Thursday, 4 December 2014

Use your Subconscious

Have you ever been preparing a talk or writing an article (or designing a house) and the words (or designs) aren't flowing? Yet you've done the work, the reading, the planning, the thinking and your mind just seems to go blank! As one very wise Montessori trainer once said, "Let the engrams1 do their work!"

What does that mean?

It means, once you’ve “programmed” your brain with all the information you need, put down pen and paper, close the laptop, go do some gardening (or driving) and you’ll find your thoughts will start to form in your conscious mind.

Read this neat  article by that wise Montessori trainer, Dr Annette Haines, to discover why this actually happens. “The Neurological Basis of Indirect Preparation.”

And writers (and designers) put this to use all the time. Ayn Rand in her Art of Fiction, makes ‘Writing and the Subsconscious’ her first chapter, saying:

To master the art of writing, you have to be conscious of why you are doing things — but do not edit yourself while writing. Just as you cannot change horses in the middle of a stream, so you cannot change premises in the middle of writing. When you write, you have to rely on your subconscious; you cannot doubt yourself and edit every sentence as it comes out. Write as it comes to you — then (next morning, preferably) turn editor and read over what you have written.

Trust your subconscious – if you’ve loaded your engrams.

[Hat tip Maria Montessori Education Foundation]


1. What’s an engram? Annette Haines: “As a thought or a re-lived memory is passed from brain cell to brain cell via jumping synapses, a biochemical electromagnetic pathway is established. Each of these neuronal pathways is known as a ‘memory trace.’ (Montessori called them engrams.) “

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