Printer in the Conscious Creation Journal
The Origin of an Original Idea
by Larry Duvall
I’ve dedicated my life as an educator trying to determine how people learn. I know learning requires the development of skills and concepts needed to understand a new learning. I know the brain must be alert and receptive to the new learning. I even know how to use teaching methods that are almost always successful. But the most difficult question I’ve pondered about learning concerns the origin of an idea, which has not been learned before but nevertheless, comes into being within the brain.
“I thought and thought, and suddenly it just hit me.” “It just came to me out of the Blue.” We’ve all experienced the excitement and surprise of thinking of an idea that we really had no basis for developing. The development and progress of humanity has relied on such new ideas. Does the brain create these ideas? Of course the brain can store information, assimilate lots of ideas, and form conclusions, but we shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that the brain develops, as a receiver of information and somewhere along the way becomes a generator of original ideas. An original idea is not born inside the brain but is received by the brain. From where does it come? How do we receive it?
The human brain is a mass of cells and chemicals churning away to keep us on task and on schedule. But the brain is alive because of the energy that swirls around (and in and out) our heads. I call this energy, the energy of intelligence. This intelligent energy (IE) is all around us and as much available as the air we breathe. Why does a flower bloom in the spring? Why does a seed sprout when the soil is warm and moist? IE directs the mass of cells in the plant or seed to develop at the appropriate time, as they should. A powerful force created by IE directs even the storm brewing in the western sky. Although IE has many forms, the basis is the same. We are one with nature; because we share this energy with all living things.
The forms of IE present in our physical environment are numerous. Each form has a special purpose. This could be compared to the chromosomes in our body, each carrying out a specific function even as all elements of our natural world do. IE in its most sophisticated form is constantly buzzing in and out the human brain. Sometimes we receive bits of information from this energy, and occasionally a stream of energy flows providing us with creative ideas and intuition. This low-level form of energy usually approaches our level of consciousness almost silently. But when the brain is open to the energy, the silence is broken, and the brain brings the energy into action in the form of an original idea, a unique discovery.
Somehow you know this is true, because you have experienced the presence of this energy. Somewhere at sometime you have formulated an idea that just “came” to you. You have no explanation for the development of this idea. You know it has come to you from some mysterious source. What process occurs to cause this to happen? With IE constantly surrounding us and with the human brain’s ability to receive this energy, we have the necessary elements in place for the creation of an original idea. However, even though the brain has the ability to receive IE, certain conditions must be present in order for reception to take place.
Productive artists, painters, songwriters, sculptors, etc., have many things in common. First, they usually have studied and practiced their craft. Secondly, they are constantly, thoughtfully searching for a new idea or project. And thirdly, in the mist of a project, their brains operate in a wide-open mode for the reception of ideas. These new ideas flow into the brain providing the information needed to complete the project. These ideas are not coming from within; for those ideas are previously learned ideas or ideas already developed in other projects. Their brains are open and primed to receive a new idea (IE).
The successful inventor knows his craft. Long hours are spent calculating and measuring. During this time, the brain is constantly involved and alert. The brain is worked and pushed so hard that it begins to throttle in a type of “lull mode”. A new idea is received, and the flow of IE begins. The artist or inventor may even work in an altered state of consciousness going without food or sleep. This is the perfect situation for IE to be received into the brain in the form of original ideas. With the brain cells and chemicals in perfect alignment, the IE clicks into the appropriate receptors and the new idea, an original idea, is born. Creative people often describe a situation where they are not really in control of the their creation. The brush seems to paint the picture as the painter observes. The song writer often speaks of the “song wrote itself.” The flow of IE can place the creative individual in an almost spectator role.
Often the idea or energy is not received in its entirety. This may be confusing. The idea may be perceived but without enough information. This incomplete transfer of energy may develop a flawed or mistaken idea. The process by which the brain and IE come into alignment is very crucial. Often artists and inventors must repeat the steps in the process again and again until the proper alignment allows the appropriate IE to be received. Often the IE is never received completely. Some researchers work for a lifetime and are never able to complete a project, but a student who studies the work and begins to search for the completion will often receive the IE that leads to the new discovery.
