This is Vol. 3 of the archives of Capital Ideasmiths, Project Renaissance's former e-zine. Please note that because these are archives, many external links contained herein may no longer work.

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Project Renaissance's Capital Ideasmiths

Capital Ideasmiths -- Volume 3


Update on Project Renaissance

Inducing Major Learning and Creativity Surges
by Win Wenger, Ph.D.

A Limitation of Image Streaming:  Building Mental Complexity
by Mike Cole

So Why Aren't I Impressed?
by Matthew Turco

Making Really Big Creative Personal Breakthroughs with the Curious George Pattern!
by "Curious George" Copsey

Capital Ideasmiths of the Past:

Volume 1
Volume 2

An Update on Project Renaissance

Win Wenger, founder and president of Project Renaissance, is as busy as ever writing books, articles, speaking at various places, and holding his monthly thinktanks.

His newest breakthrough book, Discovering the Obvious, is now available in its final published form!  To order simply contact Win at

More Winsight articles are up now at "Hot Rod Your Head!" (

Mike Cole's website at has had many new additions.  Thinkers Central has been replaced by The Thought Spot, more forums, more self-improvement pages, and much more.  Many new pages currently in the works as well.

New breakthrough Borrow Genius page with both general and specific instructions for borrowing individual geniuses.

Matthew Turco's site at has a November 1995 SUCCESS magazine article entitled The Einstein Factor posted, as well as a new original article entitles Learning By The Gob.

A new online registration form and info provider for Double Festival 7, Project Renaissance’s *superb* worldwide interactive conference, is up at:
Register soon!  The Double Festival is on the 13-15 November weekend!

Find out what Image Streaming is and how to do it at:

Editor: Mike Cole
Copyright 1998 Project Renaissance


Inducing Major Learning & Creativity Surges

by Win Wenger, Ph.D.

Recent clarifications and discoveries now make it appear that the results of use of the methods in Beyond Teaching And Learning can be improved by yet another full order of magnitude above those even of the recent very favorable independently conducted university studies.

Despite the remarkable gains to be made from regular practice of the various receptive visual thinking procedures cum Socratic expression, by far the greatest and profound gains appear to be associated with the occasional special learning-surge (described by Abraham Maslow as "peak learning experiences").

We have been overlooking this in the various studies to date, despite all the spectacular gains. As a result, a few students have indeed experienced these epiphanic ecstatic surges--as individual users of Beyond Teaching And Learning are expected more or less to do without having been pointed specifically in that direction--but most have had to make such gains as they did incrementally, through practice and without having or knowing even about the uniquely transformative surge as such.

The first law of Psychology is that you get more of what you reinforce, and despite all the gains in the studies, what's been reinforced is incremental gain through practice. Practice is necessary; it goes a long way to helping set up the explosive learning-surge, but what we could be doing is to organize programs, materials and coursework such as to assure that EVERY participant experiences a succession of at least several full-blown learning and growth surges!

We are reminded of the system devised by behaviorists C.B. Ferster and Mary Perrott, outlined at the start of their text Behavior Principles, which had every student working independently, interviewing as he completed each unit, interviewing those behind him as they completed theirs, being tested every 4-5 units, passing on only when demonstrating 100% mastery of what they've covered to date, and accumulating throughout the course a complete 100% mastery of its contents. There was no onus on going back to shore up whatever was needed. Students--including my own students in the small college where I adapted several courses to the Ferster-Perrott procedure--normally would perform with 100% success on the final exam.

--Perhaps a similar structuring, at least by broad sectors within each course, to assure that each and every student experienced an epiphany of learning and growth surge at least once before moving to the next sector? This would require a lot closer focussing of professional attention and resource than the rather casual infiltration of schools by our methods "trickling in" through the hands of variously competent, variously interested and involved teachers. That, in turn, would require a lot more organization and structural support on the part of Project Renaissance.

Perhaps we should continue to proceed by both strategies. Nonetheless, we are looking at the very strong likelihood that for these wonderful methods and experiences to fulfill their full promise, we must develop a strong operational structure and training program--an area in which, until now, we've been loose and casual. We can now use some help setting up an appropriate organization and support structure--if that is a strong suit for any of you who are reading this. We were going to evolve such a structure years from now when conditions were finally right to create Renaissance University, but we need some organization now.

