Imagery has fascinated me for many years. The first paper I ever wrote, after my dissertation, was with Roy Hamlin, who was my chair; that was in 1958. He was a man who, in spite of the behavioral Zeitgeist of the times, was open to the study of non-readily observable events, e.g., images that occur during the falling asleep and waking up states—hypnogogic and hypnopompic phenomena and during hypnosis, what we might today call “altered states of consciousness.” We co-authored a paper at that time entitled “Loosening of thought controls and the creative process.” Essentially what we were concerned about were the thoughts and images that come to us when we are in a state other than our wide awake one. It seemed to us, and we supported our thesis by referring to the literature, that the thoughts and images in these other states might be both unusual and of such a nature that they could be utilized to enhance one’s creativity. I guess an instance that intrigued us, and that has been widely reported, was Kekule’s experience, as he was awakening from sleep one day, of seeing the benzene ring projected on the wall in front of him. The solution to a very difficult problem had suddenly come to him in the form of an image and without conscious effort, at that moment, in that direction.
KeywordsLimbic System Peanut Butter Altered State Olfactory Stimulus Time Magazine
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