Creative artists and inventors are not the only groups able to receive IE. Original ideas come to every human being with a functional brain. Each one of us has experienced the reception of IE in the form of an original idea. I once wrote songs for a hobby. A thoughtful process led me to many great ideas for songs, but I lacked the training in the craft to be able to write the ideas into great songs. IE is available to help us solve problems that come. We think and think, trying to come up with a solution to a particular problem. We become masters of the craft, that is the problem. The brain is pushed; the alignment is established, and IE clicks into place. An idea is received. Think of all the success stories about people who, in the depths of financial problems, develop an idea for a new business that makes them rich.
There are other methods that put the brain in alignment to receive IE. Prayer may be a medium for many people. Often the brain is pushed during prayer to receive a helpful idea. If the alignment is achieved, IE will be received. Meditation provides a state of relaxed consciousness much like the “lull mode” I mentioned earlier. If the alignment of the brain is achieved in this state, IE can be received. People receive original ideas in many different kinds of situations. Often the best ideas come while driving, or looking out a window, or sitting on the front porch. IE may also be received when the brain is under serious stress as in a major emergency. We’ve all heard of people thinking of an idea to save themselves or others. They can’t explain why or how they thought of the idea, but it was the right idea.
The brain is usually too occupied to receive IE. We depend upon the brain to get us where we need to go on time and remember all we need to remember. It is filled with all kinds of routine stuff that we need to get through the day. The brain is so busy retrieving old ideas or assimilating ideas that it is unable to obtain the necessary alignment required for IE to be received. If I have a problem, I want to go somewhere and think about it. All people do this. We take a walk, go on a vacation to the mountains, or sleep on it. Every writer I know must find a quiet place to think and write. It is very difficult for IE to be received by a brain burdened with busy activities.
The brain can also be overloaded with IE. When the brain is in the receptive mode, ideas begin to flow rapidly. Once an alignment of the brain is reached, IE seems to push the brain to receive a large amount of information. Even though this is very exhausting, the brain’s motivation is to keep receiving the flow. It appears that IE is in control. As for as the brain is concerned, IE is a powerful energy, and the brain is often at the mercy of IE. Artists and inventors may work on a project until mental exhaustion causes them to faint or simply fall asleep. Often creative people develop a “block” to the flow of IE. The brain refuses to cooperate. Some experience “BURN OUT”; because the brain has sealed itself from IE in an effort to protect itself from over exertion. An overload of IE causes the brain to avoid alignment as a protective device until rest and relaxation provides the brain with renewed strength.
Most often, IE is exhilarating. The flow of information in the form of one or more ideas elicits energy within the brain and the rest of the body. We become energized to work, study, or create. Even a child with a low energy level can suddenly come alive when an original idea sparks a desire to create. IE seems to reward the brain for receiving original information, but the process is a natural one. We get excited when we learn something new; because the energy is new. Our brains get busy assimilating the new energy into our own IE, which causes the whole body to respond with a heightened state of energy.
There are many ways to train the brain to be receptive to IE. The most productive exercise is to be aware of the presence of IE. If the brain is taught to be alert to the intelligence outside our internal brain energy, it is more likely to be receptive. There are many other ways, but that’s another lesson.
My latest revelation, thanks to IE, is all about IE with an identity. The IE “within” us has an identity, and, you guessed it, some forms of IE “without” have identities. But that too is another lesson.
©2001, Larry Duvall. All Rights Reserved. (Image used in graphic by H. Hermans) Printed in the Conscious Creation Journal. (Feel free to duplicate this article for personal use – please include this copyright notice and the URL.) http://www.consciouscreation.com
I’ve been an educator for 33 years. I’ve been doing my own research in creativity for the past 10 years by analyzing my students’ and my own creative impulses.