Because Project Renaissance is a division of our non-profit 501(C)(3) firm MCM, Inc., does not mean that we are committed to all expressions of these program resources remaining non-profit and non-commercial. Whatever's appropriate, we can accept as appropriate and go on from there.

If you see an opportunity for yourself and others in this, and can help, please contact Project Renaissance, 301/948-1122 or Box 332, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-0332.


MEANWHILE--with these books and methods out there and more coming, presently organized on an individual self-use basis in which only some of our readers, some of the time, are likely to experience the full ecstasy of the surge in its most profound forms (though all who follow the directions in Beyond Teaching And Learning should nonetheless gain beyond their own expectations even without such surges)--

What are some of the ways to improve the chances of creating and experiencing such a surge on your own?

1. Each subject or topic you study with such methods, whether art, physics, math, history, psychology, economics, accounting or even, for pete's sake! home-ec!!!, throw yourself into it with the conviction that magically, somehow, this subject is the way and means to make absolute and profound sense of the entire universe and of everything within it! When, in fact, you find it starting to do so, chances are good that you have the beginnings of the surge underway.

A. If, somewhere along the way, you take in and learn something of one or more of those disciplines which do lend themselves most readily and directly to such understanding and to inter-disciplinary understanding, this too should improve your chances. Among the subjects best recommended for this interdisciplinary sense-making effect are: some forms of math; interference-pattern physics; information theory; general systems theory; and/or more recently, fractiles and chaos theory.

B. Alternatively or in addition, study or pursuit of some discipline which traditionally yields occasional moments of extraordinary enlightenment; likewise whichever of the branches of the arts that does the most for you.

2. When working alone: improve the quality of your feedback, as in using a fair quality stereo tape recorder with mikes and instantaneous electronic feedback through headset, with the gain up slightly and the treble (the higher frequency sounds of your voice carry most of the information) up moderately. This can let you help build a special state precursor to the surge, more readily than without such quality equipment.

3. Working with another person is, we believe, somewhat likelier to lead to the surge than when you work alone with directions and a tape recorder. Working with another person, in pairs within a larger group so your responses cue one-another in what seems like a "psychic resonance chamber," is likeliest of all to lead to experiencing a full surge. Note that in most of our publications including Beyond Teaching And Learning, our scripts of instructions are organized in such a way that a group completely new to such process can nonetheless work easily into and through such experiences without professional trainer help, where need be.

4. Limbic arousal--when the chills start up and down your spine, when even though you are trying not to "let on" it begins to get exciting for you that Riemann's Mapping Theorem entails so much and such remarkable differences by tiny rule changes; that everything happening everywhere falls into one of several types of system interaction and so is predictable; that human beings have lived through such-&-such an event and somehow made sense and progress out of it; when some tiny detail seems on the verge of showing you the entirety of how everything works--just stay with that and see what happens next.

--for it's not just the intellectual or human or aesthetic understanding of these things, the emotional intensity of these transformative surges is something which has to be experienced to be believed.

It's not just the sudden onset of understanding and feeling during the surge itself; for weeks or months after, more experience rushes into place, your understanding and quality of understanding continue to grow at a greatly increased pace and might never settle all the way back to the old ho-hum.

--And having experienced one such surge, it's easier to experience another. --And yet another....

How do you know when you hit such a surge? You will know. There are, indeed, moments of excited learning and you may wonder, was that it? but when you hit the surge itself, you will know.

That might be with your very first or second receptive visual thinking experience, or it might be only with your 40th or so. You might need practice in the mode so your internal structures can heal and integrate to the point where they can withstand a full learning surge--your faculties do take good care of you! Until the full surge hits, there are still the new insights, new perspectives, new awarenesses that you pick up from experience to experience that let you function at a genius mode far higher than you could expect to approach in far lengthier training and practice by more conventional methods. You can radically accelerate and enhance your learning and your personal growth even if you never hit a real full-blown learning surge. --But I must say, I have never experienced anyone who has had one or more of these surges who, afterward, would be willing to trade it for any other kind of experience. Nor would I. These surges involve the finest part of ourselves, reverberate with and create further the finest part of ourselves, become a brilliant searchlight shining down the hallways of all the rest of our years illumining our lives to give them rich, wonderful, lasting meaning.

