Imagine a world where every invention and solution to every problem in the past, present and future exists right now and is available to anyone with the ability to access that universe. A universe without time or limitations. I call this place the ‘Universe of Ideas’. It is an intangible universe but quite real and accessible to anyone with the key.
There are three requirements to successfully innovating. The first is to be able to access the Universe of Ideas and to consciously bring the idea back into this tangible world. The second requirement is having the expertise to understand the idea and to turn the idea into a tangible reality. The third requirement is to have well developed critical thinking skills and to be capable of discerning whether the idea is timely. Is it possible to actually turn this idea into something tangible in this time? Are the tools and technologies available or can they be made available? Other issues that must be addressed are cost effectiveness, market factors, demand and others.
For instance, the technology for moving across vast distances of space exists in the Universe of Ideas. Some have accessed these ideas but in this current time, the intellectual understanding, expertise and technology to make those ideas a tangible reality does not yet exist. So those ideas are relegated to the realm of science fiction or fantasy. When Leonardo di Vinci accessed the Universe of Ideas to create designs for a flying machine the understanding and technology was not yet available to make it a tangible reality. His invention was relegated to the fantasy category or even heretical.
For this article I will only address accessing the Universe of Ideas and drawing upon it for new innovations and solutions to problems.
When I was in elementary school I learned that the brilliant and eccentric inventor Thomas Edison had a specific method for accessing the Universe of Ideas. He would sit in a chair while holding heavy metal balls. He would attempt to maintain a relaxed focus on his problem, question or need and as he would drift off to sleep, the balls would drop to the ground subsequently making a loud noise that would bring him back to waking consciousness. In that moment, Edison said, he was able to tap into solutions that he was incapable of accessing while he was wide awake. This is the method Thomas Edison used to access the Universe of Ideas.
Most people access the Universe of Ideas by accident; drifting off to sleep, relaxing in the shower or relaxing in nature. But all these events have one thing in common. They all involve the brain switching from a normal waking state where it is functioning in a beta brain wave state, (12 – 38 Hz), to a relaxed or sleep state; an alpha, (8 -12 Hz), theta, (3 – 8 Hz) or delta, (0 – 4 Hz), brain wave state. This transition state between wakefulness and sleep is also called a hypnagogic or meditative state.
With training or guidance, anyone can experience and access this transitional state of mind as well as deeper states of consciousness. Practices such as meditation and mindfulness are the key to reaching these relaxed and deeply meditative states of mind. They are also the key to accessing the Universe of Ideas. If Thomas Edison were alive today he would recognize that he was practicing a form of meditation and would probably try to patent it as his.
Mediation and mindfulness are ways to intentionally access the Universe of Ideas.
I have created numerous inventions and brought many of them to market. I always use meditation and mindfulness to find new innovations and to solve problems for myself and my clients. For instance, if presented with a difficult problem I do my best to never attempt to respond to or deal with the issue until I have taken a deep breath and relaxed into a meditative state of mind. In that state, the solution to the problem is always presented to me. Sometimes more than one solution.
There are times when we only have a moment to respond to a situation and sometimes we have a week or more to respond. If we have practiced meditation and mindfulness on a regular basis it only takes an instant to access that relaxed state of mind. If we are in need of a new innovation we usually have a bit more time than an instant. With the luxury of time we can sit in meditation and contemplate the problem, need or area of innovation we wish to address. Then we must let it all go and just relax deeply into that deep state of meditation without any purpose, goal, desire, need or personal identity. At some point a solution, answer or idea will emerge from the emptiness. To achieve this state of mind takes a great deal of practice but everyone is capable of doing it. It is in this state of mind that we access the Universe of Ideas and are able to bring those new ideas and innovations into our waking reality. It is in this deep state of mindfulness that we can access the Universe of solutions.
It still requires expertise and critical thinking skills to make manifest these solutions or innovations but with meditation and mindfulness, accessing the Universe of Ideas is no longer an accident or frustratingly futile process.
There are meditation and mindfulness exercises posted here at my blog that can be helpful. There are also some guided meditation exercises that can be downloaded at my website, www.jonshore.net for learning how to access this state of mind.
If you would like more information or training on accessing the Universe of Ideas feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2017 Jon Shore
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