I often find myself thinking of great ideas the very second that i’m about to fall asleep, and this experience got me thinking about the mind, thought processes, and where ideas come from. I decided to do a little research and happened upon this great piece of information. According to Barry Gordon, professor of neurology and cognitive science at John Hopkins University School of Medicine,

“We are aware of a tiny fraction of the thinking that goes on in our minds, and we can control only a tiny part of our conscious thoughts. The vast majority of our thinking efforts goes on subconsciously. Only one or two of these thoughts are likely to breach into consciousness at a time. Slips of the tongue and accidental actions offer glimpses of our unfiltered subconscious mental life. Although thoughts appear to “pop” into awareness before bedtime, their cognitive precursors have probably been simmering for a while. Once those preconscious thoughts gather sufficient strength, the full spotlight of consciousness beams down on them. The mind’s freewheeling friskiness is only partly under our control, so shutting our mind off before we sleep is not possible.”


In summary

The mind is an absolutely stunning example of the unknown power that all human beings hold. Often times when I think of great ideas I don’t attribute it to my own thinking, it seems more like ideas pop in out of thin air- while in reality your mind may have been formulating these ideas days, weeks, or even months in advance.

Pretty neat.