Tuesday, August 29, 2023

A Simple Way to Get Inspired

The Cambridge philosopher of mind, H.H. Price, devised an experiment meant to elicit a creative response from the subconscious mind.  The idea was simple enough.  Before going to sleep, you formulate your request and pose the question to your subconscious mind.  Clearly, you ask for an answer, the insight, whatever, to come to your mind in the morning.  The talk with your subconscious mind might conceivably stimulate dreams that would be part of the answer.  Or, hopefully, your first thoughts upon awakening will contain a response to your request. Price reports that the majority of efforts with this experiment were useful to him.


The experiment seems to make sense.   If there is a portion of our mental life alive and well below the threshold of our ordinary awareness, why not become an activist, why not get curious about what lies hidden in our deep mind. It is a mind whose depth and breadth is quite unknown.  Why not try to interact with it? 


Religion is performing this experiment all the time with prayer and all manner of rite and ritual. There are all sorts of practices designed to breach the barriers and make  contact with our creative selves.  The practices are not as easy or simple as Professor Price’s experiment.  Fasting, solitude, sacred dance, the erotic, hyperventilation, psychedelics. Or, less daunting, I would say, is using the arts to open the sluices to the magical source within.   


A curious image emerges.   We travel on the road of life in the amazing but difficult world around us.  At the same we travel on the same road but also with an amazing  world within us.  We’re in both worlds, seemingly more invested and attached to the world outside us, but  haunted and mystified by the world inside us.


And yet the creative source within us poses no more of a challenge than learning how to ask a question.  My experience has been, If you keep asking, answers sooner or later come.  Knock on the door hard enough and the door will eventually open.  Thoughts or questions on the process I’m talking about?   



1 comment:

Miguel Roig said...

I forget where I read or heard the following (from you, perhaps, long ago?). When you have a binary-type decision to make (e.g., go left or right; yes or no) and cannot make up your mind as to which option to select, you should flip a coin or generate/observe a natural, random event with two equally likely options. In the case of coin flipping, once you decide which outcome represents which choice (heads for yes), you flip the coin and the outcome will be presumed to be what your subconscious wanted all along. Thus, either by some precise twist of the wrist that originates subconsciously together with a very specific movement of the arm and and hand, together with (or without) some possible psychokinetic effect, the toss results in precisely what your subconscious feels is the right decision. In the case of a natural, random event, whether, for example, an ant or worm that is wondering by and whose trajectory is blocked and must make either a left or right turn, the choice of direction (e.g., left signifies 'yes' right 'no') is either selected by some deeply-held knowledge not available to your conscious experience about food or some other stimulus that attracts the organism to go left or right and/or your choice of direction is psychokinetically or precognitively devined in a way that meets your subconscious wish.

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