Excellence in Action resulting from students optimizing brain functioning


"When the awareness of the artist is in tune with this center of creativity, his creation, his piece of art breathes fullness of life, nourishes the creator, the artist, and inspires his admirers with waves of bliss."—Maharishi



Tapping into the wellsprings of creativity
by Craig Pearson, Ph.D., and Matthew Beaufort, M.A., at TM Magazine, Issue 7
3 August 2012

Do you paint, draw, sculpt, or make pottery? Do you design websites or clothing or landscapes? Do you write songs or poems or stories or advertising copy? Do you dance? Cook?

Then you are in a “creative” field, and you may wonder how you can enhance your creativity, take it to another level.

But creativity is not only for artists. Entrepreneurs bring innovative new products and services into the world, as surely as any novelist or architect—think of Steve Jobs. If you have children, you know how creative you often need to be as parents. Athletes can display moments of astonishing creativity—picture Michael Jordan and Roger Federer.

Creativity means the capacity to use your imagination to generate something original and (ideally) useful. You don’t have to aspire to Great Art—you don’t even have to be an artist. Creativity is something we tap into every day. And in this ever-more-rapidly changing world, we could use more of it.

So where does it come from? How can we develop our creativity further? And for those who want to be artists, is there an approach to art education that enables students to cultivate their creativity directly?

The wellsprings of creativity and “the heart of creation”

Many artists have recognized that art, whatever form it may take, arises from someplace deep within—sometimes a place so deep it seems beyond what we ordinarily think of as our self. For the Swiss-German artist Paul Klee (1879-1940), art springs ultimately from the “source of creation”:

The artists with real vocations nowadays are those who travel to within fair distance of that secret cavern where the primal law is hidden; where the central organ of all temporal and spatial movement—we may call it the brain or heart of creation—makes everything happen. What artist would not wish to dwell there—in the bosom of nature, in the primordial source of creation, where the secret key to everything is kept? [1] —Paul Klee

For the German painter Max Beckmann (1884-1950), art is ultimately about “the quest of our Self”:

In my opinion all important things in art… have always originated from the deepest feeling about the mystery of Being. Self-realization is the urge of all objective spirits. It is this Self which I am searching [for] in my life and in my art. Art is creative for the sake of realization, not for amusement; for transfiguration, not for the sake of play. It is the quest of our Self that drives us along the eternal and never-ending journey we must all make. [2] —Max Beckmann.

Connecting with “the infinite energy of the cosmos”

What are Klee and Beckmann talking about? Is this just a philosophical idea or ideal? Or is there more to it?
Some artists go further and talk about a very real, specific experience. The German composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), for example, describes an “exalted state” out of which his best compositions flowed, a “semi-trance condition”—

. . . a condition when the conscious mind is in temporary abeyance and the subconscious is in control, for it is through the subconscious mind, which is part of Omnipotence, that the inspiration comes. I have to be careful, however, not to lose consciousness, otherwise the ideas fade away. [3] —Johannes Brahms

The term subconscious, Brahms says, “is the most inappropriate name... super-conscious could be a much better term.” At this level, he says, one is connected with “the infinite energy of the cosmos.” He goes on:

The themes that will endure in my compositions all come to me in this way. It has always been such a wonderful experience… I felt that I was, for the moment, in tune with the Infinite, and there is no thrill like it. [4] —Johannes Brahms

Diving within—the Transcendental Meditation program

How do we get to the source of creation and fulfill the quest for our Self? How do we get “in tune with the Infinite”?

If you practice the Transcendental Meditation technique, you already know you have a systematic procedure for “diving within”—for allowing mental activity effortlessly to settle down. As the mind moves inward, we experience the source of thought, the field of pure consciousness.

Maharishi points out that every single thought we think is an impulse of creativity, intelligence, and energy—and given the countless thoughts we think hour by hour, this source of thought must be an infinite reservoir of creativity and intelligence. Every time we sit to meditate, every time we transcend, we are diving into this interior ocean of creative intelligence.

What happens over time? With regular transcending, we become increasingly creative and intelligent. Research studies have found significant growth of creativity after just a few months of Transcendental Meditation practice. This means that, day after day, we have increasing creativity available to us, whatever our profession may be. [5]

Maharishi emphasized that the field of pure consciousness deep within everyone is not merely the source of thought, the source of our individual creative expression—it is the source of nature itself. Deep within us—in other words, in the simplest form of our own awareness—we have direct access to the Unified Field of Natural Law that gives rise to the entire universe. We find this same idea echoed in traditions around the world.

This means that when we transcend, we experience the “source of creation” Paul Klee talks about and “the Infinite” that Brahms celebrates—within our own awareness. This, in turn, means we are not only cultivating our creativity, we are coming to live increasingly in accord with Natural Law. The spontaneous result? All our creations, all our thoughts and actions, are increasingly life-supporting, nourishing, and uplifting to all around us.


  1. Eric Protter, Painters on Painting (Mineoloa, New York: Dover Publications, 2011), 195.
  2. Quoted in Herschel Browning Chipp and Peter Howard Selz, Theories of Modern Art: A Source Book by Artists and Critics (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1984), 189.
  3. Quoted in Arthur M. Abell, Talks with Great Composers (New York: Philosophical Library, 1955), 5–6.
  4. Abell, 9, 11.
  5. See, for example, F. Travis, “The TM Technique and Creativity: A Longitudinal Study of Cornell University Undergraduates,” The Journal of Creative Behavior 13 91979), 169–180, and M.C. Dillbeck et al, “Longitudinal Effects of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Program on Cognitive Ability and Cognitive Style,” Perceptual and Motor Skills 62 (1986), 731–738.


© Copyright 2012 Maharishi Foundation USA, a non-profit educational organization.


"The potential of every student is infinite. The time of student life should serve to unfold that infinite potential so that every individual becomes a vibrant centre of Total Knowledge."—Maharishi

Excellence in Action Home
Search | Global News | Agriculture and Environmental News | Business News | Culture News
Education News | Government News | Health News | Science and Technology News
World Peace | Maharishi Programmes | Press Conference | Transcendental Meditation
Celebration Calendars | Ultimate Gifts | News by Country | Album of Events | Ideal Society Index | Research | Worldwide Links | What's New | Modem/High Speed | RSS/XML