state) is the only path to achieving true original thought. Hypnosis (and trance state in general) occurs when the conscious mind steps aside allowing untainted access to the creative subconscious mind. Trance state is a naturally occurring phenomenon. Simply staring out of the window and daydreaming can often meet the criteria for trance state. I believe that all of the great artists, musicians, inventors, and writers throughout history spent a significant portion of their lives in trance. Perhaps the biggest difference between the average person and a great painter, musician, or inventor, lies simply in the fact that the artist, by nature, often has the inherent ability to spontaneously go into trance state (in most cases probably not knowing they were even doing so).
Trance state allows the creative talents, intuitive ability, imaginative qualities, perceptual flexibility, and the most emotionally honest, part of who we are to freely explore ideas that were never before part of their thought process or life experience. It allows us to bypass all of the “It couldn’t work”, “how could that be”, or “that doesn’t make sense” hang-ups and to simply enjoy the creative process.
Meditation, hypnosis, or for that matter any spontaneous or induced trance state allows the subconscious mind to be free from the conscious restraints which are present in the conscious waking state. The more you exercise a muscle the stronger it becomes. Likewise, the more you exercise your inner creative child, through vehicles like meditation, and hypnosis, the more powerful your intuitive and creative powers become. Conscious thought can only take you over paths you have already traveled. New and original thought can only be achieved by letting go of the conscious/critical mind and allowing the trance state to free the wonderful creative powers within you.