by Win Wenger, Ph.D.
Winsights No. 3 (13 April 1997)
Here, as promised, are the instructions for your most powerful mode of thinking and perceiving: receptive visual thinking, or Image-Streaming. 25 hours of Image-Streaming increases intelligence with meaningful gains in “I.Q.” points. It also appears to improve the deeper and more numinous qualities of experience and ability to an even greater extent.
Image-Streaming is also the most fundamental version of the modernized Einsteinian Discovery Method or “deep thought experiment”. Image-Streaming can powerfully help you to: solve problems; discover answers; profoundly accelerate learning; inform you about all sorts of aspects of your world and those around you and about yourself; and even accelerate and improve your reading.
You were born already thinking in images. For years that was how you thought, perceived and understood the world. When well-meaning parents and teachers and adults told you to stop daydreaming, stop looking out the window, to sit straight and pay attention, this most powerful of all your modes of learning, understanding and thinking did not go away. It merely went underground, so to speak. You still have within you a reflex response which draws upon all your resources including the deeper, subconscious powers of your mind for solving problems, increasing creativity, and crystallizing understanding. 99.999999% of your mental and intellectual resource, perception, awareness, and data-base is unconscious, and works much faster than does your conscious mind which has been trained by the language you speak to work at the speed of your talking.
Nearly all this data-base and awareness reside in portions of your brain which work in images rather than words and it is usually in images that the most reliable answers and understandings are expressed. –If an answer comes in words, did it come from these richer resources or from the limited left verbal focussed part of our brain with which we’ve been getting the same old answers? If it comes in images – especially if the imagery content is a surprise to us – this is an excellent indicator that we’re getting in data from elsewhere in our brains besides the same old word-processor.
At every instant, part of ourselves is reflexively sorting through all our awarenesses and giving us a picture which best relates whatever is the present context. The context can be that of your reading this article, or you can shape context by asking your higher resources a question or pointing them to a problem and letting them answer you in images. Here is one of the many basic, step-by-step ways to sensitize to, use and understand your Image Stream:
1. THE QUESTION – ask yourself a question.
2. START TO IMAGE-STREAM, as follows. Have a live listener or tape recorder with you. Sit back, relax, close your eyes, and describe aloud whatever images suggest themselves. Go with your first or most immediate impressions and describe these images or impressions aloud, as rapidly as possible in as sustained a flow as possible, in richly textured sensory detail. Make it a kind of brainstorm of description, not of ideas but of adjectives, things you can say about the image(s) which somehow describe it or them. AS you describe, more free images will emerge: be alert to that or to other changes and describe these when they happen, instead of making it all into some sort of orderly story.
It’s crucial to describe aloud to live or potential listener (as represented by that tape recorder), in order to bring more of your images into conscious awareness, no matter how unrelated the images may at first appear. They may seem to your focussed verbal left brain, at first, to be unrelated to the question or context but once you’ve let all of the data flow freely onto the table, so to speak, you’ll find what you’ve been describing was amazingly and ingeniously straight on target: the right answer or a key insight.
Let yourself be surprised by what the images reveal to you. The more surprising, the more likely that you’re getting fresh input from your subtler, more comprehensive and more accurate faculties.
(A few paragraphs below, we provide here some back-up procedures for those who, at first attempt, didn’t seem to be able to get up images. If you were one of those, then you can work through one or another of these back-up procedures and then come back to this point to decipher the meaning of your images. The remaining five of the 7-step process for image streaming given here, are for purpose of getting at the meaning of your images. Whether or not you get at the meaning of your images, simply observing and describing them aloud WHILE observing them will still build your intelligence for that meanigful “I.Q.” gain and more.)
3. FEATURE-QUESTIONING: while in the imagery, pick out some one feature of it – a wall, a tree or bush, whatever’s there. Imagine laying a hand on that feature and studying its feel (and describe that feel), to strengthen your contact with that experience. Ask that rock or bush or wall, “Why are you (meaning that object) here as part of my answer?” (–Or as part of this message for me…) See if the imagery changes when you ask that question. Describe the changes.
4. INDUCTIVE INFERENCE: once you’ve gotten 5-15 minutes’ worth of images described, thank your image-streaming faculties for showing you this answer. –And ask their help in understanding this answer or message. The help is by their giving you 2-3 minutes of entirely DIFFERENT images which nonetheless somehow are still giving you the SAME answer to the SAME problem. –Then a third set of images for just a minute or so, still the SAME answer or message but shown to you in yet an entirely DIFFERENT WAY!
5. WHAT’S THE SAME? When all else is different among these several sets of image, what IS the same? Maybe it’s the color green, maybe it’s triangular-shaped objects; maybe it’s even just a feeling – whatever IS the same, it’s the core of the message after all the ornamentation of these often-rich experiences is swept aside. These themes or elements-in-common are your core answer or message.
