Article by Tony Sokol

One of the biggest myths of hypnosis is that intelligent people can’t be put under but one of the smartest historical figures in history swore by it. Noted physicist Albert Einstein used hypnotherapy to explore his creativity. The father of science reportedly came up with the theory of relativity during a self-hypnosis session.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them,” Albert Einstein (1879-1955) once said. To break free from the way he thought, the physicist was known to have hypnosis sessions every afternoon. According to his writings, his famous “E=mc2″ revelation during one of these sessions.

From Mozart to Edison, creative thinkers have never been afraid to get their inspiration from dreams. Paul McCartney has long said that the melody for his song “Yesterday,” came during a dream. Sometimes insights come from nightmares. Inventor Elias Howe, who the Beatles’ film Help! was dedicated to, came up with the final detail for the first sewing machine after a bad dream. Howe wrote that he dreamed he was running from cannibals. The tips of their spears had holes bored into them like the eye of a sewing needle. Upon awakening, Howe moved the eye hole of his sewing machine from the middle to the tip of the needle.

“Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking,” Einstein wrote.

Albert Einstein, the symbol of “genius” for the Twentieth Century, had dyslexia as a child. “Normal childhood development proceeded slowly. He had such difficulty with language that they feared that he would never learn to speak….Every sentence he uttered, he repeated to himself softly, moving his lips. This habit persisted into his seventh year,” his sister wrote years later.

Einstein was told by his Greek teacher that he would “never amount to anything” and was ultimately expelled from high school. Einstein failed a college entrance exam and didn’t get any recommendations from professors after he finished his bachelor’s degree. After college he worked in the Swiss patent office and it appeared he might prove his Greek teacher right. But, Einstein published his Special Theory of Relativity when he was 26 and won a Nobel prize 16 years later.

In his “Autobiographical Notes,” Einstein wrote that he came upon the first crucial insight that led to his Special Theory of Relativity while he was daydreaming when he was 16 years old. He wondered “What would it be like to run beside a light beam at the speed of light?” But he didn’t apply himself for another 10 years. He attributed his scientific aptitude to a “vague play” with “signs,” “images,” and “visual” and “muscular” elements which “seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.”

When Einstein died, in 1955, the pathologist on duty at Princeton Hospital, Dr. Thomas Harvey performed the autopsy. Without permission from the famed scientist’s family, Harvey removed his brain and stored it in jars of formaldehyde. For the next 40 years, it was studied slice by slice under the microscope by researchers. “Nobody had ever found a difference that earmarked a brain as that of a genius,” Harvey later told to a reporter.

Albert Einstein was instrumental in advancing hypnotherapy. He believed ingenious thought was triggered by allowing the imagination to float freely, forming associations at will. He attacked algebra as a “merry science,” treating it more like a puzzle than work. and proved, through mathematics, that we are constituted from energy. He used trance states to develop his ideas. Einstein wrote that he could dream while awake and believed great discoveries in science were made through intuitive “thought experiments.”

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