--And now that we know how to create these experiences so readily, there's no more rationing!

Copyright 1998 Win Wenger, Ph.D.


A Limitation of Image Streaming:  Building Mental Complexity

by Mike Cole

Image Streaming is an amazing process. It takes what thoughts and ideas one has deep in one’s inner mind, much deeper than one is conscious of, and brings them out into the world. Some of these ideas may be strange, annoying, bogus, or redundant, but all bring us closer to the solution we are seeking. Consistent Image Streaming can be a mind-expanding experience, and, coupled with pragmatic action, it can increase the quality of life.

However, there are a few limitations to traditional Image Streaming. I will not go into all of them here, just one: Insight may occur, but no connections are made between insights. An example of the latter situation is if one were to describe a garden aloud (a la Wenger’s "Over the Wall" technique) with the question of the nature of multiplication in mind, and subsequently jump over another wall to get insight into division, and not make any connections between the two. The streamer may ask how division and multiplication are related next, but what about how the insights into division and multiplication are related? This requires a whole new level of abstraction on the part of the streamer, and is essential in gaining greater complexity of knowledge.

By having more complex knowledge one may have a more accurate knowledge. Perceptive minds constantly struggle to match the complexity of their understanding to that of the world around them. Just look at your own hand. It is surely more complex than you can ever fully comprehend. There are more atoms in that hand than there are neurons in your brain; it would be impossible to "know" each and every part of your hand and how those parts are related. We have the gifts of discretion and abstraction, however. We can choose what is important enough to store in our memory, and we can generalize knowledge into smaller packets of information. In this way we can create complex webs, or networks of knowledge, to be used to match the complexity of the university without.

How to increase the complexity of one’s mind, you may ask. There are many ways. Image Streaming itself does it, but traditional Image Streaming may not be good enough. There must be another layer of abstraction, or even hundreds, before the truly perceptive can be satisfied. One way of building up such abstraction is to build connections in a number of areas, and then build connections between those connections.

Here is one procedure utilizing this theory:

  1. Describe a garden (aloud and to an external source) to get your imagery and description warmed up. Keep a question, problem, or idea you want clarified in mind.
  2. Jump a wall present in that garden to find the answer to your question or request.
  3. Keep jumping walls straight out until the answer is completely clarified.
  4. Search for a related question or problem that you would like answered.
  5. Jump a wall perpendicular to the wall you last jumped over for the answer to this question. Keep jumping for clarification if needed.
  6. Jump in the direction diagonal to the two you’ve already jumped for insight into how the two new insights are interrelated. This will aid understanding further and, since it is all in the same general context, will aid recall of the concepts later.

To up the complexity still further:

  1. Go to a few levels of complexity using the previous technique (e.g. ask about some other mathematical concept, get insight, and then relate that to division and multiplication).
  2. For the best effect, reset the context by describing a different garden. Then ask a question on a completely different topic (e.g. history as opposed to mathematics). Perform the procedure above on this topic.
  3. Take the most abstract insight from this new topic and relate it to the most abstract concept of the first topic. Sometimes this is not possible; just go down a few levels of complexity to find a situation where it is. Doing this will make connections between completely different parts of the brain. This will, in effect, function as a trailblazer for your brain.

These procedures are only part of a series of techniques I will be exploring in subsequent articles. What many consider the most exciting technique is called Context Networking. It is nearly as versatile as Image Streaming, and can do things that Image Streaming cannot. They are complementary however, as Image Streaming plays a large part in developing Context Networks. Context Networking increases understanding, recall, and complexity of mind. In my next article I  will be outlining Context Networking in detail.

Copyright 1998 Mike Cole


So Why Aren't I Impressed?

by Matthew Turco

There's no question that brilliant people walk among us. In every walk of life, in every sport, in every field of science, in every medium of art, there exists genius. And yet, every time I meet or learn about someone who's distinguished himself, I always wind up less impressed that I want to be. Why is that?

