Enhance Creativity by Utilizing Both Your Conscious and Unconscious Mind

Enhance Creativity by Utilizing Both Your Conscious and Unconscious Mind

Implicit learning is this ability to subconsciously
soak up the probabilistic structure of the universe to put it in a very technical term.
Basically it’s our ability, you know, there’s constantly patterns going on in our environment,
even social situations there’s constant patterns of people were talking to, just in nature
there are patterns. And I found this ability to subconsciously implicitly learn these things
without our awareness was related to a very important part of creativity, which is called
openness experience. People who are more open to their experiences
tended to do better on these implicit learning tasks where they’ve had to subconsciously
learn the rule structure or learn the pattern without their awareness. They were learning
the pattern. So intuition is an important part of the creative process. I don’t believe
that – there’s this kind of false dichotomy we’ve made between rationality and intuition.
So again, the common theme today is the middle way because you go to a bookstore, you look
at different sections of the bookstore, you look at like the rationality section and it’s
like Dawkins and everyone God is dead blah, blah, blah and you’re like whatever you do
don’t rely your intuition; intuition is BS. And then you go to like the spirituality section
of the bookstore and it’s like every thing is like intuition, intuition, intuition, rational
people don’t know they’re talking about; they’re not in touch with spirituality, et cetera,
et cetera. And I think there needs to be a middle section of the bookstore which says
that for optimal truth in the universe, not just discovering the truth but also optimal
creativity, we need to listen to our intuition but not be ruled by our intuition. We need
to be rational but we need not be hyper rational. And I think that that middle way is really
critical for creativity. The non-conscious mind computes so many things
outside of our level of awareness that are related to creativity that if we don’t give
our subconscious mind the time to really reflect and to fill in all the gaps between all these
things we are actually reducing the chances we’re going to have a great insight. Great
creativity doesn’t come when we’re just solely rationally consciously focusing on solving
a creative problem. That’s helpful for solving a non-insightful problem, but when we’re trying
to solve an insightful problem, something that requires a leap to come to an answer,
we rarely get to that answer when we’re consciously deliberately focusing on the answer. We need
to go do something else and let the subconscious mind work. And then when we feel that intuition what
William James refers to the fringe of consciousness where we start to feel it bubbling up in our
soul that there’s an answer coming and it’s a very exciting feeling, that fringe of consciousness,
eventually when it reaches the threshold of awareness that’s what the ah-ha moment is.
So we can sort of – the research shows we start to feel that an ah-ha moment is coming
and then when an ah-ha moment comes it pops into consciousness as one gestalt, as one
whole piece. Because that’s what our subconscious has been doing is trying to fill in all those
little missing pieces so that finally when it enters our consciousness we only see it
as one big gestalt. Now it doesn’t mean it’s always right however. The feeling that we
get on the ah-ha moment is that feeling of completeness, but it might not be right so
we still have to do the hard work of rationality to flesh it out.


  • grassy1995 says:

    Certainly a very creative haircut.

  • Sakriya Stha Baral says:


  • All Political says:

    The hair though.

  • Roger the Shrubber says:

    that laugh at 3:41 though

  • DaGingerHeadMan says:

    What a pant-load, hey nice haircut, lol.

  • Sephi Shapira says:

    there is no contradiction between rationality and intuition. justifying irrationality because it's intuitive is simply ignorant

  • Radhika Doraisingam says:

    Hey Big Think, get back to me when you get the real Kaufman, Charlie Kaufman on the programme.

  • Marcy Cami says:

    what he describes exist, is called

  • LurkInTheDark says:

    I love it when people try to reconcile two conflicted lines of thinking, it feels like the only reason they're in conflict to begin with is due to the two author's disdain for different subjects entirely.

  • Mr. Morningstar says:

    What the fuck is he talking about?

  • Theo M. says:

    ahh the middle way…we meet again 😉

  • Because it's current year says:

    you have a very narrow definition of creativity…..

  • Paul vickers connolly says:

    Nice hair,where did you get it?

  • says:

    I think we lack a lot of context here. for example, how are we applying this creativity? Where and what is the goal?

    for example, the film The Holy Mountain (1973) is a purely spiritual film about tarot, Christianity and all that kind of thing, yet… it's the most creative film I've ever seen. its pushing boundaries of how film is written and made.

    but then with science, is a different ball game as the goal is how to figure out a problem using the knowledge they have.

    so this video was just a giant generalisation with no context and is not applicable to everything. He says about middle ground but mentions nothing of a grey scale between each side.

    this video either needs a followup or it should just be chucked in where deepak chopras videos should be.

  • Thridlink says:

    It took this guy almost four minuets to say literally nothing.

  • mrigendra kumar prajapati says:

    What is hyperrational?

  • Logan Dick says:

    I agree very much with "middle way" thinking, but it really could have been stated more clearly.

    Uploader, if you want to use these videos to educate, and spread this message, you have to use language that is more easily understood.

