It is very important for us to probe into the source of thought. Often we are called great thinkers, but what is a thought? Where does it originate? Is there any way that we can improve the thought process?
Creativity is a hot subject today all over the world. Everyone wants to be creative. What are the mechanics to make people creative? Why does someone get a violent thought and why does someone get a creative thought? What makes someone a genius and someone not? What does this depend on? Is it the food we eat, is it exercise or does it depend on any other avenues or arenas?
Can we create great thinkers? This is a question in front of us today and research is happening around the world about the very process of creativity. Great writers and thinkers have experienced the writer’s block. You would have sometimes experienced that. You sit with a paper and pen in a beautiful place, waiting for something to come… and many times it doesn’t!
What is the source of creativity? Thought is nothing but an impulse of energy and intelligence. That impulse of energy and intelligence, for it to arise and a correct thought to come, you need 16 impulses to meet at a point in the cerebral cortex at the speed of 10 to the power of minus 30 cycles per second. In that short interval of time, all the 16 impulses in the cerebral cortex, when they meet, is what we call a correct thought. What do we do about it? We need to train our brain, our mind.
Now, as you are reading this, are you fully with it? Now? 100 percent? No! As you are reading, you are having a dialogue in your own mind saying, ‘‘yes, I agree’’ or ‘‘no, that cannot be’’. Are you observing this? We all have a filter in our mind and we read or listen through this filter and we accept only what we already know. Something, which doesn’t already fall within our belief system, we automatically filter it out. This tendency in the mind to take things which it already knows and reject that which it doesn’t know, is one of the main blocks of creativity.
The second aspect for creativity is imagination. You will see that every creative person has some imagination. At that moment you will not think whether that is real or not. What appears to be unreal and an imagination in that direction brings creativity. If it is only an imagination, totally disconnected with ground reality then also it falls short of that connection, that transformation, that unreal becomes real. Thomas Edison, once upon a time, dreamt of how to create light. It was purely an imagination.
Similarly, the telephone or plane — all these inventions happened through certain imagination and linking that imagination to the present creativity, present state of ground reality. If you are thinking only of the ground reality then no creativity will come and if you are only on imagination, then too there is no creativity. A balance is needed. See, life is also like that — a balance between our intellect and our heart, or feeling, or intuition. Listening to our gut feeling, developing that intuitive ability within us is another aspect of creativity.
So, when such blocks come into us, the question is how we can eliminate them. This is where a little knowledge about our self, about our mind, our consciousness, and the root of distortion will help. It is when you are tired, exhausted and stressed that you are not in touch with your self and your creativity and talents are stifled. Neither at school nor at home does anybody teach you what to do when you are stressed, angry or depressed.
One way is to study yourself, your seven layers of existence. What are they? First comes the body and then comes the breath — are you all breathing now? See, many times we are not even aware that we are breathing. Our breath has great secrets to offer. Every rhythm in the mind, there is a corresponding rhythm in the breath, for every rhythm in the breath there is a corresponding emotion. So, when you cannot handle your mind directly, through breath you can handle the mind.
The first thing we did when we came to this planet is that we took a deep breath in and then we started to cry. The last thing we’ll be doing, we’ll breathe out and make others cry! In between, the whole life, we are breathing in and out, but, we have learnt very little about our breath! No breath, no life… know breath, know life! The rhythm in breath can help us get in touch with the depth of our self, our soul, our consciousness, our being and we feel connected with everybody, with everything in the world.
Next comes the mind. Mind is perception, observation and expression. Then is the intellect — the judgment, the arguments, the agreement or disagreement that happens within us is all part of our intellect. The memory — if you observe the memory, it stores the memory of unpleasant things much more than the pleasant. We take the insults and preserve it in our memory much more than the pleasant events. This is the nature of memory.
Then comes the ego — the more we study, the more learned we become; we become so stiff. We lose our smile, we lose our innocence, we lose our friendliness. Learned people get a sort of an ego — that I am much better than the other, more learned, I know better than them — this ego of ‘‘I know better’’ takes away certain beautiful things from your life.
One should have a sense of belongingness with everybody, naturalness. Ego dampens one’s personality. Today, what we lack is really good examples of personality, that friendly and warm atmosphere a person carries along with him/her.
The seventh layer is the self. Self is that something that is the reference point of all changes in life. We notice that everything is changing in our life — our body, our mind, our thought, our environment, and our behavior. If everything is changing then how do we know the change? Because there is a reference point, something that doesn’t change, we are able to notice the change. And this reference point, the non-changing something that is in every one of us, I would call the Self or the Being.
Just a little bit of knowledge about these seven layers of existence makes a big, big difference in our lives. It brings cheer, freshness, and we become so alive and childlike. If you are cheerful, you will be creative. Otherwise you are so dull.
What I would suggest is take one week off every year for yourself, like you take your car for servicing. During that time, align yourself with nature, wake up with the sunrise, do some exercise, eat proper food, just as much food as necessary, some exercises, yoga, and some breathing exercises, a few minutes of singing, and keeping silence, enjoying the creation. Aligning ourself with nature, our whole system gets recharged, makes the whole year, we feel so vibrant, enthusiastic.
Each of us should reach out to everyone and say, ‘‘Hey, come on, just be friendly!’’ To me, someone who has no fear, who feels at home with everybody and has a smile which no one can take away, is a successful person.
From today, make one resolution — that you are going to be a guiding lamp for the world, for the people around you. Wherever you go, you are going to uplift the atmosphere. If someone comes to you with complaints they should go back with a lighter heart, feeling more enthusiastic. Can you all do this?