Editor’s Note | Higher Journeys
The following illustration paints a mysterious though captivating picture of how the subconscious mind works and how it can be put to work using a technique called hypnagogia.
I recently spoke with Anthony Alvarado, author of D.I.Y. Magic about the surrealist painter Salvador Dali and the extraordinary though simple technique he used to inspire his jaw dropping paintings.
As part of his book D.I.Y. Magic, Alvarado provides a spectrum of what he calls “spells” including the “Dropping the Spoon” technique in order to tap the wonders of the mind!
D.I.Y. Magic is incredibly insightful, delightful, and full of creativity and wisdom.
Salvador Dali’s Creative Thinking Technique
By Michael Michalko | The Creativity Post
In the history of art, most people could easily argue that Salvador Dalí is the father of surrealistic art. Surrealism is the art of writing or painting unreal or unpredictable works of art using the images or words from an imaginary world. Dali’s art is the definition of surrealism. Throughout his art he clearly elaborates on juxtaposition (putting similar images near each other), the disposition (changing the shape of an object), and morphing of objects, ranging from melted objects dripping, to crutches holding distorted figures, to women with heads of bouquets of flowers.
Surrealism is the stressing of subconscious or irrational significance of imagery, or in more simplistic terms, the use of dreamlike imagery. Dalí’s absurd imagination has him painting pictures of figures no person would even dream of creating. How was Salvador Dali able to conjure up these extraordinary images from his subconscious that he used in his surrealistic paintings?
Dali was intrigued with the images which occur at the boundary between sleeping and waking. They can occur when people are falling asleep, or when they are starting to wake up, and they tend to be extremely vivid, colorful and bizarre. He experimented with various ways of generating and capturing these fantastical images.
His favorite technique is that he would put a tin plate on the floor and then sit by a chair beside it, holding a spoon over the plate. He would then totally relax his body; sometimes he would begin to fall asleep. The moment that he began to doze the spoon would slip from his fingers and clang on the plate, immediately waking him to capture the surreal images.
The extraordinary images seem to appear from nowhere, but there is a logic. The unconscious is a living, moving stream of energy from which thoughts gradually rise to the conscious level and take on a definite form. Your unconscious is like a hydrant in the yard while your consciousness is like a faucet upstairs in the house. Once you know how to turn on the hydrant, a constant supply of images can flow freely from the faucet. These forms give rise to new thoughts as you interpret the strange conjunctions and chance combinations.
Following is a blueprint for the technique:
• Think about your challenge. Consider your progress, your obstacles, your alternatives, and so on. Then push it away and relax.
• Totally relax your body. Sit on a chair. Hold a spoon loosely in one of your hands over a plate. Try to achieve the deepest muscle relaxation you can.
• Quiet your mind. Do not think of what went on during the day or your challenges and problems. Clear your mind of chatter.
• Quiet your eyes. You cannot look for these images. Be passive. You need to achieve a total absence of any kind of voluntary attention. Become helpless and involuntary and directionless. You can enter the hypnogogic state this way, and, should you begin to fall asleep, you will drop the spoon and awaken in time to capture the images.
• Record your experiences immediately after they occur. The images will be mixed and unexpected and will recede rapidly. They could be patterns, clouds of colors, or objects.
• Look for the associative link. Write down the first things that occur to you after your experience. Look for links and connections to your challenge. Ask questions such as:
What puzzles me?
Is there any relationship to the challenge?
Any new insights? Messages?
What’s out of place?
What disturbs me?
What do the images remind me of?
What are the similarities?
What analogies can I make?
What associations can I make?
How do the images represent the solution to the problem?
A restaurant owner used this technique to inspire new promotion ideas. When the noise awakened him, he kept seeing giant neon images of different foods: neon ice cream, neon pickles, neon chips, neon coffee, and so on. The associative link he saw between the various foods and his challenge was to somehow to use the food itself as a promotion.
Read the full article here.