Herein is an additional powerful reason for wanting to describe as much detail as possible from your respective sets of images. –Not only because this helps to better integrate your brain and make you more intelligent, but because the more detail you have there from those several sets of image, the easier it is to find matches, themes, elements-in-common which then will let you make sense out of what you’ve seen.
6. RELATE: Go back to your original question or context and determine in what way or ways these core elements ARE the answer to your question.
7. DEBRIEF: When you go back through an experience, this often elicits for you secondary associations, thoughts and awarenesses not immediately apparent to you the first time. Summarize this whole experience either to another person (directly or by telephone), or to notebook or computer. This change of medium, and change of feedbacks, brings in fresh secondaries and should add further to your understanding.
Verification – you might want to test and check your responses with questions such as these:
- “How can I make sure that I’m on the right track with this understanding?” (You should get back, through your imagery and assorted awarenesses, either a way to test and verify, or a reminder of real-time data or experiences which demonstrate that this is the right answer to be working with.)
- “What more do I need to know in this context?”
- What’s a a good, practical, concrete first step to acting upon this understanding?”
One unique advantage of Image-Streaming: nearly all other creative problem solving methods invest most of their effort into redefining the question or problem, before they ever get started on finding answers. Your deeper faculties already know what the real issue, problem or question IS, and immediately get on with giving you answer to it.
Another is the speed-up of answer-getting, with practice. Though the intelligence-building effects of Image Streaming are an accumulation of the time invested in the activity, with practice you CAN get to your verified answer in a mere minute or so, when in that particular instance the answer sought is of more value to you than is the increment of intelligence-building experience.
Everyone can get these images and start gleaning their benefits. If you are one of those who couldn’t immediately start getting images in the sections above, and need some help getting started, here’s some help.
These “prompting techniques” work best if you have a helper, or listener, who can watch your “attention cues” (changes in your breathing-patterns, or eye-movements beneath your closed eyelids) and in such instance immediately ask you, “What was in your awareness just then?” to help you notice when these images happen, and start the flow of description going. This “Helper Technique” is in fact the form in which we first discovered Image-Streaming in 1973. Some other “prompting techniques:”
- AFTER-IMAGING: Stare at a bright (but not blinding) light for half a minute, then close your eyes. Describe that after-image and continue describing it as it begins to change.
- WORTH DESCRIBING: Even if at first you don’t get clear images, you may get blobs of color, lines or patterns which you didn’t report because you didn’t think they were worth mentioning. IT’S ANY WAY YOU CAN GET UP THE FLOW OF DESCRIBING WHILE LOOKING, so describe even those trivial or meaningless-seeming blobs or lines, rapidly and in detail, alert to their changing. If this does not lead to more coherent or interesting images within 5-10 minutes, then deliberately look BEYOND the colors, patterns, etc., as if they were a screen, and describe your first impression of what’s beyond that screen.
- PHOSPHENES: Again on the principle of getting started that flow of describing-while-looking. Gently rub your closed eyes like a sleepy child. Leave them closed, and describe the light-and-c0olor blips which result. Keep on describing as these change….
- DOOR: Imagine you are before a closed door. Tell how this door looks, then how it feels to your hand when you touch it. Then suddenly fling open the door to catch by surprise whatever is behind it. Describe immediately your first impression of what it is or might have been behind the door. (This method is excellent for finding answer to a question. While standing before the closed door, pose your question. The more unexpected the content of the imagery, the better your chances of getting sensitive, fresh new perspectives and insights.) WINDOW-SHADE – the release/roll-up kind: some people prefer using this old-fashioned window-shade instead of a door. Pose your question, look at and feel the bottom of the shade, tug and release: UP it goes! flap!flap!flap! and what are you looking at as your answer?
- CLOSET LIGHT (or bathroom light) – with eyes closed, rapidly flip the light on-off-on-off a few times and describe the rich colors, patterns or other kinds if images which result, see what the flow of that description can lead into….
That’s all we have space for here, but more than a dozen additional “prompting procedures” are published in my book, A METHOD FOR PERSONAL GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT which teaches, step by step, the whole range of modern Einsteinian technique from basic visual thinking to the most advanced forms of advanced high think-tank method. Chances are you won’t need more such techniques; you’ve got enough here to get rolling on and to build your mind and intelligence without apparent limit. –But you should know that not one person has yet been found out of thousands trained (either in our own training sessions around the world or in the independently conducted state university studies in Minnesota which measured the intelligence gains) who has gotten through all those procedures withOUT “getting pix” and starting to reap the rich benefits. That means that intelligence – indeed, most of the qualities which make you most human – is not doled out by ration, leaving you stuck with the short straw. Intelligence and your most human qualities can be earned, they can be built, without apparent limits. everyone has unlimited access. If this address of “intelligence” be “elitism,” then make the most of it! Or come fly with some of your fellow eagles!