More on creativity in the twilight state

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. — Thomas Edison

Edison had a unique way of getting brilliant ideas. He would nap during the day in a chair or on a sofa. He knew that if he could get into that “twilight state” between wake and sleep, he could access the pure creative genius of his subconscious mind.

To prevent himself from falling into deep sleep, he would nap with his hand propped up on his elbow while he clutched a handful of ball-bearings. Then he would just drift off to sleep, knowing that his subconscious mind would take up the challenge of his problem and provide a solution. As soon as he went into too deep a sleep, his hand would drop and the ball-bearings would spill noisily on the floor, waking him up again. He’d then write down whatever was in his mind.

Surely, this method can work for artists as well as creative scientists.


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