My own use of hypnosis to access a person’s subconscious allows exploration of associations, episodic memory and free associations. Hypnotic induction provides access to memories of events in a trance state that were not physically experienced (whether considered past life experiences or fantasies). Inner life explorations such as dreamwork and meditation can also demonstrate these aspects of the mind. I believe that creativity stems from some access to unconscious mental places where words, thoughts, and ideas can combine freely and take shape as creative output. I also believe that like any mental process or learned skill, neural pathways can be built and strengthened by repeated use, so once one starts to create, one can get better at it just as repeated hypnotic inductions make it easier for a subject to enter the trance state. Similarly, post hypnotic suggestions can help us better access and make use of our own subconscious associations. We can use such creative processes and supports to keep our brains active, if not evolving using our natural ability of neuroplasticity.
Ultimately, creativity is the product of the creative person interacting with their specific environment including both internal and external factors. Nature and nurture work together to shape the human mind. Similarly, I think that the brain’s chemistry and the unique personal circumstances of each individual work together to shape creative work.
Andreasen, N.C. (2005). The Creative Brain. New York, NY: Plume.
Dispenza, J. (2007). Evolve your brain: The science of changing your mind. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications Inc.
Hinshaw, S.P. (2010). Origins of the human mind: Course guidebook. Chantilly, VA: The Great Courses.
Kappas, J.G. (2009). Professional hypnotism manual: Introducing physical and emotional suggestibility and sexuality (5th Ed.). Tarzana, CA: Panorama Publishing Company.
May, R. (1975). The courage to create. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company Inc.