Sure, I want them to be larger than life. But I also want them to be more than statistics on a piece of paper or words on a page. I want them to be better than me in more ways than the one that first caught my attention. I want them to be someone I can model myself after so that I can evolve not into yet another narrowly skilled savant, but a brilliant, well-rounded human being. Unfortunately, the more I learn about them, the more I uncover disheartening inconsistencies and incongruencies prevalent in most modern geniuses.

This is why the self-improvement field fascinates me so much. And it is why, despite its flaws, it might be the one field to adequately fill in the gaps left by the incomplete models of education in the Industrial Age. However, in order for it to fulfill this proposed destiny, some changes need to be made.

Lately, it seems that many self-improvement approaches seem to be competing against each other for what they perceive to be a limited market of prospective "clients", "trainees" and book buyers. Many "experts" strive to know more and more about less and less because they are still stuck in the "specialist" mentality. They are convinced that their field will eventually hold all the answers necessary to thrive in the Information Age.

Is this true? Is the "Jack of all Trades" inferior to the "Ace of One"? Or are many of us cutting ourselves short by seeking the superior model rather than our own, unique synergistic integration of the best of what many diverse fields have to offer?

I've learned enough to know to be suspicious whenever someone claims to have "the key" to anything. A couple of years ago, I began searching for the "keys" to success, happiness, etc. And every time I thought I found it, it was only just another piece to a puzzle that seemingly no one has solved.

Take a look at health. Every approach to wellness available today from invasive surgery to hypnotherapy to Eastern medicine to chiropractic corrections to modern pharmaceuticals fails miserably at least some of the time. While I'm not expecting for health professionals to unlock the key to immortality, there's been enough misleading and contradicting information in this field for me to conclude that no single approach can possibly account for all the infinite variables contributing to illness.

And yet, most health professionals continue to focus on only one field of expertise and expect the system to work itself for the benefit of the patient. Meanwhile, most patients do not know enough about health and biology to choose the most effective approach for their own treatment and maintenance and few doctors are well-rounded enough to adequately assume that role for them. Therefore, most people are getting less than the best care that is readily available to them, if they only knew how to seek it.

Alas, this pattern of personal and systemic ignorance also shows up in the one field that should be studying the pattern itself--self-improvement. When you look at the direction that most people take when training in reading skills, thinking skills, memory skills, behavior and emotional skills, etc, you find more people training to be savants than those aspiring to be geniuses.

Perhaps more needs to be done to show the striking similarities and endless synergistic opportunities inherent in existing methods and models. Perhaps the next giant leap forward won't be in yet another NLP procedure, but in a new science to integrates what we've already discovered in all these diverse and seemingly unrelated models of self-improvement.

This approach isn't without precedent.

Chaos theory (or complexity theory, or nonlinear dynamics-whatever you want to call it) was discovered, not from extrapolating one single science, but from discovering similar patterns underlying many separate and diverse fields. One graph of cotton prices and another showing the changing population of a species living in a pond showed remarkable similarities that were completely inexplicable until the discovery of fractals and other new distinctions. Chaos placed practical limits on any one field of study and yet opened up a new universe of understanding of how systems really behave. Today, this science facilitates the cutting edge of artificial intelligence, economic and political models, and more.

Now, let's take something a little closer to home. Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) was partially designed as a methodology to model others efficiently, not just in order to gain a specific set of skills quickly, but to be able to gain many diverse proficiencies. In fact, NLP itself was once much like choas theory in that it revealed patterns underlying much of human behavior.

But that was then and this is now. The subsequent "standardization" and ridiculous political struggles among NLP trainers has ruined that original design. To most, NLP is mainly a collection of useful, but limited therapeutic tools. Fortunately, much of the original spirit does live on in a few trainers (including Grinder and Bandler) that have taken what NLP offered and integrated it with other technology to reveal even deeper and more useful patterns. But the NLP technology itself has been weakened and the design is devolving into that which is was intended to replace.

My point here is that no expert in only one field offers any truly superior value, even to the very narrow slice of the population that requires his exact knowledge. The stagnation that results from any specialization renders the "experts" inflexible in the Information Age. In the long run, the most powerful people will be those who take several diverse fields and continually synthesize new models and approaches.

