Using the Subconscious Brain
Usually, the subconscious goes its own way; you don't normally control which ideas it will consider, because most of us have not learned how to communicate with it. However, the events you encounter in daily life usually makes it quite clear which are important factors and which ones are unimportant, and the subconscious naturally gravitates towards the most important ideas. When these important ideas lead to important conclusions, it gets more interested. When a sufficient number of such important conclusions piles up, it will contact you. This explains why, all of sudden, an unexpected intuition will sometimes flash through your conscious mind. So the important question here is, how can you best communicate with your subconscious?
Any idea that you can convince yourself is important, or any puzzle or problem that you had tried to solve with great effort, will obviously be a candidate for consideration by the subconscious. So this is one way in which you can present your problem to the subconscious. Furthermore, in order to be able to solve a problem, the subconscious must have all the necessary information. Therefore it is important for you to do all the research and gather as much information about the problem as you can. In college, this is how I solved many homework problems that my smarter classmates could not solve. They tried to just sit down, do their assignments, and hoped to solve the problems. Problems in a school environment are such that they are always solvable with the information given in the classroom or textbook. You just need to assemble the right parts to come up with the answer. What I did, therefore, was not to worry about being able to solve any problem immediately but to just think about it intensely and make sure that I have studied all the course material. If I could not solve the problem right away, I knew that the subconscious would go to work on it, so I could just forget about the problem and return to it later on. Thus the only requirement was that I should not wait until the last minute to try to solve such problems. Some time afterwards, the answer would suddenly pop up in my head, often at strange, unexpected times. They most frequently popped up in the early morning, when my mind was rested and fresh. Thus with experience, you can learn to present material to your subconscious as well as to receive conclusions from it. In general, the answer would not come if I intentionally asked my subconscious for it, but would come when I was doing something unrelated to the problem. You can also use the subconscious to recall something you had forgotten. First, try to recall it as well as you can, and then completely abandon the effort for a while. After some time, your brain will often recall it for you.
Of course, we do not yet know of any direct ways to talk with your subconscious. And these communication channels are very different from person to person, so each person must experiment to see what works best. Clearly, you can improve communications with it as well as block the communication channels. Many of my smarter friends in college became very frustrated when they found out that I had effortlessly found the answer when they couldn't; and they knew they were smarter. That type of frustration can stall any communications between various parts of the brain. It is better to maintain a relaxed, positive attitude and to let the brain do its thing. That is probably why things like meditation and Chi Gong work so well. Those are effective, time tested, methods of communicating with the various parts of your brain and body. Note that different parts of the brain directly control many bodily functions such as heart beat rate, blood pressure, perspiration, digestion, salivation, the functioning of internal organs, sexual response, etc. These are powerful functions that can generate or waste huge amounts of energy so that how they function smoothly together or work against one another has an important effect on your general health and mental function. Another important method for making maximum use of the subconscious is to leave your subconscious alone without interference from the conscious brain, once your have presented it with your problem. In other words, you should forget about the problem and engage in sports or go to see a movie or do other things you enjoy, and the subconscious will do a better job because it is a completely different part of your brain. If you consciously think about the problem all the time, you will bias the subconscious and not allow it to go freely in its own explorations.
The brain has many parts, and it is to our advantage to know each part and to learn how to use it. The subconscious mind is probably one of the most under-utilized parts of our brain because too many of us are unaware of its existence. There must certainly be many other parts of our brain that are useful. For example, there are numerous automatic brain processes that affect our daily lives. When we see an image with our eyes, many things happen immediately and automatically. When an image is received, the brain becomes temporarily overloaded with information processing so that it cannot perform other tasks well. This is why you feel less pain when your eyes are open than when they are closed. A similar effect happens with sound. Thus screaming in pain actually reduces the pain. The pleasing sound of music is another automatic reaction, as are reactions to visual inputs such as pretty flowers, soothing panoramic views of mountains and lakes, or the effect of unpleasant or pleasant odors. It is one of these automatic reactions that we invoke when we listen to music; yet, just as we cannot quite explain why a pretty flower looks pretty, we still can't quite explain why music sounds so good. Perhaps it is one of those hard-wired subconscious reactions.
The identification of the different parts of the brain must surely be one of the future revolutions to come. Medical science is advancing ever more rapidly and understanding the brain will be one of the biggest breakthroughs, starting with how it develops in childhood and how we can facilitate that development. Thus it is entirely possible that Mozart was not a musical genius, but a genius created by music.