“From Absurdity Comes Genius”
©1996-2007 by Richard Siena
For the last 25 or so years I have studied what makes up creativity. Scientifically put it is information that is perceived from the right brain and refined by the left. If you don’t quite understand this, don’t worry, it will take a good 40 hours of class time for you to “get the point.” Anyway lets move forward and explain how to stimulate creativity and what kills creativity so the next time you are working out a problem you have grater success at finding an “Out of the Box” solution.
First you must understand that different parts of you brain function in different manners. The right part of your brain is associated with creative thinking, music, art, basically all abstract ideas, while the left brain wants facts and proof and logic and reason, and start to finish steps to get to the end result. To satisfy both halves you must realize that it will be a give and take. That once you have an idea you then develop the steps to accomplish that idea. As Eisenstein once said it is 1% creativity and 99% perspiration. Once you understand how it works it will be easy for you to get ideas. Once you have the idea you then may have to work a little to implement the idea.
It is said that there is a slim line between a truly creative person and an insane one. If you take a closer look at this, it exemplifies that a truly creative person throws out ideas with out judgment and considers the possibilities of the idea before judging the idea. When I taught creative thinking classes years ago one of the exercises was to come up with as many ideas on a subject as possible in a 1 minute time period. No comments are to be made about the idea. That is no “that’s a great idea” or “that’s ridiculous.” What these judgments do is set a reward system for the group that is coming up with the ideas, and in fact stops most of the creativity as all members start to focus there attention to the last idea that got the reward or shy away from the “ridiculous” for fear of being ridiculed.
What is really interesting is that the first time we do the exercise with a new group, we give a flip chart to the group and they have trouble filling the page with ideas in the first “1 minute round.” Most groups will not even use the entire minute and say that they have exhausted new ideas after about 30 or 40 seconds. When the round ends, we stop the group and talk about what they did. Most groups are shocked to discover that they will repeat the exercise one or two more times for an extended time (longer than a minute) and that they will come up with many more flip chart pages that the initial “we exhausted the ideas.”
After a bunch of ideas are accumulated, the next phase is to evaluate and probe deeper into each possibility. This is the judgment part. Quite often this is where the “ridiculous idea” leads to the ultimate usable idea from the session, in a sense “from insanity to genius.”
It sounds very easy when explained here but it can takes a day or two to train a group to be able to apply this effectively to a business problem. This could explain why the “creative groups” often look visibly different then other groups in a company, because some people just think like that normally while others fit themselves in a box to survive in society.
©2000-2007 by Richard Siena
As a child I was fortunate to have parents who exposed me to the possibilities of extending my mind. I was exposed to programs that teased my imagination with fantastic things that the writer thought possible. Although it was supposed to be fiction, it was to me POSSIBLE. As a child, I spent many hours imagining the possibilities. While poking around my father’s library I found a couple of books on self-hypnosis. At around the age of eight, I read a few of these books and I was able to teach myself how to meditate. Of course I did not know it was meditation. But it started me on a quest to take formal training on it yeas later. Over the next 10 years or so I read many books on self-hypnosis and meditation. When I was a senior in high school I took Transcendental Meditation or TM. It was very popular in the mid 70’s I helped out at the TM center and found it interesting. I later read a book called Silva Mind Control by Jose Silva. This book was to give me a very strong foundation for later learning.
Jose Silva had dropped out of school in Kindergarten after an unfortunate event left him being the “man of the family”. He felt had to provide for his mother and siblings. After he had a family of his own he started to research learning techniques to help his children. This research lead him to develop a program of 27 structured techniques that has its roots and foundation in combining the yoga meditation and eastern determination.
Jose is, as far as I can tell, the undisputed father of mediation in the US if not the founder of what was to become the new age movement. Of course one could argue that Madam Blavatsky is the true founder but I believe that Jose had done more to bring the new age movement into the mainstream of consciousness. Of course this is my opinion. I became a Silva instructor and have taught many people how to meditate and use the mind in a more creative manner.
