Epiphany –Insight Through The Divine

Intelligence is having the right answers

Wisdom is asking the right questions

Conscious level knowledge is what we can answer and communicate definitively. Intelligence is how we measure this. But other kinds of knowledge– that which we assimilate from experience –cannot be taught. We must discover these truths for ourselves.

Most of the data we receive from experience is information we aren’t even aware of. The mind stores the information, but for some reason, it’s not decoded on our level of consciousness.

Could a sudden integration of this subconscious data into conscious thought be the meaning of epiphany? Could this be what Aeschelyus meant when he said  Memory is the mother of all wisdom”?

Epiphanies are studied by psychologists and other scholars, particularly those attempting to study the process of innovation and artistic expression 

.The word epiphany originally referred to insight through the divine  

.The brain goes into a kind of superconducting mode when it is 1. Not distracted by other stimuli –and 2. When it is ‘switched on’ by a trigger, suddenly allowing our conscious mind to access and integrate subconscious information.

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Solitude has long been thought to foster deep reflection and meditation, which is essential in eliciting epiphany as it protects us from distraction.  Tesla said,

“The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.”

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Goethe wrote,

 “One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude”

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Picasso also remarked

  “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.”

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When our minds aren’t distracted by information from unnecessary stimuli, the brain can be ‘switched on’ so to say by a trigger.

/There are two different kinds of conscious triggers–  Literary trigger and Mathematical trigger.

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These produce WAKING EPIPHANY. 


Epiphany caused by literary trigger is what inspired Nikola Tesla’s inventions. He was heavily influenced by Goethe’s Faust, his favorite poem, and had actually memorized the entire text. It was while reciting a certain verse that he was struck with the epiphany that would lead to the idea of the rotating magnetic field and ultimately, the alternating current.

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Tesla said,  The idea came like a flash of lightning and in an instant the truth was revealed.”

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The author J.R Tolkien wrote a letter describing epiphany as the “highest function of fairy-stories” — another example of literary trigger. He believed that the experience of reading fairy tales offers us a “sudden glimpse of truth…”
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The study of mathematics also triggers epiphany. John Forbes Nash, the brilliant mathematician wrote about his spiritual epiphanies. He said,

.“My ideas about supernatural beings came to me the same way my mathematical ideas did. So I took them seriously.”

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and let us not forget R.W. Hamming’s famous maxim:

“The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers”

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Pythagoras, the great mathematician believed that the study of mathematics purified the mind. Through purification one gained access into deeper realms of consciousness –and experienced an integration of this unconscious data into conscious thought via epiphany — which ultimately sharpen or ‘cleansed’ PERCEPTION.

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Some of us also experience  DREAM EPIPHANIES 

In fact, Paul McCartney said the tune for Yesterday came to him in a dream. He explained,

“I woke up with a lovely tune in my head. I thought, ‘That’s great, I wonder what that is?’ There was an upright piano next to me, to the right of the bed by the window. I got out of bed, sat at the piano, found G, found F sharp minor 7th — and that leads you through then to B to E minor, and finally back to E. It all leads forward logically. I liked the melody a lot, but because I’d dreamed it, I couldn’t believe I’d written it. I thought, ‘No, I’ve never written anything like this before.’ But I had the tune, which was the most magic thing!”

.J.R Tolkien also wrote that sudden clarities from dreaming epiphany inspired his fantasy novels.  He said,  “In dreams strange powers of the mind may be unlocked. These are esoteric matters, difficult to articulate, and very personal”.

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Another type of epiphanyHALLUCINOGENIC EPIPHANY occurs.  Crick perceived the double helix shape of DNA while he was under the influence of LSD. He said it was through hallucination, and not a conscious investigation, that he was able to unravel the structure of DNA, the discovery that won him the Nobel Prize.

.The common link between these scenarios is the ability to suddenly decipher information gained via experience. Not just the experience of this lifetime— but rather the collective experience of many lifetimes lived before. It’s these memories that make OLD SOULS wise. Every time we reincarnate we add experiences and information into the memory bank. It’s the art of accessing this information and integrating it into conscious 3d manifestations that lead us to “pure perception”. Remember — The eye only sees what the mind is prepared to comprehend!

When we begin to see clearly, we ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. Asking the right questions is making ACCURATE CONNECTIONS.

Could something as simple as the ability to connect the dots be the ultimate mark of wisdom?

Something to think about…

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“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards”. – Steve Jobs on his epiphanies from LSD.
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About NSchacht

- San Francisco, CA - When I write with no destination in mind, I encompass all possibility.