    Before filming, please write a script and read it objectively, as someone who doesn't understand these concepts yet… rambling in front of the camera about "big thinking" might as well just be rambling about what you ate for dinner.

    99% of your viewers missed the point entirely, and it wasn't their fault.

  • AznDudeIsOn says:

    Why are people confused?

    In any case here's the less conversational version of the claims Kaufman is making:

    1) Research shows there's a significant correlation between (I) being good at recognizing patterns [without being aware there was a pattern to be recognized] and (II) having the trait/archetype of being open to experience.

    2) Kaufman is stressing a need to reconsider the tendency to see things in black and white. (I.E.,) "there's this kind of false dichotomy we've made between rationality and intuition." He suggest there's a synergistic bond between rational and intuition.

    3) At least, Kaufman believes, Rationality and intuition come hand-in-hand for solving "insightful problems" as opposed opposed to "not-insightful problems". From this, it's safe for us viewers to speculate that "insightful" problems means problems that requires a person great insight to solve, because the person doesn't have the insight yet.

    3a) Intuition/subconscious helps us fill in and tie together pieces/parts. It can make us feel epiphany and a sense of completeness.

    3b) Intuition/subconscious can be wrong, so rationality allows us to keep it in check by reaffirming and challenging our intuition.

  • Payden Allen says:

    Kaufman's golden mean.

  • Diogo V. Kersting says:

    Can you give us an example where too much rationality is a bad thing?

  • Ryan Lacroix says:

    Thanks for this talk, the humility about the limits of possible knowledge needs to be more acknowledged within academic circles and a limit on the value of intuition needs to be more recognized in the general public. Both are valuable and have merit and both have limits and problems to be aware of.

  • kevin motti says:

    hallah moment?

  • MehdiNPartDeux says:

    I really like his delivery…keep it up man!

  • Chad says:

    …. dweeeeeeeeeb!

  • Reptilian Monk says:

    This Guys and IDIOT! GEORGE BUSH is smarter than this clown! #guns #beeer #MURICA FUCK YEAH!

  • 216trixie says:

    Don't think there are two different minds.

  • 216trixie says:

    There are more truths, on more levels in this video, than I can count. I have a type of epilepsy that causes Aha moments {nTLE}. I'm the only atheist I know who talks to god, lol.

  • Dunkelheit 1886 says:

    how to be more open to experiences ?

  • lehcsirk says:

    He has very vague definitions of intuition and rationality

  • Marcus Aurelius says:

    you're an idiot. You just put rational and spiritual literature on the same footing and said the right answer is their middle ground? Duuuurrr

  • Flabby PigLegs says:

    hi guys

  • Shogun-Jimi says:

    Hyper rationality, what in old idea – Shaftesbury spoke of this as “gravity” or excessive seriousness. It is true that overly strict people tend to be lacking in the ability to be creative.

  • Sauce says:

    Take acid and you will see the patterns of the universe

  • cacktuar says:

    Taaaake oooon meeeeee

  • TheAwesomeDudeGuy says:


  • Snowman11692 says:

    he looks like po from Kong fu panda

  • Leonidas GGG says:


  • Eric Hong says:

    Basically we need take the middle road between Spock and Kirk, that's what I got.

  • TubaBuddha says:

    In Nichiren Buddhism. Which is Based on the Lotus Sutra. We are taught that The Middle Way, is applicable is all aspects of life. To Chant/pray About your problems & take the actions to manifest the result, whatever that would be. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo or Devotion to the Mystic Law of Life & Death revealed through Cause & Effect, by the Sound of the Voice (ie. Chanting)

  • Titus Livius says:

    Dude, you need a new haircut and new clothes.

  • FlowerGrower Smith says:

    This is brilliant – if you've ever had an epiphany, you understand completely what he's talking about. Just send a question into your mind and ask for an answer sometime in the future. Your subconscious will roll it around maybe using all your past experiences blended with facts and a solution will sort of arrive. Powerful stuff.

  • peruface says:

    That hair tho

  • cashisafag says:

    is someone going to tell him his hair is on backwards

  • B Owie says:

    That 'Beatles' haircut did it for me!

  • B Owie says:

    I love the way Geeks laugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joseph Gubbels says:

    Richard Dawkins did an interesting talk once on why we should not be paying any attention to our intuition. Our intuition was evolutionary designed to maximize our fitness in the world our ancestors evolved in, one where it was kill or be killed, and we only really cared about the short term and things near us, in space, time and size.

    Now we operate in a world where we are concerned with the far future, people and things all around the world, and things MUCH larger and MUCH smaller than us. Our intuition is not equipped to handle this reality, so we have to augment it with science. This way we can know that the medicine is good for us even when it tastes terrible, we can know that vaccines are good for us even when intuitively it seems wrong to put a virus into our bodies. We can do math involving enormous celestial bodies and deal with microbial organisms and molecular structures, as well as vast distances, quantities and amounts of energy. Our intuition is not only ill-equipped for this world, it will hinder our progress in it.