I taught the Silva Method for a few years and then as fate would have it, operating a successful chapter of this organization became more of politics than of ability. So I left the organization. I still recommend it highly and feel fortunate to have been a part of it. I kept using these techniques and researching and studying more advanced techniques.
I used many of the Silva techniques to become proficient in my “formal career” as a software developer and Technology consultant. It has always struck me as odd when people think that software development is a “logical” or “left brain” activity. I can tell you that for me, at least, it is not. I often use many of the problem solving techniques to come up programming solutions that are innovative and creative.
During this time I had reoccurring visions of using the techniques in a classroom learning environment using them to help students accelerate their own learning in a way never seen before. These visions have come as a vision and from various guides, both physical and spiritual guides who have told me that I should be working on this. After finding the implementation of this vision to be a daunting task, I have been told by my guides that this would be the case and that I should do it anyway. Well this is my start. Let’s see where it takes us. My guides also told me that I should just do what I know to be right because it is best for all and because my spirit guides find it difficult to keep reminding me. So after putting this off for a couple of years I have finally embarked down this path.
While I was a Silva Instructor, I co-ran a graduate group on Long Island with group of people who were phenomenally gifted. At each meeting we would have guest speakers who would talk about various aspects of what is considered the new age movement. We just called it meditation. Over the 3 to 4 year period we gave talks on using Crystals for meditation and healing, Past Life Regression, Nutrition, Walking on Fire, Applying the techniques learned, Astrology, neuro-linguistic programming, massage, and much more. Each week we had 50 to 60 people attend and most of the time the room was at it’s capacity. We also video taped each meeting for those members who were not able to make it.
During this time I ran a separate focus group investigating Past Life Regression. I developed a meditation script and a way to do the past life regressions that was amazing to experience. Each person in the group, of which there were a steady 4 of us with guests periodically, experienced a dozen or more regressions. The general experience of the regressions was similar to the way you feel after being on a nice vacation for a week. We were able to see correlations between this life and other lives that we had. I should say that with the technology at our disposal today it is impossible to prove or disprove the validity of past lives. Living a past life is a theory and in fact I can show convincing evidence to support or deny the theory. It was not my intension to prove or disprove it but merely to see what information we could gather and how that information could help us improve our lives.
Which brings us to Nerve Induction – What is it? Over the few years I have realized that in order to learn vast amounts of new material in an efficient and expedient manner that I had developed several techniques out of necessity. But before we get to that there is a lot of foundation work that needs to be in place in order to fully understand and utilize the methods. First of all we are more than just a person here to strive to have more toys and possessions than the next person. When one finally realizes this they are beginning to enter into being a “New Age Person”. That is that material things don’t have the same meaning and spiritual things have a greater importance. This diagram attempts to illustrate that we are a Spirit with a body and mind. The Spirit, Body and Mind are 3 distinct and separate identities within our whole or “New Age” being. This can further be broken down to hemispheres of the brain and what functions they play in the total picture. This aspect of being will be expanded in future articles.
New age being
What I ultimately seek is to merge the attributes of each side of the brain to develop a whole person. In my view it is not good enough to be on one side or the other to survive in the next millennium. One must have both sides of these paradigms developed and working in harmony with each other. There are both good and bad attributes on each side of the brain and each side can benefit from and integration with the other. In the United States there is an opinion of the Medical community that in order for a cure to be valid it must go through clinical trials and meet certain statistical validation. It seems to me that if we put the same clinical criteria on the “holistic’ herbal type treatments that we might in fact prove what this community has been saying and be able to better treat individuals by combining the purely clinical with the natural methods. This approach needs to be integrated to not only medicine but business and our lives as well. Once business starts to realign its objectives from the purely profit objective to the objective of better serving the community they will see an increase in stature and growth. Although I do not have the details any more, I am reminded of a case of mandated anti pollution controls put on a factory that was expelling black smoke from its process. After a fierce objection by the company to install the needed correction, the company in fact ended up realizing a profit from the smog control devices by recovering material that could be sold, which was “going up in smoke”. So if the company had said we should voluntarily control the smog it would have realized this profit years earlier.