Have you ever gotten a great idea while working out, or mowing the lawn, or in the midst of some other activity requiring some kind of physical concentration, when your mind was “wandering?”
Or, if you are one who prays as a meaningful ritual of religious faith or meditates as a regular practice, have you ever had an answer to a difficult question emerge from it, with great clarity or certainty for what you should do?
Ken Wilber’s book The Spectrum of Consciousness is the classic book in the field of study integrating psychology and spirituality.
In it, Wilber begins with an oft-quoted remark by William James:
Our normal, waking consciousness is but one special type of consciousness, while all about it – parted from it by the filmiest of screens – there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.
We may go through life without suspecting their existence, but apply the requisite stimulus and at a touch they are there in all their completeness…
As creatures of habit, which we human beings tend to be, it is a constant challenge for us to integrate a range of stimuli, as well as introduce new ones, into our lives.
When we do, the result can be rich connections to new and different ways of processing our internal thoughts, the world around us, and the connections that exist between everyone and everything.
Or, it could be a new design approach or creative technique that just wasn’t working in your prior attempts.
There are dozens of ways you can expose yourself to new stimuli, including simple things, like:
- Cross your arms differently, when at rest
- Part your hair on the opposite side of your usual part, or vary your morning prep routine in some other little ways, like brushing your teeth first rather than last
- Take a different driving or walking route to your office or listen to a different radio station, along the way
- At the office or your co-working space, talk to someone you don’t normally talk with
- And on and on in your daily routines…
Our bodies are like prisms, with our minds containing a spectrum of knowledge, thoughts, and ideas.
To gain full access to this spectrum, you must find the many ways to experience the world differently. When you do, who knows what creative, new insights await?