Which takes me to a new model of training that is slowly taking form. Several years ago, Win Wenger designed a seminar by inviting many different types of people to present their work to an audience as diverse as presenters. This seminar is combined with real-world training in image streaming and other tools design by Win himself so that the audience can actively participate and facilitate new discoveries, distinctions, and directions, regardless of their previous knowledge. Thus, the learning is dynamic, self-reinforcing, and very rewarding.

This Double Festival offers an exciting possibility of how future self-improvement trainings and seminars will be designed and implemented. And it shows a spirit of cooperation and synergy that may propel self-improvement to the next level so it may finally live up to the standards that I expected it to several years ago when I became an active participant.

When I was four years old, I saw Star Wars for the first time. And as silly as this may sound, I had a real hero. Sure, at first Luke Skywalker (and friends) only existed in George Lucas' imagination and then on strips of film. But after I saw that movie, he existed in my imagination as well. And he never let me down. Perhaps the 21st century will produce humanity with real heroes in the flesh. But we'll need more than heroes. We'll also need powerful tools and methodologies for us to effectively model ourselves after them so that we can live up to those "impossible" standards and make a real difference.

1998 Matthew Turco

The Curious George Pattern

by "Curious George" Copsey

Making REALLY BIG Creative Personal Breakthroughs--
with the Curious George Pattern

"What I want is a creative breakthrough that will impact my professional life so I make more money, have greater self confidence & more opportunities to serve."

Well, just a small request for a sample coaching session, right? I decided to choose to believe for the client that they could create a creative breakthrough of this magnitude in the next 30 minutes of the call. Why bother to have them focus on the stuck state -- go right for what the breakthrough will be, having them describe it using Image-Streaming.

What to do?

  1. Have them describe out loud, eyes closed, in the present tense, their sense of the creative breakthrough in sensory-based language:
    What does the breakthrough look, smell, sound, feel & taste like?
    The key here is to focus their description on sensory information- not intellectualizing about it, but describing it in colors, shapes, feelings and sounds. If they fall back on intellectualizing, or out of present tense descriptions, gently remind them to use sensory-based, present tense terms.

  2. Have them "move into" the parts of the breakthrough that have the most interest for them, exploring areas that are most surprising, delightful and/or unexpected- describing out loud  to you the experience as they go. They could choose to move into or with sounds, shapes, feelings, colors, etc.

  3. When they/you have an intuitive sense of completeness  about this creative breakthrough that they've just made (literally) through describing it, ask them to select a physical object that symbolizes the breakthrough-- something they can carry with them to remind them of it. I carry a tube of glue to remind me that, while I'm a Dreamer who's good at dealing with reality, I'm also a Realist who's good at dreaming. (Bonded together -- and like all creative breakthroughs- it's "safe, non-toxic & All Purpose", just as the glue tube says).

  4. For fieldwork, have them write/ type their experience of the breakthrough, recording it in sensory terms & in the present tense- as if it were happening as they write. Have them intellectualize and make all the new mental connections they want between the sensory based description of the breakthrough and their life as they write- and to record these as well.

  5. Have them carry the physical symbol of their breakthrough with them for a month, noticing any Results that happen in their Work & Life that connect with it. Ask if they're willing to give themselves permission to attract greater clarity about how this creative breakthrough will manifest itself in their Work & Life.

    Are they willing to simply Notice the Results as they show up?

  6. "And now that you've made this creative breakthrough, simply rest in the deep sense of conviction that It's Done -- and allow it to show up."
From my experience in working with this pattern with my clients, as well as using it with myself, I've found that the conscious mind attempts to "understand" how this works -- and can't. Approximately 75% of the people I know who've run the pattern have experienced Results in the area they wanted a creative breakthrough in -- sometimes overwhelmingly so.

Then, I get to coach them through the question of whether they really wanted the Results. A nice "problem" to have -- getting the Results you want!

Copyright 1998 George Copsey

"Curious George" Copsey (Realistic Solutions, 320-252-8552) is a professional personal coach, who wants you to know he offers a complimentary coaching session on the "Curious George" pattern. He has presented on the "Curious George" pattern at the 1998 Double Festival in Gaithersburg, Maryland.


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