Outward/upward vs inward/downward

Find an object. Focus your attention on it. Observe it. Don’t think about it, just observe it. Experience it. Take in its details: colours, shape etc. What does this feel like in your mind?

Now to contrast, start thinking consciously about the object eg by comparing it to other similar objects and analsying the differences. What does this feel like in your mind?

Does it feel different? It’s quite subtle but it should feel different!

The first experience where you are observing the object, you are in the moment, focusing outwards/ upwards of yourself. You are intuiting. You are using your non-intellectual mind to observe. When you’re in this outwards/ upwards state, you often have slightly wider eyes (not squinting/ narrowing), your eyebrows are raised (not furrowed in any way), if you’re looking at a person you’ll have strong eye contact, and your head is usually tilted up at about a 40′ angle.

The second experience where you consciously think about the object, you are focusing inwards/ downwards, into yourself, intellectualizing. An easy way to get into this inward/ downward state is trying to do a difficult sum in your head.  You know when you’re inwards/ downwards when your eyes swing to the left/ right, if your object is a person, you dont look them in the eye, and your head will turn slightly down and away from the object in question. At this time you stop noticing someone walking up behind you and jump if they tap you on the shoulder. You were inside your head – inwards. Analytical thought can never exist in the here and now – in order to have analytical thought, you have to turn off your sensors while you process. The more time you spend in this state the less you observe of the world around you.

Creativity requires outward/ upward thought. With creative thought, "trying harder" makes you get into a downwards/inwards state, blocking access to observation and utilization of material around you, blocking receptivity to new ideas from outside yourself, and generally blocking creativity and fruition: hence the well known "writer’s block"! We’re taught to think that intellectual thinking allows creative solutoins to be reached. But in fact, some of the greatest moments of discovery have been blinding flashes of intuition eg Isaac Newton’s gravity eureka moment whilst sitting under a tree; Albert Einstein had some of his most creative moments when he wasnt consciously trying to come up with solutions.

Source: Alan Marriott

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