Thursday, February 3, 2011

An unconscious effort

Have you ever wondered how stories help kids sleep? Even ones that make no sense, whatsoever. Sometimes you can make up stories and watch them sleep away happily. The funny part however, is that we continue doing it even once we grow; at least I do. Perhaps we don't get someone else to read out stories or don't even read them ourselves. We just form pictures in our head that follow to form a story, again one that makes no sense whatsoever. And then in due course of time, we'd be snoring our way to glory.

Recently I was trying to draw such pictures in my mind and in turn doze off. I was dead tired that day as I had been travelling the whole day. Surprisingly, I found that it was easier for me to imagine a picture when I was physically and mentally drained as compared to several earlier occasions where I had failed. What caught my attention was the fact that it was actually easier to imagine pictures when the mind and body were tired.

It got me thinking about how conscience actually hampers our imagination. We all experience that its easier to come up with more creative thoughts and better jokes when we're with our best of friends and not in front of say, bosses. Isn't that because we're less 'conscious'? Isn't it precisely why kids come up with the most creative thoughts. In fact the most creative of people are those who remain child-like despite showing the world they've grown up. We all have sensed our brains thinks wilder when intoxicated. It's rather fascinating how a tired brain seems to work more than an alert one.

I found one probable answer in Aldous Huxley's essay, the doors of perception. It states-
In one of his studies eminent Cambridge philosopher, Dr. C.D. Broad states "
The function of the brain and nervous system and sense organs is in the main eliminative and not productive. The function of the brain and nervous system is to protect us from being overwhelmed and confused by this mass of largely useless and irrelevant knowledge, by shutting out most of what we should otherwise perceive or remember at any moment, and leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to be practically useful."Quite a revelation. Isn't it.

That might answer why the less conscious brain opens up more to imagination. But having said that, how do we channelise our thoughts and remember or note them, if not through a conscious mind? Well, there goes yet another confusion of a restless mind.