Altered states of consciousness such as those induced by hypnosis or psychedelic agents can assist in producing the creative act and facilitating the intuitive process. Both appear to focus consciousness so intensely that sub-threshold stimuli are perceived, thus heightening responsiveness to them. Both also can assist breakthroughs into the preverbal realm where creative inspiration has its origins, and this is accomplished apparently by gaining access to unconscious material. Many artists and scientists have claimed that their efforts at innovation existed as moods and feelings prior to their verbal or mathematical expression.16...This would suggest that the use of language is not a prerequisite for insight and creativity, which would therefore not preclude higher animals from this phenomenon, although in their case it must be presumed to be of lesser magnitude. The behavior of a cat is basically its own creation as it has continued to evolve to the present.
Krippner has stated that autohypnosis, as in Zen meditation, can result in increased concentration, a focusing of attention, and an increased receptivity to creative ideas.17
Sergei Rachmaninoff, during a period of morbid brooding, was treated with hypnosis by Dr. Nikolai Dahl for a period of three months. The hypnotic suggestion was remarkably effective, his gloom evaporated, and he began composing again with both speed and inspiration. One of his very best works, Concerto No. Two in C Minor for Piano and Orchestra, was the result of this hypnotic treatment, and he openly acknowledged his debt to Dr. Dahl and dedicated the concerto to him.18
An experiment was reported by McCord and Sherrill in 1961 in which they placed a mathematics professor into a hypnotic trance, during which they suggested that after he awakened he would be given some calculus problems to solve, and that he would be able to do them with high accuracy at a faster rate of speed than ever before. Problems that ordinarily might have required two hours to solve were completed in twenty minutes. The mathematician reported afterward that he had been able to skip usual steps in the mathematical process by performing them in his head, thus reducing the time required, and without loss of accuracy. His perception was that his unconscious mind had participated in the calculations to a greater extent than usual.19
Patricia Bowers reported an experiment in 1965 involving 80 female college students, a portion of whom were placed into a hypnotic trance and told that they had the ability to be creative if they would allow themselves to make use of all their relevant experiences. They were told to perceive in unconventional ways, to notice aspects of problems overlooked previously, to ignore the possibility of criticism, to recall past moments of insight and the feelings associated with them, and to feel confident about their ability to do well on creativity tests. The non-hypnotized control group received the same instructions and participated in a program of relaxation that lasted as long as the hypnotic induction period for the other group. The difference between the hypnotized group's scores and those of the control group were reported as highly significant, with the hypnotized group doing significantly better. Prior to the instructional period both groups had been given a number of creativity tests devised by Guilford and had scored the same.20
Philip Goldberg, in his book The Intuitive Edge, explores "deeper" or higher states of consciousness as one technique for expanding intuition and creative thinking. He believes that both can be enhanced, particularly through transcendental meditation.21
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