Benefits of Right-brain thinking – article

Benefits of The Right Brain by Richard Stammler

Other creative people have deliberately employed techniques
to activate the right brain for problem solving, writing
ideas, and other creative solutions. Any sort of
dissociation, disconnecting from the everyday world gets
you there. For example, Edison is purported to have used
the hypnogogic state to stimulate creativity. The
hypnogogic state is that state just prior to falling
asleep. He activated this state for creative problem
solving by placing himself in his easy chair holding metal
bearings in his hand, which was positioned over a metal
bowl. Then as he relaxed into that state between sleeping
and waking, called the hypnogogic state, if he fell asleep,
his hand would release the metal balls, which would then
wake him as they fell into the bowl. This is an example of
the use of the dissociated state, which is a hallmark of
the “right brain” and has been used by various means by
many creative people. Most don’t understand that is what
they are doing. There are many ways to activate this part
of the mind. For most people repetitive activities, special
music, or just day dreaming will do the job. It’s achieving
a dissociative state that quiets the left brain and
activates the right brain. I knew a General officer who,
after getting briefed on a vexing question, would state,
“that is one for jogging.” By that he meant that he would
bring the question to mind while jogging. Jogging or
running entails repetitive action and may also include some
hypoxia known as the “runner’s high” and brings on this
dissociative state.

This is actually what is going on when people say they
“will sleep on it” before coming to a decision. As early as
the ancient Greeks, dreams were elevated to forecast the
future and provide specific guidance to the dreamer. A
premium was placed on those who seemed to be able to
accurately interpret the dream. When they needed healing,
the ancient Greeks visited temples of Asklepios, the Greek
god of healing, where priests advised them how to incubate
a healing dream. Dream researchers and modern healers have
resurrected and updated this ancient practice4 and detail a
step-by-step process on how to incubate a dream. To
incubate a dream means to have a dream that is focused on
solving a specific problem or question. For the
transpersonal therapist the dream is “the royal road to the
unconscious” and the unconscious holds virtually all the
clues to unraveling any problem in physical reality. There
is an infinite wealth of information and guidance in the
unconscious, which can be coaxed to conscious awareness for
the personality’s benefit. The dream is a prime method to
do this. Therefore, it is not unusual to hear of a famous
writer, artist or scientist, anyone engaged in a creative
process, who uses either the dream state or the transition
into and out of sleep (the hypnogogic and hypnopompic
states, respectively) to get specific answers, solve
creative problems and get inspiration.