Also, Tesla very probably used a mental technique described by Henri Poincare in his “Science and Method.” It’s a method for harnessing your own Unconscious, your Inner Savant. This is done by, first, taking very seriously all your spontaneous unconscious messages/ideas/dreams. Write them down. Carry around a notepad, always. When weird thoughts come to you out of nowhere, always try to record and preserve them, or at least get them into conscious memory, discarding nothing. Before getting out of bed each morning, try to recall details of one or more dreams, and perhaps write them down (perhaps keep a dream journal for a few years.) Learn meditation, existing with all your inner verbal thoughts shut down; thinking in pictures and pure concepts only. I’m convinced that normal adults treat the Unconscious channel as disgusting trash or worthless fantasy/ daydreaming, and all of us successfully suppress it. We reject our original thinking methods, leaving them behind as we grow up and learn thinking-in-words and logical reasoning. But to become a “grownup” is to become a non-genius. If instead we treat those thoughts/fantasies/daydreams like gold, then we reinforce the flow, and with luck open the floodgates. So, in other words, we’re striving to return to our long-lost childhood mental state, living half in a daydream, with no internal verbal chatter or “grownup” logical thinking barriers blocking off the creative flow.
Then second, after having worked on some major challenging engineering/math/scientific problem and getting nowhere …give up. Drop the problem, unfinished. Work on something else. Go on vacation. Cease all conscious problem-solving for days or weeks. Then, as you’re stepping onto a streetcar, or humming to yourself in the shower, or driving long distances in darkness …suddenly the complete answer appears in your head, all in a flash. I’ve managed to do this myself several times, and the results are near-unbelievable in that it happens in an instant, yet it may involve pages and pages of new material coming “from nowhere,” as if I’m taking dictation. When driving at night (slipping into ‘drivers trance,’) I’d get a huge flash of insight and have to pull over to the side, then spend an hour getting it all down on paper. Yet it appeared as a single event, in a one-second burst, “the light bulb” turning on. These spontaneous ‘flash of genius’ solutions didn’t start happening until I’d spent years learning to think in concepts rather than words, years of writing down nearly every crazy idea to pop into my head, recording dreams every morning, etc., etc.
And finally, you’re probably going to have to become a weirdo loner outcast. (Of course, if you started out as a loner, chances are good that you’d discover all of the above techniques without help!) If you weren’t an outcast-type beforehand, then a few years of the above mental practices will do it. Loved ones and co-workers, the rest of “your tribe,” will take your newly eccentric behavior as a descent into mental illness, rather than the intentional cultivation of genius. Everyone in your life will edge away from you since you’re no longer a normal grownup non-genius like everyone else. Obviously, you’ve made yourself crazy, right? Turned hypomanic, possibly schizophrenic. And everyone knows that crazy people are dangerous, THEY MIGHT DO ANYTHING …like writing symphonies, inventing induction motors and radio, founding Cubism, dressing shabby in coffee shops and always scribbling scribbling scribbling dangerous ideas in their little notebooks, etc., all the sorts of stuff that deeply threatens those in power, and may at any time overturn our entire way of life.