    Science has repeatedly proven to be the solution to that problem, so we need to be wary of the kind of new-age "middle way" post modernism on display in this video.

  • New Cheese says:


  • Wayne P says:

    I have another amazing thought coming. I better do something else while I wait for it. It's the stuff dreams are made of.

  • HASHASHIN 47 says:

    So basically ur saying those light bulb moments..are ideas surfacing from our subconscious..

  • defaultuser88 says:

    No rationalist ignores intuition this way, nice straw hat hope it gets you some book sales hack

  • Drywall Jackson says:

    yay it's badger from breaking bad again!!!

  • SeemsLikeSomething says:

    This guy is seriously spouting random nonsense. It's a bunch of shit. You can't just manically spout out unorganized thoughts and expect it to make sense. Maybe planning out a single idea in essay-like format would be more productive? Geesh. There's a lot of this crap online. People think because they are having a hard time following along that it means it must be super intelligent. It isn't. It's nonsense.

  • I am Bililbly says:

    what? and how not beeing "hyper-rational" makes sence? I don't know what you're talking about… and how that connects with creativity?

  • BridgewaterLatino says:

    I have a feeling that this video was filmed on April 20th.

  • 11kingdomheartsfan says:

    I like this video because I have had this very problem my myself. I had a mental breakdown of sorts this past summer for various reasons but because of it I have stifled on my favorite aspects of myself. I used and still so occasionally to think deeply and critically but I've stopped completely because I am scared that creativity and intuition might make me irrational in ways that would stifle my life again. But, this may have helped me so nice job BigThink!

  • Jude Schoch says:

    To have a more effective rhetoric, remove "ya know" and replace with a brief, silent pause so people can digest what you're saying.
    Ya know?

  • Cory Radebaugh says:

    "We should listen to our intuition but not be ruled by our intuition" got my upvote, but I haven't the slightest clue what "hyper rational" means. I really have no idea what that is, but it sounds like a word the religious would make up to try and attack rational people.

  • zlickDude says:

    omg I want that helmet!

  • realsc00ter says:

    truly follow Jesus and have no problem with truth and creativity. what does it mean to truly follow the truth? find out for yourself. by the way he said very little

  • roccoisawesome says:

    This guy looks like he just stepped down from a 36 hour Xbox / Mountain Dew binge…..

  • santashelpa says:

    fantastic talk on creativity and the middle way, exactly what i have discovered in my own experience and only further clarified by this talk. Rationality to be balanced by the unknown subconscious intuition and Intuition balanced by reason, rationale and science!

  • Ysp says:

    It's great to see someone word this so well. I feel exactly the same way and next time someone from either side doesn't understand where I stand, I'll give them the link to this video. 🙂

  • Sander says:

    Many people in the comment section that failed to understand what the expert was saying and blame it on the expert.

  • Improv Lad says:

    No way! I just got done reading his book, "Ungifted." I was very impressed and inspired and helped me really clear the air about intelligence and the forms it takes. You're amazing, and I'm glad to see you're on a very well known, educational, Youtube channel. 🙂

  • trentigalaxy says:

    I like his outfit

  • Eddard Liebber says:

    I found far more points of insight on the comment section than the video itself, not to mention the jokes about his hairstyle

  • TCM 214 says:

    i cant trust anyone with that haircut

  • Morgan Elise says:

    This is exactly the idea I've been thinking about for the past year or so. It's so great to hear someone else spit it out. (:

  • Vassia Antonopoulou says:

    Well, I always thought intuition is a product of experience, but an experience that we don't register and is not rationalized. It works for me in that way, in retrospective.

  • Marie V. says:

    I love how his wig is very persuasive 🙂

  • Black dragon story says:

    Well,in the past I managed to improve by focusing on what I was drawing and not worrying about time. – basicly like I had infinite amount of time.
    I guess the worse thing for me was wanting to draw something specificly and perfectly while drawing random stuff that pop in to my head was relaxing and easy.(it sucked,but at least I didnt have a standard I have to reach/have)

    Before that I was a 3D modeler and I can say that after lots of tutorials and lots of models done I could see improvement everywhere,but it was really hard to move from good quality to awesome quality models.
    Indies were calling me everywhere cuz I worked for free,but I was also fast.
    I even got a job offer,but sadly I just wasnt ready so I quit before even starting and decided to learn the anatomy trough drawing which is what I am doing now,but I can hardly find the time and motivation since I started working.

  • Randy Savage says:

    That hairline!

  • Kozmikōcēlōtl says:

    So basically balancing? Ying and yang?

  • Marvelous Whiskers says:

    Intuition is helpful, but how do you get the unconscious mind to focus on the problem you want to solve? This line of explanation seems fuzzy and convoluted.

  • Mark Dinsdale says:

    everyone slagging his haircut off- I think he should be praised for trying to bring back the early 2000s Missy Elliot 'do

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