When to Abandon the “Thinking” Mind
One cannot accomplish anything of great significance with the thinking mind in the way. As I sit down to write this week’s column, I notice that I am in my head, which will not do, so I turn my attention to Miles Davis’ Blue is Green song playing on my phone. The soothing rhythmic sound of jazz takes me out of my thinking mind and places my energy back to that intangible place where creativity is born.
It’s between the dream-state consciousness and waking consciousness, where anything seems possible, and we do not question the validity of our ideas.
While it’s true that our brain is the machine that powers and processes the application of practical knowledge, those magic “aha” moments that hit us seemingly out of nowhere and have the supernatural ability to transform our lives, make themselves known when we are doing just about anything other than “thinking.” If you’ve experienced this even once in your life, you surely know what I mean.
A 2016 article in The Atlantic, titled, “The Trippy State Between Wakefulness and Sleep” states, “There is a brief time, between waking and sleep, when reality begins to warp. Rigid conscious thought starts to dissolve into the gently lapping waves of early stage dreaming, and the world becomes a little more hallucinatory; your thoughts a little more untethered.”
It’s that untethered state, when we forget about time and space, and who we are supposed to be, that we do not judge our ideas or our creative impulses. It’s similar to a young child’s state of consciousness, before they learn to be self-conscious and self-critical.
A January 2018 Wall Street Journal article titled, “For Babies, Life May Be A Trip,” states, “Fascinating new neuroscience research suggests that when adults dream or have psychedelic experiences, their brains are functioning more like children’s brains. It appears that the experience of babies and young children is more like dreaming or tripping than like our usual grown-up consciousness.” She goes on to say, “Like most adults, I spend most of my waking hours thinking about getting things done. Scientists have discovered that when we experience the world in this way, the brain sends out signals along the established, stable, efficient networks that we develop as adults.”
The part of the brain where adults tend to spend most of their waking hours will help keep you safe, get to work on time, and remember to pick up the dry cleaning, but it’s not your friend when it comes to living outside the box or taking creative risks.
In order to experience life in a more dynamic, passionate and creative way, we need to develop strategies for breaking us out of the thinking, critical mind so that we are able to tap into the higher collective consciousness from where all creativity and inspired ideas flow forth.
I would love to hear from you about where you were and what you were doing the last time you experienced a life-changing idea!