Creativity & The Brain

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Creativity & The Brain

Post by sangbmt on Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:00 am

Our brains undergo a perpetual change throughout our lifetimes, shifting from one experience to the next in an unceasing cacophony of discordant waves. Pulses of electrical signals create an ever increasing network of neurological connections, which subsequently shape our experience of the world, and how we perceive reality. It's been estimated that the number of neurons in the brain is much greater than the number of stars in the universe! The acquisition of a new skill, for example, learning to play a musical instrument, strengthens the connections between the cells. Having become proficient at this new skill through constant practice, the musician creates a new pathway through which electromagnetic pluses can stream, so that the newly acquired skill becomes almost second nature to them.

There are two significant areas dedicated to the processing of new information; the sensory system, located at the back of the brain, and the frontal executive system (FES) at the front. The sensory system deals with experience solely in the present moment, while the FES is responsible for decision making and planning. New circuits are created in the back of the brain by a person under stress or fatigue, bypassing the FES. In other words, only experiencing what is happening right now, without the foresight of the FES.

In its ordinary waking/dreaming state, the electrical activity within the brain is considered to be very basic, as there is very little coherence between the various aspects of mind and personality. This can be likened to an orchestra without a conductor. The practice of meditation, or the use of binaural beats has been proven to develop the brain holistically, integrating the brain activity as a whole and harmonising its functions. This integration of the previously bypassed frontal executive system results in a greater level of awareness than the ordinary waking state, with a significant increase in stability, intelligence and creativity.

Creativity itself expands with a greater consciousness: according to film director David Lynch, the subtler level of the mind is like an ‘ocean of consciousness': you can dive in to and ‘catch those fish', in the form of creative thoughts and ideas.

Writer Terrence McKenna describes it perfectly here.

"We each must become like fisherman, and go out onto the dark ocean of mind, and let your nets down into that sea, and what you're after is not some behemoth, that will tear through your nets, foul them, and drag them and your little boat into the abyss...nor are we looking for a bunch of sardines that can slip through your net and disappear...ideas like, "have you ever noticed that your little finger exactly fits your nostril?". What we are looking for are middle sized ideas, that are not so small that they're trivial, and not so large that they're incomprehensible, but middle sized ideas that we can wrestle into our boat, and take back to the folks on shore, and have fish dinner...

"The greatest good you can do is to bring back a good idea, because our world is endangered by the absence of good ideas...the absence of consciousness..."

Now go catch those fish!
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sangbmt

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